So even though I'm not a fan of chain restaurants Maggiano's has managed to sneak its way into the category of one of my 'go to' restaurants. One thing I love about it is its consistency: consistently good food and consistently good service. However, every time I go I always order the same thing - I like it so much that I am afraid to abandon it to try something new. My go to meal is the chicken and spinach manicotti topped with cheesy bubbly (like broiled bubbly) alfredo sauce on top. The sauce is generally right on - not too watery and not too thick. My husband is always as equally happy with the lasagna and we love that with his order he gets another classic pasta to take home free. This past weekend I took my sister +Ashley Keene there for the first time. Since she was considering the baked ziti which also allowed her to take another pasta home which she planned on graciously giving to her husband I started to feel guilty since my 'go to' pasta isn't part of the take one home free plan.
I had already been feeling conflicted about my order, even before learning of my sister's planned pastas as when we checked in at the hostess stand there was a sign advertising Maggiano's new stuffed pastas which are only available until 3/26. I always want something more when I feel like my chances to obtain it our limited and when the picture of it is just plain pretty. Suffice it to say the chicken and mushroom stuffed shells fit the bill. When my sister asked the waitress what she recommended and she said the stuffed mushroom shells the decision was becoming clearer and when she mentioned it did include a free take home pasta the decision was practically made for me. Plus, Joe (my husband) hates mushrooms so I knew that the next time we visited the restaurant I wouldn't be able to weasel him into getting something I really wanted (aka this) and then playing the "let's split our meals" card.
So what was the verdict?
Well, good, but not as good as my usual manicotti. However, getting two meals for approx. $25 and leftovers to boot not to mention fantastic crunchy bread and stellar service (she kept the bread coming without having to be asked and was super friendly and attentive) still deserves to be commended in my book :) Although, truth be told I am a little peeved that I didn't see the $5.00 off coupon for the stuffed pasta on their website until just now! What would have been even cooler is if our server could have let us know to pull that up on our smart phones :) All in all, a great afternoon lunch though.
Next time I'll go back to my tried and true but spoil myself with their mussels too.