December 12, 2010

Dining in Des Moines: Bordenaro's

Juli and I recently stopped by one of the restaurants on our short list of Des Moines-area favorites.   It was the first time we'd been there in a couple months.  It was an early enough night that normally we would have gone home and cooked something, but we would have had to do some shopping first, and we were already both tired and hungry.  So we went to Bordenaro's, as it was on the way home anyhow.

Bordenaro's is something of a fixture of the Des Moines restaurant scene.  This southside restaurant has been around for a long time, and is well-known.   It consistently ranks at or near the top of listings of the best pizza places in the Des Moines area (it topped the list in the last ranking I remember seeing in one of the Des Moines papers).

The main seating area at Bordenaro's isn't very big, but the restaurant has some large rooms set aside for groups, or for evenings when things are particularly busy.   It's open for lunch on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and for dinner every evening but Sunday.   They have carry-out, and they also deliver, though delivery is limited to Des Moines' south side. 

The menu isn't particularly large.   Bordenaro's features a few pasta dishes (with choice of sausage or meatball), a small selection of Italian sandwiches (including meatball and cappacola subs and sausage grinders; all sandwiches can be ordered by themselves, peppers extra, or as a basket with fries or onion rings), and a variety of tasty appetizers.   We're huge fans of the fried mushrooms and the toasted ravioli, but probably the most famous appetizer at Bordenaro's is their homemade onion rings.  A fair number of people come in to order just onion rings. 

What Bordenaro's is really famous for, though, is their pizza.  Bordenaro's cooks up a truly excellent thin crust pizza, with crisp crust and rich, full-bodied sauce with a deep tomato flavor.  Several of their toppings - most notably the Italian sausage, pepperoni, cappacola and meatballs - are outstanding.  We tend to go with either pepperoni or sausage with mushroom (and sometimes black olives), or cappacola and pineapple.   The menu also features some specialty pizzas, including a Hot-n-Spicy one with Italian sausage and a variety of peppers, a BBQ chicken pizza, a taco pizza and a Philly cheese steak pizza. 

Pictured below is the pizza we ordered this time around:  a large Italian sausage and mushroom.

We also ordered a large batch of toasted raviolis:  crisp ravioli stuffed with meat and served with red sauce for dipping.  Unfortunately, we don't have a picture, because we were so hungry, and the appetizer was so delicious, we had finished it off before we thought to take a picture.  Maybe we'll have to drop by again soon and order that appetizer, then publish an update.

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