Cafe Borgia: Munster, Indiana

Many years ago, I remember my mom and her friend, Nola, raving about this new restaurant they'd tried. At that time they were in a tiny Torrence Avenue storefront in Lansing and because they had no liquor license, it was strictly BYOB.

Well, many years later - 27 to be exact, Cafe Borgia, has moved to a roomier and classier location in neighboring Munster and acquired a liquor license. And everything on the menu as just as good as it's always been.

On previous visits, my favorites have been the stuffed eggplant, the pizzas and the stuffed chicken breast with four cheeses and brandy cream. I've also tried a few of the salads, which were all crisp and packed with flavor and the tomato and basil bruchetta, which I could literally sit myself and eat 5 servings of.

This time, I was visiting for lunch with my teenage son. I was in the mood for a lighter pasta and vegetable dish. I decided on the Penne Porchini with imported mushrooms and cream. I'm also extremely fond of spinach and love mushrooms and spinach together, so I put in a request for the addition of some spinach and was pleased that they obliged. Then, of course, I had to have some fresh grated Parmesan to top it off.

My less adventurous son (who begged all the way there to go to Panda Express) ordered spaghetti and meatballs and gave it his seal of approval. He loved the meatballs. Oh, and I forget to mention the warm bowl of Italian bread and butter that arrives probably before you get to your seat. If you're looking for upscale Italian in a charming atmosphere (they're outdoor patio is also now open for dining), this is your place. They've got all the classic dishes and many that will intrigue you and tempt your appetite.

Oh, and I'm always so stuffed before I leave (and portions are sizable - I always have a to-go container heading home with me) that I don't have room for dessert. But, I may have to save room next time for a cannoli, creme brûlée or tiramisu.

Cafe Borgia
10018 Calumet Avenue
Munster, Indiana