Authenticity, calzone = primo Italian lunch
By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor
The New York Times story the Gainesville Lunch Out Blog published about creating your own calzones and making your own ricotta cheese got me thinking that I haven't been to an Italian restaurant in some time. Plus, I have a friend that brags about being a regular Italian food lover at the Pomodoro Café on NW 39th Ave. near the I-75 interchange.
That was two good reasons to go experience my first calzone ever, and see what I'm missing.
Walking to the front door of this café I heard Italian music wafting through the air enchanting folks walking by and luring them into the cafe. You've seen those old cartoons where the scent appears as a serpent like smoke charming the victim and pulling them forward into who knows what.
I was immediately hooked, and then when I walked into the front door of a friendly appointed café of wood, and gingham checked accents I knew this was going to be a fun lunch experience.
I was getting into the feel of the old world. The wine bottles on the shelves, wooden beams between the tables, and the comfortable booths were appealing as I looked at the Pomodoro Café menu. Bruschetta Toscana Assortita, Vegetali Con Penne, Cappellini Francesco and six Pomodoro pizza's including the Margherita, Julianana, and Mikey's Pizza Pie. I'm going back for the Mikey's Pizza Pie sooner rather than later.
You will find the complete Pomodoro Café menu at the restaurant link below this feature.
Life is good I thought to myself looking out the Pomodoro window to their patio seating that had the appearance of a cozy, mountain side Italian patio.
A regular Pomodoro lunch special is an open face Calzone with your choice of two ingredients.
Tami my server explained that calzones are sandwiches made from the pizza dough that is folded over the ingredients much the same way a Stromboli is made.
The soup element of my lunch special comes with a cup of Pasta Fagioli (Fuh-jo-ley). This tasty soup is clear chicken stock with white beans, bacon and small pieces of pasta. The Soup was hearty and tasty. Being a non-Italiano lunchouter in a strange cafe I thought it was odd that the soup included both beans and pasta, but it was very good and a nice compliment to my calzone.
My lunch was presented in an interesting, long and narrow tray that was perfect for the three items of my lunch. My soup, the Calzone and a small bowl of marinara sauce to add to my calzone. It was a very cool, interesting presentation.
Since I was in Italy – wasn't I in Italy -- I added Italian sausage and roasted garlic to my open face calzone. That is a nice touch the way Pomodoro's leaves a little pouch of cheese and ingredients showing on the face of the calzone, and toasting up in the oven for the customer's satisfaction when the entrée is presented.
My Italian sandwich was toasted perfectly, the Ricotta and Mozzarella cheese melted into a gooey, chewy combination of cheese joy. The Italian sausage added the spices to the Italian sandwich and the roasted garlic had me ALMOST shouting, "Pasta Fagioli, Calzone si bellissimo!"
We all know the lunch experience is a combination of individual elements working together to make an excellent lunch hour. The Pomodoro Café has their lunch experience elements singing acapella in an Italian opera.
The Pluses and Minuses of Pomodoro Cafe:
Pomodoro Cafe + indicators: Wonderful old world lunch experience. Has any GLOBer tried Pomodoro 's Mikey Pizza pie?
Pomodoro Cafe – indicators: Other than being 'Way out in West G'ville' none noted.
Be the first to offer your GLOB comments, lunch photographs and opinions about Pomodoro Cafe. Please identify your opinions with a PLUS SIGN (+) for positive comments, and a MINUS SIGN (-) for your negative comments. - THANKS!
- Phone Number: 380-9886
- Address: 9200 NW 39th Ave., Gaineville, FL
- Urban GLOB Location: NW 39th Avenue
- Web Site: Pomodoro Cafe
- Latitude: 29.691487
- Longitude: -82.439483
Congratulations on your discovery of calzones!
I call them 3D Pizzas. If you like calzones, you should also try the strombolis. While a calzone is essentially a pizza folded over to make a half moon, a stromboli is a pizza that is rolled into a log shape. I find the stromboli to be architecturely more sound. For some reason, and I could be wrong here, most menus offer meat in a stromboli, but not in a calzone. Perhaps it has to do with baking time. I'm not a chef, nor am I Italian, I'm just an avid consumer. Good restaurant review, GLOB.
Cathy DeWitt Thursday, 19 April 2012 23:35 Comment Link
This is a great family-run Italian restaurant. I like the fact that the music played, as noted by Mike :-) , actually has a relationship to the theme and food of the restaurant--unlike the ubiquitous pop radio you hear 9 times out of 10 in every restaurant or shop you go into. And the food is great--lots of nice salads, pastas, seafood and desserts--reasonably priced. The flank steak is excellent!
Lulu Thursday, 19 April 2012 07:35 Comment Link
In the company of my younger daughter Trish and 3 1/2 year old grandson Zachary I had lunch @ Pomodoros on Wednesday. Maria our server was very attentive and just spoiled us all. My grouper sandwich was perfect,instead of iceberg lettuce, they used romaine, the fries were crispy so the small profesional touches from the kitchen were evident as well.