As coincidence would have it, earlier this week I told you about a guest column I wrote for Orlando Date Night Guide listing many of the area's oldest restaurants. I also noted that I had written a similar article, in 2005, for the Orlando Sentinel. In neither article did I list O! Stromboli.
I mention that because at one time the owner of O! Stromboli advertised that it was the oldest Italian restaurant in town. That was in 2007, and during my 19 years at that point of reviewing restaurants, it had been Ciotti's, Sandroni's and Farinacci's. Also during that time, there were several Italian restaurants that had been operating longer. When I asked the owner about it, he said that there had been an Italian market or restaurant at that address since the 1940s, albeit under different owners. Not exactly truth in that particular advertising.
The address in question is 1803 Winter Park Road, Orlando. The address lends its name to the new tenant, 1803 Pizza/Kitchen. It's Italian, so by some people's standards it's the oldest one in Orlando even though it opened just last week.
Although previous iterations were full service restaurants, 1803 operates as quick serve -- order at the counter, take a seat, wait for someone to bring you the food.
I stopped in on a rainy day and ordered a pizza, the Meat Lovers, which listed bacon, capicola, pepperoni, and am. (That confused me until I realized it was just missing the h.) But that's all it was missing. There were plenty of the promised meats, so much so that I couldn't seen the crust beneath the toppings. But I could see the edge (the crust's crust?) and taste it, too. I liked the elasticity of the dough, and it had a pleasant buttery note.
Even better, the ample sized pie was just $11; very reasonable.
The menu also features a few sandwiches and "classics," which includes Crispy Chicken Tenders, something I've never considered classic.
The dining area is pleasant and inviting, especially on an afternoon with thundering skies outside. The woman who took the orders and delivered the food was friendly and helpful, fetching things for guests that they could well get up and get themselves. One thing they couldn't fetch for themselves: extra toppings for the pizza, such as Parmesan cheese, oregano and crushed red peppers. None were provided at the condiment stand.
But just a niggle, and there were so many toppings on my well seasoned pizza that no additional toppings were necessary.
1803 Pizza/Kitchen is at 1803 Winter Park Road, Orlando. It is open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Sunday. The phone number is 407-647-3872.