Quality ingredients make all the difference at The Big Cheese

Vice Mayor Josh Liebman and former mayor Anna Price share a moment together before having lunch at Big Cheese.

Imagine a pizza restaurant that serves Italian dishes made with the quality products usually reserved for high-end eateries. The Big Cheese, the popular pizza and pasta restaurant in South Miami, should come to mind. The Big Cheese uses premium ingredients to create the delicious Italian fare enjoyed by locals for more than 27 years.

Do not expect delicate, thin crust pizza and small portions at The Big Cheese. As the name implies, you will find large and extra-large pies heaped with cheese and an impressive assortment of toppings like Italian sausage, olives, artichoke hearts and even meatballs. Specialty pies like spinach pizza and the Miami slice, adorned with ham and pineapple, are popular favorites.

To start off, savor traditional appetizers like fried calamari in red sauce and mozzarella with tomato, basil and red onions. You might want to try Michelle’s Boneless Buffalo Wings, and the mouth-watering sautéed seafood prepared with shrimp, mussels and clams in a wine butter marinara sauce. Fried oysters with lemon and cocktail sauce are also on the menu.

If you crave comfort food, The Big Cheese is the place to go. The classic lasagna, chicken parmesan and baked eggplant taste like home cooking. Overstuffed Stromboli, calzone and freshly baked garlic rolls will satisfy your Italian craving. To complement your meal, select a beverage from the wine and beer menu.

Top it all off with a spectacular dessert like the double chocolate mousse cake or the Big Italian Tiramisu. Of course, the menu would not be complete without Italian cannoli pastries filled with chocolate chip cream, sprinkled with powdered sugar and finished with a light chocolate sauce.

Owner Bill Archer takes pride in providing superior dishes served by an experienced wait staff.

“We want to provide a wonderful dining experience that our customers can afford,” he said. “We use Wisconsin Grade Mozzarella, pear tomatoes from California and pasta flown in fresh daily from Italy. Big portions, friendly waiters and realistic pricing means that people will keep coming back.”

Diners at Big Cheese Pizza seem to agree. One diner, Annette from Orlando, said, “If you’re in Miami and are craving pizza, this is the place to go!” Katie from Miami noted, “The portions are large, definitely enough for me to be satisfied and take half home for later.”

The Big Cheese also offers a children’s menu and party platters for catering. Diners can choose to eat indoors or on the outdoor patio. If you’re a UM fan, you’ll enjoy the atmosphere. Many diners are impressed by the restaurant’s sponsorship of University of Miami athletic programs, and the array of sports memorabilia from the hometown team decorating the walls.

The Big Cheese is located at 8080 SW 67 Ave., South Miami, across from the original location established in 1984. It is open from Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11pm; Friday, 11 a.m. to 12 midnight; Saturday,12 noon to 12 midnight; and Sunday, 12 noon to 10 p.m. For more information, call 305-662-6855 or visit <www.bigcheesemiami.com.>

A second Big Cheese Pizza is located at 350 North Homestead Blvd., Homestead, and is open Monday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Sunday, 12 noon to 10 p.m. For more information, call 305-247-0657.

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