ROANOKE, Va. – Italian restaurants have a knack for keeping you full and happy. The story is no different when it comes to Grace’s Place in Grandin Village. Owner Grace Niday kindly said to us, “I hope you’re hungry,” as she welcomed us back into the kitchen.
Niday and her brother, Ruben (owner of Crumbles Store) started this Grandin staple nearly two decades ago and haven’t looked back.
Niday humbly says, “It took a lot of work 17 years ago, but we’re still here. I think people like us.”
What’s not to like?!
“We have about 20 different specialty pizzas that you can choose from. It’s kind of hard to pick, I know.”
We let Niday do the picking for us, and we’re thankful she did. The Suprema Pizza was first up.
She thins out the handmade dough and tops it with homemade sauce. Next comes the mushrooms, green peppers, onion, sausage, bacon and pepperoni. It’s a nice combination of salty meats and healthy veggies.
For a few minutes, the pizza runs through the oven until the crust is a crispy, golden color. While they’ve perfected the recipes, the secret ingredient to any food they make is love.
Niday explains that, “When you make things with love, it’s going to taste much better. You kind of decorate your food. Then when you open that box, you’re going to find it more appetizing.”
She’s not lying. You open the pizza box to a work of art, with so many colors popping out of the pie. The same can be said for the Bruschetta.
What’s an Italian joint without garlic knots too? Niday threw some of those in the oven until the outside turned golden. The inside was still chewy, doughy and just downright perfect.
Niday is originally from Venezuela, and we were surprised to find out that Italian food was and is part of the culture there.
She taught us, “A lot of Italians moved to Venezuela, so our foods kind of mixed.”
You know this is just about as authentic as it gets. In addition to the food, there’s the inviting atmosphere and warm welcome from Niday and her team.
Because of COVID-19, they’re not open for indoor seating. They are, however, open every day but Monday for takeout and curbside pickup.
“The energy that people bring...everything now is a little quiet.”
For now, the hum of the oven makes the noise, and it delivers on sweet and flavorful tastes within minutes.