We were in this part of Knoxville, and Gavino's was recommended to us by a friend. We were looking for a good pizza place that we had not tried before, and Gavino's came with a glowing recommendation. We stopped in, and the restaurant was really empty but we were really between lunch and dinner crowds. The waiter that served us was actually part of the kitchen staff, and he was helping out because one of the waitresses was out that day. Very friendly, and exceptionally knowledgeable about the menu and how things are done there. Being from the kitchen obviously helped that.
One note here, the ownership changed at Gavino's not too long in the past, so earlier comments about bad customer service and the owner not being friendly/helpful (etc.) may not apply now. I don't know when that changed happened, but some improvements were made in the quality of the foods. Higher quality cheeses and other ingredients were swapped when the new owner came in.
That said, Gavino's has a decent sized menu, but they essentially have three types of pizza. Neapolitan, Sicilian, and Grandma's. Both the Sicilian and Grandma's are pan style pizzas and the Neapolitan is a thin crust New York Style pizza. The day we were there, they were out of the Sicilian, so they obviously have a certain number of pies premade for the day. My wife ordered shared two slices off the lunch menu, and it was a decent amount of pizza. I could have ate two slices myself, but we decided to try some other things off the menu since we had never been there. I ordered spaghetti and meatballs, however we started with the "Famous Garlic Knots", and they were some of the best I have ever eaten (the best being New York Pizza on Hilton Head Island). These are not typical garlic knots, and more like rolls, however the garlic butter sauce makes you forget that in a hurry. I could have made a meal on these alone...and probably ended up in a coronary unit from the butter. Delicious!
I was very impressed with the spaghetti and meatballs, as it was very good. The pizza my wife ordered overshadowed the spaghetti though. We shared back and forth, and while Grandma's pizza was very good, the Sicilian New York style pizza was outstanding. I can definitely see us stopping by again to either eat in, or take a whole thin crust home. We had just straight cheese pizzas this round, and was very impressed. Looking forward to adding other toppings the next time.
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