Tuesday is National Pizza Day, and there are so many places around here that do pizza really well. We wanted to get a slice as big as our head from the Notorious B.I.G. of pizza in Southwest Virginia.
That just so happens to be Benny’s. While there’s Benny Nicola’s in Radford and Benny Marzano’s in Blacksburg, we stopped by Benny Marconi’s in Roanoke. In any of these places, most people react with a simple, “Woooaaahhhh” at first sight.
David Klein works right down the road and had the same reaction his first time at Benny’s. He keeps coming not just for the size of the pizza but the quality too. He tells us, “This is my fifth time in here in five days.”
Assistant Manager, Cory Williams, says he’s seen people try to tackle the challenge of eating an entire pie.
“We get a whole 28-inch pizza, just cheese. It’s only one person. You have 28 minutes to finish it, crust and everything (only water), and then you get 280 bucks if you can do it.”
As you can imagine, he says the success rate is low. “More people have tried and failed than people who have tried and succeeded.”
While I tried to make one of these behemoths, I wasn’t nearly as smooth as Williams. I’m like most others in that I also fall short of eating more than one slice in one sitting.
Williams says most people say, “Maybe I’ll get another one if I’m still hungry, and they’re never still hungry.”
It’s one thing to do things big, but it’s another to do it well and with variety.
They always have, “A cheese, a pepperoni, two kinds of sausages and then we always rotate our monthly specials.”
This month’s specials are dynamite! The meat option is chicken, bacon and ranch, and the veggie option is mushroom and garlic.
And you can think of Benny’s as a community service as well.
Williams tells us, “We stay open very late for the bar scene, so that they have a place to sober up.”
If you’re ever out of town, see if there’s a Benny’s near you! After humble beginnings in Blacksburg, they now have two dozen stores from as far north as Chicago to as far south as South Carolina.