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East Village Sunday (sort of) Part Two: Piadina! Piadina!

Posted in Uncategorized by EVWG on the May 23rd, 2006

So… it’s still Sunday, still beautiful, stomachs still rumbling. Rumbling once for something unique now for anything at all. This is the point where “greasy spoons” look enticing and that is sad. We successfully walked passed those though and found ourselves approaching Houston. My wife in all here daring mentioned that because it was almost two in the afternoon that maybe Clinton Street Baking Company on Clinton Street below Houston would be not as crowded and she could finally try one of those bloody Mary’s I have been talking about for so long. Must ride on a tangent here. The Bloody Marys at this place are awesome, I mean one of the best I have had. Every ingredient is detectable when sipping (or gulping) the concoction. The food there is delectable as well and the brunch is home-style at it’s best which brings me back to the story at hand (nice segue). The problem is the wait for brunch is a ridiculous 30 to 45 minutes. Usually. Man, it is hard for me to justify waiting that long for brunch. We arrived at Clinton Street Baking Co. and sure enough there were people waiting outside and we had a bad feeling that again we would have to wait until my wife was on her summer break and we could hook up breakfast during the week. We did want to see what the wait was just for giggles in case we actually wanted to wait a short time despite our stomachs’ cries for help. As we were walking up to the entrance to scope it out the hostess came barreling out of the restaurant, clipboard and hand and animosity on her face. She proceeded to yell a name and party for two. This is the last call for a name and party of two. She then stopped yelling and gave a mean glance around the entrance and that was our opportunity. We asked her (politely) what the wait was. She took this opportunity to tell us if we could please hold on a second while she yelled for the name again. There was really no need for this. Outside the restaurant were two other couples and my wife and myself. I think she was getting the anger of the morning rush out by yelling a name of a couple that just didn’t want to wait. We tried again to ask the wait and she barked, 45 minutes to an hour. For brunch? No way man. She was just about done. Somebody got to her bad. I can understand in a way. I work in the restaurant industry and it can be hard dealing with some of these hipsters. Not wanting to get involved with whatever was going on there I set my gaze to across the street. Directly across form The Clinton Street Baking Company is this little take our/eat in place called Piada. I remember hearing about it. They sell something called a patina, which is sort of like an Italian tortilla with Italian ingredients. I have been meaning to visit this place but don’t get past Houston much. This was the time. This was the day. Piadina here we come. As we walked across the street my wife was asking me what a piadina was. I tried to explain then told her just wait till you see it. It’s really cool. We walked in and were greeted with a smile by the guys behind the counter. The menu has a list of traditional style piadine and then there is a list of piadine that customers or friends have come up with and they looked great. After that there are the dessert piadine. So we decided to try one of each. I had a traditional style piadina with proscuitto, arugula and stracchino cheese (it’s hard to find this mouth watering cheese in NYC). My wife had the Julia (from the “friends” list), which had Brie tomatoes and arugula. From the dessert list we ordered the Nutella piadina. We sat down and when the order was ready they brought the order to us. This place is small. We could’ve gotten up ourselves and just grabbed it but these guys were nice enough to bring it to us. Also they waited to make the dessert piadina until after we were done with the first two. They even asked us if we wanted something to drink. We had two San Pellagrinos while they cleared our table and brought the Nutella piadina. I asked for an espresso and they brought it to me. Now that is service. This is a take out placer but they serve you as if it were table service. How Italian. How human. How awesome. I felt all the stress of the past hour fade away with the wonderfully prepared espresso. My wife and I sat relaxed and reading a bit of the Sunday Times someone left behind. This was perfect. This is exactly how we wanted to spend our Sunday. We weren’t rushed out and when we did finally mosey on out the guys behind the counter asked us to have a good day. Stomachs happy and minds at ease we headed down the street……….

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