Steak Fry at the V.F.W.
Panda Machi Alpine

Mamma Rosa's Italian Restaurant, El Cajon

I got off easy at the dentist this morning. I was able to have a real lunch after my appointment rather than the Ensure® I was looking forward to.

We stopped at Mamma Rosa's on E. Main in El Cajon on our way home. I was hungry for Italian, what exactly I couldn't say, I just wanted something Italian. While I was reading the menu looking for inspiration I was drinking probably the best Iced tea available. It tasted fresh brewed, it was a nice rich color, clear not murky. I had two large glasses of it. I usually can't make it through half a glass of Iced tea anywhere else.
I decided on a sausage sandwich with onions, peppers and cheese with a salad. The salad greens were nice and fresh and crisp. I ate the whole thing. Yes I was hungry. By now it was early afternoon and I haven't eaten all day so I gobbled it up.


At first sight I thought the garlic bread looked a little weak, more like just a toasted bun. My first bite dispelled that notion, and one whole slice was eaten with the salad. It was nicely toasted and garlicky with a nice crunch.


The sausage sandwich was outstanding!!! I'm pretty sure the roll was toasted on the grill with a weight on it, it was a little flattened, I liked that. It had body, flavor and crispness and it crunched when bitten into. It held the ingredients tidily without getting soggy. Cheese was put on the inside of the top half of the roll, and put under the broiler, oh,, nicely browned bubbly cheese. Under this was the sausage and under the sausage was the peppers, onions and more cheese that found it's way from the sandwich to your mouth and back, good and stringy.


There was enough marinara sauce to make it moist and juicy without being sloppy. It was served with macaroni salad, another hit. The macaroni was just al dente with a light dressing on it. It was so lightly dressed that I couldn't tell what it was, I'm thinking it was a mayo based dressing. It was so much in the background, a good thing, that you got to taste all the elements of the salad. It had carrots, onion and pickles.


Stan had the Rigatoni with meat sauce. The sauce was very good and had a slight sweetness to it, not too much though. It was nice and rich with pieces of fresh basil in it. There was just enough sauce to dress the dish and not drown it.The rigatoni was perfect, see how they are not laying flat and mushed, even under the sauce.


We've been to Mamma Rosa's a couple of other times and every time it's been spotlessly clean. Carol was the waitress today, she was efficient, friendly, and popular with the regulars.


It's tucked away in a little strip mall off Greenfield Dr. by Armstrong's Nursery


Mamma Rosa's
1773 E Main St
El Cajon, CA 92021
(619) 442-0231