When I think of Italian food, I think of the comfort that comes with enjoying a meal around the table with family and friends. Actually, what first pops in my mind is the Lady and the Tramp scene with the spaghetti and “Bella Notte” playing in the background. But aside from the doggy romance, I think of the togetherness of being with those you love.
Italian cuisine prides itself on not only the food, but how the Italian culture transforms dining into a method of camaraderie. Friendships are valuable. And when my friends and I become so consumed with our hectic schedules, it’s nice to press pause and enjoy each other’s company—especially over a meal. This week, we did just that and made lunch plans at Guillermo’s, a downtown Italian restaurant.
It was a semi-cloudy day with a subtle drizzle and humidity that clung to the air. This past week had been full of scattered downpour, but we took the risk and made our way to Guillermo’s outdoor seating. The patio offered shade with a combination of pergolas and umbrellas, and ceiling fans contributed a gentle airflow. Despite being an enclosed area, the patio felt open and allowed us to relax outdoors without suffering from Texas’s bipolar weather.
As we waited for our other friend to arrive, we decided to order some drinks. My friend ordered the red sangria and I decided on a frozen watermelon margarita. Their margaritas come in two sizes, 9oz or 12oz, and Guillermo’s offers ten different flavor options to add on for an extra buck. Their drinks can be considered slightly pricey, but the bar menu states that Guillermo’s uses only top shelf spirits for all their cocktails. Plus, it didn’t help that we arrived too early in the day to take advantage of Guillermo’s happy hour, which starts at 4 p.m.
I ordered the Jumbo Shrimp Alfredo pasta. The shrimp’s freshness was a pleasant delight paired with the creamy—but not overly creamy—alfredo sauce. At first glance, the serving size looked small but with the addition of garlic bread, man, was I stuffed!
I didn’t hesitate to accept my friend’s offer to sample her Meat Lasagna dish. The lasagna rests in a bath of marinara sauce and a blend of multiple cheeses. This delivery infuses each bite with flavor and cheesy goodness.
Along with the garlic bread, both of these dishes come with a starter salad. Truth be told, I don’t eat salads. Vegetables and my taste buds don’t see eye to eye. It is not you, veggies, it’s me. Instead of passing on the salad altogether, I ordered the Cesar salad and gave it to my friends. Both of them scarfed it down and raved about how delicious it was. I’d definitely trust their word over my “anti-salad” one.
I was ready to be rolled out of the patio by the end of our lunch. However, my friend still had a little room for dessert. She ordered a classic chocolate chip cookie served warm. It was slightly larger than your average cookie and had that the sweet aroma of just-out-of-the-oven melted chocolate.
Like the patio, the inside of the restaurant created a cozy environment with the use of dim lighting and comfy chairs. From color scheme to the eclectic Texas-themed decor, this restaurant shows pride in crafting the perfect setting for their customers.
Even though Guillermo’s may not be a “classic” Italian restaurant—you can find burgers on their menu—their restaurant reflects the sentiment that indulging in a meal can become the ideal way to cherish the time spent with those you love.