Monday, March 11, 2013


A Little Bit of Italy Comes To Folks In The Hinterland
We are currently living in the small, small, small town of Madison, Florida. It is the place where I met my one and only in 1969. We have stayed together all these years and I still get nervous when she walks in the room. I am in daily wonderment at how the Good Lord placed her in my line of site on that fateful spring day in '69. And this year will be forty years, two kids, very few fights and more good times that any human being should be allowed to have. As the Lyle Lovett song "Give Back My Heart" says - She cooks the supper and I try payin' the rent. OK, so now you are beginning to think- shutup already!!
The reason why the little personal history is important is today's Alert. Here in Madison - a town that has actually lost population since its heyday when I was a student and enjoyed a life changing summer romance with the best looking woman I ever saw, a town that has a restaurant that sells food by the pound and a town where taking the garbage to the county dump is a social event (the Waste Management guy is always friendly) - we have a serious, no holds barred, so good it will make you tear up pizza restaurant. Yes, Cuccinella's Brick Oven Pizzeria has arrived in the hinterland. The ultimate family operated small business, this little place serves the best pizza I have had this side of Florence - and always with a smile. Simple in concept and preparation, Cucinella's Pizzeria serves up excellent, hand made pizza with your favorite toppings - all fresh. And no pizza Nazis here, like the overcrowded and overrated Antico's in Atlanta, that will flog you if you have the audacity to ask for any combination of toppings not specifically listed on the menu. You know - things like pepperoni and sausage. And they seem to like to burn their concoctions and expect you to like it! Tedious indeed.
So once a week or so we call up one of the family at the local pizzeria and order our pizza, always extra crispy. It is one of those guilty pleasures that makes life better. If Bloomberg were mayor of Madison, I am sure this incredible, edible Italian delicacy would  already have been outlawed. I usually have mine with a coke (very weird), another Bloomberg no no. And, if I am feeling particularly cosmopolitan, nothing enhances a fresh piece of Italy like a nice pinot or shiraz. In any case, this pizza goes well with whatever your beverage of choice might be.
So, next time you are heading to points east or west on I-10, check out Cucinella's. Take exit 251, turn onto FL-14E, stay on Fl-14E which turns into South Range, once you are in town. It's on the corner of South Range and Rutledge (201 SW Rutledge Street), next to the laundromat, the same place I used to do my laundry in college. And you thought modern life was destroying the important things in our culture. Of course, if you take US 90 (Base Street) right through the middle of town, hang a right onto South Range and go two blocks. It's on the left. Just call ahead and order when you get on the exit ramp and it will be ready when you get there. They are open  11-2 & 5-9 Monday through Friday and 4-9 Saturdays. Ah! the joys of small town life.
La Dolche Vita from God's Country - Parte B
d.l. stafford