Having been seated for more than 10 minutes and still seeing no sign of their menus, Chesterfield County couple Clive and Mary Anne Hickson this weekend requested two bills of fare from their waiter at popular Richmond Italian restaurant Mamma Zu.
“Sir, could we please get two menus? We still haven’t gotten ours,” Mrs. Hickson, 62, asked, unaware of a black chalkboard listing the food selections on the restaurant’s southernmost wall.
After a silent response to the request by their waiter, who immediately moved to the next table to take another order, Mr. Hickson, 66, told his wife that he hoped the menus would include photographs of the food, “just so I can see what it is that I’ll be ordering.”
The Hicksons told reporters prior to their meal that Saturday evening was their first visit to Mamma Zu, after having heard so much about the Oregon Hill restaurant from friends and having long been “big fans” dining out, particularly at restaurants such as Red Lobster and “the Outback.”
“We’ve heard the food here is delicious, but how am I supposed to know what to get if they don’t bring us a menu?” Mr. Hickson said, chuckling and patting his belly. “I hope they have unlimited salad and bread sticks, too.”
“Like the Olive Garden,” he added.
During the course of their three-hour meal, which the Hicksons said “would have taken at least half that time if we’d just gone to [T.G.I.] Friday’s instead,” the couple expressed concern over several aspects of Mamma Zu, including the interior lighting “or should we say the lack thereof;” its location in neighborhood that was probably filled with “hoodlums;” and cramped bathrooms that didn’t have automatic hand dryers or flushers.
“And all their wine glasses must have been dirty, because they served us in like little baby juice glasses,” Mrs. Hickson said, noting the house red she ordered was much better than the Turning Leaf she keeps at home.
After receiving the check and noting he would not likely return to Mamma Zu in the future, Mr. Hickson said the $67.30 total was “hugely overpriced” before laying his Visa card onto the table.