Thursday 24 Apr
 
 

Green is good

Two enterprising former restaurant owners looked around Oklahoma City’s restaurant industry and thought it could be a lot greener. Chris Buerger and his partner, Brian DeShazo, took notice of the fact that there is no infrastructure to recycle in area restaurants.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Chow time

Chow’s Chinese Restaurant

3033 N. May Ave.

949-1663

What works: Dumplings, anything with ginger-scallion sauce, and lots more.

What needs work: Watch out for the raw garlic.

Tip: Take-out is a big time-saver.

04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Peru-fect

Naylamp Peruvian Restaurant

2106 SW 44th St.

601-2629

facebook.com/naylamprestaurante

What works: The friendly staff and authentic food give guests a true Peruvian experience.

What needs work: The small restaurant is kind of difficult to spot.

Tip: The choritos a la chalaca are a must-try for seafood fans.

04/23/2014 | Comments 0

OKG eat: Highfalutin dining

You don’t have to be a millionaire or a head of state to eat like one. While dining like a king every night might quickly take its toll on your pocketbook, sometimes it feels good to eat like a well-heeled big wheel. For a special occasion or maybe just as a special treat, look no farther than these upscale eateries to tempt your taste buds and delight your palate.

— By Louis Fowler, photos by Mark Hancock and Shannon Cornman

04/23/2014 | Comments 0

OKG7 eat: Fresh off the farm

There was a time not too terribly long ago in Oklahoma City when there was a chain on every corner and the closest you could get to local was to make a trip to your farmers market and make the food yourself. We always celebrate all things local, and luckily, it’s getting easier for OKC restaurants to incorporate locally grown, all- natural ingredients into what they offer.


— By Devon Green

photos by Mark Hancock and Shannon Cornman

04/16/2014 | Comments 0

OKG7 eat: Soccer pub crawl

Football season is finally here! We call it soccer, but that doesn’t have to stop you from indulging in two favorite European traditions: walking and pub crawling. Since the Energy FC games will be alcohol-free, we’ve created a list of pubs and taverns within walking distance from Clement E. Pribil Stadium at Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School.

— by Devon Green 

photos by Mark Hancock and Shannon Cornman

04/09/2014 | Comments 0
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Restaurant Reviews
 

All aboard!


Take the taste train straight to Italia Express.

Greg Elwell August 15th, 2012

Italia Express
4621 N. May
917-9995

What works:
Excellent marinara sauce and buttery pizza crust.
What needs work:
The chicken Parmesan sandwich is lacking.
Tips:
Prices vary between locations. Both serve inexpensive, quality food.

Credit: Shannon Cornman

I like a nice plate of pasta.

Well, if I’m being honest, I love a giant bowl of pasta covered in rich, creamy sauce, topped off with meatballs or seared shrimp, or just a mountain of Parmesan cheese. Daddy needs his carbs.

Which is why your mother and I want to talk to you about Italia Express. (That’s right: For the purposes of this review, I’m your new dad. Now go clean your room.)

Son/daughter, Italia Express is a restaurant that serves Italian cuisine. Why did it leave the “n” off their name? No one knows. And no one cares, because it serves ridiculously inexpensive food that tastes like it should cost a good deal more.

The Gamberi Marinara ($9.99 lunch, $10.99 dinner) is a good example. A heaping pile of linguine tossed with a bold, flavorful marinara. Lots of basil. Lots of garlic. And on top: six large, perfectly cooked shrimp. This dish was satisfying in so many ways, not the least of which was it being enough food to make another meal the next day.

Newly added, maybe even seasonal, is the chicken basilico ($7.99). Thin, whole-wheat pasta noodles are tossed with white wine, mushrooms and pan-seared chicken breast. While not nearly so striking as the marinara, this was full of an earthy flavor I really enjoyed. The chicken could have used a bit more seasoning for my tastes, but I’d still get this again.

The ziti ($6.99 lunch, $8.99 dinner) is an honorable mention. The pasta was fine and the creamy tomato sauce rich and creamy, but it lacked the Italian flavor for which I hoped. Plus, the cheese on top formed an impenetrable shield. Not a bad dish, really, but it pales in comparison to others on the menu.

You certainly wouldn’t want the ziti after eating the tomato and spinach calzone ($5.99), which is packed to the gills with veggies and giant dollops of ricotta cheese. The crust is superior — buttery, crisp — although I wish it all had been mixed together a little more. There were a few ricotta-only bites, which isn’t so bad now that I think of it.

And have you ever heard of this “pizza” stuff? Because Italia Express has it, and it’s quite good. The extreme pepperoni has, as you might expect, a lot of pepperoni on it. The chicken prosciutto Alfredo pizza is absolutely decadent and extremely rich. And the veggie pizza is covered in vegetables. What unites them all? A delicate, buttery crust that’s made in-house daily. (Prices and sizes available vary between locations.)

There are hard lessons your mother and I won’t always be here to teach you. And one of them is that the chicken Parmesan sandwich ($5.99) is a bit of a letdown. The crispy chicken and warm red sauce don’t quite translate from inside the hoagie bun. You’re much better off getting a plate of spaghetti with marinara ($6.99 at lunch) and some cheese bread to collect any leftover sauce.

Italia Express does a lot of things well and all for very reasonable rates. I don’t quite understand why there are different prices and websites for two locations in the same city, but I also don’t care that much. So long as I can keep getting big bowls of delicious pasta, I think this family will be just fine.

Now, go do your homework!

Oklahoma Gazette’s restaurant review policy is to highlight the positive aspects, and include constructive criticism regarding food, ambience or service when appropriate.

 
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