Thursday, March 1, 2012

Nothing Little About Tony's Pizzas!

Tony's Little Italy 
1808 North Placentia Ave.
Placentia, CA 92870

People are very passionate about pizza. They wage war over which city has the better pie. They claim that their favorite pizza restaurant makes the best pizza. Pizza lovers even clash over what kind of toppings are the best to have on a pizza. Enough fighting about all of this! Let's just agree that pizza is a great food however you like it, and from anywhere you like it, (as long as it is not from Chuck E. Cheese, ugh).

With that said, I have always been on the lookout for a pizza that would be as good as the one I had in Chicago at Gino's East. The city of Chicago is known for their deep dish pizzas. These are pizzas that are more like a pizza casserole, than the pizzas we are used to in southern California. Utensils are definitely needed to eat a deep dish pizza.

I heard about Tony's Little Italy awhile back, but I was a little skeptical. I have been tricked before into believing that authentic windy city pizza could be had in our great county. Tony's is located in a desolate shopping center in Placentia. This small pizzeria has nine tables, and all the obligatory Chicago sports posters all over the wall. After ordering at the counter we sat at a table and waited for the food to arrive.

When we were ordering we were told that our pizza would take 45 minutes to make. I was real hungry though, and I could not wait that long. I quickly added a Pizza Bread with Cheese appetizer to help tide me over. The bread was very crisp, and the cheese and pizza sauce were very good. This appetizer reminded me of those Stouffer's french bread pizzas that I used to have in my younger days. Not saying this was frozen or anything, but that is what it reminded me of. If this was any indication of how the pizza was going to taste, I knew we were in for a treat.

After the 45 minutes the Pepperoni and Sausage Deep Dish Pizza finally arrived. These pictures do not even do it justice. First off I noticed just the sheer mass of this pizza, and this was only a medium! This pizza was one of the heaviest I have ever tried to lift. After 45 minutes in the oven it of course came out piping hot, but I could not wait for my first bite. That first bite transported me back to Chicago. The cheese was smooth, the sauce was slightly sweet, and the crust, which is often just a vehicle for carrying the rest of the pizza, was a great accompaniment, kind of like how a great dinner roll compliments a meal. I really liked the sprinkled Parmesan cheese that was on top of this pizza. It gave a great contrast to the sweet sauce. This sturdy pizza had eight slices, but after just two I was already stuffed. Very filling, but satisfying pizza.

I learned a few things at Tony's Little Italy. First, you should definitely call in your order. It is hard to wait 45 minutes for food. Second, look past the woman at the register who is not very friendly, and focus on the guy behind her, Tony. He is the real deal, and the reason this place has been in business for 34 years. He makes all of the dough here, creates each pizza, and was really a very nice guy on top of all that. Lastly, I learned that there is deep dish Chicago pizza in southern California, and you can get it at Tony's.

Out of five baseballs, (because Phil Nevin played baseball for El Dorado High School in Placentia, and also played for the Chicago Cubs, so I am sure he would appreciate this pizza), five being best to zero being worst, Tony's Little Italy get 4 baseballs.

For more information on Tony's Little Italy, click here:

Tony's Little Italy on Urbanspoon 


  1. What are you talking about? Chuck E Cheese has awesome pizza!!!! I'll go to war over this!

  2. Griffin - No more pizza wars! If you say it is good, then I will believe you. I have not had it for a few years, so maybe it has gotten better. I will have to wait for one of my nieces birthdays to come around to try it. Thanks for the comment.

  3. Tony's is not just a pizza shop. They have great baked pasta dishes. I usually have the baked mostacholi and the wife orders a pizza and we usually have 1/2 to take home (or more if I'm good and only have one slice of the pie). Great simple salad.

    Also across the parking lot if you get there early enough, the book store has a lot of good old books, and is good while you are waiting for the pie.

    Glad you got there. You should venture further north to Momma Lucco's on Imperial in Brea for another great Italian spot in that part of OC.

  4. Jim - Thanks for the tips about the pastas at Tony's. Wish I would have known about the book store. The wait was a long one. I will put Momma Lucco's on my list of places to hit. Thanks for the info!