Zaffiro’s Pizza: N. Farwell Ave, Milwaukee, Wisconsin


Not too shabby

Established 1954
had pizza paper thin and cheese ravioli with meat sauce and meatballs
Not an onion to be seen
Sweet sauce abounds

Keep kids off the stage
its really not a stage just a riser next to an archaic massive jagged radiator heating system
Danger Will Robinson
If you stood on the stage you’d hit your head on the ceiling
old place equals old water pipes which in turn kills the taste of the fountain soda
Go bottled soda pop and stay away from the garlic encrusted cheesebread and you’ll do fine
Old world Milwaukee when the Braves were still around, you gotta love it
Zaffiros200(Her) I guess I married a man of few words.  After not eating for two days for a medical thingy, I was eager to have a meal that wouldn’t disappoint.  I chose this place because it has been around forever and it continues to get votes on best pizza.  I actually wanted both pizza and pasta and was surprised to see I could get both so I made the hubby order a pizza and I ordered the cheese ravioli with meatballs.  We also ordered cheese bread, and I guess you can tell by the hubby’s reaction to all things in the Allium genus that the garlic hidden under the cheese on the bread didn’t go over that well with him.  I however, believe that you can never have too much garlic so I was in heaven.  I was also brought two slices of bread and butter with my meal.  The spouse ate those the next day and said the bread was amazing and it was just as good without butter.  A resounding endorsement for those of you who know my husband.
I want to point out that when I say butter, I mean real butter and those of you in Wisconsin will be saying to yourselves “well, duh” but it is a known fact that there are few other states that will bring you butter with your bread and it is in fact, against some obscure Wisconsin law to not offer real butter at your dining tables.  Long story short– after having done some traveling, I have learned to appreciate every time I am offered real butter and like a true Wisconsinite I get a little giddy if it’s a brand I prefer.  <—geek alert

Anyway! I don’t know if it was the fasting talking or what but I cannot say enough about Zaffiro’s meatballs.  I’m not sure that I’m a really good judge because I honestly can’t tell you when the last time I had a meatball was.  My little experience with them has either been in Swedish format or served swimming in bbq sauce at parties.  I have always kind of categorized them with meatloaf and when I watch the many food shows on TV I know that a juicy and light meatball is preferred fare, but  I guess I’ve just never felt the need to order a meatball.  The meatballs at Zaffiro’s are the size of a handball (do people still play that?) and they literally melt in your mouth.  How exactly do you get fluffy meatballs?  Somehow Zaffiro’s does and they are perfectly seasoned.   The deep, rich, no frills, family recipe sauce they serve with the pasta is a perfect compliment to the meat.  I’m not going to go so far as to say that the ravioli was hand made.  They had a nice homemade color to them and they definitely held their own with one that was made from scratch, but I have no idea if they were indeed made from scratch.
What else can I say? Lots of local beers and local sodas on tap…. a really divey atmosphere (in a good way)…. super fast and attentive service….So here’s the problem. I’m going to give Zafirro’s high marks on everything I tried there and a flat out 10 on those meatballs, but I really need someone to act as a control for me since I was fasting before I ate there.  Either that, or I’m just going to have to make the trip down myself.

Value…..8.022   Ambience 8.487 (This score is high because the place is exactly what you’d expect from an old dive bar/pizza joint in Milwaukee.  Zaffiro’s is definitely not trying to win any beauty contests.)   Food….8.99  Meatballs…..10 (however, I will now be ordering meatballs more often to have something to compare)

Later note: 10/25/15  stopped in on a trip to Milwaukee before a show and there were exactly 4 tables being served. When we got up to pay we were informed that our meal had been paid by the single gentleman that sat next to us because someone had once paid for his meal while there. So, not knowing what to do we paid for the table that came in after us, and they in turn paid for the only other table. So much fun, and definitely something we won’t forget! Way to pay it forward Milwaukee!
Zaffiro's Pizzeria & Bar on Urbanspoon


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