Pauloluigi To Go in Coconut Grove: New York-Style Pizza, Calzones, Homemade Manicotti

There are some things Miami has way too many of: bad facial lifts, douchey clubs, godawful drivers. Other things — not nearly enough. Like: small businesses, friendly people and good pizza. Luckily, Pauloluigi To Go is bringing the latter three back to Coconut Grove.

Co-owner Paul Shalaj has had various eateries around Miami since the ’80s, and he’s served some of Miami’s most notable, from Bruce Bowen to Magic Johnson. Now, he’s back in action serving up delicious Italian eats from a new spot: 2859 Bird Ave.


The homey little outpost is helmed by Shalaj (a super-friendly dude whose 30 years in Miami haven’t diminished his New York accent), plus partners Noel Metales and Alexander Krasnic.

Shalaj says a lot of local folks remember him, and are coming back for a fix now that he’s back in the 33133.

“It’s like, when you haven’t seen an old friend in a long time and you’re like ‘Oh my God!’ I’m very overwhelmed by the people, the response. It’s phenomenal,” Shalaj says.

As far as serving New York-style pizza, Shalaj says a lot of people are skeptical — but he makes believers out of them.

“It’s all in who makes it. I’ve been long enough in this business to know the ins and outs. I’ll compare my pizza with any pizza place in New York, no problem.”

Their extremely extensive menu includes Italian staples like garlic rolls (6 for $2.75), caprese salad ($7.95), fettucine alfredo ($11.95), chicken parm ($12.50), cheese calzones ($6.50) plus New York-style pizza ($12.50 for an 18 inch cheese pie). Can’t beat those prices, either.


They also have specialty pizzas including white pizza ($17.95 for an 18-inch pie), Margherita pizza ($14.50 for an 18-inch pie) and Hawaiian pizza ($16.95 for an 18-inch pie) — plus all kinds of toppings like broccoli, eggplant, black olives, anchovies, fresh basil and lots of others.

Shalaj recommends the manicotti ($10.95) and stuffed shells ($10.95) (both stuffed by hand, never frozen), linguine with white clam sauce ($12.95) and the shrimp parmesan ($14.95), to name a few — and adds that the shrimp parm was former Heat player Bruce Bowen’s fave.

Shalaj is happy to tell interesting tales from his years in the biz. He says Magic Johnson once told his son, “You got a great father, he’s fed me many great meals.”

Now that’s a recommendation worth heeding. So go get your pizza on already.

Source : Hannah Sentenac

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