Mario's Kitchen is an authentic family-style restaurant offering dine-in and take-out pizza, pasta and other Italian inspired dishes in Tsawwassen.
Saturday, August 6, we went to Tsawwassen for an event. Before we went, we googled to find a nice place for lunch. We found this place which had very nice reviews. We ordered pizza to go online and were expecting a nice time on the beach that day.
When I went to pick up at 11am, the order was not ready, so while waiting, I ordered a soup (bowl size, not a cup, after the waitress explained to me the size difference) to go as well.
Okay, after we got to the beach and ready to enjoy, we found out that, first, there was no napkins packed, at all. Well, I can manage that, I guess. But please be warned that the pizza was greasy, so it was a bit messy to eat it with my tissues.
Then, when I looked into the paper bag for the soup, I saw a tiny white paper cup with lid, like the small size Haagen Dazs ice cream. Hummm, I thought I ordered and paid $8+ for a bowl size soup!!!!! Curious, what kind of container they use to put their cup size soup in?? Maybe next time you should ask to see the actual containers for bowl and/or cup size soup before you order!
And, the roasted red pepper soup WAS ICY COLD! I wished it was an ice cream! The soup I ordered from a restaurant was directly from fridge!??!!! It looked like a cup of ketchup! And, another BIG AND, no spoon!!!!
I called the restaurant right away, no one picked up the call. Maybe too busy?
Not sure how other people can have such a nice review, but we honestly have to persuade ourselves to think those are genuine reviews from authentic purchasers.
We decided to give Mario's a try while were out in the Tswassen area the other day. We were greeted at the door and quickly shown to a table. Service was decent, not overly friendly but definitely attentive and acceptable. My husband and I decided to share an appy and a pasta dish. The bruschetta was okay, our only complaInt was the bread they served it on, typical pre-made garlic bread. The tomato mixture sort of made it soggy. When I think of a good bruschetta I think of a quality, crusty, grilled, Italian bread, not the garlic bread you's expect to be served at Pizza Hut. Topping was good though. We split the Four Cheese Tortellini in a Sundried Tomato Garlic Cream Sauce, Chicken on the side, as I'm a vegetarian. The dish was acceptable, we really appreciated them splitting the dish (two seperate bowls) for us. Needed a bit of salt and pepper, but okay. Chicken breast was nicely grilled and sliced. We found the price of the Sangria to be quite high ($6.99 a glass) as the glass was 3/4 full of ice. Not a bad dining experience, we would probably give it another try if in the area.
The success of Mario's has always been dependent on (go figure) Mario. Others have come and gone but Mario has always returned. Interestingly enough, there is now a new owner that might just make it work. He comes with twenty five years of experience at working in some VERY top end restaurants ( Joe Fortes to name one). It should be interesting if he can be as hands on and as "present" at the front door as Mario was, deliver the same quality food with some new surprises, and employ staff that seems glad to be there. If his warm welcome today is any indication, I think he is going to make a go of it and I am looking forward to seeing some "Vancouver expertise" and some QUALITY food come to our corner of the world. Should be interesting.
To all people who have had a bad experience at Mario's,
Do not worry mr. Mario himself has bought back the restaurant and is currently revamping the whole place. He has taken over because of reviews like the one below. I assure you mr. Mario is doing everything inhis power to regain an honorable reputation. If there are any people who have been to Mario's and had a bad experience before I urge you to try it again. This time you won't be disappointed.
When Mario's first opened, we couldn't go often enough. The food was fresh, inventive and tasty. The service, led by the eponymous Mario, was excellent. Mario, who formerly ran the now-defunct Reo's in Tsawwassen, was almost always at the door, greeting and seating people. He seemed to infuse the entire service team with a certain degree of warmth and enthusiasm.
Sadly, he hasn't been around lately and it shows. (I wonder if he's sold and it's just not widely known.) The service and the food seems to have taken a header in the past half-year or so. The staff is often seen chatting and joking with each other, rather than paying attention to the patrons. Sometimes, you can't even tell if there's a manager on duty.
The food has become extremely inconsistent. Mushroom caps, which used to be my favourite appetizer at Mario's have come to the table over-cooked and watery on our last two visits. The pasta (a favourite of my husband) often comes swimming in sauce or overly salty. On another occasion, we arrived around 5:30-ish and ordered drinks before dinner. When the waitress brought us our drinks, they didn't taste anything like they should have. When we told the waitress there was something wrong with them, she apologized profusely saying that there wasn't bar person on yet, and said that she'd had to mix them even though she'd never done it before. She'd literally had to look up the recipe. She took them back and tracked down the manager who mixed new drinks for us. We felt badly for the waitress, as it wasn't her fault she'd been put in that position.
Mario's has gone from being one of our favourite Tsawwassen restaurants to being one that we probably won't go back to (at least for a very long time).
We came here twice last week.
We hadnt been back in a couple of years as bad service and horrible food kept us away. Not to mention unprofessional gestures from the manager.
We decided to go on a thursday night. When we walked in, it looked different, we were greeted right away and our server was great. She was knowledgeable about the menu and even helped my boyfriend decide what he should eat since he is so indecisive. The menu was 'back' Spinach Dip! Yay. The food was fantastic and definately worth the value!! We were so impressed.
On our second visit, we met the one and only "MARIO" Wow, what a fantastic guy. He has a passion so great for his restaurant, you can feel it!! He welcomed us with open arms.
Our server Matt whom we had couple years back, was still there too! Still the funny comedian that he was and is! Very professional.
I do have to make a comment on their 'hawaiian shirts' though, a tad bit cheesy....
