An Italian Stallion

Although it’s grown older and bigger, Rossi’s Pizza is still home.




From left: Bill, Lori and Ron Rossi carry on a 46-year tradition.

In 1965, when Hank and Lori Rossi bought the tiny house on South Orange Blossom Trail that became Rossi’s Pizza, there wasn’t much more on that now-hectic road than filling stations and, a bit south of it, Gatorland. The building was big enough for 38 seats and a kitchen on one end and living quarters on the other.

After 46 years of Frankensteinian patches and extensions (including the annexation of a neighboring barber shop), the plain turquoise exterior belies the rambling and immaculate restaurant within, which sports wood-paneled walls, seating for close to 300 and a rectangular bar where stools fill with regulars on nights and lunch breaks. It is an immediately comfortable landmark, and a most unexpected oasis.

The beer is cold and pizzas—thin, deep dish and stuffed—are rustic and well-baked. The hearty tomato sauce that also appears over pasta and baked into parmigiana is Hank’s mother’s original recipe, and it tastes like it’s been simmering and developing flavor for all of its 46 years.

Henry “Hank” Rossi died in March at 83. Sons Ron and Bill run the place now, with advice from their mom, Nina (who’s called Lori). According to Lori, Ron has been waiting tables here “since before he was born.” Ron handles the business side, while Bill, the younger brother, runs the kitchen. There’s a Domino’s across the street and a Papa John’s up the block, but Rossi’s continues to pull in crowds looking for the genuine article. Hank would be proud.

ROSSI’S PIZZA
ADDRESS 5919 S. Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando
PHONE 407-855-5755
WEB rossispizza.com

Edit Module
Want to read the whole issue? Download and read this issue and others on Magzter.

Add your comment:
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags

Guides & Resources

Vacation Planner

Your next getaway is only a click away. Search our database for a great vacation experience.

2016 Premier Veterinarians

2016 Pet Resource Guide

Check out our searchable 2016 list of some of the best pet resources in the Orlando area.

Premier Realtors

Check out our 2016 searchable database of Orlando's premier realtors.

Orlando's Best Lawyers 2016

Our annual list includes hundreds of Orlando-area attorneys in dozens of areas of practice.

Orlando's Top Dentists of 2016

Our annual list featuring 224 of the area's finest dental professionals.

Guide to Private Schools 2016

Our searchable annual database will help you chart an educational course for your family.
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

MoreRecent Blog Posts

Iconic Earls Kitchen + Bar Opens at The Mall at Millenia

Family-owned restaurant group opens second location in Florida.

Just a Guy

But so much more...

GUTS Orlando: Creatives Carving Wishes

AIGA Orlando presents GUTS, a live pumpkin carving contest to raise money for Make-A-Wish®.

'Orlando' Magazine Wins 8 Awards for Excellence

Recognition from Florida Magazine Association includes honors for design, writing, photography.

Weekend Happenings in Orlando Sep 23 to 25

Find the best events in and around Orlando for the weekend.
Edit Module