Mario's Italian Restaurant

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3073 Clearlake, Springfield, IL, USA - 217.523.2211

Mario's Italian Restaurant Springfield Reviews

ahtibat17 ahtibat17
266 reviews
Standard Lunch Buffet Jan 08, 2010
I went to Mario's with some co-workers who RAVED about the lunch buffet. I guess I had my hopes too high because it didn't quite live up to my expectations. The salad bar (where I always start... I can make a mean salad), was a MAJOR disappointment. The options: lettuce, tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs, bacon and shredded cheese with a myriad of dressings. They also had prepared Caesar salad and FOUR different pasta salads, which I thought was a little excessive. The buffet continued with two kinds of soup, a variety of pastas, including fettuccine alfredo and the pizza bar, where a selection of six pizzas were out. They did have good pizza. It's thin crust, and it wasn't greasy. The mushroom-black olive combination was really good. The only thing, as with most buffets, you can tell the pizza has been sitting under heatlamps, rather than being served straight to the table. The highlight of the meal was supposed to be dessert -- Oreo Fluff (which is a concoction of crushed Oreos and whipped cream). My co-workers thought they were really introducing me to something. However, I thought this was a pizza buffet standard; at least it is where I'm from. And to be honest, this Oreo Fluff wasn't that great. The cookies were crushed to sand-like consistency (if you want awesome Oreo Fluff, go to Pizza Man in Salem, IL -- it's fantastic).

In addition to the buffet, the restaurant offers a complete menu of Italian food. I only glanced over it, being we were crunched for time, being our lunch hour.

The cost was average, I suppose. The complete buffet was $7.00 (including tax). But, I only drank water; a soda made the meal $9.00, and for a lunch-special, I think that's a little expensive. (Of course, I guess that's what it is, living in a city).

The restaurant was quite busy, though, which I assume makes it a good place to eat. I am one that judges as restaurant by how full the parking lot is, and there was hardly a space left. Tables were full, too. But, luckily, since we were a group, there was a large table open.

I apologize for no pictures. I ate lunch here with co-workers and they just aren't understanding when it comes to taking pictures... especially pictures of food. If I make a return trip with friends, I'll remedy that.
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photo by: DrewSFO