Mamma Zu. Blasphemy?

I wonder how many reviews have already been written about Mamma Zu. I bet it’s in the triple digits. I think it’s the most famous restaurant in town.

I had spaghetti and meat sauce for lunch last week. It cost $8.50. It was regular. I was hoping for better-than-regular. Mamma Zu is one of those places where people are happy to be treated poorly in exchange for the right to brag that they’ve had some religious food experience there. I’m pretty sure that it’s Richmond blasphemy to say that I don’t love Mamma Zu. But, I don’t get it. I’ve eaten here a few times and I’m still not a radical convert. I can be wooed with great price or great quality. I’ve never hated anything I’ve eaten here.  The food has been decent every time, but has it really earned all that hype? I do love the less-than-pretentious atmosphere that they don’t try to create.

I also recently visited Mamma Zu with 5 other people for dinner. Bad idea. I don’t recommend this restaurant for groups larger than 4 people. They crammed us around a small table and only came by every 10 minutes to see if we were still alive. I’m a sucker for good service.

Clearly they’ve done something right to have become the institution, so I’m willing to believe I’m just plain wrong.

I do suggest that everyone visit Mamma Zu. Try it for yourself. Brag about the visit. Tell me if it’s regular or better-than-regular.

I gave it 169 out of 199 points.

Mamma Zu is at 501 S. Pine St., Richmond, VA