Phil Faraone opened his first Italian restaurant 45 years ago in Chicago. For 40 years, he followed his mother's recipes for homemade sauces and fresh dough serving authentic Italian cuisine to generations of locals and celebrities such as the late George Steinbrenner, Faraone said.
Then Faraone 'retired' and moved to Largo. But the tradition of family-owned and operated restaurants continued as Faraone helped first his nephew and now his son start pizza places in Largo.
"My son came up from Chicago and wanted to get into the food business, so I am helping him get started," Faraone said.
"I take pride in good quality- the best pizza you have ever had. I don't know if it is the best, but I have not found better. We make all the dough and sauces," Faraone said.
Faraone plans to work to get the West Bay Drive location going then retire again. At least until his granddaughter, who also wants her own pizza restaurant, decides to start a business, Faraone said.
Mama Faraone's thin-crust pizza is sold by the whole pie (14-inch and 18-inch) and by the generous slice (the pizza slice extended well beyond the paper plate on a recent visit). Although the Faraone Family is from Chicago, well-known for its deep-dish pizza, the family likes thin-crust pizza, said Phil Faraone, Jr., who owns the West Bay Drive shop.
Beyond pizza, Mama Faraone's serves pasta, subs, chicken wings, salads, fries, garlic bread, desserts and more. The store opened in mid-December and is located across from Largo Medical Center.
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If you go to Mama Faraone's:
- Address: 1280 West Bay Dr., Largo (Across from Largo Medical Center)
- Phone: (727) 581-1800
- Hours: Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m.
- Dine-in, Carry out and free delivery available ($8 minimum order, within 2-miles).