As I mentioned in my New Years’ post, over the holiday break we took time to try out (or re-try-out) the local ethnic dives (Rosticceria). Also as I’ve mentioned in a much earlier post, Rosticceria are Italy’s answer to fast food. However, the ethnic food places are a bit different than the Italian ones. Unlike the spic-and-span take-away-only Italian Rosticceria downstairs about which I have written, these places usually have tiny tables and are total hole-in-the-walls (and are usually more frequented by other immigrants than Italians/tourists).
After reading a sign on the wall of our new favorite Chinese place, I learned that technically Rosticceria aren’t suppose to offer you table service (the sign, loosely translated, said that the tables are there as a courtesy, but by law they cannot serve you at them). I guess this puts them in some more affordable/less regulated category than a restaurant (and explains why you have to get your own drinks from the fridge and can get an entire plate of Sri Lankin food for 3.50 euros!). (After I read the sign I also felt better about/understood why when I tried to hand the owner our empty [plastic] plates she shook her head and walked away in a way that made me feel like I had asked her to commit a crime.) The amenities and service are spartan (putting it nicely), but if you’re willing, there’s a world of delicious and cheap ethnic food to be had (if you can find them)!
For example, we passed the Sri Lankin place on several occasions before daring to enter, the delicious smell finally winning over our fears about its less-than-welcoming appearance (and lucky us – it’s delicious! kinda like less heavy/more spicy Indian food). We were even more pleasantly surprised when our entire bill for lunch and drinks was only 10 euros! Let’s see…we had Indian, Chinese, Sri Lankin (fun fact, Sri Lankin food is customarily eaten with your hands [though we used a fork]), and Peruvian (the last two being foods we had never tried before Italy). Here are the Sri Lankin and Peruvian Places:
Okay, now I think it’s time for lunch….