Mamma Mia! Dinner at Maria’s


Alley Stroh

Mamma Maria’s features many custom entrees such as this chicken alfredo.

Emily Gibbens, Staff Writer

Italian food review: 5 stars

Pasta is my all time favorite food, and it’s usually my go to at any restaurant. I used to firmly believe that if I wanted good Italian food in the Grand Forks area, I had to go to Olive Garden. That was until I heard about Mamma Maria’s. I had never been there before, but I was very eager to give it a try. Mamma Maria’s is located inside the same building as River Cinema in East Grand Forks, so it was very quick and easy to find.

We went on a Tuesday night, so there were no parking issues, and there was no wait to be seated. Immediately we were settled in our cozy booth in the corner of the restaurant and started browsing the gigantic menu. They had just about everything you could imagine an Italian restaurant having.

From pasta to steak to seafood to sandwiches to pizza, we had a difficult time making a decision. The extensive menu was full of appetizers, salads and soups just in the first couple of pages. After contemplating the many options they had to offer, I decided to go with my usual order at an Italian Restaurant: chicken Alfredo. Meanwhile, my boyfriend went with the shrimp and lobster alfredo.

While we patiently waited for our entrees to come, we were brought free garlic knots. The garlic knots instantly made your mouth water as soon as the server set them down with a curt smile that excused herself. They were soft, warm and the seasoning was just perfect: not too much or too little. With the perfect amount of time given before we got too full from the garlic knots, our salad course was brought to the table. The caesar salad in front of me was made up of crisp greens lightly coated in caesar dressing and was finished with shavings of parmesan cheese and croutons.

The service was great from the moment we walked in, and the atmosphere of the restaurant was very relaxed and nice. The servers gave eye contact and seemed kind. Every item of food came at the perfect time and the wait was never awkward. It was very dark in there, so it felt like every other fancy Italian restaurant with a romantic vibe that washed over you, but didn’t overpower.

When our entrees arrived, I was half full and couldn’t wait to see if the end of my meal was near as good as the start. Our main dishes didn’t disappoint. The chicken alfredo was creamy and everything you would expect from a good chicken alfredo dish. The serving size was huge, so we had leftovers, and for the amount of food we got, I didn’t think the price was too bad. I liked my chicken Alfredo the best because I don’t like seafood, but I did give it a try. I must admit, it was pretty good. The only complaint I had with the food was that I was too full to try any of their desserts!

Overall, I would give the restaurant, the food, and the entire experience all 5 stars. I wasn’t ever disappointed. Even better yet, we got to catch a movie after our meal, all within the same building.

Emily Gibbens is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected]