Rosati’s Pizza and Sports Pub – Cumming

Every Friday Roots in Alpharetta features an article on food and dining in a series called Foodie Friday. Today we feature a review from Mike Christensen. Follow Mike on Twitter @SCSA31274.

rosatis logoI love Chicago style food.  Pizza, hot dogs, Italian beef sandwiches, it’s all good. But I’m conflicted over Rosati’s Pizza Pub, the Chicago chain that recently opened their first Georgia pizza pub across from The Collection Forsyth. The food is fantastic, however my experiences there have been less than stellar.

The space inside is, well, cozy. Booths and tables are crammed in wherever there is or perhaps isn’t room.  It’s an odd shaped place, with a dining area in the front, a bar area in the middle and restrooms miles away in the way back.  Adapting to a previous restaurant may not have given them a choice in a layout.  When it’s crowded it’s very difficult to navigate.

Speaking of crowded, it’s very loud during peak traffic times.  Besides all the conversations, there are a ton of TV’s providing sports and other entertainment.  One neat touch is a personal TV supplied in each booth.  In a world of distractions, they fit right in.

Enough about atmosphere, let’s talk turkey, er, pizza.  If you’re familiar with Chicago, you know about thin crust, deep dish and stuffed pizza.  Each location of Rosati’s has a slightly different menu.  The Cumming location doesn’t have the stuffed pizza which was made famous by Giordanos in Chicago.  I was pretty disappointed.

The thin crust is a type of paradox.  It’s a cracker crisp crust yet it’s able to support a good amount of tomato sauce and toppings.  It’s very tasty.

The deep dish just didn’t do it for me.  It was a mess of tomato sauce, just too much stuff and not enough to contain it. If you’re considering the deep dish, take my advice and call ahead.  It takes around 45 minutes to prepare.  If you time it right, the pizza will be ready when you sit down.

There’s a ton of pastas on the menu in a build your own format.  Choose a pasta, then a sauce, then additions.  My wife asked for a to go box as soon as the food hit the table, the portions were so huge.  The pasta was cooked very well and the sauces were flavorful without being too heavy or rich.

rosatis dough nuggets

Rosati’s dough nuggets

My all time favorite Chicago fare is the Italian beef sandwich.  My gold standard is Portillos in Chicago.  The Italian beef sandwich from Rosati’s is the closest to Portillos that I’ve ever had.  It was fantastic.  Huge, juicy and delicious.  The bread is toasted just enough to give a crust on the outside and slightly soggy on the inside as it absorbs all the juice from the meat.  I was in heaven.  It’s been hard for me to not order it every time we go.

Another shining star on the menu is an appetizer called Rosati’s dough nuggets.  It’s a huge tray of pizza dough bites covered in garlic butter sauce.  It comes with marinara sauce for dipping.  The best way I can describe them is pizza doughnuts.  Addictive.

I really want to like Rosati’s, but there are some details that have bothered me.  Some of the prices on the online menu are different on the in store menu.  For instance, the Italian beef sandwich online is $5.99 and $8.99 inside.  The difference I believe is the in store menu states the cost includes drink and fries.  I just wish they would say that online.  Slight let down.

And watch the bumpy and uneven pizza platforms. They have a tendency to slide the pies off the other side.  Pizza down!

The service has been extremely uneven, probably from new staff learning the ropes. I’m willing to overlook it for now. Be patient as the issues get ironed out over time.

Rosati's Pizza on Urbanspoon

But the food at Rosati’s is good enough to get me back into the door, or maybe the to-go window.  Not sure I want to come in and hang out.  Rosati’s is real deal Chicago cooking. If they get a few things polished, they will become a go to place for anyone who is craving Midwest favorites.

5 Responses to “Rosati’s Pizza and Sports Pub – Cumming”

  1. Dave November 15, 2013 at 11:48 am #

    Sounds delicious, you’re making me hungry. The layout inside is very strange (or it was when it was Buckhead Pizza). I’m willing to let a new restaurant deal with the growing pains for the first few months. Maybe I’m in the minority, but the food is always number 1 for me. I’ll deal with some bad service if the food is good, while the best service in the world won’t get me back in the door if I don’t care for the food. Good review, we will definitely check them out soon.

  2. MyBellyHasAName November 16, 2013 at 8:39 am #

    After a few good lunchtime slice experiences, it was time to jump in and go for the deep dish pie.

    So, last night I picked up a deep dish pizza to go. I have to agree with M.C., too much messy sauce on the top in this case, and not enough of the goodness inside the layer of cheese underneath. Add to that a healthy dose of the dry chewy outside skin layer of the onion (never experienced anything like this on another pizza in my lifetime) scattered about the pie and call me officially unhappy. :-(

    Plenty of tasty items on the menu will keep me coming back, but I doubt I will go for the deep pie again.

  3. RP November 18, 2013 at 6:32 am #

    I went Friday and I thought it was some of the worst pizza I’ve had in quite a while. I’ve been looking for a new place to hit up near Alpharetta that has a Chicago style pie, as Bobby G’s has just turned too greasy, and Nancy’s is too far away to go on a regular basis.

    I’m a pretty big beer guy, and love me some micro brews. Their taps were so cold that you couldn’t even enjoy them. Not a big deal if I can get a bottle, but they don’t have the taps vs bottles separated on the menu and the waitress wasn’t sure what was offered in which form… and it just wasn’t worth having her run back and forth while busy to figure it out.

    Now I’m a tough pizza critic, having been born and raised in Chicago and living in or near the city for 20+ years… but man their deep dish was bad. Really really bad.The plan was to have a deep dish there, and grab a thin crust to go. We were so let down by the deep dish that we didn’t even bother with the thin. Rosati’s in the Chicago area isn’t too bad, not my preferred spot but I respect them…. Down here they just use their thin crust dough, add a lot more of it, and call it deep dish. No cornmeal or anything in it, just regular thin crust dough, and more of it. That’s not deep dish, that’s just a thicker “thin” crust. The sauce tasted like they just opened up a can of unseasoned tomatoes and put that on it. Zero seasoning, and not even close to enough of it. Then they put about 5 times more cheese on it than necessary, and put it on the tough of the pie instead of under the sauce.

    I won’t be going back. Rosati’s really messed this one up, and I wouldn’t even think the people who run this one have ever been to Chicago based off of what we had. Nancy’s actually has a damn good deep dish, and it’s not far off the real deal in Chicago.

  4. B November 25, 2013 at 8:52 pm #

    RP – I kind of thought the same about the crust for the deep dish. The deep dish I’ve had before had very thick crust from the edge to the center. Here, the edge of the crust was very tall but the crust under the pizza was just normal – definitely a bit thicker than your ordinary pizza, but not even as thick as pizza hut pan. Was hoping for something similar to Davanni’s.

    For me, the sauce was well seasoned and tasty. I liked the large pieces of tomato.

    Have only been once but may give a second chance. It was better than the deep dish from Pepperoni’s (which is the same thickness as the normal pizza??)

  5. MarkThomas247 July 9, 2014 at 1:12 pm #

    My family and I love this place. I hope they are doing well. They always seem busy but the wait is never more than 10 minutes. We’ve never ordered the deep dish pizza because it takes so long and we walk in there HUNGRY. It’s kind of loud but that is good when you bring in kids.

Leave a Reply:

Gravatar Image

Switch to our mobile site