Thursday, September 1, 2011

Chain restaurants blow and here's why. . . . .

You may be able to tell from my  understated title that this just might be a rant, haha, well maybe, but it's also complimentary to a fabulous little mom and pop Italian joint we tried tonight that just refueled the fire on my position.
I won't deny that I am a food snob and I have eaten at my fair share of chain restaurants but I'm just really beginning to tire of the mediocre food and substandard service at the big box chains. The last time we went to a burger restaurant, the name to remain anonymous (hint, hint, their mascot wears a big red bird suit) we didn't get out at under $50 and the food was meh, yeah, just kind of blah. In this economy restauraunts really should start looking at how to serve local ingredients from sustained farming and maybe even step up their service. . . . after all that's often why clientele return to their favorite chain restaurant. With that said I have decided if we're going to eat decadently, it had better be damn good.

 With that in mind, we decided to go to a little local joint in Corona called NYPD-New York Pizza Dept. It had gotten rave reviews on yelp and the owner was a East coast transplant whose claim to fame is real NY style pizza, which I didn't try this time, and of course gives us reason to return. The only Italian we have in town is the generic chain and we've been looking for good Italian that doesn't require us to drive to L.A. or the O.C. The little restaurant is in an unassuming strip mall and looked to be nothing special on the outside and the inside was not very impressive either, just looked like a little urban cafe.
However, the food was made to order and we had to wait a little while but while we waited we ate these fabulous garlic knots topped with fresh chopped garlic, o...m.....g....

I ordered the creamy fettucine alfredo with tomatoes, broccoli, and pine nuts and Mike had the stromboli and the portions were so huge we could only mow through about half of our dinners, especially after we scarfed all those garlic knots. I rarely order alfredo, because hardly anyone (myself included) gets it right, either the sauce is too thin or it's lumpy, but this sauce was so smooth and velvety, the pasta just melted in my mouth. Besides, the amazingly good(and fattening) comfort food, the owner was sitting at one of the tables with some locals drinking a little vino and talking sports and a little smack. He was loud, but funny as hell and. . . . . we felt right at home.
 When we left we told him how much we enjoyed the food and that we would be back and he told us how much he appreciated that.
So if you're  ever in the area. . . . or just driving through it's definitely worth the detour.

Until next time Ciao Bella, muah!

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