2009-04-08 / Restaurant of the Week

Italian Affair Pizzeria

By Teresa Barile

 
Word on the street is that Italian Affair Pizzeria makes delicious pizza, sausage rolls, hero sandwiches, pasta and more. Located in the Toys 'R' Us mall on Northern Blvd and 48th Street, Italian Affair is a good place to stop for a slice or a full meal after shopping in the fabulous retail stores in this shopping plaza. Congenial owners Frank Arcabascio and Charlie Dimaggio welcome you to their humble pizzeria that's big on taste.

Starting with the pizza, Italian Affair makes crispy crust pizza day and night with all your favorite toppings. Besides traditional ones such as pepperoni, mushrooms and sausage, the pizza chefs top medium and extra large size pies with BBQ chicken, eggplant, spinach, ham and pineapple, grilled chicken Caesar salad and yes, they even make a taco pizza! Grandma's pizza, one of my favorites, is a traditional square pie with chopped tomatoes, garlic and slices of fresh mozzarella.

Calzones are half-moon shaped pastries made with pizza dough and filled with yummy ingredients such as ham, sausage, spinach or meatballs all mixed with fluffy ricotta and gooey mozzarella. Sausage rolls, eggplant rolls and their famous spinach rolls are packed with flavor and make a nice lunch or side dish. Try the mini potato croquettes or house made rice balls filled with chopped meat and cheese. Italian Affair's hot hero sandwiches are so good, they go well beyond lunch and include Philly cheese steak, chicken parmigiana, veal and peppers, shrimp fra diavolo and their famous meatball hero. I grew up eating potato and egg sandwiches or sausage and eggs and Italian Affair makes them well.

 

 
Adnan, the friendly manager, does a brisk business catering to businesses in the area, including Amtrak and LaGuardia Community College. Dozens of pizzas, sandwiches and salads fly out the door along with trays of their Italian hot entrées. House made lasagna, layered with cheese and meat is Italian comfort food. Stuffed shells, manicotti and baked ziti are crowd pleasers and your next office party or family party will be a breeze when you let Italian Affair cater for you. Full-size and half trays of chicken parmigiana, chicken Francese, eggplant rollatini and fried calamari are just a few of the items on the extensive catering menu. Start your meal with a large antipasto tray and tossed salad. Half trays serve 10 people while the full tray serves 25.

All of these dishes are also available as dinner for one, to stay or to go, served with warm Italian bread. In addition, you'll find spaghetti prepared with 15 different sauces, from $6.50 to $11.00 for a generous portion. Choose among marinara sauce, red or white clam sauce, meat sauce, eggplant, garlic and oil and others. Penne alla vodka and tortellini are popular too.

Juicy burgers, straight up or with cheese and bacon are served with fries for $5.50 and up. Gyro sandwiches are available too, with or without fries. Italian Affair's salads are fresh and crunchy and make a meal in themselves or can be shared along with pizza or any entrée. Classic Caesar salad has crunchy croutons and dressing with Romano cheese ($6). For two dollars

more you can top the Caesar with tender, grilled chicken breast. The chef's salad is tossed with lettuce, tomato, onions, olives, salami, ham and provolone.

 
The back page of the menu features some funny reviews, cleverly made up by the owners. "I left my heart in San Francisco but I ate all my pizza at Italian Affair," boasts the fictitious Tony Bene.

Italian Affair is open seven days a week for lunch, dinner and anytime you feel hungry for delicious pizza and Italian dishes. Don't forget to cater your next party with Italian Affair.

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