“The thing I love Danville is we can go eat in a place that’s not part of a chain. I’m not a big fan of chain restaurants,” said Chris over dinner in between bites and looking after his oldest boy eat his dinner.

I get his point. There’s something about stand-alone restaurants. There’s the homey feel to it, for one thing, as the whole town eats there. Second, there’s a laid back atmosphere to it – no stiffness of the fine dine restaurants or the slapdash vibe of roadside meals-on-wheels. And, third, everything is done the traditional way, meaning no short cuts like using substitute ingredients.

And in quaint Danville one such restaurant does stand out. There isn’t any meandering queue outside but the place is completely buzzing inside. There is a steady flow of diners but there no waiting time except perhaps in clearing the table after the previous diners have gone. Brightly lit Primo’s Pizza and Pasta had warm wooden interiors and two seating areas, inside and al fresco with umbrellas to guard against the night breeze. A bar greets the diners as they come in and the hum inside was as steady as the flight of bees. The din came from the animated chatter of the people, the music and the five TVs that broadcasted sports shows. Most of the young servers, I’m guessing, are students from the nearby San Ramon Valley high school – they were selling discount coupons and they had a tie-up promotion with Primo’s.

Pepperoni pizza - a favourite among adults and kids

Fridays nights mean pizza dinner for Chris and family plus guest (that’s me), and Primo’s, a family-owned and operated business of the Nicholson family established in 1979, was their regular place ever since their move from the east coast. “We frequented a place in Cincinnati and this was the closest place to it,” said his wife, my long-time friend, Joy.

The order of the night: two medium-size pepperoni and traditional vegetarian (mushrooms, black olives, tomatoes and green bell pepper) pizzas.

The verdict: the crust was thick but it was far from bland and the toppings were fresh and overflowing.

Traditional vegetarian - the favourite of you-know-who

Given this, it’s no wonder it is the pizzeria of Danville. After all, at Primo’s, as the little signboard in front of the cash register said, “pizza is not a matter of life and death. It’s much more important than that.”

298 Hartz Avenue Danville Ca 94526

(925) 838 8214


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