Tasty Tuesday: Sandro’s Pizzeria continues decades-old tradition in the New River Valley

Recipes from overseas stand the test of time at this fairly new Christiansburg spot

CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. – The signs and smells of Italy greet you as soon as you walk in the door at Sandro’s Pizzeria in Christiansburg.

It’s a family tradition that started overseas.

“These are family recipes handed down that my father started in 1978 that he got when he was emigrated from Italy to New York.”

Alessandro Pugliese’s father opened Sal’s in Radford in 1978, and then he “Had an opportunity to open up a restaurant in Christiansburg, took advantage of it, and now we’re here.”

So, the legendary taste of Italy continues to grace the New River Valley. While you wait for that taste, garlic knots are made by the bowlful.

Part of what Sandro’s is known for is its pizza. Pugliese tells us it’s a “True, New York style. Same recipe and same style since 1978.”

It’s hand-tossed to get that nice, thin crust and thrown into the brick oven. This makes for a nice crunch around the pie and on the bottom. This goes for the many varieties of pizza, including an Italian specialty.

“Grandma pie, or the reverse pie, where you have the cheese first and the sauce on top.”

It’s not just the crust that stands out, but the sauce in any pizza is key. At Sandro’s the sauce is sweeter, lingering in your mouth long after your final bite.

Pugliese opines, “Less is best. We don’t put a whole bunch of spices in our sauce and everything, you know?”

We step away from the brick oven and onto the sizzling stove for a number of different pasta dishes including the chicken alfredo.

“The one with the red sauce is the chue chue, which means quick quick in Italian,” is topped with fresh tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, basil and parmesan cheese.

Don’t sleep on the cheesesteaks, which have become a community favorite.

“Cheesesteaks are the best around here as I’ve heard. Ya know, I can’t say. I’m not going to pat myself on the back.”

To finish things off, desserts range from Italian classics like the cannoli to tiramisu.

Weekly specials include:

Mini Monday - Buy one 10″ pizza and get another half off

Pasta Tuesday - Buy one “Create your own pasta” and get another half off

Wine Wednesday - Half off all bottles of wine for dine-in only.

About the Author:

Meteorologist Chris Michaels is an American Meteorological Society (AMS) Certified Broadcaster, forecasting weather conditions in southwest Virginia on WSLS 10 News from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. weekdays on Virginia Today.