My mom was so excited to take us to Park Side Restaurant Park Side Restaurant because her friend highly recommended it. My brother, Lon, and I all trekked from Manhattan to meet with my parents for this dinner, expecting it would be worth the travel. Well, it turned out to be a disappointment to all, and that is saying a lot because my mom and brother aren’t that picky.

I can’t figure out why this place is so packed. It’s supposed to be the classic old fashioned Italian restaurant and I guess they do a good job keeping that atmosphere. As I walked in, I did feel like I might see some Italian mobsters. We were seated on the second floor where tons of Maryland Monroe pictures dotted the walls. The wait staff are all in vests or suits and did a decent job with service. But the main problem remained. The food was pretty bad.

They do give a large bread basket with a nice variety of breads but it came out ice cold, not just room temperature. Only one of the four appetizers we ordered was remotely interesting to me and yet had issues anyway, what they called Crab Cake. It was really a pile of crab meat which tasted fine but I just get annoyed at poorly written menus. The rest, sauteed portobellos, Clams Oreganata, and Prosciutto with Melon (honeydew was good but prosciutto was cheap junk) were all pretty flavorless and looked kind of sad.

My mother, brother, and father, all ordered the same entree, Seafood Fra Diavalo (over linguini). I had the Calamari and Scungili Fra Diavalo (over linguini). Lon had the Veal Piccata. Everyone of us complained that our seafood or meat was over-cooked. No one finished their dish and at this table, that says something!! We are a whole bunch of plate lickers!! So, maybe people love their large portions but more of rubbery seafood does not make it better. Lon’s Veal Piccata also looked really gross.

As we walked to the car, we all exclaimed that we would never take a recommendation from my mom’s friend again. Everyone was so let down by the meal. I can’t even express to you how significant that is coming from my brother. I’m not sure he has ever complained about bad food before. He usually shrugs at most.

As bad as the food was, this place is still pretty popular and I have to chalk it up to the fact that it’s one of those old famous places that is still riding on it’s name. People go wherever everyone else thinks it’s cool to go. But, if you’re a real foodie, the scenery does not make up for the bad food.

posted by jessica at 09:08 AM Filed under Avoid Like the Plague, Restaurants. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.