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Monday, October 21, 2013
Lawrence (KS): Fair Italian in a Town Without A "Proper" Italian Restaurant
Paisano's Iowa Street Lawrence, Kansas
First of all, if you're looking for authentic Italian food ... GO TO ITALY! I've been to many American-Italian restaurants and have yet to find one serving "authentic Italian". Lidia's in Kansas City (near Grand Station) is about as close as you will find (and it's good, but pricey).
Being new to Lawrence, we are trying different restraunts to find some we like. Our first night here, my son wanted Italian and Paisano's was all we could find on a Friday night without reservations or a long wait.
We were served quickly and our waiter was Jake, a nice lad and very helpful. He brought the salad and bread sticks, which I was not overly impressed with. If I wanted the Olive Garden, and I DO NOT, I would go to dinner there.
The veal parmigiana and Marsala are tasty enough and portions are moderate, but the veal is too thick. Pound it out dadburnit!
The meat sauce on the accompanying pasta is chock full of, no not nuts, ground beef, almost too much. There needs to be a bit more tomato, after all, it is pasta "sauce". It is very good, even if it is a bit too thick.
The ravioli appears homemade and was decent, but only 8 or 10 ravioli left us hungry for more, literally. The baked pasta "al forno" (in the oven) was creamy and savory, a better value for the price than the ravioli.
The pesto, which my wife ordered over penne, was tasteless, seemingly watered down for no apparent reason. She NEVER adds grated cheese to pasta, Italians love their pasta after all, but she succumbed in order to enhance the taste of the dish.
I wanted to try the "Sicilian" meatballs, not knowing what makes them different from other meatballs, but the server told us "we are out of meatballs tonight". An Italian restaurant out of meatballs...seriously?
Paisanos is "OK" as far as Lawrence Italian restaurants go, but that is, unfortunately, not saying much. We will return only because there are no better options in town ... unless you consider Olive Garden in Topeka (25 miles away) ... and I do not! CombatCritic Gives Paisano's 5 OUT OF 10 BOMBS ... Bombs Are Good!
Key Words: Paisano's paisano Italian restaurant food eat Italy Lawrence Kansas pasta ravioli veal parmigiana Parmesan cheese pizza pesto Bolognese spaghetti Iowa