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Italian restaurant thrives
By Kathy Van Mullekom
Daily Press
March 5, 2004

You'll find little to criticize -- and everything to like -- at Joe & Mimma's Italiano Pasta and Pizzeria in the Grafton section of York County.
The interior is spic-and-span -- no crumbs on the floor or spills on the seats. The restroom is the cleanest one I've seen in a restaurant in a long time.
The service is good, and the food is even better.
Whenever Ken and I visit the strip shopping center location near our home, it's always busy with couples, families and groups. This Saturday night was no exception.
Our server quickly brought us our menus and took our drink choices while we tried to pick what we wanted from all the many options.
The menu is varied, offering everything from pizzas and sub sandwiches to pastas and salads. For dinner, I asked for the chicken parmigiana ($14), and Ken ordered chicken Alfredo ($14).
While we waited for the main courses, we enjoyed house salads, each one a small plate of chopped lettuce garnished with slices of tomato, onion, salami and provolone. We also enjoyed toasted slices of bread and butter with the salads. A Caesar salad can be substituted for the Italian version.
My platter was far more than I could eat at one time. Two lightly breaded chicken breasts were smothered in melted mozzarella cheese, and placed next to a generous helping of spaghetti with tomato sauce. Everything was tender, hot and tasty.
Ken's meal came in a deep-dish pasta bowl. Good-sized chunks of chicken breast played hide and seek in fettuccine covered with a creamy Parmesan cheese sauce. Needless to say, Ken said little until he finally finished his meal. I was good and took half of mine home.
Joe and Mimma's specializes in imported dry pastas and homemade sauces. You can get seafood versions with salmon, shrimp, mussels and scallops. Veal and chicken are fixed several ways. And if you are trying to stay away from meat, you have options such as eggplant parmigiana, spaghetti with garlic and oil or just a tomato or marinara sauce. Entrees are priced from $9 to $17.
Pizzas parade out of the kitchen, especially at dinnertime . You can create your own or choose from traditional meat ones made with pepperoni, Italian sausage, ham, meatballs and salami. A "meal- size" pizza comes with a salad. Some of the special ones feature garlic pesto topped with smoked mozzarella spinach, calzone pizza stuffed with cheeses and pizza primavera made with veggies and cheeses ($10-$14).
Appetizers range from fried calamari and chicken wings to mushroom caps and garlic knots ($4-$7). Sub sandwiches are the kind you know and like -- Philly steak and cheese, pastrami and cheese and meatball ($6-$8). And don't forget the fries and onion rings to go with them ($3). Beer and wine also are served.
The casual restaurant is a great place to take children because it offers food you eat with your fingers, and there are plenty of napkins to go around. The special kid's menu for 10 and under lists spaghetti and meatballs, cheese ravioli, burger with fries, chicken filet with fries or kids cheese pizza ($5).
Desserts are good, even though I think they are a bit pricey at $4 for cake and tiramisu or $3.50 for cannoli (deep-fried pastry shell filled with sweetened and flavored ricotta cheese). I had plain cheesecake drizzled with raspberry sauce. Ken got a little daring, asking for raspberry sauce on his carrot cake. The sauce blended nicely with the cream-cheese icing and sweet cake.
Joe and Mimma's is the kind of neighborhood restaurant that's been around for years and will continue to thrive because it does food right.