I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and New Year. I sure did. One of the best yet.
My first destination in my journey down Centre Street was Il Panino. When I blogged about my visit there, I mentioned that the slices of cheese pizza that are sold are much better than those sold at a pizza place further down the street. Well that other pizza place is Cappy’s Pizza and Subs.
The pizza, at the least cheese pizza, at Cappy’s is really quite terrible. It’s a big slice, sure, but it has very little flavor. It’s the kind of thing I would buy if I just needed to put something into my stomach. There’s no enjoyment there.
But here’s what I cannot understand about Cappy’s: their pizza is not much better than greasy cardboard with cheese on top, but they seem to have a very loyal clientele. There are consistently 5-8 people hanging out in this small pizza joint. It’s often a crowd of relatively dubious characters, I’ll admit, but still. Why this loyalty? I cannot figure it out. To make my point, I once met a guy on Centre Street as I was walking home. His name is Eddy. Eddy, for some reason, was not in a good place, and so he asked me for some money. Though this is not a rule for me, I generally do not like to just give people money. So I asked Eddy what he needed the money for. He said he wanted something to eat. Well that’s easy enough. I could just buy him something to eat. So I offered to buy him some pizza from Il Panino, for three reasons: it was closer to where we were standing, it’s cheap, and the pizza is good. But then, to my surprise, Eddy suggested to go to Cappy’s instead, talking as though he were getting paid commission if he brought people there instead of Il Panino. I was, frankly, a bit stunned! Why on earth would he prefer to go to Cappy’s to get a simple slice of pizza? I still cannot figure it out, but, in any event, we went and ate some pizza at Cappy’s with some other people we met on Centre Street. I’m going to be honest: that was a strange night. But that’s a different story altogether, and one not fit for this blog.
Speaking of this blog, let me get back to the point. The cheese and pepperoni pizza at Cappy’s is edible, but not much more. However, as I stated in my review of Il Panino, you shouldn’t judge the quality of a restaurant’s food based on it’s cheese pizza. So I’m rather interested in this food stop. How will the employee-recommended foot item compare in quality to their cheese pizza? Cappy’s has a rather extensive menu, with pizza, calzones, hot subs, cold subs, salads, etc., and I have a hard time believing it’s all as bland as the cheese pizza.
I enter. It’s a rare moment. No one, save the workers, is inside the restaurant.
I step up to the counter and am greeted quietly by the smaller of the two men behind the counter, so quietly, in fact, that I’m unsure if he is just acknowledging my presence or asking me to order. I assume the latter, and proceed to ask him, “What, in your opinion, is the best thing on the menu?” His response is either the steak and cheese or the grilled chicken.
Okay, a good start. Now I direct my inquiry to the other man. “Which do you prefer, the steak or the chicken?”
He says that he prefers the chicken, explaining that they put a nice seasoning on the chicken that gives it a really good flavor.
Excellent. But I look up at the menu to see several items with grilled chicken. I need a more narrow answer. “Do you think I should get like a sandwich or a pizza or what?”
“Yeah, you could do a sandwich or a calzone…”
“Hmm, okay, which of those two would you recommend?”
He asks me, “Is it just for you or…?”
“Yeah, it’s just for me, but I’m okay with having leftovers.”
“Okay, I’ve got a small and a large calzone.”
“Is the calzone a good option?”
“Yeah, it’s a good option.”
“Okay, great! I’ll take a large grilled chicken calzone.”
“Okay, I’ll make it nice for you.”
I suppose that last comment should make me feel special, but why don’t they make it nice for everyone? Is that like some secret code that I have to know when I order? Do I need to specifically request that they make it nice for me?
I sit and wait. While doing so, I look for the tip jar. I worked for a while in a coffee shop. Can I just say, if you really want to make restaurant employees appreciate you, leave a bit extra in the tip jar. Doesn’t have to be a crazy amount, but if I see you put a five dollar bill into the tip jar, I’m gonna think you’re a pretty decent person. So when my calzone comes out, after maybe 10 minutes, a reasonable amount of time, I put a fiver into the tip jar and a couple bucks into a little cylinder that has a picture of what looks to be a starving child. I think, “Wow, that’s pretty cool that they’re trying to accept charitable donations.” But after depositing the two dollars, the guy who took my order tells me that a buddy of his looked up the website on the label and said it didn’t exist and that he thinks maybe this is how people trick other people out of their money. Great. Thanks for telling me that after I already stuffed money inside. And why is it on your counter if you think it’s a fraud? Oh well, not the first time I’ve been duped out of money.
I almost walk out of the store without paying. Oops! I give the guy my credit card (they take credit card here). $15.95 for the large calzone. That’s a decent chunk of change for one meal. But no, this isn’t just one meal. I get three solid, filling meals out of this calzone. Not bad.
I take it home and open the box. This thing looks good. A semicircle of cheese-topped baked bread having a diameter of 16″ (that’s right, I measured it), and filled with cheese, chicken, and tomato sauce. Comes with a couple containers of marinara to dip into. I eat, slowly as it’s rather hot. Yeah, this is good. There really is a lot of good flavor coming from that chicken, and that’s saying something since I’m not the biggest fan of chicken. The tomato sauce blends well with the chicken, and dipping into the marinara is a nice bonus.
An enjoyable meal, or rather, three meals. So I’ll say this: if Cappy’s can’t do cheese pizza very well, they sure do know how to do grilled chicken. I wouldn’t call it phenomenal, but it definitely exceeded my expectations. I look forward to trying other menu items in the future. But I’ll continue to go to Il Panino for cheap slices of pizza.