We’ve been visiting Vinny’s New York Pizza for at least the last eight years as a lunch time spot, yet I’ve somehow failed to mention them. Today when I went to get a quick bowl of pho, I found that Miss Saigon had ended it’s run. (This is not an obscure Broadway reference, but rather the Vietnamese restaurant two doors down from Vinny’s was kaput. Lights out, chairs on tables and kitchen partially removed. Xin chào.)
I walked next door and grabbed a red-and-white checkered tablecloth covered table for one. Vinny’s has been open for years, having once had an additional location, but back down to this one. Virtually next door to the Gwinnett Arena, it will be packed by 6:00 on an event night and full by 12:20 most every week day. They are family owned and operated and are that mom-and-pop Italian restaurant that has all but disappeared in Atlanta.
The one thing that continually brings us back, and that most of the people we take there comment on is their garlic rolls. I should likely compose an ode to these rolls. Something along the lines of:
” Oh, heavenly bite of garlic bread
Visions of you dance in my head
While at my desk I quietly wait
As my breath doth quickly bate
Awaiting the garlic in which you’re drenched
At checkered tablecloth I sit, entrenched
As a bowl is brought to my table side
* But only two per person, else $1.95″
Seriously, these things are crazy good.
We go through phases of going to Vinny’s it in our lunch rotations. For a couple of years, I ate nothing but their meatball sub with fries, no pickle (“you bring it, I fling it”). Then it was chicken fettuccine Alfredo. Right now, I’m a huge fan of their oven baked pasta.
The oven-baked pasta reminds me of something that your grandmother (if she was Italian) would cook to make you feel better. It, in a really odd way, reminds me of this Hamburger Helper dish that my mom made when I was a kid. Maybe that’s why I like it? It’s a steaming dish of ziti, with meat sauce and melted cheese. The above picture is a lunch portion and more than I should ever eat.
It’s a great, quick neighborhood place.
Warning: If you plan to eat the tomato basil soup (which is only sold by the bowl, not the cup), you should call ahead and have them plate it for you if you plan to finish your meal in less than half an hour. Otherwise, order it as soon as you walk in and it MAY cool down enough to eat before dessert. You likely think I’m exaggerating. Only slightly. I have no idea how they get the soup that hot. I have, on occasion, left my spoon in the bowl after the first taste and, after letting the bowl cool for five minutes, when I touched the spoon, it was still too hot to handle.