Although Italians originally invented pasta as a fastener to keep Sicily from floating away, they abandoned it for less-delicious moorings after locals on both sides kept snacking their way toward separation. Tether your taste buds to today's Groupon: for $10, you get $20 worth of Italian fare and drinks at Pa Pa Pia’s in Memphis.
Using family recipes that emigrated from Marigliano, Italy, to the United States in 1901, Pa Pa Pia’s fills bellies with flavorful heaps of Italian favorites. Give the brown paper bag a day off and make a midday meal of the meatball sandwich, served on italian bread and topped with provolone cheese ($8–$9), or gently shove a sharp utensil into a small portion of formaggio manicotti, stuffed fat with asiago, parmesan, mozzarella, and provolone cheeses ($6.50–$7). Because teleporters have yet to be approved for civilian use, Pa Pa Pia's uses its pizza, which is grilled over an open flame in traditional Italian style, to transport taste buds across the Atlantic ($8.50–$29). After a dinner of spagettini bolognese ($9–$10) or a sovereign meal of chicken saltimbocca ($14.95–$15), patrons should demand the dessert tray, lay claim to the chocolate-covered ricotta cheesecake ($6), and scan the wine list for illegal words. Though as much produce is sourced locally or grown in the restaurant’s own garden as possible, Pa Pa Pia’s imports its atmosphere straight from Italy, complete with rich yellow walls, rustic booths, and a patio for devouring innocent pastas outside.