Walking into the original Coletta’s Italian Restaurant on South Parkway is like walking back in time (or, onto the set of a mob movie).
Coletta’s interior is perfectly old school. The restaurant has been open in Memphis since 1923, and they claim to have made the original barbecue pizza. If you’ve never tried barbecue pizza, bring a friend and try it at Coletta’s. Their barbecue pizza has a thick crust, barbecue sauce, and is piled high with pork and cheese. It’s a lot of food, no matter what size pie you order.
According to their web site, Coletta’s will also ship their barbecue pizza to out-of-towers.
I went for lunch today and sat in the grotto room. The blue room is my favorite part of the building. There are statues, terra cotta roof tiles, girl group songs playing softly on the speakers and plenty of “star light” (small single lights in the ceiling). I’m convinced that there’s a part of heaven that looks just like it.
If imitation grottos aren’t your thing, try the Elvis-themed party room or the brick-walled bar.
Coletta’s has one of the best lunch specials in town. For $6.50, you get a big salad and your choice of a 6″ one-topping pizza, lasagna or spaghetti. I usually get mine with a glass filled with half sweet tea, half lemonade to drink. I had a ham pizza for lunch today, and I’m so full of delicious goodness that I could fall asleep at my desk.