Make me a pizza!

. October 1, 2013.

Nearly every day for 15 years, we passed by Bellacino’s Pizza & Grinders. Neatly tucked away in a shopping plaza, it was easy for us to miss. That was a shame, however, because we now have a new favorite place for a bite.

Bellacino’s is not a fancy restaurant. You walk up to the counter and order your meal. You choose your own bag of chips from the rack next to the counter, and get your own drinks. But my family doesn’t need or want ‘fancy’. We want a good restaurant with good food at a good price. We found all three at Bellacino’s.

When we walked in, we were greeted by a giant gumball machine in the small foyer –  likely  the pleasant end to a meal for many a kid. The restaurant will also host birthday parties, as well as community and school fundraisers where a portion of the proceeds go to a good cause. You gotta love that.

Lots of choices

The menu is quite varied. There are 27 choices of grinders (a sub or hoagie to some of us). There are also five different calzones, 12 specialty pizzas, 10 salads, seven kinds of appetizer nibbles, seven pasta dishes and a kids’ menu. That doesn’t include the topping choices for pizzas. As we stood there, mouths agape, we wished we could indeed have a sit-down menu, this could take a while.

Luckily, we were able to make some delicious decisions. My older daughter had the grilled chicken salad ($7.49), featuring grilled chicken strips, veggies, cheese and homemade garlic croutons. My younger daughter had a half Triple Decker ($6.79), a roast beef, ham and turkey sub. My husband chose a half Bellacino’s Club grinder ($6.79). My meal was the “Grab Two” special, you can choose two items from a grinder, pizza, salad, garlic cheese bread or soup for $6.99. I chose the veggie salad with the veggie grinder that included green peppers, mushrooms, black olives and cheese.

“Wow, I’m glad I got the half-sandwich,” said my younger daughter, eyeing the large portion in front of her.  Funny, she didn’t seem to have trouble finishing her sandwich. In fact, all of us were delighted with our food. My salad was one of the better salads I’ve had, you’d think salads are basic and would be difficult to mess up, but you’d be wrong. Mine had crisp lettuce and was a meal in itself.

The dessert menu is smaller, but no less tempting. We shared a giant fudge brownie ($1.69) which elicited an “oh baby” from several in the group. We commented that we would have to come back  and check out other menu choices.

A week after our family meal, my husband and I were looking for a place for a quick lunch. We went back to Bellacino’s, this time for a calzone and pizza. The calzone was fluffy and had a buttery crust, while the pizza had the thick type of crust we like. It almost felt like we were cheating on our kids, however, just the two of us sneaking out to a restaurant that they enjoyed.  The guilt passed quickly, however. Bellacino’s is just too good to wait to enjoy.

Bellacino’s Pizza & Grinders
2320 Tiffin Avenue
(between Kohl’s and Wal Mart)
Hours: Monday through Thursday:
11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Friday and Saturday: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Sunday:  11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Delivery and carryout available