I have a favorite little pizza joint — well, it used to be a favorite — in New York that was always a go-to for quick slice. It’s Joe’s Pizza on Carmine Street, between Bleecker Street and 6th Avenue. I felt smug that I had found it years before Jon Stewart did his now-famous pizza rant after watching video of Donald Trump take Sarah Palin out for some authentic New York pizza at the generally reviled Famous Famiglia Pizza. (Although it seems like it could be ripped from today’s headlines, the Daily Show segment, which included both polibrities eating their slices with a knife and fork, aired in June 2011.)
Anyway, the quality at Joe’s has waned a bit in the past few years. It’s still OK after a long walk down lower Broadway and a jaunt across Bleecker from the East Village, but it’s missing something.
I was reminded of the Joe’s Pizza of old after stopping in at Paradiso Pizzeria’s new restaurant on Semoran Boulevard in Orlando in a just-constructed strip of businesses. The slice of pie that I had there was as good as Joe’s.
The wedge was thin enough and pliable enough to fold with one hand. The sauce was minimal — too much sauce can kill a pie by adding too much tomato taste and making the dough soggy. The cheese wasn’t gloppy and the fresh mushrooms and slices of sausage were added on in a proper amount. It was even served on a plain white paper plate to go.
The slice was all I sampled on this visit, but I’ll look forward to returning and trying some of the other items. It isn’t a takeout only place; there is full table service and seating at booths, if that’s what you prefer.
Unfortunately, Paradiso isn’t a place you stumble upon after a long day of shopping and sightseeing, at least not on foot. But if you’re headed down Semoran in the vicinity north of Colonial Drive, stop in and give it a try.
Paradiso Pizzeria is at 1502 N. Semoran Blvd., Orlando. It is open for lunch and dinner daily. The phone number is 407-745-4226.