I have not had any of their sandwiches or salads, but sampled two specials (Tuesday's lasagna and Thursday's chicken parmesan), the minestrone soup, garlic bread, and a slice of tiramasu.
The chicken parmesan was okay. Not bad, in fact, for the price $6.99. But, it was placed on top of a bed of spaghetti, with some sauce on top. Once I moved it to the side of the pasta so that I could eat the chicken without mashing the spaghetti, that layer of sauce proved too meager for both meat and pasta. And, the pasta was not al dente, the way I prefer. It was downright al mushy.
The lasagna was pretty good, but for my taste, a little too salty. The cake in the tiramasu was a little dry, but I still enjoyed it.
The garlic bread uses sourdough. I'm sure that some people like it that way, but I doubt they ever use sourdough in Italy.
The minestrone was terrible. In general, I undercook my vegetables, but soups should not be crunchy! Worse than the crunchy texture, was the taste. The dominant flavor was salt, overpowering any contribution the vegetables might have made.
The soup was literally just a tad warmer than room temperature. For me, soups are more often too hot than too cold, and I very rarely send food back, but this was ridiculous. Instead of apologizing, the counter girl turned to her colleague and made some snide remark like "I guess he wants to burn his mouth." As I waited for the soup to return from the microwave, I sampled the lasagna. It was only slightly warmer. I was tempted to ask for some more microwaving, but I felt one complaint was enough. I lived to regret that decision. Some sections of the lasagna proved to be downright cold, but by the time I found them, it was too late to ask for reheating. It's probably just one incompetent server that I was unlucky to get, but I'd suggest stressing that they thoroughly heat the food if you ever go to Cafe Roma.
In general, this is certainly an acceptable place to grab a quick lunch near the Capitol, if you are in the mood for Italian food. There's a large enough selection and even a few tables for outdoor dining. It's definitely not a "destination dining spot," though.
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