Feeling more like someone’s home than a restaurant, Anna’s Kitchen in Virginia Beach features a mom front and center. Anna Alosa is either stirring vats of sauce, canning her homemade creations or keeping busy with something else that involves a stovetop or an oven. Anna’s son Frank is at her side using his 30-plus years in the restaurant business to help make a name for their family recipes. Sister Daniela Seifert handles the marketing side of the business and sometimes the personal side, chatting up customers like me.
When I happened by last week in the late afternoon, I saw a fresh cheese pizza on the counter and decided to try it. I ordered two slices with chicken, spinach and extra tomato sauce. The chicken was pan sauteed for my order, the sauce was light, bright and tangy, the crust was New York-style thin. It needed no extra sprinkling of shaker cheese, red pepper flakes or salt. A little crunchy around the edges and chewy throughout, the crust was not quite able to hold the ingredients without flopping. It required two hands, which is fine by me as I refuse to eat pizza with a fork.
This is a scratch kitchen, where the dough is made in-house every two days, as is the mozzarella. The open concept allows both mother and son to feel like they are cooking for friends and entertaining at home.
“We cook the kind of food I ate when I got home from school,” Frank said. Most dishes are made with limited ingredients to keep things simple, and contain no preservatives.
Anna, her parents, and her seven siblings emigrated from Calabria, Italy, to New York, where she learned all the family recipes handed down by her mother. Her meat, vodka, eggplant and tomato sauces are available in quart jars, as are the lentil and red kidney bean soups. The menu offers caprese and Caesar salads, fried calamari, spaghetti with homemade meatballs, lobster ravioli, linguini gamberi, lasagna, eggplant and chicken parmigiana, pizzas and subs. All items are available for dine in or take out.
They even have a separate Jim White Fitness and Nutrition-approved menu for those who want to enjoy eating out while maintaining their dietary goals.
Anna’s Kitchen also promotes a complete meal for five delivered Monday through Thursday between 3 and 4 p.m. for $75 to include salad, bread, dressing, protein and pasta, delivery, tax and gratuity. The special changes weekly and is great for families who want to serve a home-cooked, sit-down meal around their own dining table without doing all the work.
Open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, 4 to 8 p.m. Saturdays, closed Sundays.
Always a sucker for a bakery, I couldn’t pass Plaza Bakery, a few doors down from Anna’s Kitchen, without going in for a treat. Plaza has been in business for well over 50 years, and everything is made from scratch using natural ingredients. The plain and spicy cheese wafers are light as air and packed with buttery-cheesy flavor. I’m also a softy for their iced Swedish nut bars. Imagine a chewy nut cookie in a bar shape with a simple frosting. Their giant elephant ears are perfect for dipping in my morning coffee. Not every morning, but every now and then.
And speaking of desserts, Sunday is the sixth annual Just Desserts fundraiser. It is held dockside aboard the Spirit of Norfolk from 4 to 7 p.m. and is hosted by Ramps Across America, the organization whose volunteers provide free design and construction of ramps for persons with mobility restrictions that prevent them from leaving home.
There will also be a silent auction, entertainment and a cash bar. Tickets are $30 a person and $50 a couple. For more information call Debbie Puckett at 757-618-5581 or email rampsacross [email protected]
Bobby Fenner is a Full Time Realtor with over 30 years experience in the Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. Real Estate Markets. He and his team of Real Estate Pros offer the highest level of service. If you’re buying or selling a Coastal Virginia home, call (757) 439-5779 or email [email protected] We’ll be happy to assist you in your move.