Caradaro Club - 5010 W Vliet Street Wauwatosa WI/414-476-7700/Average Score
Our June visit to Caradaro Club has been a long time coming. Erin first brought it to my attention, oh, I dunno, maybe last fall. Then, Joe’s “Flavor Mentor” also shared the secret of the Caradaro Club and it’s been on our list ever since. The excitement for our June meeting gained even more momentum, when former Guest Judge, “Handsome Nate”, suggested we go to the Wonder Bar, down the street at 5520 W. Vliet, for a pre-dinner drink. When he mentioned that Wonder Bar offers free peanuts and plenty of floor space to toss your shells, I was hooked.
At Wonder Bar, I called Caradaro’s to make a reservation: “Hi, May I make reservation for 8 at 6:30? "Sure, do you have any children with you?” “Umm, no. Well, we do have one baby." "Oh, well I just made a big batch of lemonade!" "OK”. “We’ll see you in just a bit!”
I was stunned by the thoughtfulness and enthusiasm that Caradaro’s displayed, just in taking a reservation. As I would find out, the attentiveness continued.
We arrived at Cardaro’s and it was a beautiful summer night and the windows were thrown open. Our table was ready and waiting for us. The woman who answered the phone was our server. We asked what types of beer they had and she wasn’t quite sure, so she let us check out the selection in the cooler and help ourselves. We felt like part of ‘da family! Now, you know we got appetizers, right? We ordered the garlic cheese bread, garlic bread, and mozzarella marinara. The apps did seem to take a long time, but were worth the wait. The mozzarella marinara was the kind wrapped in wonton skins and deep fried - delicious! For pizza, we ordered a sausage, pepperoni, sausage/mushroom/onion and the “Caradaro Works”, otherwise known as a supreme. Our server (owner?) set up a separate table, just to hold the pizzas. It was our very own buffet and allowed us to serve ourselves slice after slice. After slice. What can we say, it was really good! Great thin crust, fresh mushrooms, and quality ingredients all the way around. The cheese was so fresh-tasting we had to ask who their supplier was. Oddly enough, they get it from Chicago. Chicago? Suprising that it doesn’t come from Wisconsin, but our server seemed to hint that the cheese was somehow tied to the mafia, which I guess lends some authenticity. Our only complaint was that we felt the top of the pies could have been a bit more golden brown, but pehaps that would risk burning the thin crust.
The Verdict: Friendly service, great thin crust, quality toppings. Next time, we’ll try that lemonade.