Monday, June 01, 2009

Scenes with an Italian: restaurant

Do you have any friends that you never get a chance to see? Goodness knows I do. And I am firmly of the opinion that any chance I get to see those friends I will do everything in my power to take. Even if it means rearranging my schedule, or canceling other plans.

On Thursday night, as I was preparing dinner, I got a call from my friend Faye. I wasn't shocked, since Faye and I had been trying to plan some phone time for a couple months, but I was excited. Faye and her husband moved to Italy last summer for work and therefore it's been almost a year since I'd seen her. Since that time Faye has had quite a number of crazy experiences including a robbery while she was sleeping in her home, and a more welcome experience - her pregnancy. So I was eager to chat when her name popped up on my caller id.

TG: Buongiorno Italia!!!!!
Faye: What are you doing tomorrow?
TG: Why - are you in the country???!!!!
Faye: We are. We've been here a week, and we just finished doing all the required family visiting. We leave on Saturday, so I wanted to see if there was anyway you could meet me for breakfast tomorrow morning.
TG: For you? Of course!

We spent a little time trying to figure out a place that would be close to where they were staying, which luckily wasn't too far from one of my favorite areas in San Diego for breakfast. I asked Faye if there was anything she was craving for breakfast that she couldn't get in Italy. She laughed. Apparently breakfast in Italy consists of a teeny tiny cappuccino and a cornetti. She was torn between french toast and biscuits and gravy for breakfast. I only know one place in San Diego that has truly fantastic biscuits and gravy, so we were off to Hash House a Go Go.

We met early, which was good because it meant easy parking, and no wait for a table. The no wait is a big plus, because if you come at regular breakfast time you're almost guaranteed a 45 minute wait at least.

How fantastic does Faye look at 5 months pregnant? Italy must agree with her. Although, I spent a very enjoyable breakfast listening to her stories about being pregnant in Italy. I heard about the drinking ("the waiter was annoyed I wouldn't do a shot of limoncello, even though I pointed out I had already had my glass of wine for the day."), the hospital situation ("The hospital is an hour away, but it's the only one that has soap and nursing care."), and even shopping for the baby ("a stroller costs 400 euro!). She entertained me with stories of trying to navigate on Italian highways, where apparently there are no rules of the road or lines directing traffic to specific lanes ("I drive past accidents and dead bodies all the time"). She let me in on all the "locals" secrets about food and travel. The original plan was for us to visit them in the fall, after Fayebambino was born, but those plans were obviously revamped earlier this year. We're hoping that by next spring we'll be able to leave town for long enough to pay a visit to the three of them and see all their favorite sites.

Meanwhile, I'm sure you're all dying to see what we ate, right? I know Faye's been bugging me to post pictures. It was her first time at Hash House, and like so many first timers she was astounded by the quantity and quality of food.

Faye ordered a giant cup of coffee - sighing as she did. She informed me that in Italy it's nearly impossible to get a giant refillable coffee. It's just not how they drink it. As for me, in tribute to my breakfast date, I got a sparkling Italian blood orange juice.

Faye decided to go with her french toast craving. At Hash House, the french toast is dipped in banana cinnamon cream and served with bananas and pecan maple syrup.

As for me, I had the sage fried chicken with eggs and bacon mashed potatoes. That gorgeous gooey stuff is a maple reduction which is unbelievable with the fried chicken. Hash House has the best fried chicken in San Diego. I promise you. And the mashed potatoes aren't so bad either. The secret is definitely in the bacon. I was able to bring home enough for lunch later that day AND snacks for Thatdog. He's a fan of bacon too. And the giant biscuit? Of course I handed it right over to Faye. She's got a growing baby to feed. She told me he sleeps most of the day because "growing into a person is hard work!"


  1. The food looks amazing. I'm glad you could shareit with your friend Faye:D

  2. Am still laughing, it all sounds very familiar! Although I would have ordered chocolate chip pancakes I think :)
    cheers to Americans reproducing in Italy :)

  3. We will definitely be eating there during our stay in La Jolla. The only thing is how will I ever decide what to order. It all sounds so good!

  4. I would love Hash House with no wait!

  5. How great that you guys were able to finally get some time together. Her french toast looks wonderful, as did all of the food!

  6. lucky you, sounds like a fab brunch date!

  7. Sounds like lots of fun with Faye!

  8. Jim's old CW at the judge's office lived in Italy for awhile and every trip back she said she'd load up on huge mugs of coffee. Heck, even after vacationing there for a week, we did the same thing on the flight home. ;)

  9. i now have a certain wham! song stuck in my head.