Your First Time -- how you "discovered" pizza

Page: 12 > Showing page 1 of 2
Author
MetroplexJim
Sirloin
  • Total Posts : 6861
  • Joined: 2007/06/24 08:45:00
  • Location: McKinney, TX
  • Status: offline
2017/03/06 12:24:16 (permalink)

Your First Time -- how you "discovered" pizza

I was born and raised in Eighty-Four, PA.  We went to church and did most of our shopping and eating-out in Washington, PA,pretty much sticking to the east (Presbyterian) side of town. 
 
At 5 or 6 I had for some time had noticed as we passed (on our way to the Dairy Queen and the new Howard Johnson's on Rt. 40) a sign on a restaurant that said "New York-style Pizza".  But, as that place was on the 'wrong' side of town and - worse - served alcohol, we never stopped.
 
So, my "first time" was at a little window service only stand-alone shack near Donaldson's Crossroads, PA, on Rt. 19 between Washington and Pittsburgh.  On a whim my father stopped and ordered three slices (two for him) with something called 'pepperoni', another something entirely new to me.  My piece looked much like this: 
 
  

And it tasted fantastic!  Immediately, it joined hamburgers, fried shrimp, and fried chicken on my list of "favorite food".  I remember the little thick-cut, quarter-sized pepperoni whose edges were curled up by the oven.
 
Burning the roof of my mouth, I inhaled the first piece and asked my dad for another.  He gave me the requisite 12 cents (a dime for the piece and 2 cents for the pepperoni) and I enjoyed another!  After that I began asking for Italian food at home and got it with Chef Boyardee's "Spaghetti Dinner in a Box" and "Pizza Kits".
 

 
 

 
I don't know exactly what "style" those heavenly first slices were, but there is a place in my long-time hometown of Arlington, VA that uses the same "technique", Mario's Pizza & Subs.  Even today, no visit is complete without seeing Lefty and Joe.
 

 

 
#1

58 Replies Related Threads

    IndianaPete
    Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 195
    • Joined: 2011/06/09 17:11:00
    • Location: Indianapolis, IN
    • Status: offline
    Re: Your First Time -- how you "discovered" pizza 2017/03/06 12:45:54 (permalink)
    In the first grade in the mid-50s, our neighbors made one of those Chef Boy-ar-dee "pizzas" with the sawdust sprinkled on top. They had a square left over, I inherited it, and thought it was delicious.  I was a teenager before I graduated to Pizza Hut.  Boy, glad those days are just a speck in the rear view mirror.
     
    #2
    Michael Hoffman
    Double-chop Porterhouse
    • Total Posts : 22831
    • Joined: 2000/07/01 08:52:00
    • Location: Gahanna, OH
    • Status: offline
    Re: Your First Time -- how you "discovered" pizza 2017/03/06 12:47:29 (permalink)
    Me? Simple. When I was 4 years old my parents took me to a pizzeria in New Haven, Connecticut called Frank Pepe's. I burned the roof of my mouth with my first bite. I cried. I refused to ever take another bite of that awful stuff.
    #3
    mar52
    Porterhouse
    • Total Posts : 11706
    • Joined: 2005/04/17 18:50:00
    • Location: Marina del Rey, CA
    • Status: offline
    Re: Your First Time -- how you "discovered" pizza 2017/03/06 12:49:55 (permalink)
    Villa Italian was around the corner from us... walking distance.
     
    Daddy used to pick one up and bring it home.  It was rectangle and cut into squares.  Delicious and I haven't found one like it since.  It had the best crust, sauce and toppings.
     
