Business partners Tony Angotti and Armin Mihandoust are no strangers to the restaurant industry. In fact, both worked together as teenagers in Angotti's family's pizzeria. Angotti has been making pizza since age 12, and Mihandoust started at 15. Eventually the two found themselves in separate careers and lost contact with each other.
But years later, they ran into each other. They also found out that they resided close to each other and started reminiscing about the old days working in the pizza shop.
The old friends immediately started to plan out the opening of Armony's Pizza -- a dream the men had since their youth years earlier, when they were flipping pizzas.
The first thing you will notice when you walk into Armony's Pizza is the tempting aroma of freshly baked bread and garlic followed by a friendly greeting from a waitress along with the others working in the exposed spacious kitchen. "Our day begins at 7 a.m.," Angotti says. The pizza dough and tomato sauce are prepared from scratch early in the morning, along with the chopping and slicing of the fresh produce -- nothing is frozen or packaged at Armony's.
Armony's Pizza is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. You're probably wondering why a pizzeria would open so early in the morning -- Armony's serves breakfast. You have the option of ordering a traditional breakfast consisting of eggs, sausage, and toast; but why go there when you can experience a slice of breakfast pizza?
Similar to a thin quiche, the breakfast pizzas are prepared like regular pizza in that they start off with a generous amount of dough and then are topped with eggs, veggies, sausage cheese, or whatever toppings your hungry heart desires, and are finally baked to perfection -- a whole pie goes for $15.95, or $1.50 for a slice.
Guests also have the choice of ordering a variety of fine coffees and teas or hot chocolate for the kids. Lunch and dinner options are just as exciting as the breakfast pizza. Angotti and Mihandoust are creative individuals who like to continually give their guests exciting and new specials. "Just because you don't see something on the menu does not mean that we will not make it," says Mihandoust.
The other day, Angotti and Mihandoust came up with a delicious chicken Alfredo sub during lunchtime (not to be mistaken for a chicken parm sub). They decided to put the sub on the menu as a "dinner special" that same evening, and guests could not get enough of it -- days following, people still asked for the special.
If you're like me, who can down a bag of donut holes or churros like water, then I suggest you try the made-to-order zeppolli (that's how they spell it on the menu; traditional spelling is zeppole), which is a fried dough dessert -- a half dozen goes for $2.95, and a full dozen goes for $5.95. Zeppolli are prepared either using traditional white dough or honey-wheat dough, fried and then topped with powdered sugar or honey -- the result is delicious. This a great family option; otherwise, expect to eat a dozen on your own (trust me, it is feasible).
Other perks include a made-to-order Alfredo sauce, freshly baked garlic rolls that are smothered to perfection, fresh mushrooms that are breaded in house-made batter, chicken wings prepared as mild or spicy as you like, calzones, strombolis, pastas, subs, or a slice of classic cheesecake. "I don't like to label ourselves as strictly an Italian restaurant," Angotti says. "I like to keep our menu as versatile and exciting as possible -- catering to all tastes."
I kept it simple, ordering a slice of pizza topped with veggies and a satisfying amount of mozzarella cheese and was pleased as pie. The pizza crust was perfect, being slightly crispy on the outside and plush and chewy in the inside; the veggies were fresh; the cheese was delightful; and the torn pieces of fresh basil added a pleasant kick. "I serve my guests the same food that I would serve to my family," says Angotti. And from witnessing the way Angotti and Mihandoust were enthusiastically working away in the kitchen and experiencing the food for myself, I believe it.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
1951 N. Pine Island Road
954-616-5147 or 954-769-1778
Follow Clean Plate Charlie on Twitter: @CleanPlateBPB.