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Satisfying, Cheesy Nostalgia

Pizza Casa in Lakewood

Lakewood has been enjoying Pizza Casa’s pizza for over 50 years. Photo credit: Jackie Fender

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ANNOUNCER: Dutch and Jackie went looking for something simple, old school, and flavorful this week. Their search took them to Pizza Casa in Lakewood; a family owned and operated Italian eatery since 1958 serving up pizza, salads, Italian sandwiches, and pasta to its faithful patrons.

DUTCH: Full disclosure: I've been eating here off and on for 40 years, and it never disappoints. You know you're in for a hearty meal when entire loaves of garlic bread and full plates of lasagna appear on the appetizer menu. On this visit, I went with a simpler, lighter choice and ordered the Italian Wedding soup. Light is a relative term in Italian cuisine, and the soup is still a robust choice full of house-made meatballs, pasta and assorted veggies, which makes for a flavorful combination.

JACKIE: My family has been eating here for the entirety of my lifetime, too. I can't recall how many birthdays we've celebrated over square slices of pizza pie and shared bowls of spaghetti with their famous meat sauce. What I love most about the space is how unchanged it has remained. You can depend on them to not get a "hip" renovation because none is needed. The chandeliers were crafted from coffee tins and soup cans. White and red checkerboard linens sit atop the tables with paper placemats adorned with classic cocktail recipes gazing at you from beneath a glass top. Little did I know, all those decades eating there may have inspired my profession these days.  

DUTCH: Another thing I appreciate about the simplicity of Pizza Casa is their pizza and calzone menu. Basically, there is one menu for both; choose between a cheese, combo, margarita or your favorite topping combination and then decide if you want it on a pizza or in a calzone. Simple. It's not easy to find a well-made calzone, so when I find one, I do not pass it up. If you haven't ever had a margarita in calzone form, this is where you want to give it a shot. Fresh garlic and Roma tomatoes are combined with a generous amount of buffalo mozzarella cheese, basil and a balsamic drizzle.

JACKIE: The pizza is hard to beat. The crust is bready with edges crisped to perfection. It lays a good foundation for your choice of toppings, the meat laying in wait beneath a blanket of ooey-gooey cheese. The lasagna is available as both a hearty entree or appetizer portion. When I visit I have every intention of fully committing so I get the lasagna appetizer to pair with the bread basket. The lasagna is dreamy layers of pasta, a four cheese blend and their special meat sauce that tastes just the same as it did 30 years ago. It's pure nostalgia. Satisfying, cheesy nostalgia. 

DUTCH: On a menu full of traditional, heavy dishes driven by carbs, there are also a half dozen low carb options. Though these may still be a bit heavier than most low carb meals you'll see elsewhere, it is still light for this menu. The lightest of which is the skinless chicken breasts, seasoned simply with fresh garlic and then grilled. With an accompanying salad, even this meal choice doesn't lack flavor and the two breasts will ensure you don't leave hungry.

JACKIE: Even when adulting, I can't quit that pizza. Though, the more practical option might be considered by some and sounds delightful, I'm going full fat kid each and every time. 

PIZZA CASA, 4-10 p.m., Monday-Thursday; 4-11 p.m., Friday-Saturday; 2-10 p.m., Sunday; 12924 Pacific Hwy. SW, Lakewood, 253.588.8135,

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