    Villa Italian sold to a Korean family.  Just not the same.  They eventually sold it but the new people didn't make it.  As far as I know it was there from the 50s until last year when it became a barbecue restaurant with overpriced, mediocre food.
    #4
    bwruland
    Junior Burger
    • Total Posts : 33
    • Joined: 2010/04/24 23:27:00
    • Location: Highlands Ranch, CO
    • Status: offline
    Re: Your First Time -- how you "discovered" pizza 2017/03/06 12:54:09 (permalink)
    In the Army 1956. Stationed in NJ and after a weekend of drinking a buddy of mine took me to a pizza joint in Red Bank. Just a large cheese pizza but was it good. Never had anything like that in Wisconsin.
    #5
    bwruland
    Junior Burger
    • Total Posts : 33
    • Joined: 2010/04/24 23:27:00
    • Location: Highlands Ranch, CO
    • Status: offline
    Re: Your First Time -- how you "discovered" pizza 2017/03/06 12:54:09 (permalink)
    In the Army 1956. Stationed in NJ and after a weekend of drinking a buddy of mine took me to a pizza joint in Red Bank. Just a large cheese pizza but was it good. Never had anything like that in Wisconsin.
    #6
    lleechef
    Porterhouse
    • Total Posts : 11607
    • Joined: 2003/03/22 23:42:00
    • Location: Gahanna, OH
    • Status: offline
    Re: Your First Time -- how you "discovered" pizza 2017/03/06 13:04:39 (permalink)
    I didn't "discover" pizza.  My mother was Italian.  Grandparents were Italian.  Shucks, the whole family was Italian on her side.  They all made bread once a week.  They would save some of the bread dough, press it out into a pan and make pizza.  We never, ever ate pizza out.  I didn't have pizza out until I was in college and it sucked.  Even today I think that pizza out is terrible.  Well, with the exception of Frank Pepe's, of course.
    #7
    wanderingjew
    Porterhouse
    • Total Posts : 10276
    • Joined: 2001/01/18 18:49:00
    • Location: East Greenwich/ Warwick, RI
    • Status: offline
    Re: Your First Time -- how you "discovered" pizza 2017/03/06 13:38:02 (permalink)
    I don't recall discovering it-it had already been around decades when I was born way, way back in 65. There must have been at least half a dozen pizza joints or more back in my hometown even back then.
    #8
    Wintahaba
    Double Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 779
    • Joined: 2011/07/12 17:19:00
    • Location: Fox Valley, WI
    • Status: offline
    Re: Your First Time -- how you "discovered" pizza 2017/03/06 13:50:40 (permalink)
    Way up on the coast of Maine...no pizza places, My dad who had traveled w/ the military would make his own or use "APPIAN WAY" box mix...with awesome cured pepperoni. My brother, Sitter and i loved it...my Mom not so much.
    #9
    lleechef
    Porterhouse
    • Total Posts : 11607
    • Joined: 2003/03/22 23:42:00
    • Location: Gahanna, OH
    • Status: offline
    Re: Your First Time -- how you "discovered" pizza 2017/03/06 13:51:04 (permalink)
    So far I'm the only one that grew up with pizza at home?
    #10
    Ketteract
    Double Chili Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 1050
    • Joined: 2011/10/09 23:10:00
    • Location: Hartford, CT
    • Status: offline
    Re: Your First Time -- how you "discovered" pizza 2017/03/06 13:55:22 (permalink)
    The first pizza I can remember having was at the Rastrelli's attached to Northpark Mall in my hometown of Davenport, Iowa in the '80s. As a little kid, I would always order the same thing whenever we went there: one slice of pizza. What I can recall about Rastrelli's slices is that they were cut into rectangles, and had a thick, dark, sweet crust, with a rather salty layer of cheese. I never, ever deviated from my order.
     
    The mall location closed in '89, but the original location in Clinton was still open when I went back last Christmas. They weren't doing regular dining so I had to order one of their take-and-bakes.
     

     
    The crust was completely different - thinner, lighter, no sweetness - but the cheese and toppings, from what I could tell, tasted pretty much the same.
     

