If you go
› Where: Paisano’s Pizza, 2020 Gunbarrel Road, Suite 160
› Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday
› Prices: $3.99 cheese bread to $17.99 large gourmet pizza
› Phone: 423-713-9300
Just like in the movies, gooey mozzarella cheese drips from every bite of a Paisano's pizza — layers of good stuff filling every slice.
Paisano's Pizza is one of several restaurants to have opened in the Chattanooga area within recent months. The Gunbarrel Road location opened in September, making it one of 35 Paisano locations and the first one in Chattanooga.
The place is tiny, but efficient. It's the little storefront couched in the curve between HoneyBaked Ham and Cricket in the same complex as the Gunbarrel Road Walmart.
It's a narrow space with only five tables. The one closest to the kitchen seats two people; two more tables closer to the door each seat four. There are also two bar tables on either side of the door.
I was the only customer when I arrived just before noon on Monday; every table was full by the time I left. Several people had called in their orders for carry out. Carry-out customers can get a large, one-topping pizza for $8.99.
Others opted for delivery. The delivery fee is about $2.50, said the cashier.
I ordered a small, 10-inch, New York-style, gourmet veggie pizza ($10.99). I was full after eating half.
Green peppers, black olives, juicy red tomatoes and mushrooms topped a hand-tossed crust that was perfect, about as dense as a slice of bread. Enough dough to get the soft, warm feel of pizza, but not so much that you felt stuffed. The tomato sauce was noticeably tangy and good. Fresh, sweet, but not overbearing.
Veggie Pizza is among 86 menu items at Paisano's Pizza.
As the menu states, "Not just pizza, but something for everyone."
Paisano's sells 10 differing salads, including garden ($5.99), Greek ($6.99) and mozzarella ($8.99).
It offers sandwiches, wraps and burgers. The calzones ($8.99) and strombolis ($8.99) are almost as popular as the pizza, according to the cashier.
Gluten-free dinners are included in the "something for everyone" claim. Gluten-free crust is available for any medium pizza for an extra $2. And Paisano's offers three gluten-free specialty pizzas: garden veggie, chicken garlic spinach and cheesy garlic bacon for $15.99.
Desserts include cannoli ($3.49), brownies ($1.99), tiramisu ($3.99) and cheesecake ($3.99).
Paisano's boasts that it offers one of the largest pizzas in town. Most well-known chain pizzerias serve a 14-inch pizza as their large choice. Paisano's large pizza is 16 inches in diameter.
The restaurant also offers a lunch special of two one-topping pizza slices with drink for $5.99 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The staff delivers satisfactory service. I was most impressed with the diversity of staff and seeing that diversity made me instantly feel welcome. The cashier took my order and told me the wait for my veggie pizza would be about 10 minutes. Drinks are self-serve.
I sat at the bar table, looking out the window and reading the menu. The cashier presented the food before I finished reading. He was polite and friendly. The pizza's presentation and taste was beautiful.
Gunbarrel Road is too far from downtown to make Paisano's my normal lunch stop, but it will be the place I consider when in the Hamilton Place area.
From the warm, soft dough to the zesty tomato sauce, from the 100 percent real mozzarella and provolone cheese to the top layer of fresh vegetables, I was satisfied. The pizza is good and filling.
Contact Yolanda Putman at email@example.com or 423-757-6431.