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The Wiseguy Kitchen
(now closed) Mafioso Italiano

Austin

Mafia movies always have great dinner scenes, like the Corleone family gathered in the kitchen at the end of The Godfather, or Marlon Brando sneaking in to devour leftovers during those wacky Godfather outtakes. Taking Italian from the table to the street, Wise Guy Kitchen

An unassuming red trailer fronting Juanita Tacos, Wiseguy's run by a talkative chef who's returned from retirement to dish authentic gambi-nosh and spin yarns about his old New Yawk days cooking for the bosses, like the time he ejected a legendary mafioso from his kitchen, causing the Don to tell him his head would have been shoved in a deep fryer if it weren't for the peerless quality of his linguini and clams -- a very theatrical way to make someone Chef Boyardead. Dishes honor famous Italianos, with hot heroes like the Joe Torre (homemade meatballs, fresh mozz), the Al Pacino (fried chicken cutlet w/ arugula & tomato), and the "Brooklyn-style" Fuhgeddaboutit Philly Cheese Steak (roast beef, prosciutto, onions, American), plus cold ones including the roast beef/mozz Hulk Hogan (ironically, if you ask for the Terry Gino Bollea they'll look at you like you're a Hulka-maniac). For pasta lovers, there's the Ray Romano (ziti w/ marinara & pecorino Romano), the Tony Danza (jumbo cheese ravioli w/ marinara), the Lady Gaga (trio of chicken, eggplant, and ziti), or a Friday-only shrimp fra diavolo called the John Travolta, which they claim will "make you dance" -- thus making it impossible to Be Cool

If you're a madman, take up the Babba Booey Challenge, a free-if-you-finish-it, 24in hero loaded with 20 meatballs, a pound of ricotta and mozz, and eight hot stuffed peppers -- so big it might make you a-Fredo, though it'd certainly land a Marlon on its hook.

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1. The Wiseguy Kitchen 1120 W 5th St, Austin, TX 78703

An unassuming red trailer fronting Juanita Tacos, Wiseguy's run by a talkative chef who's returned from retirement to dish authentic gambi-nosh and spin yarns about his old New Yawk days cooking for the bosses, like the time he ejected John Gotti from his kitchen, causing the Teflon Don to tell him his head would have been shoved in a deep fryer if it weren't for the peerless quality of his linguini and clams -- a very theatrical way to make someone Chef Boyardead.

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