I’ve been trying to watch my weight this year. Truly I have, but holidays are a challenge, with temptation lurking around every corner.
By the third week of December, my willpower is worn down to a nub (I hear it’s a limited resource; that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it). Oh sure, I could have chosen a salad at DaVinci’s in Silver Spring Township, but eschewing carbs at an Italian restaurant just seems wrong on so many levels, perhaps even an insult to the proprietors.
So, after a bit of research, I learned that a customer favorite is the “Grandma Pizza.” Of course, I had to try it, so I grabbed my comrade in caloric crime by the love handles and off we went.
Because this was my first visit to the eatery, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I can report that a large onsite lot provides convenient, easily accessible parking just off the Carlisle Pike. When we arrived during the lunch hour on a weekday, I was temporarily flummoxed when an employee failed to greet us. Within a few seconds, however, I spotted a sign directing us to the front of the restaurant.
When we walked up to the ordering area, I noticed that several varieties of pizza were on display, including my “Grandma Pizza.” I chose a square for the reasonable price of $2 and settled into a booth while they heated it in the oven. My companion, who is not one to turn down a meal of spaghetti and meatballs, placed an order for “Spaghetti Della Mama” ($11.75) and joined me shortly thereafter.
As for décor, DaVinci’s is casual, bright and roomy. Wooden booths with mauve and red-hued cushions provide seating on one side of the restaurant and wooden tables on the opposite side.
The BYOB offers a rather extensive menu with appetizers like calamari, bruschetta and shrimp cocktail, and diners have a choice of eight salads, including the tried-and-true Caesar, Greek and chef.
There are actually plenty of light options at the family-owned eatery. The restaurant offers six different wheat wraps with ingredients like turkey and chicken, along with a vegetarian “caprese” stuffed with mozzarella, tomatoes, a spring mix and roasted peppers.
Hot and cold subs and sandwich choices clock in at about a dozen, with ingredients like tuna, roast beef, veal, chicken, sausage and turkey, with a roasted vegetable vegetarian option.
Pizzas also run the gamut, from the aforementioned “Grandma Pizza,” to a white pizza with broccoli, tomatoes, ricotta and garlic oil; a stuffed pizza with ham, salami, meatballs and ricotta; and a four-cheese pizza.
If that’s not enough, DaVinci’s offers an array of pasta ranging from cheese ravioli, to stuffed shells and fettucine alfredo. A cinderblock of lasagna caught my eye and I filed it away for future reference. To me, indulging in that would be akin to getting a great big hug. What can I say? I grew up with an Italian grandmother.
Lunch service is a combination of “help yourself” and staff assisted. Employees brought us our orders within 10 minutes — information that may be helpful for those on a tight schedule.
I enjoyed the flavor of my “Grandma pizza,” topped with a homemade marinara sauce punctuated with basil overtones. The chewy crust with the golden-brown bottom was yeasty and delicious — half as thick as Sicilian and a bit denser.
My partner gave a thumbs-up to his dish, mentioning the brightness of flavor in the nicely seasoned, freshly made spaghetti sauce and the generous serving of hearty meatballs that came with the dish.
DaVinci’s also seems to be popular with families. A children’s menu offers items like cheeseburgers, chicken fingers, spaghetti and ravioli, with prices ranging from $4 to $7.
Those who save room for dessert may be few and far between. Included among the limited menu options are cannoli, tiramisu and a daily selection.
As for dieting, I’m pretty sure we all have hope for getting back on track after the New Year. Maybe all those upcoming “New Year, New You,” articles will “stick” for once. As for my plans, I am plotting how to bank a few thousand calories to return for that cinderblock of lasagna.
Next Up: Dinner at Chalit’s Thai Bistro in Mechanicsburg.