Cafe Pizzaria

Well I haven't updated in a while, oops. So how about some pizza? Cafe Pizzaria is definitely a Bloomington institution. It's been around forever. In fact, they claim to be Bloomington's first Pizzeria. You can certainly feel it in the restaurant. It's dark and worn inside, but in a cozy kind of way, with lots of private booths. Unlike most of the Bloomington population, I really didn't start eating at Cafe Pizzaria until rather recently (when I was little my family's traditional pizza place was Mother Bear's Pizza.) Actually, I don't think I ever ate there at all until college. Now I probably have lunch there every other month or so.

Cafe Pizzaria makes "pan" style pizzas. I like how the bottom is a little thick (but not nearly as thick as, say, a Pizza Hut pan pizza) and dimpled, while the rim bakes up crunchy and cracker-like. All of the toppings are pretty standard and tasty. I usually order some sort of combo of pepperoni / mushrooms / black olives / green pepper.

My current favorite pizza is ham and pineapple (here plus olives.) The salty ham gets nice and crispy around the edges while the slivers of pineapple add a delicious sweetness. A sprinkling of spicy red pepper flakes is the perfect topper.

The barbeque pizza is also pretty good (I sub mushrooms for the red onions.) I have found, however, that sometimes it takes a bit longer when you order it. Maybe they cook the chicken on the spot, not ahead of time? Also good to note, their barbeque sauce isn't sweet like many bbq sauces. It tastes like a mixture of their tomato sauce and a smoky barbeque sauce. I like it, but it may not be for everyone.

Cafe Pizzaria also serves strombolis, toasted sandwiches and submarines, along with the usual pizza sides. The grilled cheese and grilled ham and cheese is pretty standard but tasty. I like them with the chili, which is beefy with lots of kidney beans and noodles. I wasn't quite as impressed with the ham and pea soup. But maybe I just don't like pea soup. I also like the hot sub, it has two kinds of ham, salami, mozzarella, onions and tomato sauce. The half size is plenty big for lunch time.

THE side to order is probably the garden salad with mozzarella. It's really just a bagged iceberg mix topped with a handful of shredded mozzarella. Sure it tastes good (I guess), but it's not really my thing. I do like their french fries, crinkle cut and probably frozen, but perfectly fried and salted. They also have seasoned fries (thumbs up) and steak fries (I haven't had 'em.) I also haven't tried any of the burgers which are apparently made from freshly ground local beef.

Prices are pretty reasonable. The 7 inch pie is the perfect size for lunch. Sides and sandwiches are a la carte, but there is usually a daily lunch special. Another perk is the wide selection of soda. Cafe Pizzaria serves both Coke and Pepsi products including Diet Dr. Pepper and Diet Mountain Dew.

Cafe Pizzaria
405 E Kirkwood Ave

Bloomington, IN 47408
(812) 332-2111

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