It took three tries, but I finally found Izzo’s Pizzeria open. I happened to be downtown for a late morning meeting. I was hopping back in my truck a little after noon and I started to head towards Washington Square to find something for lunch when I decided to give Izzo’s a third try.
Izzo’s Pub & Pizzeria is on Washington Avenue in Lansing’s REO Town neighborhood. The pub has been there since the mid-1960’s. The Pizzeria has been there since December. The two businesses are in separate spaces with separate entrances, but they are connected and you can move freely between the two spaces. The pizzeria side is big enough for a kitchen and a handful of tables. The interior fits the area. It has kind of a rustic feel with an exposed brick wall with a relief pattern that sort of resembles the globe. The tables are surrounded black metal chairs and it’s a bright, inviting atmosphere.
The order counter is near the back of the space. When I made it back there, a man behind the counter made contact right away. He asked if I was staying or taking something to go. J was still at home and I planned on bringing her lunch, so I told him I was getting carry out. He handed me a menu to look over, but I noticed some slices behind the counter. I asked if they did pizza by the slice. He said they did, but all they had was a sausage, mushroom, and onion pie. Not really my thing, so I ordered a small cheese pizza that I could share with J.
The dough is made fresh daily. You can see the giant mixer in the kitchen. All the dough is then hand tossed to order. I watched the guy who took my order tossing the dough into the air. The pizza is topped with a homemade sauce made of hand-crushed San Marzano style tomatoes, fresh basil, and garlic. I have been really wanting to stop at Izzo’s because they advertise “Lansing’s only Authentic East Coast Style Pizzeria.” I really like the thin crust pizza that is famous in New York. That’s what I was really hoping I was going to get. I saw one other pizza go out and it looked like a thin crust and the slices they had were exactly what I was looking for. I was really hoping my pizza was going to be that way.
Because the pizza is hand made when you order, it takes about 15 to 20 minutes. I took a seat and waited. Just before the pizza came out, another lady behind the counter took called me up to the counter to pay. The ten inch pizza was just under $7.50. After she was done with my credit card, she took the pizza out of the oven and right into the box. That was a little weird because she didn’t even cut it. She closed up the box and handed it to me. I didn’t say anything because I was going home and could use my pizza cutter.
When I opened up the box, I was a little disappointed. It wasn’t the thin crust NY style pizza I really wanted. It looks like they weigh their dough in the morning and use the same size dough ball for all three of their pizza sizes. Since my pizza was only 10″ and not their 18″, the extra dough made the crust much thicker than I really wanted. The dough being so thick made it really soft and chewy. The sauce was delicious. It had chunks of tomatoes and a really great flavor. There was a real great garlic flavor that I couldn’t tell if it was coming from the sauce or the crust, but either way, it really tasted great. Izzo’s uses a high quality cheese which keeps the pizza from getting greasy.
I guess I’m gonna have to go back. I really wanted that East Coast pizza and I didn’t get that in a smaller pie. I know it’s a pain in the butt to weigh out different sizes of dough balls, but the crust is what really brought this pizza down. With the crust I got, Izzo’s doesn’t stand out from anyone else in town. The sauce was great and it was still a good pizza….it’s just not the thin crust I really wanted. I had really high hopes for Izzo’s. Those were dashed a little bit today. I still want to really like the place and I hope the pizza I got today was an anomole and not the norm.
If you read this blog often, you know I’ve tried two other times to stop at Izzo’s only to find it closed. The hours are Mon-Fri : 11:00 am – 8:00 pm, Sat: 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm, Sun: Closed.