548 Main St ( )
Bethlehem, PA 18018-5828View Hours
548 Main St ( )
Bethlehem, PA 18018-5828View Hours
January 21, 20083.0
I walked past Mama Nina’s Focacceria on several occasions, discouraged by the menu prices from stopping in. However the plate sizes more than justify the price.
The table is served with complementary bread, with the option of garlic on top. Only extreme garlic lovers should request the garlic, as it was served with huge chunks of raw-tasting garlic coating the bread. The bread is very crispy and tasty in its own right.
The menu has quite a few vegetarian options. I ordered a Vegetable and pasta dish, that came with so many vegetables that I had to dig through them to find any noodles. There was enough food to easily feed a family of four in the one dish. The sun dried tomatoes were exceptionally tasty, but would have been better cut into smaller segments. The artichoke hearts as well were quite large.
Mama Nina’s is decorated to look like an outdoor eatery in a narrow Italian street. In fact Mama Nina’s is an indoor eatery in a narrow Bethlehem building. It is only wide enough across for 3 rows of tables, and there are only about 15 or so tables in the whole restaurant.
Tons of vegetables – squash, onions, sundried tomatoes, artichokes, spinach, mushrooms, peppers, all well cooked and served steaming hot. The noodles had a garlic and white wine sauce that was barely noticable.
July 17, 20101.0
My husand and I went to Moma Nina in downtown Bethlehem this evening to celebrate our 17th wedding anniversary. We dined al fresco. The tables were so crammed together you could not pick your arm up to pick up your glass without worrying about hitting the person next to you. As we sat down the owner was taking more tables and cramming them, to the point were I found it extemely unsafe the tables were so close to the street that you had to be careful not to slide your hair even an inch before you fell off the curb backwards!
However, more disturbing was the food itself and the rude attitude of the owner. I went to cut into the chicken on top of my salad to find it raw. I tried to overlook this by picking the chicken off. I then went to put basalmic vinegar from the cruet onto my salad as I placed the cruet down I noticed several things floating in the vinegar and thought that cant be bugs, it must be seasoning in the vinegar…looked a little closer and there were atleast 10 bugs swimming for their life inside the cruet.
I informed the waiter who then took the cruet and my salad away. He then returned w/ a plastic container of basalmic and said another sald will be out. I asked him to cancel it as my appetite was ruined and actually felt nauseous. I saw him telling the owner who preceded to concentrate on again cramming tables in obviously for $$$ not for his patrons comfort! He eventually came over and started the conversation by saying “I will apologize for the chicken, but not for the bugs in the salad, that happens” " I have the cleanest kitchen in Bethlehem. He was defensive. I told him the bugs were inside the cruet..he then said Im sorry can I get you something else. I explained I felt nauseous after that experience no thank you. he preceded to continue to force me to eat something else I finally had to ask him to stop as it was making me feel more nauseous. Our check came and we were charged for my husbands meal. In addition he new it was our Anniversary which was ruined.
August 10, 20094.0
I am astounded by the negative reviews here. I have been eating at Mama Nina’s since they opened. I used to frequently eat at their old place, Pane e Vino on Schoenersville Road. My wife, sister, and friends all love the place.
Their red sauce is excellent, I usually get veal or chicken parm, lasagna, or similar dishes. The veal has always been wonderful, melt-in-your-mouth tender. Sometimes I will get a special that’s not on the regular menu and have never been disappointed.
I have also seen negative comments about the complimentary garlic bread they bring out to your table as soon as you are seated. Yes, it’s pungent and strong, but it’s how I (and many others) like it. You can always ask them to put the garlic on the side.
I do prefer to eat outside during appropriate weather, it is cramped inside, that’s the only reason I didn’t give 5 stars. The staff has typically been prompt and friendly. Of course, on busy occasions, you may have a little wait while your server get around to all his/her tables. This is to be expected. And the owner, Nino (and his wife) are always cordial, always thanking you for coming to his place. I have NEVER seen him rude or yelling.
I am writing this review after dining there during Musikfest on 3-AUG-2009. We only had to wait about 10 minutes for a table. Our waitress was prompt, the food came quickly, and was delicious as always. I had my usual chicken parmigiana. And as always, the portion was very generous. I ate as much as I could and had at least as much to take home and have for lunch the next day.
I think a person (and/or their conspirators) have written repeated bad reviews, maybe because of an isolated bad experience. There’s no way it can be as bad as the naysayers write. Mama Nina’s usually fairly busy so they must be doing something right.
