Gamberetti's for lunch

Are you looking for relaxing outdoor seating with a view, great lunch deals, and good food? Put Gamberetti's on your list--high on the list. My summer lunch bunch gave me a shove to choose where to eat. I love choosing, especially when there's an opportunity to introduce friends to a new place.

I parked in the Pringle garage, though I'm sure I could have found street parking at 11:30 AM. I even entertained the idea of leaving my car at Bush Park and enjoying the walk through Gaiety Hill neighborhood. Unfortunately, the part of my brain that treasures punctuality nixed that idea. So I plugged in my quarters and walked downstairs to the restaurant.

I spotted an outside table big enough to seat the four of us and went inside to alert the host. A waiter appeared within a minute, asking if I wanted to order something to drink. "You have sangria, don't you?", I remembered. In another few minutes, I had a shapely glass, glistening with condensation, adorned with two citrus slices and a maraschino cherry. And I was set: sunshine, a light breeze, and a glass of sangria.

Once everyone had arrived, photos and stories were shared, then we were ready to order. Gamberetti's has a sheet of lunch specials and another sheet with summer salads (just noticed they also have a special 3 course menu for Tuesdays). The angel on my shoulder said "salad", but once the imp on the opposite shoulder pointed out that the Summer Chicken Primavera has vegetables AND a salad, pasta had won. My friends ordered the following: Rock Shrimp Piccata, Puttenesca, the special of the day.

I won't lie, I was expecting a few more vegetables, but that was the only (slight) disappointment, though my delicious lunch cost only $6.95. Both the pasta and the chicken were tender, the light cheese sauce brought it all together, and the portion was just right. Thankfully, the bright green side salad didn't have a single leaf of iceberg in sight.

TL said, "My lunch was very good, but I don't remember the name. It was the special-- something over spaghetti with that Italian bacon {prosciutto} in it and a cream sauce. Excellent. What I remember was I spent almost $30-- 10 for 2 microbrews, 11 for lunch, 3 for a salad, 5 for a tip. Expensive."
LG said, "My lunch was yummy: chicken, mushrooms and sun dried tomatoes. The Lemoncello drink was even yummier. My lunch was $6.95 and my drink was $7.50 but well worth it."

I have one complaint, which is for every restaurant with outdoor mesh topped tables, please find a way to keep condensation or spills from ending up in your guests' laps. Maybe a paper placemat would help?

The service we received was impeccable, despite how long it can take a group to make decisions. My recommendation? Gather your friends and get over to lunch at Gamberetti's before summer is gone.

Gamberetti's Italian Restaurant
325 High St SE • Salem OR 97301
(Pringle Park Plaza)
(503) 339-7446

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