April 10, 2012

niente di speciale

niente di speciale is Italian for nothing special and for those of us in the metro area who include Hudson as a little piece of the metro area, non vale l'unità can be translated to, not Worth the drive. The Gnaw Blog paid a visit to Mama Maria's in North Hudson after several readers asked us to do so. I'm going to be perfectly honest with my readers... It's not that great!

The first thing I noticed was that the place looked identical inside to an Olive Garden, not so original if you ask me. It wasn't a complete duplicate, but too many similarities. As I started to read through the menu, it was apparent that there wasn't much thought put into the menu. There just wasn't a lot of things that popped out at me to make me think, "man do I want to try that!" I did find something that I thought may taste good called, Canneloni Classico - fresh pasta sheets rolled around seasoned pork, spinach, ham, ricotta and mozzarella cheese then baked and topped with our rich tomato meat sauce or our parmesan cream sauce (I mixed the two sauces). To my surprise, it was actually pretty good, but here comes another complaint...

For the money, the portions are far too small and I've been to plenty of Italian restaurants and have never left without leftovers, but for the first time, I did! For some people that's not a big deal, but for me it is, because leaving and feeling unsatisfied and still hungry isn't always a good thing. My wife ordered their Spaghetti Salsicci - spaghetti topped with our rich meat sauce, onions, mushrooms, mild Italian sausage, basil and garlic then baked with mozzarella cheese. I'm sorry, but I've made better sauce myself at home and I'm not even a chef at a restaurant and describing your sauce as a rich tomato meat sauce is not even close! I however would describe it as a, bland and water downed meatless flavored sauce. Thankfully, they put some seasoned pork into the dish, otherwise I would have probably told her to send it back and to please find a bottle of Classico or Trader Joe's Rustico Sauce instead!

I think I'll wait for August and September to roll around to get the all-you-can-eat special at Olive Garden or make a trip to Inonni so I can have one of the, if not the best spaghetti dishes I've had. Maybe make a trip to my Alma mater for their famous sgedd's... That's right, my old stomping grounds made some of the best spaghetti known to man kind and anyone who has had the privilege of eating this stuff knows just how good it really is.

Address not needed on this one, sorry! :)