Italian cuisine

The Original Goomba’s offers authentic Italian cuisine in Clermont

Owning an Italian restaurant was all Frank Ranfone ever wanted, but life took a different turn. He was working in one of his three lubricant shops until the day he gave up everything to pursue his dream.

“I always tell people that I went from motor oil to olive oil,” Ranfone said. “I passed an old church near Highway 50 that had been renovated into a restaurant and thought it was the perfect location for my restaurant, Goomba’s.”

However, it was one bad experience after another, which left a bad taste in Ranfone’s mouth and he decided to sell. His dream had stopped and he no longer knew where to turn. He became a real estate agent for a while until some of his friends, Chris Caramanico and Errol Verduchi, started to pitch the idea of ​​reopening the restaurant.

“It took a bit of convincing, but we believed in Frank and what he started,” Caramanico said. “When he sold, he also sold the name and it didn’t do well. So we wanted to distinguish the restaurant from when Frank owned it, so we called it “The Original Goomba’s”. ”

Together the trio opened The Original Goomba’s in 2017, adding manager Alan Gioia to the team six months later.

According to Ranfone, Goomba’s, which means friends, is your typical Italian restaurant where you’ll often hear classic Italians shouting from either side of the restaurant and everyone is treated like family. “A place where family and friends gather and share” is their mantra.

The extensive menu features all the Italian favourites, with their sauce being the secret weapon.

“The sauce is the most important ingredient,” Ranfone said. “If you don’t have good sauce, you have nothing.”

Goomba’s offers a variety of hand-tossed Neapolitan pizzas with options such as Deluxe Verduchi, Alfredo, Buffalo Chicken, Baked Ziti Pizza, BBQ Chicken, Antipasto Pizza, Clam Pizza, Sicilian pizza and Frank’s creation, which includes Frank’s dressing base, mozzarella, ham, bacon and onion.

Or try a signature Goomboli, such as Beef Wellington, Chicken Cordon Bleu or Chicken Florentine.

Popular pasta dishes include lasagna, fettuccine alfredo, penne ala vodka from Goomba, stuffed shells, French chicken, eggplant and baked ziti from Momma Mia, as well as traditional spaghetti and meatballs hand rolled.

Goomba’s offers weekday specials like lasagna on Mondays, meatloaf on Wednesdays, and pasta on Thursdays, and has become known for its dinner shows over the years.

“One thing people really love is our dinner theater nights,” Ranfone said. “We all get together, eat and enjoy the entertainment.”

The next dinner show will take place on Wednesday, March 4, with a tribute to the Rat Pack.

The Original Goomba’s, 2395 S. Hwy. 27 in Clermont, is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Thursday, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, visit https://www.theoriginalgoombas.com.