Jessica Holbrook taste-tests the Double Crust Gangster Calzone, Bada Bing Buffalo Chips, Broken Lasagne, the house salad, breadsticks, Chicago Pie and Chicken Philly & Fries Pie at Danny Boys Italian Eatery.
The great thing about pizza is that even when it’s bad, it’s still pretty good.
So, when a pizza is genuinely delicious, like the offerings at Danny Boys Italian Eatery, it’s something you want to eat again and again.
This review wasn’t my first experience with Danny Boys—the Frank Sinatra themed restaurant has six locations around Northeast Ohio and one in Sandusky—but was my first visit to its Jackson Township spot. And it was the first time I ventured beyond the realm of pizza and calzones to other parts of the often eclectic menu.
I’m not sure I’ll journey out of that comfort zone again. There was nothing overtly wrong with the pasta and “share plate” we tried, but both dishes left me underwhelmed.
I started our review with takeout. Like any millennial, I love online ordering. Danny Boy’s website, dannyboyspizza.com, made the process quick and painless, and my order was ready to go when I arrived.
I ordered two of the Specialty Pies. The Chicago Pie ($13.99 to $17.99) was my favorite part of this review. As the name implies, it’s Danny Boys take on a Chicago deep-dish pizza with tons of cheese, a rich slightly sweet sauce and flavorful Italian sausage. The sausage is tasty but a little unexpected—it’s a single piece of sausage the size of the entire pie—but you can order the pizza with any substitution. In the past, my review partner and husband, Dave, had a vegetarian version with mushroom that he raved about.
I’m usually a fan of nontraditional pizza, but the Chicken Philly & Fries Pie ($13.99 to $22.99) was flavorful but almost a little too weird. It features grilled chicken, mushrooms, onions and green peppers topped with cheese and battered french fries and is served with a container of “Ying-Yang” sauce (barbecue and honey mustard layered side-by-side). The individual components play well together, and the Ying-Yang sauce is a great complement, but I wish the sauce was actually on the pie the pizza harder to eat.
Both pizzas have excellent chewy, crispy crust that probably would taste great with any combination of toppings. I’m eager to try some of Danny Boys other offerings.
Danny Boys’ pizzas do carry a higher price tag, but you more than get your money’s worth. These pies are seriously filling. I ordered two smalls, and it took Dave and I several meals, and the help of a friend, to finish them off.
I also grabbed an order of bread sticks ($5.99). The pillowy, buttery bread is more like a roll than a stick, but it’s too delicious for me to want to argue semantics.
We returned to Danny Boys for weekday dinner in June. Danny Boys promises “a tradition of great food, family & Frank,” and it really doubles down on that last one. The restaurant is decked out with pictures of Sinatra and nods to the Rat Pack. It’s a comfortable, family-friendly atmosphere but could use a fresh coat of paint.
We heard from the hostess that the restaurant was short-staffed, but our waitress was friendly and attentive and didn’t make us feel rushed.
The menu is expansive. If Italian isn’t your thing, you can opt for burgers, ribs, wings, salad or sandwiches. We started with one of the Share Plates. The Bada Bing Buffalo Chips ($5.99) are a generous portion of baked kettle chips topped with spicy buffalo sauce, blue cheese crumbles and “pizza cheese.” They taste great but the concept is a little off. The chips without cheese are too one-note—I really wanted a side of ranch or blue cheese—and the pile quickly became soggy and hard to eat.
We both grabbed side salads ($2.99 as an add-on, $4.99 alone) which were fresh, crisp and came with more of that delicious bread.
I went with Mama Sinatra’s Broken Lasagne ($10.99 for a half, $14.99 for whole) which includes penne pasta, red peppers, onion, meat sauce and ricotta cheese baked and topped with more pizza cheese. I wish I’d picked another pasta dish. This dish was just underwhelming. It reminded me more of baked rigatoni than lasagna. The pasta was well cooked, but the meat sauce was bland, and the ricotta was largely missing. The potion size is generous, however, and a half-size was plenty for dinner.
Dave opted for an old favorite, the Double Crust Gangster Calzone ($13.99 to $22.99) stuffed with ricotta cheese, salami, sausage, bacon, pepperoni and three cheese served with a side of pizza sauce. This is more pizza than calzone, as it comes cut into slices and tastes a lot like an Italian sub. It’s greasy and not my favorite flavor combination, but Dave loved it. And like the pizza, a small was more than enough to split between two or three people.