I heart Maggiano’s!

Before I talk about Maggiano’s, I want to share two of the places we ate in the-middle-of-nowhere Illinois a.k.a. Christopher’s hometown. 😉

chenoa family restaurantWe’ll start with Chenoa Family Restaurant. Chenoa was the closest town (of you know, 1800 people) to where Christopher grew up. It’s 30 minutes outside Bloomington, Illinois. So when I say “the middle of nowhere” I’m not kidding. But people who live in the countryside are extra friendly and always curious about new faces. We had great service here and the food was yummy. The bean soup wasn’t asthetically pleasing (top right picture), but it tasted good. And my burger was literally the biggest burger patty I’ve ever eaten (it was like a burger steak – crazy huge!). And their bacon is crisped perfectly. I’m particular about my bacon so that’s saying a lot, haha!

Chenoa Family Restaurant on Urbanspoon

green gardenWe also ate at The Green Garden in Gridley. We ate “lunch” here at 3pm after working hard at the storage unit all day so I’m pretty sure dirt would’ve tasted good at this point, but it really was all delicious! The chicken noodle soup was especially yummy! My BLT club is the exact same thing I ordered 5 years ago, the first time I ate at this restaurant. I didn’t remember it until it came out and when I saw it, I was like “wait a minute! I’ve eaten this before!” Ha!

Green Garden Restaurant on Urbanspoon
Side note: During Thanksgiving 5 years ago, The Green Garden was actually the place where I found out that twins and triplets run in Christopher’s family. Also that he and his brother were nearly 10 pound babies. Naturally my mother-in-law waited until after we were married before delivering this news. 😉 I may have had a slight heart attack, but whatever, bring on the 10lb triplets! 😛

maggianosAnd then… there was Maggiano’s! This particular location is actually in St. Louis which is on the route between Memphis and Bloomington, IL. We stopped on the way to Illinois and on the way home! You might not know it from how often we are at Starbucks, but in general we are local restaurant eaters. We like to support local business plus in general, we think that food at hole-in-the-wall places just tastes better. And the service is usually better too. Maggiano’s is a chain. And yet they have my absolute favorite spaghetti and meatball (yes, just one meatball, ha) at a restaurant in the United States. That’s big talk because I have eaten a lot of spaghetti in the USA. You guys, it is that good!

maggianosOh, and did I mention that some of their meals are “eat one today, take one home”? Um yeah. For $13 you get two FULL meals. Except that really each portion is enormous so really you are getting FOUR entire meals for $13 or $15. Can I hear winner winner spaghetti dinner? I always get the spaghetti and meatball. And I request it as my take home meal as well. Christopher is always trying something new (and I always try his and it’s delicious, but still never as good as my spaghetti) and he normally gets a different take home meal than the one he ate in the restaurant. But all their food is good so that’s totally understandable.

maggianosThis was Christopher’s Rigatoni “D” that he ordered in the restaurant (he brought lasagna home). It’s rigatoni pasta, herb-roasted chicken, mushrooms and caramelized onions, tossed in a Marsala cream sauce. Um yeah. It was delicious.

spaghetti from maggianosAnd this my friends, is my Spaghetti and Meatball. Um, yes. Best thing ever. No joke, this rivals a couple of the meals we had in Italy. It is that good. I just wish their were a Maggiano’s in Memphis. The closest one is 3 hours away in Nashville (and the second closest is this location, 4 hours away in St Louis). So no surprised that we stopped on the way up there and on the way back. 😀

maggiano'sOur take home bag of leftovers and second meals from Maggiano’s! Oh SO much food and it’s all SO good!

Maggiano's Little Italy on Urbanspoon

So, if you are lucky enough to live in a city with a Maggiano’s and you’ve never been. Please go. Do it for me. For yourself. For freedom! Okay, wait, a little carried away there for a moment. But really, it’s wonderful!

Do twins run in your family? Any big babies out there? (I was an 8 pounder)
Have you ever been to Maggiano’s? 

Do you secretly (or openly) love any specific chain restaurant?
Love Rach

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27 responses to “I heart Maggiano’s!

  1. That spaghetti does look delicious! I have never had spaghetti and meatball(s) before. I have only had meat sauce or marinara. The eat one take one sounds like the best idea ever! I wish places in Tuscaloosa did that!

  2. I would cry if I found out i was pregnant with multiples. I mean it’s a blessing but if it were I would cry lol… especially 3 or more.

    You can never ever go wrong with a yummy pasta dinner.

  3. It’s only 10:30 AM and now i’m craving pasta! Ohhhh goodness that looks good! We had a date at Maggiano’s last year and it was oh, so good!

  4. girl I do too!
    I just ate there a few weeks ago (when we were in florida) and DELICIOUS!!! and such huge dang portions!

  5. Yes, yes, YES, yes, YES!!!! Ha, ha. Maggiano’s is one of me and Nate’s all-time FAVORITE Italian restaurants EVER! There is one in Boston, and we almost always go there for dinner if we’re looking for a nice evening in the city. (It’s kind of sad, because there are a ton of non-chain restaurants in Boston that are probably really good. And we have tried some of them and enjoyed them… But we always find ourselves going back to Maggiano’s, because we are guaranteed a delicious Italian meal). Sooo yummy!!! I’ve totally ordered the spaghetti and meatball before, and it is to-die-for. AND I am now officially craving it. Ha, ha!!! Hmmmm, I think this pregnant lady has some Maggiano’s in her near future! 😉

    • Ahhhh! I love that you love Maggiano’s! I know you have good taste with your love for Target and Starbucks and stripes and the beach, but now we have just one more thing in common! This makes me all kinds of happy. 🙂

  6. If I wasn’t hungry before this post, I certainly am now. That meatball dish looks insane. Like, I want to reach through the screen and grab it. So good!

  7. The triplets that are ten pounds made me laugh! This food looks amazing and it is a great deal!

  8. We have Maggiano’s here! And this definitely makes me want to go asap! I also love these middle of nowhere eats you posted. Love me some middle of nowhere eats. 😉

  9. Ummm, Maggiano’s sounds amazing. I’m all about that two for one thing…I’ve never heard of any restaurant doing that! And Christopher’s hometown sounds like Steve’s…people can tell if you’re new right away, and they want to know more 🙂

    • It is SO good! If you are ever near one, you need to try it out! And small towns have such a different feel to them. It’s funny to know that people are staring at you wondering who you are and why you’re there. 😉

  10. i love it there too and they do make good spaghetti!!

  11. my sister got married in bloomington, illinois! small world, but her husband grew up there, and even though they met in arizona, everyone trekked up for the wedding 🙂 and 10lb triplets? oy vey little lady – get prepared!

  12. I LOVE Maggiano’s!! Sadly, the closest one to our house is about 1 1/2 hrs. away.

  13. That Rigatoni D. My mouth is watering. So hungry!! That looks delicious!

  14. Pingback: So. Much. Good. Food. |

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