Author Topic: First reviews are in - Varasano's  (Read 9236 times)

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Offline tdeane

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Re: First reviews are in - Varasano's
« Reply #20 on: April 22, 2009, 01:51:25 PM »
Yes I am. Being that it only takes 2 minutes to make a pie it would take the aforementioned 300 apartment tenants coming down at once opening day to create a huge backup. Even seeing a 30 minute delay would probably take 2 buses filled of little league victors walking in at once.

If you compare it to the conveyor belts at Pizza hut where they only hold X amount of pans, and crawl along at near undetectable speed, yes a standard full room of diners can make 30 minutes pretty standard. I'd guess Jeff cranks them out pretty fast though, Gladware containers at the ready and all.
I guess you have never worked in a restaurant because it doesn't work that way. Besides the bake time, there are lots of other factors. The food in most restaurant takes only a few minutes to make, so why do restaurants get backed up? I know at my place if someone just shows up at 6pm, there is little chance they getting a pizza for at least 45 minutes and my pizzas take only 4-5 minutes to bake. Also, I read something that said the oven temp at Varasano's was in the 600-700 degree range(I can't remember the exact temperature)which means he is not making pies in 2 minutes. I bake at 600-700 and mine take 4-5 minutes. You also have to factor in the time it takes to stretch the dough, sauce, top and get it in the oven. As well as, appetizers, salads, drinks, clueless waiters, stupid host/hostess that sat 10 tables at once and then they all order at the same time. All of these things are factors in every restaurant.


Offline tdeane

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Re: First reviews are in - Varasano's
« Reply #21 on: April 22, 2009, 02:01:45 PM »
You also have to factor in, a pie got burnt, someone dropped a salad, we ran out of this so I have to prep more, someone sent an order back so we have to re do it, Jim just cut his finger, Dave didn't show up for his shift, the dishwasher's not working and we're out of plates etc. Nevermind the fact that the place just opened and everyone is just getting a feel for things. Yeah, it's reasonable to expect your pie in 2 minutes! ;)

Offline NY pizzastriver

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Re: First reviews are in - Varasano's
« Reply #22 on: April 22, 2009, 02:11:42 PM »
Well since I'm the kind of guy that wants to hear from the horses mouth, I just called Varasano's.
The 2 Q's the phone attendant was more than happy to answer were...

1  At what temperature do you cook your pies?
A: Between 800 and 1000 degrees.

2. On a really busy night if someone walks in how long will they wait for a pizza?
A: On a really busy night, 15 minutes.

There you have it,
J.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2009, 02:13:22 PM by NY pizzastriver »
"If God said you can come to heaven now, but you have to stop eating my pizza, you'd stay and finish instead, right?" - Essen1

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: First reviews are in - Varasano's
« Reply #23 on: April 22, 2009, 02:25:40 PM »
2. On a really busy night if someone walks in how long will they wait for a pizza?
A: On a really busy night, 15 minutes.

There you have it,


J,

As a general proposition, I tend never to believe any estimate--by a person or a machine--of the amount of time it will take to provide me with any service or to perform a task. Even when I double the estimate given, I am very often wrong.

Peter

Offline NY pizzastriver

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Re: First reviews are in - Varasano's
« Reply #24 on: April 22, 2009, 02:32:07 PM »
J,

As a general proposition, I tend never to believe any estimate--by a person or a machine--of the amount of time it will take to provide me with any service or to perform a task. Even when I double the estimate given, I am very often wrong.

Peter

Yes, I'm just basing it on him actually being there on busy nights. Just trying to gather some facts for the thread, don't mean to start a big pizza fight or anything.
"If God said you can come to heaven now, but you have to stop eating my pizza, you'd stay and finish instead, right?" - Essen1

Offline tdeane

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Re: First reviews are in - Varasano's
« Reply #25 on: April 22, 2009, 02:37:03 PM »

2. On a really busy night if someone walks in how long will they wait for a pizza?
A: On a really busy night, 15 minutes.

There you have it,
J.
I can guarantee you that is wishful thinking.

