I was in the mood for “traditional” Italian food last night, so after perusing several online menus, I decided to visit a restaurant I had frequented quite often for their fabulous food and salad bar when I lived here over a decade ago; mostly because they were a known quantity (or at least I thought), and it was fairly close to my hotel.
After checking out the Larry’s II online menu, I decided on the Cheese Ravioli ($8.99) with an add-on of Italian Sausage ($2.59) and 2 meatballs ($1.59). The reason I chose this dish above the others was that it was chock full of local ingredients – the ravioli was made by Gardella’s Homemade Ravioli Company in Vineland, and the sweet sausage was made by Marcacci Meats. The problems with this dish didn’t fall with any of those ingredients – it was the overall package. The ravioli was good, as South Jersey ravioli usually is, but the marinara had a dish-soapy taste to it, and the meatballs had odd seasoning and texture to them, almost as if they were mostly filler and very little meat. The sausage suffered from its preparation – it was cut lengthwise and grilled and blackened, which dried it out completely. If I hadn’t spent $13+ on this dish, I probably would have chucked it. It didn’t photograph too well either, so it actually was about as appetizing as it looks (chuckle)!
Also, the menu offers the choice of salad bar or soup, but as a takeout customer, I was given no such choice – my only option was salad, and it was made as they wanted to make it. I would have prefered the soup, as the salad went to waste as I don’t really enjoy olives and this was chock full of them, and to add insult to injury, the lettuce was limp.
Will I go back? Probably not. The prices have gone up (naturally), and the quality of the food has gone down. Even their once glorious salad bar has been downsized. Chalk this one up to a lesson learned.
If you’d like to go: Larry’s II, 907 N. Main Rd, Vineland, NJ 856.692.9001