JoJo’s: There’s a whole lot cooking at this neighborhood restaurant
There’s a whole lot cooking at this neighborhood restaurant.
By Andrew Leach
A lot of us have fond memories of local Italian restaurants in our hometowns and wish we could recreate the warm, homey experiences enjoyed at those places. A visit to JoJo’s is a close as you’re likely to get.
Located along Pinnacle Peak Road, in a small strip center, you’ll find a small family owned restaurant that has been serving the neighborhood delicious food since 1999. Yes, they make delicious pizza, but the menu also features a lot of dishes that will temp you to return over and over again. While the Italian cuisine is the highlight of the menu, it’s not the only thing. JoJo’s has an assortment of chicken wings, salads, and hero sandwiches too.
We started the evening with an order of chicken wings. They come in three size options: 10 wings ($9), 20 wings ($16), or 40 ($28). We chose the 10 wings option and were able to split them into five wings of two different sauce options, honey barbeque and teriyaki. The wings are cooked perfectly. Instead of loading them with too much sauce, the sauce is drizzled over the top of the wings and it forms a flavor well for the sauce under the wings. The honey barbeque is sweet and smoky flavored. Meanwhile, the teriyaki has a sweet Asian flavor that may make you forget that you’re in an Italian restaurant. The wings are served with celery sticks and either ranch or blue cheese dressing. Each wing has a lot of chicken meat on the bone. Jojo’s also offers a boneless and gluten-free boneless as well. These versions come at a slightly lower price point than the traditional wings.
The next item we tried was the chicken parmigiana sandwich ($8.50), which consists of breaded chicken breast that is lightly fried and then sliced into strips. It’s served on a crusty French bread loaf with homemade marinara sauce and melted mozzarella cheese. It’s a large sandwich, so you might not want to order a side item ($1.25, each). On this occasion, we opted for the onion rings. This dish is a winner, the chicken is full of flavor and cheesy goodness. The crusty Italian loaf completes the sandwich. As for the onion rings, expect crispy, flavorful onion rings.
We also ordered the cheese calzone ($8.75), which is a dough pouch that is cooked in the pizza oven and is filled with mozzarella, ricotta, and parmesan cheese. You can add additional items for a separate price (.90) per item. We chose to add meatballs to the cheese calzone on this visit. The calzone is served with a cup of marinara sauce and a hot pepper. The meatballs are thinly sliced before being cooked in the calzone, so you can get a little bit of cheese and meatball in each bite. You’ve been warned, Jojo’s calzone is huge. I was stunned at how big it was when it came out on the plate.
The final item the table shared was a medium 14-inch cheese pizza ($12.25). They have over 20 items to add to your pizza, but since it was our first time at Jojo’s, we felt starting with the cheese would be a good idea. The pizza had great cheese to sauce ratio, and the crust had great flavor. It’s a thin crust pizza that has a real New York feel to it.
Sure, there are a lot of good pizza restaurants around, but if you live in the North Valley area, I highly recommend JoJo’s. Not only is the food great, but the ambiance also adds to the whole experience. The wait staff is very pleasant and continued to be friendly and helpful, even after the restaurant became busy.
JoJo’s Pizza & Family Restaurant
23425 N. 39th Dr., Glendale