OGDEN — How about the Italian chef’s salad, or the meatball sandwich?
“And, of course, the pizza,” Ted Ligori added, listing some of his restaurant’s headline menu items.
Ligori, 73, said he has been making pizzas for 57 years. That included 28 years at Tony’s Pizza in South Ogden. He then opened Ligori’s Pizza and Pasta in Ogden in 1991. Ligori’s current location is at 4780 Old Post Road.
Fresh sauces are one key to the restaurant’s long-term success, Ligori said.
“Nothing is made from the cans,” he said.
Ligori’s array of pizzas has a back-to-basics feel, with traditional offerings such as New York-style, meatball and Philly steak pies.
Pasta dishes include spaghetti, rigatoni, ravioli, tortellini, lasagna and fettuccine alfredo. Ligori’s offers sandwiches such as the Italian meatball and sausage favorites.
Stuffed green peppers, Italian meatballs — plus cheese and garlic breads — spice the selection of appetizers.
The hometown feel Ligori’s cultivates starts with a comfortable dining room and stays strong with a large base of repeat customers, who are helped along by the reasonably priced menu.
“I’ve been honest with the people, with fair prices and the food is good,” Ligori said. “People say the food is always the same when they come back.”
Ligori also is proud to have many long-time employees.
“He’s a good boss,” said Dianne East, the assistant manager, who started at Ligori’s the year after it opened.
“He kind of takes the kids under his arm and helps them along,” she said. “He encourages them to get an education and better themselves. A lot of those kids have been here 20 years.”
East said many of the recipes were Ligori’s mother’s, and some of his aunts from Italy helped him find the spices they required.
“You probably couldn’t find a better place to work,” East said, adding that Ligori has fostered a customer-friendly environment.
“Especially people with younger children, they’re our future customers,” she said.
Ligori, who was born in McGill, Nevada, said he plans to work a few more years.
“I love my job and I love the people and all the employees,” he said.
East said Ligori’s two daughters also work at the restaurant. A partner in the business, Jonathan Pace, and his family help out too, East said.
She said Ligori still works long hours, but he breaks away often to go visit his wife, Claudia, who is in long-term care.