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Florida Guide > Dining

Romano’s Macaroni Grill – Quality affordable Italian food with a twist

As regular travellers to Florida, no trip to Orlando for my family is complete without a visit to Macaroni Grill.

Romano’s Macaroni Grill is a Chain of Italian restaurants that manages to strike that difficult balance between a quality “grown up” décor, while remaining fun and welcoming for children.

The layout is similar for all their restaurants with dark wood furnishings and the kitchen partially exposed showing the clay ovens. These Ovens are where the bread and pizzas are cooked on site. There is an unobtrusive soundtrack playing in the background adding to the Italian ambiance. Those familiar with “The Godfather” and other such films will recognise some of the tunes. You will be shown to your table and your waiter/waitress will introduce themselves by signing their name upside down, so that you can read it, on the white “table cloth” with crayon. This is the cue for my children to start creating an artistic masterpiece with the supplied crayons. No risk here of getting bored waiting for the food to arrive! While choosing from the extensive menu a loaf of hot rosemary bread arrives from which you break chunks to dip in a bowl of olive oil and black pepper. If you order the house red or white wine an impossibly large bottle appears but don’t be alarmed it works on an honesty system. As you pour each glass you just mark it down on the table cloth. You will only be charged for what you pour out. The menu itself is a feast of Italian American fare with all your favourites such as pizzas, salads and a wide variety of pastas. Google ‘Macaroni Grill’ for the extensive menu options. Dishes that have always gone down well with my party have included the Chicken Cesar Salad, Honey Balsamic Chicken, Grilled Salmon, Boursin Filet Steak, Layers of Lasagna and Spaghetti and Meatballs. One word of caution however the portion sizes are vast! It is vital to arrive hungry. This is particularly true if ordering the “Mama’s Trio” this culinary masterpiece includes all of the following on one plate! Primo Chicken Parmesan, Layers and Layers of Lasagna and Chicken Cannelloni. Any of the above of course would leave no room for the dessert menu which would be a crime as the Tiramisu and Amaretto Apple Crispetti, among others, are to die for!

The children’s menu contains a number of simple dishes that any child would eat (and ours are fussy eaters) while maintaining the high quality of food.

Even a visit to the toilets is an experience at Macaroni Grill. It is of course clean as you would expect however the Italian theme is continued by Italian Language lessons played on speakers as you do your business. So you return to the table armed with an extra phrase or two.

We have visited a number of Macaroni Grills in the Orlando area however our favourite is on the 192 near Mile Marker 10. It is conveniently close to “Old Town” so that one can combine a walk around with a great Italian meal. Maybe a better landmark for the guys would be it’s proximity to South Orlando Harley Davidson.

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Page added on: 12 April 2008
Viewed 3784 times since 1 September 2008.

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