On Top of Spaghetti

At Antonio's Flying Pizza, we ponder what cheese pizzas and cheese enchiladas have in common

We had no such problems with the calzone. Antonio's offers a wide variety of calzone stuffings, including meatball, sausage, veal, chicken parmigiana, mushroom and onion, and spinach. We went for the one described as "ham, ricotta and mozzarella." The folded-over pizza crust was baked in the pizza oven until it was golden brown. When we cut it open, it oozed cheese all over the place, but the crust stayed crunchy. It came with a container of red sauce for dipping. And it was the first thing to disappear.

The tomato salad at Antonio's Flying Pizza consists of some very ordinary sliced tomatoes topped with a sprinkling of oregano, vinaigrette and a few olives. Compared to the salads of heirloom tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil and the creamy mozzarella called burrata currently being served at Reef and other restaurants around town, this kind of tomato salad looks pathetic. Antonio's mushroom sauce doesn't compare very well to the wild mushroom sauce Da Marco serves with their braised duck ravioli either.

Antonio's serves up nostalgia with the pizzas and meatball subs.
Troy Fields
Antonio's serves up nostalgia with the pizzas and meatball subs.

Location Info


Antonio's Flying Pizza

2920 Hillcroft
Houston, TX 77057

Category: Restaurant > Italian

Region: Galleria


Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays; noon to 11 p.m. Saturdays.

Meatball sandwich: $6.50

Ham, ricotta, mozzarella calzone: $8.95

Medium cheese pizza: $10.25

Spaghetti with meatballs: $11.95

Tomato salad: $4.95

2920 Hillcroft, 713-783-6080.

Marco Wiles is turning out stunning Italian food at Da Marco. I love his creamy eggplant soup with a bruschetta crouton floating on top, and his brilliant pasta dishes. But that doesn't mean I won't eat a light cheese and garlic pizza at Antonio's on a Saturday afternoon.

The relationship between old-fashioned Italian-American food and cutting-edge Italian is just like the relationship between Tex-Mex and upscale Mexican food. Antonio's Flying Pizza is to Da Marco as Molina's is to Hugo's. You don't have to pick one over the other, any more than you have to stop eating hamburgers because you love steak.

Granted, Da Marco makes a better tomato salad than Antonio's. But there are some simple pleasures available at Antonio's, like the meatball sandwich or the calzone, that Da Marco doesn't offer. And those of us who grew up eating cheese slices and crunchy meatball sandwiches have nostalgic cravings that braised duck ravioli and artichokes with lemons can never satisfy.

I'm not an Italian-American, but I spent much of my childhood on the East Coast, and this food will always have a place in my heart. I want to bring my children to Antonio's Flying Pizza so they can learn about meatball sandwiches and spaghetti all covered with cheese. And someday, I hope to end up here on Saturday afternoons remembering the good old days.

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