Medina, Ohio           Date of Visit  04/17/13  

SantoSuossos’ will forever be tied to Mama Jo Pies, as we found out about both of them on the same day, the day of the Medina county ice festival, and were committed to trying out both. After picking up some pie options to go we headed back to try some Italian fare in Medina. Like Jo’s they are located in a strip mall, once a guarantee of disappointment, it seems some folk looks to save on the mortgage or rent in order to focus on the product. Another prejudice put to bed by the reality of the world around me. Thank God for experience.



Great Sign Number 1. What A Crust

The interior is a mix of authentic and plastic you might expect in a plaza and was beyond dark enough to make me self conscious of the flash my phone produced in trying to record the dishes. Our server was named Justin and he appeared to be a well trained pro, timing everything well for the kitchen and doing an above average job of keeping up on his tasks to boot. We tried the soup du, some arancini, salads, lasagna, and chicken parm.

Bread and butter was the first thing to arrive at the table. The product in the basket was a good sign of things to come. Yeasty and doughy interior was encased in a tough slightly bitter crust and served with whipped butter. I have been avoiding carbs in my recent loss of about 50 lbs…it couldn’t be avoided here. Salads were fresh and nicely basic with tasty dressings. The soup du was a cream of mushroom. I was kinda wishing for a repeat of the portabella bisque I had heard about from Steph’s first trip. The cream based soup was good but insanely rich.

Fresh With Garbanzo Beans...Or Cici's If Your Italian

Ritchie Rich Cream Of Mushroom

Arancini, Balls Of Fried Risotto

More Please...Crispy, Creamy, Scrumptious

We shared an appetizer of arancini, deep fried nuggets of Arborio rice done risotto style mixed with cheese, breaded and crisped in the fryer. I haven't had them many times so I don't have much basis for comparison but I can tell you that these pallone were wonderful. Smooth and rich interior and the light crust was a great union with the house sauce. Fortunately, one of our foursome wasn't feeling very adventurous so we each got our own little treat.

I do have a confession. In my habit of noodling around in the kitchen I have sought to bring additional layers of awesome to Italian cuisine since leaving culinary school many years ago. Some sort of signature wow factor. My Italian is good. Theirs is just better. Makes me sad. I grew up with great Italian options and tried to build on a genre. SantoSoussos’ has been working on perfecting the balance of simple ingredients. Foolish me. The lasagna is the quintessence of this effort. A couple of long thin noodles are injected with seasoned beef, ricotta cheese, a bit of other cheese and the house sauce. Nothing makes you go WOW! It just makes you go MMMmmmmmm. The even balance of quality ingredients makes for a memorable square of yuminess.  The house sauce is a fresh version , featuring the acidity of the tomato and a note of fresh basil with a splash of sweetness from some unknown source, likely a pinch of sugar per serving. B-E-A-Utiful.


Hey It's Lasagna...Everyone Makes Lasagna

But It Seldom Turns Out This Perfectly Balanced

Crispy Edge Of Chicken Paillard In The Chix Parm, Great Seasoning And Doneness

Side Of Spaghetti Was Done Very Well

I ordered the chicken parm, a test of protein and starch. The gravy was the same as on the lasagna, sharply acidic with a counterbalance of sweet. The spaghetti was done to a near perfect al dente giving a chew to the pasta. The chicken was pounded out, breaded with a nicely seasoned crust, topped with cheese and layered with the house gravy. Nice. The spagh was similarly loaded; with Justin offering grated Italian cheese atop the dish. Sweet, acidic, salty and tasty. You could do worse. But you could also do better. Santosuossos’ offers some authentic and worthwhile Italian fare in Medina county. They fare well against limited competition, much like Mama Jo, but if you are looking for something to trump their offerings you will have to travel. Yes New York, Y-town, Chi-town, even Canton might have the upper hand, but convenience has advantages. You could do much worse than Santosuossos’. They know the cuisine of The Boot and turn it out well. We didn’t do dessert, we had three pies in the car, maybe later.




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