My boyfriend and I decided no more eating out for us for the moment, so we went for a "last hurrah" to the U District's Mamma Melina last week. I ordered the Scampi al Vino ($17.95), he went for the rigatoni di Sorrento, which is baked pasta with meatballs and smoked mozzarella ($12.95). When our food arrived, he took one bite and immediately handed me a forkful of meatball.
"What does this taste like to you?" he asked. I didn't even need to think about it. It tasted not a little, not sort of, but EXACTLY like the Trader Joe's Italian-style frozen meatballs ($3.29!). I worked at the U District Trader Joe's (which, incidentally, is a mere two blocks away from Mamma Melina) for longer than I'd like to admit. When those suckers first came out, I was obsessed with them. I ate them at least once a week for months, so needless to say, I'm familiar with their distinct flavor. We were both put off our dinners at that point and felt seriously gypped.
Now, I don't know what is really going on in that kitchen, but if they are substituting frozen for homemade, they should at least have the decency to lower the price. For shame!