Luigi’s has been at this location forever, yet this was the first time since I was a child that I went to give it a shot. I rarely order anything but Chinese anymore, just because I have grown tired of being continually disappointed (I even make my own pizza now). This experience was a mixed bag, bordering on positive, but it does not do enough to change that sentiment. It was a Friday night and I did not feel like cooking. I called to order a chicken parm dinner, but I wanted vodka sauce instead of the normal marinara. A lot of places have this as an option now or will make it upon request. When I asked if this could be done, the person taking the order on the phone just did not understand what I meant. I repeated myself, and after trying to find the substitution button on the computer, he said, “Do you want penne vodka with chicken instead?” When I said no, that I wanted the normal parm dinner, just done with vodka sauce, he then added again, “We can just make you penne vodka with chicken and put cheese on it. How about that?” When I was getting ready to just nix the order altogether, he said he would write it down and make sure the cooks in the back understood. I didn’t know this was going to be a big deal.
Justin got a Chicken Marsala dinner while my mom had the “Uncle Vito” sandwich, which was a sub consisting of chicken cutlets, arugula, prosciutto, mozzarella, and a balsamic vinaigrette. The menu stated this came with a cucumber-tomato salad and fries. I also requested an order of arancini. We waited for the delivery.
About an hour later, I received a call from Luigi’s, apologizing that they had run out of the arancini and that our food was on the way. At this point, he asked if I wanted anything instead of the arancini. I said, “How can I order something else if the food already left?” I thought about it for a second and asked if they could just take it off the bill. The food arrived about 10 minutes after this. The driver was apologetic and said that they had deducted the arancini and threw in a complimentary order of mozzarella sticks in their place. This was a wonderful gesture which I appreciated.
As for my meal, well, they gave me a regular chicken parm with a side of penne vodka. Not a big deal, I guess. The vodka sauce bled into the rest of the container so it was like eating virtually the same thing. There was also no up-charge for this switch, which surprised me. The meal itself was above average. While the pasta and that vodka sauce I so badly wanted failed to impress, the chicken was perfectly cooked and the regular sauce was flavorful. The portion was also massive: there appeared to be two medium-sized cutlets and a third one so large that it was folded over. For the price of $12.95, it was a homerun.
My mom’s sandwich was delicious, but they forgot the fries and cucumber-tomato salad. We did not call to complain. Justin’s chicken in his Marsala was fine, though the sauce itself lacked flavor. It was incredibly bland. The next day, when reheating leftovers, I needed to add salt to make it palatable. Win some, lose some.
I am going to have to give Luigi’s a 3 out of 5 stars. Mistakes and that Marsala sauce aside, this was a solid meal. The comped appetizer was a nice touch on what was probably a very busy night for them. Perhaps if their computer system was not so confusing, my order would have been done correctly, but as is the case with everything, God forbid we don’t use technology. Would I order from here again? Possibly, but I’m not in any rush.
Luigi’s Famous Pizza is located at 477 Middle Road in Hazlet, NJ.