Despite the abundance of delicious New York-style pizza in Wesley Chapel, I still recommend taking a short drive down Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvd. to Cross Creek Blvd. to try Biagio’s II Pizza & Pasta, located in the only part of the Cory Lake Isles Professional Center that actually faces Cross Creek Blvd.
Mo, who purchased Biagio’s in June of 2013, is proud to announce that Peppe, the popular long-time pizza maker who helped make Biagio’s so popular with local residents, has been back since January.
That means that whether you’ve never checked out Biagio’s before, or if it’s been a while since you’ve sampled “Gourmet Food at Pizzeria Prices,” you owe it to yourself to give it a try now.
Everything we’ve sampled at Biagio’s the past couple of weeks has definitely been yummy, including the excellent, custom-made-for-us Margherita-style pizza pictured at left, as well as the tasty chicken parmigiana pizza, which is always among the several different varieties available by the slice anytime you visit. Our office also really enjoyed a half-sausage, half-cheese large NY-style pie, and sales and office assistant Antwon Gildon gave high marks to his gourmet slice and garlic knots that came with his two-slice lunch special (a fountain drink also included for just $6.50!).
I also recently chowed down on a tender and delicious half veal parmigiana sub and I can tell you that Mo, Peppe and Biagio’s really are building something truly yummy.
Among our office’s other favorite dishes were new graphic artist Julie Mills’ huge portion of meaty lasagne, assistant editor Matt Wiley’s portobello panini sandwich and general manager Nikki Bennett’s chicken Cardinal, which is two grilled breasts topped with spinach, roasted peppers and fresh mozzarella in a savory brown sauce. I also enjoyed the rigatoni Leo, which was served al denté as I ordered it, with grilled chicken, spinach and sundried tomatoes in a unique pink sauce. All very tasty indeed!
Because Biagio’s is more than just a pizza place, the menu is huge and even offers fresh homemade ravioli (I haven’t tried those yet), including lobster ravioli, hot and cold subs and wraps and even “Pastabilities” (where you create your own pasta). There’s even a variety of tasty soups (I really enjoyed the zesty pasta fagioli), hot appetizers like fried calamari and even sides like spinach, broccoli or mushrooms sautéed in garlic and oil. The homemade desserts include zeppoles and even baklava.
Mo, who has lived in New Tampa for three years, was a doctor in his native Egypt, but has raised his four children (three daughters and a son) in the U.S. — and all of them are now in school in Florida. In fact, his daughter Marwa, who is in pre-med herself at USF and hopes to become a surgeon someday, actually helps her dad out in the restaurant while she’s in school, as does daughter May, a Ph.D. candidate in Psychology at the University of Tampa. Daughter Marim also is in pre-med at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, while son Mo is a senior at Wiregrass Ranch High in Wesley Chapel.
For more info about Biagio’s II (located at 10359 Cross Creek Blvd.), visit BiagiosTampa.com or call 973-4343. Take out, delivery and even large catering orders are always available. Biagio’s is open Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m., Friday & Saturday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m., and noon-9 p.m. on Sunday.