Monday, November 17, 2008

The Unthinkable Has Happened

The unthinkable has happened.

Rizzo's has closed.

Yes, Rizzo's, the pizza place.

I was about ten years old when my older sister announced at breakfast one Saturday morning, "When I was at Dory's last night for dinner, they had something different. It was called pizza pie. You get it at Rizzo's."

My mother was not an adventurous cook; she had a standard rotation menu like many of the moms in the 50's had. Her situation was made the blander by my father's refusal to let an onion or anything resembling an onion in the house. She was game to try something new. So were the rest of us. The next week we went to Rizzo's.

I think that pizza is kind of like spaghetti sauce or chocolate chip cookies -- whatever you grew up with is the definitive form. In the early years of our marriage, Joe and I lived in Navy towns in the South and college towns and other towns in the Midwest and couldn't find pizza that measured up. We'd come home for a visit and have to go to Rizzo's for a fix. My kids grew up on Rizzo's, for pete's sake.

And now it has closed. We've no idea why or whether it is permanent or temporary.

Saturday night, tired of soup for the sick, we got a hankering for pizza. Rizzo's pizza, of course. We had a vague recollection of having had some acceptable pizza at Carol's a couple of years ago and it had come from a place no further away than Rizzo's. So we drove by the old place, just to make sure it was still closed, and then went to this other place.

We should have known when we went in that it was no longer owned by the people who had delivered to Carol's that night. There were two Mexicans, two ordinary white folk, and an African-American behind the counter doing various jobs. Not an Italian in the place. We placed our usual order -- medium, half-mushroom -- and sat down to wait. In time it arrived. Acceptable crust. Rubbery cheese. Greasy. Tasteless sauce. We gave it a C- and came home.

So, unless Rizzo's miraculously reopens, we've decided that once a month we will try a different place. In the hope of finding pizza close to what we like. A daunting task.


SallyB said...

Good pizza is hard to find these days. Kent used to have a really outstanding pizza place called "Adriatico's" that served real, honest to goodness deep dish pizza.....mmmmmmmmm! The sauce had just that right amount of seasoning to be absolutely this side of heaven....delicious! But naturally, in Kent, pizza places come and go, so they didn't last, but oh, do I miss them a lot!

I just discovered a not half bad place that recently opened that I pray survives the glut of typical college town pizza joints. It's called "Fat Billy's", and when I order my usual green pepper and onion pizza, it comes with HUGE pieces of real, fresh green peppers and onions.....mmmmmmmm! And the sauce and crust are pretty good, too! I may just stick with them for a while in order to give them steady business in hopes of keeping them open for a while. Hopefully a long while. Because their pizza has become my local fave around here in Kent.

I hope you find an adequate replacement for your beloved Rizzo's. Or that it reopens and doesn't suddenly change its recipe and become unpalatable pizza.

lj_cox said...

Try Berwyn Pizza, in Berwyn. It's greasy, and a metric ton of cheese, but we love it.

Tanya said...

How my mouth is watering!!!! I cannot get good pizza in Japan! Never have, never will I guess! Cheese sort of congeals. They do strange things like put squid and pineapple and fish roe and corn and mayonnaise on it. Together! I'm sad Rizzos has closed too... Any place that serves good pizza should be protected!

The Calico Cat said...

Her situation was made the blander by my father's refusal to let an onion or anything resembling an onion in the house.

That sounds too familiar... I add onions to almost everything & a lot of prepared stuff has onions or onion powder in it already - my MIL is allergic...

When you come down this way, I'll take you to Zios - I love their 4 cheese pizza...

Karen Dianne Lee said...

Bummer. Of course you'll stumble upon a different treasure in due course. That's how you and Joe roll. Its kind of always been that way I think.

The Blessed, *karendianne.

paula, the quilter said...

A pizza stone and a bread machine saved us: I make my own.

Kucki68 said...


how about making your own pizza? It's not all that difficult and you get to put the stuff on you really want.