by Melissa Barringer
Classic, Red Vegetarian and Tuscan are just three of the dishes listed on the menu above the counter at Lasagna’s-On-Ya.
Lasagna’s-On-Ya has made lasagnas from scratch for customers since it first opened in October 2010. All of the main dishes are homemade and are original recipes created by the owners. Along with the lasagna, tiramisu and cheesecake toppings are prepared in the shop.
Lasagna’s-On-Ya also provides customers with homemade meals that reviews from the shop’s website consider to be convenient and easy to accommodate for many people. A new drive-through has also been put in so customers do not even have to leave their car to get a full meal.
Jennifer Shorts and her husband have lived in the Spokane area for many years. Their shop is based on the successful lasagnas after years of cooking meals for their kids’ athletic teams. After cooking for the different teams, many people were interested in getting lasagna from Shorts. After that, the word spread about their lasagnas.
Lasagna’s-On-Ya is a take-and-bake shop which opened its doors at 521 E. Holland Ave. on the north side of Spokane. There are plans in the works for opening more shops around Spokane. The food is made with local meats that are cooked in the shop, and the Italian sausage is hand-tossed.
Shorts does not have a background in cooking beyond what she has experimented with in her own kitchen. The dishes she has come up with were invented with her family as they combined different ingredients together.
“I have been cooking since I was 4 years old,” Shorts said. “It’s a passion. It’s one of my hobbies.”
There are four different sizes for the lasagna dishes. Unpoco,the smallest dish size, feeding one to two people. After that the sizes increase to the Coppia, Piccoli and the Grande is the biggest dish, serving eight to 12 people.
The best seller is the Classic lasagna, which is layered with pasta, cheese, beef, homemade Italian sausage and a red sauce. Unpoco is about $10 for the Classic lasagna. Shorts said she believes it is the most requested because it is the most familiar to customers.
“I think that’s what people are used to,” Shorts said. “It’s traditional.”
Made with pesto sauce, the Tuscan Chicken lasagna is Shorts’ favorite and the second best seller. An Unpoco dish of this lasagna is $11.99. It has chicken, bacon, artichoke and olives in a Lasagna’s-On-Ya pesto sauce.
“It’s just the flavor,” Shorts said. “It’s rich. It’s comfort food. There’s something about the creamy pesto.”
If a customer is lactose intolerant, wants a gluten free dish or just wants a variation to a lasagna, they can have a dish customized to fit their needs.
“Because we build them fresh we can do that,” Shorts said. “People love them.”
“It’s a quality healthy meal, because it’s fresh,” Murphy said.
Lasagna’s-On-Ya has a loyal following of frequent customers, including Patty Murphy, the assistant aquatics director at Whitworth’s aquatic center. Murphy said she likes that the meals are already prepared which makes them ideal to bring to the elderly people she knows within the community.
Murphy goes about once a month and said she likes it because it is take-out food without being stereotypical fast food. Murphy also said she likes how Shorts can customize it for customers’ needs.
Murphy’s favorite lasagna is the Mushroom and Meat dish, which is filled with mushrooms, Italian sausage, beef and a homemade Alfredo sauce.
“It’s fun to support a unique business,” Murphy said. “It’s nice we have a unique faster food place.”
Murphy said it is more expensive than a fast food restaurant like McDonald’s. She said she likes how she can make a full meal or two out of a healthy dish.
Sophomore Allyn Kalaiwaa has had the Tuscan lasagna both at an at-home dinner and at Spokane’s Pig Out in the Park festival in the fall. Kalaiwaa said her favorite part was the cheesiness of the lasagna.
“I would eat it again,” Kalwaiwaa said. “I think it’s convenient and a tasty meal.”
Customers can also choose to have the lasagna meal which comes with a salad kit, artisan bread and a choice of soda.
When looking for Lasagna’s-On-Ya, just keep an eye out for the chef standing outside the shop doors.