Road Trip # 1, Mario's Italian Restaurant, Lexington, Massachusetts

For our inaugural road trip we have decided on an old favorite, MARIO'S in Lexington, Massachusetts. Mario's is a great family style Italian restaurant in that they are very reasonably priced and their portions are large.

Unless you're familiar with the Lexington area, you most likely won't know about Mario's. Although it has been around for a long time, not much has changed over the years. How do I know this? My wife and her family have frequented the restaurant for years and she swears that the place looks exactly the same as it did when she was a young girl.

You can see their back entrance below:

You will find all the usual Italian favorites, pasta's, pizza's, subs and calzone's but there is one item that we suggest you try above all the others. It is the baked ziti, the interesting thing is that they took this off the menu many years ago and continued to run it as a special. I think they were selling the baked ziti like hot cakes because it remained a special almost every day until it was again added back to their regular menu.

It is difficult to describe how good the baked ziti is so I think pictures speak louder than words. You'll notice that it's unlike traditional baked ziti in that this version is layered vs all the ingredients mixed together.

And don't forget the meat marinara sauce that you can have right on top or on the side shown here:

If you don't feel like eating or trying the baked ziti, are you kidding! I recommend everything else on their menu.

After stuffing yourself I have a few suggestions for other things to do in the area.

First, you can walk out the front door and take a short stroll to the right to the town green. On a nice day it is a beautiful place to relax in the sun on a blanket or there are benches.

For history buffs visit Minute Man National Park or Walden Pond.

And finally, there is Wilson's Farm. They have a bakery (if you can possibly eat anymore) fruits, vegetables, meats, flowers and a garden shop. I know I'm not doing them justice with this explanation but it is an interesting place.

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