Although it has no visible presence along Amherst's main drag, Bruno's is a strong contender in the cheese-slice take-out arena. Located on Main Street, a long, long stone's throw from the buzzing hang-out scene at the Black Sheep and Fresh Side, Bruno's is nothing more than a humble take-out operation. The place is the size of a garden shed, with the requisite towers of cardboard boxes and an industrial beast of an oven. It would thus be easy to underestimate Bruno's. However, the cheese slice is above average for the genre: the crust is crisp yet flexible, and it's topped with a reasonable amount of cheese that is flavorful, browned, and hot all the way through. A thin sheen of oil can be quickly remedied with a paper towel. Cheese is the only variety of pizza they serve by the slice, and it's their best work. Fussier combinations, like the Greek options here, lose their focus. As with Coke, so with Bruno's: stick to what's classic.
Bruno's is even less successful with its submarines, hot or cold. Most subs seem to suffer from a lack of balance, whether in taste or texture. When the sub is ordered hot, its already cottony bread steams in the foil wrapper, losing what little character it might once have possessed. The eggplant parmigiana-which consists of mushy eggplant against mushy breading against a mushy, sauce-soaked bun-could be eaten without teeth. The Italian cold-cut sub is indeed cold. In fact, at one visit, it was downright frosty. Its main problem, however, is taste. The dull, muddy flavors of the meat and cheese are barely discernible under the mouth-puckering onslaught of condiments like onions, pickles, oil and vinegar, and hot sauce. Smart customers will exercise restraint when considering their sandwich accessories.