I’m happy to have Tio Wally (long-time Me So Hungry reader) aboard to send in his eating adventures from across America. Here he is in Edwardsville, Illinois.
Fazoli’s is a chain of fast-food Italian restaurants scattered nationwide. I’ve eaten at a few of them over the years and the food has been good but it’s not going to win any Michelin stars.
Because it’s yet another chain designed to appeal to the widest possible audience the food is fairly bland. So much so that even a generous treatment of hot pepper flakes will do little of change it. But the food at Fazoli’s isn’t bad per se, it just lacks discernible character.
This is no surprise, of course. As my brother, a bona fide chef, has told me many times: “The more regions a place serves the blander the food is going to be because it’s trying to appeal to the most people possible.” He has also pointed out, accurately, that “the more menu items any (fast food) place offers the worse the food will be.” He would know this little cooking-for-the-masses fact as he started his culinary career aboard an aircraft carrier feeding 5,000 hungry sailors three meals-a-day. This also may explain why he’s a big fan of In-N-Out® Burger, whose menu I once took a full two seconds to memorize.
Fazoli’s most recent promotion has been baked spaghetti for $3.99, which can be topped with chicken, meatballs or sausage and peppers for an additional $1.49. As always I got the sausage and peppers.
It’s a decent-size dish of baked spaghetti covered with a generous amount of mozzarella cheese. It wasn’t bad although the Italian sausage can always be spicier for me. It’s served with a couple of fresh-baked, buttery garlic breadsticks that are pretty good. If you dine in they’ll give you as many breadsticks as you want.
The beauty of Fazoli’s is that it’s fast, reasonably priced and consistant. It’s actually a great value for the price, and you don’t have to spend an hour or more in an Italian eatery to get a pasta fix. Plus, you can often park a land yacht nearby. Accessibility can be quite important, you know, especially if you’re hungry.
And so we roll.
Tio Wally pilots the 75-foot, 40-ton(max) land yacht SS Me So Hungry. He reports on road food from around the country whenever parking and InterTube connections permit.