Saturday, April 11, 2009

Review: Twin Trees Too

Name: Twin Trees Too
Address: 1029 Milton Ave, Syracuse, NY
Neighborhood: Far West-Side
Cuisine: Pizza, Italian, American (Traditional)
Hours: n/a
Parking: On-Street, Private Lot
Accepts Credit Cards: Yes
Alcohol: Full Bar

With several locations throughout Central New York and two locations in Syracuse, the Twin Trees franchise has become well-known for serving great pizza and wings to locals for over 50 years. Not to be confused with the original Twin Trees location on Avery Ave, Twin Trees Too is located near the corner of Milton and Emerson Ave on the city's Far West-Side neighborhood and just a mere 2 blocks from the original location. Parking is easy as there is a huge private lot with plenty of parking located directly across the street.

I had somewhat of a time-warp walking through the door of this place. For some reason I was transported back to 1995 upon walking in: first, because I think that was the last time that I was in here and secondly, because I don't think they've updated the interior since then. I'm fairly certain that the pictures, chairs, booths and tables have all been in the same location since I was last in. In particular, I sank into my booth seat when I sat down, so I'd say that they could use a major interior overhaul here by fixing the lighting, booths, updating the tables and chairs (make it seem less like you're sitting at a Chinese Buffet), and get some new TVs in there. All of it is a little awkward and dark and really borders on the tacky side aesthetically, but I suppose it's comfortable enough to relax and enjoy some food in.

Some other notes...

It can get crowded here on Friday and Saturday nights, so plan ahead. I'd advise to come during the week if you're looking to avoid the crowds.

Dress is very casual (think sports-bar atmosphere).

The menus is good and has a nice variety of traditional Italian / Italian-American favorites, soups, salads, seafood, and desserts. Almost what you would expect from your typical Italian-Americana eatery. Though on this visit, I had to stick to Twin Trees' big guns.

The order...

Medium Wings: $6.99
Large Cheese Pizza: $9.99
Total Money Spent with Tax & Tip: $20

Pictured here are Twin Trees Too's medium chicken wings served with celery and blue cheese.

The wings were decent, but as a homegrown, Upstate New Yorker, I'd say that they were relatively mediocre for the area. They were nice and big, but the skin could have crispier and the meat could have been juicier. These also tasted a bit more like "mild" than "medium" to me (the hotness was a little lacking) but perhaps that's merely based on personal taste. If I end up here again, I think I'll ask for "hot" next time.

Pictured above is Twin Trees Too's large cheese pizza. On this particular Wednesday it was "Pizza Day" with a large cheese pizza for only $9.99.

The pizzas here come served on a stand and circular pizza serving tray. I love this for not only the novelty aspect, but also because it saves a ton of table space for the customers. The pizza itself was good - a nice tangy tomato sauce with amazing mozzarella cheese (which I think may be some of the best cheese that I've ever had on pizza), but with a less than average crust. I didn't really like it as I thought it was way too doughy. All and all though, considering the food, deal, and price, this was a great value for such a large portion size.

On a side note: is Syracuse the only city that cuts their pizzas in this fashion? You know, into small strips instead of the traditional triangular slices? I have never noticed this technique in other cities, yet I've seen it on multiple occasions in Syracuse. Strange.

Overall, not a bad place for pizza and wings. Some have sworn by it religiously and others have said you have to go to a specific Twin Trees location in order to get the best of what it has to offer. In general, I'm a much bigger fan of the thinner, NY style crust of pizza, so perhaps it's merely personal taste that I wasn't overly crazy or blown away by the food here. If you can shoot for a visit for one of the deals during the week, or if you're looking for a place that would be good enough for large groups or kids, this is a good spot to consider. Though, the next time I'm looking for a sit-down pizza restaurant, I believe I will just head over to the original Twin Trees location before revisiting the Milton Ave location.

My rating of Twin Trees Too:

Your rating of Twin Trees Too:


Owen O'Neill said...

Twin Trees - meh. And the weird cut into strips deal is a Twin Trees signature - no matter where you see it in this town it started with them.

Johnny's and Cosmo are the two best places in town for classic NYC/Staten Island Neapolitan style pie. I hear that Pavone's is also very good in that style (on Bridge Street near Erie but I have not tried them since back when they were in the local malls.

JoeBass123 said...

Pavone's isn't too bad. I haven't formally reviewed it yet, but I'd consider it the best that I've had in the city so far. I'll have to head over to Johnny's and Cosmo's soon.

Melis said...

I work right by this place and I haven't been impressed with it - they have a lot of regulars, which is great, but every time I have been there for lunch I've gotten sub par service and they spent all their time fussing over the regulars. The last time I went there I decided not to eat there again even if I do just work around the corner.

administrator said...

that place is like Pizios,Franks pizza,brooklyn pickle,everyone has mass hysteria because of fond memories..And when people visit from out of town and try them they know they are no good but they don't want to offend anyone and tell you that they are so-so or worse.It's places like these that let the national chains take over