Pummarola (Boca Raton)
***** Pummarola, 6000 Glades Road (Boca Town Center), Boca Raton, Florida 33431, (561) 368-1868.
Just got back from having “lunch” at Pummarola…which is a relatively new Italian fast food joint located in the food-court at Boca Town Center.
Let me start by saying–Pummarola’s food was fabulous.
The joint’s menu is real simple—personal-sized wood fired pizza ($5.50-$8.50), panuozzo (pizza crust bread with fillings–$8.50), calzones ($8), pasta ($7-8), handful of sides ($3), handful of desserts ($3.50). At this stage of the conversation-you can check www.pummarola.us for full menu/prices/photos.
Now nothing for nothing, over the years- Jeff Eats has literally eaten in tons of Italian fast food mall joints…and I gotta tell you, that Pummarola’s food ranks right up there with the best that I’ve ever had…I’ll even go so far and tell you folks, that Pummarola’s food is as good as most of the stuff served at the best “mom & pop” red sauce Italian joints here in South Florida and elsewhere…I’ll even go on record and tell you, that Pummarola’s food is as good if not better than the stuff served at most of South Florida/elsewhere’s “upscale” Italian joints.
Right about now, some of you guys may-be saying…”Jeff has lost his mind or something.”
Trust me on this one…the “sampled” margherita pizza, chicken milanese panuozzo, fettuccine bolognese, gnocchi alfredo, spaghetti & meatballs, eggplant parmigiana–were absolutely positively delicious. Like Jeff Eats said 14 seconds ago, this joint’s food could easily go head to head with the best Italian stuff out there.
If I got my facts straight, Pummarola has only been open a few months…During the half-hour (3pm-3:30pm on a rainy Saturday) that Jeff Eats was in the food court–the joint did a nice steady business, but I definitely didn’t see long lines at the counter. The real concern that I have with Pummarola is that the guys who own it aren’t business-men…food guys yes!–business-men no! The reason I say this, is that Pummarola is located in a “double space” in the food court…and my pencil to napkin calculations tell me that the rent has to be something like $35,000 a month—and $35,000 a month is an enormous load of pizza/panuozzo/calzone/pasta. In addition, the space “features” a Fiat-car as a decoration…talk about pissing away valuable real-estate! I sure hope Jeff Eats is wrong here-because the food is tremendous…but I really think that Pummarola’s owners might have bit (pun intended) off too much to chew.
Putting “finances” and a car aside for a moment…
I’m telling you guys that you gotta check this joint out.
Pummarola is open 7 days a week during mall hours.
***** May 7, 2013 UPDATE
Just a quick update…
Since Jeff Eats’ April 13, 2013 “review” I and Mrs. Jeff Eats have eaten twice “at” Pummarola with the last outing being this evening—and I gotta tell you that my first impression still holds—the food is absolutely dynamite. Just wanted to mention that after you have finished eating this joint’s pizzas, pastas and sandwiches—give its tiramisu, cannoli and crepes a shot…I sampled all three this evening- and they are as good as the stuff turned out by South Florida’s best Italian bakeries.
Trust me on this..Pummarola is something very special.
Jeff, you got this one right.
I recently sampled their Alfredo gnocchi and it was delicious. I also had their prosciutto & mozzarella panuozzo and it was one of the best sandwiches I’ve ever eaten. From the setup it looks like the owners spent a load of money building this place. I sure hope they make is because the food is tremendous.
Love the wood fired pizza and have eaten there a few times! The other pizza place next to Pummarola is Villa Pizza and it is closing soon. Hopefully, this will allow Pummarola to rule the Boca Town Center’s tiny food court and be profitable. Jeff, you rule too!
They definitely wasted a lot of space building this place. Having a Fiat car on display looks cool but it takes up value space.
I think Jeff is right, the guys who own this know how to cook but aren’t great in the business math department.
I don’t think that this joint has chance in hell of making it. The pizza I had was very good, but it took forever to get it and they weren’t even busy.
castrogonalez I would urge you to try again… I have been here 3 times. All three times, I place my order and pay… and within 90 seconds the pizzaiola (always the same friendly Italian guy) has the ticket and is working on the pie right in front of me. 90 second later, it’s in the oven… and appx 180 seconds later… its served to me. Time elapsed, 6 mins. So your experience may have been a one time fluke…
I was in the food court the other day and they were passing out samples of gnocchi alfredo and it was delicious. Right next door is Villa Roma Pizza which sells regular pizza etc. I understand that its lease has already expired but for some reason the mall let it stay open for a few extra months but that it will soon be closing. Why did Pummarola allow this? Are the owners jerks? By the way, although I only had a sample I watched the counter people and they looked confused and dazed. I think that despite their delicious food these people are in for big trouble because they don’t seem to bright as operators.
Based on Jeff’s rent est. of $35000 mo. and rent % to sales guidelines (5%-12%) this place has to do at least $3.5-$4 million annually. With lines out the door, the busiest 5 Guys and Chipotle’s don’t even hit these #’s.
