121 Spruce Street, Providence RI
Web Site: http://www.casertapizzeria.com
Caserta Pizzeria is OLD school pizza from an old New England Italian neighborhood. Don’t pass it up.
Some people want to live vicariously through my stomach, in order to re-live their childhood.
One of these people is Andy Patrizio, a friend of mine and fellow technology industry journalist who lives out in the San Francisco Bay area. As soon as he heard I was going to be traveling to Rhode Island and Providence, where he spent the first 25 years of his life, his face lit up. Well, I didn’t actually SEE his face lit up, but I could feel as much with his IM’s and Twitters coming my way.
Andy insisted that I could not leave the city of his youth without going to one of his favorite haunts, Caserta Pizza. I don’t do a lot of Pizza these days, but I do know that New England has legit pizza traditions, such as the style served in New Haven, CT. Like New Haven, Providence has its own version of Little Italy, complete with restaurants, groceries and delis, and it also has its legendary pizzeria — Caserta’s, which has been in operation for over 50 years.
Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.
Caserta is a large, rather nondescript single story building on Spruce Street near the historic Federal Hill/Atwells Avenue area of downtown Providence.
I’m not sure if this is Mr Potato head’s Italian cousin or if it is supposed to be Wimpy Skippy, the trademark dish of the restaurant.
The Caserta Pizzeria menu. That’s it, folks. No topping insanity here. Plain, Cheese, Peperoni, Mushrooms, Olives and Anchovies. This is not a “Gourmet” pizzeria. This is pizza in its most basic form.
Caserta’s cavernous interior.
This is what I ordered for lunch, the “Wimpy Skippy Special”. Apparently, there is a story behind this, so you’ll have to watch the video below.
Now that you are aware of the history lesson, here is what Wimpy Skippy looks like inside — It’s peperoni, cheese, pizza sauce, olives, and canned spinach which I think is sauteed in garlic. It is indeed extremely tasty. The crust is much thinner than a calzone, and like the pizza, is more akin to a foccacia crust with sourdough flavor notes in it.
Here’s another look at Wimpy Skippy.
Caserta’s propaganda adorns the restaurant to remind you of your loyalty.
The large Caserta pie is of the Sicilian variety, although it has a thinner crust than most Sicilian pizzas and it is cooked all the way through, resembling that of a Foccacia bread and with a distinctive sour flavor in the crust. It is more like a “Grandma Pie” than a New York or Jersey-style Sicilian pie which has a thicker and doughier crust. This particular pizza was ordered by another customer, who obviously likes his olives.
Here is the plain pie that I ordered, which I drove home from Rhode Island.