Magnifico!

Zio's Pepperoni Chicken
   I am just going to put it out there. I'm not a big fan of Italian food. I said it. To me one pasta is just like the next pasta and tomato sauce at the end of the day is just tomato sauce. I love cheese, and in Italian food only the most mild of cheeses are used. I love these cheeses but as a fat American who loves cheese I need far more of the stuff than the little pinch they put in a lot of Italian food. Did I mention my bad experience with sausage yet? Yeah, when you order sausage from an Italian restaurant, you'd expect something other than an over sized sausage link but you would be sadly wrong.

   So as you can tell Italian food is never really first on my mind when thinking about dinner. That's not to say that the stuff is bad, but it is just not my favorite. Zio's restaurant is a little different though.

   To be fair, I am sure that Zio's is not an authentic Italian restaurant and may not be a proper representation of Italian food. I get that. It is, however, damn good. I get the pepperoni chicken. This scrumptious piece of food porn is made up of pasta, marinara, bell pepper (I love bell pepper), onion, chicken, pepperoni, black olives, cheese, mushrooms, and red pepper flakes.

   There are probably two things you are thinking about that ingredient list. One, you must have said to yourself, "Holy crap that sounds like a blessing from heaven hand delivered to us mortals by one-thousand hand picked Angels." You will be pleased to know that you are 100% correct friend. The next thing you must be thinking, ironically, is, "That sounds like heartburn from the deepest pits of hell." There too, you would be correct. My only advice for that is make sure to stop by your local pharmacy on your way to Zio's.

   Honestly though, this stuff is really good. It's a huge bowl and they don't skimp on anything. Except cheese, but that's just me. They put a great amount of everything but not too much and there is a lot of chicken which is pretty surprising. I wouldn't doubt it if someone told me they put in a whole chicken breast, it really does seem like it. Usually when you order stuff like this I imagine the cook in the back telling the waiter, "Wait! I forgot the damn chicken!" and the waiter saying, "Damn it Bob! Just throw in those three pieces let's go!"

   Anyways Zio's really is good. If you're one of those who thinks all Italian places should be authentic or burn to the ground, I really don't know what to say to you. My palette is not at all that refined. I'm just an uncultured American after all, cut me some slack here! But for the rest of my uncultured brethren, I can confidently say this place is really good.

   As for prices, it's not too terrible but it's not cheap either. On this particular trip it was my Momma and I. The bill came out to a little over $30. I can see the bill growing quite quickly with a few more mouths.

   On this particular trip our waiter seemed a bit full of himself. He wasn't necessarily rude, but he didn't have the warming, "I'd like to help you," sort of attitude. My mom is a talker, and when she asked him questions you got this feeling we were talking too much from the very first word, and by the end of the question we might as well have read him all of Gilgamesh in one sitting. Every other time I have gone I haven't felt this way, so don't be too worried about it. Other than that the only other gripe I have is with the bread. It's always very plain (It is meant to be dipped in an oil and herb mix) and very doughy tasting. Only slightly too, like as if they had left in the oven for 15 more seconds it wouldn't taste that way.

   So that's it, those are the ups and downs of Zio's. I like it enough to return every once in a while and I am not a big fan of Italian food. If you are a fan, and don't expect it to be hand delivered from Italy, then I think you will feel the same way about it. I suggest the pepperoni chicken! But what do I know?



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Two of my 4 sisters and my one and only Momma!