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.