Sunday, May 24, 2015

Restaurant Review: Macaroni Grill

Macaroni Grill - lunch on May 11, 2015

For Mother’s Day lunch, I took my parents out to Macaroni Grill. We’ve been there before but don’t go that often since it’s farther afield than they normally like to go for lunch after church. Going out to eat on Mother’s Day is almost always an inevitably crowded affair since everyone takes their mom out for her day. We hadn’t made a reservation so I hurried over there after church to secure a table. Fortunately, it was only just past 11 so the restaurant was still fairly empty although every table would be occupied by the time we left.
What sucked us into Macaroni Grill the first time we’d ever gone there was the amazing bread they served when you first sit down. It was not too crunchy on the outside but nicely dense and mealy on the inside. It was served warm with a slathering of melted butter or oil lightly brushed on top, just enough to get your fingers greasy and your taste buds salivating. This time around, either their bread has changed or my taste buds decided to get picky but I didn’t think the bread was as good as before. Couldn’t tell you why though but a sure sign was I only had a small piece and didn’t hanker for more. Huh.
Sole
The menu, in conforming with local law, also listed the calorie count next to each entrée. Always a nice appetite killer. I appreciate the information so I can make an informed choice but seriously, a major downer that you can no longer kid yourself that the dishes you most want are more than half a day’s calories on a plate. I’m used to expecting high calorie counts at all restaurant meals but even I was thrown by Macaroni Grill’s numbers. Amongst the entrees, there were maybe 2 meals under a thousand calories. One proudly had an “LC” designation for Low Calorie and proud it should be for being a lone standout. The other one I could find that wasn’t LC-designated but still a rarity under a thousand calories was Lobster Ravioli for 860 calories. Everything else was in the range of 1200-2000+. Eeep.
Paste di Mare
I went with the Lobster Ravioli as the almost lesser of all calorie evils. Plus I like lobster ravioli. My mom got the Pasta di Mare (scallops, mussels, shrimp, fettuccine in a white wine sauce with pomodoro and garlic) and my dad got the sole. The high calorie counts on all of the entrees was partially explained by the generous portions that came out. No portion control served here. Fortunately my parents aren’t big eaters and, with their consumption, each plate was at least 2-3 meals for them. No cooking that night for my mom on her day.
Lobster Ravioli
Dessert was a warm chocolate cake with chocolate sauce poured over it, hold the whipped cream. It was a good, if somewhat unimaginative, dessert and as we spooned it up, my mom makes the same claim she always makes when we order dessert, “you can make this.” Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.
Warm Chocolate Cake
With chocolate sauce

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