Quick Bites: Don’t Fahgettabout Brooklyn’s

Their slogan is, “Believe me, you won’t forget about it,” and you won’t. Brooklyn’s Original Pizzeria & Restaurantopened in September in the newly renovated 14th Street Plaza. Owners Jimmy McGarrigle from Brooklyn and Deana Lucin, his fiancée from New Jersey, brought the real deal to Ocala, according to patrons’ comments on the restaurant’s graffiti wall.

Jimmy’s food is no-nonsense. It looks fresh, tastes fresh, and is fresh. My eggplant parmesan was hand-made and filled my plate. It was not baked in a pan and cut in squares. His tomato sauce is not adulterated with spices that detract from the tomatoes. It’s chunky but not thick, and complements the garlic knots and fresh baked bread nicely.

The entrées are generous. You can easily package up half your meal to take home before diving in and still be very satisfied with the other half. The prices are also more than reasonable.

The daily lunch specials are especially affordable, from two cheese slices and a soda for $3.95 to a sub sandwich or calzone and soda for $4.95. Tuesday nights, eat in or take home an 18-inch cheese pizza for only $6.99. Mama mia, that’s a deal!

To make it even more tempting, the pizza dough is made on-site and hand-tossed.

“His secret to a good pizza is how he proofs each pizza dough in a separate pan with olive oil,” says Deana. “He does it the old-fashioned way you don’t see anymore. The result is a crispier dough.”

The dessert case features cheesecakes, Tiramisu, and rich specialty cakes. Cannolis are filled to order as well as zeppoles (Italian donuts) that are fried, sprinkled with confectionary sugar, and served hot to order. Beer and wine is in the works, but in the meantime, Deana says you can bring your own bottle if you’d like. Call (352) 304-6292 for a faxed menu.

Nibbles: Up next issue is Giordano’s Café in the old Dairy Queen on U.S. 441. But don’t wait. Go now and enjoy the fabulous soups, sandwiches, and pies. The new interior with its old-world theme will blow you away! Moreno’sUptown Grill has a new menu and concept. Learn more at uptowngrillocala.com.

Latinos Y Mas on Pine Avenue is undergoing full renovations, from the parking lot to an additional 2,000 square feet in the building. Things are going so well for owners Maria Pozo and Webster and Fatima Luzuriaga at their temporary location, the old Roadhouse Grill, they’re thinking of keeping it but with a different concept.

The Schnitzel Factory on 14th Street has reopened after renovations and you won’t believe your eyes. The restaurant now features mahogany walls, floors, tables, chairs, and booths. View pictures as well as the new menu at theschnitzelfactory.com. More on The Mason Jar at On Top of the World and its new ownership in the next issue. Visit themasonjarocala.com to get acquainted with the extensive menu and buffet hours. Indian restaurant The Bay Leaf is fairly new to the plaza across from the Paddock Mall on SR200. Ask about the lunch buffet for only $8.95 at (352) 291-9237.

Gi Gi’s Family Restaurant, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, will open soon in Belleview on US 441 where several other restaurants have tried, most notably Al & Jan’s. Visit gigisfamilyrestaurant.com.

Looking for something really out of the ordinary? Mojo Grill and Catering downtown is offering Segway tours around the area and Tuscawilla Park. Call them at (352) 369-MOJO (6656) for more information. Abrruzzi’s, located on the s-curve, is changing hands and will soon be called Daisy Mae’s.Sadly, Barbazon’s Sports Bar & Grill has closed, but Hobo’s in Pearl Britain Plaza has not, despite any rumors you may have heard.

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