Primo’s d’Italia: quality and value for a variety of tastes.

by | September 23, 2009 | 20 Comments

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Primo’s d’Italia operates several locations throughout the Oklahoma City metro area.  Hours are 10:30am to 10pm Monday through Sunday.  Get full information on their website.

Primo's d'Italia in Yukon, OK

Even if not everyone in your family is into Italian, I would be willing to bet all tastes can be satisfied at Primo’s.  They have all sorts of seafood, steaks, pastas and pizzas; they also serve a great brunch on Sundays; and they even have a good selection of vegetarian items. They have also recently started a lunch-time buffet for $7.95/person, which is a delicous value. It includes two varieties of soup, several different kinds of salads, and about five entrees.

I made sure I tried this place several different times so I could sample lots of different things and share my thoughts with you.

On my first visit, we had a couple of problems, but nothing terrible. Mom had the 8″ Margherita Pizza ($9.99).  She requested a different sauce, which didn’t happen, but she still enjoyed it.  I ordered the special of the night, which was Pavarotti Shrimp:  tortellini, Gulf shrimp, shiitake and portobello mushrooms, fresh tomato, onion, garlic, olive oil and cilantro ($12.99). Now, the last time I checked, tortellini was a circular-shaped, cheese-stuffed pasta.  And instead of the tortellini, mine was served with linguini, which I usually don’t care for.  To use the words of QE2 (Queen Elizabeth II), “I don’t care for the long, stringy noodles.”  The dish could have used a little something more as far as flavor and spices go. I found it lacking in taste, though the presentation was nice.  My husband’s parmesan-crusted halibut was very nice ($14.25).  He had no complaints.

The next time we went was for brunch, which is served 10am to 2pm on Saturday and Sunday. My husband’s parents tried the Strawberry Crespelle ($4.99), which are thin, Italian pancakes layered with vanilla custard then folded and covered with fresh strawberries.  They are still raving about it, and, as a matter of fact, we have been back three times with them for this dish.  My husband always gets the stromboli benedict ($5.99) for brunch, which is stromboli stuffed with portobello mushrooms, Canadian bacon, poached eggs, asiago cheese, and a dollop of Hollandaise.  He loves it.  I tried the southwest breakfast pizza ($5.59), which I found to be a little dry.

On our next visit, Mom and I split a New York style veggie pizza, which was pretty darn good.  Not as good as Papa Angelo’s, but a close second.  If you go with the 8″ specialty pizza ($9.99), I would definitely recommend each person get their own house or Caesar salad.  These side salads are small, and I find the Caesar to be a little better.  Now, if you’re a salad-only type person, the chopped salad ($9.49) is very tasty and more than you can eat in one sitting.  It contains chopped Romaine lettuce, diced tomatoes, crumbled gorgonzola, green onion, sundried tomatoes, all tossed in a house dressing.  It can be found under the vegetarian section of the menu, along with a lot of other entree-sized salads and dishes.

Our next visit was with friends and I tried the Baked Roman Pasta ($12.79) which is a blend of Italian sausage, grilled chicken, bell peppers and onions tossed with penne pasta in meat sauce, then topped with mozzarella cheese.  This was as good as it sounds, and it was served in a bowl the size of a basketball, leaving me lots to take-home.  My friend tried the Signature Peach Bellini, which pretty much tasted like a peach icee, but was made with Peach Schnapps, champagne, peach royale, vodka, and fresh peaches served frozen ($4.99).  My other friend always gets the ribeye steak ($15.99), which looks delicious from across the table.  Like I said, there’s something for everyone.

So, the last time I went was with eight other friends, and I split the Honey Balsamic Grilled Chicken Breast ($11.79) which was covered with honey balsamic glaze and served with asparagus and broccoli. Kudos to Primo’s for serving an entree with less than six fat grams and 500 calories!  It was very tasty and the portion is perfect.  It’s rare these days to find something like that, especially in an Italian restaurant.

I think Primo’s offers a great value at lunch with two specials offered every day. First, there’s the “Endless Pastabilities” which gives you any pasta, with any homemade sauce, as much as you want, served with their fresh-baked bread for $6.99. They also offer bottomless soup, salad and bread for $4.99.

Also adding value is the fact that as you exit the restaurant, there is a basket of their homemade, day-old bread, free for the taking as long as it lasts.

