Today Scott and I visited The Woodlands Mall for a quick trip into a couple of stores, and then decided to brave the Food Court for lunch. Epic fail. After Sample Boy at Manchu Wok so nicely flung pieces of chicken in our face (no, I’m not being dramatic), we decided to hightail it out of the mall and head away from the crowds for something better.
Both Scott and I have been hearing (him at work, me at church) of a small Italian restaurant in a strip mall called Sweet Bella. It’s one of those places you’d normally drive right past, but can count on more fingers than both hands have the rave reviews for their food. So, we headed to the edge of The Bubble.
Sweet Bella is extremely unpretentious when you walk in – kitschy, white Christmas lights grace the windows. You order your food and drink at a counter (no huge menu posted, thankfully, rather you read off your own individual menu), and it’s served at your table. All of the entrees are under $11, and pizzas run under $20 (the most expensive being a large 4-topping).
Being the diet-conscious woman I am – and that I hadn’t been to the gym today – chose the Lasagna Bolognese, and my husband chose the Mozzarella Sticks and Chicken Fettucine Alfredo. Total bill: $31. Not bad. Especially when the food came out. Nothing but fresh Italian goodness.
The Lasagna Bolognese was to die for, served in its own gratin, which I thought was great because I know my meal did NOT come from a mass-produced pan of noodles. It was full of spicy meat and ricotta, and the noodles weren’t dripping in sauce. Rather, there were hints of marinara scattered throughout. I’m not usually one to finish off my plate, but this was so good I was trying to chip the baked, crispy cheese off the side of the dish. Simply wonderful.
My husband’s dishes were equally tasty. The mozzarella sticks weren’t greasy, the batter stayed on the cheese (see my disposer meal of days’ past), and the sauce had fresh basil. You don’t get that at most establishments in The Bubble. That was worth the trip alone.
Likewise, the alfredo sauce was creamy and full of garlic. Not too heavy, and definitely homemade. A+ all the way.
Sweet Bella is definitely a place I’d go back to, and next time I think I’ll try a pizza – the Prosciutto and Chicken sounds like a winner.
Sweet Bella is located at 202 Sawdust Road, and their website is www.sweetbellaitalian.com. They’re open 11-2 daily for lunch, 4-8 Monday-Thursday for dinner, and 4-9 Friday and Saturday for dinner. Closed Sundays. Takeout available.