I am sad to report the death of Aloysius C. "Al" Pawlowicz, the co-owner of, and pizzamaker at, Pizzaland, the pizzeria immortalized in the opening credits of the Sopranos. Pawlowicz made me some of the most memorable, unique and downright delicious pizza that I have had. He suffered a heart attack and died on October 28, 2010, which must seem somewhat ironic to those that knew him, as he clearly had a huge heart. But considering that he worked upward of 12-hour days, often seven says a week, the result is perhaps not so surprising. Pawlowicz put his heart and soul in his pizza, and it showed, but more important, he was dedicated to his family, which he talked about proudly and lovingly while he served his "old fashioned"–style pies.
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"What style of pizza is this?" I asked Al Pawlowicz, owner and pizza maker at Pizzaland, the New Jersey pizzeria immortalized in the opening credits of HBO series The Sopranos. He looked up from behind the counter, straightening his wiry frame and peering through flour-dusted glasses, and answered quickly and succinctly "old-fashioned."