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Good Inexpensive Italian(PHX SE Valley)

Mesa, Tempe and down into Chandler and Gilbert. Not looking for a fancy place but just good solid red-sauce food with good pastas. A nice lasagna that is not overweighted with cheese and meat would also be a treat.

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  1. Caruso's @ Greenfield/Baseline in Gilbert is very good and reasonably priced with excellent service. Not a chain either. Anyone else been there??

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    Caruso's Italian Ristorante
    4341 E Baseline Rd # 101, Gilbert, AZ

    1 Reply
    1. re: aztami

      We haven't been to caruso's in well over a year, but have always enjoyed it greatly when we've gone. Not exactly cheap, but it is still a good value.

    2. We like Tutti Santi at Dobson and Guadalupe. Now, admittedly, the only thing I ever get there myself is the Linguine and clams which I love. But my husband has always been happy with everything he's ordered. The homemade ravioli are good.

      We also like La Stalla in downtown Chandler. This is more "rustic" italian than red sauce. We often get the pizzas here - woodfired and quite good.

      For just a cheap and cheerful neighborhood place there's Floridino's just north of downtown Chandler. This is nothing fancy, I don't think I"d drive a long ways to get here but for what it is, it's good. A small family pizza/pasta place. VERY basic menu: pizzas,a few pasta in either red or white sauce. A couple salads. The calzones and the pizza muffins are quite tasty. :

      Papa Razzini's at McClintock and Guadalupe is very popular. we dont' like it - I find the food to be unnecessarily heavy whenever I'm there but we're definitely in the minority not liking it I'd say. I will say they do calamari very well here. Crisp, tender, and lightly breaded. very good.

      Here's a thread about Italian out in this area....a bit old but something to start with:
      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/339801

      1. Adding links

        papa Razzini's http://www.paparazzinis.netfirms.com/

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        Floridino's Pizza & Pasta
        590 N Alma School Rd Ste 35, Chandler, AZ 85224

        Tutti Santi By Nina
        1859 W Guadalupe Rd Ste 101, Mesa, AZ 85202

        La Stalla Cucina Rustica
        68 W Buffalo St, Chandler, AZ 85225

        1. Floridino's has great, inexpensive pizza and calzones (especially the lunch specials), but I think the pastas are nothing special.

          For pasta, I'd recommend RigaTony's in Chandler.

          Papa Razzini's is good, as is Miele's in the same Tempe complex. Also in Tempe, VinciTorio's is good, but a little more expensive.

          Then there's always Oregano's in Tempe, Mesa and Gilbert.

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          Rigatony's Authentic Italian
          1374 N Arizona Ave, Chandler, AZ 85225

          Miele's Pizzeria Restaurant
          1835 E Guadalupe Rd, Tempe, AZ 85283

          Vincitorio's Restaurant
          1835 E Elliot Rd, Tempe, AZ 85284

          3 Replies
          1. re: razordogg

            No no no to Vincitorio's! mediocre food and rude service! We've been there three times and never had a good experience. There's a couple bad reviews here if you search. Much better options in the area, don't waste your money!

            1. re: ziggylu

              Va Bene happy hour?

              1. re: drewb123

                Haven't been there for happy hour? Have been there for dinner and thoguht it was good. A bit spendier and fancier than what it sounds like the OP wants but definitely solid food.

          2. Number one on my list is That Italian Place in Ahwatukee (formerly Mary Ann & Richie's). The best Bolgonese in these parts, plus excellent lasagna, veal, baked clams, etc.
            Also, have you tried Nello's for pasta? Everyone goes for the pizza, but I love their lasagna and eggplant Parmigiana.
            And I second Miele's for good pasta and reiterate the negative sentiments on VinciTorio's.

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            Nello's Pizza
            1806 E Southern Ave, Tempe, AZ 85282

            Mary Ann & Richies Our Restaurant
            3941 E Chandler Blvd # 107, Phoenix, AZ

            Nello's Pizza
            4710 E Warner Rd # 10, Phoenix, AZ

            Nello's Pizza
            2950 S Alma School Rd # 17, Mesa, AZ

            5 Replies
            1. re: 1wino

              I havne't been to That Italian Place since thyey've changed ownership. I always liked the food at Mary Ann and Richies but was put off a bit by the ownership. I understand the menu is the same adn Mary Ann is still cooking. Need to get over and check it out. If it's still on the menu my husband loves the orecchiete with broccoli rabe and sausage and I find they do a good job with vongole. Thanks for the reminder!

              1. re: ziggylu

                Anyone been to Riazzi's in Tempe?

                1. re: Alice Letseat

                  We love Riazzi's. I stick with the baked penne, it's got good sausage in it & the portion is huge. The old man sticks with seafood diavola. It has never disappointed. We have heard the pizza is good there but we've never tried it.

                  1. re: achicken

                    Weird. Your post wasn't listed when I clicked on this thread. I guess the thread-updating glitch is still in effect.

                    Nice to hear that Riazzi's is a worthwhile option these days. After we ate there (summer of 1992 or 1993), we seriously wondered how the place was still in business, given the poor quality of the food.

                  2. re: Alice Letseat

                    I have, but it was a longggggggg time ago back when we lived right around the corner from it. I recall our reactions ranging from "meh" (bland entrees) to "bleh" ("cheesecake" filling that resembled almond extract-flavored Cool Whip). Of course, it's entirely possible that things have changed for the better since then, so my comments should be taken with a healthy sprinkling of salt. ;-)

              2. I'm guessing I have enough here to keep me eating pasta for quit awhile now. Thanks to everyone for their suggestions. Think I will start this Friday with Tutti Santi. Just moving into the area from Flagstaff and not real familiar with the South part of the Valley yet.

                3 Replies
                1. re: AzDumpling

                  Please make sure you order the Ravioli! The pasta is handmade, thin and light --- they are absolutely delicious! I believe they use that same fresh pasta in the lasagna - but my husband is not available to fact-check for me right now.....

                  1. re: MesaChow

                    The only, and I repeat only, thing I like about Olive Garden is the menu option of the selection of three or four dishes on one plate. They are not any good but the sampler concept would be something my gluttoness soul would love to see other Italian restaurants copy. I can never decide what I want and I often want it all.

                  2. re: AzDumpling

                    I agree the ravioli are very good. As I mentioned I love the vongole. If you're a fan of this dish try it here(and ask them to add some red pepper. They will happily do so if that's your preference). This is one of hte best versions of this dish I've had outside of Italy.

                    We haven't been a few months but everytime we've been they bring a complementary sambuca at the end of the evening that I find to be a great touch.

                  3. How could I forget -- Gilbert Pizza also has delicious lasagna, very light and fluffy, and one of the best penne ala vodka's I've had anywhere. Cheap, too! Almost everything is under ten bucks.

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                    Gilbert Pizza
                    1150 S Gilbert Rd Ste 106, Gilbert, AZ 85296