Manchester: Grand Slam Pizza Grill & Bar

The skinny: The Big Game may be long gone, but there are enough Celtics and Bruins games left (not to mention the Red Sox!) to appreciate a good sports bar. Grand Slam Pizza Grill & Bar fits that profile.

Grand Slam Manchester sausage pizzaTaking a suggestion from Twitter follower @katiemeurin, we stopped in on a frigid afternoon, and immediately noticed how big the place is. The right-hand part is a large, wide-open sports bar, complete with table service and loads of TVs. The left-hand accommodates the kitchen, take-out counter and a few tables.

The menu is big, too. Aside from pizzas and calzones, they have a pretty wide selection of appetizers, dinners and sandwiches. Pizzas here are Greek-style and come in two sizes, 10 inches and 17 inches. The basic cheese starts out at $6.99 (10 inch) and $9.99 (17 inch), and goes up by a buck with each topping added.

There’s a pretty wide selection of specialty pizzas to choose from, including the baseball-themed Hot Corner, which includes hamburg, pepperoni, sausage, salami and jalepeno ($10.99, $13.99) and the Grand Slam ($10.99, $15.99), which they simply list as “based loaded.” And it is, with pepperoni, sausage, hamburger, peppers, mushrooms, onions, bacon, and feta, parmesan, cheddar and mozzarella cheese.

Other standouts among the specialty pies is the Riviera ($9.99, $14.99), which loads on diced tomatoes, spinach, artichoke, kalamata olives, fresh garlic, and feta, cheddar and mozzarella cheese. And there’s also the Tuscan Pizza, which includes spinach, sundried tomatoes, spicy chicken, fresh garlic, and feta, cheddar and mozzarella cheese.

Review: On this visit, we went with a regular pizza with sausage and garlic topping.

Andrew noticed right away that the sausage looked like fresh-cut, natural casing sausage. Good stuff, not like the frozen stuff we’ve seen at some other places. Deidre thought the garlic was hard to find on the pizza, but easy to detect on the palate. Andrew agreed, but thought the sausage really brought the majority of the flavor to this pie.

The crust wasn’t exceptional, but like lots of Greek-style pizzas, it had soft and edges. Deidre thought it was undercooked, and not crunchy at all. Andrew found the bottom to be a bit like soggy cardboard, and looking underneath, it had all these funny little bumps from the nibs in the pan the pizza was served in.

The cheese seemed like a blend, and was spread on very heavily. Deidre liked the amount, but Andrew found it a bit much. There was a good bit of grease pooling on top of each slice, and though a lot seemed to have cooked out of the sausage, Andrew thought the cheese itself was pretty greasy. Somewhat annoyingly to Andrew, the cheese was also very stretchy and gooey, and as we pulled slices away, it sunk down in between the little nubs on the pan. Quite a mess.

True to form, this Greek-style pie was also light on sauce. So light, in fact, that we could hardly taste it, and certainly couldn’t really detect any specific flavor.

The cold pizza was barely edible, sadly. The grease that had congealed on top seemed to make everything go foul. This was one of the rare times Andrew just couldn’t stomach two slices of cold pizza.

Rating: Deidre: 2.5 / Andrew: 2 = 4.5/10 slices

Grand Slam Pizza Grill & Bar
472 S. Main St., Manchester
622-5522

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