Felice Anniversario

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Felice Anniversario

Felice Anniversario

Pasta Max Café Celebrates 30 Years

Doug Zitz and his family have been providing outstanding Italian food to the people of Henry County since 1994. The restaurant has operated in three different locations over the years, but they have been in McDonough, just off the square, for the past 15 years. While other businesses and restaurants have come and gone, Pasta Max Café has maintained its popularity.

“I think it comes down to consistency,” said Zitz. “We’ve got a great staff that works hard and is very loyal. They have been here a long time and know how to provide excellent service and quality.”

Family has always been central to Pasta Max Café. When the restaurant was first launched, Zitz’s father came to help set it up. Soon, Zitz was getting help from his wife, Barbara, and her parents. Zitz’s mother-in-law, Pat, has enjoyed getting to know the customers, many of whom refer to her as Miss Pat. Today, their sons, Shannon and Patrick, can often be found at the restaurant helping out. Shannon has been working with his father full-time since graduating from college. He manages the dining room and is becoming proficient in the kitchen as well. Many of the others who contribute to the restaurant’s success often feel like family. They, in turn, give that same feeling to each customer that comes in for a meal.

Pasta Max Café has great ambience, but the food is what has kept people coming back for more across four decades. Zitz makes fresh pasta every day, and each pasta dish has fans that would proclaim it the best they’ve ever had, but many regulars now come for the seafood.

“The grilled redfish, halibut, and grouper have all been daily specials and very popular,” said Zitz. “The specials always let me try some different things as well.”

Zitz has a long history in the kitchen. He attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY, his hometown, and then made his way to south Florida and worked in some of Miami’s finest restaurants. He started working in a French restaurant and followed it with some time in places serving Italian cuisine. It’s only natural that many of his influences can be found throughout Pasta Max Café’s menu.

Henry County has obviously undergone numerous changes since Pasta Max Café first arrived, but perhaps the most significant changes happened around the square in downtown McDonough. Pasta Max Café had accumulated many followers at their previous locations, but, as more storefronts opened around the square, bringing more foot traffic and energy to the area, more people found Pasta Max Café as well and became some of the restaurant’s many regulars. Some people may always get their favorite dish, but there is enough variety to keep diners trying new things at each visit. 

There are several pizza choices on the menu, including a Greek pizza, with Greek olives, sundried tomatoes, sausage, mozzarella, and feta cheese, and a BBQ pizza with black beans, corn, sweet peppers, and grilled BBQ chicken, that are standing orders for some families, while others swear by The Agnolotti, a ravioli-like pasta filled with prosciutto, spinach, ricotta and parmigiana, and served with herbed tomato sauce, pesto sauce, and parmigiana creme.

Zitz and his family will celebrate the official anniversary this July, but each meal feels special for the crew at Pasta Max Café. They want everyone to feel welcome, as they provide a captivating dining experience close to home. They’ve created a lasting legacy in Henry County and are looking forward to many years to come.

Pasta Max Café is located at 50 Griffin St. in McDonough. Visit pastamaxcafe.net or call 770-320-9311 for more information.

By Mike Boylan