After picking up DT (we'll call him Rich Guy from now on) from the airport today, I made the long trek from Richmond to Coquitlam. For my troubles, he gave me a really big bag of Cornick. I looked at it all confused. What the heck is Cornick? The only other Filipino snack I am familiar with is Clover chips (which rock by the way). It turns out Cornick is somewhat similar to Corn Nuts; but they are not as hard. Not wasting a second, I dug into the bag and I couldn't stop eating it. Rich Guy suggested I save some for Viv. I promised that I would try. One side effect of eating too much Cornick is that you'll have garlic breath that's radioactive! Having just returned from a really long flight from the Philippines, I figured Rich Guy would not have anything at home to eat for dinner. Mind you, even if he did, he'd probably still go out to eat. Right there and then, we decided to meet for dinner at Pasta Polo in Coquitlam. On my way to Pasta Polo, I saw the sign right on Lougheed at Lansdowne; however, when I turned in, I totally missed the entrance. If you look at the picture, you'd miss it too. The main door reminds me of a nightclub.
We decided to get a variety of dishes which included Mussels Marinara, Avocado & Shrimp Salad, Italian Sausage Penne, Meatballs Florentine with Linguine and a kid's Pepperoni Pizza. Arriving steaming hot, the mussels rested on a white wine marinara sauce. Each one of the sweet mussels were open, welcoming in the broth. Stunningly colourful, the salad arrived with a bevy of greens, avocado, shrimp, strawberries, tomatoes, kiwi fruit and prawns. Wild berry herb dressing and mozza toast was served on the side. I realize it's difficult to get excited about a salad; but this one was a winner. After the first 2 dishes, the food so far was very good; yet, surprisingly, once the pastas arrived, the meal began to fall flat.
Both pastas were served on deep dish plates; thus, there was more pasta than met the eye. Incidentally, all the pastas are organic and freshly made. We found the Meatball Florentine with Linguine a bit bland. Although there was plenty of fresh tomato flavour; there wasn't much else. Moreover, the linguine itself was a bit mushy. However, the meatballs were pretty good being packed with lean meat and spinach. Conversely, where the linguine fell flat, the Italian Sausage Penne was a bit more flavourful. There was a bit of spice to the sauce due to the spicy sausage, peppers and onion. But yet again, the sauce still managed to be a bit bland and the pasta was a bit soft. The texture really didn't make me want to eat more of it.
Where the pasta fell flat, the pizza did not. Since my son is not a big eater, we all sampled his pizza and it was pretty good. The thin crust was crunchy and not oily at all. Taste wise, it had just enough sauce and there was plenty of mozzarella cheese. I went away from the dinner at Pasta Polo a bit conflicted. Many people have recommended this place to me; yet I wasn't blown away. Did I have unrealistic expectations? I had asked Rich Guy and Viv during the meal about their thoughts. Both thought it was okay, but nothing really incredible. When I'm on the fence regarding a restaurant, I ask myself - did I want to eat more of the food? The answer was: "some of it". I did want to eat some more Cornick though... Therefore, I'll file this under the indifferent category.
- Very reasonable prices
- Friendly service
- Some good dishes
- Pasta was far from al dente
- Pasta sauces were a bit weak/bland