Catania’s: Serving Superb Slices Since 1949

Catania%27s+pizza+is+a+local+spot+that%27s+no+frills+and+all+food%2C+offering+a+classic+New+York+City+pizza+shop+experience.+%28Courtesy+of+Facebook%29+
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Catania’s: Serving Superb Slices Since 1949

Catania's pizza is a local spot that's no frills and all food, offering a classic New York City pizza shop experience. (Courtesy of Facebook)

Catania's pizza is a local spot that's no frills and all food, offering a classic New York City pizza shop experience. (Courtesy of Facebook)

Catania's pizza is a local spot that's no frills and all food, offering a classic New York City pizza shop experience. (Courtesy of Facebook)

Catania's pizza is a local spot that's no frills and all food, offering a classic New York City pizza shop experience. (Courtesy of Facebook)

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By Daniel Ziebarth

Catania’s is the most old-school pizza shop I have ever been to, and that is a serious compliment.

The place has been around since the good ol’ days — 1949 to be exact (which I know because it is stated boldly on the sign out front). I am certain nothing has changed. It is at the very end of Arthur Avenue and across from Columbus Park, with a huge sign out front that is hard to miss. The walls are covered with old black-and-white pictures of Italian people and some other signs, similarly Italian.

The tables are classic: small and plain. There is dark wood in places and some gray tiles on the floor. The walls have a grayish, yellowish and whiteish color that reminds you of your grandparents’ house or a diner you would stop at on the side of a highway during a road trip. They even have oregano and parmesan cheese shakers on every table just to remind you that you are at a pizza shop. I love the vibe.

Catania’s has a decent selection of classic Italian slice shop foods and a great selection of calzones available. If you are not looking to get a slice, they have mini-calzones that look like ravioli but are made with pizza dough, which is quite idiosyncratic. The slices, though, are what we are interested in for the purpose of this column, so I will give you my thoughts.

The slices are probably the smallest I have had in the neighborhood. However, I would rather have a slice on the smaller side than too large. Order two slices and it is no problem. The dough at Catania’s is what really stands out. It is on the chewier side, but this gives it a great bite and makes it more satisfying than dough that is too thin or too crispy. The pizza is baked perfectly to a nice golden-brown.

The cheese and sauce were both solid. Nothing was particularly memorable about either, simply classic mozzarella and tomato sauce flavor. They know how to portion both just right, with neither too much nor too little cheese, and the perfect amount of sauce to keep the crust moist but not soggy. All the ingredients tasted fresh, and it seemed like they were making new pies throughout the day so nothing became stale from sitting out too long.

Overall, you must check out Catania’s. It is a local spot that’s no frills, all food. It is a family-owned operation with nice people and great slices. It does not seem like much has changed at Catania’s in the last 70 years, but it also does not seem like they have anything to change. They have been doing the same thing for decades, slinging some of the best dough I have ever seen. Catania’s is the real deal.