Pizza joint offers ‘legit’ flavors

It has only been a couple of months since Vertillo Pizza and Grill opened its doors along Highway 31 in Thorsby, but it is already making its mark.

The specialty dish served is pizza, but the menu has so much more to offer, including chicken wings, burgers, hot dogs and cheese steaks.

However, pizza is the main reason most people stop by to see owner Marlene Patrick.

Patrick was born in Brooklyn, New York and grew up in a family with an Italian heritage where cooking and combining flavor was a form of expression.

According to Patrick, she had been living in the South for a long time and had a difficult time finding a pizza place that she truly liked.

Her grandparents taught her how to cook, and it was hard to find a restaurant that captured those familiar flavors of her youth, so one day she decided to take matters into her own hands by opening up a business of her own.

“I’ve always been surrounded by good Italian cooking, and decided it was time,” Patrick said.

Vertillo was the last name of her grandparents and is now the name of the business.

Patrick lives in Calera but drove by the current location several times for about a year, thinking each time that it would be the perfect spot for a pizzeria.

Prior to opening up the establishment, Patrick had no experience in working in a restaurant setting, but she looks to use this to her advantage by providing a home kitchen-like atmosphere and unique flavor.

“We make our sauce every single morning, and the dough is made fresh,” Patrick said. “We cut everything by hand. It is legit.”

According to Patrick, the most popular pizza is “The Works,” because it offers a little bit of everything including ham, pepperoni, sausage, bell peppers, onions, black olives, mushrooms and jalapenos (optional).

There are five different specialty pizzas on the menu, but Patrick is always looking for new and inventive possibilities to add.

All the pizzas are topped with a New York blend that includes three different types of cheeses each with their own Italian flavor.

“Pizza is what New York’s about, we’re known for it,” Patrick said. “I like just seeing people happy, and you show your love through your food.”

Vertillo Pizza and Grill is open for lunch as well as dinner, and recently adjusted its hours and are only closed on Mondays. It is located at 21850 U.S. 31 North in Thorsby.

Its hours are consistent of 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Daily lunch and nightly specials are posted each day on the Vertillo Pizza and Grill Facebook page, as well as outside on the board heading into the restaurant. To place an order, call (205) 688-3332.

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