There soooo many Italian places in the South Florida area. It’s like toss a stone and you are sure to hit one. The problem is, not all of them are good. Mama Mia in the popular Hollywood Circle is better than the majority.
Hollywood Circle is smack-dab in the middle of Rte 1, the most traveled road in Florida I believe. It’s a very scenic route that takes you through all of the popular stops in the state. It’s a much more enjoyable ride than I-95.
Within the Hollywood Circle are several great places to eat and shop. We were all in the mood for Italian the day of this adventure, so when we spied Mama Mia, we pulled in. That is to say, we tried to pull in. You see, being in a circle, parking is really tight and hard to find. Mama Mia hasn’t got its own parking lot. So, we finally found a suitable spot back a block on a side street and walked back around to the circle. Not a bad walk at all.
There is outside seating here where you are free to people watch and smoke to your heart’s content, but it was drizzly that day so we sat in the dining room. Inside is all non-smoking due to this being in Florida, one of a few states who are just filled to the brim with ignorant people who buy into every stat tossed their way and feel the need to impose their ignorance on everyone around them. ahem.
At any rate, the dining room is very nice. The walls are textured and antiqued with Roman columns tossed in for effect. Nice feel to the place, for sure… until you glance up at one of the numerous TVs and see what’s on. Rap. Yes, that is correct. Every TV in the place was set to some station playing rap videos. No. That isn’t right at all… upon closer inspection we find that this is not a station at all. It’s a tape. This display was on purpose. Rap in an Italian joint? You have gotta be kidding me… and it isn’t like that was catering to their particular clientele either. The majority of the patrons in here were over 50 white folks dressed to the nines. Strange.
Still. The TVs were more of an amusement to us than an irritant. One of the guys who work with Lars even tried to rap his order to the waiter. Ever hear a Swede try to rap? It ain’t pretty. The waiter was sufficiently unimpressed. I, however, was rolling with laughter.
Between the 3 of us we ordered Lasagna, Fettuccine Alfredo, and 3-Cheese Tortellini. A basket of bread was placed in a basket which sat on top of this wire dealy, with oils and butter under that. The bread was warm ad very, very good.
The Lasagna was much better than expected at a mere $10.95. We were here during the end of the lunch time crowd though so dinner prices may be higher. It was a generous portion though and the bite I stole was very flavorful. Yummy even.
My Fettuccine Alfredo was a little disappointing though. This one was also $10.95 for a giant bowl-full. I am an Alfredo sauce freak, but this one was just a tad runny. I like my sauce thick so it sticks to the noodles, yanno? It wasn’t horrible, mind you, but it was not as good as others I’ve tried in the US… yet better than most in So Florida. Let’s leave it at passable plus for the price.
Lars liked his $12.95 Tortellini a great deal and ate every last drop of that huge serving, then sopped up the remaining sauce with his bread. I’m not a bit Tortellini fan myself, except for when he makes it back home. This one did not compare to his in my eyes, but he loved it. It was good… just not as good as I have had in the past.
Mama Mia’s also has a full wine & beer bar, with Heineken running $3.75 and some Absolut drink running $6-something (the receipt is fading.)
There is a separate children’s menu here, and Vegetarians might find the Eggplant Rollatini to their liking. It is described as Baked Eggplant With Basil And Roasted Garlic, Ricotta, Fresh Mozzarella, Crushed Tomatoes And Marinara Tossed Linguine.
The waiter was a bit slow, but not terribly so. He was very upbeat and friendly, so any slowness and forgotten drink refills were met with grace by us.
I’m going with 3 stars for Mama Mia. Food-wise, compared to many other Italian spots down here, it is a 4 star place… but that rap on the TVs has really got to go.
1818 South Young Circle
Hollywood, FL 33020