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Village Pizzeria value in Coronado

It's the Roman centurion who has the hot happy hour news

Smiling centurion guards happy hour specials.
Smiling centurion guards happy hour specials.

Unexpected pleasure! Here, in the midst of Coronado’s Golden Quarter-Mile, is one of the secret bargains of the Sceptered City. I come across it as I’m loping north on the western side of Orange Avenue. Just beyond where The Tavern does its underground thing, the venerable eateries Village Pizzeria and Island Pasta share a small block. They look across Orange Avenue at maybe the most expensive restaurant in the Republic of Coronado, Stake Chophouse.

Place

Village Pizzeria

1206 Orange Avenue, 4, Coronado

Both Village Pizzeria and Stake are owned by local restaurateur David Spatafore. Village Pizzeria has a more modest, but still always-popular business going on. Black, studded, Italian-style furniture, pizzas, family dinners, pics of Al Capone, even a Roman centurion holding a - aha! - happy hour listing. He’s doing sentry duty outside the door.

Feng shui-wise, it’s a nice place to drop everything and take a load off. What was once a patch of parking is now the main patio, right beside the beginning of residential ’Nado — and they’re not set up just as temporary covid spaces. Fancy and historic houses sprout next door beside trees with generous spreads — like the jacarandas, which make sitting outside such a pleasure.

So yes, it’s the Roman centurion who has the hot HH news: it runs from 3-6 every afternoon. Pizza slices are $2.50. But the main thing is that the appetizers are all half-price. There are seven of them. Crispy Brussels sprouts look like a deal at $9.99 (but make that $4.74 in HH). Mozzarella sticks run $5.25 for five, or $9 for ten, and garlic knots look a real deal at, wow, $6 for five, but then cut that in half to $2.49 for HH. And how about meatball sliders, $2.75 for two? Or garlic fries for $3.50, 1 lb. of buffalo wings for $6.75, and zucchini sticks (9 for $8)? Not only that, but a pint of HH Bud Light costs all of $3. Where have I been all this time?

The place is starting to fill up. The counter guy, Brandon, is waiting, and HH is a numbers game, so I don’t want to rain on his parade. Hmm. Have to know what I’m going to have, though. I’m excited, mainly to see what kind of a bargain I can get here slap-dab in the middle of Coronado.

Natch, I start with the beer, the Bud Light. And I make my big pitch, my big investment, in Brussels sprouts. Because, man! Haven’t they been rescued from the pit of ammonia-smelling hell of days gone by, tranformed by this sweetly emanating flavor of the balsamic glaze, plus the burn-blackening in the pan, and with Parmesan cheese starting to melt into the black and green. So worth the $4.74 they cost at this time.

I almost stop there, but then I hear the siren call of the sliders. Heck, $2.75 for two! Of course, these are the same meat as the meatballs on the main menu, but they are surrounded by great tongues of cheese, and marinara gloop and fresh mini-buns.

This is the point where I usually blow things. Greed kicks in. Today, it’s the basket of garlic knots — bread knots, it turns out. They’re fine, fresh-baked, and surround a big pot of marinara sauce. And hey, it’s just $2.49 for six of them.

But I shoulda resisted, because the delicious sprouts are, well, enough. Add the sliders, and I’ve had as much as a man should have. In fact, if I’d had the sliders alone, I would have had enough. A $2.75 meal! In Coronado! Even with the $3 beer, that would’ve been a $5.75 meal. As it is, what with the sprouts and the sliders and the beer, I’m still out only $7.49. Except I got the knots, too. Shock! Horror! $2.49 more! Fact is, I’m out of space in my gut, and even with the marinara, they’re not very interesting. I pack ’em to go. Will be good toasted at breakfast. I mean, I’m more than satisfied. The sliders were good solid tummy-stuffers, and the sprouts were carbonaciously interesting.

As it happens, I’m passing by again next afternoon, at exactly the same time. Hmm, I’m thinking, why not? I was definitely tempted by that offer of 1 lb. of wings at $6.75 yesterday. I go for them with buffalo sauce (there’s also bbq, garlic parmesan, and hot honey). I resist the zucchini sticks (HH, $4.50 for eight), but I can’t resist the other hold-out from the HH menu, garlic fries. All of $3.50 for a plate-load. Oh, and I get one more Bud Light ($3).

This being breakfast and lunch, I lunge at the two plates. The buffalo sauce is surprisingly sharp, but just fine for this hungry boy. The wings become a pile of bones before you can say Napoleon Bone-Apart, heh heh.

Whew. I sit back, wipe my face, and look around me. Across the road, I’d pay $100 for a meal. At the Hotel Del beyond, let’s not even guess. Yes, I spot a Domino’s and a Subway that would be cheap, but they wouldn’t beat this joint, not at happy hour, for sure. It’s a happy hour that’s worth fighting for. If you don’t make it between 3 and 6, you’ll be looking at $12-30. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

  • The Place: Village Pizzeria, 1206 Orange Avenue, Coronado, 619-522-0449
  • Happy Hour Prices: Mozzarella sticks, 5 for $5.25; garlic knots, 6 for $2.49; meatball sliders, $2.75; garlic fries, $3.50; 1lb buffalo wings, $6.75; zucchini sticks, 9 for $4.50; Brussels sprouts, $4.74
  • Hours: 11am-9pm, daily
  • Happy Hour: 3-6pm daily
  • Buses: 901, 904
  • Nearest Bus Stops: Orange Avenue at Loma Avenue (southbound); at B Avenue (northbound)
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Smiling centurion guards happy hour specials.
Smiling centurion guards happy hour specials.

