I'm a little slow today. I just switched to Sanka. So...have a heart?

Sunday, August 09, 2009



I'm in trouble.

My family has a thing for Italian Grocery Stores (which is odd, since we're 75% Jewish, 25% WASP and 0% I-Talian). I think Italian Grocery Stores got a positive association for me, because when I was a little kid (five? six?) Mrs. Mastellone used to let me steal and chew on the plastic grapes from the vines covering the store; or if she didn't let me steal them, then she turned a blind eye.

Anyway, my family pretty much has a collective orgasm (ew.) when we encounter a good Italian Deli/Grocery Store.

So, how the hell did I manage not to set foot in Laurenzo's for the last seven years?! It's like Epicure, but less shiny, more authentic, and Italian, not Jewish. It's pretty much perfect - labyrinthine, and old with that "corners-of-this-place-haven't-been-cleaned-since-1957" feeling. They sell pastas, and sausages, and meat, and cheese, and sell sauces, and olives (oh, the olives!) and Italian pastries and desserts (oh, the desserts!)

They have an entire aisle devoted to canned tomatoes.

There's wine! There's a dented can section! There's a pizza cafeteria in the MIDDLE!

And there are crazy people wandering around, asking the staff stupid questions about what a pound of gnocchi looks like. (Asiago-filled gnocchi? Fan-tastic!)

Sure, it's dim, sure it's a little seedy, and sure, the checkout lanes are vintage 1968, and the profusion of hand-written signs advertising specials is visually cluttered... Everyone there is super sweet, and their food is gooooooood.

This place is a gem.