Eats Beat

A $6.99 lunch? Here’s where to find it in the west Fort Worth area

Pizza by the slice with pepperoni and Italian sausage at Italiano’s in River Oaks.
Pizza by the slice with pepperoni and Italian sausage at Italiano’s in River Oaks. bud@star-telegram.com

Forty years after the first Albanian and Macedonian immigrants arrived, Texas is still enjoying the bargain pasta and pizza.

You can argue the lineage of restaurants like Italiano’s in River Oaks, new from the Halili regional family of restaurateurs.

But you can’t argue with $6.99 lunches seven days a week.

Even on Sunday, $6.99 buys a simple platter of tortellini Alfredo, lasagna, ziti Bolognese or six other choices, including two jumbo pizza slices.

Italiano’s opens at 10:30 a.m., so you can grab an early pizza lunch.

The pizzas are the same small, medium or extra-large thin-crust pizza that you’re familiar with from more than 100 “New York” or “Joe’s” pizzerias around Tarrant County.

But Italiano’s seems to produce a lighter crust. Maybe that’s why the Halilis have been one of the most successful families at opening neighborhood pasta cafes.

The rest of the menu includes familiar chicken, veal and shrimp pasta dishes such as chicken fra diavolo (listed on the menu as chicken “fried diablo”).

The most expensive item on the menu is a seafood combo — $15.99. The pizzas come in sizes up to 18-inch.

Like Tuscany, featured here last week, Italiano’s is not someplace worth a drive across town. You probably have someplace similar close by,

But if you’re in west Fort Worth, Italiano’s is an easy and reliable stop for a BYOB lunch or dinner.

It’s in a former Tex-Mex restaurant on the older stretch of River Oaks Boulevard near Roberts Cut Off Road, not far from Naval Air Station Fort Worth.

It’s open for lunch and dinner daily exceot Mondays; 5442 River Oaks Blvd., 817-720-7388.

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Columnist Bud Kennedy is a Fort Worth guy who covered high school football at 16 and has moved on to two Super Bowls, seven political conventions and 15 Texas Legislature sessions. Since 1985, he has also written more than 2,000 “Eats Beat” columns about Texas dining, restaurants and food.
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