I ventured into the town of Tonawanda to visit Olisi’s this week, where they pride themselves on having New York style pizza. Buffalo is likely the furthest city in the state away from NYC, but boy did this latest pizza trip feel pretty spot-on to classic NY style pizza.
You know how when you order out, you sometimes have this high expectation for specific things you are craving? Here was my wish list for this pizza:
- Has a classic look and taste (Simple pizza to relax on the couch with)
- Thin-crust, but not floppy where everything slides right off
- The right amount of grease (!)
- Not a lot of sauce (It can overpower the taste of everything else)
Read on to see if my expectations were met!
This weekend’s adventures in Buffalo consisted of exploring beyond the city limits to the wine trails and enjoying warm Indian summer days (90+ degrees may be a little too hot though). I had never toured Niagara wineries before, but the Harvest Festival was the perfect opportunity to do so (Shoutout to Warm 101.3 radio station for the free tickets). Of the seven wineries I visited, my top two favorites were Marjim Manor (I liked the sweet Lady of the Manor) and Spring Lake Winery (the peachy Zia Minx was a fan favorite). Following a pleasant afternoon of sipping and tasting, I figured only a pizza for dinner could truly make it the most perfect day.
Stating right on their website that Olisi’s makes NY style pizza, I figured the slices would be relatively thinner. I loved the options of ordering a large 16″, x-large 18″ or house 20″. We decided on the x-large, which didn’t cost that much more and made up for the loss of pizza with the thinner crust. We went with a classic cheese and pepperoni pizza, as we would probably get on the streets of NYC. I think that the next time I order from here I would add sausage on too, or try their white pizza.
They have fantastic reviews on Yelp, and just about every review recommended that we try their garlic knots, so of course we threw an order of knots and marinara in too. Anything with garlic on it is always calling my name.
Olisi’s is located in Tonawanda right across the street from Paula’s Donuts (still regretting that I didn’t grab dessert for us). Inside has plenty of space for people to enjoy a meal there. I could see myself stopping in to grab a slice for lunch one day. The aesthetic felt very modern and new, almost as if they had recently remodeled or updated a bit. It was in between a legitimate sit-down restaurant and your typical mom-and-pop corner store pizza place.
And it is confirmed the garlic knots are a big deal—every order seemed to have a bag of them on top of their pizza waiting to be picked up too.
The Power of the Crust
I wish every pizza place had options in-between a large and a sheet! Large pizzas are beginning to become like women’s pant sizes in retail stores: the size standardization is completely off. Most noticeably at chain pizza places, a “large pizza” might not be all that large in reality and certainly won’t fill a whole family or group of friends. I loved the option of having the x-large at Olisi’s.
We each started our dinner with trying a garlic knot dunked in marinara. They did not disappoint! Coated in the garlic-oil mixture, but not too overpowering, and the dough pulled apart perfectly. For only $1.50, this mini order of garlic knots was totally worth it! I think the garlic knots will be a must-have add-on each time I order from Olisi’s.
Well, did I get my wish list for my pizza cravings tonight?
Classic look and taste: Yes! The pizza looked pretty darn close to perfect! It was cooked ideally—just slightly under-cooked, which I love for this NY style.
Thin-crust: Yes! The thinness of this pizza was exactly what I was looking for tonight. The crust held its own without being too floppy. It allowed for you to taste more of the awesome flavor.
Right amount of grease: Yes! You can’t have pizza without a little grease. It’s just a fact. Olisi’s pizza was everything greasy and savory that I needed to absorb all of that wine consumed earlier from the Harvest Festival!
Sauce amount: Yes! This may go hand-in-hand with the thinner crust. Sauce definitely brings zesty flavor, but too much of it restrict you from tasting everything else. Besides, true NY style pizza isn’t completely focused on the sauce. It’s all about being able to enjoy a slice on the go, and you can’t do that with dripping sauce everywhere!
The only thing I was wanting was better end crust. It was a bit uneventful and boring, with no flavor and was tough on your teeth to rip. I recommend seasoning the pizza crust with some garlic or brushing flavored oil on before baking. Unless you’re a rare breed, you typically end your pizza with the crust. The lesson learned here is that “the best for last” is true for a reason—the crust should bring my taste bud satisfaction level full-circle.
Where should I go for my next pizzaventure? Comment below and share with me your favorite pizza place in Buffalo!
Pizza & love,