Rhode Island Dining: Caserta Pizzeria

July 31, 2009

Caserta Pizzeria
121 Spruce Street, Providence RI

Web Site: http://www.casertapizzeria.com

Caserta Pizzeria, Providence RI by you.

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.

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San Francisco Dining: A Night In the Haight (Massawa Restaurant)

April 13, 2008

On our fourth and final night in Northern California, Cheryl told me she wanted to fulfil a wish of hers she had since childhood, which is to visit the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco. As many of you may know, this is the part of the city where the famed “summer of love” took place in 1968, and was a whirlwind of counter cultural hippie activity for several years afterwards.

We had a few hours to kill before we had to say our goodbyes and depart our respective flights home, so it sounded like a fun way to spend some time and maybe grab something to eat.

“Be In” Haight-Ashbury. Click on the “Read the Rest of this Entry” link below for more.

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San Francisco Dining: Koi Palace

March 21, 2008

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Koi Palace at Serramonte Plaza
365 Gellert Ave
Daly City, CA 94015
(650) 992-9000

Web Site: http://www.koipalace.com

After getting off a five and a half hour plane ride from Newark and arriving at San Francisco, I got the rental car and picked up my colleague, Cheryl, also just arriving from Cleveland, who would be joining me that week for training in the Silicon Valley area. Both of us were absolutely starving. It was only 4PM, but for us, it was dinnertime.

Knowing that we had at least an hour or so drive ahead of us driving down to the Morgan Hill/Gilroy area south of San Jose, we wanted to get a good meal in before hitting any potential traffic on the 85/101. I knew exactly where I wanted to go the second I landed in San Francisco. Koi Palace.

I had eaten at Koi Palace about three years earlier, and was introduced to the incredible dim sum that the restaurant offers. During the daytime and on the weekends, Koi Palace serves upwards of 100 different varieties of yum cha. The restaurant seats upwards of 300-400 people at a time — usually close to capacity — and looks like something out of the crazy fight scenes in Kill Bill or the luxurious residence of an Asian James Bond villain, with its huge vaulted ceiling and fish ponds in the middle of the main dining room. Admittedly, we have some pretty good Hong-Kong style restaurants in New York City’s Chinatown and in the Queens and New Jersey suburbs, but nothing even close to this. I mean, LIVE Alaskan king crabs? Where the heck do you find those in New York?

View of the restaurant from the parking lot at 4:30PM. This is as empty as most people will ever see it, as during prime dinner and lunch hours, this place can get packed and frequently you have to wait on line to get in. So go early.

A partial view of the cavernous main dining room.

Are you ready for some serious Hong Kong-style Seafood? Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.

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