Have you ever thought about taking a trip, across the “wrong side of the tracks,” to get a fine meal? Sometimes it is well worth it to go to a rather unsavory place, to get a lunch or dinner, and unfortunately Mama Mia’s restaurant isn’t in the “best part of town.” The Rose Hill section of Alexandria, Virginia over the years has improved, but the mall that Mama Mia’s isn’t going to win any beauty contests. In fact, its old, dilapidated, and looks like a place where thugs would love to hang out. While there are some “characters” the vast majority are harmless, and the area is safe for day and evening visits, due to increased police and security protection. It all doesn’t matter, because as soon as you walk into Mama Mia’s, you’ll feel right at home.
There’s just something special about this establishment, and it all starts out with its origins. Its a family run business, a true Mom and Pop operation, with grown children helping out sometimes. As soon as you walk in, you’ll see perhaps the “worlds largest countertop.” This is a bit “old school,” but I like sitting on one of the stools, ordering my food, and watching it being cooked. If you are more of a table person, they have a few, but you might have to wait for one on the weekends. Do yourself a favor, and sit at the counter with some of the “regulars” that eat here. Its an entertaining crowd, with nice folks who will always remember your name, and a lot of the clientele of this place are hard working, name tag wearing individuals. Due to that blue collar reason, fellow diners might just be firefighters or police officers.
I love the Spaghetti and Meatballs here. You won’t need another meal after this large plate. Its a fine value at only $7, and is served with a side of warm, and salted Italian Bread that’s been toasted. The sauce that they use has a bit more spice than most restaurants have, and I like this, although some with heartburn issues might want to take an antacid prior to dining on it. The Meatball Sub is the same way. This huge sandwich will make you full for a day at the same price range, and I just love how messy it is. Be sure to grab a lot of napkins and the marinara sauce goes in all directions, including your clothing, but that’s a sign of a delicious meal.
You aren’t going to find expensive entrees at Mama Mia’s. Their most costly option is the Chicken Parmigiana, which is $12. Yet even with the low costs, the quality and quantity are truly eye opening. If you prefer something that’s not Italian, they will kick you out the door. I’m just joking on that, but don’t be surprised if you get some ominous stares from employees and customers alike. Their hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, and buffalo wings are quite good. However, I’m all about the Italian specialties, and if you are a name tag wearing person, or just want a casual place to relax, I think this might be “right up your alley.”
I’ve been going here for years, and have had wonderful conversations with fellow diners and staffs. Never have I encountered anyone who’s in a bad mood, as this laid back place will put a smile on your face. If you are hungry, you won’t have to wait for too long either. That along with the smiling parents and their children, will keep any “hunger grumpiness” at bay, and there’s usually a customer with a good joke or two. Some of them are clean, and I’ve had a few belly laughs while waiting for a Steak and Cheese Sub. The physical address for Mama Mia’s is 6112 Rose Hill Drive Alexandria, VA 22310, and they can be contacted at 703-971-1610. Stop by and grab a bite, and perhaps a laugh as well.