Above, a large Valentino's pizza with half Chicken Bacon Ranch and half Supreme. Daily Record photos by Nick Castillo & Lance Winter
Foodie Friday: Valentino's Pizza
A downtown staple has reopened with a fresh take on a San Marcos classic.
Co-owners Cody Taylor and Harlan Scott, who also own Industry, reopened Valentino’s Pizza last week to much fanfare from San Marcans awaiting its return.
“Between the two of us we’ve opened a lot of restaurants so it’s easy to say that we’re experts on running a restaurant. There’s no expertise in knowing, respecting and paying tribute to something that is important to three generations of San Marcans,” Scott told the Daily Record. “During all of our training we’ve reinforced with the staff about letting them know the story and how we got here and who came before us.”
Scott said at the present time they’ve got people who worked there in the 1980s.
“They’ve been here every day and have played an integral part in helping us respect the brand,” Scott added. “They helped us find the original owner, who introduced us to the second owner and on, helping us tell the story ... We’re going to open and we’re going to be busy. But are we going to be busy in four months?”
Valentino’s — which opened up under the same name in 1981 and eventually closed in 2018 — features pizza by the slices, signature pies, wings, salads and a variety of appetizers.
What to get:
If you’ve opened up a recent copy of the Daily Record, you know we’ve highlighted Valentino’s reopening. But now it was time to try a slice.
Valentino’s has its dining area with a bar and an area where you can watch the pizza dough being made. The restaurant also features an outside patio with a bar and TVs.
We made our visit to the new pizza shop during lunch, which was surprisingly busy with customers also grabbing a slice for the first time since the reopen.
In an attempt to try more than one type of pizza, we split a large pizza in half. My dining companion, who’s already made multiple visits to Valentino’s, selected the supreme pizza on his half. The supreme comes with red sauce, pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, bell peppers, caramelized onions, green and black olives.
Above, a slice of chicken bacon ranch, which comes with bacon, smoked chicken, provolone, mozzarella and ranch.
I went with Valentino’s chicken bacon ranch, which is topped with bacon, smoked chicken, provolone, mozzarella and ranch.
Above, a slice of supreme pizza from Valentino's topped with red sauce, pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, bell peppers, caramelized onions, green and black olives.
I enjoyed my slices. This is the kind of pizza I prefer. It’s a thin pizza with a nice dough that has just the right amount of crisp. The bacon and chicken pair well with the ranch drizzled on top of the pie. Get your slice with a side of Valentino’s ranch and you really can’t go wrong.
Valentino’s has several other signature pizzas. There’s the classics like “peperoni,” cheese and Margherita, which you can get by the slice for $5.
There’s also the BBQ Chicken, which comes with red sauce, smoked chicken, cilantro, red onion, gouda and barbecue sauce. Then there’s the veggie topped with red sauce, mozzarella, provolone, caramelized onions, spinach, diced roma, black olives and roasted red peppers.
You can also get a meat pie with pepperoni, bacon and Italian sausage, or you can try the white pie, which comes with ricotta, caramelized onions, mozzarella, provolone, EVOO, garlic and oregano.
All specialty pies come in either 14-inches for $20 or 18-inches for $24.
You can also build your own pizza, beginning at $15.50 with your choice of either red, white or barbecue sauce. Cheese is an additional $2 and toppings are $3 for meat and $0.75-$2.25 for veggies.
If you’re not feeling pizza, you can get a half dozen jumbo chicken wings for $12 or a dozen for $22 tossed in either barbecue, garlic parmesan, buffalo or hot AF sauce.
Maybe you’re in the mood for a sub. You can try an Italian sub with pepperoni, salami, prosciutto, red onion, romaine, provolone, bell peppers, oil and vinegar ($11).
Consider beginning your meal with cheese breadsticks, ($14), fried mushrooms ($8), garlic knots ($9), or fried artichoke hearts ($8). If a salad is calling your name, Valentino’s has spinach, caesar, house and build your own salads.
To view Valentino’s full food menu and check out the list of libations visit: https://valentinosbar.com.
If you go:
Valentino’s is located 110 N. LBJ Dr. in San Marcos
Kitchen hours: 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Sunday-Wednesday; and 11 a.m.-midnight, Thursday-Saturday. Slices are available until 3 a.m on Thursday-Saturday.