Casanova Bros: Quality By Name

Certain friends you make during childhood magically stick with you your whole life. I moved out of state for college, but when I recently chose to transfer back to Arizona, I reached out for local restaurant suggestions. Kaile and I reconnected on facebook with plans to visit her favorite restaurant…

…and meet her fiance, Mitch! Kaile and Mitch let me in on the best neighborhood scene pizzeria. Hands down, it’s Casanova Brothers Pizza. Only days before, I accidentally ran into the place looking for a different restaurant. Curious, I walked in and announced my intentions to take photographs of their food and share their story. My plans with Kaile soon followed.

Of course, once I started staring at the menu, I needed to ask the expert what to eat! With options like these passing by my face, where to start…

Kaile recommended everything on the menu – “the quality is all so good.” Of course, cannolis for dinner crossed my mind, but I took the higher road. (This time.) Standing in front of the register, I finally asked Tony, one of the Casanova brothers, what the best was. Oh, what a good choice.

So thin, it’s like a pastry flake layer, but so crunchy, you are certain it is still pizza. What am I talking about? The crust! My favorite part of that white pizza slice was the crust. Generally, I could care less about it (sacrilege from a foodie, I know), but this… I stopped mid-chew to absorb the sensation. Please do yourself a favor and try the thin slice. Please.

Over dinner, Kaile and Mitch kept up non-stop discussing the “hand sliced sausage links” and unique focus on hand-made touch which has ruined them for life. The Casanova brothers not only serve the best quality food, there is a name-basis business here. “Birthday girl” and “Mitchie boy” (Kaile and Mitch) each have a nickname and a relationship with the owning brothers. Are they special? Why yes. But so are all the other customers who get called out, even during rush hour, by their first name. Now that is a neighborhood kind of place.

Kaile and Mitch let us know that not only is everything made in house, it is made fresh daily. At night, the extra sauce, dough, and extras get thrown out or donated so that when you eat, you eat from scratch. Even though Mitch and Kaile convinced my brother and I, you might need more substance. An uninvited, objective opinion.

I turned to the fiercest sell for a New York style pizzeria: an Illinois native. May I introduce two new faces: Renata and Sam.

Ms. Renata Irving and her son Sam both moved from Illinois and the Chicago style pizza. I met them sitting at a table, and had to know what they thought. Chicago versus New York, head on. Without a second thought, Renata let me know: it’s the crust here. New York wins.

There is another reason why Sam and Renata regularly call Casanova Brothers Pizza their “Friday night place.” Sam is an artist and he also has autism. Autism means that he needs extra time to chew his food and the usual rush-rush-rush of the restaurant chain is not very forgiving. At Casanova Brothers’ Pizza, the shirt Sam wears reflects the personal touch both Tony and his brother Mike hope to have with the customer. It is the only red one made, and it belongs to Sam.

He can take his time, and enjoy a good slice with Renata. That is why Friday nights stay special at Casanova’s.

This month, I found out, is Autism Awareness Month. Important not only for these two, but also for so many other families. 1 in 110 children have Autism, Renata told me. When Sam was born, the statistic was only 1 in 10,000. What a major difference. Casanova Brothers Pizza helps support causes like Autism Awareness Month as part of being the neighborhood’s “Friday night place.” A local restaurant that takes a stake in the needs of others.

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Next time you are thinking about ordering some pizza, throwing an Italian-mob-sized get together, or just enjoying some good food, I recommend Casanova Brothers Pizza. From the quality food to the collection of New York accents buzzing around the room, you can count on a good experience and a memorable time.

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