Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Italian you say.......

Ok, so there is a new relocated Italian restaurant on the south side of the plaza. It's called LaTrattoria. It's actually on Ponce de Leon street which is one of the four streets that frame our big plaza, called Quiroga.

A couple of weeks  ago we decided to have our mid day meal there. We figured we would give it a try, since the only real Italian place that was in town relocated to Morelia and the other quasi in name only place we won't return to because of our last lunch experience.

At LaTrattoria, their menu has the standards, with some local fish dishes and the mandatory Sopa Tarasca which is about as un-Italian as one can imagine.

We were not too ravenous for any meat dishes so we figured we would both have a pasta dish. After all, it would take something quite egregious to be able to screw up a pasta dish.
Boy, were we wrong.

I ordered the spaghetti with a Bolognese sauce which is simply a tomato base with some hamburger or if you have it Italian sausage in the sauce.  So, it was destined to be hamburger of course.
My wife ordered the spaghetti something. The description said that it had some chili de arbol in it.

Now if you remember my wife is a Latina so she is use to pica-pica food.

After about 30 minutes both our plates arrived. As the waiter presented the plates we could tell that this was not going to meet any expectations.

Both our dishes had overcooked pasta, which I would bet was simply rewarmed from a few days before once an order had been garnered.
The sauce coating on the pasta was pasty and gloppy to the point that if you turned the plate on it's side the pasta was stay 100% in the dish. If you need a description of how my pasta dish was, think about the last time you cooked spaghetti, put it away in the fridge for a few days, then rewarmed it, put the remainder in the fridge again, took it out a day or two later and then zapped it in the microwave. It has a particular look to it, gloppy sauce not running or smoothly coated fresh pasta was not to be found.

My sauce was pretty bland, but I was able to find a few specks of meat, sans any seasoning.

After two or three fork fulls that my wife tasted, she tasted mine. At which point she said that both of the dishes were basically inedible. Mine for being devoid of any seasoning and hers from way too much chili de arbol in the sauce.

I doubted her description to which I grabbed a fork full and promptly chomped it down. My action now required finding something to  eliminate the residual burn on my lips to at least 4 to 5 minutes, which was nowhere to be found.  Now don't get me wrong, I enjoy spicy food, but having that level of heat in an Italian dish is totally wrong. They should have called the dish chili de arbol with spaghetti.

All in all, if someone can't make a simple pasta dish without overcooking the pasta, they shouldn't call their joint a Trattoria....period.  Making pasta is one of the simplest ways to make a great dinner without working in the kitchen for hours. All it takes is decent pasta, cooked aldente, good to excellent olive oil, and either basil, garlic, tomatoes and a host of other items which you can put in to your liking and you have a great pasta dish.

Needless to say we have now eliminated the only two supposed Italian places in town, so now I know I just need to buy some more olive oil at Costco, which happens to have one of the highest rated Extra Virgin imported into the North American continent.  
We may give this place a try again in the future, knowing that Italian is not their specialty.
But I kind of doubt it...


Calypso said...

We have a lot of Italian imports in Puerto Escondido - thus some fine Italian cuisine as several have opened restaurants.

Here in Xico - spaghetti - what's that?

Felipe Zapata said...

I wish you had mentioned beforehand that you were going to that place. My wife and I have eaten there once, just once. Breakfast!

It was the worst breakfast I have ever been served in a restaurant in Pátzcuaro. No lie. Godawful.

And I am not in the slightest a picky eater. That the place is still in business is amazing. Gotta be the one-time-each tourist trade because nobody in his right mind would return.

Andean said...

The best Italian food I have ever tasted was in people's homes, cooked by them. Growing up in an Italian neighborhood helped, they made their own pasta and sauce which simmered for hours, usually on Sundays. Not that good Italian has to take so long...

Sometimes I think some restaurants add tons of plain, unseasoned tomato sauce on what is suppose to say Italian and it should suffice.

By the way that spaghetti LOOKs awful...

jerryL said...

Sad if they can't make a decent pasta dish!

Don Cuevas said...

Thanks for making the sacrifice for the rest of us.

In Morelia, besides the alluded to Pulcinella, there's the simple and inexpensive Spaghettería Gian Carlo. I think it's on Aquiles Serdán at Revolucíon. They serve little else but decent salads, pasta dishes and some panini. I reviewed it a couple of years ago on My Mexican Kitchen. It's not fancy, but it works. (They also have Frank Sinatra on the tape deck.)

As for Italian type food in the Pátzcuaro area, it's best at home. (I'm making Italian style Fennel Sausage and Polpettine tomorrow morning.) Sra. Cuevas' basil plants are nearly ready to yield to my cooking demands.

Don Cuevas

Dan in NC said...

Tancho,sounds like you and da missus need a weekend in SMA to get your taste buds recalibrated!
Dan in NC