By Melanie Pruneau and Jordan Walsh
Hidden on the side of the Route One in Melbourne, the small and humble San Remo’s has never gotten much attention or publicity. Sometimes, the best restaurants are the ones few people know about, but it wouldn’t hurt the quality of it to share the restaurant with more locals.
Open since 1979, one would think the Italian, family owned restaurant would be well-known and visited, but the opposite is true. On typical weekend evenings, only half of the parking spots would be taken. The same “regulars,” or people who go to San Remo’s often, are the ones who fill the tables. I find it odd that such a restaurant is so hidden from the public’s eye, but hopefully, it won’t be for long.
The first steps I ever took inside of San Remo’s were ones filled with comforting, home-like sensations. The aroma of spices and sweet sauce blanketed the entrance room, already promising an eccentric meal. Calming music played softly overhead; not so loud as to you can’t converse with your friends or hear your waiter, but not as quiet as a low, inaudible hum. Greeting staff directed me to a table in the center of the restaurant, and immediately I was asked what I’d have to drink.
The staff was as friendly and professional as you’d want them to be. My waiter, wearing all black as the policy, asked if we liked our seats, or if we’d rather sit elsewhere. Little polite questions and answers were exchanged right away. When it came time to order a meal, I asked my waiter what cheese was used for their original pizzas. Without hesitation, he answered, “Mozzarella and parmesan”.
Soon after ordering, a basket of garlic bread was placed on the table. The texture of the bread was soft in the middle, but the crust was crunchy. The flavor of the bread was more than expected; buttery, garlic, and there was a hint of basil. When the pizza arrived, I was almost too full to eat any. Though I’m glad I did. The parmesan on top of the mozzarella cheese added capricious flavors to every bite. The tomato sauce was sweet and slightly chunky, as natural tomatoes are. The crust was not too thin or too thick, but the perfect width and texture.
Overall, I think San Remo’s deserves four stars out of five. It is a high quality restaurant that should be utilized more often by local people, and even visitors. Unfortunately, the location of the restaurant seems to be off-putting for many people, but if they’d give it a try, they’d soon realize that their preconceived notions of San Remo’s were wrong all along.