Food & Drink

Pizza pocket perfection: Locals recommend favorite place to get a calzone in Manatee County

It’s a sad fact of life. You can’t eat pizza every day. That would be crazy, right? Indeed, we all need a little variety in our diet.

Good thing there’s the calzone.

Before the world had frozen microwavable pockets, stuffed crust pizza or fried mozzarella sticks, we had the calzone.

Originating in Naples, Italy in the 1700s, it’s the OG of bready foods stuffed with cheese.

Traditional calzones are made with salted and egg-washed bread dough stuffed with a combination of ricotta cheese, cured meat, vegetables and herbs, with sauce served on the side for dipping.

As “Parks and Recreation” character and nerdy calzone fanatic Ben Wyatt puts it: “What I’m talking about here is a portable, delicious meal that is its own container.”

Enough said.

We asked members of our Facebook Group “Manatee Eats” where to grab a great calzone in Manatee County.

Here’s where they recommend:

San Remo Pizza and Pasta

San Remo Pizza and Pasta makes calzones true to tradition and stuffed with ricotta and mozzarella cheese.

The restaurant’s menu offers six variations on the dish.

Keep it cheesy with a plain ricotta and mozzarella calzone, or get it with broccoli, ham, pepperoni, sausage or meatballs.

Details: San Remo Pizza and Pasta is at 1914 14th St. W., Bradenton.

Info: pizzaandpastabradenton.com.

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In this Bradenton Herald file photo from 2014, Danny’s Pizzeria owners Danny and Joan Fernandez hold a calzone, one of their most popular entrees, and a pair of hot New York style pizzas fresh from the oven. Bradenton Herald File Photo

Danny’s Pizzeria

At Danny’s Pizzeria in Bradenton, you can create your own customized calzone.

Any topping that can go on a pizza can be added to your calzone.

Ricotta and mozzarella are included, and each additional ingredient is $1.29; add chicken for $2.99.

Details: Danny’s Pizzeria is at 7220 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton.

Info: dannyspizzaflorida.com.

Brancato’s Brick Oven Pizza

Brancato’s Brick Oven Pizza is owned by three Brooklynites with a passion for New York takes on Italian food.

The restaurant offers traditional baked calzones, or you can indulge and order it deep fried.

Add-in ingredients are 75 cents to a $1 each and include all the usual pizza toppings, plus some unusual selections like hot capicola (an Italian pork), roasted red and yellow peppers and smoked mozzarella.

Details: Brancato’s Brick Oven Pizza is at 5227 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton.

Info: facebook.com/brancatobrickovenpizza.

Other recommendations:

Clancy’s Irish Sports Pub, 6218 Cortez Road W., Bradenton

Marina’s Pizza, 1723 Lakewood Ranch Blvd., Bradenton

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