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culture, food, immigration, law

Legal Aliens – direct from Central Casting

Back in the old neighborhood (when I was married) there was a local pizzeria.  My wife always encouraged patronizing local businesses, so one day we stopped in.
Sorrento Pizzeria.
The owners, Tony and Maria Dragonetti had moved from the Sorrento region in Italy, to New York, and eventually to Arizona.  Then, they opened this tiny restaurant.
Tony knew enough English to get by, and run a business.  Maria never really learned English.  They both did the cooking and baking.
The entire restaurant was both funny and endearing.  There were Italian and American Flags everywhere, and pictures of the Pope and the President on wall behind the counter.
And the food was inexpensive, plentiful and delicious.
And, even though I had never lived in an Italian neighborhood (this area is predominantly Latino and Korean) this place was just how I would have imagined it.
The three of us had our first meal there, a pepperoni pizza-Neapolitan style, and some sodas.  The pizza was at least 16 inches wide, and incredible.  I think the bill was under $9.00! (in 1986).
My daughter and I stopped by, one afternoon, just to say hello, and get sodas.  Tony insisted she take a homemade cookie, or we couldn’t leave.
And, we tried to come back every two, three weeks at least once a month.  We didn’t have much money then.
One time, perhaps two months had elapsed, and we showed up.  Tony yells at me, “Hey, where you been?  Why haven’t you come in?”  I explained, reluctantly, that we didn’t have much money.  Tony says,”Come by anyway, we feed you!”
Saturday night’s were always special.  Here’s this tiny restaurant, with maybe 10 tables, packed to the gills with Latinos, Koreans, Italians…all kind of folk.  And food is pouring out of the kitchen, as fast as they can make it.
And there’s an Italian guy in the back, playing an accordion and singing!
Sadly, Maria’s mother in NY became ill, and the family felt it necessary to take her back to Sorrento.  So, they sold the restaurant to a couple yuppies (with the secret recipes!).
But, it didn’t fly, no more incredible pizza, no flags, no accordion.
I guess the yuppies forgot to add the other ingredients, personality and love.

About guffaw1952

I'm a child of the 50's. libertarian, now medically-retired. I've been a certified firearms trainer, a private investigator, and worked for a major credit card company for almost 22 years. I am a proud NRA Life Member. I am a limited-government, free-market capitalist, who believes in the U.S. Constitution and the Rule of Law.


9 thoughts on “Legal Aliens – direct from Central Casting

  1. Places like that are gems – rare and valuable. And just as hard to find.

    Posted by Rev. Paul | June 28, 2011, 9:51 am
  2. Agreed!I made myself very hungry just remembering…

    Posted by Guffaw in AZ | June 28, 2011, 9:54 am
  3. I remember all of the times that I've never been there, and I miss that place.

    Posted by North | June 28, 2011, 10:13 am
  4. @North – HAHAHAHAHAHA!You should. It was wonderful!

    Posted by Guffaw in AZ | June 28, 2011, 10:30 am
  5. Was that place at 16th & Thomas? If so, my first "real" job was next door, at Able Answering Service. I used to get take out all the time from there (all the employees at Able did). They always had their Alfa Romeo Spider parked out front. Made me want to get one!!The food was awesome.

    Posted by Tomi | June 28, 2011, 10:50 am
  6. That's precisely where it was!I'm still hungry after posting!

    Posted by Guffaw in AZ | June 28, 2011, 11:18 am
  7. there was a little place called Mario's at 35th ave. and dunlap right next to the seven eleven. usta go there whenever i could when i was in high school. great pizza

    Posted by Bob B. | June 28, 2011, 1:06 pm
  8. I think everyone has that one, special pizza parlor in their life. Thankfully, mine is still around. Same location, and menu! Sadly, I have to drive through five states to get there!

    Posted by Mark | June 28, 2011, 5:32 pm
  9. @Mark – I do have a favorite other place.Red Devil, 32nd St/McDowell. Phoenix.It's been there since 1960, in a converted house.They stopped serving Bud draft, since they've been serving microbrews, though.Guess you can't have everything!

    Posted by Guffaw in AZ | June 28, 2011, 7:04 pm

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