Alonsoville has been the nickname for the section of West Cold Spring Lane between St. Mary's Lane and Keswick Road, so called in honor of its longtime resident restaurant, Alonso's. In recent years, Alonso's has become the anchor eatery of a group of restaurants - all co-owned by Eddie Dopkin - along that stretch of Cold Spring. Now, with Dopkin's newest addition to the clan set to open tomorrow, perhaps the area should just be renamed Eddieville.
Say hi to S'ghetti Eddie's. It has taken over the space vacated a couple of months ago when its previous resident, Miss Shirley's Cafe & Bakery, moved to larger digs across the street. Then, Dopkin says, he was faced with the problem of what to do with the empty building.
"I think I know the area because I've been on the street awhile," said Dopkin, who opened Loco Hombre, his first restaurant there, in 1992. "We needed something to complement the area as opposed to trying to do battle with myself, or anyone else. There was no pizza joint, pizza and subs - or hoagies and grinders as we're going to call them - none of that between Hampden and Lake Avenue. There was no place for [Loyola] college kids to walk to to get a pizza."
With S'ghetti Eddie's, they have one. The building itself has gone through only a few minor changes. There are tables and a few booths, with seating for about 50.
This is the kind of place where many customers will be ordering things to go; where they walk up to the counter and place their orders. If it isn't "to go," they pick a table and someone will bring their food to them. Very, very casual.
Not so casual when it comes to the quality of S'ghetti Eddie's offerings. Dopkin was finalizing the menu at the time of this writing, so prices are approximate. He says he is offering traditional pizza. By traditional, think Italian traditional.
There are di pazzamente - Italian ham, pepperoni, prosciutto, salami and smoked provolone ($16.95); Maria-margherita - diced tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, garlic and olive oil ($12.95); and pollo parmesano - grilled chicken, marinara and mozzarella ($11.95). Of course, you can have a cheese pizza ($9.95), with your choice of a couple dozen toppings ($1.50 to $2.50 per topping).
Dopkin says S'ghetti's sandwiches will be "a couple of notches of quality up."
"It's not going to be gourmet, but it's not going to be what you find in those corner joints. Good steak and very good cheese. We're using great bread that will have a crust that will crack when you bite into it. If you like [your bread] soft, go someplace else."
The hoagie, or cold sub, list includes Philly-style steak and cheese; Italian sausage and peppers; and Italian ham, pepperoni, prosciutto, salami and smoked provolone.
On the grinder, or hot sub, menu, you'll find meatball and provolone; chicken parmesan; and vegetarian. All the sandwiches should range in price from $7.95 for half to $14.95 for whole.
There are also several salad choices, including Caesar ($5.95); Greek ($5.95); and insalata Eddie - iceberg lettuce, parmesan, smoked provolone, artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, tomatoes, black olives, pepperoncinis and balsamic dressing ($6.95).
Of course, you can't call a place S'ghetti Eddie's without that s'ghetti. There are a couple of pasta choices: a pound of al-dente spaghetti with a choice of marinara, Alfredo or pesto sauces ($8.95); or rigatoni baked with a blend of cheeses, marinara, pepperoni and Italian sausage ($9.95).
You'll find S'ghetti Eddie's, 410-235-5999, at 410 W. Cold Spring Lane. For the first four or five weeks, its hours will be from 4:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week. Then, Dopkin says, those hours will expand to 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
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