Bambino’s Cafe

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I saw an ad in the newspaper for Bambino’s Café and decided it would make a good destination for a lunch outing.  Joining me for lunch was Danny, good friend Neil and my lovely wife.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but Bambino’s occupies the same building as the original McSalty’s pizza in a residential area just south of SMSU (it will always be SMSU to me).  Back in the day when I was in school at SMSU – my future wife-to-be introduced me to this building and in the fine art of eating a “Happy Hawaiian” (pizza, not person) – but that is another story.

Bambino’s is an Italian place and as such has pizza, pasta, salads and Panini sandwiches.  Beer and wine is available.  I wasn’t in the mood for a pizza so I opted instead for the ½ sandwich and soup of the day combo for $6.99.  My wife got a ½ salad and sandwich combo which was also $6.99.  Danny ordered the special pasta of the day which was some sort of wine-based pasta and Neil decided on a sandwich and added a side salad.

I chose the Bambino Panini which had ham, salami and cheese topped with banana peppers and the house dressing.  For the soup, I picked the white chicken chili.  My wife ordered the Panini of the day which was pepperoni and the house salad.

We also decided to share an appetizer of hummus ($4.99) served with pita bread.  The hummus was pretty tasty and had enough garlic for you to notice.

The soups & salads were the first to arrive and my chili was very good.  It was a good sized portion and had lots of white beans, chicken and a really nice rich broth with just a bit of heat.  My sandwich was also good with a nice tang from the peppers and dressing.  The bread was a foccacia type, kind of thick and tasted really good.  It was served warm, but it didn’t have the typical Panini grill marks.

My wife and Neil seemed to like their choices, but Danny said he was disappointed in the special pasta.

Décor is nice and homey – certainly a step up from when I remember the place being McSalty’s.  We sat at a table next to the front window and watched the goings on in the neighborhood while we dined.  There is a bit of outside seating and some larger tables available for groups.

Getting to Bambino’s is a bit tricky.  It is tucked away in a neighborhood.  The best way is to get on National and turn west on Loren St. which is the first block south of the intersection of Grand and National.  Once on Loren St. take your first right and you will run into the restaurant.

Service was pretty good on our visit.  Our server came by often and my diet coke was kept full.

Overall, I liked Bambino’s.  I have plans to go back at dinner time and try some pizza or pasta.

1141 E Delmar St – (417) 862-9999

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