To die for: Hand-made pizzas are worth the wait at Alfonso's (photo: Doug Dukane)
The new owners of this once-venerable College Park pizza joint have done nothing to curtail its slow decline. New York-style pizzas are more floppy than fine-spun, while chicken wings are overcooked and fried to the bone. The baked ziti is an unremarkable assemblage which begs the question, “What happened to the old Alfonso’s?”
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If you're headed to Alfonso's Pizza & More in College Park on a Saturday night, make sure that you are (1) wearing comfy shoes, and (2) not in a hurry. Reservations? Forget it. Everyone waits in line at Alfonso's. Now that the word is out, the College Park pizzeria practically has to call in crowd control on some nights.
As we served our 20-minutes of waiting time, we tried not to stare at the customers who were snug in their seats, noshing on big, fat, fabulous Italian pizzas, subs, wings, garlic rolls and pasta.
Once we were seated amidst the zoo of activity, our waitress managed to zip back and forth between the tables aisles clogged with purses, jackets and chairs, no less juggling tray after tray of pizza. Not once did she miss or drop anything.
Alfonso's menu offers hot wings, ranging from teriyaki to garlic to the deadly "light 'em ups," starting at $4.99. Jalapeño poppers are in a completely different league from the throwaway versions served all over town. The ones we sampled held their structure even when you bit them right down the middle. The peppers caused a slow burn that contrasted with the rich ricotta stuffing (six for $3.99).
A heavy-handed dusting of spices on top of the garlic rolls made them look better than they tasted ($1.25 for half dozen). On the other hand, half of a "hot Sicilian" sub ($3.75) was a hit at our table. The sandwich was enticingly stuffed with garlic, onions, pepperoni and salami.
We loved the small Sicilian cheese pizza ($6.95) what a crust. Alfonso's makes their dough fresh daily and it shows. This pie was sky high, sizzled crisp in a real brick oven; inside, it was light and feathery enough to tempt the gods. Also delicious was the house specialty pie, a thin-crust topped with a choice of five stuffings ($14.25) options range from bacon to banana peppers and beyond.
Alfonso's is a must-visit, if you can deal with the waiting (and waiting) and wildness. There is entertainment, of sorts, to help pass the time. Just keep your eye on the pizza makers behind the counter as they hand-toss wheels of dough with free abandon.
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1505 E. Colonial Dr.
Orlando, FL 32803
Phone: (407) 377-0400
Classified Phone: (407) 377-0415
Fax: (407) 377-0420
All parts of this site Copyright ©2012 Orlando Weekly.
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