TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Michael Elefante is the third generation of his family to operate Mama Louisa's near Craycroft and 29th Street.
"It started in 1956 with the Casadei family and then my family bought it in 1973," Elefante said. "My grandpa and his business partner was from Brooklyn and they were down here visiting looking for land back in the day and came across this restaurant, decided to see if it was up for sale and move here and they decided it would be a good idea."
The restaurant has been an authentic homemade Italian food staple ever since. He says the food is prepared the same way since the 1950's.
"Our restaurant is prided on quality," he explained. "The same family style meal that you would get from your grandma back Sunday dinner back in Brooklyn or something like that is the same meal you would get here."
He says the pasta is handmade and the tomato sauce is the same way his grandparents used to make it--- simmered for six hours and aged two days.
"We don't take things out of the box," he said.
Customers can get those traditional dishes on Mama Louisa's heritage menu, which he says is the reason many return year after year and now they are bringing their kids.
Elefante says the secret to keeping his family recipes alive is consistency.