Saturday, July 11, 2009

Monte Cello's of Cranberry

30325 Perry Highway
Cranberry Twp, PA 16066

Every so often, we get a craving for a nice, thick slice of Sicilian style pizza - and when we do, we head straight for Monte Cello's!

Monte Cello's has 8 locations in the Pittsburgh area - downtown Pittsburgh, Sewickley, Shaler, Ross Township, Wexford, Hampton, Zelionople, and Cranberry. The only location we've tried so far is Cranberry. It has two dining areas; one side is a family friendly restaurant and the other a more casual lounge with plenty of tables and booths, a couple of video games to help pass the time, and televisions tuned to sports channels. We usually place our order for take-out pizza, but then sit in the casual bar area and have soup while we wait. The restaurant staff are all very pleasant and accommodating - we've always had excellent, friendly service!

They make four different styles of pizza - Traditional (round, thin), Sicilian (square, thick), Chicago (round deep dish) and Pan Pizza (round, thick). They offer plenty of variations in these basic styles, including a white pizza with fresh toppings, Buffalo Chicken pizza, Taco pizza, and Joe's Special Pizza among other others. On a recent visit, we were told that the dough is fresh daily and the sauce for the Sicilian pizza is made fresh daily at their location. I was pleased to see that they offer a whole wheat crust as an option, but we haven't yet tried that.

The Sicilian pizza is hearty, with a thick, breadlike crust and a rich sauce. They are very generous with the cheese - which, according to their website, is 100% fresh mozzarella and provolone - and the toppings are plentiful. We like to ask for extra sauce but light cheese, and that makes the proportions a little closer to our personal taste. (The pizza in the photo is with the normal proportions of cheese and sauce.)

Monte Cello's has an extensive menu, from appetizers and snacks to full dinners. We love their Wedding Soup, which is very thick with lots of ancini de pepi, tiny and delicious meatballs, and broth that tastes fresh and homemade. We sometimes order the Pressure Fried Chicken, which is one of their specialties. It's wonderfully tender, non-greasy, and very reasonably priced - a small order of four pieces, with a side of mashed potatoes that's easily big enough to share, is only $5.50!

Monte Cello's-Cranberry on Urbanspoon

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