Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Hidden Gem in Austell: Giovanni's

Austell is the land of the chain restaurants and other mediocre restaurants. They're in the middle of nowhere, and they don't have much quality competition. So usually, the restaurants don't try hard to bring quality products. But can you believe there exists a great Italian restaurant deep inside Austell? 

I do admit that the last time I went, the quality seemed to have gone down. But I can't blame him. The owner, Mr. Giovanni, is on his last legs. Nobody goes to his restaurant. Yes, it's one of the best places to go to in Austell, but he has several problems:
  • Giovanni's is hidden in a small shopping center. It's very easy to miss if you don't pay attention. So unless you are consciously looking for it, you'll probably drive by it without noticing it. 
  • The entire area is dead. You see closed restaurants and shops everywhere. It looks like Giovanni's is going to have the same fate.
  • Because of lack of business, it looks like he's more focused on moving his restaurant than making quality food. 
Giovanni told me he might move to Kennesaw. That's even farther than Austell. But hopefully, he'll find better business there. I do hope he does well, because it's depressing to be the only one eating at his restaurant. 

The Food

Most of his entrees come with house salad and garlic bread. His house salad comes with balsamic vinaigrette. It's your standard house salad, nothing special. 


Another standard house salad.
His garlic bread is the bomb though. It's sweet and garlic-y due to the butter and garlic. It's like crack to me. I can eat this stuff all day. This is probably one of my favorite complimentary breads they give out in restaurants.

Great garlic bread.

I think the main star are his pasta dishes. They're all delicious. Some of my favorite pasta dishes were eaten in Giovanni's.

The pasta is cooked well and his sauces are delicious. Mrs. Kitty sometimes complain that it can be a bit oily. But I think that's what it makes it taste so good. For example, his alfredo sauce (not pictured here) is very creamy and heavy. But it's one of the best tasting alfredo sauce I've had.

Penne with pink vodka sauce

Good old spaghetti with pomodoro sauce.
Mr. Giovanni does everything here. He is the owner, the cook, the server, and the host.  He is friendly, polite, funny, and seems to know a lot about traditional Italian food. When you enter his restaurant, it seems like you're going into his home for a nice, home cooked, Italian meal.

Mr. Kitty gives this place 4 paws up. It used to be a 5 paws, but like I said, the quality has gone down.  I hope the quality doesn't go down further. Perhaps the move to Kennesaw will invigorate him again. If you guys are willing to drive all the way to Austell, you should check this place out before it gets worse or close down completely.

Giovanni's Restaurant
2495 East West Connector
Austell, GA 30106
www.giovannisgenuineitalian.com
Giovanni's Restaurant on Urbanspoon

3 comments:

  1. I have to question someone who supposedly reviews restaurants on a regular basis, who would write something like, "The owner, Mr. Giovanni, is on his last legs. Nobody goes to his restaurant.", yet then write glowing comments about the food and other things sandwiched in-between the odd remarks (?)

    I've been eating at Giovanni's since I discovered it a long time ago. The food quality is always very good - I've never had a bad meal there. And as recently as a few days ago, the entire dining room was filled and there was a waiting list at dinner time - hardly "no one going there" as well. Sometimes I'll go there literally the moment they open before noon and no one will be there, but that will describe tons of restaurants in the metro area - go a few hours later and it's crowded with people who have been repeat customers since the place opened.

    They are located off of the East/West Connector in Austell, in a small strip center that has had a couple of other places close, and the BJ's Warehouse Club next door to them closed recently as well. These were victims of the recession as were HUNDREDS of businesses throughout the metro area - but Giovanni's survived, and is still thriving, and hardly, "on it's last leg".

    Normally I wouldn't even consider giving serious thought to a grown man who uses the name "Mr. Kitty", but I had to address the ridiculous statements made in the blog review. Giovanni's food quality is as good as ever, I and several people I know continue to go there (as to many, many people), and I have no complaints. Maybe Mr. Kitty needs a change of litter.

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  2. You must have been lucky all the time then. Or maybe I was unlucky all the times I went. I go to Giovanni's frequently, and sometimes they're closed early (usually an hour before their actual closing time) because nobody was coming. Now, I would have to call in to make sure they're open so I won't waste a trip. And when we do catch them when they're open, we're usually the only ones eating at the whole restaurant. Also, why would Giovanni want to leave that location and relocate to Smyrna or Kennesaw? Is it because his current location is thriving that much?

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  3. I also live in that area and eat at Giovannis. We have always enjoyed our meals and continue to go back and there are people there whenever we go. Maybe he is considering a move because that neighborhood is going ghetto? We've lived there for years and the atmosphere in that area has gone downhill considerably during that time, especially since the Walmart opened up the street in Powder Springs. It's a lot trashier in that area now than it used to be. If I had a restaurant there I'd want to move to a nicer area too!

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