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Graziano's Slice Investigation: Buffalo Chicken Pizza

Pizza ReviewDan TallaricoComment
Here is a simple, sloppy slice of Graziano's buffalo chicken pizza.

Here is a simple, sloppy slice of Graziano's buffalo chicken pizza.

I admire Graziano's candor and excitement for their own pizza. I routinely visit their store for a six-pack, and occasionally I'll get a slice to take home with me. No use grabbing some beers without a pizza companion. 

There's always someone spilling their drama in the front of the shop, but behind the counter you'll find the same reliable staff of workers who have seen it all and dealt with more griping and antics than most people see in their lifetime. 

No one ever recommends Graziano's, and it rarely makes any "best of" list, yet their store is home to a couple of trophies. They participated in a few pizza competitions last summer and won consecutive "People's Choice Awards" for best pizza. The pizza in question: their buffalo chicken pizza.

I popped into Graziano's for a slice and one of the workers asked me if I wanted a slice of a fresh buffalo chicken pizza. I waffled, like a dope, then said yes. Most buffalo chicken pizza I've had starts with a crust, a gallon of ranch, french fries, fried chicken and a drizzle of hot sauce. 

This flipped the script on buffalo chicken pizza. Instead of ranch, their pizza is slathered in hot sauce. They admitted they "went a bit overboard." I'd beg to differ - if you're going to make a pizza that's 90% hot sauce, lean into it. Own the fact that every buffalo chicken pizza carries with it a tub of hot sauce. That's what buffalo chicken pizza lovers want.

On top of the buffalo sauce was a hunk of cheese and grilled chicken, not fried. I was shocked, but with the crunch of the crust you don't miss the fried chicken. In fact, it helps all the flavors blend in a bit better.

If you're in the market for a somewhat sloppy, delicious and fun pizza, try the Buffalo Chicken Pizza from Graziano's. It's worth the adventure at least once. 

Graziano's Pizza

Dan TallaricoComment

Slice Sunday: two slices I slurped up from Graziano’s on Penn Ave in Bloomfield.

For 3pm slices they were fresh with a bit of a crunch. Goes great with an afternoon six pack.

Pizza Review: Graziano's in Bloomfield

Dan TallaricoComment

“JF,” I shouted, “There’s this place up the street that sells a large sicilian pizza for $7 on Tuesday." 

"My lord,” JF replied, “You’ve got to be pizza-kidding me.”

“No,” I shouted, “I am not pizza-kidding you, and to be pizza-frank, I don’t think I can legally do that as a pizza-journalist.”

“As someone who’s not your lawyer, you’re probably right,” JF replied.

And that’s the motivation behind trying out Graziano’s in Bloomfield. You may also know this as a the pizza place that glares at the Brillobox across the street, jealous of their cliental. From the outside, it’s not the most welcoming pizza place, but that’s what makes going on pizza adventures so swell. A reason to go into those dank pizza spots hoping that their ovens contain that golden pizza that will unite your tastebuds in a utopian symphony. 

Unfortunately, the my tastebuds were barely inspired to whistle after eating Graziano’s pizza.

I’ve been meaning to try more Sicilian pizzas in the wild ever since Mineo’s put its spell on me, and when I saw that incredible deal on pizza at Graziano’s I couldn’t resist. Unfortunately, I had the deal wrong. When I called up the establishment I asked if they were crazy enough to be selling Sicilian pizzas for $7. It turns out they aren’t that crazy and I’d be paying full-price. 

Their Sicilian pizza is basic and unappealing. Never would you see this pizza in a Pizza Museum and it’s certainly not winning any awards for ingenuity. It is as banal as you can get. Pizza is a great medium to experiment with, and it’s too bad that Graziano’s is no longer inspired to put forth the effort to dazzle customers with their pizza prowess. I bit into this Sicilian and I could have sworn the pizza cried out, “Meh." 

By the time I got through two pieces the pizza had lost any semblance of heat. The pizza was so boring that its temperature couldn’t have been bothered to linger. The dough was manageable and the sauce was from a can and the pizza was a thing. It was the type of thing you’d purchase accidentally due to the amount of alcohol in your body. It’s not until you wake up the next morning and see the empty box would you feel the grease of shame working its way through your intestines. 

Graziano’s isn’t something I’d recommend you travel more than five blocks for. With a proximity so close to Fazio’s, it’s a wonder why anyone wouldn’t just go there. The hours? I’m not sure. Perhaps their regular pizza is better.

Two pizzas out of five.