Thought we could rely on the Macaroni Grill brand to fulfill our hunger for inexpensive Italian. Alas, it didn't happen. When we walked in, there was nobody at the hostess stand. For about a while. Finally someone showed up and we were seated at a table near the kitchen entry to the dining room. The restaurant was busy; it was Sunday evening and many families were dining out. The children were all well behaved, it was the noisy kitchen manager yelling up and down the line about the orders who made us uncomfortable.
Finally a waitress arrived to take drink orders. For entrees, we ordered a fall special: butternut squash asiago cheese tortoloni and create your own pasta with bolonese sauce, meatballs and italian sausage. The first dish was lacking in butternut squash and arrived at the table barely warm, like it had been sitting someplace for a while. The pasta dish featured only three SMALL meatballs and a bit of sausage. The meatballs were $3 extra, so that's a dollar per meatball! We felt cheated in both dishes.
We declined desert and after filling out a comment card that entitled us to $5 off our next visit, we left. Full but unsatisfied. I've been to other MGs and this one did not meet the standard I was anticipating. Very average on many levels.
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