by Ken McEntee
To tell Emile Lahood that his family’s pizza is just another pie is like saying that Frank Sinatra—whose image covers the walls of Emilio’s Pizza—is just another singer.
“We are very proud of our pizza. I don’t have to speak for it because the people have spoken for me,” Emile insists, referring to the Strongsville Patch poll that named Emilio’s “Strongsville’s Best Pizza” in 2011.
“We’re not only the best, but the lowest priced, too,” Emile points out. “We’ve been here almost five years and we haven’t raised our prices yet. Our costs are going up, but holding our prices is something that we’ve decided to do for our customers. They have supported us since we opened and we appreciate that.”
Along with pizza, Emilio’s features a menu loaded with appetizers, wings, calzones, salads, subs and homemade dinners, plus a huge selection of catering options.
“We have the largest catering menu in the city, and, to be honest, it’s also the least expensive,” Emile says. “We do parties of any kind, from graduations to birthdays to anniversaries to business functions. You can pick it up or we can deliver and do the setting up and everything. We make it easy for you.”
The favorite catering items, Emile says, are Emilio’s Chicken Marsala—$25.95 for a half tray that serves 10 to 15 people or $49.95 for a full tray that serves 20 to 25 people—and Emilio’s Chicken Parmesan—$21.95 for a half tray, or $42.95 for a full tray.
“We also have very popular veggie trays and pastry trays,” he says. “And we can’t keep up with the salad. Everybody is eating healthier now, and they order a lot of salad for catering and for lunch and dinner.”
Salads range from $17.95 for a half tray of Venice salad to $39.95 for a full tray of Emilio’s Specialty Salad, pasta salad, antipasto or chef salad.
“Our food, from salad to pasta to chicken, is all fresh and made from scratch,” Emile says. “My wife, Paulette, hand chops all of the vegetables herself. Our wings are very special because they are never frozen and they’re served with your choice of five tasty sauces, with celery and Bleu cheese.”
Joining Emile and Paulette in the family business are their three sons—Said, Joseph and Anthony and their daughter, Maria.
“We have six other people working here, and we think of them as family, too,” Emile says. “We all depend on each other to keep our customers happy. That’s why they keep coming back.”
Emilio’s lunch specials keep people coming back as well. You can grab a quick slice of pizza and a salad for $3.99. Or, if you’re a fan of great Italian subs, you can pick one up for $3.49.
“Our subs are very famous,” Emile declares.
Their pizzas are, too.
Emilio’s pizzas feature a zesty, homemade red pizza sauce or a creamy garlic butter sauce, with a choice of toppings and a special cheese blend that doesn’t burn in the oven. That’s a family secret.
Emilio’s pasta dinner selections include long-held family favorites that the Lahoods now share with their customers. Emile suggests the family’s unique, made-from scratch lasagna, for $7.95.“It’s not like anybody else’s recipe,” he explains. “We use ground beef that we grind ourselves, and a combination of three cheeses—Provolone, Parmesan and Mozzarella—instead of cottage cheese that other people use. It is very famous.”
Emilio’s Pizza is located at 20934 Drake Road, at the corner of Prospect, in Strongsville. You can call 440-846-1111
to place your pick-up order, or fax it in, to 440-878-0735. Emilio’s is open Monday through Thursday, 11:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Friday, 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.; Saturday, 11:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; and Sunday, 3:00 to 8:00 p.m. For more information, including Emilio’s menu, you can visit their brand new website, at www.Emilios-Strongsville.com.