Offline tdeane

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Re: First reviews are in - Varasano's
« Reply #26 on: April 22, 2009, 02:46:35 PM »
1  At what temperature do you cook your pies?
A: Between 800 and 1000 degrees.
.
I am just going by what people have said that have been to Varasano's. Also, The photos I have seen of the pizzas don't look like they were baked at that temperature, but that wasn't really the point. The bake time is not the same as how long it takes to make a pizza and if you think someone is going to walk into a restaurant on a busy night and walk out with a pizza in 2 minutes, you are more than a little naive. Even expecting to walk out in 15 minutes with a pizza would be a little naive. IMO

Offline NY pizzastriver

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Re: First reviews are in - Varasano's
« Reply #27 on: April 22, 2009, 03:07:09 PM »
Call me naive then, if you will.

I'm seeing 800 degrees mentioned in most reviews, so maybe 1000 is top heavy, but I also can't say they misspoke when I called them. Maybe the difference in his place and yours, and I'm just guessing here, is he has a very finite menu? Mostly pizza, no fish, lasagna, or stuffed shells from what I'm reading, just a few appetizers and pizza. This might make for a more timely scenario.

I also never proposed you could walk out in 2 minutes with a pizza, if not crowded I'd guess closer to 8.
On a not very crowded night, though, here's an excerpt from some blogger.

Quote
The restaurant wasn't packed on this particular Friday night. It was very comfortable with a mix of casual and dressed up diners. The music was good (nice playlist, ha) and conversation was easy. The waitstaff was friendly and very attentive. And, of course, the pizza came out quickly (as it should since they cook for what, 2 minutes?).
"If God said you can come to heaven now, but you have to stop eating my pizza, you'd stay and finish instead, right?" - Essen1

Offline tdeane

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Re: First reviews are in - Varasano's
« Reply #28 on: April 22, 2009, 03:07:59 PM »
I certainly don't want to turn this into anything either. Actually, I think the guy that ranted about Varasano's sounds like a bit of an ass and should have just gone down to the restaurant and ordered his pizza, if he really cares about good pizza. If I had the kind of pizza place I would like to have in the future, I wouldn't even offer take out because the pizza box kills a pizza. I'm sure Jeff isn't thrilled about take out orders either. Also, the guy seems to really fancy himself if he gets insulted that he didn't get a personal invitation to the restaurant. Get over yourself!
« Last Edit: April 22, 2009, 03:12:34 PM by tdeane »

Offline NY pizzastriver

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Re: First reviews are in - Varasano's
« Reply #29 on: April 22, 2009, 03:09:06 PM »
^^^ Alas we agree!  ;D
"If God said you can come to heaven now, but you have to stop eating my pizza, you'd stay and finish instead, right?" - Essen1


Offline tdeane

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Re: First reviews are in - Varasano's
« Reply #30 on: April 22, 2009, 03:11:35 PM »
Call me naive then, if you will.

I'm seeing 800 degrees mentioned in most reviews, so maybe 1000 is top heavy, but I also can't say they misspoke when I called them.
There are several knowledgeable pizza people that have mentionted deck temperatures in the 650? range. They could be wrong.

Offline sourdough girl

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Re: First reviews are in - Varasano's
« Reply #31 on: April 22, 2009, 03:12:08 PM »
Well since I'm the kind of guy that wants to hear from the horses mouth, I just called Varasano's.
The 2 Q's the phone attendant was more than happy to answer were...

1  At what temperature do you cook your pies?
A: Between 800 and 1000 degrees.

2. On a really busy night if someone walks in how long will they wait for a pizza?
A: On a really busy night, 15 minutes.

There you have it,
J.

I can guarantee you that is wishful thinking.

I agree, having worked as waitstaff in a busy restaurant very near the fairgrounds during State Fair.  You never know how many people are going to walk in at once... and all the other reasons Terry mentioned (cut fingers, dropped product, short staff, etc) happen every day of the week and also delay the kitchen.

It also does not define "busy" night...  150 pies?  550?  They might think they know what "busy" is... and then have twice the covers tomorrow night!  And how about turnovers... if you have a lot of tables one night that decide to take their sweet time, the wait gets even longer.
Which goes back to the idea that turning down a phone order was not good business... take the order, put a name on it, put it in the queue and tell the customer your best estimate of the wait.  That's a better solution than saying "NO!  NO pizza for YOU!!"   :-D  I do agree that the ranter was over the top and does need to get over himself... but he still has an opinion and isn't afraid to share it. 

