Life Is Good At Piazza Pizza

By Jean Loiseau

Atlantic News, Thursday, February 6, 2003

[The following article is courtesy of the Atlantic News]
Piazza Pizza, 445 Lafayette Road, Hampton
[Atlantic News Photo by Nancy Rineman]

HAMPTON — During this time of impending war, shuttle mission disasters and a recession that is tensing everyone's mind, it is nice to hear a beautiful story about success and family, and allow us a moment to feel, "Oh yeah, life is good!'

{Photo left:} NEW DOWNTOWN — Piazza Pizza, is the newest eatery to appear in the heart of Downtown Hampton, right across the street from Bib N Crib.

Ehab Abdelaziz, now 43, was just 18 years old when he left his homeland of Egypt to travel to Italy to work with his uncle in his restaurant Antico Martini. It was there that Ehab learned the art of cooking Italian cuisine and learned about being a business owner.

After returning to Egypt for a period, Ehab — by then 29 and married to his wife Amal — traveled to the United States. Together they set up home in Brooklyn, New York while working in New Jersey.

The birth of their son, Yasser, changed their destiny. Early in life, Yasser developed acute allergies and asthma. Doctors urged Ehab to move his family out of the city to an area with cleaner air. They moved to Nashua, New Hampshire, and then to Portsmouth, when Ehab opened Via Via, a seasonal pizzeria on Ocean Boulevard on Hampton Beach, famous for its brick oven pizzas.

Six years later, on January 15, 2003, Ehab opened his second year-round take-out pizzeria — Piazza Pizza — located at 445 Lafayette Road in the center of Hampton, in the spot formerly known as the Honey Bee Donut Shop.

At 3:30 p.m. on a Wednesday afternoon, Ehab and his nephew, Amer Fakhry, are very busy cooking for the numerous delivery, phone and walk-in orders that are coming in. Piazza Pizza specializes in 14 varieties of New York styled thin crust pizza (there is a deep dish pizza for you thick-crust lovers), meat and vegetable pies, and a large assortment of appetizers, salads, hot and cold subs and pasta dinners.

The menu offers an array of unique items, such as hummus and babaganous (eggplant and sesame sauce) appetizers, a mideastern falafel hot sub (chopped chick peas, cici beans, onion. garlic, coriander and black pepper) and Greek gyro sandwich. The macaroni and grilled chicken dish smelled marvelous.

Presently, Piazza Pizza is open six days a week, Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. They plan to be open seven days a week by March. Both restaurants will be open full time in the summer.

Yasser is now 10 years old and though still battling asthma, Ehab knows New Hampshire was the best move for his son. When asked how he finds business in Hampton, Ehab immediately responds, "I love it! People are just too nice here!"

Ehab admits his business dream was a long road and continues to demand many hours and exhausting effort, but it has been all worth it. His final note about this journey was a wish to say "thank you" to his wife, Amal.

"My wife works hard with me and helps me with everything. For that I wish to thank her."

Piazza Pizza is located at 445 Lafayette Road in Hampton. For more information, call 926-0807.