Romano's Macaroni Grill  

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Romano’s Macaroni Grill
351 Plymouth Road
Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462

You should know
I know, I know, I promised to post on Wednesday not matter what. I was out of town. It’s no excuse, and I will make it up to the four or so of you reading this.
As much as Chris and I like trying new restaurants, we actually haven’t done much exploration in or around Philadelphia, where I’m from. Chris was in town, and we wanted to go out for dinner, but since my family tends toward sandwiches when it comes to eating out, we were at a loss for ideas. Eventually, we came up with this option thanks to my brother, who has spent a lot of time in and around the mall just around the corner from this restaurant.

The tables are covered with butcher paper and each table has crayons among the utensils. Good thing, too – we’ll now remember that it was “Thom” who served us, since he wrote his name in giant letters on our tablecloth. Or he started to serve us: he was replaced halfway through our meal, but never bothered to inform us. Our replacement server barely introduced herself. Overall, he was never outright rude – just very slow and hard to flag down.

We both ordered Carmela's Chicken Rigatoni ("Grilled chicken, mushrooms, caramelized onions, fresh basil and Parmesan cheese tossed with imported rigatoni pasta and creamy marsala wine sauce. $10.99"); Chris got his with a Caesar salad that was very good, with the perfect amount of dressing. After we were seated, it was a decently long wait before we were offered drinks or given bread; in fact, Thom set up the oil for our bread several minutes before actually bringing the bread. Sure, that gives the herbs (actually, just black pepper) to soak into the oil, but it would have been nice if he’d explained that if that was the reason. Fair or not, it looked like bad service.

The food was good: a bit too hot, temperature-wise, for me, but tasty. There were a lot of mushrooms, and plenty of chicken. The sauce went very far, and was nice and creamy. The bread, once it arrived, was hot and delicious, with a touch of oil drizzled over the top (since the bread came as an uncut loaf with no knife, we had to break it by hand; as tasty as that extra oil was, it put our clothing in danger).

To drink, I had a glass of the house white zinfandel, and Chris has a strawberry margarita. Both were just fine.

While we ate, one waiter wandered the dining room singing opera: “Happy Birthday” in Italian in one case. He even sang under his breath as he wandered around; I almost wonder if he was an actual waiter, or just a guy they hired to sing. He was great either way.

Check it out
Just be wary. Our biggest complaint – really, our only complaint – was the service, and there’s no way to know if this was isolated or universal. Be prepared to be served by a metaphorical turtle, but otherwise expect to enjoy your meal.

The rest of the Internet
A review at
The Wikipedia page of the parent company.
Various reviews at
No promises, but I hope to add this review to the fray at CitySearch.

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