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3 Catt. 3: In re CapMac

2011 November 9

CATTLEYA, J., delivered the opinion of the Cart. JEREMY, C.J., delivered a separate concurrence.

CapMac is a food truck specializing in “America’s favorite pasta dishes.” This Cart has previously reviewed CapMac on the issue of its Classic CapMac’n Cheese. We did not find CapMac’s cheddar and pimento sauce to our liking, and we surmised that CapMac’s al dente macaroni would be more successful with a different sauce. See In re Cap Mac, 1 Catt. 1 (2011). So we tried Marco Bolo, a beef Bolognese sauce. Although the Bolognese was a much better accompaniment to CapMac’s mac, it still wasn’t satisfying.


CapMac describes Marco Bolo as a “[t]raditional beef Bolognese w[ith] fresh herbs, parmesan and a touch of cream.” The Bolognese sauce is paired with spirali (pasta shaped like a spiraling tube).

Marco Bolo

The pasta. The pasta was prepared perfectly. It had a firm and chewy texture. (This was also true of the macaroni that I was served on my first visit to CapMac. I doubt that overcooked and mushy pasta ever comes off this truck.) Moreover, the spirali was a good choice for the Bolognese, as the pasta shape absorbed the meaty sauce very well.

The sauce. CapMac’s Bolognese sauce was not bad at all, but it didn’t appeal to my tastes. The sauce was overly sweet. I couldn’t help but wonder whether salt and pepper had been passed over for sugar. I probably would have enjoyed Marco Bolo very much during my younger years, when I still enjoyed Filipino-style spaghetti (very sweet spaghetti made with banana ketchup or sugar).

The price. Although I got a hearty portion for $8, it just didn’t seem worth it for a dish that I could have made at home. (What might be worth $8 though is a take-home container of CapMac’s perfectly cooked pasta, especially since I hear it’s made from scratch. I’d pick that up after work to toss with my own sauce because, frankly, it beats dry pasta out of a Barilla box.)

Bottom line: If you like sweetened Bolognese, you’ll like Marco Bolo. But I don’t, so I didn’t.

REMANDED to CapMac for revision.

JEREMY, C.J., concurring.

I, like my sister, do not “like sweetened Bolognese,” and so, like my sister, did not like CapMac’s Marco Bolo. I must therefore concur in my sister’s sound opinion. I write separately, however, to note my additional consternation at CapMac’s choice in nomenclature.

In my opinion in DC Empanadas, I noted, with one exception, that while “[c]heesy empanadas [are] very good, cheesy names [for empanadas are] not so good.” In re DC Empanadas, 1 Catt. 3 (2011). Here, too, I must reiterate my belief that corny sobriquets—like CapMac’s “Marco Bolo”—are best avoided. While by no means fatal to CapMac’s case (after all, we affirmed two of DC Empanadas’s cheesily named selections), the name “Marco Bolo” certainly does CapMac’s case no favors.

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