Sunday, June 19, 2016

Tony's Pizza and Pasta ~ Watauga, Texas

Originally published July 7th, 2013 and updated with a recent visit.

Another update here from the RJG archives. When we first moved to NE Tarrant in 2003, there were dozens of these places. I was anxious to try them all, until I realized they were all more or less the same: Eastern European owned, and stemming from the Moni's empire in Arlington. As time has moved on, most of these establishments have shuttered, moved on, shut down by the authorities, etc... The few that are left have carved out their own identity, and are the cream of the crop. And for us, Tony's is our go-to Italian in the area. It's not by a long shot our favorite Italian restaurant (you have to go to Dallas for that), and of course NE Tarrant finally has secured more authentic restaurants (Oliva's, Il Calabrese) over the years. All the same, we are infrequent visitors, as this is one food type we tend to cook at home.

Food: Tony's is very similar to most of the $ and $$ Italian restaurants in NE Tarrant, and you can read some samples of that here and here. All the same, unlike many of the Italian restaurants in this category that have closed recently, Tony's continues to be very popular. Their to-go pizza side of the house is doing a land office business, as dozens of folks come in for pickups, and no doubt just as many are going out for delivery. Mrs. RJG really loves their Capellini Pomodora, which always comes out blazing hot, and al dente every time. Even though it's more or less a vegetarian dish, I love it too. One of the best unique sauces in town, and a nice diversion from the norm. I like their chicken parm, of course it's not crispy enough for me (it rarely is), but you do get a big slab of pounded white meat chicken with a nice seasoning. And the pasta is al dente with an excellent fresh tomato sauce. As can be expected from a pizza joint, their baked dishes are a cut above as well. I usually get it with some meatballs stuffed in. Sure, they're right off the truck, but I have no higher expectation when I come here. I like the way they prepare their food. Typical salad accompanies most meals, as well as hot baked bread, that is delicious.

Drink: BYOB as per protocol, thus adding to the savings for us winos.  Bring a nice bottle of red and enjoy. They'll provide glasses and an opener, though we always bring the latter along because it's easier to use...

Location: Tony's is set in a strip center in Watuaga, on the SW corner of Rufe Snow and Mid Cities/Watauga Rd. Their dining area is comfortable though hardly romantic. You don't go to Tony's for date night. You go there for reliably good food, usually with a mixture of typical suburban neighborhood folks - older and younger complete with whole broods in tow. Oh, and the waitstaff is consistent and very friendly.

Notes: According to their website, Tony's has been open since 2000, making it one of the older Italian restaurants in the area. Our first visit goes back to 2004.

Rating: 4.0. Excellent time after time. Good neighborhood Italian (and pizza).

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Tony's Pizza Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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