[info]When? - 18th of July, 2013
Where? - Pacinos Italian Family Restaurant. 300 Epsom Rd, Flemington
Price? - $22.90, $10 Parma Monday
Website? - http://www.pacinos.net.au/
Reviewers – Carly, Dale, Fridge, Lee, Tony S, Stefo[/info]
Never have we tried a pub with a fan base as loyal as Pacinos. I'm a little bit intimidated writing this review as I don't want to piss off the masses and wind up with a brick through my window. You can't turn on the news these days without seeing another report of blog related homicide.
Oh well, I'm leaving the country tomorrow morning, so here goes...
It starting with the voting, on a regular week the results of our facebook poll looks something like this -
Pretty standard, and that is votes collected over the course of seven days.
However when it came to Pacinos, Minutes after I put the poll online, the votes came flooding in, and we ended up with a result that looked like this...
Pretty decisive if you ask me! So it was set. We loaded up the parma bus and headed to Pacinos. Now regular readers will know that our usual parma night is Thursday night ... that's pretty much set in stone, Yet in researching Pacinos before we headed down I discovered that their parma night is Monday night, and (at face value at least) its quite a deal, $10 parmas with 13 different novelty varieties to choose from - word on the grapevine is that they pump out over 400 parmas every Monday, thats a lot of chooks!
The novelty menu, for those that are curious...
But novelty parmas aside, we were after the real deal and the real deal alone - so Thursday night we arrived at Pacinos, rocking up at around 7pm the place was already packed, we took our seats, ordered a beer, grabbed a menu and spied our target...
We placed the order and awaited our dinner. The other food coming out of the kitchen looked pretty quality, so I had high hopes. It was a bit of a wait before the meals arrived, but nothing terrible (especially considering how busy the place was).
Just like the other food, this parma looked impressive! The massive bird took up a majority of the plate, completely eclipsing the chips below (more on the chips later, but rest assured I saved them from their steamy prison moments after the plates dropped).
It was a big schnitzel of real, unprocessed chicken of a pretty decent thickness. The crumbs were sparse and soggy but herbed, which added a little flavour but some crunch would have been nice. Although being big and unprocessed the chicken itself was a bit dry and stringy, but not distractingly so.
There was no ham, which is pretty much standard at an Italian restaurant, as they seem to go the more 'traditional' parmigiana as opposed to the pub-ified version. Although its not a requirement for a good parma a bit of pork would have done this dish wonders.
Half of my parma was completely devoid of napoli, coupled with the lack of ham meant I was eating basically cheesy schnitzel for a fair portion of it, however that picked up halfway through, as apparently all my napoli was hanging out down one end, that end was much better.
There was plenty of cheese, perfectly golden brown, nothing amazing but it did its job, its hard to find fault with cheese!
Taste-wise it was okay, if anything a little bland, a common trait when you get to parmas of this size (I call it BPS or Big Parma Syndrome - It was explained in more detail here)
If my parma weren't big enough, for some reason it had a little parma-baby attached to the side as a bonus, I was already stuffed by the time I got to it, but I forced it down, I didn't want the little guy to feel left out.
Now, On to the chips - They were completely hidden in the original photo, So I made sure to snap a pick once they were removed (you can see a clearer shot of the parma baby as well).
Great chips. Chunky beer battered steak chips that were perfectly cooked and had the crunch that the parma was missing. They reminded me a lot of the famous Bad Boy Chips from the Mail Exchange Hotel, If only they had've been a little more seasoned they would have been on par - but we all had to reach for the salt shaker a few times. The personal sauce pot was appreciated as well.
The salad was a bit boring. It was big, and a side bowl for salad is always a plus, but when it came down to pure ingredients there wasn't much to write home about, lettuce, onion, a sliver of cucumber and drizzled with some oil, not the best.
Pacinos serves up a big meal, for $22.90 you wont leave hungry and I'd be pretty happy to pay it again for what I got. The $10 parma night is an amazing deal, and I can see why they pump out so many parmas on a Monday, However if you look at Pacinos' Pinterest page they have quite a few photos of the novelty parmas available ...
Notice something? The chips are different!
I may be wrong, but it would appear that the amazing beer battered chunky chips are absent from the Monday night special, not a big deal, but the chips were one of my favourite parts of the Pacinos parma, so it's worth noting they might not be there on a Monday.
Yet even without the chips $10 is still a great deal, I'd definitely stop in and give it a go.
**EDIT** It has come to my attention since posting this review that the Monday special at Pacinos differs not only on the chips but on other aspects of the parma as well, So I'm stating for the record that this review and score only applies to the full price parma, not the Monday night special, which we have yet to try and/or rate.
Opinions were mixed on the Pacinos parma (as you can no doubt tell from the quotes) It isn't without its problems but all in all its a decent feed that is hard to take issue with, If you find yourself in Flemington its worth checking out - it'd be the perfect spot for lunch before hitting the Royal Melbourne Show in September.
Parma - 6.18
Chips - 7.25
Salad - 4.67
Value - 6.25
Total - 6.11
The search continues...