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Omaha Magazine

Frank’s Pizzeria is a Sure Hit

Aug 27, 2021 04:21PM ● By Omaha Magazine
fried ravioli with marinara side cup

Photo by Bill Sitzmann    

Frank’s Pizzeria has straightforward, no-nonsense decor. Red-topped tables have the requisite parmesan and red pepper flakes synonymous with a pizza joint. The exception to this somewhat plain decor is the collection of photos of entertainers that covers the walls, images of visitors who come to the small restaurant known for its traditional, New York-style pizza. 

Situated among several other small businesses in the Linden Market strip mall just off 132nd and Dodge streets, it’s easy to miss if you don’t know it’s there. But, pizza-lovers know, and they regularly frequent this nondescript eatery. 

When the editors at Omaha Magazine found themselves discussing dining reviews, managing editor Daisy Hutzell-Rodman quickly suggested Frank’s. As a woman who typically subsists on salad and cottage cheese, the restaurant has become a favorite indulgence of hers, largely for three items: the eggplant parmesan sandwich; margherita pizza; and cannoli with raspberry sauce. Seriously, she couldn’t stress that enough. “Do not leave without trying the cannoli with raspberry sauce,” she said, numerous times.

So senior editor Tara Spencer, associate editor Linda Persigehl, and digital manager Megan Bartholomew headed there for lunch. 

Photo by Bill Sitzmann    

 They decided to try an appetizer, a sandwich, and a slice of pizza. As an appetizer, they went with the ravioli. The sausage and peppers came highly recommended, and they ordered a six-inch sandwich to share. Because a slice of pepperoni is the benchmark upon which Spencer judges all pizza, that was the slice.

Of course, they got the cannoli with raspberry sauce. As luck would have it, Frank’s also serves mini-cannolis, which worked out perfectly, as there were three people and six little pastry shells. 

The fried ravioli appetizer was a winner all around. Inside, the ricotta cheese was creamy and smooth, and the outer coating had a good crunch. Persigehl said she liked that they were light and fried a perfect golden color. “I’ve had lots that were too heavy or overcooked and hard, or the cheese runs out the sides,” she wrote in her notes. The sauce that accompanied them was a chunky marinara.

As it was lunch time, they tried one of the special lunch combos, a cheese slice with a side salad and a soda for $6.99. (The staff paid an additional 25 cents for pepperoni.) The side salad was basic, with iceberg lettuce, two half tomato slices, and a small pile of red onion slices. The dressing wasn’t overly tangy or sweet, but rather well-balanced and not too thin. The woman at the counter said it is made just for the restaurant.

The pepperoni slice was not Spencer’s personal favorite, as there was minimal sauce, and she is a self-described “sauce queen.” But all agreed the crust was what it should be—thin and foldable with a crispy, chewy edge. Bartholomew said she preferred the light sauce, and Persigehl said it was definitely a classic “fold and go” slice of NY-style pizza. 

Photo by Bill Sitzmann    

 When the server asked if they would like the sausage and pepper sandwich toasted, Spencer answered for everyone. Fortunately, her coworkers agreed that it should be served on the toasted bread. For Spencer, this item was a surprise. She said she didn’t expect to like it as much as she did. “Oftentimes, I find that so many peppers can overwhelm a dish, drowning out the other flavors. These peppers were grilled to a perfect sweetness, and the caramelized onions had just a little crispness,” she said. Persigehl noted that the sausage wasn’t overly salty, which is something she has started to take note of as she and her husband are trying to eat less sodium. This dish was a definite dark horse favorite.  

After the food was dropped off at the booth, the server asked if they would like to take the mini cannolis to go or if they would like them brought out. The trio had them brought to the table. 

The dessert was already in a to-go container, with the raspberry sauce on the side in its own little plastic ramekin. The mini cannolis are around four inches long and dusted with powdered sugar. While good on their own, with a nice crunch and creamy filling, it was agreed the sauce was a unique, flavorful touch. Spencer said she easily could have eaten all six herself.

Eating at Frank’s is not a fancy dining experience (real silverware is available upon request), but it is a pleasant one. And those who don’t have to go back to work after their meal can also have an ice-cold bottle of beer with their meal—a classic pairing for a classic pizza place. 

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This article originally appeared in the September 2021 issue of Omaha Magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
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