Free Lunch in Little Italy

This story may dispel your theory that there is no such thing as a free lunch. When you have spent hours on the streets of New York City, you want a rest. If you stumble into Little Italy, you will delight that it is so alive and exciting. There is a table right on the street that is shaded by the brightly colored awning, green, white and red striped just like the flag of Italy. How perfectly charming when our group is most contentedly seated. As we looked around, we smelled and saw culinary delights, which can only be produced here in this restaurant on this street in Little Italy. Oh, there are other restaurants, plenty of them all around us, but this one was ours. This one wins our award. Our waiter gave us time to review the menu and then, circled back to take our order.
Our water was served, followed by freshly baked bread with a powder on top that collects on your upper lip with each successive bite. The dipping sauce consisted of warmed oil that held subtle imported Italian spices, which permeated the oil only to blast off onto the bread, into your mouth, creating a blissful, taste-filled mouth full of goodness. The flavor is like no other.

All the while you are sipping, relaxing, dipping, biting, dusting your lips and cheeks with baked powder, the crowds, the throngs of people are passing right in front of your table. This is the city’s hottest ticket. This is the way you are supposed to learn, understand and experience New York City. You are here and you have a front row seat to see much of what this city has to show you. You are in the sights, the sounds and the humanity that inhabits this great spot.

The waiter comes a second time to assure himself that he has the order correct. We assure him that each one of us has ordered our favorite Italian dish. After all, “when in Rome,” well, not exactly, it should read, when in Little Italy. An hour has passed and we are enjoying the second round of bread, oil, powder and the show is still parading by our table. Our feet have rested. We have enjoyed the ever-changing scene. Where is our food? Two hours have passed. So has the world before us. We are on our third round of powdered bread and succulent dipping sauce, but where is our food? We asked, oh for heavens sake you do not think was sat passively, but the food never came. We felt like we had rested enough, and certainly had eaten enough, plus the ever changing scenery could not have been ordered and delivered any better, so we got up, walked over to the man in charge and thanked him for this time at the table. Since our orders never came, we told him we were going to be on our sightseeing way. As we walked up the street, we could still hear the man in charge yelling at the waiter. Thank you for our delicious free lunch. I am still looking to find any bread better and any dipping sauce that compares.

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Connie Forster
    Dec 31, 2007 @ 17:35:25

    I can taste that bread now, I do love fresh bread, there is no other taste quite like it, straight from the oven, oh bliss, and to top it all it’s free, I shall sit and dream. Um. I’ve never heard a more original tale, and it’s true, must visit this wonderful place, will I be so lucky, I think not.
    How pleasing to walk away full, having had the side show, food, drink, would I be so brave?


  2. sheila
    Jan 16, 2008 @ 21:11:41

    When you go to New York this summer, find Little Italy, try their bread. Get the powder all over your upper lip. You will be so brave. I know you now, and you will be there in that moment.


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