La Famiglia restaurant: cheers and jeers

Published by adviser, Author: Stephanie Cheek, Date: November 20, 2013

If there was one word to describe the newest Italian joint in town, La Famiglia, it would be “inconsistent.” I tried something a little different for this review; I went to the restaurant twice and got two very different experiences.

La Famiglia is a family-run restaurant and the décor tells the customers of this fact just by the pictures on the wall and the Slippery Rock mementos that clutter the small space. The servers are all very friendly and are willing to help if a customer needs anything. It is a comfortable little restaurant that sells meals at reasonable prices. For a full meal, most people would spend between $20 and $25. This is a great deal for students who want a break from the fast food from McDonalds and Sheetz.

This restaurant doesn’t stray from the same décor and ambiance from the previous Italian restaurant, Luigi’s, which closed their doors earlier this year.

The first time I went there I was seated and waited on fairly quickly while perusing the menu. There was a wide variety of food selections, from pasta, to pizza, to even some different sandwiches and wraps. I decided to stick with the traditional Italian dish of lasagna, which came with a choice of a side. The side choices included a salad, French fries, soup, fresh fruit, side of spaghetti, baked potato or roasted vegetables.

The food came fast and I was eating my lasagna in about 30 minutes along with a simple garden salad. Overall, the lasagna was delicious and a good-sized portion. Me, being the odd eater that I am, also ordered a side of Alfredo sauce to mix in with the delicious lasagna. The Alfredo sauce was creamy and rich; the perfect combination to the savory meat sauce. I enjoyed my meal to the point where I did not want to waste a bite, so I took the rest of my meal to go.

In the same week, my friends decided that they wanted to try the new restaurant, and after having had a great meal last time, I decided to join them. When we walked in, we got the same great service with an attentive server who quickly brought our drinks and took our order.

I decided to order the same dish as before, the lasagna with a garden salad with a side of Alfredo sauce, while my friends ordered a simple wrap and the Cajun shrimp pasta.

When the food finally came I soon realized that while the service was the same the food had changed a little. The first thing I did when I got my lasagna was pour some Alfredo sauce onto my plate, and lets just say it splashed everywhere. The once creamy and thick Alfredo sauce was now very much a liquid and had the consistency of warm milk. The taste of Alfredo was not really even that apparent, the sauce tasting similar to warm milk mixed with some butter.

While the sauce was a little underwhelming, I was happy to report though that the lasagna was still moist, delicious, and a decent sized portion, allowing me to enjoy my food without the access of Alfredo sauce. On the other hand, one of my friends who ordered the Cajun Shrimp pasta found that when her food arrived, it was chicken that she found in her pasta.

Now the question on everyone’s mind: should you go to this restaurant? In my opinion the food has the possibility of being really good, but the customer just has to be willing to take a gamble against the inconsistency. But I would taste test the Alfredo sauce before it gets poured on anything, for future reference.


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