Alfredo's Paradiso - Merritt Island - 2 Stars
"Misdirection. What the eyes see and the ears hear, the mind believes." - Anonymous
They should change the name of this restaurant to Emmett Kelly's Paradise. Why? Because the guy that owns this place is a complete clown. He actually chased me out in the parking lot to argue with me after the meal. It is my opinion that the owner here is a fraud. He prances around the restaurant wearing a chef's jacket flamboyantly claiming he has the freshest ingredients. His patter is so convincing I was actually getting excited.
My server, Amy, started out as a real treat. She was prompt, courteous, and put up with all of my questions. I ordered my standard fare of Veal Marsala. I also decided to be adventurous because of the hype from the cook/chef, so I ordered the Combo Paridiso, which consists of Lasagna, Stuffed Shells, and Manicotti. Out of the gate, I was served this gorgeous salad. It had fresh tomatoes, purple onion, cucumber, and Romaine lettuce. I was like "wow, that looks good" when it came out. In a forced overwrought Italian accent Alfredo stated, "the dressing is homemade." I responded, "Awesome!" but then I took my first bite I was shocked at how flavorless the dressing really was - I mean literally devoid of flavor. It tasted like plain, unseasoned vegetable oil - not even olive oil. I used my finger to wipe the dressing from the bottom and zilch, zero, nada, nothing. I immediately panicked. You see, this is a more troublesome situation than someone using Sysco products, because I am thinking this guy is like a woman I dated years ago. She had a gourmet kitchen and loved to cook, but the food always lacked seasoning.
When the Veal Marsala arrived I took one look at it and saw the pre-cut mushrooms from a can sitting atop my veal medallions, all arranged in perfect uniform cut consistency. This actually became a bone of contention with me because Alfredo swore he cut every mushroom, to which I replied, "well, you must have the greatest knife skills in the world," and this putz responded that he does. I am thinking to myself, "yeah, that's why you are in a rundown strip mall in a low income area because you are an untapped culinary genius." The pasta, which he also claimed to be homemade, was not either. It was clearly box pasta, which was overcooked and flaccid. The veal medallions were pre-breaded slices of frozen chunk lamb. The sauce was not made to order, obviously pre-made and soupy and, like the dressing, it was lacking in seasoning. Finally, the combo arrived. I saw the meat sauce with nice big chunks of ground beef. I was like "ALL RIGHT FINALLY!!!!!!" But nope, this was likewise devoid of flavor. When I say devoid I mean a complete absence of flavor. Other than the sample bites of each item I could not eat the food.
My loyal followers know I don't ever mention price because if the food is outstanding I will pay virtually any price. However, this drossy slop was priced at $18.00. So with the $1.50 in actual cost he is knocking it out of the park with a hefty profit.
As I was walking out with two children in tow, Alfredo said in a loud voice with an overabundance of confidence that it was great food. I responded that "no, actually it was terrible and I think you are a fraud." To that response, he went completely berserk and started ranting and raving demanding to know what was wrong. As I started to list my grievances, rather than allowing me to tour the kitchen to see otherwise, he began shouting I was a liar. I hustled the kids outside because at this point I am thinking violence is about to occur. Thankfully, it did not, and we made it to the car safely. Once we got in the car, the kids said "oh my gosh, that guy is crazy" - even they know when things aren't right. I just responded to them , "Yeah, that's how people act when they get caught."
Big Boy says avoid this place like the plague. Food is below average and the owner is the saddest clown under the big top. #bigboydiningout