*UPDATE* 02.27.2010 - I got takeout tonight and was informed that their portions have decreased while charging the same price. They claim to have "more" ingredients now. Yes, the portions were significantly smaller with no evidence of more ingredients. Also, the pasta was softer than mash potatoes. In my opinion, this is a recipe for disaster. If they don't get their act together, I can't see how they will continue to survive.
I can remember going to Anducci's quite a lot during my University days. Face it, I had a really big appetite and Anducci's satisfied it. Of course there are better choices than Anducci's when it comes to pasta; however, similar to how people can put up with Anton's and Old Spaghetti Factory, I personally don't mind Anducci's. It's not completely authentic when compared to true Italian eateries; but if you can accept it for what it is, it's alright. One things for sure, the once affordable prices since my University days have crept up close to $20.00 for dinner portions. There are several locations in the GVRD, 2 in Burnaby and 1 in Surrey. One consistent thing about Anducci's is it's inconsistency. Portion size, food quality, complimentary focaccia (or sometimes not) and service are highly unpredictable (this is over a 16 year period that I've eaten at this place). It can be wonderful and it can be downright awful. Compared to Anton's, the portions at Anducci's are not as large; yet they are still not small. However, any lack of quantity is made up with substance. I feel that Anducci's tastes better than Anton's. Also, it appears that there is more ingredients accompanying the pasta.
Talking about inconsistency, for the longest time, the Focaccia bread at Anducci's was complimentary. Moreover, it was pretty good, topped with Parmesan, EVOO (extra virgin olive oil, damn, my inner Rachel Ray is coming out!) and balsamic vinegar. Then all of a sudden, they began charging $1.00 for it. In addition, it seems to morph from long strips, to cubes and today - half circles (now it's free again). Service is very inconsistent, ranging from very good, to slow and indifferent. Today, it was pretty good, lucky for us. We started with the Cattiva Diva salad which consists of spring mix, corn, artichoke hearts, cherry tomatoes, avocado and dried cranberries. Taste-wise, there are a good combination of flavours at work; but they are all but destroyed by the copious amount of dressing. They really should put it on the side.
We ordered 2 pastas, the Carnivore King with Linguine and Pollo & Basilico with Ziti. Both were done al dente with just enough sauce. You'll find that the sauces at Anducci's a bit sweeter than authentic pasta bars. To the connoisseur, this might offend; but I'm not a big fan of really tart pasta sauces, so it's alright with me. As you can see in the pictures, there is no shortage of sausage, capicollo and meatball in the Carnivore King. Suffice to say, it's difficult to finish the whole plate of pasta. I suggest that sharing a few plates among friends as the best idea.
We've eaten a few times at Anducci's with my friend Italian Stallion, who is Italian (hence the name). Although he agrees that no pasta joint is as good as how his mom makes it, Anducci's is not bad. He says that there isn't the same love and care like homemade pasta and sauce. Let's face it, no restaurant can replicate that.
- Plenty of ingredients
- Lots of sauce choices
- Service and food quality are not consistent
- Not really all that authentic
- Small portions