The new Ferro’s Famous New York Pizza anchors a corner in a small strip mall that includes one of those national health clubs that are popping up everywhere. In essence, you could have a healthy workout and then chow down guilt-free on your choice of fast-food Italian off the Ferro’s menu.

The restaurant is run by the Ferro family that opened Gino & Joe’s in the Main Place Mall 30 years ago. It’s a casual, user-friendly place with the menu displayed on the large wall behind the counter, where about five pizzas of various configurations, pastas, strombolis and more tempting items are displayed.

Place your order at the register and take a seat at a booth, table or one of the stools lining a long wall of glass. The friendly staff will either call you or bring your order out. There is a small beverage area with pop and a coffee pot (nice touch), plus plastic utensils and napkins. We had a group of five (including a hungry 4-year-old), and the menu had more than enough choices to please even the pickiest among this picky crew.

Ferro’s “Famous New York Pizza” comes in jumbo slices (starting at $2.35 for cheese), large 16-inch pizza ($12.50 and up), extra-large 19-inch ($16.50 and up) and sheet ($22.95 and up). In addition to standard toppings, there are at least 25 pizza choices, including veggie deluxe; white garlic (with tomato and onion); white broccoli and tomato; BBQ steak and cheddar; meat-stuffed (ham, pepperoni and sausage); Hawaiian; eggplant parm; and breakfast pizza (egg, ham, bacon, sausage). We knew the pizza had to be good by the steady line of take-out customers carrying pizza boxes.

The menu also has the usual basics of subs (hot and cold), wraps, burgers, wings, tacos and salads, plus a nice pasta selection.

We ordered two slices of cheese and pepperoni ($2.70 each); a slice of taco pizza ($3.15); half of a steak sub with the works (mushrooms, onion, peppers, $5.95); and two orders of baked ziti ($6.25), one with “a” meatball, the other sausage ($2 extra). Not the most adventurous selections, but that’s my family.

Our food came out in increments: The pizza slices were warmed in the big ovens and brought out with the sub; the pasta came a while later.

The very thin, very large slices (more like a slice and a half) gained high enough marks from the little red-haired girl and her mom to guarantee a return visit. The steak sub also was well-received, with special notice given to the toasted roll that kept the sandwich crisp, not oily.

We loved the baked ziti so much, we overlooked the fact that it was lukewarm in the middle. (Besides, it was such a large order we knew most of it was going home.) As one of the daily pasta “specials,” the meal came with a 22-ounce drink and the most delicious petite garlic knots we’ve ever had. I would have bought a dozen to take home if they were available. That “one meatball please” was actually an order of five perfectly round medium-sized meatballs, well worth the extra $2. Dad asked for sausage with his ziti, and it arrived as nicely browned slices of links.

The ziti was served in a circular aluminum foil container about an inch or so deep with lots of creamy cheese mixed in, not just on top. It was so large it made two delicious meals (Dad even took most of his order home.)

Other daily pasta specials include stuffed shells ($6.25) and Mama’s Homemade Lasagna ($6.95). We’ll return to try more.

The giant mural inside Ferro’s wishes customers “buon appetito.” With such a large variety of affordably priced good food, that’s just about guaranteed.


Ferro’s Famous New York Pizza

Where: Seneca Ridge Center, 3521 Seneca St., West Seneca (677-5577,

Hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and Sunday; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Wheelchair access: Yes