This location is a tough sell, I thought as I walked across the parking lot toward the entrance of the Pizza Grill Factory in Burbank. Parking is a problem, and most of it will be dominated by Subway in the same strip mall at the corner of Olive Avenue and Victory Boulevard.
Once inside the small eatery, I was impressed by its cleanliness and hospitality, and last but not least, the quality of its food.
I had the Pizza by the Slice (two slices) lunch special ($3.99) that included a small drink or a salad. I chose the small drink, a Sprite. One of the gentlemen behind the counter told me they were out of Sprite, but that I could take a can of Sprite out of the refrigerator for no extra cost. I settled for a Diet Coke.
My New York-style cheese pizza, with thin crust, was tasty and left me wanting more. My son had the submarine sandwich ($5.50) served with dry salami, cotto salami, ham, mortadella, provolone, lettuce, tomato and Italian dressing on a heated roll.
It had the right amount of balance (meat, cheese, lettuce and tomatoes) and a nice amount of Italian dressing. The veggies went on after the roll was toasted.
"If I was in the neighborhood, I would want this sandwich in my rotation," my son said.
I also tasted the Calzone Combo ($6.45) — a large tart filled with pepperoni, ham, onions, green peppers, pizza sauce and mozzarella cheese. The tart was soft and the inside had a nice variety of ingredients. It was excellent. I'm not a big calzone person, so I have nothing with which to compare, but I would certainly order it again.
Pizza Grill offers a large calzone ($10.25), which they claim is big enough for two. I'm here to tell you, the individual combo is big enough for two.
The menu also includes several pasta dishes, an eclectic variety of pizzas, several deli sandwiches, salads and appetizers. Spaghetti with meatballs and toasted garlic bread is only $6.99.
A customer had this to say as he was leaving the restaurant: "This is the second time I've come in here for lunch, and I plan to come back again. I especially like getting the salad with my excellent sandwich."
Pizza Grill Factory has been open for 11 years, but it closed for remodeling and reopened three weeks ago. The owner told me that in two weeks he was putting in a grill and adding Mediterranean cuisine to the menu.
The Pizza Grill Factory is a pretty neat little place. If you go there, you will want to go back.
About the writer
STAN WAWER has been a writer and editor for Southern California newspapers for 47 years and more recently has been freelancing restaurant and travel stories for publications throughout the country.
What: Pizza Grill Factory
Where: 101 N. Victory Blvd., #K, Burbank
When: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekdays; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.
Prices: From $3.99 to $5.99 for lunch specials; $5.99 to $6.99 for pasta; $4.75 (mini cheese) to $22.20 for the extra-large gourmet pizza.
Contact: (818) 840-6605; website under construction. They deliver.