Unexpected pleasure! Here, in the midst of Coronado’s Golden Quarter-Mile, is one of the secret bargains of the Sceptered City. I come across it as I’m loping north on the western side of Orange Avenue. Just beyond where The Tavern does its underground thing, the venerable eateries Village Pizzeria and Island Pasta share a small block. They look across Orange Avenue at maybe the most expensive restaurant in the Republic of Coronado, Stake Chophouse.

Place

Village Pizzeria

1206 Orange Avenue, 4, Coronado

Both Village Pizzeria and Stake are owned by local restaurateur David Spatafore. Village Pizzeria has a more modest, but still always-popular business going on. Black, studded, Italian-style furniture, pizzas, family dinners, pics of Al Capone, even a Roman centurion holding a - aha! - happy hour listing. He’s doing sentry duty outside the door.

Feng shui-wise, it’s a nice place to drop everything and take a load off. What was once a patch of parking is now the main patio, right beside the beginning of residential ’Nado — and they’re not set up just as temporary covid spaces. Fancy and historic houses sprout next door beside trees with generous spreads — like the jacarandas, which make sitting outside such a pleasure.

So yes, it’s the Roman centurion who has the hot HH news: it runs from 3-6 every afternoon. Pizza slices are $2.50. But the main thing is that the appetizers are all half-price. There are seven of them. Crispy Brussels sprouts look like a deal at $9.99 (but make that $4.74 in HH). Mozzarella sticks run $5.25 for five, or $9 for ten, and garlic knots look a real deal at, wow, $6 for five, but then cut that in half to $2.49 for HH. And how about meatball sliders, $2.75 for two? Or garlic fries for $3.50, 1 lb. of buffalo wings for $6.75, and zucchini sticks (9 for $8)? Not only that, but a pint of HH Bud Light costs all of $3. Where have I been all this time?

The place is starting to fill up. The counter guy, Brandon, is waiting, and HH is a numbers game, so I don’t want to rain on his parade. Hmm. Have to know what I’m going to have, though. I’m excited, mainly to see what kind of a bargain I can get here slap-dab in the middle of Coronado.

Natch, I start with the beer, the Bud Light. And I make my big pitch, my big investment, in Brussels sprouts. Because, man! Haven’t they been rescued from the pit of ammonia-smelling hell of days gone by, tranformed by this sweetly emanating flavor of the balsamic glaze, plus the burn-blackening in the pan, and with Parmesan cheese starting to melt into the black and green. So worth the $4.74 they cost at this time.

I almost stop there, but then I hear the siren call of the sliders. Heck, $2.75 for two! Of course, these are the same meat as the meatballs on the main menu, but they are surrounded by great tongues of cheese, and marinara gloop and fresh mini-buns.

This is the point where I usually blow things. Greed kicks in. Today, it’s the basket of garlic knots — bread knots, it turns out. They’re fine, fresh-baked, and surround a big pot of marinara sauce. And hey, it’s just $2.49 for six of them.

But I shoulda resisted, because the delicious sprouts are, well, enough. Add the sliders, and I’ve had as much as a man should have. In fact, if I’d had the sliders alone, I would have had enough. A $2.75 meal! In Coronado! Even with the $3 beer, that would’ve been a $5.75 meal. As it is, what with the sprouts and the sliders and the beer, I’m still out only $7.49. Except I got the knots, too. Shock! Horror! $2.49 more! Fact is, I’m out of space in my gut, and even with the marinara, they’re not very interesting. I pack ’em to go. Will be good toasted at breakfast. I mean, I’m more than satisfied. The sliders were good solid tummy-stuffers, and the sprouts were carbonaciously interesting.

As it happens, I’m passing by again next afternoon, at exactly the same time. Hmm, I’m thinking, why not? I was definitely tempted by that offer of 1 lb. of wings at $6.75 yesterday. I go for them with buffalo sauce (there’s also bbq, garlic parmesan, and hot honey). I resist the zucchini sticks (HH, $4.50 for eight), but I can’t resist the other hold-out from the HH menu, garlic fries. All of $3.50 for a plate-load. Oh, and I get one more Bud Light ($3).

This being breakfast and lunch, I lunge at the two plates. The buffalo sauce is surprisingly sharp, but just fine for this hungry boy. The wings become a pile of bones before you can say Napoleon Bone-Apart, heh heh.

Whew. I sit back, wipe my face, and look around me. Across the road, I’d pay $100 for a meal. At the Hotel Del beyond, let’s not even guess. Yes, I spot a Domino’s and a Subway that would be cheap, but they wouldn’t beat this joint, not at happy hour, for sure. It’s a happy hour that’s worth fighting for. If you don’t make it between 3 and 6, you’ll be looking at $12-30. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

  • The Place: Village Pizzeria, 1206 Orange Avenue, Coronado, 619-522-0449
  • Happy Hour Prices: Mozzarella sticks, 5 for $5.25; garlic knots, 6 for $2.49; meatball sliders, $2.75; garlic fries, $3.50; 1lb buffalo wings, $6.75; zucchini sticks, 9 for $4.50; Brussels sprouts, $4.74
  • Hours: 11am-9pm, daily
  • Happy Hour: 3-6pm daily
  • Buses: 901, 904
  • Nearest Bus Stops: Orange Avenue at Loma Avenue (southbound); at B Avenue (northbound)
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