Franco’s Place in Westmont NJ

Many of us make the noble New Year’s resolution of eating more healthily. It’s a fair goal, and indeed important to make smarter decisions and choosing the healthier option over sugar and carbs. But we will be the first to say that every now and then you just need some deep fried deliciousness.

Franco’s Original Tarantini Panzarotti

Franco’s Place is home to the Original Tarantini Panzarotti (TM). Prior to eating at the new Westmont location, we’d never heard of a panzarotti before. Franco’s describes the meal as “a pocket of secret-recipe dough stuffed with generous portions of mozzarella cheese and homemade sauce. The pocket is then deep-fried to a crisp golden brown.” So, kind of like a pizza turned in on itself and bathed in the deep fryer. We were game.
Jamie ordered a his panzarotti with pepperoni, and Jessica opted for meatballs. We called ahead and our order was ready by the time we drove to the restaurant. At $3.99 for a regular panzarotti (cheese and sauce) and $5.25 for one filling, they really aren’t a bad deal. They were still piping hot by the time we drove home.
The dough was certainly deep-fried and crispy, but not overdone on the inside. We expected to bite into a molten lava center of gooey cheese and sauce but were slightly underwhelmed. We expected a little more than what we found. The ratio of dough to filling left us a little wanting but that’s not to say that no one would enjoy it. The pepperoni was a nice touch and made up a little, but the meatballs tasted somewhat artificial. Our next order would include something like broccoli or ricotta cheese. Again we go back to the price-point and it falls into one of two trope’s: you get what you pay for, or what did you expect for 3.99? ┬áDespite those critique’s Jamie thinks that for the money it’s not that bad.
The rest of the menu is standard pizza shop fare, with burgers, steak sandwiches, fries, and wraps, so if the panzarotti doesn’t seem to be your thing, they’ve still got you covered for a quick meal.

Final Food Thoughts


We may not have been blown away completely by the panzarotti, but it’s nice to have another option for pizza night when you’re craving something a little different. Just do yourself a favor and order a side of extra sauce for dipping if you are fellow cheese lovers like us.