Fast Food, Italian Style

Ciao Readers!

I think now that ferie is over and delectable things to eat are popping up all over town, I will stick with the food theme for a bit.

For the past 2.5 weeks we have peered in the empty window of  the neighborhood “Rosticceria,”  anxiously awaiting their return from ferie on Tuesday, August 28.  In way of explanation of our waiting-with-baited-breath: 1) this particular rosticceria is directly below our apartment on the ground floor of our building (can you say convenient?!) and 2) a rosticceria is Italy’s gourmet answer to fast-food.  Rosticceria have all kinds of prepared foods – from salads to pastas, to a wide variety of fried foods, to meats slow roasted on an open grill – most of which are cooked on the premises.  This is the go-to place for busy people without time (or people without the space) to cook.  The quality of course varies, and we had no idea what to expect from the humble/empty looking space downstairs.  And then it began…

Early Tuesday morning we could swear we smelled someone already cooking…and we had… And boy, did it smell good….  Now, according to one of the proprietors, the selection we saw today (Tuesday) was nothing, because it was their first day back from ferie and they are just getting up and running.  To give you some idea of what “nothing” consisted of – they were roasting whole chickens on a spit, there were all sorts of pasta dishes, including a rich and scrumptious-looking lasagna, and there were several different salads (veggies, cous cous, and more).  Those were a few of the things we did not try today.  The things we did try included a delicate fish filet that was divine (poached in oil I think), roast beef that was perfectly rare, oven roasted seasoned tomatoes and savory cooked (but still dark green and al dente) spinach.  Admittedly, we ordered in Italian-sized portions (1 “etto” of each – 100 grams or about 4 o.z.), but this entire spread was only 12 euros.  I had earlier picked up a loaf of fresh-baked bread (didn’t know they also sell that [though I suspect they get that from a bakery]) and we had the most fabulous lunch!   Now, I was trying to make a good impression on these folks (who I am guessing we’re going to get to know well over time), so I suppressed the urge to photograph.  However, I think by the third or fourth time we go back this week, it should be okay…

So, today I returned downstairs and had a nice conversation with the proprietor.  I told him (in my baby-Italian) that I could smell the food cooking in my sleep (this morning we could smell roasting onions, and sure enough, there were whole roasted onions today).  I went on about how delicious everything was and he commented about how hot it must be on the top floor of the building (and as you know, it is; and, in case you are wondering, no – the a/c repair men still have not come).  I asked for a suggestion of something new to try today and ended up with a delicious piece of spinach-ricotta pie (think spanikopita) and some sauteed broccoli-cauliflower mix.  By now I felt comfortable enough asking if I could take a few photos, which I did.   Enjoy them, and your weekend!  Ciao!

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