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!

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