If you have been following the Snob’s travels, we last left off with more pizza to discover in the Destin area of the Florida Panhandle. On the hit list was a place I drove by a few years ago while on a quick ride through Destin proper. Having followed the Snob’s advice about how to name a pizza place, I just knew it was one that I had to visit. Called Fat Clemenza’s, with a name like that, I had a feeling that this joint just might make some good pie.
Fat’s is located in a fairly new strip center on bustling US-98. It sits right next to the obviously related Mama Clemenza’s European Breakfast which I had also hoped to visit but never got the chance to. But one day, I drove over to Fat’s with the plan of bringing a pie home for lunch. This decision came after my call revealed they did not do slices which was not very traditional of them. (I’ll cut Fat some slack on this since he hails from Chicago and not NYC). So, instead, I had made an order for a large cheese pizza to go to which they said they “only do medium.” (How can there be a “medium” without a size on both sides?) It was $14.
It was a nice dark and cozy place inside with several tables full of folks looking to enjoy what seemed to be some fine Italian food. A wood-burning brick oven was in view behind the counter. The people waiting on me were nice and friendly. All seemed good and after a tiny wait, my pie was boxed and ready to go. As is my norm, I planned on making a taste inside my car to be sure to get a sampling of Fat’s pie while it was still good and hot.
Upon opening the box, I found what looked to be about a 14-inch well-cooked albeit slightly plumper pizza than I would normally desire. And when I say well-cooked, not only did the end crusts carry some dark char, but spots of the cheese also looked a bit toasted and were also a tad shiny. Well, none of that mattered as Fat’s pizza was super delicious and tasty. In no time flat, I had eaten six of the eight short and plump slices right there in my vehicle.
While said pie looked plump, the crust was actually thin in the middle and as a result it lacked slice support. (It helped that the slices were short.) This wasn’t a crisp and crunchy pie, but it had a crust that was sort of like a traditional Neapolitan’s would be. But plain and simple, every morsel of it was delicious and Fat Clemenza’s “medium” pizza just knocked my socks off! This crust was well prepared and up to par with some of the best Neapolitan pies that I have had. The tomato sauce was well-seasoned and boasted a strong robust flavor. The cheese was just as fine. It was a perfect triumvirate blend of cheese, sauce, and crust.
If you are in Destin on vacation, this is your go-to place for a pie to bring back to your condo. I promise that you will love it.
PS – Mrs. Pie loved the slice of Limoncello cake I brought home for her so much that she tried to get me to go back for another!
PIZZA SNOB RATING ****Near Perfection
Miramar Beach, FL 32550