According to The Atlantic, on any given day 13 percent of Americans eat pizza. In a story packed with interesting details on our Italian pie obsession, writer Derek Thompson offers up this surprising one: Four percent of pizza eaten by children is for breakfast.
I’m in that 13 percent pretty often. At least once a week and many weeks twice or more. In the past, I might’ve said, "I was born and raised in Brooklyn, so of course I eat a lot of pizza." But pizza is no regional thing anymore, despite the fact that regions have their own special pizza preferences.
Here are my preferences for pizza in five Milwaukee "regions," in no particular order. Share yours using the talkback feature below or via social media.
The East Side: I know the Zaffiro’s and Pizza Man faithful may sneer, but to me there’s no better pizza for your buck than at Divino, which used to be Palermo Villa, 2315 N. Murray Ave. The crust is weighter and tastier and the ratio of sauce to cheese to dough is perfection.
West Allis: I haven’t been there in a while now but there was a time I’d go to Filippo’s, 6915 W. Lincoln Ave., more or less monthly. Never lived nearby, but it was always worth the trip. A thinner crust, but nice salty cheese and a lightly tangy sauce. And back in the day, you’d see Tom Green dining and it wouldn’t take much to get him to set down his fork, stand up and deliver a verse and chorus of "O Sole Mio."
Walker’s Point: When I want the New York-style pizza by the slice that I remember from my youth, I hit Times Square Bistro & Pizzeria, 605 S. 1st St. I can never figure out why you get a side of bread, but I don’t complain because the pizza is so fold-ably satisfying to my soul. (UPDATE: Times Square has closed since this post was written.)
Wauwatosa: Lalli’s, 8826 W. North Ave., dishes up a pizza along the lines of Divino’s, with a chewy crust and a nice – and tasty – cheese/crust/sauce ratio. But, sorry guys, it’s 2014, get a credit card machine, please.
Downtown: Calderone Club, 842 N. Old World 3rd St., serves up my favorite paper-thin crust pizza. With bubbling cheese and a crispy crust, a Calderone pizza goes down like candy. So, if you’re there and you’re wondering, yes, you need the family size.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He has be heard on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories, in that station's most popular podcast.