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The Search for the Best Pizza Begins at this Italian Village

The Strongsville Gourmet starts his selfless quest

Best Bites’ Gerry Shamray begins his quest to find the best pizza in Strongsville. He’s taking the recommendations of Patch.com readers to guide him to the ultimate slice of heaven this city has to offer.

I can still remember the first time I tried pizza. I was a little guy and was spending the night at my grandma’s house.

One of my aunts had made a pizza for her kids. They offered me a slice, which I took with trepidation.

“What is this?” I snootily asked before taking a bite.

“Pizza,” was the response.

“Pizza? Never ate it,” I shot back.

I slowly opened my mouth and carefully bit in and . . . hated it.

I don’t recall exactly what I didn’t like about it, but it would be years before I would give pizza another chance. I was a pretty picky kid.

Needless to say, I eventually did see the error of my ways. If I was allowed to only eat one kind of food for the rest of my life, I would pick pizza.

In my request to Patch.com readers to make recommendations in local pizzerias to try, Alexandria Blair Crites Scott stated her favorite was the , 16605 Pearl Rd. She said, “Ever since moving to Strongsville 10 years ago, it has been a favorite!”

I had a fantastic lunch at the that I wrote about in an earlier column. I didn’t try their pizza back then and thought now was a great time to return.

I really like the interior to the Italian Village. This time my wife and I were sat near the giant wall mural.  The place was unusually empty at the time of my visit. It was, by my design, an off hour to visit. I tend to ask questions and take plenty of pictures and try to hit restaurants in their slow period.

Our waitress told me that most folks pick their own toppings when ordering a pizza. There was no clear popular choice.

Options were kept simple, even the size of the pizza only comes large or in a sheet. They offer the usual bunch of toppings and five specialty pizzas to pick from. I love the classic toppings on a pizza and zeroed in on the deluxe, which is topped with pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, onions and green peppers.

The worst thing about getting pizza in any restaurant is the wait. It’s not an item that is whipped up in a matter of minutes.

To kill the time I ordered a large Caesar salad for us to share. This is a tricky salad to make; its simplicity brings attention to every detail and that means you can’t skimp on the parts.

The lettuce was fresh and crisp but the Romano cheese was grated rather than thinly shaved. I personally enjoy flakes of cheese and was a little disappointd here. The dressing was OK but the croutons were hardly special. Not bad, but I did expect something more from this Village.

When it came to the pizza, they didn’t disappoint me. It was fantastic! I loved it. Let me repeat: I LOVED it.

The pie is a visual delight. I was impressed with the extra care given to its appearance. The outer crust has a classy wave pinched into the dough. Very cool.

It was packed with chunky toppings and a perfectly backed crust. I loved how each slice got a large, long chunk of sausage all its own.

I enjoyed every bite and ate more than I should. Despite being stuffed, I still had to go for another one of their homemade cannoli. Okay, I shared it with my wife. She’s been jealous since she saw the picture of the one I devoured in my last review of the Italian Village.

There’s no doubt that the Italian Village is a serious contender for best pizza in Strongsville. Still, it’s early and I have other pizzerias to visit. Be sure to let me know your favorite pizza in town.

Matt August 01, 2011 at 03:14 PM
i used to like "a slice above". are they still around?

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