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Thursday, October 5, 2017

Tigard, OR: Cafe Allegro Disappoints In A City Void Of Decent, Reasonable, Homestyle Italian Food

Cafe Allegro
12386 SW Main Street
Tigard, OR 97223
Phone number (503) 684-0130
Prices: $$$$

Not horrible - the food is a mostly inauthentic version of Italian (even though their website claims "authentic gourmet Italian cuisine") and definitely not "gourmet"- in an area void of ANY Italian restaurants much less GOOD ones. The menu is too big and there are hardly any dishes (pasta, pizza, entrees) that you would find on a decent restaurant's menu. More on that later.
I had the Caprese Salad ($7), the most authentic item on the menu except for the overly sweet balsamic vinegar, something you would NEVER see on Caprese in Italy or any respectable stateside Italian joint. Otherwise, it was nicely presented and the price fair. My wife had a house (side) salad that was fresh, yet unremarkable, and overpriced by at least a buck.
A native of the birthplace of pizza, Naples (Napoli), she ordered the Four Cheese (Quattro Formaggi - $10) pizza without tomato sauce (there should not be any tomato on this pizza in the first place). The pizza looked good, except for the cheddar cheese (cheddar on a pizza?), but the taste was extremely bland, no detectable seasoning whatsoever. 

I had the "Chicken Prosciutto Scalopine" ($18 - "scaloppine" has two "p"s BTW) in a pretty good Marsala sauce. Unfortunately, the dish was a mish-mash of spaghetti and veggies (tomato, broccoli, carrots, zucchini) topped with chicken breasts, prosciutto and cheese, then broiled. The chicken topped with prosciutto (no cheese) in a Marsala sauce and a side of pasta, for example, along with a dinner salad would be a simple, authentic dish and a fair value at $18.
The place is simple and the decor somewhat dated, the service attentive and friendly. If it were my place and I wanted to succeed, here are some things I would consider:

1. Scale down the menu considerably
2. KISS ... Keep It Simple Stronzo - simple, fresh ingredients and "traditional" recipes
3. Dinner salads should be included with entrees or a $2 to $2.50 add-on at most, not $4
4. Loose the cheddar - it does not belong on anything claiming to be Italian
5. Update the dining room - it is tacky, not "romantic"

There are a shitload of Mexican, Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese and Pub-style restaurants in the Tigard area, but not a single decent Italian restaurant within 10 miles. People LOVE Italian food, hence its Top-3 status among Americans, so a restaurant that could do Italian right, not quirky, would likely thrive in this area. We were there at 7:30 on a Saturday night and there were just three other parties in the restaurant. How this place has survived since 1991 is beyond me, particularly considering their prime location in downtown Tigard.
FYI - My critiques are meant to inform readers based on my experience and perception as well as provide business owners with honest, constructive feedback, not slam them unnecessarily. I want businesses to succeed, not fail, so my comments are provided with no ill will. I hope the owners take my opinions and suggestions with an open mind, possibly increasing the quality and profitability of their restaurant. This place should be packed on a Saturday night.
CombatCritic Gives Cafe Allegro 4 Bombs Out Of 10 ... More Bombs Are Better!

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Title: Tigard, OR: Cafe Allegro Disappoints In A City Void Of Decent, Reasonable, Homestyle Italian Food

Key Words: Cafe Allegro, cafe, allegro, Italian, Italy, pasta, pizza, Tigard, Portland, Oregon, OR, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, restaurant, menu, review, Yelp, Zomato

Translation for Civilians: BOHICA = "Bend Over, Here It Comes Again"

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