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Alberto's Pizza & Italian Restaurant Address: 4064-4 Forest Hill Blvd. ( Woodhaven Plaza at corner of Kirk Road)
Hours: 11 a.m. to
9 p.m. Monday-Friday,
4 to 9 p.m. Saturday. Closed Sunday.
Dining facility: Plenty of booths and tables in cozy, casual, full-service dining room.
Service: Phone in your order and it's ready when promised. Friendly, helpful, courteous, cheerful staff eagerly answers questions.
Delivery: From 10th Avenue North to Gun Club Road and Haverhill Road to Florida Mango Road.
We've been here numerous times and sampled pizzas, soups, subs, calzones, pasta and other entrees and found them all to be good.
A cold sub of fresh mozzarella is made with thin-sliced fresh red tomatoes and roasted red peppers ($7.50). The thick mozzarella slices are lightly sprinkled with Italian vinaigrette and served on a fresh, chewy hoagie roll. The flavors combine for a delightfully refreshing and satisfying treat.
We also enjoy the chicken cacciatore ($13.95) made with boneless, skinless chicken. The thin-sliced cutlets are cooked in a flavorful tomato and white wine sauce with onions, peppers and mushrooms. The chicken and vegetables almost melt in our mouths. The light sauce tastes buttery but not greasy or heavy.
It comes with a side of pasta, rolls, a green salad and a cup of soup. The Pasta Fagioli (minestrone is also available) is a well-seasoned, thick chicken broth chock full of ditalini pasta, white beans and diced onions.
The fresh salad includes greens, tomatoes and olives. We choose Italian vinaigrette for our dressing, and are happy with our choice.
A side of penne is topped with a thick, sweettomato sauce.
The regular thin-crust pizza (10-inch, $6.95; 14-inch, $9.50; 16-inch, 10.95; 18-inch, $13.95) has a sturdy, well-done crust, plenty of cheese and just the right amount of sauce. It's full of flavor.
We especially enjoy the pizza primavera ($9.95, $13.95, $15.95, $18.95) that is topped with chopped juicy red tomatoes, broccoli and spinach, plus lightly breaded pieces of eggplant. It all combines for a juicy, well-balanced pizza.
My daughter enjoys the spaghetti ($4.99) with butter from the children's menu. It's also available with tomato sauce and/or meatballs for the same price.
Everything is neatly packed in foam and foil containers. They also provide a separate container of grated cheese upon our request.
Shenanigans East Side Pub Address: 1300 S. Federal Highway
Hours: 11 to 2 a.m. daily
Also at: 3303 Sheridan Street, Hollywood, 954-981-9702
Dining facilities: Eat-in bar and restaurant with takeout available, which you order at the bar.
Service: Energetic and efficient
Although Shenanigans in Hollywood's Emerald Hills is a local institution, this east-side sister is well on its way. With a slightly different menu than the other location, this venue offers a range of choices.
We are blown away by the French dip prime rib sandwich served on a kaiser roll ($9.99). Tender, juicy and flavorful, this generous slice of prime rib is everything we love about this cut of meat. The au jus served with this sandwich is tasty addition to the sandwich, but the meat is so good you don't really need it.
A basket of sweet potato fries ($5.99 or $2.99 for a smaller order) is a foam container holding an abundance of hot, sweet, crispy fries.
The house salad ($2.99) is a cold, fresh blend of crisp iceberg lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers. The blue cheese dressing we choose is sufficiently rich, creamy and tangy.
Our 8-ounce burger ($6.99), like the other sandwiches, is served with fries and pasta salad. Hot and crispy, the fries make an interesting pairing with the light, cool rotini pasta salad for a bit of carb loading. Fat, juicy and cooked to our specifications, our burger comes on a toasted Kaiser roll, with lettuce, tomato and onion on the side.
Pizzas, stomboli, calzones, potato skins, chili dogs and fried mozzarella are just some of the many choices on the menu. There's a 50-cent surcharge for each to-go item. -- Claudine McCarthy
Applebee's Address: 1570
Boynton Beach Blvd.
Also at: For other locations, visit apple
bees.com; call to check availability of dining deal.
Dining deal: Two for $20 deal gets you one appetizer and two entrees from a selected menu at lunch and dinner. No substitutions.
Service/atmosphere: Quick, pleasant servers eagerly answer questions. Large, busy, cheerful dining room has plenty of comfortable booths and tables.
For this dining deal you get to share mozzarella sticks, chicken fingers with buffalo sauce, crunchy onion rings or spinach and artichoke dip. Then you get to select two entrees from a list of 12, including burgers, riblets, chicken tenders, 7-ounce sirloin, fried shrimp and Oriental chicken salad.
We're off to a great start with a generous portion of spinach and artichoke dip ($7.49 on the regular menu). We enjoy the warm blend of creamy spinach, tender artichoke pieces and melted asiago and parmesan cheeses. It comes with a side of mild salsa and a large serving of tortilla chips.
For one of our entrees, we decide on the new A.1. steakhouse burger ($8.99 on the regular menu). It's cooked medium well as requested and proves to be very juicy, flavorful and moist. The topping of crispy fried onion strings are a nice touch. It's also topped with cracked peppercorns and a special blend of seasonings, A.1. Steak Sauce, melted Monterey Jack cheese and mayonnaise on a toasted bun. It's served with lettuce, sliced tomato and raw red onion with a side of French fries.
We also enjoy the fiesta lime chicken ($11.49 on the regular menu). It's a large, juicy, tender baked chicken breast covered in melted Monterey Jack-cheddar cheese and drizzled with a zesty lime sauce and ranch dressing accented with jalapenos (don't worry, it's not spicy). It's placed on a bed of crispy tortilla strips and seasoned Mexican-style rice.
The mild rice has diced tomatoes, green chilies and corn tossed with it. The side of pico de gallo, with chopped red onions and tomatoes, tastes very fresh.
My daughter is very pleased with the three crispy chicken fingers ($3.99) and side of French fries from the kids' menu. Alternatives to fries include steamed broccoli, celery with ranch dressing or applesauce. She also enjoys the kids' Oreo Cookie Sundae (99 cents), a sweet concoction of vanilla ice cream topped with hot fudge, whipped cream and crumbled Oreos.
We have room for only one of the dessert shooters ($1.99), a selection of mini desserts served in small glasses. We decide on the strawberry cheesecake dessert shooter, which has layers of classic cheesecake, graham cracker crumbs, strawberry sauce and whipped cream. It's sweet, rich, and refreshing.
— Claudine McCarthy