Unless you’re a person in your late teens or early 20s, delivery probably isn’t a staple of your life. For those of us not knee deep in Maruchan ramen or “couch coin” funded burritos, delivery can still offer a utility. But whether you’re just trying to shut your kids up, take a night off from the world, or fool your dinner date into thinking you can actually cook, finding palatable deliverables is often difficult.
There are exceptions to every rule and front in center in that department is DaVinci’s Pizzeria, a two outfit chain with locations in Smyrna and Midtown Atlanta. The location in Midtown has been open some four months, and in that time, I have taken down at least a couple of their pizzas, their sides, and their sandwiches. So while I won’t hold them to the standards of some of the more high brow pizza spots in Atlanta, I will say that to date, I’ve been relatively pleased.
Remember folks, this is actually a full-service outlet with tables, waiters and the rest. But I haven’t seen any of that in action and not sure I ever will. For me, a meal from DaVinci’s is compared to delivery from the local chains like Mellow Mushroom, from strictly local options like Baby Tommy’s, or from the industrial strength operations like Papa John’s. Aka – this pizza can travel, where as ‘za from Varasano’s, Antico Pizza, or Fritti should not.
DaVinci’s is a pretty forward thinking operation, so there are plenty of online ordering services that you can go through. However, I still like the phone (unless I’m forced to order from a big chain on account of an inconsiderate friend). Regardless, the phone saves you some fees, requires less effort, and often let’s you get a feel for the service. With DaVinci’s, I’ve always found their phone jockeys pleasant and willing to take your order and not rush you. On occasion, they’ve forgotten to mention the $2 delivery fee, so don’t act surprised if you order after reading this. My friends who sometimes take the reigns while I sit in the corner would agree in the smoothness of the process.
The menu includes pastas, wings, sandwiches and pies (both kinds as it happens to be). All in all, this is a typical Italian eatery. The sandwiches are 8”, come with chips and a pickle, and are standard classics. I’ve had the meatball sub 2x. It arrives warm thanks to its tinfoil cocoon. The balls are respectable, if not somewhat over cooked as is bound to happen with something that steams on its way to you. But it’s ample on the sauce and absolutely loaded with cheese, so I have no reason to complain.
The huge order of breadsticks ($5) is a ridiculous value, but I would pass on them if I were you. The focus of the shop is pizza and though you may not believe me – a good pizza producer isn’t guaranteed to put out a good breadstick … they are different beasts.
As you know by now, pizza is the name of the game at DaVinci’s, so that’s what I consume most often. Their pizzas come in a 4-sizes and will stretch your wallet anywhere from $7 to $30 dollars. Add in toppings and things can balloon real fast. Still, should you avoid things like the shrimp, pulled pork, or scallops, you can still feed a person for slightly more than you would if you were to order from Pizza Hut.
There are also a good number of pre-designed pizzas under the umbrella of “specialty pizzas” and “gourmet pizzas.” I see nothing inherently different about the two type (save for the price), but you can grab common creations like bacon cheeseburger and Hawaiian or something like the Fisherman’s Wharf (which includes tilapia and scallops amongst other things).
We’ve always settled on less adventurous options like ground beef, pepperoni, onions & mushrooms and so forth. When pepperoni is in play, the cheese is lavished on top of the slices. I prefer my p-roni on top, but that’s just a personal preferences. The ground beef is crumbly and matches well with the whole milk mozzarella, and everything else falls into place.
It’s really not the type of pie I intellectualize though I would probably be far more analytical about my experience with it if not for the fact that it is most often consumed when I’m prostrate and in jammies. The dough is technically a little too dense, and I’m not in love with somewhat sweet sauce. Things can be a little bland, sometimes over cooked (outside of the requested “well done”), and the sauce doesn’t always taste exactly the same. That’s the territory pizza places like this live in. For what it’s worth, I’m okay with that.
The one thing you should keep in mind is that the pizza is finished with some sprinkled cheese after it is cooked. I don’t love this idea, but I’ve never actually thought to ask DaVinci’s not to do it. I doubt they’d deny you that request.
I really feel that DaVinci’s philosophy is a manifestation of heartfelt passion glazed with minor salesmanship. I know DaVinci’s has poached some of their pizza dudes from fancier establishments’’ pile of castoffs. So it’s no surprise that this place serves better pizza than a lot of places. With more exploration to be had, DaVinci’s is rocking right along with me.
Insider’s Tip: DaVinci’s Midtown actually serves lunch during the week. Who’d have thunk it? Never tried it. Dine-in or take-out only
Atlanta Foodies on DaVinci’s
- Atlanta, Etc. on DaVinci’s (05.02.11)