Apr 042009

italian delight 3

Avelluto’s Italian Delight is a semi-cafeteria style restaurant that offers simple versions of pretty much any Italian-American dish you could ever want. Based on what I had heard, I expected someplace a little more dingy, but it is actually quite nice inside and, despite what the photo below shows, is really hopping at the height of lunch hour.

italian delight 1

All food is ordered from a register at the end of a large series of deli counters as you walk in. There is so much to choose from that I found it very difficult to make a decision. Pizza, pasta, stromboli, calzones, Italian sandwiches, they have the whole 9 yards here. Side dishes are a little lacking. The side salad is a tepid affair, featuring iceberg lettuce, cheese and a pretty good, traditional Italian dressing. But it is a far cry from satisfying a true vegetable craving. They do offer sides of spinach and broccoli but at more than $3, they are really prohibitive as side dishes. I’ve had the pasta salad which is a solid bow tie noodle dish with diced peppers and fresh basil. Good, but not as good as I make at home.

Italian delight

italian delight 5

The meatballs here are pretty good: light fluffy and full of flavor. But the overall effect of the meatball sub was less than ideal. The sauce was overly sweet and tasted canned. The bread was too soft, lacking the definitive crust of a good Italian bread.

italian delight 4

Similarly the pizza is fine and the toppings are good, but the dough has none of the qualities of exceptional crust. It bakes up rather chewy and soft, and is slightly undercooked if anything. The slice is vaguely reminiscent of square cafeteria pizza.

Italian delight

I have never eaten anything bad here, but I do find it underwhelming. In the immediate area there are few lunch spots that can compare. If the Mission Twittical pub crawl taught me anything, it’s that Mission has really terrible food. Avelluto’s does handle a high volume lunch crowd very efficiently. I’ve never waited very long to get my food after ordering. If you order multiple items, be aware that they will bring out faster things like salads more quickly.

I can see Italian Delight being perfectly good for folks who want to pick up a pizza or carryout some lasagna or chicken Parmesan to heat up for dinner. I would go again if I had a craving for pasta (which never happens) or Italian deli meats(more likely). But don’t expect to be blown away.

Check out their menu here.

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Avelluto's Italian Delight on Urbanspoon

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  24 Responses to “Avelluto’s Italian Delight: 6522 Martway”

  1. I usually get their spaghetti with meat sauce. It’s fairly spicy and I find it’s one of the tastier things they have.

  2. not big on Italian food,but I just wanted to say that your site and reviews look very cool professional now. are you going to stay with blogger?

  3. Thanks Meesha. For the record I think you have the best looking blog around. I’m gonna stick with blogger just because I’ve been with it so long and don’t relish moving to WordPress (which would now be my preference). Chris Packham was nice enough to make the new header for me.

  4. I remember eating there a few years ago, and everything tasted like it came out of a can. I wasn’t expecting greatness, but a happy meeting between Italian comfort food, and family friendly prices. I don’t remember it being much of either.

    Speaking of comfort food, have you been to the new Accurso’s? My wife and I headed over there last night. Hate the new building. The warm, quiet, intimate feel is GONE. The new place is loud, bright and cold. We put our name down for the 30 minute wait, but soured on the atmosphere so quickly that we left after 5 minutes and went to Spin Pizza next door.

    I wish the owners nothing but the best, and I am sure we will give it a try sometime on a weeknight… but what a bummer.

  5. I haven’t been to the new Accurso’s but I totally understand what you are saying. That great ambiance at the last location was the best thing going for it. Do you know that story of why they left the old location? Were they compelled or did they choose to move?

    I live in fear that the old row of shows will be torn down.

  6. Leo and I stop at Avelluto’s now and then. He likes their lasagne. I like their past and meatballs, and the fried calamari, whenever they have it. That’s pretty much the only reason we go there, really…for the ease of take-out calamari not far from home. Otherwise, I can make just about everything they offer in my own kitchen for less…

  7. That pizza looks different than the pizza I’ve had at italian delight in the past. I am hoping that they didn’t change their pizza making methods. If so, I would be extremely sad. Their pizza in the past had a thin layer of cheese and was much more browned that that. I am starting to get worried.

  8. kgb, that is a photo of the “delight” pizza which I think is basically a slice with lots of toppings. I saw the cheese slices and they are more as you describe.

