Papa Al’s Pizza, Pasta, and Subs draws in travelers, business people, and families that appreciate affordable prices, friendly service, and plenty of menu options. Specializing in the New York-style, thin-crust pizza, many New Yorkers say it is the only place around where they can get a pizza that tastes like home.
For the past six years, the family-run business has been located in the Hawleyville Plaza, by Exit 9 off of I-84. The eatery turns out dozens of gourmet, classic, and white pizzas, along with subs, specialty sandwiches, pasta, and entrees from the open kitchen dominated by a large brick oven.
The walls are rag-painted a bright squash color above a cherry wood wainscoting framing on three sides of the room to create the feel of a trattoria and an inviting atmosphere. In the evening, simple pendant lighting in the windows casts a pleasant glow. The dining area seats 30, and customers can sit at any of the ten wooden tables, which have comfortable, leather cushioned chairs, many offering a view onto the outdoor patio. On days when warm weather allows it, another 25 patrons can dine outside while beneath umbrella-topped tables. A scenic mural by Waterbury artist Annette Dostaler graces the wall above the pickup window.
In a two-door cooler, customers find a large selection of cold drinks, while a single-door cooler houses a variety of Italian, domestic, and craft beers. Wines primarily from Italy and California are available by the glass or by the bottle.
Papa Al’s is “not just another pizzeria,” said owner Fiat Islami. The menu items come from family recipes, and care is taken with every order, whether dining in or taking out. The staff strives for high quality and interesting options, to create choices that work for all of the customers. Portions are generous, so smaller lunchtime dishes are available between 11 am and 3 pm for $3 less than dinner menu prices.
For any party or event, Papa Al’s is able to help with trays of prepared pastas, salads, and main courses. Pizzas and sub sandwiches for large groups are also available. Catering menus can be tailored to meet the individual’s needs, with convenient pickup times.
The family friendly, casual atmosphere is as ideal for a quick on-the-road meal as it is for a quiet dinner. “People can come in, sit down, and have a nice meal,” Mr Islami said, “in comfortable surroundings.”
A Sample of the Menu:
Appetizers: The Buffalo wings are a customer favorite. The appetizer includes ten Buffalo wing pieces that can be served mild or hot, served with bleu cheese.
Soups: Along with a soup of the day, Papa Al’s offers pasta fagioli daily. A small is $3.50 and a large is $4.95.
Salads: One of the most popular dishes in the Buffalo chicken salad with Buffalo-style chicken tenders and bleu cheese dressing.
Pizza: There are 15 different gourmet pizza options available, one being the Pink Panther. It is penne tossed with fresh basil, pink sauce, and mozzarella cheese.
Panini: At Papa Al’s all the panini are homemade. One of the most popular panini is the Cajun chicken. It consists of grilled Cajun chicken, fresh mozzarella, lettuce, tomato, red onion, and mayonnaise.
Subs: Among the different 12-inch subs to choose from, the Philly cheesesteak is a standout. It is made with thinly sliced grilled ribeye steak, grilled mushrooms and onions, mozzarella cheese, and mayonnaise.
Pastas: Papa Al’s offers a variety of pastas, including the grilled chicken and broccoli, which can come with Alfredo sauce or garlic and extra virgin olive oil.
Baked Dishes: There are more than ten baked dishes available, including homemade lasagna, and all the meals are served with bread and a cup of soup or side salad.
Seafood: The seafood fra diavolo comes with baby clams, calamari, and shrimp. Linguini is served with all seafood dishes unless otherwise specified.
Kids Menu: Papa Al’s has a Kids Menu, and the most popular choice is chicken tenders with fries.
Desserts: There are a number of homemade desserts, including tiramisu and rice pudding, which is made in flavors such as pistachio or banana.
Drinks: A selection of beer and wine is available.
Papa Al’s, 23 Barnabas Road in Newtown, off Exit 9 off of I-84, is open Monday through Thursday from 11 am to 9 pm, Friday and Saturday from 11 am to 9:30 pm, and Sunday from 1 to 9 pm. Takeout and catering is available by calling 203-426-2323. For more information, visit Papa Al’s website papaalsnewtown.com or at Facebook and Instagram.