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“Alas, what is happening to the Macaroni Grill?” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Romano's Macaroni Grill

Romano's Macaroni Grill
1845 Fountain Dr, Reston, VA 20190-3326
703-471-4474
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Ranked #86 of 135 Restaurants in Reston
Price range: $20 - $35
Cuisines: Italian
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Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children
Dining options: Reservations
Baltimore, MD
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
54 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Alas, what is happening to the Macaroni Grill?”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2013

I used to love dining at the Macaroni Grill years ago for either lunch or dinner. The selection, portion size, service, and food quality were all fantastic. However, in my opinion, although the excellent service has been maintained, the selection, portion size and food quality have seriously fallen off. In this particular instance, we had a number of people attending a lunch. The table and service were really, really good, but I didn't find that much that I wanted to order, the food quality of the chicken with pasta was average at best, not at all special and salad was worse than that. Plus, the pasta was the smallest by far of all the lunches I have ever had at the Macaroni Grill. I'm not a big eater anyway so you might imagine how small this was. We were trying to have a pleasant lunch and I was also time-constrained so I didn't want to complain at the time or delay the lunch. As for are bread,that was perfectly fine and in general, the other people at the lunch were content with their meals. That plus the service moved this rating from "poor" to "average" for me. I also have to say that the problem is not at all with this particular restaurant, it is with Macaroni Gill in general. I think this is it for me. I don't think I'll choose Macaroni Grill again.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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55 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    7
    15
    13
    7
    13
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Herndon, Virginia, United States
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Hey its a Chain”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2013

They have some good dishes, nothing great but nothing bad. The table wine is nice. Decor is rather basic. I would rather do Carraba's

Visited January 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Snellville
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Romano's Macaroni grill poor food”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2013

We had been disappointed by Macaroni previously and had avoided eating there for several years but we thought we'd give them another try. The problem is the food. For some reason they believe that the way to prepare Italian food is to BAKE IT TO THE PLATE. We encountered this the last time and nothing has changed. I ordered "Mama's Trio" , with portions of lasagna, chicken parmigiana and a cannoli. When the food arrived, the 2 pasta items were baked so hard on the bottom that I could not cut through them with a knife. I was very hungry and am not terribly picky about food so I still tried to eat this. I was pushing down so hard with the knife that a piece of lasagne left my plate and landed on the floor. This is not a toughj steak that I am talkin about...it is pasta. The cannoli was so hard on the bottom that I could not cut through part of it at all.

The service was OK and the salad and bread were OK (although a bread knife would be a good thing, since the bread is covered with oil and not easily torn apart) but we have now encountered the "over cooked - baked to the plate" experience all three visits (at three different locations). This visit was to the Romano's Macaroni Grill in Snellville Georgia.

Someone needs to demonstrate how to cook Italian food to this chain and start with a new staff in the kitchen. Pasta should be tender and easily cut with a fork. Cheese should not be rubbery.

This will be our last visit to Romano's Macaroni Grill.

We eat at Carrabba's frequently and they are ten times better. They are "all about the food" and that is the real reason that restaurants succeed or fail.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
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Kansas City, Kansas, USA
Top Contributor
186 reviews 186 reviews
102 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 75 cities Reviews in 75 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
“Normally great, but service disappointing”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013

Normally MacGrills are great -- good, affordable food. While admittedly with a large group which takes extra time/effort, the service was SLOOOOOOOOOOOOW. The waiters were friendly and, early on, attentive. The problem seemed to have been at the kitchen. Amazingly, the restaurant was not busy. So, none of the party (or adjoining tables) could understand the reasons for the delays.

Visited February 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reston, Virginia
Top Contributor
239 reviews 239 reviews
198 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 68 cities Reviews in 68 cities
91 helpful votes 91 helpful votes
“Needs some imporvement”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2013

Has fallen way down the ranks in Italian chain restaurants. Used to be average now is really poor, I'd chose Carrabba's any day over this place.

Visited June 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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