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I live with a Chef, my best friends are chefs, and I bake bread. So, when I go to a restaurant, it's not for the food...it's for the fun.
Last evening, Chef Herb suggested we go to Mamma Maria's in South Philadelphia for a Fix Pris night...I'll go anywhere Herb says because he knows!
So, Chef Herb, his partner Jim, Chef Gretchen and her partner...ME went to South Philly where I was born and almost raised. Actually...it's Sout Filly!
We were met at the door by herself Chef Maria, a striking women looking over her guests as if to say..."let's see for whom I'm cooking tonight". She was charming as was her Sophia Loren like daughter...who looked like the high power business women. We were greated warmly and then led to our table by Alberto...yet another beautiful woman. We were the first to arrive that evening...hey...we all cook and need to be up early.
The entire wait staff was attentive and attractive in a most European fashion. I wonder if Mamma Maria has some kind of "standard" for looks.
Anyway...to our table we went and almost immediately came the first course, a delightful antipasto of eggplant, beans and such...for 4. It was yummy.
Then Alberto, and I hesitate to call her a waitress as she was more a tour guide on this gastronomic journey, began to take our orders.
It wasn't just..."so what are we having tonight" it was more like, "so, let me take you on a tour of what we can do for you". She was knowledgeable, and made suggestions that we would have missed out on if we just went with our collective norms.
I had, what I thought would be a bit complicated. It was a meat medley; chicken, veal, beef, pork...all cooked separately and to perfection presented beautifully with broccoli and potato...outstanding!
I had to eat under the noises of Oh's and Ah's and oh my's....
It's obvious I could go on all day about our experience...the food was not foofy...it was home cooking in an artful way, delicious to a fault and magnificantly presented.
For the price of the meal you received the Anti Pasto, Soup, Your selection of entre, dessert, wine, coffee/espresso and they left on the table a bottle of Sanbucco, Ameretto, home made lemoncello, and a liquor Maria called Orange cream...oh my.
Oh...lest I forget the entertainment; an accordian player repleat with instrument and Gondolieri Cappella who made us laugh through the entire meal. He was precious.
So what I'm looking for now is a place to write a review that allows 6 or 7 stars.
We could become regulars here...and we probably will!
That you Mamma Maria...see you next week!
Favorite Dish: The meat medley
Written Feb 21, 2009
Address: 1637 E. Passyunk Avenue