When I was a kid, my mom never bought anything full price. From groceries to school clothes, that woman had a coupon for everything – and still does. An extensive list of deals and specials is not the reason Picasso’s Pizza is great, but it doesn’t hurt.
Picasso’s has locations in Williamsville, West Seneca, Lancaster and Blasdell. That means if you haven’t tried it, you’ve lost geography as an excuse. In addition, each location offers dine-in, take-out and delivery options. For this story, I went to the West Seneca restaurant, but I've eaten at several of the locations and they are very consistent.
The menu features all of the usual pizza joint standards. There’s the antipasto salad that’s basically an Italian sub on lettuce ($9.20 for a small that’s anything but). The usual selection of hot subs ($7-$12), starters and sides make an appearance, as well.
Picasso’s also caters to gluten-free and vegetarian visitors with a personal size gluten-free pizza ($13.70, $1.65 for extra toppings) and a wide range of veggie choices. But chances are, if you’re at Picasso’s, you’re here for pizza and wings. Otherwise, you’re doing it wrong.
Yes, there is a handful of specialty pizzas. Yes, they’re fine. But cheese and pepperoni is a system of measurement we’re all used to. A large cheese and pepperoni pizza at Picasso’s is $21.30. That large pie is cut in squares and easily serves six hungry adults.
At Picasso’s, the pepperoni is sliced thick and on a bias for longer, meatier toppings. The edges crisp up into the storied Buffalo “cups,” too. That said, a Parmesan and herb dusting is what really sets Picasso’s apart from the crowd. Just a sprinkling of flavor over the whole pie adds an extra umami note to offset the characteristically sweet sauce. In my family, we fight over the extra crispy edge pieces. But that’s just us.
Picasso’s wings are hearty, with lots of franken-wings that seem to have sprouted extra appendages between the bird and the fryer. An order of 10 hot, medium or mild is $10.45 and Picasso’s will split orders. Italian baked, BBQ charred, hot BBQ charred, honey mustard and Thai chili ($11.50 for 10) are also on the menu.
Try the Hot BBQ Charred for a slightly kickier version of the standard barbecue flavor. Here, wings are a bit on the dry side, but the flavor is strong. The medium and hot are true to style; order hot if you like spice.
For starters, stuffed hot peppers ($7.05 for three) have just enough zing and plenty of character. Read the menu and you’ll see what I mean. Garlic bread sticks ($5.40) are the perfect side order to sop up some of that extra wing sauce or pizza grease. Dusted with Italian seasoning, the flavor is just what pizza place breadsticks should be.
Number crunchers will also love the coupon section, found on Picasso’s website and mobile ordering system. Is it on Picasso’s menu? Chances are, it’s in the coupon section, too. The “Family Meal Deal,” “Something for Everyone,” “Just for 2, How Cute,” “Mighty Fine” and “This is a Nice Ticket” are just a few of the cutesy-named coupons you’ll want to read carefully. A wide range of combo deals offer helpful serving numbers. Be warned: What serves two to four people in Picasso’s world may serve more like four to six in yours.
In Buffalo, arguing over who has the best pizza and wings is as much a citywide pastime as watching the Bills lose. I would confidently pit Picasso’s against any other. Let me put it this way: When my brother-in-law was finishing his basement, he asked my husband for help. His response? “I don’t know; will there be Picasso’s?”
6812 Transit Road, Williamsville (631-0222)
2193 Union Road, West Seneca (668-1111)
5413 Broadway, Lancaster (684-4404)
4154 McKinley Parkway, Blasdell (202-1313)
Open: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Vegetarian options: Yes. Try the stuffed hot peppers, a wide range of salads, and veggie pizza and calzone choices.
Gluten-free options: Yes. A 10-inch gluten-free cheese pizza is $13.70; additional toppings for $1.65.
Wing spiciness level: Pedestrian