There are 3 very important to any dining experience; service, atmosphere, and food. Unfortunately, none of these three impressed me at Joe Bologna's. I took my girlfriend on a date their, what a mistake! I walked in the pizzeria door on accident, and the lady at the counter there gestured toward the other door. We go through the other door and a waitress seats us (no hostess?). On our way to our booth I was surprised to see that there was only one other couple in the whole place besides us at 6:00 pm. I also noticed our silverware bundle only included one fork and a butter knife. The funny part was that my silverware didn't even match that of my date's. Our waitress had the friendly appearance of an aged smoker. She tried explaining the specials to us, but stumbled through all of them like she had never seen Italian words before. When taking drink orders she offered us water with lemon. We accepted, but she returned with tiny plastic water glasses with long bargain bin straws and NO LEMONS. I let it go and tried to order, but the waitress didn't know the menu so I had to hand her the menu and show her what I was ordering. A couple minutes after ordering she brings bread and salad. The bread is in a paper bag (no basket) and the salads were on small clear plastic plates, like the ones you would see at a Big Boy salad bar. The Italian salad dressing was good and so was the bread, so a point for that. When we finished our salad the over-active waitress immediately snatched up our plates, but "politely" removed our forks from the plates and set them on our bread plates. We can't have new forks for our entree?! Eventually our main courses came. I ordered a shrimp marinara pasta and my date ordered fettuccini alfredo with grilled chicken. Her pasta was very tasty, but quite small in portion size. She isn't a big eater and almost always has about half her food left to pack as a lunch the next day. She almost cleaned the plate. My pasta was soggy, and my shrimp had no seasoning whatsoever. I was disappointed now by my service, atmosphere, and food. A manager came over to check on us and I told her that my food was underseasoned and my overall dining experience was fine at best. She offered me a free dessert. I kindly refused, but she kept insisting I come back and give the restaurant another try. That's definitely not happening. My waitress comes back with the bill and I give her my credit card. After a while she comes back with a receipt for me to sign, with a different dollar amount on it. I ask, and she explains that she forgot to add the charge for the grilled chicken. There is still something fishy about a waitress taking payment, then changing amount without saying anything. I left a 10% tip (drastically low for me) and left. By the time I left there were two other parties in the restaurant. All three of us were next to each other to make it easier for the wait staff. Got to love that romantic homey environment! The guy two tables over from me had a problem with his food, and the lady next to me had a problem with the drink selection.
Here is the kicker about this restaurant. It would make a good family restaurant. The problem is that the entrees range from $13-$20, which put it in the casual dining bracket. As far as that goes, Sterling Heights already offers Olive Garden, Andiamo's, and Macaroni Grille for Italian dining. All of these restaurants have excellent wait staff and atmosphere (especially Andiamo's) as well as delicious food. There is absolutely no reason to visit Joe Bologna's, especially with so many far better options just a few miles away. Never take a date here and embarrass yourself.