Local Eats #1: Pasta-mazing Meals

Every once in a while, you wake up with a travel bug. No, not the bedbugs you can’t shake, but some other bug that’s just nagging at you to eat some damn good food tonight. I know you do. We all do. You look outside and see the snow coming down and wonder, “Hmmm…what would it be like to live in Italy?” For the past 9 mornings, I’ve awoken with that very thought. Last night, I decided to do something about it.

Like any great sleuth, I cracked open the Yellow Pages (this is some sort of phone book the cavemen used before the Google machine was invented). I ran my fingers down the page and looked for the closest Italian restaurant. No luck. Just a bunch of garbage. So I went online, sifted through reviews and found this little establishment at the end of my street that promised “great cuisine.” Intrigued, I decided to take a visit.

I grabbed my passport (because that is the ONLY item I show when I order drinks at these worldly places) and headed down to this niche Italian restaurant. And when I walked in, I was amazed.

I wrote on the palm of my hand “REMEMBER THE TELEPORTATION,” just in case some other weird things start happening, because I was instantly transported around the world. If I hadn’t talked to my Uber driver about something unnecessarily politicalĀ on the way there, I would have thought I took a gondola ride into this magical place. It was like a scene out of Sicily – with olive branches and the finest wines aligning the walls.

We sat down and opened the menu. My first words to the waitress were, “How long did this chef study in Italy, because DAMN!” The menu was huge! How someone could be that skilled in so many authentic delicacies was something my mind couldn’t comprehend. I ordered “la macaroni y no pollo” which is the Italian way to say macaroni with no chicken.

Our wild ride to FLAVORĀ began when the waitress (Amber or Alexa or some shit like that) dropped off a salad at our table. The mix of the greens with the few olives speckled throughout was like a perfectly jumbled up jigsaw puzzle of the Italian flavor. There was enough dressing doused throughout the salad that you could put a little in a small ziplock baggie and take some home for later…when you’re alone.

Next stop: the main dish. Macaroni and cheese…a meal so few can prepare. I kept checking my watch to see if there was enough time for the chef to fly to Italy and get this sought-after dish. To my surprise, it came out steaming hot and right on time.

Soon, it was apparent that my gondola ride was coming to an end, and the check was delivered and this machine (pictured below) was dropped off. There is something magical about swiping your credit card into a 12 pound machine that is sitting right on the table, and I’m glad I got to experience it firsthand.

The mint served as my kiss goodnight, since my server Amber had been replaced and that void was still left open in my heart. I asked the hostess on the way out to stamp my passport, and she just looked at me. Must not have spoken English.

Well, that was stop one. If you’re ever in the area, be sure to stop at this quaint little restaurant called “Olive Garden” for some authentic Italian food.


Chef M