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Strip Mall Surprise: Quality Italian favorites at a reasonable price

Strip Mall Surprise: Quality Italian favorites at a reasonable price

Aaron Wetli

Welcome back to Strip Mall Surprise, where we highlight locally owned restaurants that just happen to be located in a, wait for it, Strip Mall. Today’s installment is one concept with two separate locations –
Borgata Pizza Café.

Owned and operated by Ed Bisconti and Roz Auddino, the first Borgata Pizza Café opened in Minerva Park in 2011. Quickly developing a neighborhood following of loyal and hungry patrons, a second location opened up in the Worthington area in 2017, and a food stall will be opening at Cameron Mitchell’s Budd Dairy Food Hall in 2020.

Borgata serves all things Italian, but replaces the frills with quality fare at reasonable prices. Are you looking for house-made pasta that will make everyone from children to food snobs happy? If so, choose from the spaghetti, cavatelli, or gnocchi and top it with marinara, tomato cream sauce, alfredo, or pesto. It is just that easy.

The chef’s specialty?

“If you have to choose one item the first time you are here, I recommend the Spicy Sausage Stuffed Peppers,” says Bisconti.

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This appetizer eats like an entrée and contains house-made sausage, Cubanelle Peppers, warm marinara, fresh mozzarella cheese, and comes with freshly baked bread.

Are you looking for an ice cold and local draft (or glass of wine or specialty cocktail) and some delicious chicken wings? If so, belly up to the bar and order the baked wings. The usual suspects (Buffalo, BBQ, Spicy Garlic) are available as well as the more exotic Spicy Sweet Mustard and Pineapple-Habanero. I choose the Buffalo and am never disappointed.

Other bar food to fit the bill when you are in a barstool mood are the hearty sandwiches (go with the meatball sub) and the build your own calzones, which come stuffed with with ricotta and mozzarella cheese for that extra bit of taste and texture.

The real star of the show: the New York Style Pizza. These beauties don’t come sliced into rectangles with toppings added at the end, these monsters come served in triangle pieces and the toppings are covered with cheese; you know, the way the universe intended pizza to be.

Traditional options such as Meat Combo and Supreme are available as well the less traditional Three Cheese White and Mediterranean Roasted Vegetable, as well as build your own options. Full pies come in 12, 16, or 20 inch options and individual slices (from the 20 inch) are available anytime.

According to long time bartender Vince, “One slice isn’t enough and two slices is almost too much.” Agreed.

Finally, I would be remised without mentioning the made to order Cookie and Cream cannoli. Don’t ask, just order and thank me later.

Borgata Pizza Café is located at 2285 W Dublin Granville Road and 5701 Parksville Street.

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