Antonio’s Flying Pizza

Antonio’s Flying Pizza has been tossing and serving some of the better pizza in the area for quite a while. The restaurant first opened in 1971, and it does not seem like much has changed there since then. Decor and menu are definitely retro. That’s not at all a bad thing for a place that is well known for delicious pizza, unpretentious, and familiar Southern Italian-American food. Tables are covered with vinyl red-and-white checkered tablecloths and there is a wood-paneled bar in the back. On the walls are attractive black-and-white photos of hardscrabble villages in Sicily or elsewhere in the mezzogiorno that are romantic places to be from, at least before immigrating to cook for Americans.

Fitting for a place with “pizza” in the name, the pizzas alone make a trip here worthwhile. Both the thin crust and the thicker crust, slightly doughy Sicilian-style pizzas, are worth ordering. It begins with the crusts, which for both are light and tasty, with a welcome hint of butter. Maybe the crusts are so good because these are hand-tossed. At the very least, it can make for a fun show, and the pizza-makers often entertain kids with their dough-tossing antics. Even during lunch, flying pizza dough is much in evidence.

Antonio’s offers all of the popular toppings, and they are used in a judicious fashion, as is the mozzarella and slightly sweet tomato sauce; no skimping, nor excess to unbalance. The result might be what is described as New York-style, but a little heftier.

The pizzas’ cugino, the calzone, is also served here. On the full dinner menu, there are also pastas, listed under the headings of “Pasta,” “Baked Dishes” and “Classics” that can be pretty appetizing. Price-wise, lunch is a good time to visit, in part because their well prepared thin crust individual-sized pizzas begin at around $6. With a topping, it is usually enough for most people at lunch. There are also other lunch specials under ten bucks, and even cheaper sandwiches.

The Italian-American hot sandwiches, with good bread, tomato sauce and gooey melted white cheese, are a very tasty and satisfying bargain. These are large-sized hoagie buns filled with Italian sausage, meatballs, or eggplant and topped with marinara sauce and melted provolone. The one with sausage is especially tasty. The service is usually attentive, if sometimes not overly friendly.

Antonio’s Flying Pizza
2920 Hilicroft (between Richmond and Westheimer)
Houston, Texas 77057
(713) 783-6080

Copyright Mike Riccetti. Adapted from Houston Dining on the Cheap, and used with permission.

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