Monday, October 13, 2008

O Sole Mio

As a result of a mysterious coin toss by Bug, we ate at "heads," which turned out to be Antonio's.

I've been curious about the place for many years because I figured it has to be good if it's been there for so many years, right? If Drew Carey ordered 45 pizzas to be flown to LA, it has to be incredible. Parma has a million pizza joints, and to be the Chosen One it has to be awesome.

Warning sign #1: An employee there told us a couple years ago that their lasagne was from Stouffer's. Not a knock on Stouffer's since they do a lot of business with restaurants, but this is an Italian restaurant, not a [pick a random ethnicity] restaurant that has a couple of Italian dishes to appease the non-lovers of [pick a random ethnicity] food who tagged along with a friend who was craving Italian.

Warning sign #2: The decor was kitschy. I mean REALLY kitschy. All the seats were covered with plastic and, at least at our table, the chairs wobbled. Okay, maybe they had their share of heavy customers and if I had a lot of kids coming in sucking spaghetti noodles, maybe I might cover my entire place with a plastic tarp.

Warning sign #3: Pizza toppings can be added but not subtracted. I was really excited that I could have Bug try a real deep dish pizza, but after reading that, we were both very suspicious.

We shared an order of fries ($3.95) and a muffuletta with a green olive spread ($9.50). The fries were all right; fried to order with a saucer of ketchup. They didn't have that heat lamp sogginess to them. The muffuletta was okay. I didn't expect it to be as sweet as it was. The bread was okay. The meats were on the salt-lick-salty side. The olive spread was okay. I didn't realize muffuletta were so greasy and messy.

The last time we had one it wasn't that messy. We had it at a fellow WoW player's workplace, a restaurant in North Royalton, French Quarter Cafe. The couple who own and operate the restaurant are energetic and it is evident they love what they do. The made-to-order pizza was damn good. The soup, which was clearly advertised to be from another source, was quite tasty that I wanted more! We gorged while we were there and, yes, we paid for everything. It's been a couple years since we have gone there. Time for another visit!

The service at Antonio's was memorably mediocre. Every time Bug needed a beverage refill he was asked what he had to drink or he had to correct the server. She did come around often so at least he wasn't sucking on cooled air.

It felt weird when I saw our server behind Bug standing and eating a pizza slice off a stack of clean dishes passed out to diners for their appetizer. Not sure why, but I can sort of overlook that, even though that's probably something servers shouldn't be doing. I figured if you're hungry and it's busy, you have to stuff your face some time.

Now or never, heads or tails, sun or rain; I'm thinking never, hoping for tails, and wishing for rain.

- Cassaendra

Antonio's Pizza & Spaghetti
7401 West Ridgewood Drive
Parma, OH 44129
Tel: (440) 886-2511

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