Offbeat Magazine: Gendusa’s Serves Up Old-School Italian in Kenner (and It's Worth the Trip)
Updated: Apr 5, 2020
Delicious family Italian is just what the doctor ordered.
I just took a DNA test, turns out I’m 100% not Italian, but that doesn’t stop the craving for amazing Italian food hitting at least once a month. After food-man extraordinaire Ian McNulty raved about Gendusa’s, I decided that I need to take a ride out to Kenner to see what all the fuss was about.
The building itself is unassuming- I almost passed it on the drive, but once you step in, you’re bombarded with delicious smells of garlic and spices that lets you know that you’re in the right place. Gendusa’s feels really old school with 50’s classics playing over the stereo, making you feel like you’re living in the middle of A Bronx Tale.
I had been told that the meatballs are a must, and for $5, I couldn’t pass them up. When the waitress brought out these meatballs, Y’ALL! Talk about a work of art. I knew they were going to be big, but these meatballs are huge and coated in Mozzarella cheese. It’s the type of cheese that has that nice cheese pull that you usually only see in pizza commercials. It’s the kind of cheese that you have to twirl around the fork like pasta. The meatballs themselves can’t be described- spiced and flavored perfectly and made from, what I can only assume, is an old family recipe. The sauce is out-of-this-world. Like I said, I was not fortunate enough to be born Italian, but food like this makes me want to look into some sort of conversion program. I need a Sicilian grandma to teach me her ways, just so I can make sauce like this.
With all this meatball love, I had totally forgotten about my entrée. I ordered the eggplant parmesan, because we’re trying to keep it healthy over here. Yes, it comes with angel hair pasta topped with the angel sauce, but it also comes with a salad. It’s called the “pair it with a salad” diet and it’s going to sweep the nation. Anyway, the eggplant was pretty perfect and, let’s be honest, everything is kicked up a notch or twelve when it’s topped with red gravy and Mozzarella cheese. The angel hair pasta was the perfect balance to everything and, believe it or not, I left the meal feeling satisfied and not heavy. Yes, I did leave with three containers worth of leftovers, which I’ll be munching on for days, but it’s all about pacing yourself. Right?
I should really mention how reasonable this spot actually is- nothing is over $20 and the portions are huge. The food is delicious and, you will most likely leave with leftovers. Like any true Italian family, the Gendusa’s aren’t going to let you walk away hungry. Along with a selection of tasty, classic Italian entrees, Gendusa’s also has the good-good in the form of pizzas, sandwiches and cannolis. I was really kicking myself that I didn’t save room for dessert, but that will be a good excuse to go back, eat my weight in meatballs and then follow it all up with something sweet.