## Wednesday, August 3, 2011

### Review of Omar's II, Dunn

Omar’s II is a lesson in dichotomy and proper ordering.  Some of their dishes are great, while others are very sub par.  If you stick to what you know is good, you will have an enjoyable dining experience, otherwise I’d consider looking elsewhere for my Italian.  I know that before the restaurant became Omar’s, it was a Mexican restaurant.  Before that, based on the shape of the building, it looks like an old Pizza Hut with the glass-enclosed front room.
For our appetizer, we ordered the garlic bites.  Megan describes these as little bites of heaven.  They are small, one-bite twists of bread.  They are then coated in butter, garlic, and grated Parmesan.  They are served with a small cup of marinara sauce.  They are very good, and since you get a basket of them for \$1.99, they are completely worth it.  Every meal here should begin with these.  The marinara sauce is fresh and good, but not my preference.  I like thicker, smoother sauces, while Omar’s is fairly thin with chunks of tomatoes.
We ordered an individual 10” pizza with black olives, extra cheese, and bacon on it.  The pizza was a big disappointment that almost insults the Italian cuisine as a whole.  The crust was passable, but also soggy in the center.  Some spices on the crust would be a big improvement.  Also, I’m almost certain that the marinara sauce is the pizza sauce too.  I’m assuming that we did not get our extra cheese; otherwise a regular cheese pizza would have almost nothing.  The black olives were clearly out of a can and left a slightly metallic aftertaste in my mouth.  The bacon was the biggest disappointment though.  It clearly was not fresh cooked bacon; instead it was crumbled bacon, most likely from a bag.  It was flavorless and definitely detracted from the pizza.  We will not be ordering pizza from Omar’s again.
I ordered a Meatball Parmesan sub, which comes with a side of fries.  To start, the fries were not hot and were slightly rubbery and undercooked.  The meatballs were good, but not an authentic greatness that I had hoped for.  They were oven baked and very moist.  However, they had more fillers in the meatball than I would ever recommend.  The same chunky marinara sauce was over the meatballs and then it was topped with two huge slices of mozzarella, which was melted under a broiler.  I might order the sandwich again, as it probably is the best meatball sub in Dunn, but chances are I would drive elsewhere.
We then shared a plate of cheese ravioli that we ordered with Alfredo sauce instead of the marinara.  Now, we have a winner.  I can’t tell you that the ravioli was house-made, but it sure tasted like it was.  The star of this dish is the Alfredo sauce.  It was rich, it was creamy, it was delicious.  Over the dish, they broiled huge slices of mozzarella, which added even more decadence.  The Alfredo sauce is the way to go.  Whether you order it with fettuccine, ravioli, or any other pasta, their Alfredo sauce is their best dish.
Omar’s II is a restaurant that has its issues.  Rarely have we seen a large crowd there.  And the waitress was very impersonal with limited knowledge of the menu.  When she was twice prompted about if a dish was recommended, she responded that she had not tasted it.  I think Omar’s has promise, but it may need a few changes, like more focus on Alfredo and other specialties.  Otherwise, I am worried about its long-term viability in producing quality Italian cuisine.

 Category Scale 1-5 stars Food Quality $\bigstar\bigstar$ Food Creativity $\bigstar\bigstar$ Service $\bigstar$ Atmosphere $\bigstar\bigstar$ Value for the price $\bigstar\bigstar\bigstar$