It happened again. I went to West Allis this week and I came back with some laughably large mozzarella sticks. Before I get to that, let’s go back in time a little bit.
In October 2020, I wrote an article entitled “A West Allis pizzeria (inside a Jamaican restaurant) makes the biggest mozzarella sticks I’ve ever seen,” which was about…well, the headline pretty much says it all. I went to a place called Alphonso’s The Original, where I procured a pair of straight-up cheese batons the restaurant calls “Lightning Rods.” I weighed them. I measured them. I compared their size to that of a bunch of random stuff in our office. The post was pretty fun to write and a shitload of people read it. And that was that.
Surely I would never encounter mozzarella sticks anywhere near as massive as those incredible Lightning Rods. So instead of looking, I just appreciated the experience and moved on with my life…until an unexpected Facebook post on the Milwaukee Foodie page set me on a familiar journey with equally astounding results. Unbeknownst to me, another West Allis restaurant also threw its hat into the oversized mozzarella stick race recently.
This latest participant in the lactose-based lunacy is Capri di Nuovo (8340 W. Beloit Rd., 414-543-5510), an established and well-respected Italian family restaurant. Its menu is full of specialty pizza, pasta, salads, soups, sandwiches, desserts, and appetizers. As of about a year ago, one of Capri’s appetizer options is something called “Pazzi Stix.” The menu describes the new-ish item as two garlic wonton sticks that are “crazy big” and “crazy awesome” with “crazy flavor.” But just how big are we talking? I needed to know.
I ventured deep into ‘Stallis on Tuesday afternoon and picked up an order of Pazzi Stix in order to find out for myself. And for, like, journalism or whatever. So I placed an order online for the $9.99 (plus tip) appetizer, retrieved a small pizza box along with an accompanying bag that held a container of so-called “red sauce,” and brought it all back to Milwaukee Record headquarters to take some measurements.
When I opened the grease-drenched box, I actually laughed out loud. Even though I saw photos of these things online before I ordered, I was still shocked to see Pazzi Stix were approximately the same size as Lightning Rods. Wow!
Seriously…look at these things! Knowing the pictures probably don’t do these things justice, I decided to take some Pazzi Stix measurements before taking one of these dairy torpedoes to the dome.
One of the Pazzi Stix was 10.25 inches long. The longer of the two was just shy of 10.5 inches long. Forgive the unintentionally misleading camera angle in the picture that suggests it’s longer. I wouldn’t lie to you about mozz stick measurements, dear reader.
While both Pazzi Stix were a tad shorter than my 2020 Lightning Rod order, each of them actually had more girth than their processed cheese predecessor. The thicker of the Pazzi Sticks was almost 2.5 inches at its widest points.
That same stick was also the heavier of the two in my Pazzi Stix order, clocking in at an impressive 13.4 ounces. Though that’s 1.3 ounces lighter than my heaviest Lightning Rod, it’s still close to ONE POUND of mozzarella, wonton, garlic butter, and oil. That’s nothing to scoff at.
I sacrificed the default runt of this litter in order to gauge Pazzi Stix cheesiness levels and here are my findings.
The stringiness is off the charts! Then I ate it.
Heck, I even weighed the veritable tub of marinara and was wowed by the volume of sauce that was included with this two mozzarella stick order for no additional charge.
If you’re somehow still doubting the sheer size of these cheese pipes, I decided to put some things we had sitting around our office beside the larger of the two Pazzi Stix in order to help establish scale. As you can see, it’s bigger than three Sega cartridges stacked vertically.
And longer than two-plus Sega games stacked end to end.
Here it is next to my keys.
And my hand (doing the shocker).
It’s way bigger than a Christmas ornament the Kristmas Kringle Shoppe in Fond du Lac sent me.
And it dwarfs this VHS.
It’s slightly bigger than two cans of Milwaukee Record Re-Porter (available now!).
And is also slightly bigger than two cans of beer from breweries who advertise with us.
It towers over a bottle of Koops’ Mustard.
This jerk sauce never stood a chance.
This Charlie Berens bobblehead is impressed. “OHMYGOSH!”
It’s bigger than two rolls of toilet paper.
And this cookbook.
And this respected work of literature.
What else is there to say? Though Lightning Rods were good in their own right and they were ever so slightly larger while also being a little less expensive than Carpi di Nuovo’s new Pazzi Stix, I might say Pazzi Stix are just a smidge better tasting if you can get past the untold amounts of grease and garlic butter. But it’s close call, and in terms of gigantic mozzarella sticks in West Allis, we haven’t gone wrong yet. We’ll see if another pizza place in the city comes out of the woodwork to offer an even bigger or better variation in the years to come. Fingers crossed!