One of the benefits of being the Pizza Snob is that everyone wants to take you to a pizza place that they have discovered. My latest such encounter was courtesy of my in-laws (Bud and Ally) in Texas. On my last visit there, they couldn’t wait to take me to Campisi’s Pizza in Fort Worth. The story goes that Bud and Ally had their first date at Campisi’s original “Egyptian Lounge” in Dallas, nigh 57 years ago. Bud told me that as a youngster, the Lounge was a place where you could get a beer as long as you were tall enough to put your quarter up on the bar!
Campisi’s lays claim to introducing pizza to Texas back in 1946. It now has nine locations in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. After church on Fathers’ Day, we headed to their newest one on Fort Worth’s main drag, Camp Bowie Boulevard. The place is more of a full-scale fine dining Italian restaurant than a pizza joint with nice comfortable seating both indoors and out. Its walls were covered with old photos and several amplified print excerpts. These writings on the wall made it no secret that the original owners were well-connected with the Mafia. Even Jack Ruby, killer of Kennedy’s assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, was one of their notorious patrons.
Our group decided we would order full meals and sample their pizza collectively as an appetizer. We opted for their large cheese with half pepperoni. Described as “16×10, Serves 3 for $11.95,” I was puzzled for a minute by the measurements until I spotted that their pies were oval and not round. By now you know how The Snob feels about pizza tradition, and an oval pie sliced into strips just doesn’t cut it. It’s just too sloppy and unorthodox to pick up and eat. I can’t imagine a true New York mobster would let them get away with this!
It turned out, however, that this was one of the only major complaints I had about Campisi’s pie. The crust was thin and in no ways like a rectangular Sicilian. Despite its shape, it was prepared and cooked expertly. The crunchy crust was blackened on both the ends and the bottom. It was a tad bit flakier than it was chewy but nonetheless quite tasty. The cheese and sauce were both fresh-tasting although the cheese had a slightly different taste than the classic mozzarella. The overall conclusion at our table was that it was delicious.
It was a great Fathers’ Day treat for the Pizza Snob, one that I would not hesitate to repeat. Aside from pizza, everything else we had was equally as fabulous. Just maybe someday they will learn that God intended for pizza to be round!
PIZZA SNOB RATING **** Near Perfection
6150 Camp Bowie Blvd.
Fort Worth, TX 76116