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“Some good, some not so good”

Franco's Casual Italian Restaurant
Cuisines: Italian
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Reviewed April 9, 2014

Decided last minute to try Franco's one night during spring break. We were seated right away, as a party of 2 at 7 pm. Score! The salad with Franco's Italian dressing was very very good. Served with food service rolls, they were at least hot and crisp on the outside and soft inside. In hindsight I wish I had ordered just salad and desert. I ordered chicken parmigiana which was served with a very small dish of spaghetti noodles, not enough in my opinion. The chicken and sauce was very bland, it could have used some more oregano or something to give it some flavor. As it was I had to salt it and add the grated Parmesan cheese and pepper flakes on the table to give it some help. My dining partner ordered the meat pizza, it came out hot and very tasty per her review. It was Loaded with lots of sausage and pepperonis. We decided to order the cheesecake of the week for desert, a slice of Baileys white chocolate cheesecake. It was very good, and per the menu a product of a local cheesecake company in Gulf Shores. It had no discernible Baileys taste to it, but it was very good in spite of that fact. Service was spotty, it took a long time for our food to come out from the kitchen, then for our server to come back to our table after we received our food. I will come back to Franco's next time I am in town, the salad alone will make me dine there again.

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Thank sandybeaches2001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (66)
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37 - 41 of 66 reviews

Reviewed March 30, 2014

We got carryout pizza for our group of 10 and brought it back to the condo. Pizza was okay, but not memorable.

Thank escape5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 27, 2014

My hungry brother and I both loved our meal at Franco's! The small special thin crust pizza was delicious, the salad refreshing and excellent ( free refill if desired) and was accompanied by hot rolls and butter. Brother thought the seafood Alfredo was delicious, I had the Franco platter-- chicken parm was good, Alfredo was ok, and the lasagna was fantastic!
All served up by a very friendly and efficient server.
We left full and happy, pretty reasonable bill makes this a good food good value.

Thank Bciliberto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 24, 2013

Franco's brags that it won awards, prior to Ivan's destruction in 1994, for best Italian food. There probably were no other Italian restaurants in Gulf Shores 20 years ago. There's precious few now. Italian isn't a big thing in these here parts.

The place has a warm charm and the staff is friendly and efficient. It was a bit of a trip for this good ol' boy from New York to walk into an Italian place and to be greeted with a hearty "how y'all doin' t'night", but we're not in Little Itally any more.

The night was 12/23/13. The depths of the slow season in Gulf Shores. The joint was mostly empty and the staff was not taxed. Some folks talked with others from other tables, evidence that this place attracts loyal and regular fans that get to know each other.

We had the sampler platter appetizer with calamari, fried eggplant, fried ravioli, and bruschetta. The first tip that we were in for unimagiative food was the heavy reliance on fried food. Deep frying is king in the south but it's a cheap, fast way of cooking without the hassle of developing sauces and complex spices. The calamari was done perfectly. The meat was tender and flavorful but the breading lacked seasoning. The eggplant and fried ravioli were also cooked well, but all three fried dishes tasted like they came from the frozen food section of your local Piggly Wiggly. The bruschetta was a slice of unripened tomato perched atop a soggy piece of toasted bread and sprinkled with some parsley & garlic powder.

The appetizers came with a Marinara sauce for dippin'. It was bland and flavorless but for an overabundance of sweet and was as thick as wallpaper paste. No fresh tomatoes were killed to make this sauce. Canned sauce with too much canned tomato paste as a thickening agent.

My son had the supper veggie thin crust pizza. He said it tasted like a meatless taco salad on a frozen crust. About as much fun as school lunch. My wife actually got another order of fried ravioli as a dinner. Since it's Christmas tomorrow she will be forgiven. Context is important here. She asked me to take her to White Castle for her birthday dinner. I had Franco's signature dish, the seafood lasagna. It was piping hot with a thick cover of browned cheese. It came with a side of spaghetti with tepid marinara paste. I should have asked for my pasta al dente. It was a bit on the soft side. The seafood in the lasagna was small and sparse. No Alfred's were killed in the making of this sauce. Right out of the jar for this stuff and it's extremely rich. I couldn't finish it. The cheese was good and gooey.

Hurricane Ivan apparently blew the taste and flavor of this place out to sea. The Italian food at Grazzi, in the San Roc shopping center, east of Franco's and west of the bridge, is far superior.

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1  Thank Dead Skunk S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 7, 2013

We enjoyed the entire meal: fried artichoke hearts, pepe, salad, bread, alfredo pasta, lasagna,
and chicken parm. Our server, Anna, was friendly and efficient. We will visit Franco's again
in the future and sample some of the other menu items.

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Thank FLYBEGONIA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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