The mom & pop Italian restaurants around me are all ran by eastern Europeans. Their prices are good and their food is great. They are all really friendly and the service is good but I always wonder if they torture their employees when no one's around. The food at these places are better and cheaper than Olive Garden. I don't know if they are "authentic" but it's what I'm used to. In some smaller towns, Olive Garden or Macaroni Grill might be one of the only choices.
There used to be a place at....Maple and Motor (?) called Sal's. Good stuff, reasonable prices....GodDAYUM I miss their Strombolis, and their house salad dressing.... They do really play up the Guido shit which is annoying.