Pinocchio's Pizza & Deli
1427 N Lake Ave Pasadena, CA 91104
Yesterday I cruised around the world wide web for places in the San Gabriel Valley that serve buffalo (style) wings. I have had some pretty awful ones lately-- Pizza Hut's Wing Street and Papa John's, to name a couple. People on Yelp and Chowhound had their opinions and I always enjoy the really detailed reviews. Being that I wanted to try a Mom & Pop joint very close to home, we decided to try Pinocchio's on Lake. We could practically walk there. I'm just tired of driving to Monrovia or Arcadia to eat every Sunday.
Other reviewers were correct to say the service sucks here. The crappy thing is, there is absolutely no reason for it to suck. Our server only had one table: us. Yet she stayed behind the bar, head bent down, possibly using a calculator, I don't know. I am a great patron so when I have to stoop to the level of an annoying patron by raising my hand or staring at my server to get them to look at me, it is embarrassing. I would have liked a lot more attention but instead she acted like she just didn't care. I'm sure somebody who actually needs to earn a living would care and do the job right. That's another subject.
Pinocchio's has a great happy hour everyday before 7pm, in which we partook. It's a great deal. Each appetizer is only $4! We ordered the hot wings which are served with ranch and fries and we ordered the mozzarella chili cheese fries. The wings were good, or at least fit the bill of what my taste buds were craving. They were crisp on the outside and cooked perfectly. I would have rather had them tossed in wing sauce instead of served naked. I don't like having to dunk the wing in a little ramekin of wing sauce--it just isn't the same. The ranch was bland and the fries were good. The chili cheese fries were disappointing because the chili tasted canned. No thanks.
Hubby chose the seafood pesto pizza. It was OK. The crust looked pre-packaged. It definitely didn't taste handmade. The toppings were shrimp, red and yellow bell peppers and pesto sauce. The shrimp was not cooked all the way and was previously frozen (you can always tell by the lack of flavor). It wasn't a bad pizza but when I go to a place that has the word "Pizza" in the name, I expect the pizza to be good.
We waited for our bill. I stood up with my 1-year-old who was very ready to leave, which should have given the server the hint. She kept ignoring us so I approached the bar and asked her for the bill. I HATE having to get up and approach the server for these regular steps of service to be met. Hubby actually left her a very good tip, like, 25%. I would have left only 15% if it were my wallet but he said he felt bad for the restaurant because it was empty and he thinks this server just needs to be trained. He's super nice, isn't he?
$4 is a great price for appetizers. That would be the only thing for which I'd return. I would order the wings and if I do go again, I'd like to try the fried calamari, the bruschetta and the fried zucchini.