Romio's Pizza and Pasta 

I was going to spare you the lame Shakespearean references in this review, but what the heck. I'll dust off what I remember from studying Romeo and Juliet in seventh grade and remove all the stabbing and poisoning. Let's see ... Romeo is a senior at Boise High and Juliet is a sophomore at rival Borah. Romeo and Juliet must meet secretly to adore each other over pizza and salad in order to avoid the condemning eyes of their peers. While other lovers from both schools do pizza dates at Pizza Hut, our star-crossed lovers dine secretly at Romio's Pizza and Pasta located just down the street from Towne Square Mall.

Our high school-aged Romeo would try to impress his fair love with Romio's selection of Italian fare like eggplant Parmesan ($10.95), lasagna ($9.95) and spinach cannelloni ($9.95). But he'd like to sample the menu's Greek selections like spanakopita ($5.95), dolmades ($5.95), gyros ($10.95) or souvlaki ($12.95). He'll end up ordering a putanessca pizza ($11.95) because his Italian stomach loves artichoke hearts, capers, feta cheese, pesto sauce, Kalamata olives and garlic almost as much as he himself loves his darling sophomore from Borah. To him the pizza seems like a marriage of Flying Pie's interesting toppings to a chewy Pizza Hut crust. Our Romeo has been around Boise's pizza block more times than Juliet knows.

Juliet hails from an antipasto salad-eating family, but remember how in the original story she would remove the sliced, cured meats from her salad, wrap them in a scarf and save them for her secret lover? That is because she was a closet lacto-ovo-vegetarian and wished her mother would make salad like Romio's horiatiki Greek salad ($7.95) with diced tomatoes, green bell peppers, cucumbers, onions, chunks of feta cheese, pepperoncinis and unpitted Kalamata olives. Well, maybe the Bard left out Juliet's preference for veggies, but today's modern maiden knows how salami and pepperoni can put a "pooch" on a girl's bare midriff. And let's face it: In this day and age she may not actually be a putanessca, but if she wants to look cool at school, she'll have to dress like one.

Before bidding farewell for the night, or doing something crazy like running off and getting married, our love-struck couple would share an order of baklava ($3.95) and tiramisu ($5.25). When it comes to eating, teenage boys are like bottomless pits so Romeo would eat most of both desserts by himself. Our dear Juliet would let him. After all, a girl's got to stay slim to keep her man. Or at least die trying.

--Jennifer Hernandez has a big, poochy midriff.

Romio's Pizza and Pasta, 535 N. Milwaukee St., 658-1550. Sun.-Thu.: 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat.: 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

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