Salernos Is A SalerNO

Brinson Mullis, Reporter

If you are looking for fine Italian cuisine within the Lexington city limits, we have several options for you. And if you are looking for food that would make a dumpster mouse cringe, we have Salerno Restaurant.

I went to Salerno with my family on a warm August Wednesday, ready to enjoy a nice evening with delicious food. However, when we left, we were under the impression that a cruel prank had been played on us, because, surely, no restaurant would dare call what we were served “food.”

Now, I myself am one eighth Italian, so I like to believe that I have a very refined palette in this area. Therefore I can say with absolute certainty that what is being served at Salerno Restaurant should not be called Italian food.

I ordered a simple dish: a calzone infused with cheese and cured pepperoni. Oh how I relished the excitement of knowing that I would soon be chowing down on a delicious pillow of cheese and spicy sausage. Unfortunately, that excitement was stripped from me the instant I laid eyes on the monstrosity masquerading as a calzone.

Sitting on the old aluminum serving tray was a thick piece of cowhide where my calzone should have been. The crust on the outside was lumpy and broken as if someone had not given the proper care and effort while kneading the dough. The cheese on the inside reminded me of the molding goo used by orthodontists.  Instead of a lighthearted dispersal of pepperoni slices throughout the ‘Zone, I found one lump of 18 pepperonis, directly in the center.

Pepperoni Calzone from Salernos. Photo by Brinson Mullis

Perhaps the biggest problem with the food was the grease content. I estimated that over 47 percent of the dish was made up of grease. The small cup of marinara sauce I was given for my dipping needs had almost a centimeter of standing grease sitting atop it. Had I collected all the grease from my meal alone, I could have given a face full of acne to 134 of the most clear skinned-young boys you could find.

Someone else in my group ordered a simple slice of cheese pizza. This should be the bread and butter of any Italian eatery; however, it was described as being so undercooked that it tasted like a Lunchables pizza.

Upon completion of an incredibly disappointing meal, we were forced to pay at an awkward little table beside the front door. It is here that servers pressure you into leaving them a tip by looking you in the eye and telling you exactly how you can leave one.

The food was both wildly lacking in quality and wildly overpriced. I paid 18 dollars for a small calzone, a side of fries and a drink. I suppose they must have charged a dollar for each of the pepperonis in my calzone.

If anyone ever sees me in Salerno Restaurant, please help me, as I am surely being held there against my will.