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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    NY’s best pizza comes to Tucson

    Jamie Culliton shows off his pizza tossing skills at Grimaldis Coal Brick-Oven Pizzeria.
    Jamie Culliton shows off his pizza tossing skills at Grimaldi’s Coal Brick-Oven Pizzeria.

    Pizza – it’s a staple in the life of a college student. At the UA, there are at least five pizza places within a mile of campus. Unfortunately, if the pizza place is located in the Sam Hughes Place, it seems destined for destruction. LaFerlita’s Pizza Café, which opened in 2005, shut down in May 2007 and filed bankruptcy. Because of this, our interest perked up when Grimaldi’s Coal Brick-Oven Pizzeria emerged in the vacant space in November 2007.

    The New York style restaurant, 446 N. Campbell Ave., has numerous locations in Glendale and Scottsdale, Ariz., and is famous for its unique style of pizza-making. The restaurant chain is tied to Patsy Grimaldi’s, the New York City pizzeria that has been named NYC’s best pizzeria for seven years by Zagat.

    What makes Grimaldi’s different from the other places in town is the unique way the pizza is cooked. Instead of using a wood-fired, electric or gas oven, they use coal. This old-fashioned technique gives the pizza a classic old-world taste.

    The restaurant is decorated in the typical Italian-American décor. Red and white-checkered cloths adorn the tables while jazz plays over the speakers. A full bar lines the wall near the entrance and cute tables fill the small space. A door leads out to a small patio with an outdoor fireplace.

    My three friends and I decided to sit on the patio since it was a nice day. The host gave us a table with extra room so we could spread out a little, something we all appreciated but didn’t really find necessary. We decided to get a large pepperoni pizza and a Caesar salad to share.

    Grimaldi’s Pizzeria
    446 N. Campbell Ave.
    3 1/2 stars

    The salad was brought out first and, while it was good, it was drenched in salad dressing. The taste was overpowering and made the croutons soggy. Shortly after, the pizza was brought out. The thin-crust pizza is made with fresh toppings including basil. Yum!

    While the pizza was fantastic, it was a little disappointing to find that it was about the only option on the menu. Grimaldi’s offers a wide variety of salads, but the small is very small and the large is big enough to share between four people.

    Service is another area that could use improvement. While the waiter was pretty vigilant at the beginning of the meal, he had a tendency to disappear for extended amounts of time, particularly when we needed refills on our drinks.

    Overall, we had a pleasant dining experience. The bill came to around $30, which we found pretty cheap when split between four people. It was the perfect amount of food at the perfect price. Needless to say, I think it will survive the curse.

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