Bosco’s Italian-To-Go owners Charles and Nancy Frankulin went on their first date for their senior prom at Wesley Chapel High (WCH) 14 years ago. They’ve been together ever since. Both started working at Bosco’s Italian-To-Go in the Freedom Plaza on S.R. 54 (about a mile east of Saddlebrook Resort) several years ago, where they learned the restaurant business and talked about opening their own eatery some day.
It didn’t take long for “some day” to happen, as Linda Carr, the owner of Bagelicious & More in the same plaza, purchased Bosco’s from the former owner, but always with the intent of fixing the place up a bit and flipping it.
The Frankulins purchased Bosco’s in January and have slowly been building a following for their tasty Italian fare at very fair prices. It took them a while, but Nancy, Charles and Nancy’s mom recently started revamping and upgrading the menu and the interior of the small, mainly take-out restaurant.
“The menu hadn’t changed for 14 years,” Charles says. “We felt like it was time to start adding some new items and improving some of the old ones.”
Some of the improvements are immediately noticeable — like upgrading the sauce, cheese, crust and toppings on Bosco’s Detroit-style conveyor belt pizza. While it may never be like true New York-style pizza to me, there is a definite difference between what the Frankulins are serving now, compared with what was being served before they took over.
The thing I like is the addition of some great new dinner entrées, including a grilled (not fried) chicken parmigiana. Now, even though the chicken is grilled and not breaded, it is still sitting atop a heaping pile of spaghetti, covered with a zesty tomato sauce and topped with mozzarella cheese, so you can’t really call it “dietetic” (especially with a side of tasty garlic knots), although you can call it “delicious.”
The Frankulins also were proud participants in the recent Taste of New Tampa. “We had a lot of people tell us they didn’t now we were there or that there were new owners,” Nancy says. “It was a great event for us.”
I recently took our office to lunch at Bosco’s and the reviews were all pretty terrific. Billing manager Stephanie Smith loved Bosco’s cheese ravioli, which she got with a side of sweet Italian sausage. Graphic designer Blake Beatty also raved about the huge, traditional calzone, to which he added pepperoni. New sales and marketing rep Tom Damico enjoyed the cold Italian sub, which came with a can of soda and a bag of chips. Staff writer Celeste McLaughlin enjoyed her tossed salad with grilled chicken and we agreed that the Greek dressing served with it was excellent.
And, assistant editor John Cotey and I agreed that our 14” (the small size) pizza was really tasty. The Frankulins tried a recent special, offering the 14” pizza with one topping for just $7.99 (14” pizzas regularly cost $11.49 with no toppings)! We got pepperoni on all of it and meatballs on half for just $1 more.
“We tried it for the week of graduation, in order to get people with graduation parties to order a lot of them,” Charles says.
“And it’s been working great,” Nancy added. “We’ve sold a lot of $7.99 pizzas this week!”
Bosco’s also serves 18” large pizzas starting at $13.49. Specialty pizzas include “Vegilicious”, “Italiano” and Bosco’s Winter White Spinach pizza, starting at $16.99 for a small and $19.99 for a large.
I also really enjoyed Bosco’s spaghetti ($7.49) and side of meatballs ($3.39)and the meatball parmigiana hot sub ($8.49). In addition to the calzones ($11.99), Bosco’s stromboli stuffed with three Italian meats and three Italian cheeses start at $12.99.
Bosco’s also has oven-baked chicken wings, a chicken Caesar pasta salad ($8.99) and a huge antipasto salad (also just $8.99).
Other dinner entrées include chicken Alfredo ($8.49), lasagne ($9.49), baked stuffed shells ($8.49) and manicotti ($8.49).
I haven’t sampled the desserts yet, but Bosco’s does have cheesecake, cannolis and tiramisu, all for $3.39-$3.99 each..
Special Offers, Too?
Bosco’s has lots of great “regular” specials, too, from the $16.99 18” pizza with your choice of garlic bread, cheese bread or any two-liter Coca-Cola product for just $16.99 (see the ad on page 46 for the coupon), as well as two pizzas with two toppings each, plus 8 wings and a two-liter soda for just $28.99, and more.
Please note that these special offers are for carry-out only.
Bosco’s Italian-to-Go (30122 S.R. 54) is open Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m., and 11 a.m.-11 p.m. on Friday & Saturday. It is closed on Sunday. Delivery is available, too, to a limited area for a delivery charge of $2.25 and a minimum order of $20. For more info, visit BoscosMenu.com or call (813) 907-2440 and please tell them we sent you!