I could go into a long story about how my husband and I rarely go out to eat just the two of us and that we choose A&M for our “date lunch” but anyone who knows me knows that although I can cook and I like to do so we eat out a lot. I have a picky eater in the house and get for lack of a better term pissed off when he won’t eat what I make. Therefore we eat out or order in A LOT; as a family and when it’s just my husband and me.
Now I will say that my husband is Italian and can rip apart an Italian restaurant in few words if it’s not good. Today was not one of those days. Today was good food, quiet atmosphere, and a happy full husband.
We live in Florence, AZ a small farming town with little to no “chain restaurants”. The saving grace is we do have a handful of “homemade family owned” places and A&M Pizza is one of them.
Located at 445 W. Highway 287, Florence, AZ 85132 A&M is a family owned business that has its roots in New York. If you would like to read about the founders click here. I will have a link to the menu at the end of the post.
Now on to the food!
Fried Calamari with Marinara Sauce $8.25
(Enough for 2)
This was prepared perfectly in my opinion. The texture was great and it wasn’t overly chewy like you tend to get at some places. The seasoning in the breading was mild but not bland or un-flavorful. If you like your spices stronger than most you might find it a little lacking but for most people, I think it would be perfect.
The crowning glory on the appetizer is the marinara sauce. It’s got a fresh homemade taste and is served at just the right temperature; not too cold and not too hot. If you dive in like I did today you may have a little warmth going on but nothing that’s going to leave you with something like that early morning coffee mouth burn – you ALL know what I mean by that.
My mother-in-law’s sauce is something to be reckoned with and this stuff might just be better than hers. SHHHHHHHHHH don’t tell her I said that.
What I ordered:
Dinner Salad with Creamy Italian Dressing $3.49
The picture says it all on this one. The dinner salad is a very simple small side salad. Lettuce, tomatoes, onion and green olives. While it hit the spot this afternoon I would suggest if you are craving salad to get the bigger “meal” Caesar salad with or without chicken and split it between those at the table or not – I know I can eat an entire one all by my lonesome. It’s quite a bit more salad making the price of $7.95 for a small or $8.95 for a large less painful than the almost $3.49 for the dinner salad. Now don’t get me wrong, that’s about what you’re going to pay for a dinner salad at most places in the area but you can also get an entire bag at Walmart for about the same price and it will serve more people.
Meatball Parmesan Sub – Regular $7.75 Large $8.75
(Tomato sauce, parmesan, and mozzarella cheese)
This thing is huge! I ordered the regular size sub and couldn’t eat it all. For the average appetite, the regular will be more than enough. If you eat like a linebacker or plan to share then you’ll want to get the large portion.
The bread is made fresh on the premises each day and has got to be the softest bread I have ever had at a restaurant. The meatballs are nicely seasoned and they don’t skimp on the servings. You get a good portion of meatballs, sauce and cheese on the sandwich making it worth the price for either size.
What he ordered:
Chicken Parmigiana Dinner $15.99
(Chicken breast with tomato sauce, Mozzarella, and Romano cheese in casserole and side of spaghetti. This also includes a dinner salad.)
￼While this same exact meal is about two bucks cheaper at another Italian place in Coolidge it’s worth the price and drive to get it from A&M instead. When I saw the same I mean literally everything is identical when it comes to what you get in the meal. The clincher for us is the QUALITY. The quality you get from A&M is quite a bit better than their competitors. This is what made for a happy and full husband – well that and he ate the rest of my sub.
We have had this particular meal at quite a few other places in the local area and throughout the valley. The verdict is about 50/50 on quality. Half of them the cheese is so rubbery you can’t get through the dish, the other half it’s not cheesy enough (almost like fresh mozzarella before it gains the cheesiness if that makes sense). The one that we had today stood out as “made with love like Mama makes”. I don’t know how else to describe it. The fresh sauce, fresh cheese and side of pasta were all done to perfection. The dish is highly recommended by the Italian in my household.
Their menu can be found here
A&M while a bit more expensive than other places in the area is worth it. They use fresh ingredients, the food is made to order and not sitting on a warmer.
I will caution though if you have a larger family that it might need to be a “special occasion” place. For the two of us today we spent around $49 including the tip. While that’s not expensive, it’s may not feasible for the average family to spend that amount on a regular basis. It would make a great date night/afternoon though.
This isn’t our first time here and it won’t be the last. Kudos to the owners and staff for bringing great Italian food to Florence, AZ.