Saturday night I ate some of the worst Italian food I've ever had. And I really only tasted bites of the "traditional" dishes my dining companions had, since Sweetness, KD and I ordered pizza.
We went to Yarusso Brothers' in St. Paul because Blondie (that's the name Macho Man has been calling her, and I like it) apparently "had my heart set on Italian and I wanted to try something new." I cannot deny that it was new to all of us save for Sweetness. And I'm all for trying something new. However, if I was to look at a restaurant's website and decide it would be best if I ate something before I left so as to be less hungry because not a goddamn thing on the menu looked remotely appetizing, it's not the kind of new place I'd try if I had my druthers. Reading some of these reviews didn't help, either.
There was bread on the table when we got there. It looked and tasted like D'Italiano. Though, I couldn't sit down right away because some dude was monkeying with the projection screen TV that was not used the entire time we were there. Thank God he was fixing it at that moment. KD and I ordered a carafe of the house Chianti. It looked, smelled and even kind of tasted like grape juice. Thankfully, it still got us buzzed like real wine would have.
I saw some plates as they were being served to the other diners in the room and I was terribly glad to be getting pizza. I don't know what you can do to a basic marinara sauce that would give it the color of the sauce at Yarusso's. It was an orangey brown. I mean, how the fuck do you screw up a basic marinara sauce? It's canned tomatoes, garlic, onion and maybe some Italian seasoning. I make it all the time and not once has it ever come out in a shade other than a lovely red. Yarusso's sauce looked like the sauce you'd seen in a can of SpaghettiO's.
As for the pizza ... the olives were good. I don't know why we did the whole charade of taking leftovers with us. Habit, maybe?
Oh! Then there's the clientele. We were in a room with other big parties. One was a "Happy 80th + 1 Birthday!" They were apparently doing some sort of toast at the end of the meal when some guy that was most likely older than my dad mooned the guest of honor. I did not see this with my own eyes and I thank the Good Lord Jeebus for this. Those were some klassy motherfuckers right there.
It can kind of suck having a friend who is a picky eater with less of an adventurous culinary spirit than my eight-year-old nephew. The kind of person, who when they order makes you so uncomfortable that you have to leave the table (I wish I'd thought of that). Of course, for Birthday Dinner Part Deux, she's chosen the restaurant that she refused to eat at for my birthday dinner a few years ago. That whole experience left me in tears for part of my birthday and resulted in my choosing a place that I hate with a passion. Oh, and a stomach ache, too. And you're damn right I'm still holding a grudge about it.