Could butter and garlic be considered a dessert?
If not, then it should be.
One can't get enough of it at Leta's on the Square in beautiful downtown Perry, a trip I always enjoy making toward the southern end of Houston County.
I've been told the restaurant employs Jimmy, the former chef of the now-closed Angelina's Italian Restaurant, whose first name graces a few favorite menu items at Leta's.
These include the Leta's "famous salad," which comes with tons of cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, mushrooms, beets, olives, herbs and a hearty specially-made Italian dressing; and a not-so-generous portion of homemade cheesecake with strawberries. Cost is $6 for a slice. It's worth the price if you love a nice, wet, moist dessert baked and blended with ricotta and cream cheeses. Maybe it was just the small portion I received but I still enjoyed the experience.
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Be sure to begin and end your meal with both of these favorites.
The menu's theme is Italian for lunch with traditional classics such as chicken Parmigiana and lasagna. I've tried both on occasion, and was impressed with the presentation of thick, melty cheeses that bubbled under my nose.
On my most recent visit, the homemade lasagna arrived before I had a chance to finish my famous salad. It's enough for two people to eat and comes in one of those single-serving bowls you bake in the oven.
Oh and did I mention the garlic rolls? I'm a fan of the restaurant's lip-smackin', garlic rolls, several of which usually lay on a sea of melted golden butter. These rolls can be consumed in one bite, but I'd recommend at least a dip or two into a pasta dish.
Lunch choices include traditional toppings on a seven-inch pizza. There's also various appetizers and burgers and sandwiches such as the Angus burger, prime rib sandwich, reuben, chicken medallion delight, meatball or sausage sandwich, soups, salads and hot dogs. Prices range from $5.95 to $8.50.
Dinner continues with the Italian theme. Classics, all served with chef Jimmy's famous salad and garlic rolls, include spaghetti and meatballs, manicotti, chicken or veal Marsala, alfredo or romano chicken, eggplant, chicken or veal Parmigiana, chicken Francese, and well, you get the idea with the chicken and veal.
You can also get steak and seafood at Leta's, which gives a choice of ribeye, lobster tail, sirloin steak, New York strip, salmon, shrimp, scallops, snapper and tuna. Dinners prices range from $11.50 up to $26.95. And if you're up to it, there's a full-service bar.
I was disappointed when the former restaurant, now occupied by Leta's, closed last year. I always hate seeing perfectly good space go to waste in a picturesque, small downtown setting. So I'm glad there's another restaurant for residents to enjoy.
Leta's on the Square
807-A Carroll St., Perry
Phone: (478) 988-3337
Hours: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. lunch Tuesday through Friday and 5 p.m.-9 p.m. dinner Tuesday through Thursday; 5 p.m.-10 p.m. dinner Friday and Saturday
Payment: Cash, credit cards
Kids menu: Yes
Noise level: Low to moderate
Wheelchair accessible: Yes
Latest health code rating: 100