Thursday, November 11, 2010

Eating out in the Chesters: Gaggani’s Pizza

Talk about the new kids on the block. Formerly Gianangelo's Pizzeria, Gaggani's Pizza is the new name for the locally famous pizza-delivery spot on Route 24.

"It's under new management now," says Raul Iramain, who once ran a barbecue shop in Argentina before he moved to the United States. As to why he's decided to move from barbecue to pizza, the answer is simple: "It's popular here," Iramain says. "People like pizza."

And while they also enjoy pizza in Argentina, Iramain says the pizza he makes in the here is a little different from what they make back home.

"We have thicker pizza in Argentina," Iramain says. "Here, it's not very thick, but it's very nice. It's very good. I like it."

Iramain has added a bit more to the menu (more on that in a moment), but most of the menu will be quite familiar to those who ate at Gianangelo's in the past.

"We have Philly cheesesteak pizza, we have Margherita pizza, chicken barbecue, chicken Parmesan, vegetable pizza, sausage pizza, the classic pepperoni, plain with mushroom, whatever," Iramain says. "We can also make gourmet pizza with pineapple, sweet pizza or normal pizza — whatever."

Iramain's main goal with the new shop is to keep it familiar but to alter some things — just to make it more interesting to regulars and newcomers.

"We added a little more staff," Iramain says, "We try to keep it the same, but we added a little more. We have a new menu this weekend that's a little different, and we have an agreement with Coke, so we can make a couple of things better, make the restaurant more attractive for people."

As for some of the new items on the menu that Iramain is going to unveil, he wants to keep a few things secret. But he did disclose one tidbit: "I want to make a menu on the Internet because it's so easy for people to search," Iramain says. "Eighty percent of our business is delivery."

Pizza isn't all Gaggani's sells, though. There's also a wide assortment of pasta dishes.

"We have ravioli, ziti, spaghetti with meatball, lasagna, ravioli, a couple of parmesans," Iramain says. "We also have seafood, because we have calamari."

Iramain wants to let it be known though that while they do serve pasta here, Gaggani's isn't a pasta place. It's a pizzeria — and they're proud of it.

"We are not a trattoria restaurant," Iramain says. "We make the best pizza, but we also make Italian dishes."

And even though they left the barbecue in Argentina, they did bring one thing over with them: the name.

"The name we use for the store is our last name," Iramain says. "We have two last names, Iramain and Gaggani, and we use the second last name for the business."

WHERE: 324 Route 24, Chester
TELEPHONE NUMBER: 908-879-0669
HOURS: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday
CUISINE: Pizza, Italian food
PAYMENT: Cash, credit and all major credit cards
PRICE RANGE: Plain pies, $14, any toppings $1.50 extra, pasta with small salad $12, normal pasta $7
DRESS: Casual
THE SCENE: This familiar shop has a new look with more lighting to make it feel more open
ATMOSPHERE: It's the same place you know and love with a few extra touches, and the delivery service is still superb
PARKING: In the lot
OWNER: Raul Iramain

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