About 8 years ago, when I was pregnant with my son, I was discussing pizza with someone and they told me that Paci’s Pizza in South Tampa was the best. I had every intention of going there, but never made it. After countless times of driving past this neighborhood gem, I finally tried their pizza. It was everything I hoped for. It was everything I needed. Ok, I think you get the Joe Cocker reference, but on a serious note, it was the best pizza I have had in Tampa Bay.
I took my mom and two bambinos to Paci’s on a Friday evening for a family pizza night. Since they open at 5, we arrived about ten minutes early and anxiously awaited for them to open. My son, bless his heart, can be quite impatient when he is hungry, so our wonderful server gave my kids some balls of dough to keep them occupied while the pizza gods worked their magic. Rocco was amused and it got his mind off his hunger pains.
My daughter was having a ball as well and made some unique creations with her dough. As a mom, there is nothing better than a server that takes care of your kids. She was fantastic and they loved her. As we sat at our table, I noticed that everyone seemed like regulars and everyone was HAPPY. There is something to be said about sitting in a restaurant amongst pleasant diners, as it speaks volumes for the establishment.
We started off with a Caesar Salad which was served in a bowl with the dressing on the side. Genius! I loved that we were able to mix the salad to our liking. It was the perfect vehicle to start off our meal. Both kids ate a plate of salad, which made me one happy mamma.
Paci’s is known for their authentic New York 18″ pizzas which are hand-tossed and cooked to NY standards. If you have been to New York and had their world famus pizza, than you know what I am talking about. Before I made my first trip to New York, I always dreamed of sinking my teeth into a slice of Brooklyn style pizza, much like the way John Travolta’s character, Tony Manero in Saturday Night fever did while strutting down the street in one of the most famous scenes from the film. I always loved how he folded the two slices together and ate them in tune to the song “Staying Alive.”Pizza Quixote
Feeling like my kids on Christmas Eve, we were beyond excited as we awaited our special pie. To appease my kids, I ordered a half and half pizza. Half pepperoni for them and half Margherita for my mom and I. Truly Dean Martin must have been referencing Paci’s with the verse, “when the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore,” because this pizza was enough to make me fall in love. Bigger than my kids, this pizza was truly a work of art. As the larger than life pie was presented in front of us, the scent of fresh cheese and garlic put me under a spell.
Margherita is one of my favorites and this was pure perfection. With a nice thin crust, fresh tomatoes, basil, olive oil, Mozzarella and goat cheese, I was smitten. I had no problem devouring 2 large slices which were bigger than my arm. The thin crust showcased the fresh ingredients that just made me weak in the knees. Nothing, and I mean nothing, makes me happier than fresh basil and juicy tomatoes on pizza.
Paci’s offers several specialty pies or you can create your own with their stunning array of toppings. They also offer calzone, their famous “rolls” (which I plan on trying on my next visit), salads and desserts. Located in the heart of South Tampa at 2307 S. Dale Mabry, they are conveniently located across from Plant High School. Open Monday through Saturday at 5 pm, they are my new favorite pizza spot. Stop by and see why they are so special.