Mama Guzzardi’s Italian Restaurant is authentic home cooked Italian full of yummy goodness.
Four hours in the car and another down in a really dark pit works up quite an appetite. Jen, Rachel and I got together for a Saturday evening meal before hanging out at my place for a few episodes of Firefly on glorious Blu-ray. While trying to figure out where to go we rummaged through our Restaurant.com coupons and decided on Italian. Jen finished curling her hair, I put the bark collar on the dog and we headed out.
Since three of us don’t fit on the motorcycle we opted to drive my ’66 Charger. I popped in some oldies and we pulled out listening to “The Midnight Special” by CCR. (“Wanna see something really scary?”)
Mama Guzzardi’s is a nice little two-room family restaurant nestled between a MaryAnn’s Donuts shop and a laundromat. The walls are lined with mostly black and white photos of the Guzzardi family going back several generations. Mama opened the restaurant in 1986 with her own recipes and the family has been making her homemade meals for the public ever since.
We were seated right away in the back of the second dining room. The menu is pretty sparse but has all the staples of good Italian dining. With nothing over $10 we needed all three of us to reach the $35 minimum required to use the Restaurant.com coupon. (We actually came $3 shy of that and ordered desert to compensate.)
I typically have trouble deciding what I want, battling between something that looks like a familiar love or inviting a new entree to join the party in my tummy. This time I was deciding between the Chip Steak Deluxe and the Fettuccine Alfredo.
I enlisted the help of our waitress, Lori. I barely got out the words “chip steak” before she cut me off with a “have that! That’s my favorite.” Soon to be joining the party in my tummy was a sub sandwich that contained “fresh thin sliced rib Eye steak with our Homemade meat sauce, sauteed green peppers, sauteed onions, sauteed mushrooms, topped with melted cheese.” I love a good philly cheesesteak and this seemed to be right up that alley.
We enjoyed our salads and some extremely crispy garlic bread (I like mine slightly chewy.) In the midst of some nice dinner conversation, I spotted what looked like a mound of gooey, noodly, meaty cheese on someone else’s plate. I wanted that. I cursed myself for ordering something “safe” regardless of the recommendation.
The Chip Steak wasn’t quite what I expected. It looked like a Philly Cheese Steak topped with a meat sauce. It was good, but it was not the luscious hunk of cheesy noodles I saw across the room. Even Jen’s lasagna looked better than my Chip Steak, and I’m not a big lasagna guy.
Jen said her lasagna was some of the best she’s ever tasted and Rachel claimed that the Rigatoni with meat sauce and meatballs she ordered tasted just like what her Italian grandmother makes. In other words, Mama Guzzardi’s is a-then-tic Italian!
We usually don’t order desert but we needed to hit $3 and some change extra for our coupon. So we each ordered a cannoli. This was my first cannoli ever. As far as deserts go, this wasn’t the best thing that’s ever been in my mouth. Not bad, but if this is what all cannoli’s taste like I’ll go for something else. (For those of you who go nuts over spumoni, they had that on the menu as well.)
The portions are large, which makes me wonder if there is some grand scheme to fatten us all up for the alien slaughter in 2012. But we left with full stomachs, to-go boxes, and a smile on our faces, vowing to return… which Jen and I did the very next day.
After church Sunday we decided to see if lunch at Mama Guzzardi’s stacks up to dinner. Since the lunch menu is the same as the dinner menu, it stacks just fine.
Instead of ordering the Fettuccini Alfredo that I debated the night before, I opted for what was to become the chunky, chewy, cheesy love of my life: the Baked Ziti with meatballs. (“Now that’s a good meatball.”) Jen ordered the same (lacking originality of her own.)
There was enough cheese on my Ziti to make a cheese covered grilled cheese sandwich jealous. And it was delicious. The Olive Garden may have bottomless salads, but they got nothing on Mama Guzzardi’s. Hands down the best Italian food I’ve ever had the privilege of digesting.
More Mama Guzzardi’s Info
My Cost: 3 adults (with dessert) – $41 plus tip
Hats off: 5/5
Mama Guzzardi’s menu (pdf)
Google Reviews and info
1107 N Main St
North Canton, OH