As owner Tony Proietti explains it, his "grandparents had a family tradition at the original Proietti's Pizza on Goodman Street every Christmas Eve. They would invite [their] customers and friends to join [them] for lunch on the Proietti Family." That generous streak must run in the family, because Tony has revived that tradition, in fine style. I attended the inaugural lunch two years ago, and if this year's event was anything like that, nobody walked away hungry, or unhappy. So I was sorry to miss it this year.
But now, some good news: this year's lunch raised over $2000 to help a local family in need. The dad in this family of six - who are customers of 2 Ton Tony's - is suffering from ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease), and the results have been as devastating as you might imagine. So for this year's lunch, Tony asked his guests to donate gift cards, cash or other items to help this family celebrate possibly their last Christmas together. It was a huge success, with substantial donations of cash and other gifts. Tony tells me that each child received nine presents, which is fantastic.
While I regretted missing this year's event, I thought it deserved to be mentioned, even after the fact. And since I had been looking forward to taking my wife and daughter to the lunch and introducing them to Tony, I decided I'd do the next best thing, and take them to 2 Ton Tony's for dinner. So on a recent wintry night, my family and I headed out to Tony's Spencerport shop, where we shared a dinner of pizza and wings, with a side of Tony's often hilarious anecdotes about the original Proietti's restaurant and bar on North Goodman Street.
Now more bad news - when our food arrived, I discovered that my camera's batteries were dead, so I was unable to take any photos. I'm currently awaiting the arrival of a new camera phone, but on this occasion I had only my ancient, camera-less phone, so I was stuck. You'll have to visualize, then, but take it from me, the food was good - a medium pizza, with pepperoni, sausage and bacon on half, and sweet peppers and onions on the other half (my wife and daughter don't always see eye to eye where pizza toppings are concerned, so our pizzas tend to have a split personality). The medium-thick crust was nicely browned, with a slight crunch and a bready interior. The flavorful toppings were applied in good proportion with each other and the crust, and after several slices I still wasn't sure if I preferred the meat or vegetable toppings. The wings were fine as well - meaty and crisp, and coated with Tony's distinctively spicy, house-made Buffalo sauce.
And then there were the stories. I won't try to repeat them all here, because it wouldn't do them justice. But if you ever get a chance to talk to Tony - and you should - ask him about the truck fire, or better still, the alarm button incident (the one where he was singing along to the jukebox - he'll understand). I was still laughing in the car on the way home, just thinking about those and his other tales of the old days.
Expansion has bedeviled many a pizzeria, but Tony is striving mightily to maintain consistency and quality at both his locations - you'll find him at one or the other virtually anytime they're open. If you haven't been, make a mental note to go.
And I'm making a mental note not to forget about next year's Christmas Eve lunch. It's a great time, and the fundraising aspect gives it an added dimension, reminding us of the ripple effects of good deeds, and the way that kindness begets kindness.