South Philly Italian

December 19, 2010

Oh, dear sweet baby Jesus. I am so stuffed, I’m freakin’ miserable.

No photos. Villa di Roma, 9th just off Christian in South Philly, is not the kind of place you take photos of your food. You just eat. And drink. Copiously. And stagger out the door.

I am replete.

NS’s uncle is a gen-yoo-ine South Philly Eye-talian; grandpa came over from the old country, etc. And he grew up in South Philly. I wanted to get down there to the Italian markets while I was in town, but schedules didn’t allow….so they took me down there tonight for dinner, instead.

Little narrow row-house type building, right across the street from the “boneless smoked whole pig” shop, showing a rather slack-looking pig on what appeared to be a rotissiere. (I am here to tell you, I wanted IN those shops. Already making plans for a return trip.) Maitre’d type named Pepe, who insisted on hugging both the women in the party. (I have his card; I’m supposed to call when I come back.) Waitress named Rochelle (“but nobody calls me that except bill collectors; you call me Honey.”).

Menu full of wonderful down-home Italian favorites. I decided on about six different entrees, and settled on ravioli and meatballs. “Oh,” sez Honey. “Sunday night comfort food. Good choice.”

She did not lie.

I cannot do justice in print to those tennis-ball-sized globes awash in marinara sauce, a dense, rich mixture of pork, beef, maybe veal, finely minced, the taste of garlic and onions but none of the crunch, soaked in a luscious, silky, basil-y marinara, dusted with a healthy shaving of parmigiano….Have mercy!

Thank God it was not a huge plate. I finished off six ravioli that were about four-inch squares, and one and 2/3 tennis-ball-sized meatballs before I threw in the fork. And God help me, I wanted that last third of a meatball, but I just did not have a spot for it, unless I wrapped it in a napkin and stuffed it in my pocket.

Perhaps it was that large portion of a carafe of Cribari chianti. Well, on reflection, perhaps I’ll give up that third of a meatball for the Cribari.

Tell y’mama ‘n ’em to give South Philly a try. Those are some Sweet Baby Jesus meatballs, I’m tellin’ you.

Headed home in the morning to start cooking for Christmas. Check in with you soon.

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One Response to “South Philly Italian”

  1. littleclove Says:

    Love it, Kay! My mouth is watering for those ravs! Looking forward to your Xmas menu.


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