The local neighborhood pizza place is a staple of traditional American cuisine, and has been an enjoyable part of my childhood and adult life. I grew up in a family of five, and between my sisters and I, schedules were all over the place. My parents were busy shuttling us from one practice to another, and quite often dinner from a pizza box was a quick and easy option.
I'm from southern New Jersey originally and there is certainly no shortage of pizza places where I grew up. There are some differences place to place, but largely, they are pretty consistent. They offer eat in, take out, and delivery. Usually, they're based on an Italian background, but some places with Greek and other Mediterranean influence is not uncommon. The styles of pizza vary from place to place, as do menu components to accompany the pizza, but what I've found is that once you find a place that works for you. People tend to stick with it.
I recently ate at Antonio's Pizza in the little strip mall at 1200 Fall River Ave in Seekonk. The experience was very much in line with my childhood memories of pizza places. The smells, the glowing plastic menu board, the tables, and piled cases of soda were familiar sights. Which is a good thing. The menu could be the same at a hundred different places, with the address changed to match. The pizza is supplemented by pasta, a handful of seafood dishes, hot and cold subs, salads, and the usual appetizer/side orders. When ordering, I obviously had to try the pizza. I went with bacon on top (a personal favorite). The buffalo chicken calzone came highly recommended from the ladies behind the counter, so I had to try one of those too. I rounded out the order with a chef salad. I was really temped to go with the Greek salad. I love a nice big loaded Greek salad from pizza places like this, but inspiration struck and I went with the chef salad instead. I also had Greek food recently.
While ordering and waiting for my food, the delivery guy was in and out a couple times like Speedy Gonzales. A busy delivery guy should mean a busy restaurant and good food. Right? This was pretty much the case. The pizza was a cross between a thin and thick crust. It was crunchy and soft at the same time. I just wish they would have gone a little heavier on the bacon. The bacon pieces were a little large and fatty too. Not everywhere nails bacon pizza right, and its a great test. Here the pizza itself was good, it was the execution of the toppings that fell short. Try something other than bacon.
The buffalo chicken calzone came recommended by the staff, and it delivered just as promised. I was very happy with it. It could have used a little more buffalo in the buffalo chicken, but I'm really just splitting hairs here. It was great, and I would definitely order it again. It was a nice large size, and it came with pizza cheese melted on top and a nice sufficient size blue cheese dipping container. It really gets me when there's insufficient dipping sauce for what you order. Whether its blue cheese for wings, marinara for a calzone, or any dipping sauce, I think it reflects a level of foresight and service to provide adequate dipping sauce. I know it comes with a cost, but so does the food I'm paying for. Charge me the fifty cents more so I don’t have to ask for more sauce, or find out there’s not enough when I open the take out order at home. The chef salad was also substantial and satisfying. There were a bunch of cold cut spirals on top. They were a mix of meat and cheese. The salad was nice and fresh. It definitely could have been a meal in itself, and is perfect to share between a couple people.
Antonio's Pizza was a great representation of the neighborhood pizza place. If they delivered to the east side, I'd probably dial them up for delivery on a regular basis. As I sometimes like to do to test personality and knowledge of the menu, I walked in and asked for recommendations on what to order. I got what I asked for, and as my food was being prepared, the lady behind the counter offered me a menu and coupons to take with me. She said she knows I'm going to love it. Whether the food makes the grade or not, its good to see someone that has confidence and pride in what they're doing. I got the feeling that they appreciated my business and the opportunity to make a customer happy. I wish more businesses were like this. When shopping in Seekonk, I frequently eat some fast food because its quick and easy. From now on, I'm going to think twice and consider ordering some take out from Antonio's.