The concept of Bagali’s is very enticing to me. I really, really wanted to like this place. But after two visits, I just don’t think I’ll go back.
First off, Bagali’s is “New Orleans Inspired Italian” which sounds like an interesting concept to me. And after visiting the oldest pizza restaurant on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain a couple weeks ago, it’s not as strange as you might thing. The idea, as the manager explained to me on our first visit, is mixing traditional Italian food (like pasta and tomato sauce) with traditional New Orleans food (like blackened catfish). So if you’re wondering where to go to get blackened catfish spaghetti, Bagali’s is the place. In reality, though, the restaurant (or at least their patrons) seem to be most interested in their fairly ordinary pizza.
Our first visit was marred by spotty service. It was just a bunch of little things, like the waiter taking away my one fork with my salad plate and then not bringing me another. And the way he mis-pronounced items from the menu (“cannelloni” became “cantelloni”). But the manager came by and Beth and I talked to him for a long time. He seemed genuinely interested in our opinions and concerned about making his restaurant the best it could be. I gave him tons of free advice, and then went back about a month later.
Sadly, that visit also was marred by spotty service. Again, it was little stuff, like the waiter telling me they don’t serve Limonata when they do (he later apologized and gave me a can to take with me as we were on our way out the door, after the dishwasher told him where they’re kept). But on that second visit, I came to realize the quality of the food just wasn’t good enough to make up for the so-so service. And that means there’s just no real compelling reason for me to want to go back.
If you’ve had better (or worse) experiences at Bagali’s please leave a comment!