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Paluso's Pizzeria 

Take Two Take Two Deli Double Duty BY TRICIA CHILDRESS "We're two guys from New York that couldn't find good pizza, so we started our own pizzeria called Paluso's." So says the menu at Paluso's Pizzeria located inside the Golf Village Complex in Pineville.These guys may not have been able to find good pizza in Charlotte, but now the trick is to have Charlotte diners find Paluso's. Here are a few hints: South Boulevard becomes Polk Street when you hit Pineville; and Paluso's, which is take-out or delivery only, is located in the back of the Golf Village building. But you can order at the front left counter. Confused? So were other people. In light of the confusion, owners Michael Paluso and Michael Pierce have decided to move. Embracing the adage "location, location, location," they have plans to relocate to a more visible spot this fall. "We hope to have a full service, exposed restaurant. We're looking at a couple of different locations in Charlotte. We have got to be on a road," Paluso said emphatically. I agree with that. But as a person who once drove, with friends, from Virginia to New York City for a bagel, I can honestly say that finding an out-of-the-way place that serves incredible food is fun. Owners Paluso and Pierce both hail from Syracuse, New York. Pierce comes from a family of restaurateurs. Paluso moved to Charlotte in 1998 for the opportunities: first working the club scene, then in a pizzeria. But he wanted to make top quality pizzas, and opened Paluso's Pizzeria in October 2001. An exploration of their brief menu must begin with their pliable crust, New York-styled pizza, laden with all the ubiquitous toppings, only all of these toppings taste better. Fresh tomatoes, seasoned Italian sausage, smoked ham, delightfully fresh onions, and bell peppers band together to create a superlative performance. Next up are the sandwiches. What sounds like a potentially clunky offering, their Torpedoes (upstate speak for subs, hoagies, po' boys) are extraordinary. The hot meatball sandwich made from Pierce's sister's meatball recipe is a layering of marinara sauce, ground round showy with herbs meatballs, and melted provolone. Or try their take on the classic Philly Cheesesteak, possibly the best in town. "We never use frozen or pre-sliced meat," said Paluso. This sandwich is lush with sliced sirloin, sauteed peppers, and onions. Also on the menu are gyros, including lamb; salads; calzones; and a few gratuitous fried items. Sandwiches range in price from $5 to $8. If you're from the Northeast, Paluso's will seem like home: the wonderful pizza from the small grocery store, or the great tasting sandwich from the corner convenience/wine shop. I hope both Mikes find a more visible location soon. What lucky neighbors they'll have.

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