     
    I still want to return for a proper dine-in and perform a real comparison.
    #11
    wanderingjew
    Porterhouse
    • Total Posts : 10276
    • Joined: 2001/01/18 18:49:00
    • Location: East Greenwich/ Warwick, RI
    • Status: offline
    Re: Your First Time -- how you "discovered" pizza 2017/03/06 14:06:31 (permalink)
    lleechef
    So far I'm the only one that grew up with pizza at home?




    I grew up with pizza at home- it was called DELIVERY... At least half of the local pizza joints delivered.
    #12
    lleechef
    Porterhouse
    • Total Posts : 11607
    • Joined: 2003/03/22 23:42:00
    • Location: Gahanna, OH
    • Status: offline
    Re: Your First Time -- how you "discovered" pizza 2017/03/06 14:15:15 (permalink)
    wanderingjew
    lleechef
    So far I'm the only one that grew up with pizza at home?




    I grew up with pizza at home- it was called DELIVERY... At least half of the local pizza joints delivered.


    NO!  NO!  Pizza that your mother or grandmother or Italian friends made!  Silly!  Actually the BEST home pizza was made by our Italian friend Esther who was born in Campania, Italy.  She made the best bread I have ever eaten.  Therefore, the best pizza.
    #13
    Wintahaba
    Double Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 779
    • Joined: 2011/07/12 17:19:00
    • Location: Fox Valley, WI
    • Status: offline
    Re: Your First Time -- how you "discovered" pizza 2017/03/06 14:19:17 (permalink)
    Jim, Besides Pizza at Mario's Pizza & Subs (which I like "late") do you get a Steak and Cheese also?
    #14
    Davebassman
    Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 369
    • Joined: 2012/03/14 15:13:00
    • Location: Herndon, VA
    • Status: offline
    Re: Your First Time -- how you "discovered" pizza 2017/03/06 14:19:45 (permalink)
    The only pizza I ate until I was a teenager was Chef Boyardee Pizza Kit that mom would make for us every once and a while. I thought it tasted just fine and my brothers and I thought it was a real treat.
    Once I was a teenager I discovered "Shakey's" Pizza. http://www.shakeys.com/
    The Shakey's Pizza Parlors are long gone from my home town (Newport News, VA.), but I still remember going there, first with my family and later with friends or a date. I remember Shakey's Pizza as thin crust and rather salty, all the better to encourage beer sales, LOL.
    #15
    Ghaz
    Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 306
    • Joined: 2007/04/25 12:40:00
    • Location: Florence, KY
    • Status: offline
    Re: Your First Time -- how you "discovered" pizza 2017/03/06 14:23:44 (permalink)
    Being a little younger than some of the other posters here (I'm 45) my first experience with 'pizza' was in the school cafeteria...
    #16
    leethebard
    Sirloin
    • Total Posts : 9204
    • Joined: 2007/08/16 17:35:00
    • Location: brick, NJ
    • Status: online
    Re: Your First Time -- how you "discovered" pizza 2017/03/06 14:29:23 (permalink)
    We never had to "discover" pizza. It was always there. We were 100% Italian and I grew up with all kinds of Italian food and other dishes. Pizza was there from my earliest memories in the very early fifties...the real thing. North Jersey style...no chains back then...no non-Italian pizza.  Mom made it even homemade. Anyone here remember the Easter pies. Mom made a stuffed spinach pie before it became a thing....Hell, pizza makes life worth living!!
    #17
    Ketteract
    Double Chili Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 1050
    • Joined: 2011/10/09 23:10:00
    • Location: Hartford, CT
    • Status: offline
    Re: Your First Time -- how you "discovered" pizza 2017/03/06 14:31:54 (permalink)
    Ghaz
    Being a little younger than some of the other posters here (I'm 45) my first experience with 'pizza' was in the school cafeteria...




