≡ Menu

Papa Razzini’s

Papa Razzini’s (1825 E. Guadalupe Rd. Tempe, AZ 85283 — 480-345-6560) is a small Italian bistro with a small patio on the southeast corner of McClintock and Guadalupe. They were surprisingly full early Friday evening, but we wound up settling for an outdoor seat. It was actually quite comfortable under the propane heater, so we ordered. I had the stuffed shells and they were excellent. Nice little Italian place. The owner even came around and thanked people and made sure things were good.

They had decent wine (according to my wine expert/wife), but just an average beer list (and they were out of Peroni). But on a scale of one to would I go back, I give it a definite I would go back.

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Nate Dogg January 29, 2006, 10:51 pm

    I’ve been to this restaurant, one of my favorites. Although I haven’t been there for quite some time. The food is really good. You should try the Chicken Marsala.

  • Carlos Benjamin July 1, 2006, 4:55 pm

    On Friday, June 30, 2006 my wife and I went to Papa Razzini’s Italian Eatery to meet with friends. What follows is an accurate account of what has to be the worst service I’ve ever been subjected to at a restaurant.

    I’ve been looking for a good Italian restaurant since moving to the Phoenix area ten years ago. When we walked into Papa Razzini’s I thought I might be on the verge of a wonderful discovery. The best Italian places back home were mom and pop shops like Razzini’s. The dining areas were small but the food was outstanding. According to the menu, a $3.00 charge would be assesed for anyone requesting an additional plate (if two people wanted to share one meal as the portions were quite ample). I thought that seemed silly but quickly dismissed it. As I continued to looked at the menu I thought the prices were more in line with a restaurant with more ambiance. Some of the small mom and pop places I’d been felt like you’d stepped out of America if but for a moment. This place had an Italian flag and some paintings on otherwise non-descript walls. I surmised that the prices must then be warranted by the quality of the cuisine and I got excited.

    We were with a large group (considering the size of the dining area) of 12 people for whom reservations had been made earlier. The Bruschetta was good and though I didn’t have any of the Calamari, it disappeared quickly. I ordered the Chicken and Sausage Cacciatore in anticipation of some really great Italian food while Andrea Buccelli’s voice drifted down from the overhead speakers.

    When my dish arrived it looked wonderful and I was eager to dig in. First bite was a bit of chicken. It was very dry. I thought I might have gotten a bad piece so I tried another bite of chicken. Also extreemely dry. I called the waitress over and explained that the dish was not to my liking because the chicken was very dry. She said she’d “let them know.”

    A few moments later a gentleman was at my shoulder asking if there was a problem. I explained to him that the chicken in the dish was extremely dry. He then took my fork from my hand and began chopping up the chicken and telling me, “It’s not dry. See. I don’t need a knife to cut it. It’s not dry.” I tried to explain that i wasn’t complaining that it wasn’t tender because we could clearly see that it was. My complaint was that it was dry in the extreme. He continued to cut my chicken up and tell me it was not dry. I told him that cutting it proves nothing since I didn’t know the chicken was dry when I used my fork, I only knew it when it was in my mouth. He said, “I’ve been cooking for thirty years!” I explained to him that I’d been eating even longer and I knew the difference between dry and moist. He said, “You can order something different but you”ll have to pay.” I asked if that meant I’d be paying for both dishes and he said, “Of course!” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing and told him I wouldn’t be paying for two dishes. “Fine.” he said, and walked off. There was one more person at the table with the same dish and she said hers was dry but she was very hungry and didn’t want them to take the food back and still have to pay for it.

    I gave a bite of chicken to three other people at my end of the table and they all said it was extremely dry. I asked the waitress to take the dish back and have the gentleman taste the chicken because four out of four people at our table had agreed that it was dry. She said she’d try but held out little promise as this sort of thing has happened before. The man came back to the table and said the chicken wasn’t dry and he has eaten it before. I told him that three of my companions had all agreed that it was dry and he insisted we were all wrong. He pointed to the person with the same dish and said, “She’s eating hers!” and I replied that she was only doing so because she didn’t want to pay only to go away hungry. He said maybe next time when I come back I’ll get something different and I’d like it. I said there’d be no next time given the way I was treated this time. He said “Fine. As we say, that means arrivederci” and walked away.

    Now, Mr. Razzini may be a very good cook. Everyone who ordered other dishes said theirs was very good. Normally if I have a bad experience at a restaurant, I’ll give them another chance as I may have caught them on an off night. If I’m treated poorly by waitstaff I’ll give the place another chance because the proprietor deserves another shot and shouldn’t be written off because of bad help (that sort of employee usually gets weeded out eventually). This is the first time ever I’ve had the proprietor insist that I pay for a meal that was not to my liking. I had two or three small bites of chicken for which I was being charged $15.00.

    While I still had a good evening spent with friends, I was left with a bitter taste in my mouth over the way I’d been treated. Had Mr. Razzini graciously offered another dish and charged this one off, he likely would have made a loyal customer that would have paid him far more than the money lost on this single plate of food. After all, I’d driven thirty miles in hopes that this place would turn out to be a regular spot for me. It’s not like I ate half the dish and then demand my money back (I know that sort of thing happens) but only ate a couple of bites. In his zeal to make sure he isn’t cheated, he cheated me out of a meal and insisted I pay for the pleasure. No thanks, my mean spirited friend.

    To compound the whole thing, one of our friends took it upon themselves to pay for our food. I’m not sure if she was just wanting to avoid conflict or if she felt that I shouldn’t have to pay for the food. That bothers me a great deal more than Mr. Razzini’s stingy attitude and ill treatment. I know I’ll not be going back there and I suspect that many who were at the table will not being going back either. An opportunity to win several new customers tossed to the wind……. What a shame. I likely would have enjoyed a different dish.

Leave a Comment

Next post:

Previous post: