Papas Gondola Italian Restaurant

After our full adventure day visiting River Raisin and Fallen Timbers, we arrived back in the Mansfield area just in time for supper.  My dad eagerly suggested going to Papas Gondola Italian Restaurant and we were happy to comply.

Papas Gondola Italian Restaurant has been a Mansfield staple since 1973.  Pasquale and Mary La Susa, along with two of their three sons, immigrated to the United States from Casteldaccia, Sicily, in 1954. In Sicily, Mr. La Susa owned and operated Casteldaccia’s only bakery, which also serviced Palermo, Sicily’s largest city. In 1973, Mr. and Mrs. La Susa opened Papas Gondola.

The food at Papas Gondola is prepared fresh daily, and when it runs out – it is gone for the day.  The recipes are all Sicilian family recipes.  There is a small salad bar with some uniquely Sicilian

items on it.

All of us ordered the salad bar and lasagna.  Because we were early enough, they still had plenty of lasagna, which is the signature dish for the restaurant.  Tom and I ordered a small lasagna to share while Mom and Dad each

A small lasagna

ordered the regular sized lasagna.  While we waited for our lasagna we enjoyed some warm, homemade bread.  When the lasagna came, it was hot and delicious.  Easily the best lasagna I have ever had.  All the flavors blended together perfectly.  And the small was plenty for two.  Mom and Dad order the regular size and take home two-thirds of it for two more meals.

The meal was very affordable, which is good because Papas Gondola is cash only.  But the food is so good it is worth a visit to the ATM to get some cash before you go.   As befits a family business, Papas Gondola is only open 4 to 7:30 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.  The restaurant is small and the tables are always full.  But the service is quick and friendly with that family touch.

We enjoyed our visit to Papas Gondola Italian Restaurant very much and would go there again anytime.  If you are in the Mansfield area around dinner time, this is a great place to go.