11600 Pleasant Ridge Rd, Little Rock, AR | Directions 7222334.795356 -92.402383
Neighborhoods: River Mountain
Editorial Review by Citysearch Editors – Delivering fresh, authentic Tuscan-style entrees, the casual Italian chain features pizza and pastas as well as monthly special wine dinners.
Not Ready for Prime Time – Having gotten a coupon in the mail for a free "Spaghetti" entree with the purchase of one of their "Fire Grilled" Entrees, I hiked off to Johnny Carinos (now "Johnny Carinos Italian Grill") looking forward to an enjoyable meal. I went right after they opened on a Sunday. After being seated, and with few other patrons in the restaurant, my server took my order (NY. strip steak with roasted rosemary potatoes and fresh green beans as well as the free spaghetti and meatball entree). He advised me that the hot bread would be out shortly.
I waited, and waited, and waited, and waited. 25 minutes passed and still no bread. Finally the bread arrived and then the entree. Trouble was that my "Roasted Rosemary Potatoes" which appeared to be nicely browned with black flecks in them suggesting a trip through the grill, were ice cold! I asked the server how that could happen. No response but to say that he would take it back at once. I asked him if they served pre-cooked, frozen, or left-over?s. No response. I couldn't determine any other way they could have come off a grill looking cooked, but ice-cold.
When they came back, they were still only luke-warm, but the problem was that by this time the rest of the meal was cold. I asked to see a manager. A young man, fresh from training came to my table and offered a scripted apology that came straight from the manual. I asked him how such a thing could happen. No reply. Instead (and to his credit) he offered a new entree, the cooking of which would be supervised by him personally. I relunctantly said ok---by this time I just wanted to leave---and finished my cold spaghetti. Finally, the entree came back cooked perfectly.
But I left wondering if the chefs at this "Italian Grill" actually cook at all or if they just heat up pre-frozen and bagged food; or worse yet, serve left-over?s from the night before.
Since I?ve come to enjoy real cooking and hot food, I won't be going back.
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