Martinelli’s Little Italy

Review by: joseiw

Boasting outrageously large portions at bargain prices, Martinelli’s is an oasis of good Italian-American food in the heart of Kansas.

Directions & Hours

11am - 10pm
  • Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday: 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM
  • Thursday: 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM
  • Friday: 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM
  • Saturday: 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM
  • Sunday: Closed

What To Eat

Chopped Salad

DISH
Lasagna

DISH
Chicken Parmesan

DISH

Martinelli’s Little Italy Recipes

Discuss

What do you think of Martinelli’s Little Italy?

One Response to “Martinelli’s Little Italy”

Joe Seiwert

August 8th, 2009

Martinelli’s Little Italy is located in a small town just off of I-70 in Kansas, in a place where people usually speed through on their way to somewhere else at 80 mph. Salina is on the edge of the Smoky River Valley, a landscape of rolling hills and rocky grassland made famous by the paintings of Birger Sandzen, a Swedish artist of the late 19th century who resided in nearby Lindsborg. Martinelli’s is the eponymous college nickname of the elder of a pair of brothers who made Salina their home and who brought a creditable Italian-American restaurant to the Great Plains. Boasting huge portions and better values, Martinelli’s is an oasis of Italian-American food.

Not to be missed is the huge chopped salad with chicken. A quarter-portion will easily feed two as a starter. Though based on the lowly iceberg lettuce, this salad, through a combination of mayonnaise and Italian dressing, manages to transcend its humble origins and produce. The result is a delicious, crisp, and refreshing salad that is a treat on a hot summer journey through the middle of Kansas. A quarter or “small” portion of lasagna, as shown in the accompanying photograph, will leave you begging for a take-home tray, or sated to the point of lethargy.

Note that I have called this an “Italian-American” restaurant, not an Italian restaurant. It’s not trying to be “authentically Italian.” Martinelli’s is set in rural Kansas and does a splendid job of providing the Italian food that Americans grew up on. This is not a criticism, it is what the restaurant is, and it succeeds. All the pasta dishes are solidly good, and the chopped salad is a sensation.

Beef is also on the menu. All those rolling, grass-covered hills west of town were originally the home of 60 million buffalo who migrated from the north to the south before they were decimated by hunters and barbed wire. Now these same hills produce the best beef in the country. The steaks at Martinelli’s are the solid product that no Kansas restaurant can do without. The leading beef producer of the nation provides Martinelli’s with a great steak.

Definitely worth a detour off of I-70.

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