Here’s the deal: I love Maggiano’s Little Italy. Really, I do.
In fact I agonized for three days on whether or not I should write this post- I almost didn’t. But at this point I feel a certain responsibility to you lovely people and if you knew I went there last week and HADN’T reported these, my humble opinions, you might be mad at me.
I can’t have that.
Is it me or is something just… different at Maggiano’s NorthPark?
At the risk of being repetitive, I’ll remind you that I’ve been sick for the last few years. While I’ve been to NorthPark a time or two, I haven’t eaten at Maggiano’s NorthPark since (I wanna say) sometime in 2013. Therefore I feel I have a very unique perspective.
It’s different y’all. Not necessarily bad but… changed.
Jed and I have always had the same order every time we go to Maggiano’s: Cesar salad, bruschetta and chicken parmesan with spaghetti. We split it and literally ALWAYS take food home.
Let us begin at the lettuce.
The Caesar salad used to come on a platter, Bro.
On this night, three days ago, it came in a bowl.
A bowl you guys. A salad of this level of deliciousness deserves a PLATTER. Even for the small size.
It’s 2016. Small is medium. Medium is large. Large is Xtra Large and Xtra Large is super jumbo. Let’s jump in the pool shall we?
Also there was a noticeable variance in the Salad: Parmesan relationship and the cheese ain’t pulling it’s weight.
When something is this good, we need a lot of it. That’s totally reasonable, right?
Appetizer or HAPPetizer, amirite?
I thought the bruschetta was magic. I couldn’t get enough of it, it was just like old times.
Jed reported that it had “too many weird olives” in it. (He’s a black olive guy… I know- horror! HimSoCute.)
I noticed literally no difference in the tomato, olivey part. Totally tasty as usual.
But lets discuss this bread.
In my day, Maggiano’s served their bruschetta on crispy, thinish toasted bread.
That was not the case this day. This bread was thicker, less crispy. Still, very yummy just not the same and if you can’t already tell, I’m not good with change.
It was at this point that I began to think to myself:
What the hell is going on here? “What are they tryina pull?” I should say.
I can understand the downsizing of the salad, we are in a recession after all and I know that our Maggiano’s is doing the best they can for us, for YOU.
But why change the toast? Did someone complain about it being too crispy and delicious? Too full of flavor? Too perfect a delivery service for the tomatoes? WHAT?
Then came the chicken parm. The entree that I had been fantasizing about for at least two nights.
There is nothing better in this universe than reheated Maggiano’s chicken parm. Nothing. The best thing about this entrée is the leftovers- the cute waiter man will put your leftovers in a nice, foil take-me-home pan. You just add a little water and heat at three fifty. #TreeFidy
There used to be three.
Three glorious, poofy, tender and juicy breasts of chicken laid beautifully on an extra large platter, completely coated in thick layers of mozzarella and slathered in several ladlefuls of sauce.
One for me. One for Jed and one for us to split for lunch the next day.
The chickens of yore were SO poofy in fact, sometimes I had almost half of mine left over as well.
I had no leftovers on this day.
Not even a little bit.
Not any at all.
These breasts were supermodel breasts. Appealing. Certainly nothing to complain about. Some would say magnificent.
They used to serve Jessica Simpsons.
Was the food delicious?
Absolutely. Every bite I ate was well prepared, the ingredients were fresh and everything was seasoned properly. You should definitely eat there all the time.
It just used to be EXTRA extra. That’s alls I’m sayin.
Let me just state for the record: I have literally been living under a blanket for years and therefore am not the hippest hipster in the bunch.
I’m not a person who is “in the know” unless the question is Real Housewives related but generally speaking, I’m the chick who is always the last to know everything.
I thought Lance Bass was straight. I’m a total derp.
I’m sure there are perfectly logical reasons for these changes.
It’s entirely possible that Maggiano’s underwent some massive transformation that I don’t know about.
I did a sort of half-assed google search of “Did Maggiano’s NorthPark change ownership”, clicked all the way to page three and came up with nothing.
Perhaps Brinker hired a very posh and fancy R&D group who found through hours of exhausting research and focus groups that the citizens of North Dallas are more concerned with their waistlines than with their to-go lunch options.
And that’s ok.
I’m just saying something’s up that’s all.
If you have information that might lead to solving this mystery please email me.
I recently discovered that Maggiano’s hosts things like cooking classes for kids, wine and painting parties and murder mystery dinners. Click here to book a unique event with delicious food at great prices. Maggiano’s NorthPark is as classic as The Reunion tower, you haven’t dined in Dallas if you haven’t been here.
205 Northpark CenterDallas, TX 75225
Half way in I felt like I was going to faint but I ate every bite anyway. Usually you get Creme Brulee in a teeny ramekin. This dish was the size of Jonathan’s face. Bravo guys.
After I finished my Creme Brulee, I finished Jonathan’s Tiramisu. Best in the city.
This was a last day of summer break celebration for Chloe and Hales. Maggiano’s did not host us. I truly admire Brinker International and respect their place in Dallas restaurant history. (Who doesn’t love Chili’s Southwestern Eggrolls? Nobody.)
I hope they accept this honest and humble review in the spirit in which it is intended. xoxox