Romano’s Macaroni Grill Review

by Robyn Wright on November 27, 2012

in Food,Reviews & Giveaways

Hubby and I went to Romano’s Macaroni Grill the other night. This used to be one of my favorite restaurants to eat at. While it is not terrible, it just is not as consistently good as it used to be. I do like that they have been changing up the menu with each season – it is nice to have some variety and they do keep a few of the favorites on the menu also.

Our service on our recent visit was friendly, but slow and very poor timing. We ordered two of the Italian Tapas – Crispy Artichoke Potato Cakes and Baked Prosciutto and Mozzarella. For a restaurant that had to be less than 25% full it took a while to get food to the table and then it did not come at the same time. The potato cakes came out first and we were told the other tapas was on its way. Hubby and I ate the potato cakes and then we waited and waited and finally they brought out the prosciutto and mozzarella. There is no reason both of these items should not have come out together. We asked the server about this and she said “well they are made at different ends of the kitchen and the wood oven was backed up”. We suggested maybe they should have waited to make the potato cakes then to which she replied “they don’t communicate well”. Very frustrating. Yet again another pretty long wait to get the entrees after the tapas, not unbearable, but again with a fairly empty restaurant we expect things to move a little quicker. The staff all were very friendly at all times.

Crispty Artichoke Potato Cakes from Romano's Macaroni GrillBaked Prosciutto & Mozzarella from Romano's Macaroni Grill

 

The shape of the first picture is a freak accident – the crispy artichoke potato cakes are individual little rounds that were lined up on the plate. Oops. Anyway, they were okay, but really leaned on the dry side and they fell apart quite easily. They were crispy. The sauce was needed to help with the dryness and to hold them together a bit. It is not something I would order again. The second tapas is the baked prosciutto and mozzarella. Frankly I thought this dish was not visually appealing at all. What do you think? The color of the prosciutto was just unappetizing and it looks better in this photo than it did to the eye in the lighting of the restaurant. The dish is small pieces of mozzarella wrapped with a small piece of prosciutto, there is a little red sauce on it and it is baked in their wood oven. The taste was not bad on this and the red sauce helped pull it together. It is served with a flat bread which I did not care for at all, it was very crunchy and a bit burnt in some spots and I did not feel it elevated the flavor of the rest of the dish in any way. Hubby did not mind the flat bread, but he did not continue to eat it either. The tapas were 2/$9

Pasta Milano from Romano's Macaroni GrillMom's Ricotta Meatballs & Spaghetti from Romano's Macaroni Grill

 

I had the Pasta Milano. This has been on the menu for as long as I have been going to Macaroni Grill and it is a good solid pasta dish and they do get this right. No problems. Hubby had Mom’s Ricotta Meatballs & Spaghetti with Bolognese. I had to try those meatballs – they were hands down the best part of the entire dinner. They are super tender and flavorful and just the right size. The spaghetti was a good size portion and Hubby had enough left over to take home even.

Not terrible like I said, but just not quite as wonderful as it used to be. On trips before this I have had some of the other new menu items that I did like very much, some so-so. I will go back to Macaroni Grill, but I just wish they could pull themselves back up a bit and focus on timing for sure.

Do you have this chain near you? What do you think of it?

Disclosure: None, we just went on our own and I am sharing.

© 2012, Robyn Wright. All rights reserved.

Comments on this entry are closed.

{ 14 comments }

1 Pam Murphy November 27, 2012 at 6:22 pm

I wasn’t terribly impressed the last time I went there. Definitely noticed the difference from previous visits. I don’t remember what I ordered now but I didn’t care for it.

2 johnlopezone@gmail.com November 27, 2012 at 6:33 pm

I like the chicken skewers. Their wines are a good value but I agree with you on the timing. It seems haphazard at best. I visit the Princeton, NJ location every now and then…

3 Jackie November 27, 2012 at 7:54 pm

We use to eat there, but it’s been a few years. I think the last time we ate there we were not too impressed with the food.

4 Robin November 28, 2012 at 5:38 am

We have an Olive Garden in town but no Macaroni Grill. Are they similar?

5 Ravzie November 28, 2012 at 7:16 am

I have been, but I am fat enough as it is. This is one of the highest calorie chains.

6 AngelaLilly November 28, 2012 at 10:09 am

wow…after that review I am surprised you would go back. I have been to this restaurant a couple of times but neither time was anything to write home about. Their prices are VERY high and portions VERY small for what you pay. They do not have very much on their menu that I would want to order either. I am also put off by the fact that, at least when I went, everything was extra. Salad didn’t just come with your meal. I only go there when I have a really good coupon, like 1/2 off or better.

7 Joseph Gersch November 28, 2012 at 5:21 pm

I also love the pasta milano..with parmesan

8 Margie November 28, 2012 at 8:04 pm

My husband and daughter have been to Macaroni Grill, and they thought it was quite expensive. I haven’t eaten there. And…I agree with you that the prosciutto didn’t look very pleasing. But glad you weren’t so put off that you wouldn’t go back.

9 tannawings November 30, 2012 at 8:20 pm

I have never eaten there but see them sometimes when we go somewhere . I have heard they were pricey for what you get. Hmmm crispy artichoke potato cakes … I think someone in the kitchen was being silly!

10 Mendy Dinsmore December 18, 2012 at 10:18 pm

We do not have this chain in our area. I agree with you on the Baked Prosciutto and Mozzarella. It is not a very good presentation. Hopefully a manager will see this on your blog and see how things are going out to customers.

11 Wendy T December 31, 2012 at 5:30 pm

Interesting….

Many years ago, I was a big fan. If I remember correctly, it was Italian nachos that made me swoon. Loved it there, then stopped going.

My son and I went there a couple months ago, and I have no desire to go back. We paid a decent amount and left underwhelmed.

12 Keri Stamper January 3, 2013 at 2:23 pm

I am surprised that the staff didnt communicate better. The pasta looks yummy but those tapas didnt look good at all that may have stopped me from even trying it. It kinda looks like something that i can do at home and if I am going to pay for the food I would like it to look a little better.

13 Jimmy January 3, 2013 at 8:42 pm

I ordered carryout from Romano’s Macaroni Grill once about 2 years ago. It was ok…nothing special. I did enjoy the Macaroni Grill pasta kits from the grocery though. The Creamy Basil kit was tasty. They, however, discontinued them last year.

14 Alix Craw January 4, 2013 at 10:09 am

Something weird I noticed when I worked as a server and bartender for years is that the emptier a restaurant, the slower service tends to be. It could have been a rule for how often this occurred, but to this day I was never really sure why. That being said, there’s no excuse for incompetence of a server or lack luster food. The only chain restaurant that I personally really like is Maggiano’s. I have never had a bad experience there, and I really like how they treat my fiancee who has some particular allergies to certain foods.

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