BATAVIA – The number of places in the Fox Valley where one can get pizza is only matched by the number of Mexican food restaurants.
That said, one would be remiss in not trying out Pal Joey’s, located at 31 N. River St. in the heart of Batavia’s downtown. Though it’s a little harder to get there these days because of the ongoing streetscape project on North River Street, the hassle is well worth it.
Deciding what to order was a challenge I welcomed. Pal Joey’s menu is extensive. Pal Joey’s offers an array of pizza with traditional toppings like pepperoni, sausage, green peppers and mushrooms, and non-traditional toppings such as imported ham and shrimp.
Those not in the mood for pizza can also choose from pasta and seafood dishes, sandwiches, ribs and other items.
My co-worker and I settled on the pizza buffet. Four different pizzas were brought to the buffet line piping hot, which brought smiles to both our faces.
I tried out the cheese pizza first. Piled high with cheese and featuring a crust that wasn’t too doughy, it did not disappoint.
I then tackled the next slice, which was topped with pepperoni. It’s not an exaggeration to say that the pepperoni was about the best that I’ve tasted on top of a pizza.
Spicy but not too spicy, the pepperoni exploded with flavor.
If you are still undecided about what to order after looking through Pal Joey’s menu, you can’t go wrong by ordering the vegetarian pizza. It’s obvious that Pal Joey’s takes care in choosing only the freshest ingredients, and that’s the first thing that struck me after biting into the pizza slice. Even if you are not a vegetarian lover – which I’m not, ask my wife – you will appreciate the flavor that the vegetarian pizza delivers.
With low lighting and warm, comfortable colors, the restaurant’s ambiance is pleasant. Visitors should not expect an old-school pizzeria.
The restaurant does offer an impressive view of the Fox River. And if you go there in the next few days, you will be able to take advantage of the warmer temperatures by siting on Pal Joey’s outdoor deck. Pal Joey’s is open from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays, noon to 11 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 9 p.m. Sundays. More information is at www.paljoeys.com.
• The Mystery Diner is a newsroom employee at the Kane County Chronicle. The diner’s identity is not revealed to the restaurant staff before or during the meal. The Mystery Diner visits different restaurants during the month and then reports on the experience.