    Ha! Well, I'm 36. I too remember the pizza-slabs from grade school, but even as a kid, I despised those things so much that they never played into my idea of what pizza was.
    #18
    ChrisOC
    Double Chili Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 1456
    • Joined: 2008/07/09 16:19:00
    • Location: Ocean City, NJ
    • Status: offline
    Re: Your First Time -- how you "discovered" pizza 2017/03/06 14:32:02 (permalink)
    I was around six years old, so it was around 1948.  I went to a friends house for dinner.  His parents were second generation Italian.  We had what they called "ah beets".  The father said "Just tell your mother you had tomato pie."
    I also remember my mother buying the Boyardee pizza kits.  I don't remember pizza places until I was older.
    #19
    Michael Hoffman
    Double-chop Porterhouse
    • Total Posts : 22831
    • Joined: 2000/07/01 08:52:00
    • Location: Gahanna, OH
    • Status: offline
    Re: Your First Time -- how you "discovered" pizza 2017/03/06 14:40:16 (permalink)
    leethebard
    We never had to "discover" pizza. It was always there. We were 100% Italian and I grew up with all kinds of Italian food and other dishes. Pizza was there from my earliest memories in the very early fifties...the real thing. North Jersey style...no chains back then...no non-Italian pizza.  Mom made it even homemade. Anyone here remember the Easter pies. Mom made a stuffed spinach pie before it became a thing....Hell, pizza makes life worth living!!


    Easter pie? Apizzagaina. So rich I could never eat more than one thin slice at a time.
    #20
    lleechef
    Porterhouse
    • Total Posts : 11607
    • Joined: 2003/03/22 23:42:00
    • Location: Gahanna, OH
    • Status: offline
    Re: Your First Time -- how you "discovered" pizza 2017/03/06 14:57:18 (permalink)
    Never ate Apizzagaina until I worked at Bambino's and one of my cooks brought one in that his Mother had made.  It was Easter.  I wasn't crazy about it.
    #21
    Twinwillow
    Sirloin
    • Total Posts : 5723
    • Joined: 2006/04/15 23:17:00
    • Location: "Big D"
    • Status: offline
    Re: Your First Time -- how you "discovered" pizza 2017/03/06 15:12:47 (permalink)
    Probably about 1950 (ten years old) in Cedarhurst, Long Island, New York. I've forgotten the name of the corner Italian restaurant but, it was across the street from the fire station on Central Avenue. I've tried to Google it but I'm sure they're long gone. 
    Oh, man, I still remember how good their pies were. Do ya like a little pie with your garlic?
    #22
    Greymo
    Filet Mignon
    • Total Posts : 4219
    • Joined: 2005/11/30 08:54:00
    • Location: Marriottsville, MD
    • Status: offline
    Re: Your First Time -- how you "discovered" pizza 2017/03/06 15:29:59 (permalink)
    I
     
     
     
    have eaten pizza since I was a small child.  We lived on a very small street with only 10 houses.  Five of the houses were owned by Italians.  We had pizza, or tomato pies, as they called them, all the time.  My favorite times is when all of us kids would be playing "Hide and Go Seek" down at the end of the street where there was a street light. The Italian women were always having showers and other events in their homes.  They never forgot us kids and would always bring us out a "party" tomato pie.  Instead of it being just tomato and cheese, there would be anchovies on it!  I will never forget how delicious they were.
     
    I never had a pizza in a restaurant until I was in my 30's!
    post edited by Greymo - 2017/03/06 15:38:56
    #23
    MetroplexJim
    Sirloin
    • Total Posts : 6861
    • Joined: 2007/06/24 08:45:00
    • Location: McKinney, TX
    • Status: offline
    Re: Your First Time -- how you "discovered" pizza 2017/03/06 15:32:49 (permalink)
    lleechef
    I didn't have pizza out until I was in college and it sucked. 



    Alice's?
    Augustine's?
    That place next to the theater?
    That place by Wilson's Lumber?
     
    Yeah, they all sucked. 
    You needed to go to Ken-Eve's or the Villanova Inn in NeCa or over to Inner Circle in Y'town.
     
