“Of course, Italian food is notorious for being heavy on carbohydrates and is not something that I could regularly indulge in without feeling gluttinous. However, I still enjoyed the food because of the fresh and flavorful ingredients used in preparing the meal.”
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Kristine Xu is a journalism freshman and Mustang News food columnist.
After concluding that we both craved Italian food, a friend and I decided to hop on the bus and take a spontaneous trip downtown for dinner. We walked a short distance from the bus stop to a small Italian restaurant located in an alleyway off of Monterey Street.
Palazzo Giuseppe is located in the heart of downtown, where there is easy access to a number of other eateries and shops located on the same street, such as Thai Palace and Powell’s Sweet Shoppe. As I have heard from many other students, Palazzo Giuseppe is a common stop for dinner with visiting parents.
As we chose what to eat, we decided to order take out so we could be seated immediately on the patio, since the weather was crisp. We both enjoyed being able to watch people walking past us while we ate.
Connected to the main restaurant of Palazzo Giuseppe was a small specialty shop filled with different kinds of food, including sandwiches, gelato, pastries and even freshly baked pizza. Our waitress said the pizza slices were on sale because it was a half hour before closing time. As tempting as that sounded, I was looking for a heartier meal.
I chose a pasta dish from the restaurant menu called “Bucatini con Polpette,” a simple spaghetti dish with handmade meatballs and rich tomato sauce. I was curious to sample the plate because the description boasted handmade meatballs made “Grandma’s way.”
After a short time, the waitress handed me an aluminum take-out plate that looked eerily similar to the ones used on campus at VG Cafe. Even though I knew the quality would be infinitely better, I could not help but hesitate as I pried the lid off the plate.
All my doubts evaporated as I saw the amount of food complemented with the gorgeous smells that wafted out. The thick spaghetti noodles were coated in a hearty tomato sauce and complimented nicely with two generous meatballs.
As I took my first bite, I noticed the spaghetti sauce was slightly spicy and tasted more savory than any generic tomato sauce from the store. Even the meatballs were slightly spicy and so tender that they fell apart when I bit into them.
My only complaint with the meal would be the amount of sauce. By the end of the meal, the last few strands of spaghetti were absolutely overwhelmed by the sauce that the flavor was too strong to be enjoyable. I had already finished the meatballs at that point, so the sauce-to-spaghetti ratio was off balance.
Of course, Italian food is notorious for being heavy on carbohydrates and is not something that I could regularly indulge in without feeling gluttinous. However, I still enjoyed the food because of the fresh and flavorful ingredients used in preparing the meal.
The next time I am looking for authentic Italian food, I will be sure to come back to Palazzo Giuseppe with a big appetite and an even bigger curiosity to try other menu items.