Those who know me will tell you that I’m a bit of an Italophile. I am half, after all (mother’s side in case you’re wondering about a name like “Roat”). So I like to make the 45 minute trip to the Italian Market in Philly once every few weeks to get some nice cheeses and generally take in the local color. Remember the scene from Rocky when Sly runs down the street and grabs a piece of fruit? That’s the place and it seems to be relatively unchanged since the making of the movie besides the addition of a large mural of Frank Rizzo Sr. and an extra dining room in Villa di Roma. There are some great sights and sounds—guys hawking shopping bags (they are not included with a purchase of produce or tube socks), the loud thwack of a meat cleaver eviscerating various mammals and vendors extolling the virtues of their wares. The burn barrels are a unique element. They are precariously close to the passing traffic and to piles of stuff that my firefighting buddies might regard as a “heavy fire load.” One of my favorite places is Di Bruno Brothers “House of Cheese,” a shoebox of a store full of thousands of different varieties of…cheese. Want to try something? They’ll slice you a slab and shove it right at you with a rather large knife (I’m surprised more people don’t get stabbed). Go before 10:00 a.m. because the executools and yuppies have not found their way down there yet.

Posted by on December 3, 2005