Every neighborhood needs a quick take-out pizza and sandwich shop, and Sciarrino’s Pizzeria on North Brookside Road fits the bill.
I visited during the lunch rush, when the restaurant was buzzing with activity, but not crowded. The menu covers a wide variety of Italian-American cuisine, including pizza, both by the pie and by the slice, calzones, sandwiches, cheesesteaks and pasta dishes.
Known for their pizzas, Sciarrino’s had a great selection of pies on their menu, but not so many by the slice. I could choose from either Sicilian, taco, plain or stuffed, a monstrous-looking slice of two crusts, stuffed with pepperoni and sausage.
After placing my order at the counter, I sat down at a row of high-top chairs facing a window in the front room. Kindly, the woman taking orders asked me if I would prefer to sit in the main dining room, as it’s air conditioned. As a solo diner, that was a nice offer.
My Sicilian slice came out first. For those of you unfamiliar with what makes a pizza Sicilian, it’s a thick crust, lots of sauce, and usually cut into a square. My piece was perfect. The sauce was delicious, and the crust was chewy, yet had a nice crunch on the edge. The meal was off to a good start.
I ordered the homemade lasagna dish, which came with a side salad and garlic bread. I worked my way through the side dishes, and was impressed. The salad was pretty standard – iceberg lettuce, sliced onions, tomatoes and croutons. It came with an extra-large side of Ranch dressing, which, at least for me, is a major bonus. The garlic bread, usually a second thought, was fantastic. Lightly buttered and toasted, the seasoning was spot-on and the basket would have been enough to feed four people.
Finally, the main course arrived – homemade lasagna. I’m not sure what counts for homemade these days, but sadly, I don’t think this would pass inspection in anyone’s home kitchen. Instead of a traditional layered dish, short, thin lasagna noodles were positioned on the plate between ricotta cheese and a ground beef mixture. The entire dish was covered in sauce, and gobs of mozzarella cheese. It certainly wasn’t inedible, but it tasted more artificial than what I expected. I picked my way through a few bites, but ultimately, decided to focus on the rest of my plentiful meal.
Looking at the meals the other diners ordered, I could easily see why Sciarrino’s has become such a popular neighborhood lunch spot. There’s a wide selection of menu choices, and the pizza is delicious. Also, everything is reasonably priced. My entire meal, including a drink, came to just under $12.
Final rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.