Ah pizza. It is one of the most popular foods in America. But as there are many pizza joints across Atlanta, this one definitely stood out among the rest. Hearing about this place and how it is owned by an Italian family who moved here a few years back from Naples, I knew it couldn’t get any better. We arrived at Antico’s at 3:24 pm on Monday, September 06, 2010:
1093 Hemphill Avenue Northwest
Atlanta, GA 30318-5450
From the outside, this restaurant looks like a mere corner restaurant. An Italian flag hangs from the roof and the outer walls looked a bit old, but not beaten down. But once you walk in, expect the unexpected.
You walk in and two women are busy at the counter filling out orders. They are not quite Italian so this was a surprise after what I had heard about this place. People are waiting for their pizzas to be ready in the lobby of the place and cannoli’s are being made by hand at the counter . Once the lady was finished on the phone, I stepped up to place my order. The friend I was with ordered a Margharita pizza. The classic. I am not one to finish off a whole pizza by myself, but I knew leftovers would be a plus for another meal. So two different pizzas it is.
I went ahead and order the Margharita as well but without the cheese on it. The cashier kind of looked at me as if I were crazy and politely told me she had no way of ringing it up as no cheese. I told her I was a vegan, and all things changed. She was incredibly polite and told me that she could ring it up as a Margharita but that I should run to the back, tell the chef not to put cheese on that order number, and everything would be good.
So I walked into the back and that is where the whole experience began to just get better and better. You walk back to where the tables are and you suddenly feel like you are in an Italian kitchen. A few men are tossing dough while others are chopping artichoke. Music with Italian lyrics is playing from a small radio as an eight year old Italian boy is helping to set the tables for customers. Amazing!
Choppin The Artichokes…
I told the chef whom they had called Luca about the no cheese ordeal. Though he kept a serious expression, he was very polite about it. So my friend and I took a seat at what looked to be a park bench in the kitchen and watched them cook. Tossing the dough. Placing the ingredients carefully on the crust. Putting it into a 1000 degree oven. The whole show was worth the $20 pizzas (yeah. I know. Pretty expensive stuff).
Once the pizza came out, I was amazed. It was just how I ordered it and had a delicate char on the crust that was to die for. I had only decided to eat maybe two slices but after tasting that first amazing slice, only two ended up remaining. It was that good!
I must say, this is probably the most authentic pizza I have ever had and I will definitely be back for more from Atlanta’s hidden away little shop. So whether you may be in the mood for a whole new experience or if you just want some delicious pizza done right, I would definitely recommend this place.
-Andrew “VegMuffinMan” Morrison-