Mama Melrose's in Disney's Hollywood Studios

I'm going to cut to the chase in this review and tell you this right of the bat:

I like Mama Melrose's

Why am I killing all the suspense and letting you know in the first paragraph that I'm a fan of this joint? Because I find that every time I'm talking about it it sounds like I'm calling it boring.

When I try to describe the restaurant the phrases that come to mind are "fine," "not bad," "pretty good." While this sounds bad, the fact is Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano has well-executed, but very standard Italian food.

The Caesar salad is the first example of my inclination to describe the food in seemingly equivocal terms. What I like about it is that it's almost identical to lots of other tasty Caesars I've had at chain restaurants. It does stand out a bit because of the melty-cheesy croutons, but otherwise it's pretty similar to many other Caesars you may have had in Disney World.

Caesar SaladCaesar Salad

My dining partner had the minestrone, and when I asked her to describe it, she said "it was fine." Typical. But when I asked her if she liked it, she said "yes." So once again it's pretty much like other minestrone soup you've had, but like the good ones -- not that nasty one you didn't care much for.

Minestrone SoupMinestrone Soup

The chicken pipette that my companion had for her entree was a tiny bit off the beaten path. It was very creamy and tasty. Like some other dishes I was glad I got to try it, but also glad it wasn't my dish. I think over the course of a whole serving of the food the richness would have been a bit much. Plus the flavor was pretty homogeneous since the sauce was so evenly distributed. She, however, loved every bite.

Chicken PipetteChicken Pipette

So now we're to my entree. I love a good chicken parm and this was once again the stereotypical dish. It was nice to have the pasta on the side to alternate flavors. Once again I may sound ambivalent, but honestly I wish that Tony's Town Square had a entree I like as much.

Chicken alla ParmigianaChicken alla Parmigiana

Now we come to dessert. Three words that strike terror into diners all over Disney world are no sugar added. We referred to this dish as the "No Sugar Added Lemon Dessert" and that's pretty much exactly what it is. You should be able to imagine it based on that excellent description. If you have a medical reason to give it a try, it's not the worst thing you'll ever eat, but I wouldn't go after it otherwise.

No Sugar Added Lemon DessertNo Sugar Added Lemon Dessert

The cheesecake on the other hand was one of those pre-fab tasty cheesecakes that I love. It actually had some interesting elements, but by and large it was sweet and delicious and typical.

CheesecakeCheesecake

So as you can see nothing was truly exceptional, but everything was "pretty good." Ultimately though, the whole is greater than the sum of it's parts. Mama Melrose's is pretty easy to get into and usually isn't crowded. There are sometimes streetmosphere characters who pop in and add to the fun. It's cool and comfortable and all the dishes are pretty good. Having no duds on the menu (with the possible exception of the no sugar added options), is really quite an accomplishment.

DonaldDork wrote on Sat, 04/23/2011 - 01:42:

DonaldDork's picture

I am always surprised when I see that people DONT like this place. Sure, it's not fancy and true, the dishes wouldnt be seen in World Showcase.
BUT.. this place is GOOD! My mother is Mexican and Father was Italian so I'm VERY spoiled when it comes to these two types of food. It also makes me hesitate to even TRY eating at a Mexican food place or an Italian food place. When I do, I usually try to order something that my Mom or my Grandmother (my Dad's mom) never made for me.
So admittedly, I was a little hesitant to try Mama Melrose. I have replicated my Grandmother's recipe for her sicillian tomato sauce, so if I didnt make it I usually wont eat it...and I normally order something with an Alfredo sauce on it. BUT.. when we walked in, the smell got me and I just HAD to give it a try...

I got the Chicken Parmesan and I LOVED it! The sauce was great.. the chicken was great.. the pasta was great. I was sooo happy! And now I make sure to eat there on every trip! Man, I wish I had some right now!
Maybe one of these times I'll order something different lol!

JeffC wrote on Sun, 04/24/2011 - 02:14:

JeffC's picture

Our luck has been spotty with this. I've probably mentioned it before, but MMs is a sentimental favorite of ours - we had a fantastic meal here our very first trip, and it became "our place". But somewhere in 2005 or so, they made a few changes to the menu (at least the menu I remembered) and it lost some pizazz for us. I think this all happened when I ordered an appetizer that I thought was what I always got, but when I got it, it was nothing like what I was expecting.

I agree, though, it's perfectly good, but something just seemed a little different about the food after that.

The biggest problem we've ever had here is that more times than not, it's taken forever to get our bill. And I have the patience of a large rock.

dlovesdisney wrote on Tue, 04/26/2011 - 00:35:

Anonymous's picture

I'm glad to see this review. We have reservations here in late June and are looking forward to this meal. Thanks!

Anonymous wrote on Mon, 05/02/2011 - 14:32:

Anonymous's picture

Mama Melrose's used to be one of my favorite places but the past couple years have been disappointing. The menu changed a bit and the service hasn't been as great. The menu is rather boring and uninspired and the flavor is just ok. I went there back in October for my birthday and when I made the reservation I said it was going to be to celebrate a birthday. The waitress never said a thing despite the fact that it said on our ticket we were celebrating a birthday. After our meal was over my father made a point of telling her we were celebrating and she just said, "Oh, I can bring you some cake." She didn't seem apologetic or even like she cared. When my father asked what types of beer they served she said only Bud and Coors and my dad has a bit more "refined" taste in beers. He was quite disappointed. On our way out I saw a table that had several bottles of Sam Adams on it. We hardly ever saw our waitress and she seemed less than interested in taking good care of her tables. I don't think I'll be going back there anytime soon.

Carlobari wrote on Thu, 02/09/2012 - 02:17:

Anonymous's picture

Last time we were at Mama Melrose was in 2007. The food sucked. Returning this year and wanted to hear from Italians what they thought of the food here recently? Is it any better? The menu looks the same as 2007, I hope the food has improved. Trying to put together a good dining plan for this year when we return to Disney. If you hate it do you have other suggestions to offer? Thanks!

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