Thursday, December 8, 2011

Alfredo's Italian Restaurant - A restaurant review

There are a bunch of restaurants in Atlanta that are in weird parts of town but have amazing food.  Most of these restaurants have been around for decades and have survived the changing neighborhoods.  Alfredo's Italian Restaurant definitely fits into this category.

We ventured to Alfredo's on Cheshire Bridge Road for a friend's birthday.  It's long been known in Atlanta as having great Italian food so I was excited to finally have a reason to venture that way.  If you're not from Atlanta, Cheshire Bridge isn't the nicest road.  You pass quite a few adult only businesses on your way to Alfredo's.

Walking in the door was what I imagine walking back into 1975 time would be like.  The restaurant opened in 1974 and I'm not sure the decor in the place has changed since then.  I'd be willing to bet some of the maps on the wall are even out of date.  There is wood paneling everywhere and the tables and booths are extremely close together.  The wait staff must be the original staff too, or at least most of them are originals.

I was with a large group of people, so what I'm about to say in my review could have been impacted by that, however, we had two different servers for our two tables so it shouldn't have been a problem.

The services was S-L-O-W.  When we complained that our entrees were taking over 45 minutes to come out, we were told it's because we ordered an appetizer for the table.  That just doesn't seem right.  The other table, of double the number of people had appetizers as well and their food came out in a timely manner.  I think our waiter knew quite a few regulars in that evening and spent time with them vs. with us.

The entrees, however, were delicious.  The servings were generous and were exactly what I expected from a restaurant that has been serving Italian food longer than I've been alive.  Notice I said entrees, the appetizers weren't good at all.  We got stuffed mushrooms and mussels, neither of them were finished by the table of 6.  The mussels didn't seem cooked properly and the mushrooms were too loaded down with spices and were very slimy.  We should have passed on the apps and had them bring around another basket of bread - divine.  Also, be ready to smell like garlic.  The word on the street is that the cooks walk around the dining room with sautéed garlic each night before the dinner rush to spread the garlic aroma.  It's not a bad smell, but you can smell the garlic before you walk in the front door.

The big surprise of the night was that they gave each table free desserts for everyone.  I'm not sure if that's what they typically do for birthdays or if they realized that we were unhappy with how long our dinner took.  They were yumm-o.

The overall experience was tainted for us because of the slow service.  Will I go back to Alfredo's, probably not.  It was too stuffy, not in a fancy way, in a 1970s way, for me and I can find good Italian food closer to home without the 60 year old Italian waiter who seems to think I'm not important.

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