Off the Beaten Plate: Brusco’s Deluxe at Johnny Brusco’s


Brusco's Deluxe at Johnny Brusco's, 721 Wakarusa.


Garlic knots, $3.99 , at Johnny Brusco's, a growing chain of New-York style pizzerias.

For those with an empire state of mind, another New York-style pizzeria has hit Lawrence, along with miniature morsels of toasty garlic knots (more on this farther down). Pizza chain Johnny Brusco’s (located in the old Godfather’s location at 721 Wakarusa Drive) is serving up thin and crisp slices and whole pies of various toppings-ridden pizza.

Not messing around, I chose the Brusco’s Deluxe slice, much larger than my face, thin on the tomato sauce and cheese, and wonderfully decorated with sausage, onion, mushroom, green pepper, beef, Canadian bacon and pepperoni. New York style is meant to be eaten on the street, which is why this hand tossed crust is so thin and foldable.

Caution: you may lose toppings however you decide to consume it. Picking it up and shoveling the slice into my mouth proved to be the most effective.

Where to get it: Johnny Brusco’s, 721 Wakarusa Drive

What you’ll pay: $3.49 for a slice; $15.99 for 12-inch pie; $17.99 for 14-inch; $21.99 for 16-inch.

Try it with: Garlic knots for $3.99. Unlike the fist-sized garlic knots that run for 25 cents each in the big apple, these are like the children of those. Arriving in a bowl, these are numerous bite-sized pieces of pizza dough tied into knots and topped with butter, herbs and plenty of garlic.

Also on the menu: Tons of pizza options from basic cheese (Tuesday is $1 cheese slice pizza day) to buffalo chicken, steak and cheese or cream cheese. Johnny Brusco’s also prepares calzones, stromboli, pasta, subs and more salad choices than probably ever taken advantage of, considering the former.

— Off The Beaten Plate highlights some of the more exotic, oddly named or inventively concocted dishes from local menus. Know of an offbeat item we should check out? Email food and features reporter Nadia Imafidon at Follow her at


Greg DiVilbiss 4 years, 5 months ago

Johnny Brusco's may be a franchise but they do not operate like one. A family from Shawnee owns and works in each of their four locations, the manager has been with them in Overland Park for some time, even though he lives in Lawrence (Steve is now running this location),

I believe they have under 100 locations currently. Success likes to be replicated and just because Johnny Bruscos is a franchise, does not mean they do not have a fantastic product,any more then being a locally owned business means they are have good food... I would recommend tasting and judging for yourself.

Fresh Mozzarella shredded each day. Fresh vegetables and super deals. Right now you can get a 14 inch, three topping pizza for $10.99. Half price on any large on Sunday! I have eaten there many times and what I hear in the restaurant, people are loving it. I am biased, but would encourage you to give it a try, it was busy tonight.

I got a Canadian Bacon, Capicola and Asiago cheese pizza tonight, it was amazing...

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