Ficara’s: The Strangest Italian Restaurant

When I say strange, I don’t mean the food, I mean the atmosphere. It reminds me of an upscale VFW, if those exist. The walls are carpeted. The chairs and tables are the kind you’d find in a cafeteria. A nicer cafeteria, but still a cafeteria. The artwork is akin to Walmart fake flowers. Actually, I think some of the decor involved Walmart fake flowers from 1982. Even the rose logo on their menu looks tacky. On the positive side, the utter ridiculousness of the place provided most of our conversation for the evening.

Ficara’s Restaurant is located on Franklin Avenue, in a slightly shabby building with some pretty rose bushes outside. The entrance is not in the front, but on the side. As I mentioned before, the restaurant itself is strange. Everything about the place is from the 80s…even the black and white clip art rose on their menu.

We were the youngest people in the joint by 20 years, and got a couple of weird looks. But that very well may have been for other reasons. Whatever. The waitress was friendly enough, but seemed to either a) repeatedly forget about us or b) be distracted very easily and we were just fortunate that once in a while we were the ones distracting her.

Our meals were actually quite good. I tend to eat a lot of eggplant parm, and this was the right balance of breading, sauce, and cheese. Too much or little of any of those and the whole meal is thrown off. The pasta sauce was delicious and the side of pasta (your choice of linguine or penne) was huge. Honestly, I got three meals out of the thing — it was bordering on overboard. The Betrothed enjoyed his meal of Chicken Sicilian Style with celery, capers and mushrooms in a vinegary sauce.

It did take quite some time to get our server, Mrs. Head in the Clouds to come over and wrap our food even though the restaurant was almost empty. We were so antsy to get out of there that we brought the check to her — there was no way we were waiting another 15 minutes.

One and a half salt shakers because you can get food that’s just as good in a place with better service and a less unintentionally laughable atmosphere.