It’s a fine Italian restaurant! CDB Pizza/Italian Restaurant has been around since forever. When my parents went to USF, they went to CDB. I’m pretty sure the original owner of CDB was this guy. So it’s a place with some history. And a restaurant that’s been around for that long has to be doing something right. And yes. Yes they are. They do it all right. Alright.
CDB looks like a prison or a dungeon on the inside. It is dark and bricky. It has an old taverny type feel to it. There is a bit of lighting on the tables themselves, and there are a few TVs (why do restaurants have to do this?!?@), and the jukebox in the corner puts off a bit of light, but otherwise it’s kept pretty dimly lit. There is a bar, and there are bars on little glassless windows inside the place. It has a very unique feel.
The best part of CDB is, of course, their food. They have huge wacky grinders (chicken parmesan, eggplant, meatball, sausage, club, and their signature “Hard Hat Special” with ham, salami, roast beef, pastrami, pepperoni, and melted cheese – all incredibly delicious), full on pasta dinners of all sorts, big salads, and other Italian dishes. And then they have pizza. Their glorious pizza. But I’m getting ahead of myself!
My friend and I sat down and ordered up some fried green tomatoes to start with. They were thickly breaded, which I’m not really used to, but they were good nonetheless. The inside retained the unique green tomato flavor, and was hot and fresh. The breading was a bit much though. They came with a weird “Comeback” sauce, which apparently is mayonnaise with chili sauce, mustard, ketchup, and hot sauce. Weird. It didn’t do much for me, but then I hate mayonnaise-based anything. Especially mayonnaise-based mayonnaise.
AND THEN THERE WAS:
PIZZA. Now you can’t tell me that this doesn’t look like an amazing experience! LOOK AT THAT CHEESE! It punched me in the face. CDB’s pizza is like the halfway point between a regular pan pizza and a deep dish pizza. Each time I’ve gone here, I’ve had to resort to eating it with fork and knife. It’s thick and messy. The toppings are HUGE here, fresh and abundant. We got the “CDB” Special, which has pepperoni, onions, green peppers, mushrooms, sausage and meatballs. Looking at the pizza, you wouldn’t know it had all that, because most of the toppings are covered by the immense layer(s) of incredible mozzarella cheese. The cheese is the most overpowering flavor you get, simply by virtue of its proportions. There is so much of it! This is the kind of pizza that you don’t want your kids to eat, because they will choke. And they will die. Best of all, it is some of the best tasting cheese I’ve ever had on a pizza. In fact, all their toppings are excellent – fresh vegetables (and finding fresh mushrooms on a pizza is rare), and robust meats. And the crust does all it can to keep up with the rest; it gets a bit slimy on the bottom, but the edges are perfect, puffy and crisp.
Simply put, this is one hell of a pizza. And it’s the crown of their menu, filled with many other solid dishes.
You have to try the pizza. CDB has a cool environment, but if you’re not into it, just take the pizza home. This is a pizza you should not miss. The fried green tomatoes? Eh. My friend had never had them before, so we got them. They were good, but nothing special. For an appetizer, get the pizza bread instead, which they always do right. Of course, that’s pretty much me just recommending their pizza again.
EAT CDB PIZZA.