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Pizzeria Santa Lucia II  in Grafenwoehr, Germany on Sept. 22, 2020.
Pizzeria Santa Lucia II in Grafenwoehr, Germany on Sept. 22, 2020. (Immanuel Johnson/Stars and Stripes )
Pizzeria Santa Lucia II  in Grafenwoehr, Germany on Sept. 22, 2020.
Pizzeria Santa Lucia II in Grafenwoehr, Germany on Sept. 22, 2020. (Immanuel Johnson/Stars and Stripes )
Pizzeria Santa Lucia II in Grafenwoehr, Germany, features colorful horses inside and and enough space for social distancing.
Pizzeria Santa Lucia II in Grafenwoehr, Germany, features colorful horses inside and and enough space for social distancing. (Immanuel Johnson/Stars and Stripes )
A German helles is a great way to start off a meal at  Pizzeria Santa Lucia II in Grafenwoehr, Germany.
A German helles is a great way to start off a meal at Pizzeria Santa Lucia II in Grafenwoehr, Germany. (Immanuel Johnson/Stars and Stripes )
The bruschetta with tomatoes and onions is a light start before the heaping main meals at Pizzeria Santa Lucia II in Grafenwoehr, Germany.
The bruschetta with tomatoes and onions is a light start before the heaping main meals at Pizzeria Santa Lucia II in Grafenwoehr, Germany. (Immanuel Johnson/Stars and Stripes )
The main course of gnocchi gorgonzola has a thick sauce and a hefty portion at Pizzeria Santa Lucia II in Grafenwoehr, Germany. The restaurant right outside U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria serves both Italian and German food.
The main course of gnocchi gorgonzola has a thick sauce and a hefty portion at Pizzeria Santa Lucia II in Grafenwoehr, Germany. The restaurant right outside U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria serves both Italian and German food. (Immanuel Johnson/Stars and Stripes)

Pizzeria Santa Lucia II is the sort of place you go either before the day of a marathon for carbo-loading, or after you’ve decided to cast away an annoyingly restrictive eating regimen.

Keto and Atkins Diet devotees, proceed with caution to the salads; everyone else, dig in. The pasta dishes are priced reasonably for one, but are big enough to be shared family-style.

This restaurant just outside the Grafenwoehr base gates is my favorite Italian spot in the area. They have about seven different pasta dishes and they’re customizable, should you want meat or seafood.

They do have limited appetizers; go with something on the light side if you’re planning on pasta, such as the bruschetta with tomato and onions, seasoned with a hint of cilantro.

My favorite main course is the warm gnocchi covered in a creamy gorgonzola cheese sauce. The potato-filled pasta goes well with the house helles beer. I’ve had the tortellini al forno as well as the rigatoni, but nothing, in my opinion, tops the gnocchi.

Santa Lucia also has more than 20 pizza options. My personal favorites are the margherita and the Roma, which is topped with salami, ham and mushrooms.

I sit inside during the summer and fall, since the local insects love nothing more than to hover over your food and drink. Santa Lucia has plenty of space inside for social distancing, but if you prefer the al fresco experience on a pleasant day, there are several outdoor tables.

The restaurant has a unique decor, with plants around the perimeter and a few colorful horses that serve as barriers between tables. The staff is also very accommodating, even when the restaurant is busy. If you’re a regular, they remember you and ask if you want the usual.

They’ve got another edge in a small town like Grafenwoehr for those who wake up after a late Saturday night with nothing in the fridge — they’re open Sundays, too.

johnson.immanuel@stripes.com Twitter: Manny_Stripes

Address: Am Sudhaus 2, 92655 Grafenwoehr

Hours: Open daily from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5 p.m.-10 p.m. The kitchen closes 30 minutes before closing time.

Prices: Between five and 18 euros.

Menu: German and English. Takeout is available.

Phone: +49 09641 91455

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