For several years, I've had the privilege of judging various food competitions all over northeast Indiana. For a while, I kept running into a local weather personality. Once, as we were chatting between courses, he mentioned that if I hadn't been to Raimondo's Pizza on West State Boulevard, I should go. His advice was well warranted – I had a meal that was as good as an accurate forecast of a sunny day.
The Portabella mushrooms appetizer was a perfect way to start my meal. The 'shrooms were cut into irregular pieces and dipped in an herbed breading that really clung to the meaty mushrooms. They weren't slimy or weepy or wet.They were served piping hot with some tangy cool ranch dipping sauce. We devoured them quickly. These are a must-have for my return visit.
Cindy's salad will please every veggie lover. It had all the essentials for a great dish. The produce was fresh, it was served cold in a chilled bowl, and it had a delicious dressing that lightly coated every leaf of lettuce.The mixed greens salad was evenly chopped. Diced tomatoes, onions, fresh parmesan cheese and croutons completed the ingredient list. I ordered a half portion, and there was still plenty to share.
Every bite of our chicken cordon bleu pizza was heavenly. It was rich, decadent and very tasty. The bubbly crust gets an A++. It wasn't too thick, but it was just thick enough to hold the weight of the toppings. Moist, tender roasted chicken, salty ham, a blend of Swiss, Muenster and mozzarella cheeses covered that crust, and a creamy honey mustard sauce sent this pie over the top. This was my favorite part of the meal, and it definitely makes my personal pizza hall of fame.
Raimondo's spaghetti & meatballs entree had a good noodle to-sauce ratio. The sauce and the meatballs were delicious. The sauce was throughout the pasta, not just on the top. The portion was huge and can easily be stretched over two meals. Two large pieces of garlic bread come with this entree.
Raimondo's mushroom roll was another pleasing entree. When the crust was cut open, wafer- thin sliced mushrooms cascaded onto the plate and fun stringy cheese and pizza sauce oozed out. This juicy entree was easy to eat and the roll was wonderful, perfectly baked.
The chocolate chip cookie was large and soft. A friend ordered a slice of cheesecake that was dense, rich and smooth. The carrot cake had a good spice flavor, but the crumb was a little dry. I chalk that up to the fact that it had been refrigerated. The cream cheese icing was very good.
Though the desserts aren't housemade, I did appreciate that they came from neighboring states.
These are my favorite reviews to write. I was full and my critical palate was satisfied. And thanks to my weather friend, I think I've found my new favorite place,I forecast many delicious meals ahead, courtesy of Raimondo's.
This column is the commentary of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of The News-Sentinel. Email Laura Weston-Elchert at email@example.com, or call her at 461-8468.
Where: 2608 W. State Blvd.
When: 10:30 a.m.-11:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 10:30 a.m.-12:30 a.m. Friday-Saturday; p.m.-10:30 p.m. Sunday
* Portabella mushrooms: $5.49
* Cindy's salad: $3.99
* Chicken Cordon Bleu pizza, small : $9.75
* Spaghetti & meatballs: $6.25
* Mushroom roll: $3.85
* Cheesecake: $2.25
* Carrot cake: $2.99