MOORE — Highways and byways are paved with franchise brand restaurants, but for those who veer off the beaten path a little ways, there is a small, family-owned and operated restaurant in Moore that’s worth some attention.
This is Banchettos, where some of the best home-cooked Italian food can be found at prices that that keep patrons coming back for more.
The smell of fresh pasta sauce and garlic greet those entering this small, family-oriented establishment where just beyond the giant pizza oven, owner Justin Evans chops and stirs up Italian fare made fresh to order every day.
Nothing is frozen and reheated. He looks at home in the kitchen, and that’s no surprise. Evans said his parents owned a restaurant in Colorado for 30 years — longer than he is old.
“I was born and raised in the restaurant industry,” Evans said. “I was born and raised with the same menu. Most of the recipes come from Uncle Jerry — Dad’s best friend. He and his wife are Italian and they had three or four restaurants in the Denver area. My parents learned from there and it went all the way down the line.”
The little restaurant, decorated with framed scenes of Italy and platitudes stenciled on the walls in both Italian and English, has been open for about three years now.
Evans said he enjoys cooking and his specialties are his sausage and meatballs, which he makes from scratch.
“We’re the only place around that makes our own sausage,” he said.
Evans uses the sausage in cannoli along with cheese and peppers all tucked inside homemade dough and covered in marinara sauce.
For first timers visiting the restaurant, he usually recommends either the cannoli or the lasagna.
While Justin is in the kitchen in the morning preparing food and taking care of the lunch crowd, his wife, Melissa, is home caring for the couple’s two children. Later, she trades places with her husband so she can manage the dinner crowd.