Gabriel’s in Cleveland Shows a Passion for Pizza
Gabriel’s Pizza, sitting near the intersection of 25th Street and Keith Street in Cleveland, is a haven from the blurry rush of everyday life. Stepping inside transports you to a simpler time where the focus was on the customer as a person, as opposed to a number. “Take care of your customers today and you won’t have to worry about getting customers tomorrow,” says Allen Eisenmenger, co-owner of Gabriel’s. He and his wife, Charley, have operated with this philosophy since 1999.
Wooden tables and chairs fill the open seating areas, and a row of booths line the brick wall running the length of the restaurant. The lighting is low, spilling out from the hanging lamps and the neon signs casting colorful reflections on the dark ceiling above. Colors also dance on the shiny menu as you begin reviewing your options.
Gabriel’s offers much more than just pizza: an appetizer of baked tomatoes smothered in mozzarella and herbs, glistening garlic bread sticks served with signature marinara, sizzling chicken Parmesan, stuffed calzones, meatball spaghetti. However, pizza is their passion.
Options abound between New York-style hand-tossed or Chicago-style deep-dish crusts, five kinds of signature sauces, and more than 25 top-quality toppings. Deep dish is a staple for any serious pizza place, and Allen says they remain “as faithful as possible without completely alienating folks in the South” when it comes to the “sauce on top” Chicago-style presentation.
The Stockyard is their biggest seller. Loaded with pepperoni, sausage, ham, bacon, beef and double cheese, your first bite into this beauty is an explosion of savory tastes. The quality of ingredients and creativity of arrangement come through immediately. All toppings are acquired from only the best distributors. “What you put on the table is what should sell the pizza,” Allen says. Convincingly, every bite contains a bit of artistry.
Thanks to Charley, there is also artistry on every wall. Her artwork, mixed with works by other artists, comprise the colorful décor. This homegrown visual treat pairs perfectly with the handmade meals.
This isn’t the spot to scarf down a mass-produced cheap slice; its pizza is a work of art. “If you eat it and decide it’s worth the price and want to come back, that’s awesome,” Allen says. For those searching for quality pizza, you will find yourselves at home at Gabriel’s.
The Dish on Gabriel’s Pizza
Gabriel’s Pizza is located at 2625 Keith St. in Cleveland, Tenn., about 30 miles northeast of Chattanooga on Interstate 75. You can reach them at (423) 728-2222 or www.gabrielspizzas.com.