Marco’s Super Saver meals offer great value

  • By Anna Poole Herald Restaurant Critic
  • Thursday, January 24, 2008 11:45am
  • LifeGo-See-Do

LYNNWOOD — From the sparse number of customers in dining rooms, it’s easy to tell that many Snohomish County residents are eating in rather than out. But we don’t have to stay home, because there are restaurants like Marco’s on Highway 99 that serve hearty portions of good food at reduced prices.

The menu at Marco’s, like the dining room, has the familiar feel of diner favorites, including soups, salads, sandwiches, burgers, breakfast anytime and dinners of steaks, pasta and seafood. There are turkey and pork chop dinners with stuffing and cranberry or apple sauce, and, during dinner hours, there’s a salad bar.

My friend and I arrived too early on Saturday to enjoy the salad bar but we were in time for the $9.95 Super Saver Meals. One look at the list and I knew I was ordering the stuffed cabbage rolls, never mind the pot roast, meatloaf, spaghetti and meatballs or anything on the standing menu. The $9.95 meals include salad or soup, entree and dessert.

My friend took a little longer to decide on his turkey dinner ($10.95) that included white and dark meat, stuffing, mashed potatoes with gravy, cranberry sauce and side salad.

Marco’s is in the QFC Shopping Center that used to be a Petosa’s restaurant. Marco’s dining areas with their evergreen- and melon-colored booths, a curving counter and a pie case of daily treats make you feel at home. On the day we visited, the service was attentive but unhurried, giving us time to catch up on each other’s news.

Our side salads were a combination of iceberg lettuce plus carrot and red cabbage strips accented with a cucumber and cherry tomato. The ingredients were cold and crisp but there was one limp, brown piece of lettuce in mine and the lettuce wasn’t torn small enough in either salad. The salad dressing was the bottled stuff. We gave the salads a C+.

The two stuffed cabbage rolls were a tad overcooked, but the hamburger stuffing seasoned like Italian meatballs and topped with marinara sauce made up for the parchment-like cabbage leaves. The mashed potatoes were topped with the same gravy as my friend’s. Had I known about the gravy, I would have skipped it and asked for pats of butter. A couple of points off for the gravy, but extra points for being real mashed potatoes.

My friend’s meal was a heap of turkey slices atop a mound of stuffing. He noted that this generous serving at other restaurants would cost around $15.

Our side dish was richly buttered cut corn, which was delicious. But with the mashed potatoes, rice in my cabbage rolls and my friend’s stuffing, we felt we had too many carbohydrates. Now that we know, we’ll adjust our orders by eliminating the potatoes and adding more vegetables.

For my dessert, I opted for the banana pudding instead of the ice cream with chocolate sauce and sliced bananas. I’m guessing this is the same pudding used in the banana cream pie, and it’s worth every calorie. At the end of our meal, I rated my less-than-$10 meal a B+ and my friend gave his a B-, but the prices got an A+ from both of us.

Herald restaurant reviewers accept no invitations to review, but readers’ suggestions are always welcome. Reviewers arrive unannounced, and The Herald pays their tabs.

Contact Anna Poole at

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