Saturday, September 1, 2012

Pasta Palazzo

Location: 1966 N. Halsted St., Chicago, IL 60614
Pasta Palazzo on Urbanspoon

A Quick Word:
Pasta Palazzo is a great neighborhood joint that serves Italian food for a low price.  They offer most of their pastas for $9 and have some handmade pastas for a little higher price.  Its great because additional ingredients can be added to any of the pastas!  The atmosphere is fun and the kitchen is wide open to the public; you can actually see them preparing the foods from pre-chopped items and constantly boiling pots of water.  The staff is efficient; but in my visit, they were too efficient.  I swear, they were watching us eat because right when I took a couple minute break from eating, my plate was gone and my friend's plate was also taken away to be packed up.  We found this unwelcoming and frustrating.  The bill soon followed and it appeared that turn around was more important to the staff.  Some people consider this place "cheap eats" and I would give it a perfect 5 rating for this category, but when considering flavors, atmosphere, and cost, I would still give it an above average rating but its definitely not perfect.

What We Ate:

Italian Bread

So this bread is the free bread they give to every table.  They have a decent olive oil sitting on the table with grated parmesan for you to mix to dip the bread into. I wish the parmesan was freshly grated, but for the price range of the restaurant I understand why it isn't.

Cavatappi Pollo

I ordered this pasta which was a corkscrew pasta with cubes of chicken, sun dried tomatoes, mushrooms, and some kind of a tomato cream sauce.  The orders are good-sized.. especially for all the pastas being under $10.  I was expecting a smaller portion with less ingredients, but for my pasta, there was plenty of huge mushroom chunks and chicken too.  The overall flavor was a little bland.  The sauce wasn't anything special.  It seemed more like a cream rather than a tomato cream.  But, when you eat bites with a little bit of everything... it actually tastes pretty good.   The big chunks of mushrooms weren't hidden by the other ingredients, which I really enjoyed.  You will most likely leave with left overs for dinner! (I ate about 2/3  of the plate)

Farfalle Alfredo with Broccoli

My friend was craving alfredo sauce and luckily they offered it here.  Served with bow tie pasta, the actual dish seemed too plain.  So for an additional price, you can add ingredients... which she chose broccoli.  The portion was once again huge with plenty of large pieces of broccoli.  I had a couple of bites and thought it was a bland.  It needed some salt and pepper for sure and maybe some red crushed pepper flakes to give it a kick.  I usually don't order alfredo, so maybe my review isn't the best.

The DOs/DON'Ts:
- There is quite a bit of parking around, but on any given day, it is difficult to find some.  I still suggest driving out here and parking on side streets and enjoying the area.

- Don't expect 5 star Italian food.  Remember the costs are amazing, especially for Chicago.

How far would I walk for this food?

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