INKY’S Italian remains a Toledo icon

. September 1, 2017.
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As you know, this month we’re celebrating the exciting 25th anniversary of Toledo Area Parent.

In honor of this occasion, I thought I’d reminisce and return to my very first Food Fight from January 2007. In a society of easy come, easy go it’s with even more unbridled enthusiasm that my first Food Fight is not only local, but just celebrated its 60th birthday! Sadly over the years many of the restaurant’s from my past Food Fight reviews have since closed. To celebrate 60 years (or 25 for Toledo Parent!) in today’s world is a feat by any standard.

60 years young and still all in the family

Brothers Frank Incorvaia Sr. and John Incorvaia Sr. opened INKY’S on N. Detroit Ave. in 1957. The small, nondescript brick building has changed very little over the years. Even their neon sign is original. Frank Sr. and John Sr. retired leaving their sons Frank Jr. and Keith in charge and a third generation is currently preparing to take the reins.

It would appear that family is one of the secrets to their long success. The authentic Italian food, friendly customer service and a great bang-for-your-buck are more secrets to their success.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it

We’ve all heard the old adage that ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. There’s an incredible amount of truth to that. In the case of INKY’S there hasn’t been much to change over the years. When we walked through the doors, it looked just as it did the last time I was in a couple years back, which looked like it did 9 years prior to that, and the same for the years when I was still a kid in school.

The décor is nothing fancy, just comfortable with tables and booths, family photos adorning the walls, and hanging plants here and there. It’s a neighborhood restaurant where you’re sure to have the same server many times, see people you know (we did!) and whatever you order will taste the same every single time. Confidence in the menu selections and food quality translates into comfort and familiarity in the atmosphere.

Eleven years ago I was impressed with their clean high chairs which were in great shape. I checked them out on our recent visit and yep, still in great shape and very clean. Unfortunately, the original bathroom with nowhere to change a diaper probably isn’t going to change after 60 years. There just isn’t much they can do about that without a major renovation. But don’t let that deter those of you with little ones.

One thing that DID change from 11 years ago is that they now have a kids’ menu. Their fantastic pizzas come in a personal size, but the kids’ menu also includes fries and applesauce and a drink (milk included) for only $4.75. They offer chicken nuggets, mac and cheese squares, hamburgers and cheeseburgers, and spaghetti.

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Unique pizza and still light on the budget

The menu is rather large with many special Italian dishes, sandwiches, a variety of pasta dishes, fish, pork chops, veal, and even a sizzling T-bone steak. To my amazement, almost everything was under $13. Meals also come with salad and bread and butter, and some even include sides of spaghetti or fries. That really is a great deal. You will leave with leftovers for sure.

Eleven years ago I had the eggplant parmesan and my husband enjoyed the INKY’S special Italian sausage dinner. Both of our meals only increased in price by $2, and remain under $13.

But oh, let me tell you about the pizza. As you may have guessed, I brought my Pizza Posse along with me. The crust/dough is almost indescribable. It resembles pastry dough and is incredibly tasty. Don’t worry if you don’t see the pepperoni; it’s layered under the cheese. Some things never change, and I am so glad INKY’S, in most every way, remains the same.

Bottom Line

INKY’S is where you can come and feel like family while enjoying authentic Italian food made from secret recipes passed down through the generations. Step inside and be glad you chose this great place over the chain restaurants any day. The pizza is a must try as you won’t find anything exactly like it around town. And with the addition of the kids’ menu, all your little ones will surely have a smile on their face.

The Short Course

Kid-friendly: Yes
To avoid wait: Arrive early on weekends
Noise level: Moderate
Bathroom amenities: Very small bathroom with no place to change a diaper
High chairs? Yes
Got milk? Yes
Kids’ menu? Yes and entrees include two sides and drink for under $5.
Allergy info: Alert server prior to ordering; gluten free pizza is not available

INKY’S Italian Foods
3945 N. Detroit Ave. Toledo 43612
419-476-0500
Mon-Thur: 11am-10pm
Fri: 11am-11pm
Sat: 4:30pm-11pm
Sun: Closed
www.inkysitalianfoods.com