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Aug 8, 2006 09:23 PM

Maggiano's - um, lots of quantity

We went to Maggiano's in DC on a great recommendation from friends. We had a group of 6 for a b-day party. After all the hype and excitement, I found the place to be packed and loud. And the food? Mediocre Italian. Why is it that a mountain of food=orgasmically delicious dining experience for some people?

I'd much rather skip the family style platters heaping full of gnocchi and order an entree of higher quality!

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  1. ... and Salt!

    They try... but ease up on the salt guys! :P


    1. Volume carbo buzz is the coin of Maggiano's realm, not unlike the Texas Cheesekake Suppository or Buca di Beppo, except there are a couple dishes at the latter that aren't completely vacuous.

      Go to Restaurant AV on New York Avenue before it closes down. Not orgasmically delicious, but it's real Italian cooked by Italians. White pizza and broccoli di rabe are great, as well as their homemade sausages.

      1 Reply
      1. re: monkeyrotica

        You win a can of tuna for the cattiest renaming of the Cheesecake Factory ever in the history of crappy food.

      2. For some people, large quantities of food = excellent value. Sadly, the quality of the food never comes into play. If they can get a lot of it, they think they're somehow ahead of the game.

        1. Me, well, I like that I can actually get a decent size salad as an entree that doesn't have tons of stuff on it (i.e., no Cobb salad). Plus, when I order a cappucino at dessert, I'm offered a side shot of Sambucca :-) Every once in awhile, Italian comfort food is on the brain, and Maggiano's gives us that. If you know what you're in for, it's OK. It's not a high end Italian place, and I don't think it portends to be that.

          2 Replies
          1. re: scabbardgirl

            I agree - Maggiano's doesn't try to pass itself off as high-end.

            The regular menu isn't really exciting, lots to choose from, but last time I was there I had a fantastic seafood pasta tossed in a diablo marinara sauce (one of the dinner specials). Not sure how authentic that was, but it was delicious.

            1. re: theannerska

              "Maggiano's doesn't try to pass itself off as high-end."
              The one near me has "fine italian dining" in big letters on the front of the building.

          2. I think the draw with Maggianos is the value average folks find in a bottomless dish. Remember you can keep ordering refills until you burst or take home all the leftovers.

            I actually ordered a dish off their a la carte menu once that wasn't part of the family style dinner, the Sirloin Tips that was exceptionally good for Maggianos.

            Within this restaurant genre I prefer Buca and only a dish or two at that...I like their Spaghetti w/meat sauce very much.

            1 Reply
            1. re: davinagr

              I've never gone there with a herd, so I've never done the family style. We always order off the menu.
              I've been to Carrabas twice (in Scottsdale, AZ) and was not impressed. Long wait to be seated and nothing on the menu really spoke to me. I've been to Buca once (in Salt Lake City) and it was OK. But, it's nothing I'd drive 40 minutes to get to. We don't have a Maggiano's here in Utah, but if there was one, I don't think I'd drive 40 minutes to get to it, either. But, when I'm in Arizona, it's not too bad. Besides, my husband likes those bellinis they have!