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A few weeks ago, I was visiting Lala Mama in Calgary.  The first night in town, we went out for Italian food at a place called Franca’s Italian Specialties.  Lala Mama was telling me that they go to Franca’s quite frequently but usually just for brunch or lunch.  She also told me that Franca’s is a friendly and family-run establishment.

We arrived at Franca’s for our dinner reservation and were seated by the window.  Although the street view really wasn’t that exciting, I loved how they decorated the windows with the hanging lights. It brought a very cheery feeling to the place.

pretty lights make a difference

snowflake lights

As we were there for an early dinner sitting, there was only one other table with an older couple.  Hopefully our table of five did not cause too much disturbance for their peaceful and early dinner.  Perhaps it was also because we were early diners and the restaurant was not busy yet, we had several visits from the owners.

Our meal must have been pre-ordered (at the time of reservation) was a set dinner menu as once we were seated, we were only required to decide on our drinks.  Seeing as Lala Mama and her family have been there before, I followed their lead and ordered the cranberry soda as well.  With the table set and the drinks served, we were ready to start our meal.

cranberry soda

The first items that arrived at our table was the bread and the salad.  The bread was absolutely yummy.  I was careful not to eat too much bread as I did not want to fill myself before eating the actual meal.  The food was served family-style so the photos you see here may seem like big portions.  Realistically (and thankfully), I did not eat all that myself!

bread

salad

The salad was very fresh and refreshing.  I particularly enjoyed the blending of balsamic vinaigrette, the lettuce, the meat and the cheese.   Oh wait, that’s practically everything in there.  OK, the tomatoes were good, too.  Next up, was the penne dish.

penne

Following the penne, came the main course.  The meat was very tender and the veggies were cooked to an appetizing perfection.  Every component tasted delicious.

main course

By the time we finished our main course, Franca’s was starting to get busy.  No longer were we the noisiest table as several other families and groups of friends came to claim their table reservations.  Look at our selection of yummy desserts:

dessert plate

dessert part 1

dessert part 2 & 3

Lala Mama had mentioned that the lattes were worth-trying so I (again) followed her lead and ordered a latte to go with dessert.  Franca also prepared a kid’s latte (hot chocolate?) for the little one that was at our table.

kid’s latte (hot chocolate)

In the blink of an eye, the desserts were… “all gone!”

All gone!

I really enjoy Italian meals because they bring you a bit of everything…. And everything tastes so good!   Maybe one day, I will get around to blogging about my friend’s Italian wedding banquet.

Franca's Italian Specialties on Urbanspoon

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