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Robin Garr

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Tue Feb 27, 2007 2:38 pm


Crescent Hill

Impellizzeri’s takes us back in pizza time

by Robin Garr » Wed Feb 16, 2022 10:15 am

Impellizzeri’s takes us back in pizza time

One of the pizzas listed as Bennie's Original Specialties, the veggie pizza piles tangy tomato sauce, melty mozzarella, and crisp, fresh veggies atop a sturdy, bready base.

If you’d like to time-travel back to the ‘70s and taste pizza the way our parents and grandparents did, all you need to do is head for Impellizzeri’s.

Let me tell you why: Pizza impresario Benny Impellizzeri has been making pizza in Louisville since he started cooking at the fabled old Mario’s in Hikes Point in 1968, when LBJ was president and the Beatles’ White Album was high on the charts.

He opened his own pizzeria in his father’s Highlands butcher shop in 1978, turning out hot pies for long lines of eager supplicants in the evening after his father handled the meat business during the day. Save for a brief gap between locations back in the ‘00s, he’s been building his trademark hefty loaded pies ever since, accumulating a stack of “Best of” certificates on the wall.

No, Impellizzeri’s wasn’t the first pizzeria in town. The first in town showed up in the ‘50s in storied establishment like Mario’s, Joe Z’s, and on Bardstown Road, of course, Calandrino’s, Highland Italian, and Lentini’s.

But Benny went a step beyond. Not bound by Neapolitan or East Coast tradition, he reimagined pizza in a way that came to be called Louisville style. It built on a crust thicker than a New York pie, a sturdy base rendered necessary by the hefty pile of ingredients, sauce, and melty cheese and more of each piled on top. It wasn’t deep-dish Chicago style; its roots were clearly in the Italian tradition.

It became instantly popular, and it wasn’t long before Wick’s came along in the late 1980s and Clifton’s in 1990 to gain their own popularity with similar dinner-on-a-pizza variations. But Impellizzeri’s endures, and it has grown to four locations now, in the Highlands, Holiday Manor, Middletown, and one down in Elizabethtown. (A fifth, a downtown shop in the arena neighborhood, closed at the end of 2020, a victim of the pandemic.)

Inspired by a pizza craving and a tough of nostalgia the other day, we headed over to Impellizzeri’s Holiday Manor branch for a pizza, a pasta, and a salad. Pizza, of course, makes a great takeout option: It stays hot, tastes good warm or cold as well, and reheats nicely in the toaster oven.

Impellizzeri’s menu isn’t just about pizza, of course, although I for one can’t go in there without getting at least one. ...

Read the complete article on LouisvilleHotBytes,
http://www.louisvillehotbytes.com/impel ... pizza-time

You'll also find this commentary in LEO Weekly online.

Impellizzeri's Pizza at Holiday Manor
4933 Brownsboro Road
Three other regional locations.

Noise Level: The guy behind the bar and I were the only people in the quiet room around 1 p.m. on a Saturday.

Accessibility: The entrance looks accessible to wheelchair users.

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