Many of us go to a restaurant expecting, or at least hoping for a spectacular meal. I have been fortunate to have experienced this at several places, and Bella Sera in Copperas Cove, Texas, provided one recently. It was nothing fancy, but it was the best lunch I've had in recent memory – their exceptional Stromboli.
I've had Stromboli in the past, but this was the best. From the first bite, it was obvious that this was special. The bread surrounding the meat and cheese filling was perfectly cooked – not doughy, not crispy – it was perfect. The filling was equally exceptional, and for several minutes, I concentrated on enjoying the exceptional flavor.
"Well," said my wife. "How is it."
"This is outstanding," I told her. "It's really good."
Maybe it sounds crazy or contrived to say that something seemingly as simple as Stromboli can be spectacular, but I can't describe it any other way. I know – it's not an expensive Filet Mignon, or an elegant grilled salmon; it's pasta, cheese, and several meats. It may not be the most sophisticated of dishes, but my Bela Sera Stromboli was one of the best meals I've had. Every bite was fantastic, and what I couldn't finish, I took home to savor for lunch the next day.
On our next trip to Bela Serra, my daughter ordered Stromboli on my recommendation, and she loved it. It was obvious that she enjoyed hers every bit as much as I had. She couldn't finish it in one sitting either – not at all a bad thing, as it meant a second meal with this incredibly tasty dish.
"You're not allowed to eat my Stromboli," she told her brother. "I'm going to have it for lunch tomorrow."
Bela Sera, of course, offers much more than Stromboli, and we have enjoyed several excellent dining experiences there. Fortunately, this great restaurant is not far away, and with reasonable prices, we will visit again soon and often.
Although I have tried other menu items at Bela Sera, such as pizza and veal, it's the outstanding Stromboli that calls to me. It was one of those rare meals that was perfect in every way.
Larry Manch is an author, teacher, guitar player, freelance writer, and columnist. His books include: 'Twisted Logic: 50 Edgy Flash Fiction Stories', 'The Toughest Hundred Dollars & Other Rock & Roll Stories', 'A Sports Junkie', 'The Avery Appointment', 'Between the Fuzzy Parts'. His books are available in paperback and e-book.
He also writes about sports for Season Tickets, food and travel on Miles & Meals, and music/guitars on The Backbeat.