Tubac >Melio's Trattoria
Tubac's worst Italian Restaurant.
We went to Melios Italian Trattoria because we heard good things about the pizza. We were not warmly greeted and seated dismissively and I instantly had the impression that the hostess (the owner) and the staff did not understand good service but it got worse.
The eggplant parmigian had no breading.. ok... maybe they do things differently in Rome (chef is from Rome). However it was more like eggplant stew with a tiny bit of tomato and canned parm cheese. Some pieces were long and thick and some choped up into squares - an inferior olive oil that almost tasted like canola oil or something was puddled here and there and the flavor was bland. I took one taste and put it aside. My husband asks.. "what do you think of this" and gives me a taste of what is supposed to be smoked salmon with cream sauce on bowtie pasta... Fishy fishy fishy - seperated cream sauce and the bowtie pasta was way way underdone in the center. The "hostess" comes over and inquires about my eggplant. I swear - I was nice but honest - I said "I was really dissapointed. The eggplant was greasy and really doesn't have much flavor". She went on and on about how everyone loves the eggplant and even people that don't like eggplant like it. I explain that I do like eggplant and I love eggplant parm but this just didn't do it for me. She offered to get a menu an I said - "ok but one other thing that you should know...the bowtie pasta is definately underdone in the center". She said she could fix it - my husband said "no - never mind". (he's like that - doesn't like to make trouble but was clearly unhappy). She walks away. I call her back and ask her for a menu. She says - "Oh - we're closed now but I can put together something cold for you". I say "you know what - forget it"... Chef owner comes over. Heard we had a problem. I explain that I'm so dissapointed because this was our first time there and I was looking forward to it but neither meal was acceptable and the other problem was the attitude. It was only 5 after 9 and they tell me I can only get something cold. Wow. I've been in this business and I've eaten Italian food from Italy to California and although we were unhappy with our experience - we will come back and try the pizza. He said and I quote "I don't care if you come back or not for the pizza". I shook his hand and said - We'll that's fine sir - I don't plan on coming back then. On my way out - I said "I live here in Tubac, do you not care about word of mouth"? He and the bartender said loudly "We don't care!". Holy cow. Since then I've heard many other shocking stories from locals. Don't just take my word for it - or beleive the phony reviews (you wll notice all 5 stars after a few bad reviews along with the lowest ratings you can get and nothing in the middle - pretty suspicious. Just ask around town about Tubac Restaurants and Melios and you'll get the real truth. Rude place - don't know how it survives except perhaps a lot of people that think Appleby's or Chili's has excellent food. If you are at all a foodie or lover of really good Italian food.. You won't want to eat at Melio's.
Unexpected Gem in the Arizona Desert. It was a wonderful surprise to find such amazing Italian food in such a small town. The couple who own the place lived in Rome for many years running a Trattoria there. They know their Italian cuisine!
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