Food & Drink

Popular pizzeria brings its ‘just plain good’ food to new downtown Gulfport location

How to make a better pizza at home

Hot Italian expert, Ryan Ota, shares tips on how to make a better pizza at home.
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Hot Italian expert, Ryan Ota, shares tips on how to make a better pizza at home.

You know that little mom-and-pop pizzeria that you have been dreaming about? The one you wish was just down the street, that serves nothing but great homemade food? Well, it just opened on 27th Avenue in Gulfport and is called C.A. Sarducci’s Pizzeria. Sarducci’s was located on Cowan Road in Gulfport, but recently moved and reopened at its new location.

It isn’t big, it isn’t fancy and they didn’t spend a ton of money on decorating, but it is comfortable and the staff is friendly, and, most importantly, the food is just plain good. The menu follows suit. Nothing fancy, sort of simple, just the way it should be and you won’t have to ask Google to translate anything from Italian into English.

There are a few salads to start with, and you might have noticed it’s a category that I normally skip, but not this time. Mark Dubaz and I split a Sarducci’s Salad and it was a delightful concoction of lettuce, orange sesame ginger dressing, dried cranberries, bacon bits, red onions, feta and mandarin orange slices. One of the most delicious, refreshing salads I have had in ages!

Next on the menu is a list of sides, and I really got a kick out of this. Bread knots, garlic bread, garlic bread and cheese, meatballs and all come with combinations of sauces. Sounds just like what you might get in my kitchen on Italian night! I told you this place was all about homemade, right?

The menu also lists a few options for lasagna and spaghetti and meatballs, with the meatballs’ claim to fame being that they are just a bit spicy. Sorry folks, but I am a serious meatball snob. These meatballs? The ones that are supposed to be spicy? Man, these are some good meatballs! Light, flavorful and delicious! I should have gotten a side of them and I will next time. All too often meatballs are heavy and dense, but not these. I can only imagine how good they are on a sandwich. Next time, my friends, next time.

OK, the last test was the pizza. Sarducci’s come in 7, 9, 12 and 15 inches, that’s a good spread. There are 22 toppings offered, and they do not go off the deep end into the exotics, just the basics, really, all the good stuff that you need to make a really good pizza. But there are also 10 specialty pizzas. We were told that the bestseller was the Sarducci’s Ultimate, so that’s where we went. That means peperone, Canadian bacon, mushrooms, green peppers, red onions, black olives, beef and Italian sausage on a thin crust. I’ve got to tell you, I’ve got to be honest, that was a good pizza!

I’ve been looking for a new pizza hangout, a friendly place that sells good, honest food. If I had an Italian grandmother, this is the sort of food that would come out of her kitchen, know what I mean? You’d walk by the pot of sauce simmering on the stove, and dip a piece of bread in it, as long as you didn’t get caught, right? So, this is the spot. See you there.

C.A. Sarducci’s Pizzeria

Where: 1308 27th Ave., Gulfport

Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday

Phone: 228-896-5550

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