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Monday, January 31, 2011

Anton's Pasta is Worth the Wait!

Lets go back about 14 years... it was 1997 and I was sporting a bowl cut parted down the middle (it was the hip style at the time) and just starting to experience the joys of life; cars, girls and Nintendo 64. Thats right, things were real good back then. My good friend, LeslieStar was working at a local Italian joint, Anton's Pasta. She has since insisted on many occasions that I had to eat there because it was an amazing dining experience. Of course the stubborn friend that I am, I ignored her for ages and whenever it was brought up, it just never panned out. But last night the stars aligned and the moon was just right. I finally ate at Anton's.

Now first off, I have to reiterate that there has been 14 years of build up on this meal, so I had to force myself to keep expectations at a normal level. Not an easy feat I can tell ya that much. Also note that this was intended as a simple review... but if you look hard enough you'll see that your about to read a book!

So we managed to find curbside parking at about 1820 o'clock (take the 18 part, minus 12 and your left with 6... 6:20pm... keep up people!) and get into the outside line only moments later. Since the restaurant is small, with a high demand, there is almost always a line during prime hours. LeslieStar told me that the wait was going to be around 45 minutes. The amusing part of the line was that you were right in front of the restaurant windows, so you could see all the people... chewing, tasting, swallowing, licking their lips and smiling. Waiting in line was a lot like an appetizer, or a peep-show depending on how hungry you are! Once you get in the doors of the resturant you are sitting or standing in a cozy waiting area where you can hear the clinking and clanking of dishes and really smell the food. At this point you can really see that portion sizes are not normal (more on this later).

After only a few minutes in the waiting area, the host approached and asked if the 3 of us would like to seat early as a 2 seater table had opened. We passed and the 3 people behind us took the offer for no elbow room. About 5 minutes later, a 4 seater opened and we were seated. Before I even opened the menu, I knew that I wanted some kind of tomato sauce, meat filled monstrosity that would satisfy even the biggest carb craving protein machine. I looked and quickly found the Penne Alla Calabrese. My wife decided on the Fettucini Alfredo and LeslieStar got the Gnocchi Cardinale. My wife asked me to order for her if the server came, as she decided to inspect the washrooms (she had to pee). A minute or so later the server attended and asked if we wanted any drinks to start. Myself and LeslieStar ordered but my wife had not yet returned. The server started to leave when I stopped him to give my wifes drink selection. The server advised me that he had already taken her order a few moments earlier while she was walking away from the table. This seemed extremely odd to me because I have never heard of that happening before. It was probably the best example of intimate customer service I have ever seen. The server was actually paying enough attention to our table, that he knew she had already been seated, and would rather have her drink ordered immediatley, then have to wait until her return. Obviously I could have just ordered for her, but what if she hadn't told me or it was something specific. Ian awards 1 point for outstanding service.

We got our food about 15-20 after we ordered. I would normally find this an average wait for 3 pasta dishes. However, if you could see the amount of food on each plate, you would be as amazed as I was. Based on the portion sizes alone, I would have been more than satisfied (sounds dirty doesn't it) if I had to wait 30-40 minutes for the food. They were literally full size oval dinner plates, heaping with pasta. Probably 3 times the amount you would get at a place like Boston Pizza. 10 times the amount of food that I got at Milestones! Ian awards 1 point for obese portion sizes.

With a wait time of 45 minutes, an order time of around 10 minutes and a prep time of about 20.. we're at 1 hour and 15 minutes to get our food... which tasted... mind blastingLeslieStar tells me that the pasta noodles are actually made in house and let me tell you, everything was super fresh. They could have been growing the tomatoes on the back patio for all I know. The pasta was loaded with Italian sausage and it was great! I am convinced that it I pushed myself hard, I could have eaten it all, but I didn't. I'm trying to avoid getting any fatter and I wanted leftovers for today. I'm going to say that I ate around half of it and was at a comfortable fullness. I sampled a taste of the other pastas on the table and was impressed as they were equally as good as mine. We also had a house salad, garlic bread and the tiramisu before the excursion was over. Anton's provided free buns and butter, which we didn't eat, but they still packed it up for us. Ian awards 1 point for overall food taste and quality.

Another very important note was that most of the pastas on the menu were $15.50. Obviously a few were more and a few less, but for the most part the prices were consistent. However with the food being so good, and the portion sizes being gargantuan... Ian awards 1 point for food value.

We paid the bill with Visa (as there was no debit offered) and left. I left more than a 10% tip, so if you've been paying attention to my blog, you know that the service exceeded my expectations. Overall I have awarded Anton's Pasta 4 points total. This may not seem like a lot of points, and as of now I've only done 1 other review so there is little to compare it to. With this revolutionary, custom, patented, trade marked points system that I developed myself... 4 is better than 3 and obviously better than 1. Does that make sense? Don't get my points confused with stars, I don't do stars!

I've typed more than enough here so just take it from me, it was worth waiting for and I will certainly go back again in the not so distant future. Eat there!

Anton's Pasta Bar on Urbanspoon

IaN




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