Guru’s Rapid Review: Friendly’s Pizza, Sanford, Orlando Fl

This family owned New York style pizzeria recently opened in mid-2018, providing Halal Italian American classics to the Sanford and Lake Mary community, just north of Orlando. Despite their new entry to the Orlando Halal scene they are creating some buzz around their restaurant with great deals. Their lunch special of 2 large cheese slices and a can of soda for under $4 is really drawing in the crowds.

FOOD

The pizza is the main star of the show and should be considered for our list of TOP 5 Halal Pizza Shops in Orlando the next time we update it. They offer a New York style thin but doughy crust with a tangy tomato sauce and ample cheese. The best part is they offer an array of toppings including a range of Halal meat options including Halal pepperoni and buffalo chicken. They also offer calzones and stromboli which are a nice touch.

large pizza with buffalo chicken
Large New York Style Pizza with buffalo chicken from Friendly’s Pizza

To complement their pizza they also offer wings and burgers. They also have their own New York Halal Cart food option. While it fits their theme, the white sauce misses the mark. If Cart Food is your thing, check out or TOP 5 Halal Cart Food Spots in Orlando.

ATMOSPHERE

Entering the restaurant through the central door, your attention is drawn to the back counter and the large pizza oven. Looking around, you then start to pick up on the New York décor and themes. Large pictures of iconic New York landmarks hang on the yellow painted walls. The lower half of the wall is covered in faux red brick, a node to the New York architecture style.

Red Brick and New York Portraits
Red Brick and New York murals on the wall

This New York theme is very reminiscent of the décor of Oh My Gyro which is another New York inspired Halal restaurant based in Orlando.

There are several large tables to sit at and enjoy your freshly baked pizza. They can accommodate large dining parties.

LOCATION

This Halal restaurant is located in a strip plaza in Sanford. They purchased the business from the previous occupant, La Fontana which moved into the catering only space.The location isn’t exactly the easiest to find for visitors or those not familiar with the area. It is between the Masjid Al-Salaam and the 417 highway overpass. There is a Rim and Tire store and Spanish grocery store (Bravo Supermarket) at the plaza entrance which can let you know you are in the right plaza.

As it is located in Sanford, it is about a 40 minute drive from the theme park area making it a little difficult for tourists to enjoy their offerings. However, it is a short 5-7 minute drive from the newly opened and beautiful Masjid al-Hayy making it one of the closest Halal spots for a quick bite to eat after Salat.

SERVICE

When you enter restaurant, you place your order at the counter. Because the food is made from scratch, it can take some time to get orders together. As the owner prepares your meal, you can chat about life with him as he is very friendly. If you’re not in the conversation mood or in a rush, then it’s best to call ahead to place your ord

Gyro Philly Cheese Steak Pizza
Gyro Philly Cheese Steak Pizza hand tossed by the friendly owner himself

PRICE

The meal value is a big advantage for this Halal spot. Their lunch special is a great deal, offering 2 slices of pizza and a can of pop for under $4. You can walk away with a large specialty pizza for under $15. This is an excellent spot to visit if you have a lot of mouths to feed or if you’re on a budget without sacrificing quality.

OVERALL

Seeing this hardworking, cheerful family take over a previously struggling Halal business, reinvent it and have it thrive creates a feeling of pride. The Sanford/Lake Mary Muslim community is small compared to other cities and it can be hard for Halal restaurants to succeed in such a difficulty market. In this case, Friendly’s is building their success by offering quality meals, great value and of course friendly service.

Food Category:  Italian American Fast-Food   

Guru’s Rapid Review: 3.5 of 5 Stars

Must Try:  New York Style Pizza

Address:   2921 S Orlando Dr Suit 162, Sanford, FL 32773

Phone: (407) 688-2979

Website: http://www.sanfordpizzeria.com/

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