July 16, 2012

San Remo’s on Quadra and Hillside

I hate to do this, I really do, but it must be said.

San Remo’s is a quaint cafe on the corner of Quadra and Hillside situated in an awkward amalgamation of residences and businesses. The inside decor has not be spared on taste. A flat screen T.V has been placed in the corner of the cafe with cozy leather couches. Canned peppers, olive oil, and authentic Green and Italian dry pastas and sodas are available to take home. The display cabinet is clean and free of food debris or finger prints.

However when you’re paying close to $17 for a side salad, sandwich and drink - you don’t give a damn about the leather couches or kitschy decorations. Management has clearly focused on the interior decorations rather than food quality. The cheese on my panini was not melted, the lettuce (lettuce in a panini?!) was tired and wilted prior to grilling. The inner fixin’s of the sandwich were sparse in comparison to the thick, stale foccacia. The salad made up for the meal, with sliced fresh beets, assorted veg hard boiled egg, and a balsamic vinaigrette. 

This wasn’t even the worst part. I was hoping that the sandwich was just a one-off, and since I work nearby I had to return for a second meal. I really wish I had just avoided San Remo’s all together because even thinking about my last meal there is causing me to go green.

I ordered a simple pasta with bolognese sauce. I really love authentic european pasta. The delicate coupling between pasta and a complementing sauce is an all-time favourite comfort food of mine. Bolognese can be spicy or mild, and with the right seasonings and veg, pasta is a complete meal. However San Remo’s falls short on all these counts.

My pasta was reheated from a cold fridge temperature. The papperdelle noodles were rubbery and slimy, the sauce was bland. I wondered if any salt or pepper had been added to the bolognese at all. The center of the pasta was cold, and so the staff are clearly unaware as to proper time needed to heat it. I’ve had three day old leftovers from home better than this pasta. Rethinking back on this meal, you couldn’t pay me to eat at San Remo’s again. Not to mention, the plating was wrong for this meal. Pappardelle noodles are traditionally a thick, 9” fettucine noodle. The pasta was served in a small bowl. I had to continually twist my knife over and over again while the pasta spilled over the side. This pasta would be better suited on a large plate, with proper seasoning, and served fresh, not cold. 

Cost: $6.00 for cold, lifeless, bland pasta.

Rating: no nomz for San Remo. 0/3 nomz.

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