Italian cuisine

Joe’s Italian Kitchen serves traditional Italian cuisine, family favorites in Pflugerville

Joe Karimani, owner of Joe’s Italian Kitchen in Pflugerville, said he was inspired by recipes he learned growing up in northern Italy when creating his menu. (Kelsey Thompson/Community Impact Journal)

Joe Karimani, owner of Joe’s Italian Kitchen in Pflugerville, said he fell in love with authentic Italian cuisine growing up in northern Italy. Karimani spent his days sitting in his grandfather’s kitchen while his grandfather worked on making the perfect noodles and sauces. Karimani said cuisine is much more than the individual ingredients that make up a dish. Cooking, he says, is a labor of love.

“It’s part of the family, we like to eat good food and drink good wine,” he said. “When I’m in the kitchen, I’m not stressed.”

Karimani first moved to Pflugerville in 2010 to open a pizzeria on Parmer Lane after owning several restaurants in Houston and Dallas. He opened Joe’s Italian Kitchen nearly two years ago and said the response from the community since then has been nothing short of profound.

“The first year is the hardest,” Karimani said. “I spent all my savings here, but luckily people have been very, very good to me. Pflugerville embraced me.”

He said his chicken parmigiana dish is probably his most popular dish, along with his calzones, tortellini bolognese and spaghetti with meat sauce. Everything in his kitchen is made from scratch, he said, echoing the recipes he learned from his grandfather.

“When I opened this from scratch, my idea was that I’m going to do home cooking the Italian way, and I don’t want anyone leaving here hungry,” Karimani said. “I’m not trying to cut corners and become a millionaire. I’m not here to get rich and get out of here. I want to be here forever.”

The secret to authentic Italian cooking, Karimani said, is the love poured into every recipe. Growing up in Italy, he said he remembers his grandmother making him tortellini and butter, his favorite as a child. Today, Joe’s Italian Kitchen is serving three tortellini dishes in his honor.

“I have a saying in Italian that goes ‘entri come amici, vada come famiglia’,” Karimani said. “It means ‘enter as a friend, leave as a family’. When I saw this I said I must have it, it’s perfect for me.”

Joe’s Italian Kitchen

1615 Grand Avenue Parkway, Ste. 214 Pflugerville

512-614-0888

www.joespasta.com

Opening hours: Mon.-Thurs. 11am-9pm, Fri.-Sat. 11am-9.30pm, closed Sun.