Monday, June 27, 2005

Say Cheese!!

I know you have all been waiting for the Mozzarella Stick Review. Well, it's finally here. For those of you who are unaware, Ed and I have been conducting a culinary review of mozzarella sticks around the country. We rate them on their taste and cheese stretchability....the string of cheese that connects your mouth with the stick, as you bite into it and stretccccccccch it.

I usually order by calling them "mootz-a-dell" sticks, pronouncing mozzarella the way my Italian family members pronounced it as I was growing up. But when I'm met with a blank stare by the waitress, which is usually always, I'm forced to say "Uh, cheese sticks. Just bring us some cheese sticks, please." I won't even try saying "marinara" the right way. I'll just stick to the "American" pronunciation of "mare-in-nara".

We order them at almost every restaurant we go to, which probably has quite a bit to do with why my waistband is expanding out here on the road. I should be ordering celery sticks, not cheese sticks. But who, I ask, can pass up fried cheese??

The following are our results, with comments, number of sticks per order and cheese stretchability rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the stretchiest.

* * * * * * MOZZARELLA STICK REVIEW * * * * * *

# of pieces: 6
Stretchability: 5
Comments: Sticks were flat, 1"x3" pcs. Flavorful coating and a nice, tasty marinara.

Ruby Tuesday's
# of pieces: 8
Stretchability: 2
Comments: Flavorful coating, watery marinara.

# of pieces: 6
Stretchability: 4
Comments: Nice, long, cheesy stretch!

# of pieces: 8
Stetchability: 2
Comments: No stretch, had to cut the sticks.

Johnny Carino's
# of pieces: 4
Stretchability: 1
Comments: Although there were only 4 pcs, they were large slabs. The coating was hearty and crunchy, like fresh breadcrumbs and they were sprinkled with grated parmesan cheese. The marinara was spicy and had lots of tomato chunks in it. Excellent.

Bertucci's Brick Oven Pizzaria
# of pieces: 3
Stretchability: 2
Comments: Three half circle shape pieces of cheese, basic coating but served with a nice marinara that contained fresh basil.

# of pieces: 9
Stretchability: 4
Comments: Standard coating, basic marinara.

And the winner is.............

Well, Ed and I have decided that Johnny Carino's has the honor of serving the best Mozzarella Sticks in all our travels. In addition to the fabulous "Italian Countryside" decor of the restaurant, the mozzarella was fresh, the coating tasted as if they had just crumbled up a crusty loaf of Italian bread and the marinara had tasty tomatoes chunked up in it to give it a fresh, hearty taste. Sprinkling these slabs of heaven with freshy grated parmesan put them in the top echelon of all the sticks reviewed.

Not everyone has a Johnny Carino's in their area, so for those of you who don't, our second pick was Denny's.

Believe it or not, on the same menu as the famous "Moon Over My Hammy" is a great order of mozzarella sticks just waiting to be stretched!

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