Italian Food Like You've Never Had Before
Bruschetta, made with homemade bread, is literally like finding a real life unicorn in our area. I could probably write a novel on this exquisite bread; It is airy, crunchy, and seasoned to a T. Delicious and juicy tomato makes a perfect combo with a significant hint of basil and the freshly grated mozzarella cheese overflowing off of this almost one inch thick bread, drizzled with olive oil and tasty garlic. This appetizer is extremely filling and very well portioned. Raul and I both had a piece each and if I recall correctly, we had some leftover. This is a very reasonable priced appetizer and I would definitely encourage others to give it a try.
The Freshest of Salads
I would be lying if I said that I liked this soup, but I must add I am not a fan of soup that includes meat. Fortunately this was ordered by my lovely boyfriend (not me) and he happened to enjoy it. He informed me it was quite meaty, lightly peppery, and totally scrumptious. The noodles were perfectly cooked (which is a a staple at Cortino's apparently), and the white beans in this soup made it pretty hearty.. Soups are made daily and what they are depends on whatever Joseph, one of the owners, wants to make. (I think that's pretty cool because everything tastes better when you actually want to make it) This soup also came with the entrée.
In my personal opinion, eggplant can be a very difficult thing to cook well. If it is overly cooked it can become mushy, and if it is undercooked, it can be a little dense. These three large center cut pieces of eggplant were neither. (I am assuming their almost 50 years of experience has something to do with that.) Not only were these cooked until tender, they were breaded perfectly; Not too thick, not too light (just right!) I was a little in awe at how much I truly loved this eggplant. I mean, add melted mozzarella cheese AND real marinara sauce, what more could I need??!?!?!?!)
Eggplant Parmesan (including soup or salad)-$8.95
Great OldFashion Spaghetti
When it comes to real Italian food, I can honestly say I don't get enough. Real marinara sauce made with oregano, basil, and other herbs was such a necessary experience for me. Raul ordered this as his meal and left the plate completely empty. I mean, he would have licked the plate if I hadn't stared at him in disbelief. The amount of sauce was more than enough. Pasta, of course, cooked perfectly. The meat to sauce ratio was about 30/70, 70 being meat. Extremely filling and at an excellent price, this is probably the best deal of the entire dinner. It's practically the price of any fast food combo, but you are truly getting so much more.
Spaghetti (with soup or salad)- $8.50
Spumoni- Ice Cream Cake
I didn't get to try this particular dessert but they were ordering these puppies at almost every table around me and I had to snap a picture. I will apologize for adding it on here and not knowing much about it. What I do know is, this was an ice cream pie situation with REAL pistachio in the center, served cold and most likely delicious.
Onto something I did try, and then continued by engulfing entirely, here we have their rich, luscious double chocolate cake with cherry sauce. A more moist cake I have yet to find. I took this to go because I was so unbelievably full, but ended up eating it in the car after trying the first bite because (one) I've got serious problems and (two) a more delicious cake most likely doesn't exist. I'm hoping and praying (dramatic much) that they make this next week because this is where I have chosen to go for my birthday and man, oh man, happy tears happened when eating this cake. (I'm telling you something is seriously wrong with me!! haha!) Also worth mentioning is that Mamma herself bakes these up daily & only makes what comes from the heart. What a cutie!!!
Momma: The Woman behind the Magic
The story of the beginning of Cortinos Italian Restaurant is such a cute one. Mary & John opened up their little place, Fathers Day of 1966. John owned a construction company, He would tend to invite his clients over for dinner at his home. Mary would happily cook, but mentioned that if she was going to feed that many people, she needed a restaurant. So John built her one!!! (My kinda dude right here!) She began with only pizza. lasagna, and spaghetti and has slowly grown to the extensive and amazing menu we see (and happily enjoy) today.
If it were socially acceptable to hug a complete stranger, I would have given here a huge hug then and there. Momma, who took over the restaurant in the mid 70s has dedicated her life to the beautiful cuisine we luckily have the ability to try today in her restaurant and if that isn't worth praising, I don't know what is!! Thank goodness for people like her who keep our community not only fed, but culturally diverse. I learned what real Italian food should taste like because of her. (& may I just mention that she is as cute as a button!!) I must also mention her awesome family who works to keep the restaurant going, and her nephew, Paul, who happened to be our enthusiastic waiter and was extremely helpful with all things Cortino's!
Lastly, I'll leave you with a little something about not only this restaurant, but all restaurants I have, and will continue to write about. Eating is such an important thing in our lives. The restaurants I write about, like this one, spend a great amount of time, prepping food, preparing menus, figuring out costs, buying supplies, hiring great waiters, searching for the best ingredients to serve us, and ultimately creating a memorable experience for us foodies. Remember to be thankful to them, because without them, all we have left is processed, frozen, and just unthought-of "food."
Address- 3812 U.S. 83 Business, Weslaco, TX 78596
Phone #- (956) 565-2309
Great for date night, lunch, celebration, family
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