Last Friday night we were in the mood for pizza and wanted to try a place we hadn't been to before so we decided on Cappy's Pizzeria on Bay to Bay in Palma Ceia. I had received generally positive feedback about Cappy's after my review of the Gourmet Pizza Company a few months ago so I thought it was worth giving this independent pizzeria a try.
Last year, Cappy's moved from its long-time location on SOHO into an old two-story bungalow on Bay to Bay. I like the location and the funky style of the place. We had expected the restaurant to be busy, since it was a Friday evening. What we didn't expect was that the place would be packed with little kids and families. Our wait for a table was made more bearable, though, by Cappy's cool "serve yourself" beer case. This fits perfectly with the vibe of the place, minus the rug rats.
After about a thirty minute wait, we were seated. Cappy's menu smartly keeps things simple. We decided upon a small Greek salad to split as a starter, an order of cheese bread, and a medium-sized deep-dish "Cappy" pizza. "The Cappy" is their name for a supreme. After placing our order, I looked around and noticed that most folks were eating Cappy's New York-style pizza and not the deep dish Chicago-style, but at this point I still thought we were in okay shape. How wrong I was.
First out was our Greek salad and cheese bread. While the Greek salad was delicious and better than I expected, the cheese bread was a little disappointing. While the bread tasted fresh, it could have used some garlic and other seasonings to make it a little more interesting. As for our pizza, not only was it drenched in sauce, which overwhelmed the flavor of the toppings, but the sauce itself was pretty bland. The toppings also seemed non-existent. For the above average price, I definitely expected more. I'm no expert on deep dish pizza, but this certainly wasn't a pizza I'd wait in line for again. I'm guessing that Cappy's New York-style pizza is what brings people back.
Whatever the case, Cappy's might have the best New York-style pizza in the world, but their deep dish makes me cautious to go back. Cappy's is only open at night and cash-only. I'd wait until after 7pm on the weekend, otherwise you may feel like you've stepped into Chuck E. Cheese. Parking is tight. There is also a second Cappy's location in Seminole Heights. The Seminole Heights location did flawless on its last health inspection, while the Bay to Bay location didn't do nearly as well.
I still have Eddie & Sam's NY Pizza in downtown Tampa on my list to check out. What other local pizza joints do you think I should try?
Bottom-line: I can't speak for the old location in SOHO, but I like the vibe and atmosphere of the Bay to Bay location. We didn't have a good experience with their Chicago-style deep dish pizza, but maybe you'll have more luck with their New-York style pie.
Inspection Scorecard: Last Inspection - December 2006 - Violations - Critical (8), Non-Critical (3).