mamma teresa / poway – san diego, ca

This post is long over due since Jake and I came here in early October! I almost skipped doing it all together because the photos are kind of crappy, but whatever. You need to know about this place!

Mamma Teresa doesn’t look like much. It’s right off Poway Rd. and Community Rd., in the shopping center where the DMV used to be. That’s the DMV where I failed my driver’s test TWICE. Yes, twice. I’m a bit of a dork, in case you didn’t know. The first time I crossed a solid white line while merging and the second time I didn’t even get out of the parking lot! I was nervous and accidentally put the car in gear and fiddled around trying to figure out why the car wouldn’t start. I was failed for “instructor intervention”. Blah, blah, blah!

Anyway… this place is right next to the place harboring my bad memories! haha


You can see a bit of the interior from this shot. Very simple, not fussy. Next to every table along the wall they have a sign showing they were voted the Best of San Diego in a poll (I don’t remember which one) and they are very, very proud of that!


Fresh, homemade, warm rosemary bread is the first thing to greet you when you get here. The bread is soft and the aroma of the rosemary was heavenly. The rosemary isn’t overkill, either, just a few bits of the herb in the bread. Each table has olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping the bread. Jake and I easily killed off a basket and it was refilled very quickly, without us even having to ask. Now that’s service!


We shared one of the appetizers which has prosciutto (the real stuff, from Italy), fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, pesto and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. This was incredibly fresh. The tomato and mozzarella were excellent quality and I enjoyed gobbling this up with a bit of the rosemary bread.


Jake was having trouble deciding what to order so and our waiter (I think he was also the manager) suggested we order a side of the sausage to try, so we did. The sausage is made in house and is a combination of 40% pork, 20% veal, and 40% top sirloin. It also includes wild fennel from Italy which gives the sausage a very distinct and delicious flavor. The sausage was tender and so much more flavorful than anything you can get at the store.


Jake ended up getting fettuccine with the sausages and meat sauce and he loved every bite (and I loved the bites that I had, too).


I ordered the gnocchi – though this was not what I was expecting when I got it!


This was a baked gnocchi with meat sauce and cheese on top. I’m used to gnocchi with just a sauce on it and I’ve never had it prepared like this. It was good… but not what I was expecting. The gnocchi were a little tough and a little on the dry side, probably due to being baked. I prefer gnocchi that’s pillow soft and tender and while this had a good flavor, it wasn’t soft like I was expecting it to be.


While still chatting with our waiter/manager, Jake asked him what his favorite item was and he commented on the meatballs. One thing led to another and he ended up getting a meatball for us on the house so we could try it. And I’m so glad he did because this was seriously one of the best meatballs I’ve ever had. It was incredibly flavorful, very tender and served pipping hot in their house marinara sauce. It was smooth and chock full of flavor, but still had a great texture. I can’t wait to go back here just to order a plate full of meatballs!

I lost my sheet that had the prices on it and I didn’t photo the menu, but the prices were in the $12-$15 dollar range, depending on what you ordered. Reasonably priced, but not dirt cheap. The quality is worth it and the excellent service made this a great night. We’ll definitely be back to try out more of the from-scratch items on the menu!

Mamma Teresa
13305 Poway Rd
Poway, CA 92064
(858) 513-3667

Mamma Teresa on Urbanspoon

Facebook page | Yelp Reviews

Tue-Fri 11 am – 9 pm
Sat 4 pm – 9 pm
Sun 11:30 am – 9 pm

6 thoughts on “mamma teresa / poway – san diego, ca

  1. Gosh this place looks great! I love meatballs =P The baked gnocchi sort of defeats the ‘point’ of eating soft gnocchi, haha. Not in the Poway area often, but I definitely want to try this out!

    1. Hi Jinxi! Yeah.. baking the gnocchi wasn’t the best idea, if you ask me. But maybe that’s how the chef always made it! I just know that I’ll have to explore more parts of the menu instead (though really I just want more meatballs haha)!

  2. OMG, meatballz!!!! You can’t go wrong with those! That was nice that the owner gave you guys another one too.

    you would love the smoked mozzarella stuffed meatballs at K-Pasta in IB (on 13th and Donax)!

    1. OMG, I’ve been wanting to go to K-Pasta FOREVER since I read your post(s). Imperial Beach is SO FAR AWAY though. I gotta make an excuse to go sometime though. Surely another Star Dust adventure is in my near future 🙂 I think you’d like the meatballs here, though I don’t know how it compares to meatballs stuffed with cheese… haha!

  3. Hahahah!! You failed it twice?!! I can’t believe it. It’s funny b/c I think all my cousins, sister, and I took our driving exam here too!!!

    I didn’t even know there was an Italian restaurant here. The food looks really good though. It’s just kind of a far drive especially when it’s really inland of Poway.

    But I’d eat like 10 of those meatballs right now if i could.

    1. Yeah… twice! And then I went to college and then didn’t bother to get my license until I got back from college. I made sure to go to Clairemont instead and passed that time 😛 haha

      I don’t think the Italian restaurant has been there that long! I used to go to Poway a lot but not so much anymore. I would surely like to try and eat 10 of their meatballs.

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