I Finally Found My Neighborhood Italian Place

Roma'sI’ve lived here almost 20 years and haven’t had “My Italian Restaurant” since Siciliano’s moved to north Garland and raised its prices. Sali’s on Garland is good, but… just not quite my entire style… Tony’s is just up the road from me, but it’s crowded and its pizza was marginally better than Little Caesar’s across the street. Rockyano’s is take out/delivery only, and I haven’t ordered there since giving them a second try about 10 years ago and not being happy with the results.

So I did the Google search for a pizza place near my house, and decided upon Roma’s, on Greenville. Picasso’s on Skillman is closer to me, but I decided against it for a few reasons. First, prices. I was going out with my family and I didn’t want to get mugged for just one pizza. Second, reviews. The good reviews weren’t specific and the bad reviews weren’t written by kooks. Third, the menu. It’s HUGE, with cuisine ranging from hamburgers to Thai food. That’s a bad sign in my book. Stick with what you’re good at and be excellent at it.

Roma’s had a few dings in its reviews, but I decided it was the one we were going to try out. It’s casual there, so we put on our sandals and drove on out.

My son ordered the “Chicken Judge’s Special” and I split a medium pineapple pizza with my daughter. Mom was at training, which is why I decided we needed to go out. I’m glad we did, and I want to go back with everyone some day.

The bread came out first. It’s unlimited rolls there, but you want to make sure you save room for the main courses. The bread is good quality, the garlic topping was flavorful without being too salty, a peril that besets many a roll. The marinara sauce for dipping had good flavor. I would have preferred more sweetness, but that’s me. I’ve had other marinaras, and this one stands on its own merits.

As we waited for the main courses, I reflected on the service (great) and the atmosphere (kinda dark). If you want a place lit up like McDonalds, sorry. On the other hand, if you like the lighting relaxed and Italian crooners singing their melodies, come on in. Me? Hey, Frankie don’t tell you no lies, capice?

The pizza and the entree showed up and, man! First, the pizza. On a scale of 1 to 100, with 1 being a cracker dipped in ketchup and 100 being the best pizza I ever ate, this place gets a solid 92. It’s got a great crust and more than once, I stopped myself from hitting my drink because I wanted to savor the flavors more. I’m giving my rating on the cheese pizza parts only. The pineapple, by the way, was properly drained so we didn’t wind up eating a swamp. The crust was thin, but not like a cracker. It had a great balance with the sauce and cheese, and the sauce had some great herb notes in it. My daughter, who’s young, was able to eat it. I like that. A real, adult pizza that a kid can approach and enjoy.

The Chicken Judge’s Special was amazing! That got a 95 or more, but I didn’t eat it, so I can only dream about it. I had a bite and I realized from the first taste that if supper was a contest, my son won it with this order. The olive oil-garlic-basil-oregano sauce on the pasta blew me away. Great aroma and my son was thrilled with the chicken. This guy knows his chicken, too, and he says this bird was all good.

The prices were all right, too. We could have overspent at some other joint, but this place has great prices that let you tip the great staff generously. I finally found my neighborhood Italian place.

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