These guys I figure have to do about $1.2 million just to break even.
That’s a ton of food to move just to cover the nut.
Do these mall operators ever give special deals in order to get a certain restaurant in there? Maybe that is the case. 35K a month is a huge amount. Staggering. As we all know there are various slow days during the week but I don’t know personally how busy Town Center is on weekdays.
Simon the owner of the mall doesn’t give anyone anything.
If Jeff is right on the number, this joint doesn’t have a chance.
By the way, it’s literally impossible to get a spot in a major mall’s food court.
The Boca food court is very small.
I suspect that it really doesn’t do all that well.
There are only a handful of operators in there.
Right next to this pizza place is Villa Pizza which is closing. It has been there for years. I wonder why it’s leaving.
If Jeff’s number is on the mark, these owners of this joint don’t have a chance
By the way I saw that Fiat car on display, what a waste of space and it doesn’t do a damn thing for sales.
Had there plain pizza and it was very good.
Saw the setup yesterday.
If the rent is really in the $35,000 range this boy has got big problems.
Went today, fantastic Caprese pizza. Ordered my pie, got it , ate it, no one else came to the counter in that entire time. Line at several other operations within that time.
Had their meatballs and spaghetti and a plain pizza. Jeff you are right again, delicious. As for business prospects, if the rent is really in the range you indicated, I think that this terrific pizza place is in for some real rough sledding.
Fast food can be good!
First time that I go to a Mall food court and find a pizza place with a wood brick oven !! Must go to try it….
They bake and serve their Neapolitan style pizzas in minutes…
I heard from the manager that they are already opening a second location in Coral Gables.
For what i saw…. I love the food, the concept and especially the Fiat 500
Took out a pizza, chicken parm panini or whatever these guys call it and gnocchi with meat sauce at a cost of $23.85. There was enough food for 3 people and all of the food was delicious.
The food that we had was as good if not better than most of the full scale Italian restaurants we have eaten in.
Food is excellent.
They have an enormous fast food space. Looks like a load of that space is just wasted.
I went again on Tuesday. The first time i went several weeks ago i had a Margherita Pizza which was great, probably the best in South Florida. On Tuesday I tried their Trademarked “Panuozzo” with Prosciutto and Arugula which was outstanding!!!! The manager said that these Neapolitan Pannini’s originate from a small mountain side community on the outskirts of Naples Italy. He said the bread is made from the pizza dough and baked in the oven on site. Mmmmm! Has anyone else tried one of these?
Jeff, this has to be one of your best finds. the food is fabulous and amazingly it comes from a fast food operator in a mall. I agree with you, the guys who own this business have a huge overhead to handle.
once again,great find. loved the food.
I am one of the owners of Pummarola and, also on behalf of my partners, I would like to thank Jeff Eats for the fantastic review on our restaurant and let you all know that we are thrilled about all of your positive comments. I would like to say that the numbers mentioned in the review are not quite right. We are not novices in the restaurant business. Our corporation owns about 100 restaurants in Europe and it’s rapidly expanding also in the US. As a matter of fact, we are so happy about the results of our restaurant in the Town center that we will be opening shortly another Pummarola in Coral Gables. I sincerely hope you will all have the chance to visit. Therefore I am here to reassure all of you that we will keep serving our high quality food in the Town Center for a very long time and we will never compromise on the quality of our ingredients. I invite everyone to keep posting feedbacks (both positive and negative) that will definitely help us to improve. Next time you come and visit Pummarola please ask for a manager and mention Jeff Eats. You will be offered a treat on the house as a token of appreciation for being such a valuable customer. Thanks again to Jeff Eats and all of you and “Buon Appetito” !!!
I must tell you that your food is amazingly delicious. Like Jeff, I’ve eaten tons of mall Italian food and your food is heads above all of them. Your food is as good as the food served by some of Boca’s best Italian restaurants. By the way your prices are extremely reasonable.
I see that you mentioned that Jeff’s rent numbers are not quite right . Knowing Jeff’s history I’d bet that he isn’t that far off the mark.
Keep up the great work.
Thanks Jeff for spreading the good word.
At $8.50, the Prosciutto and Arugula pizza is perhaps the best food deal in all of South Florida. I am dead serious.
I’ve tried to spread the word about this place myself on Chowhound etc, it is terrific. And if you identify yourself as a Foodie to the pizzaiolo, he will be glad to talk food with you all you want, especially if it’s not too busy.
When the 2nd El Jefe Lucador moves in the pizza place next door, I’m liable to end up having lunch and dinner 10 times a week at this food court!
Congrats to the owner and staff of Pummarola!
I just wanted to tell you that you have a terrific blog.
Unlike most food blogs, your take on things isn’t just limited to food reviews and recipes, but rather you really have a freewheeling wide open discussion board.