If you had been avoiding Mario's due to their past Management and menu, all I have to say is "MARIO IS BACK",
Nothing special when it comes to their menu but for quality, consistent food, its a good choice. I usually have their Asian spring rolls to start which come with a wonderful sweet n' sour dipping sauce. For the main course I stick to their mushroom burger with steak fries. Very filling for the price you pay. Great casual restaurant in the Tsawwassen area.
I have dined in twice since Mario re-opened in February. Everything is as it should be under his experienced management.
It's time for the regulars who drifted away or those new to town, to try it out. You will be pleasantly surprised and leave happy.
The food is flavourful and portions generous. The bruchetta is a top recommendation of mine. The calamari is easy to share for 3. My husband had the to-die-for ribs and I had one of the special burgers. I really like the bean and corn salad as a side dish. And the yam fries were great.
Our waitress was attentive, the service quick. She had a great personality and made sure everything was to our liking. Her sense of humour was fun!
The restaurent itself has had a spruce up, the booths are all re-done I think. It just feels like Mario is back in charge which he is.
Mario and his wife Brenda are at the front of the house extending their warm hospitality.
They are opening for lunch as of April 9th I was told.
My wife and I decided to take a side trip into Tsawwassen for a bite to eat after disembarking the Ferry.
Not knowing the area at all or it's various restaurants we saw the sign for Mario's Kitchen and decided to give it a try. What a dreadful mistake.
Upon entry we were greeted and directed to a booth in a timely and courteous manner. It didn't take long for a waitress to appear and bring menus and take our drink orders. I ordered camomile tea and my wife ordered regular tea. So far so good. Our waitress returned in a few minutes to inform me that there was no camomile tea and offered several other choices. Not perturbed at all I chose green tea.The tea arrived with the pots being full of very hot water. That in itself was unusual in a restaurant and much appreciated. My wife wasn't hungry but thought she might share some of the calamari appetizer I chose. For the main course I selected Cajun Linguine at the recommendation of our waitress.
Both dishes arrived at the same time even though the calamari was offered as a starter.The calamari was very tender but the coating was soggy with oil. The linguine was OK but came served with two spoons.No other cutlery had been delivered to our table. It was not our waitress who delivered the food but then who's to say how they operate.There was not a napkin to be seen. A different waitress was serving the booths near us so I asked her to please bring me a fork which she did. She did not ask if there was anything else we needed but quickly turned and walked away. We proceeded to begin eating. The soggy battered calamari we consumed as finger-food. I made my way 1/2 way through the linguine which was accompanied by a slice of poorly disguised garlic bread. At this point we're at least ten minutes into our meal as I am a slow eater. All the while my fingers are covered in greasy oil from the soggy calamari. Without a napkin to wipe my hands on the cutlery and tea cup became greasy and uncomfortable to handle but I forged ahead anyway. The second waitress ( not ours ) was being attentive to her charges as should be but totally ignored us. Finally after I laid my fork down our waitress re-appeared and asked if everything was OK. I very emphatically told her no and I would appreciate some napkins. She quickly disappeared and returned with requested fair. I was mad and told her so. I demanded the bill which she brought and seemed to be unable to get away from us fast enough.
We got up and took our bill to the cashier. I asked to speak to the manager and was directed to a young woman who ( when I asked her if she was the manager) replied that she could be if I wanted her to be.
I shouted at her asking what the h--- that was supposed to mean. Was she the manager or not?
She asked me to keep my voice down and that she did not have to speak to me if I was using that tone of voice. I told her I would continue to speak loudly so that the other customers could hear what a shoddy place Mario's is.
As all this was taking place there was another lady at the cashier who was also having a very bad experience.
Would I go back to Mario's Kitchen? Not for all the money in the world!
Would I recommend Mario's Kitchen as a place to go? Not even to my worst enemy! Well maybe.....Certainly not any friend or stranger.
Would I dis Mario's Kitchen? Absolutely, resolutely and completely
What a horrible experience.
Not getting hungry until around Delta, we stopped at Mario's Kitchen, which we thought was Italian (and which we settled on because the Indian restaurant in the mini-mall was closed for lunch). We were surprised when the menu turned up an eclectic mix including jambalaya pasta and Mediterranean chicken burgers and, the special of the day, barbequed chicken quesadillas served with Caesar salad (of sorts). We decided up the stuffed mushroom caps as an appetizer and, chain restaurant or not, this was a huge hit for both of us. The barbequed chicken quesadillas were stuffed with chicken, but was overly sweet. The accompanying salsa was watery and resembled a slightly spicy ketchup more than a pico de gallo. Not something we'd order again even as a special. Our Caesar salads were tasty, but consisted of lettuce, croutons, and parmesan with lemon on the side. Who ever heard of a Caesar salad without at least tomatoes - and if not olives, mozzarella, onion, and possibly pieces of prosciutto or salami? [We wondered if BC were in the midst of a tomato shortage or something...] My Mediterranean beef burger (cheaper than chicken and my personal favorite) resembled a gyro on a bun and was extremely tasty indeed. We switched halfway through as my husband had been craving Greek food - and he snarfed the remaining burger up in around three bites! We were a bit taken back when our bill (he'd also had root beer) was more than our previous night's dinner for two at Kimono at almost $30. Other observations: another group who had arrived after us got their food before we did and most of the folks were retirement age (although we figured that was mainly due to it being 2ish on a weekday).
Mario's has quickly become my favourite restaurant in Tsawwassen. I usually eat there once or twice a week(and I live in Vancouver) and I have no complaints--only praises. The food is great and the staff is always on top of their game. I'd recommend this restaurant to anyone looking for a great restaurant in the Delta area.