Thursday, November 15, 2012


As an "old school" resident of Whittier I often think about how good things were back in the day. I grew up in the 80's and when you walked in to an establishment back then customer service was essential. Back then when you went to your favorite restaurant you knew that the quality and taste would be there every time. You felt comfortable when you walked in just like you feel when you visit an old friend. Whittier has had it's share of Italian restaurants come and go and currently there are more than a few in the Uptown Whittier area. I can tell you with one hundred percent certainty that I have found a game changer for Italian food in the Uptown Whittier area. It was just like running in to an old friend.

Ciao Italian Ristorante! Far from the new kid on the block Ciao Italia first opened it's doors in Whittier on August 29, 2007 as Ciao Panini Grill. Exclusively selling Grilled Paninis and fresh salads at this location. It was a total success and people loved it.

First Location Opened August 29, 2007

The Regina Family is originally from Calabria, Italy but have been residents of Whittier since 1982. Married for 33 years Maurizio and Rosanna are proud parents of son Maurizio 25 and daughter Giuliana 18. Ciao Italia Ristorante is truly the 5th member of the Regina family serving up home style recipes that were handed down to them from their very own mothers. The meals are made with love and you can taste it with every bite. Nice old school portions you will be taking some to go for sure.

The Regina Family Maurizio, Rosanna & Giuliana.

Maurizio & Son Maurizio Jr.

Ciao Italia is best describes as "authentic & fresh". Butter and cream are NEVER used in ANY of Rosanna's dishes. This one was incredible fresh ingredients with great flavor.

Nice Healthy Portions! Loved the spicy sausage on this dish, wow!

Imported Deli Meats, Locally Made Fresh Mozzarella, San Marzano Tomato's

I can speak first hand regarding the pizza and it is fantastic! Made to order with imported deli meats, traditional pizza pasta served on an authentic thin crust which allow for the flavors to really shine through. If you are a thin crust pizza lover you won't find a better one in Whittier. This is also a new member of the MY WHITTIER top 10 Pizza's.

Spicy and Mild Pizza is Fantastic!

The Regina family has truly created something special and original here in Whittier. With the fantastic menu and beautiful restaurant and old school hospitality. When you walk in to this restaurant you are instantly transported to Italy. The restaurant is roomy but cozy and very comfortable. Customers are encouraged to sit and enjoy their meals no rushing here. Maurizo said "this is how we eat in Italy. family and friends take their time and enjoy the meal and have good conversation." I agree! With all of the stress of today's world this is exactly what the doctor ordered. You can really let your hair down here and enjoy because that is how Maurizio and Rosanna make you feel.

Plan your Christmas party here it would be a great location with plenty of room

Beautiful interior transports you right to Italy. There was a lot of thought put in to this restaurant

Owner Maurizio is a class act always willing to welcome you with a smile

You can also end your meal with an Espresso or Cappuccino made with Italy's finest coffee. Desserts include homemade Cannoli & Tiramisu and much more. They had a great selection of Beer and Wine as well. If you haven't had a chance to try Ciao please do yourself a favor and go today! Lunch and dinner available for sit down or take out.

Great Beer & Wine Selection

Ciao Italia Ristorante

13112 Philadelphia St
Business Hours:
Monday - Saturday 11am-9pm
Closed Sunday
Phone orders accepted!

This restaurant is MY WHITTIER approved. Please go out and support local Whittier business it is good for the soul and good for the community. Try it you will be surprised at what you might find!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

HOOVER & Mrs. KNIGHT the perfect recipe

One of my favorite things to do in my spare time is to frequent Estate Sales in the area. My wife and I have made it a hobby of ours. We check out the listings of  estate sales in the Penny Saver and circle the ones we want to attend and come Saturday morning the hunt is on. It is so interesting to see what people have accumulated in their lifetime. No matter if they were wealthy or not so wealthy everyone collects items that mean something to them. Items that hold great meaning something that someone else might find not so great. But every now and then you come across an estate sale that stops and makes you think.

Hoover School

My wife and I attended an Estate Sale a few months ago near Hoover school in Whittier and that is when we found out Mrs. Knight and husband had passed away. Mrs. Knight was a teacher at Hoover school and left a huge impact on the kids that had her as a teacher and the community. My wife was walking through the house remembering her memorable field trip to that very home. The dolls were there and the house was still intact. I came across her recipe file. Many of the recipes were hand written. Some were cut from the newspaper or magazines. Hand written notes were left as well. It was something that had so much thought and love put in to it. I bought it for 50 cents but it means so much more to me to have these recipes.

Her Recipe Box
 I didn't know Mrs. Knight but my wife and so many others did. I posted the original picture of her recipe box on Facebook and to my amazement over 1,000 people viewed that post. So many people wrote so many kind things about her. She really did have an impact on young Whittier at the time. Many of them talked about the yearly field trip to her home. All of the kids would be so excited to attend the field trip and see her famous doll collection. She had hand made crafts and blankets as well.
 Hand made craft

 She embodied the true Whittier spirit. When you attend enough estate sales you realize that it isn't what you have accumulated in your lifetime it is how you will be remembered. What impact did you have on someones life? Did you make a difference? Mrs. Knight truly did make a difference and had an impact on many kids that grew up in Whittier at the time. When I walk the streets of Whittier and talk about the things I see it is experiences like these that make me view things in a different light. A positive, optimistic light. My wife loves to craft and create cool things. I like to think she got a little of that from her childhood at Hoover with Mrs. Knight.
With Thanksgiving and Christmas upon us I thought it would be nice to share one of Mrs. Knights recipes with you. Maybe you might want to make this for this years holiday dinner and honor her one more time.
Strawberry Dream Cake
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Thursday, November 1, 2012




Own a piece of Whittier cool 80's past!