Perhaps Jeff feels his web rep is enough to bring him more business than he needs.  Time will tell.  Perhaps he's one of the lucky ones with a built-in customer base, but not ALL of Atlanta are the pizzaholics we are, meaning that not everyone is going to know about his web rep.  And, not all the pizzaholics live in Atlanta, so that cuts his built-in customer base back even further.  I know about his opening because I am a pizzaholic, but I live in Seattle and will never be one of his customers... so, a little advertising might still be a good thing.  JMHO... and the way I would handle it if I were Jeff.

~sd
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Offline smarttowers

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Re: First reviews are in - Varasano's
« Reply #32 on: April 22, 2009, 04:20:49 PM »
Well since I'm the kind of guy that wants to hear from the horses mouth, I just called Varasano's.
The 2 Q's the phone attendant was more than happy to answer were...

1  At what temperature do you cook your pies?
A: Between 800 and 1000 degrees.

2. On a really busy night if someone walks in how long will they wait for a pizza?
A: On a really busy night, 15 minutes.

There you have it,
J.

You missed the all important third & fourth questions. 3) do you offer take out. 4) can I place my order over the phone.

For all we know it was some misinformed person answering the phone. As I've said maybe they were trying to order $100 worth of product and had no caller ID show up. Tons of reasons why this could have happened.

So jump back on the phone and get us some answers ;D

Thanks for calling them though seriously is better to get something from the "horses mouth"

Also their pizza could cook at 800-1000 on a busy night and down to 650 on a packed night where they have constant orders and not enough time to really get the oven back up to that sweet 800F point.

Offline scott r

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Re: First reviews are in - Varasano's
« Reply #33 on: April 22, 2009, 04:36:26 PM »
I just found this thread and it is crazy.   Im not even sure what everyone is arguing about here, but I talked to Jeff last week and he told me about this situation already.   Apparently this guy from upstairs called within the first few days of the pizzeria being open.  Everyone in the staff was running around like chickens with their heads cut off because it was their first week on the job.  I personally can't even imagine having an entire restaurant filled with newbie workers during the same time that all the press is showing up expecting the best pizza of their lives. On top of that, this is Jeffs first restaurant, remember before this he was just a home pizza hobbyist.  Anyhow, this guy calls with a huge order and wants his food delivered upstairs.  Well, the girl answering the phone was worried that she was doing something wrong (which she wasn't, Jeff wants to do as much take out as possible and would even be happy to send someone up with the food if they are in the building).  She asked the guy nicely if he would mind coming down, only because she didn't want to screw anything up, not because she was trying to be difficult or that the pizzeria was too snobby to want the business.  The guy on the phone made it sound like coming down was totally acceptable and said he was coming right down.  Instead he has apparently made it his lifes mission to drum up as much bad press as possible for the pizzeria. 

FYI, (and I hope you don't mind this Jeff)  He started out making 4 minute pizzas and is now in the 2.25 range.   He is still honing in on the ultimate target, but as of the last time we talked he may be there and ready to settle on the current methods. 

Offline sourdough girl

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Re: First reviews are in - Varasano's
« Reply #34 on: April 22, 2009, 05:08:11 PM »
I just found this thread and it is crazy.   Im not even sure what everyone is arguing about here, but I talked to Jeff last week and he told me about this situation already.   Apparently this guy from upstairs called within the first few days of the pizzeria being open.  Everyone in the staff was running around like chickens with their heads cut off because it was their first week on the job.  I personally can't even imagine having an entire restaurant filled with newbie workers during the same time that all the press is showing up expecting the best pizza of their lives. On top of that, this is Jeffs first restaurant, remember before this he was just a home pizza hobbyist.  Anyhow, this guy calls with a huge order and wants his food delivered upstairs.  Well, the girl answering the phone was worried that she was doing something wrong (which she wasn't, Jeff wants to do as much take out as possible and would even be happy to send someone up with the food if they are in the building).  She asked the guy nicely if he would mind coming down, only because she didn't want to screw anything up, not because she was trying to be difficult or that the pizzeria was too snobby to want the business.  The guy on the phone made it sound like coming down was totally acceptable and said he was coming right down.  Instead he has apparently made it his lifes mission to drum up as much bad press as possible for the pizzeria. 

FYI, (and I hope you don't mind this Jeff)  He started out making 4 minute pizzas and is now in the 2.25 range.   He is still honing in on the ultimate target, but as of the last time we talked he may be there and ready to settle on the current methods. 

Thanks, Scott! 

