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Macaroni Grill in Atlanta Review

Updated on September 8, 2010

Macaroni Grill

If you're looking for a restaurant to spend a special night or you just feel like eating a little fancy, you want to try the Macaroni Grill. Yes, there are a lot of restaurant choices that you can choose from like Olive Garden and Cheesecake Factory, but sometimes you may want something a little different. Plus, a lot of the more sophisticated restaurants can be a little pricey on the budget.

The Macaroni Grill is a great Italian restaurant that has pretty good price, depending on what you order.

Personally, I'd rather spend my money here than at the Cheesecake Factory, which has super high prices and very little taste to accommodate.

The Prices:

My first trip to the Macaroni Grill definitely left a great impression. When I first walked in, I could smell all the great spices and garlic flavorings. It looked way out of our budget. We waited at the bar and browsed the menu, where I was pleasantly surprised at the prices. Yea, the prices were a little high, but they were nothing like I had expected; in reality, the prices were about the same as if we had gone to Olive Garden. The difference between Olive Garden and the Romano's Macaroni Grill is that the setting is much more elegant.

This is the type of restaurant that you have to plan on ordering a full course meal when you step through the door, so definitely make sure you are financially planning for it. (You don't have to, but the atmosphere definitely makes you want to order the appetizer,entree, and dessert, or at least the added appetizer)

The Food:

I can't tell you that everything on the menu is wonderful, but from what I tried.... Wonderful...

You start the meal with fresh bread lightly salted and served hot with a plate of olive oil and herbs. To me the bread was better without the olive oil, but then I'm not a fan of olive oil to begin with.

Crab-Stuffed Mushrooms
Crab-Stuffed Mushrooms
Penne Rustico
Penne Rustico
Honey Balsamic Chicken
Honey Balsamic Chicken

With bread in our stomach, we started the meal with an appetizer of crab stuffed mushrooms. There was a nice blend of cheeses and crab meat that was unlike the frozen stuffed mushroom you can purchase at the grocery store. The meat was not canned by any means, and the blend was just right. At first, though, the crab was a little strong but once the flavor got into your mouth, it definitely played with your taste buds.

I ordered the penne rustico, which included shrimp and chicken with Parmesan cream sauce and penne pasta. The pasta was tossed and then baked. After the appetizer, I just couldn't finish the pasta and had to take it home; trust me, in such an elegant Italian restaurant, it's awkward asking for a to-go box, but they take your plate and bring back an aluminum container so you don't have to fiddle with dumping your plate all cave-man style into a styrofoam to-go box.

My boyfriend ordered the honey balsamic chicken, which included two chicken breasts that were cooked in a honey balsamic glaze sauce. His favorite part was the caellini pasta that cam one the plate served with dried tomatoes. He definitely slurped the pasta up before touched anything else. You also get grilled broccoli with the chicken and pasta, which goes great when dipped in the honey balsamic sauce.

The Drinks:

At an Italian restaurant, you have to check out the wine. There are a few different house wines, we tried the White Zinfandel, which had an interesting flavor to it. The cool thing about ordering the house wine, is that the waiter leaves the bottle with you on the table so that you can fill your glass as needed. When you're ready for the bill, just tell the waiter how many glasses you drank. In a way, the honor system is pretty cool, but I'm sure there are many people who try to cheat them.

If you don't order a house wine, but order a glass of Berringer, for instance, you get one glass, which is filled as requested. You don't get the bottle for anything except house wines.

As for telling you how great the wine is, I'm not even going to try. I'm not the best wine connoisseur, and honestly, I'm not a big wine drinker. I will say that both the Berringer and the White Zinfandel had a similar taste. My boyfriend found the Zinfandel a better tasting wine. Both were sweet wines, that went well with the meals.

Have you eaten at a Macaroni Grill Location?

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Lunch Menu- Amalfi Chicken Soup with fresh greens salad
Lunch Menu- Amalfi Chicken Soup with fresh greens salad

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