Tarallucci e Vino

There is a reason why food writers return to restaurants a few times
before writing a review.  Every day is not always consistent.  Bad
chef day, not enough coverage, food wasn't delivered, etc. 

I met my Mom for lunch at Tarallucci e Vino this past Friday.  The place was packed!  The good news is that I got there about 20 minutes early with Bon Appetit in hand and put our name on the list.  Happy to stand there and read the magazine. 

Fred is a huge fan of Tarallucci.  In the warmer months there are tables on the street.  Inside, there are pastries and such to buy for take away and coffee.  A large square room with just a few tables.  Then a step or two upstairs in the back is a large country like room.  A big communal table down the middle and tables around the circumference of the room.  The noise is loud because the room was beyond packed.  Figured it must be good.  The restaurant has been open for some time and if people are waiting for a table at lunch time, that should be a good sign…right?

My Mom walks in and literally as she enters the door, we get seated.  We sat at the communal table.  Nothing on the menu really rocked our boat but could be the day.  Another day, I might have found 5 things that looked good.  I ordered a beet corn salad with feta cheese.  My Mom went with the spinach fritatta which is served on bread, a fritatta sandwich, with greens on the side. 

Food came relatively quick.  Earlier I mentioned the good news, here is the bad news, the food is awful.  The beet salad was tasteless but I was hungry and needed to be somewhere else in 45 minutes so it was fine.  My Mom got the fritatta.  She tasted it and then I tasted it to confirm.  It was inedible.  Like a hockey puck and cold.  The woman who was running the restaurant, could have been the owner, noticed us and quickly came over.  She took it away and asked my Mom to order something else.  At this point, I suggested going with a mozzarella and prosciutto pannini.  When in Rome, do as the Romans…right? 

The sandwich came out.  The greens were tasteless and the sandwich was salty and not that good.  Really disappointing.  If it wasn't for the fact that I needed to be somewhere, I would have left and gone somewhere else to eat.  Truly. 

But, Fred loves the place, so it made me think about the restaurant review situation.  Maybe it was a bad day, maybe they were understaffed, maybe the chef quit yesterday or maybe all of the above.  There must be a reason that the place was crowded.  There are plenty of other places to eat in the neighborhood for lunch. 

So, Fred can continue to return and hopefully remain happy with his choice.  I, on the other hand, will never walk in Tarallucci for food again.