Vacationing on the beaches of sunny west-coast Florida, my daily morning coffee ritual led to the remarkable discovery of the Piccolo Italian Market & Deli on the Gateway Avenue shopping street. This excellent example of a combo Italian food grocery store and casual restaurant brought me to a very happy place.
Wandering about gathering delightful delicacies to bring back to our condo, I was truly gobsmacked when I saw the spectacular-looking collection of assorted varieties of pizza slices sitting on a table behind the counter. Forget about the fact that Mrs. Pie and I were headed to lunch. The sight of these beauties called me to duty.
I stayed faithful to my charter and purchased a single plain cheese slice ($2.50). I made my order amongst those checking out with foodstuffs, and they took my name as I paid for my pizza. Then, in not-so-short order they called “Mike” and I took a gorgeous extra wide triangular and visibly charred slice of pie to one of the tiny tables in the open area. On looks alone, this slice was a winner.
Unfortunately, it was uber-hot and a bit testy to comfortably eat, a fact compounded by an excess coat of oil. Working around this slow start, this soon turned into one delicious slice of pizza. Expertly toasted just the way I like it; the crust was good and crisp although perhaps a bit “cushiony” in its fluffy texture. As I prefaced earlier, it was a bit over-weight in oil, and I did need to drain off some excess onto the accompanying paper plate. In the end however, this was the only blemish to the Piccolo slice which had some truly fantastic-tasting cheese and sauce—perhaps right from the wares on their grocery shelves. They both tasted stellar!
These folks order all their stuff from the right places! If I lived here, I’d wear this place out. This slice was incredibly delicious, and I couldn’t wait to come back to further sample their menu, possibly for a takeaway experience. I did and I love this place!
PIZZA SNOB RATING ****½ Nearer Perfection
Piccolo Italian Market & Deli
6518 Gateway Avenue
Sarasota, FL 34231