Sunday 13 Jul

Top of the city

With Josh Valentine running the kitchen at The George, the anticipated opening of the restaurant atop Founders Tower has been worth the wait.
07/09/2014 | Comments 0

Going dark

Local brewers are expanding production, purchasing equipment and facilities and releasing new brews as Oklahoma’s craft beer industry continues to expand. Oklahoma City-based Black Mesa Brewing Company, fresh off its gold medal at the World Beer Festival, released a new beer, Alexander Supertramp Dopplebock, in June.
07/09/2014 | Comments 0

Experiments in spice

Jordan Winn of Dead Rooster Co. and Scotty Irani of local company In The Kitchen with Scotty want to inspire foodies to get more from barbecue.

During the Fourth of July weekend, many of us will attend or host a cookout.

There are two local options to make grilling time more satisfying for everyone.

07/02/2014 | Comments 0


Ah, the perils of working with special dietary needs. It can make dining out a pain. Luckily, with restaurateurs becoming more savvy to their diners’ needs, there are a bevy of places in OKC to satisfy your craving for the foods you love without losing taste. All choices this week have been road-tested by gluten-sensitive foodies to guarantee satisfaction.
07/09/2014 | Comments 0

OKG eat: Know your rights

What better way to celebrate your freedom than grilling it to perfection over an open flame? We’ve combed local meat markets for the best ingredients to make traditional burgers or brisket. Feeling more adventurous? Why not go for lamb or buffalo? Whatever your heart desires, local butchers will be more than happy to help you praise hot-off-the grill freedom.
07/02/2014 | Comments 0

OKG Eat: The OKG staff eats, too

Culled from a list overflowing with some of the best and least-known names in the city, here are the places you’re likely to see a member of our staff. These are several top recommendations from Oklahoma Gazette staff.
06/25/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Food · Restaurant Reviews · All aboard!
Restaurant Reviews

All aboard!

Take the taste train straight to Italia Express.

Greg Elwell August 15th, 2012

Italia Express
4621 N. May

What works:
Excellent marinara sauce and buttery pizza crust.
What needs work:
The chicken Parmesan sandwich is lacking.
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.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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