Benaglio's Restaurant was a favorite spot for my family when I was growing up in Lubbock. It was a fun Italian restaurant that allowed you to build your own pasta entrees in a bowl and then hand it off to a chef to be cooked up. They also had pizza and paninis, but for me, the pasta was what really set the restaurant aside from others.

Genghis Grill has the same kind of build-your-own style for their Mongolian cuisine that made Benaglio's a fun and interesting place to eat. Of course, the cuisine was totally different, but if you never had the opportunity to go, that's how I'd best describe it. You threw your chicken, shrimp, pasta, veggies, sauce and whatever else you liked into a bowl, and the chef sauteed them together for you and cheesed them up upon request.

They also had a really incredible salad bar and excellent soup. It was an inexpensive family restaurant that basically had something for everyone and made for a nice spot to hit up when you got out of church on Sundays, starving and full of guilt.

Mmm. Carbs pave the way to heaven. I'm sure of it.

I can't pretend to know how Benaglio's closed. The internet doesn't have a whole lot to say about the old Lubbock restaurant. I couldn't even find any photos of their food. I started wondering if I'd imagined the entire restaurant with how little was available online. It closed down before the internet had a chance to see pictures of that yummy pasta.

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I'm pretty sure they shut down their 19th Street location, then moved to 82nd Street. My family continued to visit the restaurant from time to time, but because it moved to the other side of time, it wasn't nearly as frequent.

I also have vivid memories of hand-painted murals on the walls, which were always interesting to stare at while you waited for your food. When I was a kid, I would imagine the little worlds in the paintings.

It was a happy place with good vibes and tasty food from what I can recall, but then again, I was 9 years old and would have eaten McDonald's if the option was presented. Nonetheless, I wish Bengalio's was still around.

Do you remember Benaglio's? Did you like it? Comment below or on our Facebook page.

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