Memphis >Pete & Sam's Restaurant
Not my cup of tea. When I move, my priority is to find a decent Italian place. Pete and Sam's was my first attempt here. It is in a part of town requiring a guard outside. The lot is super tight so put on your maneuvering cap. The atmosphere, owner photos, service and bread gave me hope this could be my new Italian place. The antipasto was good but could use more salad items. (Yeah I know everyone makes it different.) Then the entree came. Pizza is made with orange cheese. My eggplant was unrecognizable under a ton of sauce. No cheese on top. The side of spaghetti came in tiny vegetable bowls. All of this could be overcome if the sauce had not been so super sweet. Spaghetti sauce that tastes like dessert? Definitely an acquired taste. No offense meant to those who love and enjoy it but I am going to keep looking!
Authentic food, family-style atmosphere and a dash of "Goodfellas" hospitality make for a satisfying Italian evening..
Large parties of spry seniors, families with children and romantic couples fill two dimly lit rooms. The decor is rather modest--stackable banquet chairs, wood paneling, vinyl tablecloths--not fancy Italian, but family Italian. Service is fast and friendly; say hi to Pete or Sam when you pay at the door.
Soft, warm loaves of bread are in glorious abundance on every table. A crisp iceberg salad is the perfect prelude to cannelloni--tubes of pasta stuffed with seasoned beef, topped with mushrooms, marinara and several cheeses, served piping hot in its metal pan. Juicy, sliced tenderloin, bathed in a rich wine and mushroom sauce, is slow cooked to peak flavor. Meat-and-cheese ravioli, made from Sam's own family recipe, and garlic spinach laced with egg whites are among the excellent side dishes. End with spumoni--layered Italian ice cream filled with whimsical, chewy candy flecks.
Pete & Sams.
If you're looking for some artsy fartsy designer chef with a degree in elitist snob cookery and a show on the food network, go somewhere else. This is not rarified cuisine. It is simply the best.
This is decadent, indulgent comfort food. The ravioli is better than sex. The toasted ravioli is beyond compare. If you're on Atkins and can't indulge in pasta, the steak and Italian salad is so good it will make you cry. There's a second Pete & Sams that opened up in the boonies of Cordova. Come early to both restaurants because there's always a crowd. And don't wear tight clothes, because you will have to loosen your belt.
Don't be fooled.. If you are looking for tasty and authentic italian food Pete and Sams is not the place for you. Don't be fooled by all the recommendations this place gets. It is simply not good italian food. The only highlight of our dining experience was receiving a mini-pizza as a side dish and watching the kid at the table next to us throw spaghetti at his sister. That is good fun! Otherwise there was nothing overly exciting or authentic about anything our party of four received. I must say though that the house red wine is much better than the "chateau yesterday" they are pushing over at Coletta's.
Guaranteed Good Time.
Pete and Sam's is a classic Southern Italian family-run restaurant with great food, healthy portions, friendly service all at reasonable prices. Great for groups or the extended family. Bring your own wine. My favorites: Pizza, Italian Salad, Steak Tenders for Two.
Only need reservations for a big group.
Fab food, at a fair price. This place is not fancy, but the food is great, the service is excellant given that the place is so busy all the time, and the prices are reasonable too. It's a great place to take the whole family. It's hard to find parking, because it is so popular, but it is worth the trouble.
Eating in the past. Homestyle portions in a true Italian family restuarant. Take the time to enjoy the atmosphere straight out of Jersey or Little Italy.
Very unique. Pete and Sams pizza is the most unique pizza I have ever had. I have never had a crust as thin as this. The sauce is also different as is the cheese combination. If you are looking for a plain jane pizza, this is not for you.
OVERRATED. It cracks me up that this place received as high of a rating as it did. The food is just so-so, and definitely NOT worth what you pay for it. The atmosphere is non-existent, and the place is in serious need of remodeling. I never have understood what people see in it, if you want good Italian in Memphis, try Bola Pasta!
You be the Judge...but.
This restaurant is a local meeting place for members of the "old" neighborhood.
We had pasta dishes which came with a thick meat sauce that had no taste. One member of our group thought the sauce was just over cooked, either way a disappointment for all four in our group.
Banquet stack chairs, thin stamped silver wear, poor air filtration from smokers.
If you like Italian food, you should at least try this place once as everyone's taste varies from experience.
Our group are people from "away" (experienced many Italian restaurants in Italy, the Northeast and St. Louis) will keep looking for an Italian restaurant beyond franchise restaurants in Memphis.
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