Sunday, January 3, 2010

Maggiano's Little Italy

2001 International Dr
McLean, VA 22102
(703) 356-5810

Visited: January 2, 2010

Let me get this outta the way and do it quickly and up front...

I HATE Maggiano's....I truly do.

But the kicker about Maggiano's is that somehow or other I always end up going there against mine and the wifey's wishes. Even so, you would think that these multiple visits would change our opinion about this mega-corporate food chain? Nope, not one bit.

They consistently let me down time and time again. Last night was our most recent visit which caused me to write up this review to warn anyone that even considers visiting this restaurants (although my experience with all Maggiano's has been exactly the same).

First off, the place on a Saturday is crowded like a mo-fo with people huddles around the bar and waiting areas like eager kids in a roller coaster ride. I have no problem with crowds or lines, provided the food is worth the wait.

Next, the people around the wife and our group of friends were less than civilized. As the wife reached over to greet our friend, her gorgeous hair slightly brushed against another patron waiting for her table which caused a bit of a scene. You would've thought my wife slapped the woman, called her a bitch and spit in her face from this overreaction.

Starting off with 5 possible stars:
-1 star - Lose one star for class-less patrons.

Next, we were seated at a booth in a nice quiet area where our group of 5 could enjoy some great conversation. I liked the location as we were right next to a family celebrating their matron's 60th birthday and I was joking around with one of the small toddlers who was making funny faces and laughing with me.

+1 star - Add one star for great table, intimate environment

The wife and I were S-T-A-R-V-I-N-G but decided to share one Caesar salad and an order or the Lobster fettuccine. In the meantime, the warm bread arrived and our group instantly destroyed it in just a few seconds. The salad was tasty, but had a bit too much dressing for my taste. BTW, the olive oil served with the bread...not too good and you could tell it wasn't of the highest class. But nonetheless add +1 star for warm tasty bread and an "okay" tasty salad.

Our entree arrived and it looked delicious. I was doing my best to give Maggiano's yet another chance and my eyes told me "this stuff looks delicious, aren't you glad we came?" Well, my eyes were fooled but as soon as I tasted the Lobster fettuccine, my mouth yelled, "Your eyes don't know sh*t my friend...this is crap".

The Lobster had an artificial taste and was rubbery, definitely not of the best quality and to make things even worse, was overcooked. I turned with a disappointed look to my wife who leaned towards me and said, "What the hell is wrong with this Lobster?"

After some whispering and quick conferring, we decided to eat around the lobster and finish off the pasta. As we continued eating, I leaned over to my wife and said, "You know, the dish would've been better without the rubbery lobster". Nodding her head she agreed and we slowly finished our pasta.

-3 stars for a very bad entree and for committing 2 of the worst sin of cooking lobster: (1) Using sub-par quality lobster and (2) OVERCOOKING lobster into a rubbery consistency that could bounce off the restaurant's walls!!

As our group finished our food, we continued chatting and the waitress brought over our bill. We paid the bill, but continued to talk. Soon the waitress kept coming over trying to drop hints for us to leave in what seemed like a passive aggressive manner. A few times she would come over, interrupt our conversation and loudly ask, "Can I get anything else for anyone?" After thanking her and telling her didn't need anything else, she'd go off.

A minute later the waitress would return and again in a loud voice to get everyone's attention would announce, "Can I please clear your plates?" and cleared our plates. Two minutes later she'd stop by and would announce, "I need to clear the glasses, can I please get everyone's glasses?" and she'd reach across and pick up all our glasses. Another minute would pass, there were no glasses on the table and she would ask, "Can I get anyone more water?", you took our glasses.

-1 star for pushy servers.

Total, 1 star (yet again) for Maggiano's.

After last night's service, I resolve NEVER to visit Maggiano's again. I'd rather spend my money at any of the hundreds of other restaurants where the food, service and environment warrant the money we pay.

I've used this term many times in other reviews...but yes, the "Buyer's Remorse" feeling came out after paying last night's bill. The product was definitely NOT worth the price, and never seems to be for Maggiano's.

Maggiano's Little Italy on Urbanspoon

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