We can’t seem to get enough of the old classic restaurants. They remind us of a simpler time, firmly rooted in great food, exceptional value, local community and service with a smile. Pinocchio Restaurant in Burbank has been a neighborhood institution since the 60’s. The restaurant is only half the story. The expansive corner establishment also houses the Monte Carlo Deli, which has been providing in house, locally sourced and imported Italian delicacies to an appreciative customer base for over 40 years.
The restaurant is set up cafeteria style and we hopped in line to view both the menu on the wall, as well as the steam trays overflowing with freshly prepared, enticing dishes.
Standing in line we also found sides and salads to accompany entrees, pizza and sandwiches.
We are huge fans of eggplant parmesan and couldn’t resist an order. The hefty slice comes submerged in their garlic heavy marinara which we chose over the meat sauce. The rich and satisfying layers are enhanced by the soul of tomato, herbs and spices blooming in a sauce cooked down to its thick, chunky essence, that can only be achieved by hours bubbling away on the stovetop.
Prices on entrees, pizza and salad all fall into the exceptionally reasonable category and dishes share easily.
The homemade Italian sausage is a fennel punctuated, Italian herb and spice heavy blend that is bliss in a casing. We chose ours with grilled onions and peppers, over pasta topped with their house meat sauce.
Don’t forget to check the specials board at the beginning of the chow line to see if any additional options call.
Three vintage dining rooms are warm and comfortable, providing plenty of seating in various configurations, accommodating everything from a dinner for two to a family affair.
Either before or after your meal a visit to the attached Monte Carlo deli is a must.
Well organized rows of almost everything one could need or want for an Italian feast are displayed.
Refrigerated cases overflow with an abundance of pepperoni and salami.
Dried pasta in shapes that grab on to rich sauces and a profusion of olive oil fill the back of the shop.
We tried some of the imported chocolate and appreciate the flavors and texture of Kinder brand.
Behind the deli counter, loaves of freshly baked breads are the precise tools for sopping up the sauces or making garlic bread.
While the counter itself displays a wide variety of deli meats and sausages for those wanting to fill their homes with the smells and flavors of Italy.
Surprises line every shelf and counter, so give yourself enough time to search for delicious indulgences.
And of course no Italian meal is complete without a nice bottle of wine and Monte Carlo has a well laid out selection to chose from.
For a homestyle taste of Southern Italy, inside a space that feels welcoming and hospitable, Pinocchio and Monte Carlo warm the heart and the soul in a way only Italian cuisine can.
Monte Carlo Deli & Pinocchio’s Restaurant, 3103 West Magnolia Boulevard, Burbank, CA 91505
Phone – 818-845-3516 web site – montecarlodeli.com