By Frank Mack
American Pasta Factory is a new place in Roswell on Alpharetta Street, in a building that has seen several establishments over the years. Back in the day it was a Burger Chef and most recently it was home to a consignment shop. Running the place are Mr. Octavio Malheiros and his son, who are Italian cooks via Brazil with a plan. They have simple, handmade, pasta and flatbreads. Tada! I said it’s simple right?
They feature four daily handmade fresh pastas served over distinct sauces. It is served hot and fresh and let me mention it’s also affordable. In this area you’ve got to have a difference, you must stand out with a differing factor that gives you a unique identity and well, they have it. Broadly think of this place as an Italian version of Chipotle.
The menu is simple to understand as they allow you to “build your own pasta” with four styles such as rigatoni, fettuccine, spaghetti, or the house style zoodle. They have a host of fresh vegetables and cheeses and the sauces are traditional with a pomodoro, bolognese, aglio & olio, alfredo, pesto and a vodka sauce. They also have final touch proteins in the form of meatballs, Italian sausage and chicken. Beyond the pasta they have fresh salads, flatbreads and some house dishes should you not want to build your own. They also feature a kid’s menu and I have to mention there is no bar.
The business space they are claiming is affordable high quality pasta done fresh with a location and space that is good for the family. Being that this is counter service they remove the costs of service and turn it back over to your wallet but leave the quality alone.
This father and son team has just killed themselves preparing the place. It took nearly two years to find the right location and give it a new life. This is a true labor of love and they’re ready to roll. It’s got a new gleaming counter with tables on one side and them cooking on the other with the stoves firing and ingredients flying. So what do I think?
These two gents have gone and done something that is either genius or stupid and in all honesty… is there a difference anymore? In about a year, or less, we will find out if they bet correctly. The question they choose to answer is whether or not fine Italian pasta can be done in a fast manner. We have examples of Mexican and Chinese done quick and delicious so now we’ll see if that translates.
I walk into a new place with expectations. I can’t help it. Yet a little streak of restaurants locally has been overturning old methods and questioning that “normal” framework. Andy Badgett over at Fickle Pickle started a counter order idea many years ago and guys at Moxie Burger through the Truck n’ Tap in Alpharetta have followed suit. And now it’s American Pasta Factory’s turn.
So that begs the question—will the folks of Roswell line up to be served good solid Italian noodles? Do we have the good common sense to know a deal, to recognize quality, to choose to save a small fortune? Or not. Furthermore, will we choose to stand in line, order our pasta, and carry it to our table and then pick-up after ourselves? This will definitely save you a few bucks off of Canton Street fare, so it seems possible. If they succeed it will be on the backs of folks in AA, or with kids, as there is no alcohol. It’s undeniable that they know what they are doing.
The sauces are great and the ingredients are the fresh. It’s the simplest thing in the world to toss pasta and plate it. The equation is quality in equals quality out. But can it all be done with the timing required? That’s the problem. And I wonder… is this it? Have we reached a point that good, real fresh Italian, has reached the masses by hovering near a price point around ten bucks? Will it bring out the crowds?
I can answer it for myself easily. Heck yeah, all day. But I don’t drink and my kids are grown. So your answer is the ultimate key. I can just add that fresh hot pasta is a thing of beauty. And for this money it’s ridiculous and cheap. American Pasta Factory is where high quality meets the street where the rest of us live. Welcome to the neighborhood.
So we’ll see. I’m excited for it. It’s another new option and best of all it has parking lot! ❍