Sure, when it comes to Italian food, I have strong opinions. First of all, Italian food is my favorite kind of food. If I could only eat from one kitchen, it would be an Italian kitchen. I am a huge pasta fan, I’ve got all of Olive Garden’s albums and I’ve seen Carrabba’s in concert twice! Being such a fan warps my expectations towards the snobbish side of eating, but flavor and portions aside, I am very judgmental of a menu’s prices, because Italian food is cheap to make: pasta costs nothing, chicken is the cheapest meat out there, and I don’t need fresh basil to have a good time. So when I walk into Mia Francesca and see that my beloved Chicken Parmesan is being held hostage for $19 a plate and it doesn’t come with a salad, I want to leave. But, as always, I am on a double date and don’t want to be the wet blanket again (my girlfriend agrees that I’ve been much better this month).
My girlfriend and I were eating brunch with the same couple who first introduced us to Mia Francesca when they had their wedding reception there. At the reception, I had several dishes: Chicken Marsala, Fish, appetizers and to be honest, the food was so boring that I forgot what I was eating while it was in my mouth. I chalked it up to the fact that it was a Sunday night, I was talking to strangers and I didn’t want to eat too much because I may have to dance later. At least I didn’t leave thinking the food was bad and that was enough to get me to want to eat at Mia’s for real sometime. Anything for Italy!
I cannot dodge Chicken Parm in any form. Chicken Parm cereal, candy, cologne, sign me up. In fact, Chicken Parm waffles sound like they need to be a real thing. So I”m the only person at this brunch to order Italian and, refusing to pay $19 for Chicken Parm and a side of pasta, I ordered my first Chicken Parm Panini and saved eight bucks. My friends, it was a direct flight to panini purgatory. Boring bread, boring chicken parm, and the only burst of flavor that I had was a string of gooey cheese that fell on my plate. This is the worst sandwich I have had in a while. The only thing that I liked about my meal was the waiter didn’t pitch a fit when I asked if i could substitute fries for a salad, when it turned out to be that easy, I felt the salad would be lackluster and I was not disappointed. It was literally a handful of greens, with a dull dressing that had to come from a packet, and I think I saw a piece of tomato, but that may have fallen off the sandwich. So basically, my taste buds are falling asleep, like I’m they are in a nursing home. I don’t think I can call the panini the worst sandwich I have ever had, but this is definitely the worst side salad since the dark ages.
Brunch was not the worst ripoff I have ever seen. The omelette was priced for an upscale restaurant and cooked by an experienced McDonald-linecook’s hands, by that I mean the eggs were brown. I’ve had better breakfast potatoes from a bag out of the freezer. The pancake that I tried owes a lot to Aunt Jemima and the butter sauce that was on them borrowed from the flavor profile of the butterscotch suckers that dentists have. Sadly, this is not me complaining, these elements alone are not enough to make me complain. Breakfast is rarely a place for flavors to be invented or to shine. I’ll just say that this kitchen is on cruise control and quit culinary school after their first semester.
I am going to make a formal complaint regarding this restaurant. The service SUCKS! After ordering, I think we had to wait over 30 minutes for the food to arrive and I was going to blame our waiter for this and walk it off. The waiter neglected to bring us bread until reminded, he didn’t refill drinks, clean dirty plates away, or basically do his job. And, I would normally overlook this, because I’ve been a waiter before and I’ve been a bad waiter before, but halfway through a bite or whatever I was eating, I caught myself having a deja vu of the wedding reception I went to and how I ended up having to refill my own tea and eventually brought the water pitcher over to my table for the guests around me to have a drink. So the service at this place has a perfect record going and at this point and this record is not fit for a restaurant with a chandelier. At this point, I don’t mind suggesting that the management may not have control of their waitstaff and I can say that it is going to affect their clientele.
Taste = low
Portions = medium
Price = high
Service = lower than low
Atmosphere = high
Total Value = VERY LOW!