Have you ever sat down in a restaurant you’ve never been to, perused the menu and agonized over what to pick? You know there’s a whole slew of good things to pick from but you simply can’t make up your mind. When the server starts taking everyone’s order, you still haven’t decided. A weird sort of pressure sets in. You wait until the whole table has ordered and then pick something random, something you know was the wrong choice. Well, at a recent Friday lunch, that’s exactly what happened.
This particular week, we decided to switch things up a bit. Instead of our usual Asian fare we selected Anducci’s Cucina on Hastings in Burnaby. So, naturally, I checked out their on-line menu and narrowed my choice down to a couple of options. After settling in at our table we were given the menu. Actually, we were given their “New” menu. Now, being the procrastinator that I am, this meant a whole new study was in order. After a whole lot of humming and hawwing I blurted out my pick. When the server agreed it was a good choice, I was momentarily relieved.
The complimentary foccacia with balsamic and extra-virgin olive oil was really good, fresh and toasty.
Shell pasta with roasted chicken, portobello mushrooms, bell peppers in a gorgonzola sauce. This looks to be a really good pick. Unfortunately, I was too far away to sneak a taste. Plus, the owner of the plate would most certainly of placed his fork into my ring finger.
The Carnivore King Pizza. Calebrase, capicolla, Italian sausage and sweet onions. This I managed to cajole a slice of. Not too bad, a tad overdone around the edges.
This is what I should’ve ordered. The Lasagna was on my shortlist and I knew it would be a winner. Big Daddy D had the clarity of mind and forethought to order the most Italian of dishes in an almost Italian restaurant. Kudos.
Both myself and Koko based our choices on our server’s suggestions. Koko opted for the Fish and Chips.
From what I recall, he was none too impressed. This looks to be a result of old, unchanged fryer oil and/or way too much cooking time.
This is my unfortunate choice. The Italian Meatball Sandwich with Baked Potato Soup. Maybe I was just too hungry and my synapses weren’t quite firing. I tend to lose a few IQ points on an empty stomach. This is also the power of good menu writing…it sounded really good. Honestly! Anducci’s meatballs, onion rings, thick slab bacon, cheddar and jalapeño aioli on fresh filone bread. Turns out you get one, count ’em, one meatball, sliced in half. Basically, it’s an onion ring sandwich…the meatball is nearly non-existent. The Baked Potato Soup was delicious…a meal in itself. Way too heavy & hearty a soup to be served alongside this type of sandwich. I jettisoned about halfway through not wanting to inflict more pain on my lower intestine.
From what I saw, Anducci’s makes some great pastas and a decent pizza. Our server mentioned that they are still ironing out their new menu (after I told him my thoughts on my sammich). In my mind, if they stick to what they’re good at, they’ll make a success of it. It seems that they have tried a major expansion and did too much, too fast. The Surrey location has closed as has Anducci’s Pub on Dunsmuir and Anducci’s Cucina & Pub in Burnaby. When you read the reviews, the good ones gush about the pastas and wonder why the closures. From what I’ve heard, consistency at their was flagship location by Lougheed Mall was spotty, at best. This is a classic example of how a basic menu and perfecting it creates dedicated and repeat customers.