    #24
    1bbqboy
    Sirloin
    • Total Posts : 5522
    • Joined: 2000/11/20 16:52:00
    • Location: Rogue Valley
    • Status: offline
    Re: Your First Time -- how you "discovered" pizza 2017/03/06 15:48:55 (permalink)
    2nd pizza hut was a few blocks away.
    And Antonio's, which went boom, like many other Italian joints as I was growing up.
    #25
    MetroplexJim
    Sirloin
    • Total Posts : 6861
    • Joined: 2007/06/24 08:45:00
    • Location: McKinney, TX
    • Status: offline
    Re: Your First Time -- how you "discovered" pizza 2017/03/06 16:18:42 (permalink)
    1bbqboy
    ...  which went boom, like many other Italian joints as I was growing up.



    Yet another reason why my parents never took me to such places.
    #26
    leethebard
    Sirloin
    • Total Posts : 9204
    • Joined: 2007/08/16 17:35:00
    • Location: brick, NJ
    • Status: online
    Re: Your First Time -- how you "discovered" pizza 2017/03/06 16:24:36 (permalink)
    Michael Hoffman
    leethebard
    We never had to "discover" pizza. It was always there. We were 100% Italian and I grew up with all kinds of Italian food and other dishes. Pizza was there from my earliest memories in the very early fifties...the real thing. North Jersey style...no chains back then...no non-Italian pizza.  Mom made it even homemade. Anyone here remember the Easter pies. Mom made a stuffed spinach pie before it became a thing....Hell, pizza makes life worth living!!


    Easter pie? Apizzagaina. So rich I could never eat more than one thin slice at a time.


    Yes, very rich. On good Friday mom made homemade plain pies, and especially the above mentioned Stuffed spinach pie. We loved it so much we demanded mom make it throughout the year!
    #27
    phlmaestro
    Double Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 749
    • Joined: 2006/03/15 13:32:00
    • Location: Philadelphia, PA
    • Status: offline
    Re: Your First Time -- how you "discovered" pizza 2017/03/06 16:29:56 (permalink)
    The earliest memory I have of eating pizza is with my parents at a place called Longhitano's in the northern suburbs of Philadelphia. I was probably four or five at the time, so it would have been around '69 or '70.
     
    Longhitano's still exists, although it's moved around a few times since then. I was pleased to find out a few years ago that it's back within a stone-throw of where it was when I first ate there. I went there with my wife. It's not up there with what I've had in Connecticut or even with the best I've eaten Philly in recent years, but I still enjoyed it. They put the sauce over the cheese in circles around the pie.
    post edited by phlmaestro - 2017/03/06 16:32:45
    #28
    Root-Beer Man
    Double Chili Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 1346
    • Joined: 2006/01/09 00:14:00
    • Location: Noblesville, IN
    • Status: offline
    Re: Your First Time -- how you "discovered" pizza 2017/03/06 17:17:24 (permalink)
    I'd have to say that my earliest experience with pizza was probably when I was 4 or so and lived in Sicily. Real Italian pies. Back in the states there just weren't a lot of pizza joints where we lived (on military bases) and we usually had the Chef Boyardee kits around. Later, when we moved to Rhode Island pizza became a thing again. Wasn't really a regular thing till Pizza Hut started springing up everywhere. At least back then they made some decent pizza. Still find myself wanting one of their thick and chewy supremes, every now and again.
    #29
    Uncle Groucho
    Double Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 512
    • Joined: 2010/11/02 20:39:00
    • Location: Floyd County, IN
    • Status: online
    Re: Your First Time -- how you "discovered" pizza 2017/03/06 17:59:59 (permalink)
    Being from the Jersey Shore , I cut teeth on crusts , so probably 71-72. My sister dated the owner of Keansburg Pizza , a small pizza joint in town , I would ride my bike there after school from the 3rd grade til the 8th grade and fold boxes for the day in exchange for slices or a good Sub.
    Karl
    #30
    Page: 12 > Showing page 1 of 2
    Jump to:
    © 2018 APG vNext Commercial Version 5.5