When I drove up to Pine Grove to pick up dinner at Giannini’s Italian Dinners in March, I saw a sign for Pine Grove Pizza on the right side of Highway 88. I was baffled that I missed the sign before then, but once I got home, I put Pine Grove Pizza on the list of restaurants to review. Since last week was pizza week, my mother and I agreed to order from Pine Grove Pizza on April 28.

I visited the Pine Grove Pizza Facebook profile page and saw a photo of a year-old menu, but I figured their offerings didn’t change much in that period. I called the restaurant and ordered a large vegetarian pizza, and the man told me on the phone that the pizza would be ready in 30 to 35 minutes.

About 35 minutes later, I entered the restaurant to find it completely empty except for an older gentleman picking up his pizza. Behind the counter was the man who talked to me on the phone and an energetic little boy. After a few minutes, I had the pizza in my hands and exited the restaurant.

Our Pizza

I noticed the box was heavier than with other large pizzas I’ve taken from other pizza places. Once I got home and opened the plain cardboard box, we thought the weight came from all the vegetables piled on top of the pizza. The veggies included tomato slices, artichoke hearts, sliced bell peppers, olives, and mushrooms. Some cheese and red sauce peeked out from underneath the veggies near the edges of the crust. The fully baked pizza looked and smelled great.

The pizza was cut into eight slices, so my mother and I each took two slices. When we took our first bite, we had mouthfuls of fresh vegetables. The bottom of the crust also tasted thin and crispy.

Then we started to chew.

We quickly discovered why the pizza was so heavy: the crust dough was very dense despite being one-quarter of an inch thick. We had trouble cutting through the slices with a fork, so we ate most of our slices by hand. The outer crust was so thick that my mother couldn’t eat it, which was disappointing because we both like to eat the outer crust.

Pine Grove Pizza large vegetarian pizza

The Verdict

The vegetables were fresh and flavorful. The sauce was mildly sweet and didn’t take away from the taste of the vegetables. But our jaws were a bit sore after we finished dinner.

After two of my leftover slices sat in the refrigerator for a couple of days, I found the crust on my cold pizza to be softer and easier to eat, though eating the outer crust was still a bit of a challenge.

In sum, we bring out a flashing green light for Pine Grove Pizza. If you don’t like a dense crust, then you may want a different pizza. The price for our pizza was a little over $25.

Want to Try Them?

Pine Grove Pizza is open from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Wednesdays through Sundays. They’re closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Their most recent menu as of May 2020 includes pizzas, sandwiches, pasta, appetizers, and drinks.

Pine Grove Pizza is located at 19724 Highway 88 in Pine Grove, which is on the right side of the highway as you drive east in central Pine Grove. Limited indoor dining is available per current state public health guidelines. If you have questions or want to order take-out pizza, call them at 209-296-8555.

Amador Business Ticker food reviews are adventures in local dining with Editor Eric Butow and his mom.