Thursday, October 30, 2008

Alex DiPeppe's Spaghetti and Pizza House

Alex DiPeppe's Italian Restaurant
140-42 W. Las Tunas Drive
Arcadia, CA 91007
Open Tuesday-Friday 11:00a-2:00p and 4:00p-10:00p
Saturday 4:00p-10:00p Sunday 4:00p-9:00p
Closed on Mondays

Alex DiPeppe's is a restaurant that I have been eating at since I was little kid and has remained one of my favorites. I can remember going there with my family, sitting down and having a great meal every time. This place has it all when it comes to Italian food, pizza, baked lasagna, pasta, and whole lot more. All the dishes are made after you order them so expect a little bit of wait. The wait is well worth it, trust me. The sauces for their dishes are made fresh and you can really taste the freshness in every bite. Some people might call this a hole in the wall but I would call it a grade A restaurant well worth seeking out and trying.

I personally had the pasta sampler platter that included a half order of baked lasagna and two choices of pasta, I choose to have penni and gnocchi all with meat sauce. This was also my first time having gnocchi and all I can tell you is that this dish was awesome. The pasta was perfectly cooked and the meat sauce was fresh and delicious. The gnocchi were excellent with the same meat sauce you couldn't ask for anything better. But the baked lasagna has been and will always be my favorite dish from Alex DiPeppe's. This lasagna is layered at least three layers thick with meat, cheese and sauce. Then they cover the lasagna with more cheese and bake the dish to melt all the cheese and give the cheese a just a bit of brown color. Baking the lasagna makes the cheese get that slight crisp texture like a nicely baked pizza. I have been to many other restaurants and have never had lasagna any better then at Alex Depeppe's.

There was a spaghetti ordered which looked awesome though I personally did not have any. The picture is of a half order of spaghetti. If that is a half order I can only imagine how large the whole order would be. Again the pasta was cooked to order and covered in a generous helping of the fresh pasta sauce they use.

What can be said about pizza that will get someone to really want it? I'm not sure but I can tell you that the pizza at Alex Dipeppe's is some of the best pizza I have ever had. The crust is hand tossed when you order the pie and loaded with fresh toppings. The pepperoni pizza is covered in fresh cheese and then topped with a quality pepperoni that just sets this pizza off into a different category. The pizzas are cooked perfectly and the all the cheese melted and the motzarella strings when you take a bite. A sign of a well made pizza in my opinion.

They also have a nice menu for vegetarians and people who want to eat lite. They have a spinach lasagna that looks amazing. I have yet to try this but I think the next time I go to Alex DiPeppe's I will be trying this dish.

Lastly we come to the desserts. Just like the rest of the menu the dessert menu was loaded with selections, I had the cannoli and the tiramisu. I personally hate coffee with a passion and would never drink the stuff so I was a little hesitent to try the tiramisu. But let me tell you, I am so glad I did even though it did have a faint coffee taste it, it was not overwhelming by any means. I was told that the tiramisu is made daily by the owners wife. This was by far my favorite dessert of the two. The cannoli was loaded with chocolate chips and sweetened just right. Both desserts were excellent but I would recommend trying the tiramisu even if you do not like coffee.

Overall Alex DiPeppe's will always hold a special place in heart and my stomach. Not only for the great food that it delivers to the tables every day but for the memories they have helped to form. This is truly one of the best family restaurants in the local area and well worth the drive if you are anywwhere close. The whole place has this vibe about it that you can not get in a chain restaurant, when you walk through the doors you really do feel like you are part of the Alex DiPeppe family. This is not something that can be taught or learned this is simply a sign of the owners dedication to presenting a quality establishment, and excellent Italian food.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Taco Lita

For my first post on this blog I picked one of my absolute favorite places to eat since I was kid growing up in the Arcadia and Temple City area. This has got to be one of the most loved local places to eat. Ask any local where to get the best burrito in town and they will point you to Taco Lita.

The food here is simple but so delicious, the beef is cooked fresh; the beans are creamy and smooth. The lettuce is crisp, the tomatoes are ripe and the cheese is finely grated. The menu is simple and has not changed for as long as I can remember. When ever I go there I already know what I am going to order every time, a jumbo burrito and taco. Taco Lita also has combination burritos, tostadas, bean and cheese burritos and much more.

When I sit down to eat I always start with the jumbo burrito and this thing is huge, I can hardly eat the whole thing. There are five ingredients that go inside the flour tortilla; they are beans, meat, cheese, lettuce and tomatoes. I think it’s the simplicity of the burrito that makes it so darn good. Every bite from start to finish is filled with all four ingredients, not like those other places where you don’t get the cheese until your second to last bite. Add the taco sauce to your burrito and you have not had anything better in your life.

Up next is the taco a staple for any great mexican restaurant. This taco is loaded with the fresh ground beef, lettuce, tomatoes and cheese; packed into a crisp taco shell. Every bite is full of crunch from the lettuce and the shell. The great taste of the ground beef with the tomatoes and cheese can not be beat. Add taco sauce to your taco and you have not had anything better in your life.

The tostada from Taco Lita is massive. They take one of those white to go containers put a tostada shell on the bottom heap a pile of beans on top of the shell add the lettuce, tomatoes and cheese then call it done. You can get the tostada with or without beef. This tostada eats like a meal by its self due to size of this thing. It comes close to being a called a taco salad which in my mind is absolutely fine. Again the uses of the fresh ingredients are what make this tostada number one in my book. Add taco sauce to tostada and you have not had anything better in your life.

If you haven’t figured it out yet Taco Lita taco sauce is, in my opinion, the best taco sauce out there. The sauce is not spicy hot but it has such great flavor that it makes anything taste better. In fact Taco Lita has such a great demand for the sauce that they sell packets of twelve at the counter for those of us that can’t get enough. On a jumbo burrito I personally will go through three or four packets of sauce. A taco will receive one packet of sauce and a tostada will receive two packets of sauce.

I can not say enough about Taco Lita and the quality of food they serve. Everything I have ever ordered from there has been fresh and delicious for as long as I can remember. Anyone I have ever taken to Taco Lita has left with the same feelings that I have about their food. I can’t really explain what it is that continues to draw me to the food other then it is simply the best burrito around town.

Taco Lita
120 East Duarte Rd.
Arcadia, CA 91006

Taco Lita on Urbanspoon