Sunday, January 23, 2005


It's 7:30 on Saturday night. Evening plans have fallen through, so Andrea and I decide to go out to dinner together. We bypass fast-food and choose a nearby Entertainment book couponed non-chain Italian restaurant, excited at the prospect of not having to wait for our dinner.

We enter Pepino's, a quaint and clearly datingesque place, complete with a fountain and candlelit tables. An older and gruff-looking hostess (who i later determined must be co-owner) asks for the name and number in our party. Then, asks us to take a seat, as the wait will be 15 minutes.

I look into the restaurant to find quite a number of empty tables. We also notice that no one else is waiting. Still, we proceeded to take our place on the wicker loveseats.

As if on cue, 15 minutes later we loudly hear, "AnDREa, party of 2". Remember, at this point, we are STILL the only ones in the waiting area. She shuffles us to our table, which, of course, was in the very center of the restaurant.

Enter our waiter, a guy in his mid-20s wearing the uniform of a cumberbund, bow tie, white shirt and black pants. The first thing we hear is, "Whassup?!" And then, his name. Murphy. At this point, the laughter previously kept to a chuckle was let out in full force.

This quy was quite interesting. We noticed that he used different names for himself at various tables. A particular favorite was Alfredo. He also tried, unsuccessfully, to change accents.

The meal was, arguably, one of the worst meals we have ever tasted. With nearly a full dish left on both of our plates, we asked each other if we were going to take it home as leftovers. At the exact time Andrea and I wholeheartedly agreed upon "no!", Murphy (or Alfredo) arrived with two very large takeaway boxes and proceeded to steal our plates. Once again, the laughter couldn't be stopped.

The evening culminated with a carefully crafted plan on how best to dispose of the two meals. Andrea could "accidentally forget" it on the table while I "dropped it off" near the front door. However, in a moment of inspiration, Andrea remembered the large dumpster in the back of the parking lot! Ingenious! We quickly signed the bill, grabbed our styrofoam boxes, raced out the door and headed straight for the dumpster. And then we were stopped.

Wouldn't you know--the CHEF was standing right next to the bin. Our plan was foiled.

Unable to handle the stench any longer of overpriced cafeteria style eggplant parmesan, we stopped at the curb of the nearest Target so I could stuff everything into the garbage can. Later, we witnessed an alley cat running from the food.

Moral of the story: If your coupon says buy one-get one free, there's a reason.


Amanda Lomonaco said...

Peppino's is a Lomonaco family favorite. We would go there often for special occassions. Weird that you had a bad experience. My food has always been pretty darn good there.

Anonymous said...

I have decided that Pepino's is a little on the strange side. For lunch they are really casual, and have a decent buffet for a fair price. Then for dinner they try to be a sorta classy place and apparently, they are not pulling it off very well.