COVINGTON, Ga. — When it comes to food, pizza can seem pretty simple but most will tell you there isn’t a food in the entire world that can compare to it.
Thin and crispy or thick with tons of toppings, pizza can be dressed up or dressed down and people will still love it. Really, I think that’s why I love it so much. Having spent the later years of my childhood in Sicily, I know pizza! That’s why I was pleasantly surprised with receiving great tasting pizza from a local franchise pizza shop, Johnny’s New York Style Pizza.
Open since 2008 — now with new owners and staff since July — 21-year old general manager, Noah Keasler has things in full swing at this location. Don’t let the age fool you, though. Keasler is no rookie to the restaurant industry, having been it since the age of 15. It was then that he began by washing dishes, then progressing to line cook for various places.
The perfect opportunity that would put his business savvy skills to the test fell into his lap when new owner, Matthew Potts asked him if he was up to the challenge of becoming general manager.
“At first it was a hard ‘no,’ but after thinking about it I changed my mind,” Keasler said.
“It’s been an uphill battle, but it’s been fun. That’s the whole restaurant industry in general.”
With the words “New York Style” in the brand name, I shouldn’t have expected anything small.
New York style is just that, Big! And that’s what Johnny’s, under Keasler’s leadership, offers.
Big slices of hand-tossed, thin-crust dough that’s crispy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside, and always brick-oven baked.
During my visit filming for Bree’s Bites, my restaurant review show, I received just that! Huge pizza pies coming from behind an open kitchen with their massive pizza oven in plain view. It was awesome to see so many regular customers coming in placing their orders and crews gathering for lunch.
It gave me so much hope for this business seeing a close-to-normal restaurant atmosphere with the world still trying to figure itself out, post pandemic.
Topped with friendly and helpful staff, it was the perfect experience.
I started with the classic Margarita Pizza, light sauce topped with sliced tomatoes, fresh basil & fresh mozzarella, and man, was it good — light and crispy, just the way pizza should be. The tomato sauce was bright with flavor, not bitter or sugary, and the fresh mozzarella brought it all together.
Everything on Johnny’s menu is made fresh, from salad and sandwiches to calzones and stromboli. There are endless pairings.
Johnny’s also offers “Take and Bake” kits with individually packaged dough, sauce and cheese that you can make in the comfort of your own kitchen. This is great for families like mine who love homemade pizza.
Johnny’s is the perfect place for lunch with coworkers, pizza night with the family, or a place to watch the big game with friends. Really, it’s always a good day if it involves pizza. To put it plainly, the pizza is good, and that’s why their customers keep coming back, week after week and year after year.
Hopefully when I return, I’ll be able to highlight another great menu item to review at this neighborhood pizzeria.
Breonna Oliphant is the creator of “Bree’s Bites,” a video series that highlights various eateries in the Covington/Newton County area. She provides weekly commentary on local restaurants for our food section. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.