Restaurant of the Week: Stuft Pizza Cafe

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Stuft Pizza Cafe, 7251 Haven Ave. (at Base Line), Rancho Cucamonga

I was heading east on Base Line on my Friday lunch hour, looking in vain for a different restaurant, when I gave up and pulled into the Haven/Base Line shopping center, the one with the Ralphs (“Double Coupons!”), Salsitas (unimpressive) and Noble House (pretty good). Cruising through, I found Stuft Pizza, a new-to-me restaurant. My friend Bob Almanzar swears by the place so I’d been anticipating going there at some point anyway.

Inside there was a small bar, lots of tables and booths, a game on the TV and two tables full of UPS drivers in brown. It was well lit, the TV was moderate in size and the atmosphere was far more restaurant than bar. I took a seat and a waitress brought out a menu. Yes, it’s an actual sit-down restaurant, not an order-at-the-counter operation.

There’s the usual array of pizzas and pastas, including a Cucamonga Pizza that contains “everything, including the Rancho.” Several items sounded good, like the Italian sausage sandwich and the meatball sub. You can get those from the lunch-special menu with a salad and soda for $6-$7.

Figuring I should sample the pizza, I went for the cheese slice/salad/soda combo ($6.66 with tax). The salad was basic but acceptable and the pizza wasn’t bad, doughy and with the cheese a little burnt, but pleasantly so.

A standout was the service. The waitress was attentive and friendly, moreso than one often finds. What with the menu descriptions, the table service and the helpfulness, Stuft Pizza tries harder, and you have to respect that.

This is a good neighborhood spot and who knows, even though it’s a ways from our office, I might go back for a meatball sub sometime.

Update: I’ve since had the meatball sandwich (very nice) and the mini-pizza/salad/drink lunch special ($6.95 and plenty of food for the price), the pizza from which is pictured.

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