Growing up Downriver in the 1980s and ’90s, there were plenty of restaurants we visited that still exist today, including Wishbone and Manuel’s Taco Hut (both in Allen Park) and Hungarian Rhapsody (Southgate). However, a favorite eatery that is since long gone popped in to my mind — Peppina’s on Dix in Lincoln Park.
My dad was raised by my grandma just down the street from Peppina’s, and it was a place we often frequented for takeout pizza or for those milestone growing-up moments.
There are two things that I distinctly remember. First was the Amethyst Room. This private room had no windows, was dimly lit, and adorned with purple quartz-like stones. As a kid, it just felt really cool to be in there with your whole family, almost like we were miniaturized and eating inside a cracked open geode.
The other, more culinary aspect that I remember was their pizza. The crust had this gritty cornmeal bottom that not only seemed to make it taste better, but also provided a texture I haven’t found anywhere else. Then there was the puddle pepperoni. For the unfamiliar, this type of pepperoni is smaller in diameter so it curls up and retains grease. Simply delicious!
Peppina’s still comes up at family gatherings. It’s a place I wish I could take my family to today — the pizza is my benchmark for life. — Joe Bartus, Berkley