Diner marks down East Boston restaurant on Yelp for being too generous with portions

A visitor from Florida gave Rino's Place in East Boston a poor grade because they gave her too much food.

I went for a late lunch and ordered the eggplant parm. It was so huge I was embarrassed to have it in front of me. Why is it necessary to serve such monster sized portions?

Rino's replies on its Facebook page:

Thankful for being called out on Yelp because the eggplant parmigiana was to big, and she was embarrassed for having a dish so big in front of her!
#really
#canneverwin
#bangforyourbuck

Via Drew Star

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Comments

Man...

The anon trolling just keeps getting worse. Take your pig in a blanket, go sit in a corner, and think about what you've done.

She's probably

the type of person who expects the plate to be huge, but the food to be 1/8 the size of it and prepared by a celebrity chef. At least she kind of got the last part.

The same kind of person to

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The same kind of person to not be disappointed when opening a bag of chips filled with 3/4 air.

Ah ...

Now I know the right place to recommend for a teen sports team banquet.

take out a loan

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Rino's has great food. And the reviewer is correct, the portions are ample (obscenely huge). It's a bit pricey, but you definitely get a load of food for that money, so maybe it works out. But if you got a pack of teens it could put a serious hurt on the budget.

Now whether the whole thing is worth the wait...eh. Once they were on that Diners and Dives show with that spikey-haired guy it got really busy.

Rino's is great, but its everyday menu is pretty

pedestrian. I think of it as doing a lot of the same Sicilian- and Campanian-American standards that you see in 90% of the North End, same huge portions, though admittedly fresher and better-executed than most: clearly scratch cooking, no small differentiator. If veal parm is your jam, Rino's does an effing great veal parm, undoubtedly pounded to order (and judging from the way it overhangs a big plate, easily a pound.) Eastie was the original 19th-century Boston landing point for Italian immigrants in Boston, after all.

As I said in the first local professional review of Rino's for the Phoenix, based on a tip from a rare North End chef I admire (Taranta's Jose Duarte), the gold in the menu is in the daily specials that draw from the chef's native Abruzzo and nearby traditional Italian cuisines, like the most transporting version of Milanese veal shank on saffron risotto I've ever had in Boston. They know which pastas to make fresh, and which ones are better to source dried from a quality factory. I'm not a big lobster ravioli guy, but theirs is made by hand and stuffed with the meat of a live Maine lobster they boiled and picked that afternoon. Try finding that at some damnable North End tourist trap.

I loathe oversized portions, too, but the fact that otherwise great indies feel compelled to serve them reflects how national chains substitute volume for quality. Ask the good folks at Prezza (another rare North Ender I favor), who initially did proper traditional Italian portions: you could order an antipasto, primo, secondo, and contorno or two and feel properly fed without leftovers. I took a date there, having not been for a year or two, ordered that way, and got enough food for four. "What happened?", I asked the chef/owner. "I wanted to be traditional, but people complained about small portions." The fault is not in our restaurants, but ourselves.

Sorry I was one of those local critics (along with the brilliant Marc Hurwitz of www.hiddenboston.com) who told Guy Fieri's producers about Rino's. My heart was in the right place, but I'm afraid the ensuing DDD segment continues to account for the three-hour waits on weekends. Go at lunch and order the specials. And ignore the goddamned Yelpers the same way you would shun advice from random strangers on the street.

Milan

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is not anywhere near Abruzzo. Nevertheless your description made me want to go to this place and try the veal shank. That sounds a lot like ossobuco; do they call it that ?

Yes, I use the term "nearby" loosely. It's an hour or so

away by air. (I've been to both: Abruzzo is pretty, Milan is kinda gritty.)

What I mean is that his specials focus on Central and Northern Italy, not the red-sauce South (as filtered through 100 years of adaptation on American soil) like the everyday menu does. That veal dish was indeed described as a "baby osso bucco", and the shank bones were loaded with marrow.

A really fine risotto underneath, too, which very few restaurant chefs in town do properly, as it is very hard to scale. Chuck Draghi at Erbaluce is one of the few who bother to get it right.

East Boston Trivia

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In the 60s, the site Rino's is on was a variety store called Pep's. I recall they sold Royal Crown Cola which even at that time was becoming scarce. I believe a few scenes in the movie "The Brinks Job" were filmed there as well.

Roy's

Still carries RC Cola! It was a big thing where I grew up in Upstate NY, but Roy's is probably the only place I've seen it in a good 15+ years.

What Would Gordon "Too Much

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What Would Gordon "Too Much Lobster" Ramsey Do?

(one of his critiques of a lobster roll in a North Shore joint)

I know this sounds crazy...

I know this sounds crazy... but if the servings are too big there is a very easy solution, ask for a to-go box at the beginning of the meal and have half of it packed up.