| Menus |

Chicken Parmigian-icles: Pronto Cucinino

Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

I love chicken parmesan. It's one of my top-three foods. If for some reason I went crazy and routinely executed a number of innocent humans -- for whatever reason; I'm not being specific -- and then somehow regained my sanity with spare time enough to choose a last meal, chicken parmesan would be on the menu.

With this in mind, I've set out on a mission to find the best chicken parmesan in this beloved city of ours.

Pronto Cucinino was my first stop on what will surely be a many-legged trip around Houston's Italian restaurant scene in search of the best of this classic comfort food.

Pronto Cucinino is one of the Mandola family restaurants. There is an array of pricier, fancier versions, but I live right around the corner from the Montrose location of Pronto, and it has yet to fail me.

The chicken parmigiana is very reasonably priced at $8.95. It comes with a side -- I recommend the green beans (another side can be added for $2.50) -- and a roll, which is always the first thing to go, for me. The roll has a crusty outside and light, garlicky-salt topping. I know from watching the hustle of the kitchen once dinner service is in full swing, that the rolls are only pulled fresh and plated once your food comes off the line.

As a restaurant, this place isn't poorly named: the food comes out steaming, hot and fast. I've been here a number of times and never had a bad meal.

I've never found myself thinking "...this whole 'pronto' bit is really a crock of shit." They really are quick.

It's definitely a family place. To-go orders whiz out the door to frazzled soccer moms and dads just wanting to put something in their bellies after a long, hot day of recreational sports with the kids, but the food is solid and filling.

Not too much cheese, nice crust around the edges and a decent red sauce make for an excellent version of this simple dish. A little touch of red pepper flake was required to satiate my palate's more adventurous side, but otherwise the sauce stands up on its own. Baked into the cheese were some nice, fresh rips of basil leaves, giving an admittedly heavy dish a lighter, more herbal note throughout.

Enjoyable, convenient and priced to sell, Pronto Cucinino's chicken parm certainly hits the spot if you are craving some breaded, crusty chicken baked into a red-sauced, cheesy mess.

A clean plate doesn't lie.

Tell them I sent you, and you'll get absolutely nothing whatsoever.

Where should I go next? Where is your favorite place to eat chicken parm?

Follow Eating Our Words on Facebook and on Twitter @EatingOurWords

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.