FIGO on Wheels Bringing Endless Pasta Possibilities to Little Five Points and Edgewood

FIGO Pasta is hitting the road, bringing its entire menu along with it
Photo: Official

Much like pasta, one of the most versatile ingredients in a chef’s culinary arsenal, restaurants have had to stay malleable to stay alive amid the pandemic. Although restrictions have loosened throughout the pandemic, Sandro Romagnoli has yet to reopen his FIGO Pasta locations in Buckhead at 2080 Defoor Avenue and in Vinings at 2941 Paces Ferry Rd for sit-down dining, saying that he “had to do what [he] felt was right” in the midst of a health crisis with no definitive answers. However, just as there are hundreds of ways to prepare pasta, there is more than one way to get pasta to the pasta-hungry. Crammed with the ingredients to prepare thousands of different combinations of noodle shapes, sauces and proteins, FIGO took their build-your-own pasta model on the road in a bright-orange food truck on January 6, parking at 323 Moreland Ave. in Little Five Points. 

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Rather than a food truck, Romagnoli told What Now Atlanta, FIGO on Wheels will be a “restaurant on wheels” — there is a difference, make no mistake. 

“It’s exactly [the same] as the restaurant [with] the same menu,” said Romagnoli.”It means that we have 7,800, probably more, combinations of dishes that we are able to execute from the truck, and all the online and delivering platforms that we use at the restaurant are available on the truck. People in the industry say we’re crazy, and I agree, but we’re not going to shrink our menu.”

After growing up just outside of Florence in Certaldo, Italy, Romagnoli traveled to the U.S. as an international manager of a machinery company — but despite a sizeable paycheck, he wasn’t happy. 

“I had gotten my green card and I said ‘I need to change jobs’. The more I tried to figure out what I wanted to do, the more depressed I got,” recalled Romagnoli. “A friend of mine told me ‘you need to go back and look at when you were the happiest in your life.’ [After some reflection, I realized it was] when I was working in England at a hotel at the Georgia Stamford learning English — though my English was extremely poor, the connections that I was able to make with people were extraordinary. I came out with an expression: whatever I’m going to be doing, I’m going to be in the business of making people happy.'”

Thus, Romagnoli’s planned three years in the states turned into 26 and counting, and the first FIGO location opened in Buckhead in 2002. FIGO’s expansive menu is no accident — giving people the opportunity to create their own dishes with homemade pasta and ingredients is his strategy for realizing that goal. And, although he said his kids call him “the boomer,” Romagnoli has found a way to maintain that model in trying global circumstances.

Customers patronizing the new food truck or the brick-and-mortar FIGO locations can choose from ten different types of stuffed ravioli or six varieties of pasta, all hand-made at the restaurant’s Buckhead location — fusilli, penne, rigatoni, gemelli, long pastas and gnocchi. Each of those noodle shapes has more than one variety — for example, the gemelli noodles come in classic, curry and beet types, and the fusilli has varieties including ginger and garlic within the noodles. From there, they can choose from nearly twenty types of red, white and oil-based sauces, decide between a slew of different proteins like meatballs, chicken and seabass, and add all manner of vegetables to their plate. It’s easy to see how combination possibilities can multiply quickly.


“My mom is 97 years old and I Facetime with her two or three times a day — one of the things that she tells me all the time is that complaining doesn’t help anyone,” Romagnoli said. “Where we are is in a space of gratitude for still being open and sticking to our commitment to helping others, helping ourselves and helping our people by reopening. Our guests — that’s what they were called before and that’s what they’re called now — have been supporting us and are grateful. I never lose the opportunity to say thank you to our guests for keep coming to us and I never lose the opportunity to keep asking for help. Doing only to-go, we need support from our guests to be able to keep going from this pandemic.”

Christina Coulter

Christina Coulter

Christina Coulter is an eager journalist from Connecticut with dogged tenacity and the sensibilities of a small-town reporter. Before and after graduating from Marist College in 2017, Christina covered local news for a slew of publications in the Northeast, including The Wilton Bulletin, the Millbrook Independent, The Kingston Times, The New Paltz Times and the Rockland Times. For nearly four years before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Christina was the lead reporter for The Saugerties Times, living and breathing the goings-on of the 20,000-strong Hudson Valley community. Christina weathered the pandemic in Atlanta, where she got a taste for the city's people and flavors. After a brief stint covering news in Connecticut and New York once more with The Daily Voice, Christina was taken on by What Now Atlanta and What Now Los Angeles, where she aims to unweave the intricacies of both cities' bright restaurant communities.
Christina Coulter

Christina Coulter

Christina Coulter is an eager journalist from Connecticut with dogged tenacity and the sensibilities of a small-town reporter. Before and after graduating from Marist College in 2017, Christina covered local news for a slew of publications in the Northeast, including The Wilton Bulletin, the Millbrook Independent, The Kingston Times, The New Paltz Times and the Rockland Times. For nearly four years before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Christina was the lead reporter for The Saugerties Times, living and breathing the goings-on of the 20,000-strong Hudson Valley community. Christina weathered the pandemic in Atlanta, where she got a taste for the city's people and flavors. After a brief stint covering news in Connecticut and New York once more with The Daily Voice, Christina was taken on by What Now Atlanta and What Now Los Angeles, where she aims to unweave the intricacies of both cities' bright restaurant communities.

2 Responses

  1. Great article!
    I found the following quote very inspiring–

    A friend of mine told me ‘you need to go back and look at when you were the happiest in your life.’ 

    One of the happiest times in my life was during the great recession when I decided to volunteer to help at-risk youth…

  2. Literally best pasta I’ve ever had.. The Pinne with Olive oil and Basel is insanee!!! 10/10 recommend!!

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