Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Eating Little Italy

I'll be the first to admit that I am a VERY BAD resident of Little Italy. I've hardly eaten anywhere here. I've been to La Dolce Vita a half dozen times (way more than that for drinking) and I went to Trattoria Roman Gardens once about two years ago. I've had drinks at Maxi's, La Dolce, Valerio's and Guarino's as well.

Well, at some point I hope to change that (gradually). Tonight, I ordered takeout from Guarino's (because it's right across the street and I am admittedly feeling VERY lazy tonight). I got the cheese ravioli and some cheese toast. This was a nice little treat. I wouldn't do it on a regular basis because it is a little expensive ($15 for the ravioli, $3 for the toast) for a solo evening meal and it beats the hell out of Qdoba or Chopstick (a horrendous little Chinese place on Euclid and Mayfield).

I'll have another post about Chopstick someday, just don't go there. Please trust me, the staff is rude and the food might be good if I was 12 years younger and a pothead. In my opinion however, there is no libation that could make this stuff taste even remotely Chinese.

Growing up with San Georgio pasta and a jar of Prego makes me really like the restaurants that very obviously make their own pasta and sauce. The sauce with the ravioli wasn't acidic at all, I felt like I could eat the sauce on little bits of garlic toast for a good while (I kind of did that with the garlic toast).

The inside of Guarino's is really charming, it's essentially a house. The bar has a piano across from it, covered in family photos. The dining rooms look like something out of a really touching Norman Rockwell picture. I would definitely suggest it for a dinner with the folks, or for one of those really sappy romantic dinners. You know the one I mean, where you gaze lovingly into each other's eyes and say;

Girl: I love you.
Guy: I love you more!
Girl: No, I love you more.
Guy: Aw! You're cute.
Girl: No, you're cute.
Guy: No...You!

Not that I uh, know anything about that sort of ordeal. Nope, nothing at all. *whistles*

It was a nice dinner. If I hadn't been in gym clothes I might have actually sat down and had a drink or two.

On another subject...

I don't know how many of you (or if any of you for that matter) ride the HealthLine (aka the #6 bus), but it has gotten crazy lately, what with the fare evaders and all. You have the option to purchase a single pass at any of the stops along the Euclid corridor. You also have the option to buy the pass on the bus, but rumor has it that this is going to disappear soon. If you have a weekly pass, you only need to activate it once. It prints your start date and the expiration date for you.

Keep your pass on you, however. Every single morning and evening the Transit Police appear on the buses at random and ask you to present your farecard. If you can't, you are escorted off the bus and given a ticket for $76.00. You have two weeks to pay it, or you'll get a warrant. When you are ticketed, they check for previous warrants and you can be arrested if you have them.

Every single day, I see at least one person sitting at a stop next to two or three Transit Policemen. Lately, I've seen people in cuffs (this means they tried to run). I talked to one of the officers who told me that people have started to physically fight the officers and will subsequently be arrested. This morning, I saw a lady surrounded by officers (she was cuffed) bawling her eyes out, pleading for them to tear up the ticket.

You'll most often hear people cry "bullshit" about the penalties, but I find it very hard to feel sympathy. The people getting ticketed/arrested are not homeless people trying to get down the way, they're people like you and I - except that they're not paying their fares.

It's two freaking dollars for a one way ticket, people. Pay your fare.

I suppose the sense of entitlement isn't a new fad but it really annoys me. Maybe I'll panhandle one afternoon, raise two dollars and get a one way pass. Then, I'll panhandle at Public Square and get another one way pass and go home - just to prove a point. I guess the point would appear that anyone can (and should) panhandle so they can afford the bus...That's not the point I want to make, so nevermind.

I've even felt so annoyed by this little dance that I witness every day that I'm motivated enough at this point to write a (dun dun dun...) LETTER TO THE EDITOR (god i'm old now). Who knows.

On a musical note (haw), give a listen to this Jeff Buckley song, Je N'en Connais Pas La Fin. (I like it more than I like Hallelujah)

Do you like free stuff? Go here and check out Trumpets in the Snow. (Made of some former members of To Be a High Powered Executive) You can even download their album for free.


alexa - cleveland's a plum said...

you're funny. love this post.

i think i'm a bad clevelander cause i don't venture to little italy nearly enough - and i don't live there. you have no excuse. hahaha

Cara said...

Yeah, I have absolutely no excuse at all. It's really a fun place when it's nice out. Last weekend, it was so cool to see everyone milling around, eating at tables on the sidewalk...

We rented Rear Window and got gelato at Presti's that night. It was a nice (albeit very short) walk home. The berries and cream gelato tastes just like a slice of cassata cake.

Kelly and José said...

Ooooh, Cassata Cake is my absolute favorite. . .Corbo's Bakery has the best :) My family usually requests the cake to be chocolate instead of vanilla -- yum*


Cara said...

Mario Batali actually said that Corbo's cassata cake was the best he'd EVER had.