Salvino’s Ristorante – Plainwell
Trying to find something to eat on my way home is always a pain in the butt. I leave Grand Rapids most nights a little after 11:00 and, on most days, I don’t get a typical dinner break. I’m not the healthiest eating or thinnest person in the world, but I do try to avoid fast food. I know a lot of restaurant food is just as bad for me, but if I’m going to eat bad, it might as well taste good.
I was really hungry as I was leaving Grand Rapids last Thursday (my Friday). I decided to see if there was a restaurant that would still be open I could order something from. I’ve been wanting to stop in Wayland at the Salvino’s that took the place of Uccello’s, so I looked them up.
Now, I thought I put in an order using the online ordering system to the Wayland Salvino’s, but when I got there, the take out area was closed. I decided to check my email to make sure I had it right and sure enough, I screwed up. I ordered at the Plainwell location. Not a huge deal because it was still on my way home, but they were closing up the kitchen soon and not knowing how the restaurant was set up, I was worried about getting there by midnight to pick up my order.
Salvino’s Ristorante in Plainwell is one of two locations. It sits on the property that used to be Player’s Grill, but the building has undergone extensive renovations to the point it doesn’t even resemble the business that used to be there. They’ve cleaned up the facade, added a large patio, and made some major improvements to what I remember as kind of a dark, cramped dining area and bar.
I just decided to go with a pizza. I put in my order, using the online ordering system, for a medium (12″) The Salvino. I left Grand Rapids at a little after 11:00 and asked for my order to be ready about 11:45. When I walked in to the bar after figuring out where I had actually ordered it, the bartender went to the kitchen and grabbed the box. I had already paid the $18 tab online, so when she brought me the box, I didn’t have to pay or sign anything. Just grab and go.
The main difference between the Plainwell Salvino’s and the Wayland location when it comes to pick up is the Plainwell store doesn’t have a dedicated carry-out entrance. It was obviously late at night when I stopped in, but I’m assuming they have the bartender take care of it during normal hours.
I couldn’t wait to get in to this pizza and the first thing I noticed, the 12″ was going to be way too much pizza for me to eat on my own. That was fine. Cold pizza is my favorite.
The pizza is made on Salvino’s thick crust that is sprinkled with garlic and Parmesan. The toppings, which are applied pretty thickly, are pepperoni, capicola, ham, sausage, and bacon. There seriously couldn’t be any more pork products on this thing.
There was a lot of meat on this pizza…..A LOT. Every bite had a mouthful of each of the various meats. I was actually surprised at just how spicy the capicola was. At first I thought maybe it was the sauce, but the sweetness of the sauce actually controlled the spiciness of the meat a little bit. It was a great flavor combination that also included saltiness from the bacon. Every bite had so much going on that you would think flavors would get lost, but all of the meats are so good on their own that wasn’t an issue.
The impressive thing to me was the crust. It was clearly hand tossed as the shape was odd. I’m usually a thin crust pizza guy (which Salvino’s offers, just not on this pizza), but this crust had so much flavor with the garlic Parmesan coating and it was a light and airy thick crust so it didn’t feel like I was filling up on bread.
Salvino’s Ristorante sort of popped up out of nowhere earlier this year taking over two established restaurants. Online ordering is always something that will draw me in just because I hate talking on the phone. Salvino’s has a pretty extensive menu of Italian favorites, pizza, and sandwiches. It’s a cross between a sports bar and a one of those fancy Italian places, but the food comes out way above the chain restaurants it competes with…at least with the pizza. I’ll need to try more of the menu to know for sure…and that will be happening. Knowing that the Plainwell location’s kitchen is open until midnight on the nights it matters to me, this probably won’t be my last late night food run to Salvino’s Ristorante.