Geppetto's Italian Restaurant

Reviewed by 'laina 7/03/08
I'd seen Geppettos hundreds of times, living in that part of town, but never stopped to try it. I guess it's non-flashy, hole-in-the-wall location made it an oversight when trying to decide where to eat- especially with a car of six kids who'd likely eat their seat belts if we didn't get them somewhere, pronto!

The other night I was really in the mood for good Italian, and I really wanted to try the new Caruso's, but they seem pretty expensive, per their website. I didn't want to go to McOlive Garden, so when we passed Geppettos, we decided to give it a shot.

I got the Chicken Bianco which is simmered in cream and sherry, with onions and mushrooms, and served over fettuccine. It was on the bland side- I couldn't taste any outstanding flavors at all, but, it was filling enough that I left a good portion of noodles behind.

Hubby got the Cannelloni and Tortellini combo plate.. it was a pretty small portion of food- not enough to fill him up. He said the Tortellini was nothing special, but that the Cannelloni was "fantastic!!"

My two 'tween girls got Ma's Ravioli and neither seemed to be impressed with it- although the fact that they ate all of it is a good sign that it wasn't that bad.

My five year old got the kids plate fish nuggets (like chicken nuggets w/ fish stick flavor/texture) and fries. He didn't care for the fish (although he ate most of them), and they didn't have tartar sauce.

The two babies shared a kids plate of spaghetti- which they promptly devoured. The waitress was kind enough to bring the sauce out in a separate dish so that I could make sure the kids didn't make a huge saucy mess.

That being said- the waitress was fabulous and attentive. She brought us drinks and checked on us the right amount of times.. and didn't get annoyed when the babies dropped the crayons/ coloring papers/ forks on the floor a zillion times.

AND THEN... the desserts. OMG YUM. I had the Tiramisu, and I cannot explain in enough words how mouthwatering it was. The combination of flavors, and textures.. perfect. One girl got the milk chocolate mousse pie, one got a chocolate/nut/coconut torte, and my son got the spumoni ice cream- they all loved every last bite.

So yeah, we'll be back. I can't wait to try other dishes- especially the deep dish pizza that I keep hearing rave reviews on. Also a plus- it's a local restaurant and not a McChain.. not that I have a problem with chains, but I also like supporting local businesses with signs that read "Open since 1974". :)

Reviewed by Salem Man 11/24/07
Submerged in a sea of chain stores and strip malls on Lancaster Blvd, one local restaurant survives. Located in the Petco shopping center across the street from Red Lobster, Geppetto's has been in Salem since 1974. It's the only place in town, that I know of, that serves a Chicago style deep dish pizza that is perfect to heat up your belly on a cold winter night. Their website has a good description of one of these thick pizzas and the other styles they serve. I didn't order a pizza when we dined in at Geppetto's recently, but I did order a winter favorite. I don't think any Italian boy can resist a menu item titled Ma's Lasagna. For $12.50 you get a large square of the baked dish with a salad and bread. Sorry Ma, but the lasagna was nothing to write home about. The baked dish was covered in a nice meat sauce but the ricotta cheese tasted very bland. The Chicken Marsala that my wife ordered for $15.95 was much better though. The dining room was clean but dated. Kept in good condition, the booths are comfortable and the atmosphere is warm and friendly. Geppetto's also has daily specials including a large pepperoni or Canadian bacon pizza for $10.95 Sunday thru Thursday and $7.25 spaghetti with meat sauce on Monday's. If you are trying to support local restaurants in Salem, and you find yourself on Lancaster Blvd, Geppetto's is worth a try.

616 Lancaster Drive NE


Anonymous said...

HATED this place, really bad soup, and pizza. NEVER again

Unknown said...

the best pizza. Real Italian

Anonymous said...

Wanted to check this place out for a long time and finally went in there recently. Had the Catlina Garibaldi which was rich, cheesey and delicous. My wife had the ravioli, which was a little dry and disapointing, but, oddly enough, was much better
when we mircowaved the leftovers later that night.
The salad was fresh and house dressing was great, but the bread had more of a cheap dinner roll vibe, where something more crusty and rustic would've been a nicer touch. Overall, we enjoyed our meal- i'd recommend going with their specialty items. Their specialty pizzas looked like they could be tasty, at least on paper.

jeff said...

Next time you feel up for Italian, keep heading south on Lancaster until you get to Michaelangelo's, across Lancaster from the Santiam 11 theaters.

I thought the food we had there was quite good. Probably nothing to put them on the national map, but tasty... and if I remember correctly, there was quite a bit of it.

SalemStinks! said...

HATED this place probably likes Olive Garden. Or worse Willamette Noodle. This place has the best atmosphere, staff and food around aside from Caruso's! I just wish that it was out South so that I didn't have to venture to Lancaster.

Anonymous said...

We love Geppetto's. Reminds me of a great little hole in the wall in Chicago. The deep dish sausage pizza is good comfort food.

Anonymous said...

this place is amazing

Anonymous said...

I love this place. The food is consistently good and the people that work there are always super nice.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe we didn't know about this place. My husband and I had been here before and found the pasta just OK. But we recently went back and got the deep dish pizza with sausage and it was AMAZING. Just like they made on the South Side of Chicago, with red sauce on top of the cheese and handmade sausage. Wonderful. We'll be adding this to our list of must-have pizza joints, along with SFNY and Christo's.

Anonymous said...

While i liked geppetos the drive out to lancaster can seem long when you live on the south side of town . For those of you who feel the same you should try the old spaghetti warehouse on commercial . Great food and great prices . although salem man had some issue with some duct tape i have never seen any . Even he could not deny the great food . I think he mentioned something about good italian food making you sweat and how their spaghetti with meat balls did just that . It was pretty funny and i could not agree more

Anonymous said...

We have been going to Geppetto's for years. The service has been excellent everytime but once. The food has always been of a superior quality with the exception of the bread. I agree 100% with the poster that mentioned the bread has a "cheap dinner role vibe". That comment was right on and I wish Geppetto's would correct that.

Anonymous said...

We tried the chicken marsala. It tasted horrible. My girlfriend tried pork loin scallopini I think it was called. It was so tough I had to cut it for her and it taste disgusting. My chicken was soft and slimy and the sauce was bland no flavor. There bread was plain. The salad was OK and the linguini was fair but sauce not the best. We paid for our salads and told them we were leaving due to how bad the food tasted. Never going back