I’m not saying it’s the perfect Italian restaurant, but it’s one of the best in the Lehigh Valley.
July 25, 20121.0
We went in for lunch today to find a grumpy wait staff. We could not figure out why they were so grumpy until we met the new owner. I tried to pay my $46 dollar and some change bill with a Mamma Nina’s gift card that had a remaining balance on it. The waitress was unable to take the gift card and suggested I talk to the new owner.
He said that he could not verify the amount on the card because of the new system. He said he would honor the card if I had a receipt that showed the balance. I did not keep a receipt; gift cards work electronically and its not my fault that the system changed. He said, “I’m sorry. There is nothing I can do.” The better business man would have said, “I’m sorry. As a new business owner, I would like to keep your business and make you happy. Let me take 50% of the tab for any inconvienece.” The new owner made me feel like I was ripping him off. He ended up telling me to not pay anything and that we could leave. I refused because he was so angry and upset with us and the waitress. It appeared like he was going to take the money away from the waitress. The new owner lacks interpersonal communication skills.
I insisted on paying the FULL bill and still left a $20 dollar tip to the server. I hope she gets it.
January 25, 20102.0
This restaurant is extremely small and cramped. The table we were seated at was in a heavy traffic area. Aside from the size of this eatery, the food was untasty at best. I had some type of crab cakes that I couldn’t recognize as having any crabmeat in the cakes. They were covered in a sauce that was disgusting. Can find a better restaurant and Italian food elsewhere.
If you are fond of crabcakes, don’t order them here. Hardly recognizable as crab, especially after being doused with their sauce. Sometimes I believe that Italian cooking is nothing more than bad food disguised with sauces. This is probably one of those places.
September 10, 20091.0
Burned spaghetti, dry bread hardly qualifies as a decent meal. After my first experience at this restaurant in which the eggplant parmigiana consisted of half cooked eggplant in a watered down sauce with globby cheese I decided to try it again after about 7 months. This time it was take out. The burned spaghetti sauce was so noticeable I was offended that the chef would attempt to pass this off as palatable. The sauce was filled with burned pot scrapings. I tasked the sauce and it was bitter from having been burned. I guest they thought I would not notice it or would not care. Also this was served during prime time dinner hour at 6:30p. If you like decent food, DO NOT EAT HERE!!!!! The prices are too high for the quality of food that’s served inside.
This place is for folks who don’t know how to cook and who do not know what good food really tastes like. 2 awful experiences with the food here. STAY AWAY!!!!!
December 8, 20081.0
I have never been moved to write a restaurant review before, but that is because I have never had such an unpleasant dining experience as I did at Mama Nina’s.
The food was acceptable but extremely overpriced for the quality (our meal came to $100 for four people, and this place is a BYOB!). The restaurant is too small for the number of tables, and as such the restaurant is noisy and cramped. It is especially unpleasant in cold weather, as there is only one set of doors and every time someone enters or leaves the entire one-room restaurant gets cold. The service was slow—we waited over an hour for our food—and while the wait staff was friendly enough, the owner himself was extraordinarily rude. His attitude towards paying customers was beyond offensive, and I have never left a restaurant feeling so disgusted.
I will never eat at this restaurant again, and I would advise anyone looking for a nice meal to do the same.
Again, it was acceptable, but certainly not worth the price.
April 29, 20091.0
I was yearning for a good Italian restaurant. First off the staff were very rude and short. We had trouble getting started…the waitress was scowling at all the customers. Finally I tried to talk to the owner and he was very nasty. He kept talking under his breath. The area is way to small. The tables are not big enogh for the size of the plates and on top of that my 17 month daughter in a highchair (they treated like a inconvienence) they played a really hot plate in front of her.
Not happy at all with them….
February 21, 2011
I also found the owner to be rude and we also experienced that at his former restaurant Pane e Vino. However we were with a group and Mama Nino's was their choice. My eggplant parm was not exceptional. But the worse part was as soon as…
February 8, 2011
We Loved MAMA NINA So much, after the 1ST time we went there, I actually sent them a Thank You Card. We loved everything about them, from the staff and Mama Nina herself, but of course, the food was fabulous.\r You really have to try…
These dishes from the Mama Nina Focacceria menu are contributed by Menuism users directly, as part of a restaurant review, or as part of an image upload.