I can’t count the number of times I’ve driven by the Bowen & Northfield location of Alexandra’s. The sign always catches my eye but I’ve never actually gone in, probably because there’s something I find totally repugnant about the particular mini-mall it’s in. Maybe it’s the proximity to one of the gnarliest intersections in town; turning in and out of the parking lot is an exercise in squeeze-your-eyes-shut-and-hope-for-the-best driving. So that’s why I’ve never visited Alexandra’s but when I was seized by a powerful craving for pasta, well, go we did.
The storefront is large but we arrived to a space that was quite intimate. This wasn’t a cavernous room but a welcoming bistro-style space with a large curtain along one wall. A peek behind that curtain revealed another, much larger room that I imagine opens for dinner.
Scanning the menu made me feel warm and happy: all the usual suspects were there but not an overwhelming array and prices were perfectly reasonable for lunchtime with entrees in the $10 range. What I wanted, what I absolutely craved, was standard-order lasagna with meat sauce and garlic bread. It’s a comfort-food classic with memories of childhood pizzeria visits with my dad. The garlic bread should be soft and squishy, made with a fresh traditional french loaf, and if they offered it as an entree you’d gladly take it. But of course they don’t because that would be nuts.
What I got, after only a brief wait, was pretty much just what I’d hoped for. The lasagna was warm and gooey and delicious and flavourful. There was no skimping on the cheese. I will say that the day’s batch was a little on the salty side (fine for my palette but maybe not everyone’s). The portion size seemed a bit small to the eye but I was perfectly, comfortably full by the end of it. Sure, I could have inhaled an entire loaf of the garlic bread but that’s neither here nor there.
I plan to head back to Alexandra’s in the evening some time to suss out the vibe of the full-sized room. And that keyboard in the corner? I bet they roll out some great Manilow covers on that baby.
Food or fail rating: Food