Much like Joey, I love sandwiches. Now, with more Slovenian!
But first I must digress. It snowed here again last Friday-Saturday. Almost as much as the first time and, again, the city was paralyzed. According to the mayor (whom everyone is mad at due to aforementioned paralysis), 2 metres of snow fell in the north of Rome. According to me, it was more like 5 centimetres. Like the last time, Rome was beautiful all dressed in white. People took to the park across the street with sleds and skis and slidey trashbags and carrots for snowman noses. And dogs — including mine — were having a grand old time, racing around in the snow, chasing snowballs and each other. The park was as crowded as I’ve ever seen it. There was only one catch. It was closed. The city closed the park after the first snowfall nearly two weeks ago citing danger from falling branches and slippery ice. That was true — for about 24 hours. The second snow was very light and dry. It had virtually disappeared by last Sunday. But the park still remains closed. The dog people are up in arms. My neighbours are very handy at lock picking — rather worrisome that — and it didn’t take them long to get the gate open. Every few days, the authorities would come back with a bigger lock and by the next day there would be a long line of people trying to break in. Years ago, someone pried open two of the bars on the gate to ensure access (for the very thin) after hours and people (very thin people) have been crawling through that at the odd times when the gate has been impassable. But it seems that the law has clamped down. The latest (very big) lock has remained intact for days and the crawl space has been closed up as well.
Now I hear the park will remain closed for another 2 weeks! It’s hard to understand just what is going on. There’s no ice left in the park, no falling down trees. Not even much mud. Looks like springtime over there. Grr. Hmm. Having said that, I’m looking out the window at a guy in the park with his dog. Wonder how he got in there?
Ok, sandwiches. I love ’em. That’s because I’m American — land of the Dagwood — and from Philadelphia, home of some of the best sandwiches anywhere.
It’s not very easy to be a sandwich fanatic in Rome. In bars, there are basically two kinds available. The tramezzino, a triangular sandwich on white bread with the crusts cut off, is about 50% mayonnaise with a miniscule amount of filling: 1 thin transparent slice of ham, 1 teaspoon of tuna, or (weirdly) a handful of cooked spinach or canned mushrooms. And never more than two ingredients on the same sandwich. A panino is more or less the same, minus the mayo and usually featuring a big bread roll and it tends to be more bread than sandwich. Of course I could design my own sandwiches at home — and I do — but unless you make your own bread (which is a bandwagon that all of my friends have been jumping on lately), the choices on offer are not sandwich-friendly. And just try to find an Italian hoagie roll in Italy. I miss D’Ambrosio’s!
But all is not lost. I have been scouting sandwiches in Italy for the past few years and there is good news to report. I have already effused about the delicious pastrami number near Largo Argentina. Here is a reminder.
The bakery on Campo di Fiori does a fine sandwich, served on their delicious pizza bianca. I like the chicken salad.
A new place just opened on on Viale Aventino near FAO. Called Paulette, it’s tiny with just a few tables and stools. It does warm baguettes featuring things like sausages and brie. And each sandwich has at least 3 ingredients. Not quite a Dagwood, but we’re getting there.
And, saving the best for last: La Pianeta del Panino! I’ve known about this place for a while — it’s just around the corner and I’ve passed by it a million times on the tram — but I happened to walk by the other night on my way home from the little play park where I take Morgan when the big park is closed or when I’m avoiding going there as I did for 2 months after Lula chased a dog out into the street and the other dog disappeared. It all ended happily but it took me awhile to build up the courage to look the dog’s owner in the eye again. So, Sandwich Planet. It was close to dinnertime so I went in. They had a large selection of sandwiches on perfect rolls and with lots of ingredients to choose from.
Check it out. And they deliver. It’s not quite as advanced as a build your own sandwich place yet but I plan to test the waters on that once they know me a bit better.
Park update. Because I know you are on the edges of your sets. The lock pickers are back at work and this afternoon we had access to the park. Apparently they have worked out a scam to ensure people can still get in even though the park is officially closed until the end of the month. Something to do with a fake lock or something. I’ll keep you posted.