OK, OK, the pepperoni is too soft and not peppery enough like my grandfather's. But garlic-and-basil outdoes his. Order an extra-large, basil and garlic or Italian hot peppers (courage, you probably won't catch fire) with 50% less cheese, and a crispier crust bottom - it's called a "Dr. Bob Special". Yes, nothing's homier than ordering an authentic Southern Italian pie with your name on it. Fresh asparagus pizza one night convinced me of the essential authenticity of the place.
From behind glass, let the kids laugh watching pizza dough being twirled - and stretched. People are allowed a hundred versions. Why, you can even order Hawaiian, which the old menu listed in smaller font because it seemed un-pizza to Tony Sr.
Non-pizza folk can now have newly-added pasta dishes, all cooked by chef Steve. Try veal, it's meltable in any mouth, as is anything Steve cooks to order.
Homey is good. My first pizza was made by Mom with no cheese (Dad hared it) but huge bunches of garden-grown herbs. I was 8. I'll never forget but at Tony's, with T.Jr. at the door and cousin Sal twirling as kiddies gather wide-eyed, I remember and Ithink, "How Agostino Serafino and his daughter Lucille Marie, Mom, would feel at home here." Tony's Palace is here because one night the family in NY decided to fly to Edmonton and start a new pizzeria - don't ask why. They might take away my special pizza. This is no tv pizza in your freezer. This is Southern Italy. Don't dare ask. ;)
Easily, the Palace makes the most traditional pie, other than in my house, that I've had in Canada. Start, as you must, with their original House Salad and vinaigrette. They have 2 new versions, but new is not for me. Oh, and try a huge Italian pretzel with olive oil, garlic, and anchovies - it is huge, salty, olivey, and made to order. Not tossed but unequalled in Alberta.
There are desserts, if you have room - I never do, not house-made but very high quality cakes and Italian ice creams.
Caveat: When the Oilers are in town early dinner is impossible to reserve, and when they win, there's a huge second invasion for post-win celebration. Late night at Tony's after a win in the play-off's? Heaven can wait.
Our "Little Italy" is 2 blocks away for great cooking supplies and helps make eating at Tony's thoroughly homey as you walk off the calories after lunch or before supper.
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