The service has almost been too good when I’ve been with a small party.  I believe there is such a thing, although rare, as too much attention from your server, and this has happened to me at Primo’s more than once.  On the other hand, with large parties, the service starts out great, but by the end of the meal it is severely lagging.  Surely there is a place to find a happy medium here. That said, these minor inefficiencies will definitely not keep me from returning.

At each visit, I seem to find something new on the extensive menu that I had not found before, and only one time have I been even slightly disappointed. Another good thing is that they take reservations, which is especially nice for your larger parties and out-of-town guests, as they get quite busy at dinner time on the weekends.

I think Primo’s is a great, local find in the metro, and I urge you to explore their menu as I have to see what surprises you discover.  Let me know if you find something I haven’t found. Leave your thoughts in the comments.

Primo's d'Italia on Urbanspoon

Primo's d'Italia on Urbanspoon

Primo's d'Italia on Urbanspoon

This article was posted by Sarah Sutton on Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009. It is filed under:

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  • Ryan S. says:
    September 24th, 2009 at 7:44 am   

    This place can’t hold a candle to the awesomeness that is Bella Vista.

    Not even CLOSE.


  • Cult of Nobody says:
    September 24th, 2009 at 7:50 am   

    Meh….. I’d just as soon eat at Olive Garden as Primo’s and I’d rather not eat at either one.

  • John says:
    September 24th, 2009 at 8:11 am   

    The service and quality has gone down a bit in the past year (MWC location) but the dish I always get is still awesome. Get the cannelloni florentine and you won’t regret it. This isn’t the best italian restaurant in OKC but it is worth your dollar.

  • Tim says:
    September 24th, 2009 at 8:28 am   

    I think different restaurants have different roles. Primo’s has grown into a local chain with several locations so it’s not that “special find” that you get in a Bella Vista or other smaller place. Still, it’s grown for a reason and that is because it appeals to a wide audience. It’s a place you can take almost anyone and be pretty sure it will be a good experience. It may not be “outstanding” but sometimes you just need something solid to rely on.

    Personally, I think it’s great to have a locally-owned alternative to bigger Italian chains. Also, if I remember correctly, they used to use sausage and other meats from the places down in Krebs. Not sure if they still do that, but that is good stuff.

    All in all, I don’t choose to eat here often but I would be happy to eat here if it was convenient to my location or if I were meeting people who wanted to eat there. It may not be exciting but it’s good value you can count on.

  • Cult of Nobody says:
    September 24th, 2009 at 12:06 pm   

    They used to serve Lovera’s sausage. I haven’t been there in a few years so I don’t know if they still do or not.

    If an OKC area Italian restaurant ever learned to make a meatball and sauce like they make at Pete’s Place in Krebs….. Well lets just say I would probably gain back the 300+ pounds I have lost over the last 5 years. In a hurry!

    If I am ever in need of a blood transfusion I will request that they just hook me up to some quart bags of Pete’s sauce instead…. Sure I probably wouldn’t survive but I would die an extremely happy man.

    And maybe that’s why I don’t eat much Italian around OKC… I have been COMPLETELY spoiled by my trips to McAlester.

  • Ryan S. says:
    September 24th, 2009 at 3:13 pm   

    Went to Pete’s once. Liked the free cheese they gave me, that was awesome.

    The Food? Not so much.

  • Ryan S. says:
    September 24th, 2009 at 3:14 pm   

    Oh congrats on the 300lb loss. I’m down 82lbs since May 12th, and still losing.

  • Wimpy says:
    September 24th, 2009 at 3:52 pm   

    300 pounds? 82pounds? are you guys serious? I’ve lost 20lbs.And thought I had done something. Primo’s is as Tim said a pretty good reliable place to go on occasion with better than average food,its clean and service is pretty good also reasonable prices. Splurge time though I’m with CofN go to Krebs get the best calf fries on the planet and spaghetti and meat balls come with every order anyway and I’m in heaven.{Italian food wise anyway)Pete’s Place is my all time favorite for Italian and no trip would be complete without a stop at Loveras for some cheese and who knows what else I’m liable to buy.

  • Bizzle says:
    September 26th, 2009 at 2:42 pm   

    I remember this place when the first store opened up in Yukon…gah, I’m old. It was awesome back in the day. They started out charging a buck for bread and it tasted like pine-sol smells. I think they have toned the spice down a bit. I used to love the salmon picatta on a bed of spinach but it doesn’t to be on the menu at South’s location. Now? Well, I stick to the Lotsa Pasta w/ half alfredo and half spicy marinara. Yum and a good value…well, probably not if you break down the cost of pasta. However, anytime I venture out and order something different (and overpriced IMO), I always end up disappointed. And Yes! They still serve the krebs sausage.

