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Jimmy Z’s Pizza is Hip to Be Square

Carnegie pizzeria offers up a crunchy crust and zesty sauce on square pizza slices

Jimmy Z’s in Carnegie has a counter-intuitive tagline. The restaurant’s owners bill themselves as ‘old-fashioned’ and although you might not want old clothes or listen to oldies music, you are going to love their old-fashioned pizza

New owner Joe Iannarelli prides himself on his pizza, and for good reason; it’s delicious. He makes a homemade zesty tomato sauce, which he generously slathers on crunchy crust and then sprinkles the square slab of pizza with liberal amounts of fresh mozzarella. Add a few traditional pizza toppings and you're ready for a really good time.

One slice of pizza costs less than a dollar, and the restaurant offers a few other traditional pizza shop favorites including hoagies, stromboli's, salads and cheese bread. The hoagies, currently under the moniker Zoagies (they are returning to their original name) are tasty, too. The toasted sandwiches are also reasonably priced at $4.15 for a half and $7.50 for thirteen inches. Yikes! That’s a lotta zoagie. It's a decent sandwich, but the pizza is still the main attraction.

Iannarelli’s business has an unusual origin. The semi-retired dry cleaning magnate happened to own the property, but when took over the business in January when the original owner had some difficulty.

“I always wanted to own a pizza shop,” Iannarelli said. “I was even going to open one in Bridgeville, and then, this place became available.”

Manager Kelly Bowland is also a former dry cleaner, but she has had prior experience working in a pizza shop. The two seem comfortable behind the counter, and the unexpected circumstances proved to be favorable for the former dry cleaners.

Iannarelli smiled and said he is enjoying his new career.

 “I like this,” he said. “I talk to a lot of good people. The old timers come in and say hello. They sit around and chat. I know most of my customers from their pizza order. That’s the Anchovy Guy. That’s the Four Cuts Guy.”

Iannarelli added, “I was in the dry cleaning business for years. In dry cleaning, people complain all the time. Here, everyone’s happy. I haven’t had any complaints yet!”

When it comes to the food, there isn't much to complain about. However, there isn’t a lot of room to dine in, but the owner plans to redesign the space to accommodate a greater seating capacity. Parking is a little tight, too, but the pizza makes it all worth it.

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