I'm Italian and I love food, though you may not be able to tell. I'm rather skinny and only tan in the summer.
But if you see me at Buontempo Brothers, my appetite and ancestry may be more apparent.
I frequent the eatery on the corner of Main Street and Kimmie Way whenever I'm hungry, bored or driving to my apartment. As you might imagine, my visits are adding up, and for good reason. (I'm the mayor on FourSquare. Don't steal my badge.)
The worn red booths and vintage-looking overhead menu are no indication of the quality food and service.
Pizza, pasta, salad—I've had them all. The pizza comes in two forms: traditional or stuffed, and I don't mean the crust. I never considered a chicken Parmesan slice of pizza before, but when it is dipped in marinara sauce, my world stops spinning.
And the chicken Caesar salad? If my name were Ke$ha, I would write a song calling it my drug. It costs a few dollars extra to get chicken on the regular Caesar salad, but it is worth the expense. It also doesn't hurt that it's probably one of the healthiest items on the menu.
If it's energy you need, embrace the carbs of an over-sized portion of pasta. Specials await customers throughout the week, but the pasta is just one more great value even without a discount.
If you're looking for a criticism, mine has nothing to do with the food.
The men's restroom—I've yet to use the women's—is difficult to lock, and the hand-dryer button must be held for a good five seconds to remain on. If that is the low point, though, then I'll just use another restroom and wash my hands before entering.
There is seating in the front and back of the ground level, and even more on the second floor, though I've never been upstairs.
No matter where you sit, though, one of the 20-something males is eager to deliver your order or refill your drink. (I choose water with lemon, though the beer is tempting.)
While the entrees are what I have found to be the peak of carryout-style service in town so far, there are appetizers as well. The only one I have tried is the fries, and while they suffice, they're not exceptional. I tolerate them with a generous splash of Old Bay and a puddle of ketchup, but I usually don't need a side after a large portion of something else.
Another benefit of Buontempo Brothers is its hours. I can show up close to 10 p.m. after a Friday football game and not need to leave for more than two hours before the midnight closing.
If I had my way the Italian gem would be open all the time. As it is, I'm looking for a reason to go there right now, and a chicken cheesesteak doesn't sound like a bad excuse.