Mama Louise ~ Aurora, Colorado

Continuing with our favorite Denver area restaurants, here is our go-to Italian place. We first started going to Mama Louise not long after they opened in the DTC (Arapahoe and Dayton) around 1998 or so. (Prior to that there was a burrito place - I believe it was called "Jalapeno's" that we had eaten at a couple of times). After about a year of infrequently visiting, Mrs. RJG and I became regulars. Rarely would a week go by where we wouldn't venture up from Parker for a dinner. Usually on Friday night. Even on snow nights, we would go. Not long after we relocated back to DFW, owner Kent moved his establishment east to the Piney Creek area of Aurora. I can remember going to the original DTC location as recent as 2004 on a visit, so this must have happened shortly thereafter. The new location is a wonderfully decorated restaurant. Kent has been there since day one, and he's always pleasant and glad to see you. For years, his Mom would be by his side ensuring all was running smoothly. Apparently she had knee surgery not long ago, and is now traveling the world. So you won't see her anymore! :-) The family originally had a restaurant in Highland as far back as 1978 (I can't remember the name - but I don't think it was Mama Louise) and closed down. Kent is the son of the founder and restarted the tradition in 1997/8, as stated above.

I can only use the term "best" or "favorite" in relation to the places I've frequented. But what makes it so special for the RJG? Because they have the best chicken parm I've ever had. Anywhere. In the world. I like my parm crispy, and that's what you get at Mama Louise, along with an incredible seasoning mixture unlike anything I've ever had. Make sure you ask for Louise Sauce with your pasta. It's a spicy concoction made up of spicy Italian sausage, ground beef, and tomato sauce. It's extremely flavorful and comes with a nice kick. Each meal starts with a minestrone soup, which I quite like, though it's not a traditional recipe (it's more like a noodle soup with celery). This is followed by a cold iceberg lettuce salad, that is pleasantly simple with an excellent homemade Italian dressing. And they have fine desserts as well. And a decent wine list. This is also Mrs. RJG's favorite, and in a rare case of solidarity when it comes to food selection, she also loves the chicken parm. Excellent all around.

Like El Tepehuan, Mama Louise is a place I want to go every time I set foot in Denver. It's not always possible to eat at all our favorites each time, but Mama Louise rarely gets skipped.

Mama Louise Italian on Urbanspoon


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