You might want to skip the pizza at Jimmy's Grotto in favor of the ponza rotta.
You might want to skip the pizza at Jimmy's Grotto in favor of the ponza rotta.

In search of the perfect pizza: Jimmy's Grotto

Around fifteen years ago, I worked in the Brookfield area. I used to explore Waukesha for lunch options after exhausting my options in Brookfield. At the time, a friend asked me if I ever visited Jimmy’s Grotto, 314 E. Main St. in Waukesha. She spoke glowingly about it. I hadn’t heard of it, but I visited soon after, and I hadn’t returned until about two weeks ago.

I was at a party on July 3 that I attend just about every year. Another friend I hadn’t seen in a while was there with her brother and the pizza blog came up. I told them I was closing in on the 100th pizzeria and narrowed my remaining list to two, one of which was Jimmy’s Grotto. Her eyes lit up, and she began to share how she and her brother grew up with the ponza rotta from Jimmy’s Grotto.

A summary of the history of Jimmy’s Grotto can be found on their website, but I found an important piece of the history in a framed article written in 1996 from the Waukesha Freeman that hangs on a wall near the restrooms in the dining room. More on that later.

They seemed to be out of paper menus when we arrived. The five of us shared one and used the new menu boards hanging behind the counter when we ordered. Interestingly enough, the designer of the new menu boards happened to walk in while we were ordering. I met her at a business networking event several years ago. I guess "Smallwaukee" extends to the suburbs, too. Anyway, the menu consists of appetizers and side orders, sandwiches, chicken, shrimp, fish, and spaghetti dinners, pizza, and ponza rottas.

Pizzas are available on thin or hand-tossed crust in 12, 14 or 16 inches, with cheese pizzas ranging $10.30 to $13.30 and extra toppings ranging $1.30 to $1.80. Specialty pizzas include a veggie, taco and deluxe pizzas ranging from $15.30 to $24.10.

When I visited, I went with my friend and her brother who grew up with Jimmy’s Grotto, as well as a couple of other friends, one fairly new to Jimmy’s Grotto and the other who also grew up with it.…