  9. This is Mike Avelluto, I am the youngest brother of the 2 owners and I have been working with them for about 10 years. I just read the review of our restuarant which for the MOST part is a fair assessment. There are just of few comments that really struck a nerve in both the review and the blog’s that I would like to address.
    First off to the person who wrote the article; you mentioned that are home made sauce was “overly sweet and tasted canned.” As a restaurant professional and food conisour, in my opinion, anyone with any type of cullinary knowledge would not consider our sauce to taste sweet. It is probably a mis-interpretaion of the bold flavor of garlic, parsley and oregano which is slowly cooked over our stove top. I’ve tasted many tomato sauces including sweet ones. Ours is not, we do not and have not ever added sugar, or anything that would give it that flavor. To further discredit your critique of our tomato sauce you thought that our pasta salad contained chopped peppers when in fact they are and have always been tomatoes which highlights your lack of taste for tomatoes.
    2.Through out many years our pizza is considered to be the most authentic new york style pizza by various and accredited restaurant critics. We have been aknowleged by the kansas city star in a recent article called “the top ten places for pizza in kc.” Our dough is made from scratch and we use the purest and most expensive whole milk mozerella cheese money can buy. My question to you is..What kind of pizza do you consider good pizza. If its pizza hut or papa john’s i forgive you for the lack of knowledge in your seemingly narrow span of pizza tasting experience. Some people just don’t know good pizza other’s are just trapped in the illusion of chain restaurant pizza. That for year’s was the only thing offered in the midwest. Then again everyone is entitled to an opinion, thank you for your time. god bless.

  10. I really enjoy Mike’s insulting of people’s tastes.

  11. he could’ve jumped the counter and kicked your ass

  12. the photos assure me that i never want to eat there!

  13. Looking at the meatball sandwich, it looks less than appetizing.

    Minsky’s makes a good meatball sub. Its the only thing I order from there.

  14. I’ve never eaten anything there that wasn’t good. Their pizza is excellent, but the subtlety gets lost a little when you get the delight due to the sheer mass of toppings. Order a slice of sausage pizza (they’re generous with the toppings), a calzone, or a stromboli and you’ll be quite happy.

  15. Nothing else in the vicinity…have you tried the Thai Orchid further down in that group of shops/restaurants?

  16. Jason, I forgot about Thai Orchid–it’s right there isn’t it? I’ve never been, thanks for putting it back on my radar.

  17. I’m addicted to Italian Delight! It’s an awesome place

  18. Avelluto's is fantastic New York style pizza!~ Their sauce is delicious and so are their calzones and stromboli. It's almost like you went to a different Avelluto's. I don't get your review at all.

  19. You are all entitled to your opinion but my Uncle Mike is right, my Uncle James and my dad have the best Italian food around compared to competitors. I am my fathers oldest son and I adore his Margarita Pizza. I can say that our sauce is NOT canned because I have been on the forefront of that kitchen and seen that wonderful sauce being made. You again are entitled to your own pizza but come on a Friday or Wednesday and your taste buds will thank you. Don't be enticed by those fake Italians from the Northland. We are a family owned business that has survived three major recessions in the U.S. and we continue to go strong. Give us another chance and we'll please you!

  20. Had a nice dinner there the other night. Its not the best Italian I've ever had, but its a touch above the bland chains. I do agree the sauce is sweet, but not overly so. I enjoyed the lasagna and I like the selection of salads and sides (although I agree, the sides should be priced lower, while they could probably raise the price of the salads and they would still be a deal).

    Its a nice, casual, family-friendly place that won't cost you that much. Looking forward to trying the stromboli next time.

  21. Their Lasagna and Calzones are to die for, my family had been picking them up for years for family gatherings. the pizza is very good. I like their traditional salads also.

    All-in-all I have never had anything mediocre or bad at this restaurant.

    Service has always been fantastic, if you need anything at all they run it right out to you. And when making the dishes they take great care that everything is quality.

  22. May I say…the sauce is the BEST part! I’m not sure what kind of sauce these people eat that don’t like it. They have the best family owned vibe and it is a cozy place. I love everything about it!

  23. For what it’s worth, I grew up not far from the “Hill” in St. Louis. I am well acquainted with authentic Italian cuisine. When I moved to Kansas City in 1878, I tried several places and none of them stood out for me. Then we discovered Avelluto’s. Not only is it the best in the greater Kansas City area (in my opinion), but would rival anything in St. Louis.

  24. i love this place. i eat here all the time as it’s so close to my house, and they have great prices. Tried eggplant lasagna for the first time here and it was to die for. Have to say though: i’m totally addicted to their strombolis.