Ode to Italian Pavilion

Every town in NY has one pizza place. White Plains has several, being a relatively big city (for a suburb). Your allegiance to a pizza place might as well have been like a gang membership: you never crossed over to another place. There was the Broadway gang, the Nicky’s gang, and then I belonged to Italian Pavilion. Or rather, it belonged to me. Of course I think it was the best, but it was probably just the closest to my side of town. Regardless, I grew up on Italian Pavilion chicken parm subs, Sicilian Pizza, and calzones. We would call from home when my dad was on the 6:40 train from Grand Central, and he would pick it up and have it at our house by 7.

I haven’t lived in White Plains in ten years, and even then it was just for one year while I clerked after law school. But I still crave Italian Pavilion food, especially the calzones. I have tried calzones at every place in Boston that sells them, it often seems, and they aren’t even the same food. It is a shame to call what they sell here calzones. So, once in a while I try to make my own. Of course they don’t even come close, but it is fun to try. And let’s be honest, even the worst calzone is still dough stuffed with cheese, so it is pretty good.

Tonight I made my calzones with whole wheat pizza dough, stuffed with ricotta, mozzarella, turkey pepperoni, and spinach. We dipped it in red sauce, of course. It wasn’t even close, so I will have to wait until my next trip to White Plains for a fix.


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