For a quick meal to satisfy your mood for “Italian,” the Original Italian Pie on Perkins Road offers a wide variety of meals at affordable prices.
Situated in the small Perkins Crossing center, the restaurant is conveniently in south Baton Rouge near the still-expanding medical complex region. It’s especially handy if your working hours don’t fit anyone’s description of “normal.” If you want spinach and artichoke dip at 11:30 a.m. or lasagna at 4 p.m., you will be served promptly. Servings are large and satisfying.
Our first visit for a late lunch started at 3 p.m. The “small” Caesar salad ($3.99) is generous enough to be shared by two people who are light eaters. The tasty salad consisted of romaine lettuce tossed with a dressing that had a citrusy, somewhat peppery bite, croutons and shredded Parmesan cheese. Our guest was pleased with a roasted chicken lavash wrap ($7.99), which included plenty of marinated grilled chicken breast with pesto aioli, along with minced red onion, red and green bell pepper and feta cheese. This, too, is a generous portion. She took half home to enjoy the next day.
The restaurant offers seven lavash wraps, which the menu describes as being roasted in a Mediterranean flatbread with mozzarella and lightly brushed with a house-made pesto. The guest plans to return to try another of the wraps - perhaps the roasted eggplant or the barbecue chicken.
Meat lovers can indulge in the Italian all-meat calzone ($9.79). The folded pie dough was literally stuffed with lightly seasoned ground beef, Italian sausage, bacon, ham and pepperoni and just enough herbed ricotta to smooth out the flavors. Fresh quality meats made this dish really good. The calzone dough, baked until slightly brown, was brushed with oil and dusted with a blend of oregano and parsley. The calzone was served with a marinara sauce, a somewhat thin red sauce without the heavy thickness or flavor of southern Italian sauces.
Sergio’s Gulf shrimp pasta ($13.99), a very satisfying dish, came with large Gulf shrimp in a buttery cream sauce along with artichoke hearts, mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes served over fettuccini and topped with a sprinkling of chopped green onions.
Especially excellent was the Mediterranean salad ($3.99 small or $6.99 large). The delicious salad included crisp romaine lettuce tossed with ripe tomatoes, artichoke hearts, red onions, Kalamata olives and crumbled feta cheese. It was served with an unusual, tangy, sun-dried tomato dressing.
Stopping in for dinner one evening, we tried the restaurant’s classic lasagna ($11.99). The large lasagna portion featured layers of pasta alternating with seasoned ground beef, ricotta cheese and mozzarella cheese, and topped with marinara sauce. Baked thoroughly, the dish was served piping hot with the cheeses and meat mixture thoroughly melded.
The chicken cacciatore ($12.49) offered slices of grilled chicken breast marinated with saut?ed onions and green bell pepper in marinara sauce and served atop a large serving of spaghetti.
The restaurant makes gourmet pizzas, including roasted eggplant and Hawaiian. The Italian Pie combination ($15.99 for a large 14-inch pizza or $10.99 for a small 10-inch pizza) consisted of pepperoni, Italian sausage, ground beef, mushroom, saut?ed onions, green bell peppers and black olives. Although tasty, we were disappointed in the scant amount of toppings. The dough is brushed with a house-made pizza sauce. Diners can create their own pizza with numerous choices of toppings. A basic cheese pizza ($7.99 for a 10-inch or $9.99 for a 14-inch) can be topped with one or all of 22 choices (priced $1.29 each for a 10-inch pizza or $1.79 each for a 14-inch pizza). If you choose a premium topping, the cost is $1.79 for a 10-inch or $2.79 for a 14-inch. Premium toppings include shrimp, marinated chicken breast, applewood bacon and meatball.
If you’re looking for a light meal, check out the appetizers. Try the Italian baked wings ($6.99), with a small crispy Italian salad ($3.99). Desserts (all cost $4.99) include peanut butter pie, tiramisu, Jeremy’s delectable layer cake and New York-style cheesecake with strawberry, chocolate, caramel or raspberry drizzle.
We appreciated the swift and friendly service and the restaurant’s casual approach.