In the never ending search for the perfect cheap and cheerful spot for a satisfying bowl of pasta we found ourselves here recently.
We've actually been twice now and by jove! It's pretty tasty.
The first time we went we both somehow ended up with pasta with meat sauce. I had spaghetti and husband had the ziti. The meat sauce isn't Mario's or Marcella's bolognese but is a more than respectable hearty red sauce...cooked a long time with a high meat to sauce ratio. For $5.99 a healthy portion is presented along with the "breaksticks" which is really what seems to be a round of pizza like bread that has been brushed with butter and sprinkled with parmesan. I've had better bread for sure but this bread with it's soft doughy texture and sprinkle of cheese is oddly addictive.
We went back again and tried the baked pastas as we noticed a lot of these coming out of the kitchen. I had the manicotti...two of them filled with lots of rich ricotta, some herbs, topped with teh same meat sauce and mozzerella cheese. Served piping hot. One more than filled me up and the second reheated quite nicely for lunch at work the next day. Hubby had veggie lasagna - layers of pasta with some ricotta, spinach, marinar and mozerella. Again a healthy portion that also made a good lunch for him the next day as well. I believe these dishes were both $7.99 and again came with teh bread.
Both times the bill was less than $25. The service was cheerful and friendly. It was packed...and just like a neighborhood place both time we actually ran into people we knew there. Friday night the small bar was full of folks enjoying the Suns game and dinner.
The menu is heavy on red sauce and alfredo sauce. Normally I choose something with just olive oil or some white wine sauce but the red sauce here is respectable. Maybe if they get to know us they won't mind tossing me some simple aglio olio...
They also make pizzas and calzones. We haven't tried these yet but apparently they're very good. Again the prices are very reasonable for these as well. Next time we're planning to split a salad and either a calzone or pizza so we can try that as well.
Tutti Santi is still my favorite for authentic true Italian food...but it's a bit spendy for being a regular place...this is the kind of place we can stop in once a week for a quick meal when we don't feel like cooking and not feel guilty about the expense...or feel like we wasted good money on a bad meal.
Don't remember who here suggested it...but good call!