Papa’s Pizza offers upscale pizza and traditional Italian recipes in the Roanoke Valley

Salem, Virginia. – Thanksgiving is in a few days. For those of us who need a break from cooking, we have the place for you – Papa’s Pizza in Salem.

For Vincenzo De Giovanni, working in a restaurant is part of his identity.

He tells us: “It’s almost in the blood. When I was a kid, I said to myself, ‘I want to be like my father.’ »

He would work side by side with his father – a chef in Italy. More than a decade ago, De Giovanni moved to the United States. It was in Henry County that he got his start.

“I worked at my father-in-law’s restaurant – Bassett’s – for about 10 years. So I learned the recipes there. Once I opened here I tweaked some of the recipes.

Like Frank Sinatra, he does things his own way. As for the ingredients and the freshness of the food, he says, “I think you either do it well or you don’t do it at all.”

This goes for the 15 different pizzas on the menu. Favorites are the margherita, grandma’s pie and barbecue chicken.

On the Grandma Pie, the cheese comes first…then the sauce.

On top of that there are subs, golden brown garlic knots and a cold weather favourite. It happens to be a traditional dish of my family – Pasta e Fagioli.

The way De Giovanni prepares it is “100% vegetarian with carrots, onions, celery, baked beans, extra virgin olive oil and cheese.”

As long as it’s cold, it’s on the menu – from a man whose American dream (like pizza) has come full circle.

“Now I have my own restaurant, and it’s really good because you would like to achieve something in life.”

Their Tuesday special at Papa’s Pizza is a large single topping pizza when you call to order.

Copyright 2022 by WSLS 10 – All rights reserved.

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Rozella J. Cook