I have been in the foodservice industry since I was 15, both as employee and manager, so I understand many of the inherent problems.  I'm now sure that Jeff does, too.  The scenario that you have described makes perfect sense and I'm sure that Jeff will deal with it appropriately.

~sd
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Offline pcampbell

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Re: First reviews are in - Varasano's
« Reply #35 on: April 23, 2009, 01:43:42 PM »
I might as well shill for myself, LOL:

http://atlantacuisine.com/index.php/atlanta-restaurant-reviews/72-review-varasanos-pizzeria-atlanta.html

Photos:
http://www.savoryexposure.com/2009/03/varasanos-pizzeria-opens-its-doors/

I'd give our opening last night a 7.5 out of 10. We have a ways to go. But we are making progress and we'll get there. Also, the new www.varasanos.com is behind schedule. I'm going to totally overhaul the restaurant site soon.

Jeff

Hi Jeff,

Can you share anything about your ovens.  We read that they're electric and set to 600F.

Do you not have gas down there?  How are those ovens working out for you, etc.?  Can you share brand name for the curious?

Patrick

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: First reviews are in - Varasano's
« Reply #36 on: April 23, 2009, 02:11:22 PM »
Patrick,

See the series of posts starting at Reply 20 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,7415.msg70719.html#msg70719.

Peter

Offline scott r

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Re: First reviews are in - Varasano's
« Reply #37 on: April 23, 2009, 02:21:06 PM »
Hi Jeff,

Can you share anything about your ovens.  We read that they're electric and set to 600F.

Do you not have gas down there?  How are those ovens working out for you, etc.?  Can you share brand name for the curious?



PC, I don't think Jeff spends much time on the forum any more.  The ovens are electric and capable of much higher temps than 600.  Even if Jeff at one time tried setting them that low, the whole point of getting them is that they are capable of ultra high heat, and I believe he has settled, at least for now, at a much higher temperature.   If he wanted 600 he could have just picked up a cheapo bakers pride or the like.  Instead he went to great lengths to have ultra high heat available to him with an electric oven, including traveling to Sweden to try them out and going through a full UL listing procedure at his pizzeria.  Of course he could have installed gas if he wanted to, but the point was an ultra efficient modern high heat oven.  I believe someone else already posted this on another Varasano thread, so I hope he doesn't mine me giving you this link:

http://www.bakepartner.com/

You can find more info there.  

Offline tdeane

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Re: First reviews are in - Varasano's
« Reply #38 on: April 23, 2009, 02:30:31 PM »
PC, I don't think Jeff spends much time on the forum any more.  The ovens are electric and capable of much higher temps than 600.  Even if Jeff at one time tried setting them that low, the whole point of getting them is that they are capable of ultra high heat, and I believe he has settled, at least for now, at a much higher temperature.   If he wanted 600 he could have just picked up a cheapo bakers pride or the like.  Instead he went to great lengths to have ultra high heat available to him with an electric oven, including traveling to Sweden to try them out and going through a full UL listing procedure at his pizzeria.  Of course he could have installed gas if he wanted to, but the point was an ultra efficient modern high heat oven.  I believe someone else already posted this on another Varasano thread, so I hope he doesn't mine me giving you this link:

http://www.bakepartner.com/

You can find more info there.  
The real benefit to electric over gas is the ability to control both bottom and top cooking temperatures. Gas ovens are capable of the same temperatures but you have no control over the deck and ceiling temperatures.  I wouldn't really call Baker's Pride "cheapo" ovens. They actually make an nice electric oven that reaches 800 degrees with separate controls for deck and ceiling. I think this is what Brian Spangler uses at Apizza Scholls(maybe a slightly older model). Here's a link http://www.bakerspride.com/specs/SDECK-5736-01-07.pdf
« Last Edit: April 23, 2009, 02:35:48 PM by tdeane »

Offline scott r

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Re: First reviews are in - Varasano's
« Reply #39 on: April 23, 2009, 02:41:37 PM »
your right, but im pretty sure Brians is the latest model.  Its been around for a number of years now.  The difference is that Jeffs oven can actually do an authentic Neapolitan style unlike the bakers prides.  I have used brians model, and although they can get hot, the fastest you can bake a pizza in one is about 3 min, unlike the 1-1.5 min required for Neapolitan.  Jeffs ovens are much better insulated as well, so there is less heat transfer to the kitchen.   
« Last Edit: April 23, 2009, 02:43:09 PM by scott r »