When founders J. Kim Tucci, Joseph A. Fresta, and John P. Ferrara first opened The Pasta House Co. in 1974, they wanted to elevate pasta to an art form. “Some artists sculpt, some paint, and some sketch,” they write on the restaurant’s website. “But, at The Pasta House Co., we create authentic Italian culinary delights.” A few of the locations even have giant, exhibition kitchens so you can watch as pizzas, pastas, and entrees come to life.
Naturally, The Pasta House Co.’s menu revolves around the Italian staple from which it gets its name. There are more than 25 varieties of pasta to choose from, including linguine with chicken livers and the signature lasagna, plus weekday specials such as stuffed manicotti. Meanwhile, the mangia bene menu—which translates to “eat well” in Italian—showcases the more wholesome side of Italian eating, with dishes low in fat and calories that won’t peer pressure you to break curfew.
At Si Señor Mex Mex Grill, the chefs create Mexican favorites, geared toward an American palate: not too spicy, but seasoned just right. Dinners start off with heaping helpings of nachos or guacamole dip, and move on to hearty main entrees. Mexican specialties include everything from carne asada to fish tacos and chimichanga dinners, served with rice and beans.
The Burrito Meal's comestible concocters use fresh rice, beans, and savory meats to assemble the gut-busting burgers and burritos that populate their menu. Each delectable handmade burrito prompts bounteous bites of savory chicken, chorizo, steak, or pastor fillings and is lovingly nested inside aluminum foil to lock in flavor and heat. The Burrito Meal's culinary revisionists also transform the traditional burrito into the Burgito––a grilled hamburger donning all the usual fixings wrapped in a tortilla. Couples or platonic pairs can share today's Groupon for two burgers or two burritos, while diners eating solo can devour one and place the other in unoccupied cargo-pants pockets.