Gabys Pizza: 204-23
Hillside Ave., Queens Village, 740-9716
Gabys Pizza: both the name of the eatery and the pizza itself
have become legendary in the Southeast Queens community.
You cannot go into Fran Hill Mall on the corner of Hillside and Francis
Lewis without stopping in for "a slice." Its just one on those things. In
the nearly 30 years since its existence, the pizzeria has been a favorite stop for moms on
the way home from work on Friday evenings. It has fed many a birthday party and many a
sports celebration in the surrounding Queens communities.
But pizza is not its only specialty. The menu boasts some 100
mouth-watering items. Entrees such as spaghetti or ziti with tomato sauce ($5.50),
spaghetti or ziti with sausages, or mushroom (7.00), veal parmigiana (7.25), baked lasagna
(6.75) chicken, veal and shrimp combo with spaghetti (11.75) and an array of hero
Pizza runs the gamut from a plain cheese pie (8.25 for a medium and
10.50 for a large) to the exotic clam or shrimp pies (12.50). There is also an extensive
catering menu ranging in price from $32 to 65 depending on party size.
On my recent visit I ordered spaghetti with tomato sauce. Served piping
hot with a warm loaf of Italian bread and butter packets, it was just what I needed. The
sauce was the right consistency and flavor and the spaghetti perfectly al dente as
the kids say: It was slammin!
I couldnt resist the aroma of the pizza of the diner sitting at
the next table so I ordered a slice and had a few bites. There is something special about
the pizza at Gabys that is a little different from most. Perhaps its the fact
that their pies are baked on wire meshes on the oven floor; but according to co-owner,
"Jerry," its a simpler reason.
"We use only the highest quality ingredients," he explained.
"We dont skimp, wed rather spend a little more and get better
ingredients. Plus we make everything fresh from scratch every day," he said.
Established in 1964, Gabys (named for co-owner; wife) the
pizzeria has always been comfortable spot for a quick bite. Designed with wood panels
varnished to a high gloss and interspersed with strips of mirrors and ceiling
"lanterns," diners can either chow down at linen-covered tables or have their
orders to go.
But Gabys doesnt just take the money and go every night.
Their altruistic streak is evidenced in the kiddy-made photo collages of various summer
programs or sports teams thanking Gabys for one sponsorship or another. "I like
helping kids," said Jerry, modestly.
The feeling is mutual.
There are autographed photos of local kids grown into regional
celebrities, such as "Howard the DJ" who wrote, "Ive been eating here
since I was eight and youve never made me sick."
For my money, Gabys is the best local place for delicious,
affordable Italian fare.
Marcia Moxam Comrie