Last visit: January 2014
Rating: Strong Buy
Other DFW locations: Dallas (2), Allen, Highland Village (opening 2014)
Other Texas locations: Corpus Christi, Katy, Sugar Land, Woodlands, San Antonio (2)
Other states: Arizona, Florida, Nevada, South Carolina, California (New York and New Jersey locations under different ownership)
January 2014 update: Grimaldi's continues to be the RJG's favorite pizza place in not only Northeast Tarrant, but also for all of DFW. We had 6 in tow on our last visit, including Mrs. RJG, the RJG's Mother-in-law (age 79), 2 nieces (21 & 14), and a nephew (12). We ordered 2 large pies and 2 large Mediterranean Salads. It was plenty to feed us all, and everyone without exception loved it. Worth noting the airport road construction, for all intents and purposes, is complete. Getting here is now a breeze.
We've been sporadically going to the Grapevine location, despite intense construction challenges, almost since the day they opened last year. And both Mr. and Mrs. RJG consider Grimaldi's the best pizza in DFW. That's no small claim, especially considering worthy challengers such as INZO, Coal Vines, Campania, and Cavalli. Of course, we know that Mr. Music has given a huge thumbs up to Cane Rosso in Deep Ellum, and we definitely will head over at some point to try. I have taken Mr. Music here once, and he loved it as well.
Basically, Grimaldi's has perfected the coal oven baked pizza formula. Apparently they use a special coal imported from Pennsylvania, that burns hotter and cleaner than traditional coal. Grimaldi's, of course, insist that all of the outlets use this coal. We've been maybe 6 times now, and the pizza is perfect every single time. The ingredients are out of this world, and most are homemade. The sauce is delicious and the mozzarella is clearly made from local produce. I'm not even sure you can make a pizza better than this. Apologies to Dan Patrick, but you can't stop them, you can only hope to copy them. And we haven't even started on their delicious salads, which Mrs. RJG devours - and I fortunately get to help. Their Mediterranean Salad is outstanding, with fresh greens, a splendid vinaigrette dressing, feta cheese, and lots of olives, tomatoes, and cucumbers. Worth noting the nomenclature Grimaldi's uses. When you see the term "personal", think "small", When you see "small", think "large". That's the kind of portion size we're talking about here. They have a fine selection of wine and beer as well. And nothing goes better with a Grimaldi's pizza then an ice cold bottle of Brooklyn Lager. Or a pint of Peroni on draught. They have a nice bar area, that we've yet to take advantage of. But it looks appealing if I were to be on my own. Grab a pint and a personal pizza, and I'd be in heaven.
We first came across Grimaldi's with their Brooklyn Bridge location, and there were lines a mile long it seemed. So we never took the time to eat there (if you can't find good pizza while in Brooklyn, you are truly an unlucky person). Some very wise investors from Arizona decided to replicate the concept and bring it nationwide. It seems they are holding to a very strict standard, and if they continue to do so, will be successful for many years. My only advice to them is not to go to the public markets. Once they do that, profit will become more important than high standards. DFW is fortunate to have a few locations throughout, including NE Tarrant's own Grapevine.