Thursday, January 24, 2008


Practice last night at the University for WR's and DB's. As always, the numbers were low but we got a lot accomplished as individuals.

After practice we met some of the Elefanti at Chiavi, the team hangout on Piazza Bellini, at about 10:45 p.m. It was very quiet and not many people were there when we arrived. Claudio took us to a local street vendor/sit down eating spot near the Piazza Duomo.

Fellow retired Rio Mesa teacher, Dick Bellman, once told me about taking a group of students to somewhere in Europe I think and how they only wanted to eat at McDonalds. He made them eat the local cuisine to force them to learn a little more about their culture. With that in mind, Claudio got me to eat, picture, an authentic Sicilian cavallo panini, i.e., a horse meat sandwich! I know many of you think that some sort of Michael Vick rule should apply to me in this case but it tasted like beef and the spicy tomatoes made it quite delicious. Yes, there was a stray dog giving me the evil eye about 20 feet away as I dined but I proceeded as usual when it comes to food.

On the way to the cavallo panini we passed the Cappella Bonaiuto, a chapel built in the 1300's that is now a ristorante. Claudio, as usual, talked them into giving us free pasta al pesto. We met with Claudio's stunning girl friend Roberta and went back for the pasta. The ristorante was very nice inside and the actual chapel down in the basement was very interesting.

By the time we left the ristorante it was 2:15 a.m. and the streets were now packed! And people in Los Angeles think Dodger crowds are late arriving! I LOVE THIS TOWN!!!

On the way back to the car we found this awning, had to have a picture to remind me of my roots.


Dick Bellman said...

In my earlier life, a cavallo pannini would definitely have been consumed, but not now. On the other hand, linguine alla vongole is one of my favorite meals, especially when accompanied by a crisp white wine. Some other suggestions for gastronomic experimentation: Osso Buco (a definite for meat lovers); Pasta Puttanesca (otherwise known as "Harlot's Pasta in honor of Rome's ladies of the evening); Cozze al Forno or Fettucine con Cozze will take clams to a new level of experience; Riso di mare fritti (also a favorite of mine, again as long as there is a nice crisp white wine) will allow you to experience the bounty of the ocean which surrounds you. Buon apetite!!

DPLassen said...

Hey, give the Sicilians credit ... at least they TELL you when you're eating horse meat. Some of the parts of the world, I'm not so sure.

While you're tackling castronomic oddities, I kept running into pizzas with "speck" — a term appearing in none of my Italian/English phrasebooks — when I was over there. If you can find out what speck is, I'd be grateful.

Dick Bellman said...

"speck" is dry-cured smoked ham.

Pryingi said...

I'll take the "Meat Lovers" pizza from Dommino's over any of that...Now that's Italian!

**Hold the Speck please


George said...

Antonella, our regular server at Fratelli di Bosco's confirmed that speck is indeed dry-cured, smoked ham as food expert Dick Bellman pointed out in his comment.