Review: Gambino Brothers

At first glance Gambino Brothers looks like a great little neighborhood Italian place.  The buzz on Gambino’s is how fun a place it is on Friday and Saturday nights.   However, reality is a cruel bitch.

One Friday night after work a friend and I stopped in to give the place a try.  We both had spied the sign there on Hillcrest Road for many years and the reputation had been pretty good.  Every other restaurant on the block was packed to the gills but Gambino’s was nearly empty.

For those of you who want to gauge a place before trying it check the lobby on Friday night.  There is no reason an Italian restaurant should be slow on a busy Friday unless . . .

The service was neither prompt nor friendly.  In fact, we got the feeling that we were in the way, a nuisance.  There was a definite negative vibe among the staff almost like we had walked in on mom and dad in the middle of a big argument.  When our server brought us the pre-dinner basket of Walmart bread sticks he dropped one on the bar in front of me and said, “you can still eat that,” while picking it up with his fingers and throwing it back in the basket.

My friend had the bruschetta topped with pesto and cheese.  I tried one piece and had to cover up the bitter (and possibly spoiled) pesto with gobs of marinara from my Italian meat feast.  My friend only ate one piece as well.  The pesto had robbed him of appetite.

My dinner was better.  The meatballs were good, the veal Parmesan was overcooked but edible, the Italian sausage had clearly been cooked hours before but used anyway and finally the chicken Parmesan was actually a pre-cooked, frozen piece of processed grilled breast meat.  The marinara was good with ample tang from red wine vinegar and sufficiently covered up the many bad flavors on the plate.

I cannot recommend Gambino Brothers to anyone.  Poor service aside, I simply cannot endorse Italian food that does not taste like homemade.  Perhaps the staff can rally and turn the place around but for now it is obvious they have lost interest.

Gambino Brothers
873 Hillcrest Rd.
Mobile, AL 36695

~ by Stuart Reb Donald on March 9, 2009.

2 Responses to “Review: Gambino Brothers”

  1. Sounds like a mediocre Italian place. With so many great Italian food places this will soon be out of business.

  2. Stu, with a name like Gambino Bros, I would be afraid to give it a bad review. I hope there isn’t a hit out on you now. I’ll pray for you, my brother!

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