Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Mama Lou's: Frills-Free, Full-Flavored Italian Home Cooking

We circled UP Town Center once and still couldn’t decide where to eat. Joanna and I were conferring with each other about options when she said, “Why not Mama Lou’s? It was named best restaurant (by Philippine Tatler).” We retraced our steps and had our group added to the waitlist, which had 10 names before ours.

Mama Lou’s is a fairly recent addition to UP Town Center’s (UPTC) interesting (and growing) roster of restaurants and cafes. It is owned by French-Canadian Richard Tremblay who converted their family home in BF Homes, Las Piñas into an Italian restaurant named after his late-wife Marilou or Mama Lou. It has since expanded with branches in Nuvali and UPTC.

We ordered poutine because the teenagers have been craving for it since our visit to Terrace45. It’s hard to go wrong with this dish, it appears, because the individual ingredients—French fries, gravy and cheese—could very well stand on their own but are even better together. Mama Lou’s version doesn’t stray too far from the original, with tasty brown gravy and mozzarella cheese of the ideal proportions. And because we believe that everything edible should come with bacon on top or on the side, we had ours with a helping of our favorite incarnation of pork.

Mama Lou's Special

Pizza Bianca
Their thin-crust, Neapolitan-style pizzas are served perfectly flat and without edges, the sort you can stuff with alfalfa and roll. We ordered the Mama Lou’s Special, with bubbling mozzarella, prosciutto, mango (!) bits and arugula, and a drizzling of thick balsamico; and pizza Bianca, with cream, mozzarella, bacon and mushroom. They won’t earn the nod of the pizza cognoscenti who are partial to a charred and puffed dough but they are perfectly good pizzas that offer good value for money.

But I’m really all about the standouts. I think there was wizardry at work in Mama Lou’s truffle mac and cheese. Al dente elbow macaroni pasta was tucked in a medley of cheeses—an “original blend of cheese and truffle cream”, the menu describes—and topped with a slight toasted layer of mozzarella and cheddar cheese. It was pure, creamy perfection.

It was easy to tell that Mama Lou’s knows how to do pasta right when we tasted the spaghetti seafood olio, its version of aglio e olio pasta. With just sautéed garlic, a variety of seafood (clams, mussels and shrimps) and olive oil, this simple dish managed to transport me to Positano, where I had my best aglio e olio pasta to date.

My foodie family at Mama Lou's
Mama Lou's Italian Kitchen
UP Town Center
Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City
Phone (632) 9585563

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