Location: 652 Riverside Dr., Johnson City, NY 13790
Phone: (607) 770-0107
Price: Less than $10 per person
Cosmo's is in a strange little location, at the corner of Riverside Dr. and Grand Ave. in Johnson City, almost literally underneath the Route 201 overpass and not far from the legendary Traffic Circle. It's kind of a strange restaurant in the sense that it is really more like three restaurants in one. There is a small sit-down portion, an even smaller carry-out entrance, and a "tiki bar" in back. We used to go to the Tiki Bar quite often back in the day a few years ago. It was a pretty nice space to just chill out, have a few beers, and throw peanut shells on the floor and maybe order some wings or some "sizzle fries." Then the Flood of 2006 came around. Cosmo's, and that little neighborhood of Westover in general, was hit pretty hard, and they were forced to close for awhile, and in the meantime we found some other places to go and never made it back. So I don't think I had tried anything from their "regular" menu until today, when I stopped into the carry-out to get some lunch.
The menu at Cosmo's is part-Italian, part pub fare. They have Italian dishes like Chicken Parmigiana and Lasagna, in addition to pizza available in 16" round and rectangular sheet varieties, or you can get individual slices. They also have the burgers, sandwiches, fried snacks, and wings like you'd expect to see in a bar environment.
I stopped in and ordered a slice of pepperoni pizza and an Italian sub, with the plan to eat the pizza while the sub was being made. I'd always been a little interested in trying the pizza, and as it turns out, I really liked it. This was one of the better New York-style slices I've had in the area. In terms of crust, sauce, and cheese, I found it to be most similar to Grande's of all the pizza that I have had, which I consider the benchmark for good pizza of that style. The menu advertises a 16" round pizza with 12 slices for a mere $8.50, which is definitely an offer I will be exploiting at some point in the near future, as football season rolls around and I begin to entertain guests again.
The sub was quite a bit less successful, in my mind. The bread was nice and fresh and the toppings (lettuce/tomato/onion/provolone/sub sauce) appeared in good ratios but the meat was mediocre. I think it was just regular salami instead of the usual blend of meats, and it did not taste all fresh. I ate a little more than half the sub before disposing of the rest. Not a good sub, and certainly not one I would order again.
So Cosmo's, in the end, was pretty average for me today. I can recommend the pizza wholeheartedly. $1.25 per slice plus $0.25 per topping is a really good deal, and $8.50 for a huge 16" pizza is among the best pizza deals you'll find in the area. Plus, it's really good pizza. Surprisingly good, really. The sub, on the other hand, was below average, but you win some, you lose some. Service was quick and polite, and even though I haven't been there in a long while, I can say that the Tiki Bar is a nice little hangout that few people seem to know about. I'll give a conservative grade for now, but a few good pizzas from now, this mark could stand to go up a fair bit.