    Cult and Ryan–what an amazing accomplishment. Outstanding!

  • Clay says:
    October 7th, 2009 at 9:35 am   

    I think day to day, that this place is just mediocre. The service is always friendly, but the food just seems basic so me.

    Now the buffet is another story: Good variety w/ soups and salad. Great lunch spot during the week.

  • Kevin says:
    October 10th, 2009 at 7:49 am   

    I think perhaps Cult and I may have been separated at birth, except I do like Primo’s.

    Nah, it isn’t Krebs, but nowhere outside Krebs is Krebs (which for me is Roseanna’s more so than Pete’s, but I’m more a daytime visitor.)

  • nutmegc says:
    November 5th, 2009 at 4:52 pm   

    I used to adore Primo’s, but when I decided to drop some of the weight and removed all bad carbs from my diet, it became a no-go for me. I’ve since heard that they have a low/no carb menu, but that you must ask for it. I’m eager to go back and find out and will let you know if this is true or not.

  • Kaylee says:
    February 24th, 2010 at 10:42 am   

    Midwest City Location= yuck!!!

  • LISA says:
    March 13th, 2010 at 11:15 am   

    Do any of the OK Primo’s still serve the Breakfast Stromboli?? I LOVED that for brunch, but they told me at the Yukon Primo’s that I couldn’t get it there anymore.

  • LISA says:
    March 13th, 2010 at 11:21 am   

    I meant the Stromboli Benedict…

  • sarah says:
    April 10th, 2010 at 3:03 pm   

    went for lunch here last weekend for mom-in-law’s birthday. they’ve stopped serving brunch on saturday – only sundays now. our server was so snippy and rude, it was embarrassing. chopped salad was good, but italian dishes left something to be desired…

  • Jason says:
    September 22nd, 2010 at 12:22 pm   

    I’ve eaten at Primo’s once….once too many times.
    Absolute worst service I have had anywhere in my life. It was Christmas Eve the year before last i believe so I’m sure there were some staffing issues due to call-ins etc…but nothing would excuse the service we had. Manger took 50% of our bill that included a table of approx 15. It took almost 2 hours to get our food, several orders were incorrect and when they brought out everyones food except mine they informed me that they did not have the ingredients to prepare mine, isn’t this something that should have been brought to my attention an hour and a half ago?? I didn’t bother re-ordering an entree since by this time i had eaten about 6 loaves of bread and drank 4 or 5 bottles of wine. I don’t even recall what everyone thoughts were about the food quality. I only remember most of it was cold. This wasn’t the only service issue we had, everything imaginable was botched. Our bottles of wine served to the wrong table…TWICE!! Countless other things happened, it has been so long ago I can’t recall everything. Living on the south side i had hoped Primo’s would be on par with all of the comments I had gathered from friends/co-workers. Not a fan of Carino’s so until I discovered this site yesterday I thought the next best Italian was miles away on Meridian at Zio’s…..but I will be visiting Bella Vista this friday thanks to the site!! I have debated giving Primos another shot several times just to give the benefit of the doubt that maybe we just caught them on the worst day of their existance. I will let you know if we ever give it a shot at redemption!!

  • Sarah says:
    September 22nd, 2010 at 3:16 pm   

    Sorry your experience was that bad, Jason. Unfortunately the last time I went, it was similar. I’m wondering if there has been a change in management lately. Needless to say, I haven’t been back. It was a good place “back in the day.”

  • dom says:
    April 20th, 2012 at 4:35 pm   

    I finally tried this place today, and it wasn’t bad, but still, kind of meh. I had the chicken parmesan, and it was ok, crispy at the edges, like I like it. But nothing all that great, it came with spagetti, and it was about the same, decent. I didn’t care much for their bread, even the caesar salad I ordered wasn’t particularly good.

    Service was good, no complaints there.

    I suppose I would come back and have some of their innexpensive happy hour items, but the food isn’t really worth the full price.

  • Steve says:
    June 12th, 2012 at 9:38 am   

    Primo’s used to be decent but has really gone downhill in the past few years. The food is barely edible and the service is some of the worst I have seen. I do not expect them to be in business much longer. We were at the southside location on a Friday night and there were only 2 couples in the whole place.

    There are MUCH better options for great Italian food in the city. Vito’s, Fontana, Spago, are all excellent alternatives for the same prices.

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