Frank’s Pizza is about more than just pizza.
The no-frills Throggs Neck joint has served up a bunch of more substantial hearty Italian dishes from its E. Tremont Ave store since owner Tom Caruso took over nearly 20 years ago.
Of course, hungry Bronxites are still invited to stop by the neighborhood staple on E. Tremont between Miles and Lawton Avenues for a simple slice —or four or five slices— to go.
But Caruso’s worried that new folks in the neighborhood might be missing out the freshly made penne ala vodka and eggplant parm that his place also offers on its menu.
“A lot of people come in and say ‘I didn’t know you had all this food, I thought it was only a pizzeria,’” he said.
Dining room expand
Frank expanded into the space next door in 2011, opening a dining area. It was the final part of the restaurant’s transition from a simple pizza spot offering slices, pies and calzones to a full-fledged dining experience.
Though he’s still working on getting a liquor license, Caruso said locals should stop by and stay awhile next time they visit.
All of his pasta dishes are made fresh to order, the recipes honed from his years working at an Italian restaurant out in Scarsdale, he said.
“We’re trying to push our quality and taste, instead of pushing out food as quick as we can,” Caruso said. “At some places, the food will just sit around: that’s not what we do.”
‘Best in town’
Case in point —the pasta with vodka sauce, cooked with tomato sauce, cream, shallots, some spices and a wee bit of booze that gets cooked off in the process.
“My vodka sauce is the best around,” bragged Caruso.
His quest to get more customers to the sit-down restaurant side is made a bit complicated by the fact there’s another Italian restaurant, the more upscale and larger Tosca’s, just a block away.
The Frank’s owner said he’s got no beef with Tosca’s, but that customers should give his smaller eatery a shot as well.
“A lot of people see Tosca’s nearby and compare us just by size value,” Caruso said. ‘They can be a little hesitant to come try our food. But our fans call us a diamond in the rough.”