East Side Marios: Ey What a Waste of Cha-Ching!$!

I recently went with my buddy to East Side Marios.  I didn’t go in with high expectations.  I’ve been there before and have never really been impressed.  I have recently been seeing commercials saying that you can get pasta or pizza and unlimited soup, salad and bread sticks for $10.99.  On a Saturday night, a big dinner like that for under 15 bucks is a steal.  The decor in the restaurant is nice enough.  Its supposed to be knocking off a New York neighbourhood, with a deli, a butcher, and other grocery sections.

Our waitress was awesome. We both got pastas with unlimited soup, salad and breadsticks. It was a dinner special including a bottomless soft drink and a desert for $14.99. The waitress was great at always being around whenever we needed something. Even though the restaurant was busy, she was always there with extra bread, soup, salad, and refills.

The meal itself was not fantastic, but it was good. The salad and soup were both delicious. The fresh breadsticks were warm and fresh out of the oven. The main course was basic, fresh pasta with a tomato based sauce. It wasn’t the best I’ve had, but it was hot, fresh and tasty. It could have been the mass amounts of cheese, pepper and chili flakes I poured onto the dish. I’ll give the chef the benefit of the doubt and say it was actually good. The meal came with desert, a tiny chocolate and vanilla mouse which was small but tasty. It hit the spot.

Overall, I’d say that East Side Marios is a mediocre meal for too much money. You can’t escape that place at dinner time without spending $20 a person. There are some way better alternatives for Italian food out there for that price. However, if you want to eat a LOT at a reasonable price, it’s not bad. We both stuffed ourselves with 4 loaves of bread, 2+ soups and salads each, 2 drinks, a big plate of pasta and desert. When you think about all the food we had, it really wasn’t a bad deal at all. Its not a pasta conoisseurs paradise, but its a good value for a decent meal.