Eccellente Italiano, times due

Friday’s Sun and Daily Bulletin gave us two delicious choices for Italian food here in the Inland Empire.

First up is Elaine Lehman’s “Lunch with ‘Lainey” review of Alfredo’s Pizza and Pasta, here in San Bernardino. I must confess to being a longtime Alfredo’s fan. In fact, there was a point in time where I would go there at least once a week, whether to dine in or just to grab a pizza and go. I was there so often that I became acquainted with the owners and much of the staff. They’re really a great bunch of folks.

They’ve won the “Best of the Inland Empire” by both Inland Empire magazine and The Sun for many, many years.

I don’t go there quite as often anymore, but I still try to stop in and chat with some of the folks that are still working there. It’s still a great place to eat and their pizzas are probably the best in town — I recommend trying their White or Bianco sauce pizzas, if you haven’t gotten hooked on them already.

As an added bonus, they’re open ’til 11 p.m.

Elaine’s review can be found here.

Over in the West Valley, David Cohen reviews Paisano Ristorante Italiano in Fontana. I’ve also been to Paisano’s, too. My family tends to go there to celebrate someone’s birthday. I’ve never had a bad meal there, and David is correct — the desserts are outstanding!

It’s one of those places that’s hiding in plain sight. If you’ve ever been to the Target or Stater Bros. in the Falcon Ridge Town Center in the north end of Fontana, you’ve driven right past Paisano’s. It’s just on the right when you enter the parking lot from the main entrance…in the same building as Panera Bread.

Now that you know where it is, go! You won’t be disappointed. Everything I’ve eaten there has been fresh and flavorful, and the ambiance is upscale, yet inviting.

You can find David’s review here.

Now for the $64,000 question — which is better?

Even though they both are Italian restaurants, it’s a little like comparing apples and oranges.

Alfredo’s, to me, is like home cooking. You know what you’re going to get. It’s Italian comfort food. You can almost taste the years of tradition in their food.

Paisano’s, on the other hand, is like being invited over to a rich friend’s house and having their chef prepare the meal. There’s a little more skill involved in the preparation and the flavors seem a little more exotic.

Either way, you’re going to have a great dining experience.