Monday, July 15, 2013

Pasta Allegro - CLOSED

3500 NE MLK Jr Boulevard
Happy Hour: 3 - 7 PM, Tuesday through Friday
www.pasta-allegro.com


Honestly, I am worried. I am worried about this place because it's the third restaurant that I've reviewed in the exact same location since we started blogging. We've seen a lot of places come and go. That's true for more than just restaurants these days. I just hope this one is here to stay.

Pasta Allegro has a build-your-own concept that they have applied to their pasta, pizza, and calzones. It's a good plan, in my opinion, but I'm afraid that it might overwhelm some customers. They've got so many choices. (Seriously, as a math teacher, I will totally be using their menu as an example when teaching combinations and permutations.)


Happy Hour doesn't allow the customer to be as creative, but it does offer the opportunity to sample some of their appetizers and salads at a reduced rate. Happy Hour runs weekdays from three until seven (longer than some) but they are closed on Mondays leaving it to just four days a week. (Perhaps we can convince you to add an ALL NIGHT Happy Hour on Sundays to round things out.)

Either way, the menu offers food items from just a buck-fifty to six dollars. Drinks are also discounted. They offer well drinks for 3 dollars (or a double for $5.50), beer from 2 to 4 dollars, and wine as low as three dollars a glass. It's awfully reasonable, and so are the people working. When I was more excited about a drink on their specialty cocktail list, the server gave it to me at a discounted price too. 


The Limonata is made with Absolut Citron, Limoncello, and simple syrup. It's similar to a lemon drop but less sugary. (Or, at least, you can't see all that sugar.) I enjoyed every sip.


At the other end of the table was a Spiked Italian Soda. What an excellent idea! (Reminds me of a Mike's Plus...) Perhaps a little dangerous, when what you are drinking tastes so much like a jolly rancher. They have plenty of flavor options (including peanut butter?) but I only had the chance to sip the Spiked Watermelon (hence the mention of a jolly rancher).

Since we were on a mission to try more than one happy hour, we kept the food order to a minimum. We each ordered a Caprese Salad and I ordered a plate of Crostini to share.


The Caprese Salad was small, but for four dollars I couldn't have expected more. There were three thick slices of both tomato and mozzerella. Freshly torn basil covered the plate. And although there was more oil and balsamic on the table, I was pleased with the amount of each that covered the plate upon arrival.


The Crostini came with a choice of three spreads. I opted for the white bean dip, as I so often do. It was quite smooth and perfectly presented (using a cake decorator tip, I am sure). On their regular diner menu, you can choose more than one spread to go with your Crostini. Next time, I will be sure to order the olive tapenade as well.

The build-your-own concept paired with good service will, hopefully, be all that it takes to keep this place going strong. Parking isn't as awful as it seems and the prices--although they can grow out of control if you just keep building and building and building your pizza, pasta, or calzone to capacity--are quite reasonable.

Food: Meets
Drinks: Meets
Service: Meets
Ambiance: Meets
Value: Meets

-b

Pasta Allegro on Urbanspoon

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