Saturday, July 5, 2008

Quickie Review #26: Campisis

Fusion this, fusion that. AAAArrrggghhhh!!! My brain is fusing together with all this talk of fusion cuisine. Actually, I must admit I'm happy with all the new choices, as I can easily remember when the epitome of Italian Food in my town was Spaghetti Warehouse. Still, I'm always delighted by a return visit to the old school, so long as the standards are being kept up. (If not, they may need to play catch up!) Guys, let's be honest: If your talking Dallas Italian Old-School, you must consider Campisis. They are usually considered to be the Godfathers of Italian Dining in this fair city, and since they've now expanded to half-a-dozen locations, it doesn't hurt to pay our respects to this most venerable of institutions from time to time. Several colleagues of mine and myself gathered a couple of times recently for a couple of takeout feasts.

The first of our repasts featured Campisis legendary pizza. Square, not round (I secretly prefer it that way) and sliced into dozens of manageable slices, all the pies were very satifsfying, with a classic cheese/topping/sauce ratio that never faltered. Pepperoni had the perfect amount of tasty meat, while supreme risked being over-the-top with generous ingredients. In this instance, the risk was worth tasting. Sausage satisfied as well, although I secretly longed for mushrooms to help counter the potent spice of the meat. Plain cheese was good as well, if that's what you like. I myself don't understand plain cheese pizza, but that's just me.

For our second meal, we decided to skip the pie and move on to other Sicilian goodies. The Jack Ruby special, named after the notorious Dallas figure from the 50's and 60's, was a complete meal deal. Plenty of salad with greens, large olives (with pits), and pepperoncinis all awash with good Italian vinaigrette. Seemingly plain-vanilla spaghetti was redeemed by a nice, spicy marinara. Chicken fettucini was redolent of butter sauce and, as with most pastas, proved even better the next day. The garlic bread was good, but should have been toasted, and a rather bizarre quesadilla-like appetizer proved dry. Still, we attacked it all and then some. Website is, but is currently undergoing renovation; a little googling will lead you to the rather colorful history of the flagship restaurant on Mockingbird. Moral: It's never too late to go back to school. Do so yourself soon, and as always:



Margie said...

When Hubbard and I were first dating we used to go there. I always had to have the crab claws. Sometimes he would call ahead and go pick up a pizza and claws. There's was something quite satisfying about walking past the long line of people waiting to get in on a Saturday night and coming right back out with your instant gratification to go.

Food Czar said...

Margie, pizza and crab claws sounds like a strange combination together, yet I have no doubt it works. Now, of course, they will deliver if you want, assuming you live in the delivery area. I remember you saying once that not many places deliver to where you live!

Margie said...

yes, no Campisis close enough to deliver. i'm not sure I would order crab claws with a pizza now. but when I was 25 that sounded pretty good!