By the way, tried the pizza and it was very good. Can’t believe such quality came from a food court.
Chicken Milanese was as good as it gets.
One piece of feedback for the owners…
I am not sure if displaying sample pies on the counter is helping sales. After a while they simply don’t look that great… (Maybe lousy pizza “holds up” better – we all know good Neapolitan pie is made to eat immediately)….
I remember thinking, geez, if I didn’t know any better and I’m some random Boca teenager, I might pass this by.
I wonder if nice photos of fresh-made pies would actually be a better option. Just a thought. It might be worth testing out, at the very least, with some very good photos .vs. actual pies…
We appreciate all of the feefback, and just to repeat, because the point of my first response seems to have gotten buried under all of the chatter about our doomed business, we are introducing our $7.25, choice chuck burger this week. This is priced right in line with Shake Shack if you look at the size of the patty and the included condiments. I have nothing to say negative about this blog, I simply commented that he had not eaten our food, which is one element to a restaurant review that some find valuable. I have enjoyed this blog very much in fact. Clearly this audience is sophisticated enough about this business to know that you cant always judge a restaurant after 3 days in business, menus change, pricing changes, physical plant changes, etc. Please just give us a chance to get our bearings before kicking us to death. Thats all we ask. Sincerely,
I see that you now have a $7.25 burger.
Guess Jeff may have convinced you that you needed a better priced item.
Why don’t you invite him to come by for a taste test?
I was just in the food court with 2 of my kids aged 4 and 7.
They both had chicken sandwiches with ff and lemonade from Chik fil A.
I had a chopped salad from Tossed.
No bs, I didn’t even notice that there was a new burger restaurant right next to Chik.
I was in the food court yesterday. Tried that new Italian restaurant out and the pizza and meatball sandwich were outstanding. Walked around the court to see the other offerings and was struck at how poorly the burger one was lighted. Very dull looking and very non descript.
I have no idea how its food is but it sure doesn’t help itself being so mundane and boring looking.
their pizza is delicious. as good as any of the upscale pizza places in boca. cant believe a food court pizza place makes such great pizza.
Fabulous food. Jeff, really good call here.
The food is as good if not better than most of the restaurants in the area.
Loved the chicken parm Panini.
My wife and I went for a walk in the mall tonight to get our of the rain . As we were walking past the food court i noticed that the different vendors had remodeled. No it looked like everything was new. Then i thought i saw a Fiat 500 cinquecento behind the a counter. I said let’s check this place out. Well with my last name i guess you might say I might know some thing about pizza.Also i come from Brooklyn…………. Too bad we had just finished dinner. I couldn’t wait to get home and read some reviews. so far they look good and it’s pizza for lunch tomorrow. i hope it’s as good as you guys say. and i hope it’s not like the terrible stuff at SCOULA VECCHIA. DISGRAZIATO!!!!!!!!!
I HOPE THESE GUYS MAKE IT.The idea is great.
The chicken parm one is delicious.
Also love the pizza.
Best fast food Italian I have ever eaten.
Jeff on your say so tried the chicken Milanese sandwich. Amazing.
By the way, the nicest people run this place.
I think you are way too high on the rent here.
I’m thinking more like $25,000.
Don’t forget its all the way in the back of the food court.
This has to be one of Jeff eats’ best finds.
Food is incredible.
Better than regular sit down restaurants.
Gnocchi in alfredo sauce and pizzas are delicious.
The food here is as good as the food made in Boca’s best Italian restaurants
you nailed this one.
pizza is outstanding.
chicken parm panini is also delicious.
Love this one.
Had lunch there today.
Gnocchi Alfredo and chicken Milanese was excellent.
The food is as good as the food in the best Italian restaurants.
I highly recommend that you give it a try.
Didn’t care for pizza.
pizza was fabulous. great find, thks, jeff
I work in the mall on Saturdays and Sundays. I’ve eaten at Pummarola 5 times and the food is terrific. I thought that I was going to miss Villa Pizza but this new addition runs circles around it. The personal pizzas and sandwiches are as good as it gets. Last Sunday I had the meatballs and spaghetti and it was fabulous.
Jeff, very rare find in a food court. Their pizza and pastas are amazing.
Pummarolas has great pizza and pasta. Their food is always fresh and the staff is nice. By Gregg L. Friedman MD, Psychiatrist, Hallandale Beach, FL
Tried this one because of Jeff Eats.
Pizza is fabulous.
Couldn’t believe how great the pizza was.
Never expected this type of quality in a food court setting.
Their food is excellent.
Never expected to find such delicious pizza and sandwiches in a food court.
Go figure, in a mall food court, no less!
Love its pizza.
Everything they make is delicious. The pizza is amazing.
The Minestrone soup was incredible. I could count 9 different vegetables in it. Will be back tomorrow for Pizza
The best Italian Pizza 😉
La miglior pizza italiana!
Their pizza is amazing.