Sometimes you’re already out and about when the need to eat strikes. I recently found myself desperately needing to stop somewhere for lunch. Googling Italian food in the Lee Highway area, in two minutes I was pulling into Toscano Italian Grill.
Toscano is located in a strip mall at 6219 Lee Highway. When you need a fast lunch, location and atmosphere aren’t necessarily high priorities. Getting decent food for value often is.
In all honesty, my lunch experience was somewhat of a mixed bag – mostly good with just a little not so good sprinkled in like a bad condiment. But, hopefully we all learn from constructive criticism.
On the good side, I was greeted with friendliness and promptly seated.
On the bad side, the booth was in very close proximity to an ice machine that roared like a 747 speeding down the runway at 300 miles an hour. I should have moved to another booth, but I didn’t, and I was annoyed by the hum for about 20 minutes until the machine shut itself off. If I were running the place, I’d look into having the ice machine moved somewhere far from guest seating.
A very nice lady brought us menus and promised to check back shortly. I was sort of craving pizza and my wife wanted a sandwich. She didn’t need to think past the 8-inch cheese steak on a toasted hoagie for $4.99.
Me? I take longer when there are a lot of options from which to choose. Toscano offers 10 different specialty pizzas, or you can have them make one to suit your unique tastes. The Super Supreme Pizza caught my eye, as it comes with pepperoni, sausage, hamburger, ham, mushrooms, onions, green peppers, banana peppers and olives.
Looked like a great pie, except that I vote in the primary that is strictly anti-green pepper. Happily, our server said holding the bell peppers from the Super Supreme is no problem.
In a reasonable period of time – roar of the ice machine still ever present – the food arrived. The pizza was fine, full of all the ingredients I love and without the one I loathe. The small (10-inch) set me back a mere $8.99, and it was way too much pizza for someone to eat in one sitting.
The hoagie was OK, too. But, it would have been a nicer experience if it had come with some French fries or at least a few potato chips. Yeah, it’s just a quick lunch and we’re not laying out lots of dough. Yet, I think most folks notice little things like that. It’s an experience that really could mean the difference of opting to stop by the next time one’s out and about.
In the end, if such little things don’t bother you, you’ll find a nice selection of sandwiches, pizzas, stromboli and calzones. You can also select from several seafood-pasta dishes. The full menu can be found at http://toscanositaliangrilltn.com/menu.pdf .