Thursday, May 26, 2011

Always Great Pizza in Cleveland!

Growing up in an immigrant Italian family we always made our own pizza. Rarely was pizza ever ordered. My dad made his own pizza, my mom made the dough and my dad would carefully construct every pizza as big as a cookie sheet to suit all our tastes in the family. This involved making more than 2 pizzas usually. My dad preferred his pizza to include anchovies..ewwww, then there was the works, everything BUT anchovies, then there was always the one with simple toppings that was usually suited to my tastes. (Yes, I am a daddy's girl!)

And onto the pizza...

When growing up my brother who worked for family owned pizzarias, we still wouldn't have a pizza brought home. I don't know why? Now that I think back, for all the pizzas my brother probably made, we never had one made by him. One particular restaurant that my brother and his other friends worked at was Antonio's Restaurant & Pizza in Parma. Just attached to Parmatown Shopping Center. Still the many times going to Parmatown as a kid, still no pizza from Antonio's despite the many times going in there. My brother is 11 years older than me so he was working teenager when I was still so little.

When I got older and I don't know the exact age, I eventually ate at Antonio's, fell in love with their pizza and have seen the menu expand over the years with it's original staples still on the menu. Over the years, the pizza is still the same. You can tell their is good ingredients in this pizza. It's a great hearty dough, amazing sauce and some great mozzarella. They use real Italian sausage (something my husband only likes and despises the sausage crumbles) and good flavorful pepperoni. But I have to be honest, I am not meat pizza loving girl, I like my veggies on my pizza. So usually we always get a half and half extra large pizza. I get my mushrooms, onions and black olives (although this time I omitted the black olives), while my husband and daughter prefer Pepperoni and Sausage. (I don't think my son has chosen sides since he's only about 2.) Might I add, my husband hates and I mean HATES, mushrooms.

One night we decided to go to Antonio's for pizza, we have an Antonio's Express by our house that features a short menu of the restaurant, mainly emphasizing on pizza. But I have to tell you, and for a short time my husband thought I was crazy (because he has no problem with the pizza at the express), but the pizza at Antonio's Express just didn't taste like the restaurant's. I think the one at the express is blah! I swore that at the restaurant it was different. I insisted that if we got pizza that we go to the restaurant and eat the pizza there. I have had my pizza delivered, picked up and even eaten there as they do have a couple tables. I still didn't like it. I've given the express probably 8 chances to redeem themselves. One thing I can say is that their cassata cake is good (because it's from a place I know where they get it also I like they're garlic bread with cheese (which is a pizza with cheese on it but with garlic and oil as the sauce, that is of course if they don't burn it even when I do tell them to light cook it)). So we went to the restaurant, thank goodness because if not I probably would of just ordered Chinese and eaten at home.

So we ordered Wings, (oh my gosh were they good!) and my husband found a new love with breaded ravioli, so we ordered that too. Our 2 year old preferred eating the wings, that was the first time my son ever ate wings. He said mmmmmmmmmm. We got BBQ and Mild. Both very good but Johnny and I shared the BBQ. The breaded ravioli are good too. We ordered our pizza, and it was soooooo good! When we were done, our waitress, who was great, was talking with us. Since our little one craves attention. I told her, I must be crazy, but I think the pizza here is way better than the ones at the express. She's said it was different! HA! I knew it! Bam hubby! I was right! Our waitress told me the sauce is different, and since they have the original oven, she thinks it the way the oven cooks the pizza too. I also think the dough is different as well. Even the spaghetti with meat sauce tastes different between the 2 places and it's because of the sauce! Now if this still is all a hoax, I still insist that the 2 places are different!

My husband loves his pizza....(seriously he could eat pizza everyday!)

I have had a lot of pizza in my life, from many different places. But there are only 2 places I prefer to eat my pizza from and that is Romeo's Pizza and Antonio's Pizza at Parmatown Shopping Center. But as far as flavors go, Antonio's is the closest to the taste of Italian Pizza even though true Italia pizza is thin crust.

So I tell you, you must try the pizza at Antonio's but at Parmatown. I am not a huge pizza fan, because Italian food for me is normal and not out of norm type of food. So ordering pizza or eating Italian at a restaurant is not first pick because it will never be like mom's or like my dad's pizza. So for me to like pizza and to write a blog about it, it has to be good or I wouldn't share it with you. So if you want some good pizza go to Antonio's. You won't regret it. Our pizza tasted great the next day too, reheated in the oven!

Some of the other foods I have had their like I said before was the wings, I ask mine with blue cheese dressing, breaded ravioli and the spaghetti with meat sauce. The salad with mozzarella and crisp pepperoni is great too and they have the best house poppyseed dressing! I've had their chocolate cheesecake that is good too, but I still make the best chocolate cheesecake! They have great service, staff is friendly and the food is yummy. You can get it to go and they have take out and maybe delivery (although I don't know for sure, you could always ask), but nothing beats eating it right out of the oven. Not to mention that the restaurant has a full bar! Maybe it's me too, but I end up spending less at the restaurant than at the express.

If you don't believe me yet and need a pic, well here you go... (Sorry, it's not a full pizza but we couldn't wait to sink our teeth into it!)

Antonio's has been around for a long time, it's a Parma staple and they won't be going anywhere. Celebrities love it too. One story sticks out and seems to be the most drastic. Because if a celebrity goes this far to order pizza from Antonio's than I say it must be some pretty good pizza but one time Drew Carey ordered 45 pizzas for The Price is Right wrap party in Los Angeles about 2000 miles away. Crazy! But if you love it then you love it! Also the Plain Dealer voted it Best Pizza and they've won consecutively for best pizza.

PLEASE NOTE: This is solely my experience between both locations. I can only represent my own interpretation of it. If you disagree than that is your opinion. But I am here to only write my one TRUE experience. Any comments made rudely or with a hard tone, will be deleted.

Order In or Take Out! Catering is Available.

Antonio's Pizza & Spaghetti on Urbanspoon

Antonio's Restaurant & Pizza Web Site:
Antonio's Restaurant Web Site
Antonio's Express Menu: (A good way to order from for the basics)
Antonio's Basic Menu & Website
Facebook Page:
Antonio's on Facebook

Best Location:
7401 West Ridgewood Dr.
Parma, OH 44129
( Close to Byers Field )

Business Hours:
Monday 4:00pm to 10:00pm
Tuesday – Thursday 11:00am to 10:00pm
Friday and Saturday 11:00am to 11:00pm
Sunday 12:00pm to 9:00pm
Lunch is served Tuesday through Saturday 11:00am to 3:00pm.


Happy Eating,

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