Date Night: Massimo’s in Fremont, CA

I’ve driven past Massimo’s for years but never tried it.  Any time I suggested it as a kid, I’d be “shushed” because it was out of my family’s price range.  Then I started on this quest to try a new restaurant every week.  My husband suggested Massimo’s for this week’s dinner.

I made reservations, and we arrived about 15 minutes late.  Damn you BART for making my husband be late getting home!  They sat us quickly anyway.

The dining room was nice and quiet.  There weren’t any small children running around and screaming, and there wasn’t a bench seat in sight!  The waiter asked what we’d like to drink then brought over a wine list at my request.  I looked for something familiar, but I know nothing about wine so it all blended together in one big smooshy mess.  I finally ordered a Shirley Temple and my husband ordered an iced tea.  We ordered garlic bread too.

For dinner, I ordered the raviolis with shrimp sauce.  My husband ordered the ahi tuna special and clam chowder.

The garlic bread came out after the chowder.  It was tasty.  The chowder was “meh” but my husband finished it.

We waited quite awhile for our entrees.  It was weird.  A lot of people were waiting and looking around at one another.  Finally our food came so we started eating.

My raviolis were OK, just a bit bland and heavy.  They grew on me even though I could only eat about half of it because I filled up on bread.  I brought the rest home to have for lunch tomorrow.

My husband liked his tuna, but I thought it was a little disappointing.  The server said that it was “sashimi grade” but it didn’t look that way to me.  When I tasted it it seemed a little rubbery.  The flavor was OK though.

We didn’t have dessert because we didn’t want to wait forever for that to come too.

I can’t explain why the experience was so odd.  It just felt weird.  I doubt I’ll go back just to go, but if someone else was paying I might eat there again.

Week 1

My Resolution this year is to try a new restaurant each week.  The rules are that it doesn’t have to be a newly opened restaurant, just a restaurant I haven’t eaten at before.  I’m hoping to broaden my eating horizons – it’s far too easy to become stuck in a rut food-wise.

So today, during my wedding flower search, my sister and I tried Red Chili in Newark.  It’s a Thai-Vietnamese restaurant near the Newark Auto Mall on the corner of Ballentine and Stevenson.  My sister had heard that the food was good, but that the service was slow.  Since we had a ton of time to kill in between flower appointments, I agreed to give it a try.

We arrived at 11AM, a bit before the lunch crowd.  Parking was easy, which is always nice.  We were greeted by a lady in a parka at the hostess station.  I guess the parka made sense since the restaurant was a bit chilly.  The inside was spacious and clean, decorated in warm browns.  A bar is to the left as you enter, and the center holds a small stage.  The only thing I really didn’t care for with the decorating was the bench style seating.  I think of it as a half-assed answer to a booth.  Bench seating doesn’t offer the intimacy of a booth and you can often overhear other conversations, and people masticating as well.  Ick.

We ordered the roti appetizer and the satay chicken appetizer.  Both were good, but neither came with a small spoon to use when serving the sauces or cucumber.  The roti was a bit doughy for me and not as crispy as I know it can be.

My sister ordered the mango chicken lunch and I ordered the yellow curry chicken lunch.  Both came with a soup (spicy tofu), steamed rice (can upgrade to brown rice for $1) and a small salad.  The mango chicken was light and sweet with a bite from the bell pepper and onion.  Think of it as similar to sweet and sour chicken, but without the fried part of the chicken.  The yellow curry was good as well.  The curry itself was creamy.  The potatoes and chicken were tender too.

At first the service was really good.  Drinks were brought out quickly, along with appetizers and soup.  But when it came time to pay our bill the service had slowed considerably.  By then, there were 4 other small groups in the restaurant, so that may have had something to do with it.

If I’m in the neighborhood again and feeling the need for food, I might stop in and eat.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t wowed enough to deliberately seek them out.

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