Sunday, May 21, 2017

Trading Pasta For A Tasty Burger

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I confess that I missed the invasion.  Many years have passed since I first noticed America has once again forced itself into the neighborhood.  People here get a chance to remember the past inside a large movie theatre just outside Padova, and  customers are forced to enter through the theatre before entering American Graffiti Restaurant and the  past glory of the 50’s.   I was not disappointed, which is unusual as I find attempts by Italians to make food of other countries many times miss the target.  Chinese food lacts the spicy/hot,   sushi is made by assembly line and without care, and Mexican food has terrible corn tortillas and badly made guacamole for example.  However, in this franchised burger joint, most of what I saw and tasted was above my expectations.

Customers are greeted with black and white checkered floors, and chrome chairs decked with plastic red covers.  Everything on the walls resemble items of the American past.  I lived in the 50’s but don’t remember anything quite like what I saw, it was more like a Hollywood creation, which is okay by me.

The menu is huge, brunch items, pulled pork, hot dogs, one whole page of beer choices,  I was confronted by making a choice of three different sizes of each type of burger, with a price comparable with Old Wild West, another competitor in a village nearby.  (Previously reviewed in the blog)  Since I was the driver, I chose a soft drink which was delivered Italian style with no ice.  Yes, Italians do not get ice in their soft drinks, you have to ask for it.   I ordered a burger with fries and we shared an appetiser made with jalapeño and cheese.

A happy addition to the table was two different bottles of Heinz hot sauce.  There was one of jalapeño and one from habanero.  I was surprised to see that the bottles were 3/4 empty as Italians are not champions of heat.  I looked at the other nearby tables and found that their bottles were also about the same fullness.  What country is this?

As you can see my burger looks genuinely American.  It was nice that the bun held up and didn’t fall apart like Italian burger buns usually do.  They had not applied an over generous application of mayo, and I instead used a bottle of Heinz barbecue sauce on the burger.  The only other difference I could find between this burger and Old West, is that I am not sure this meat patty was wholly beef.  Maybe this is why Old West makes a big point of claiming an all beef patty, made from beef of Ireland or Argentina.  

The bar even has Dr. Pepper!

I have googled American Graffiti and found that there are multiple restaurants all over Italy.  People needing a burger fix will not be disappointed.  Now if they can just open for breakfast.  Something like a Denny’s would be appreciated, that pile of eggs, bacon and hash browns……Italians do not know the taste of a Sunday breakfast!  


1 comment:

Alessio said...

Hi David,
I do agree with you, Italy quite always fails at foreign cuisine. somewhat restaurant owners are forced to "localize" their recipes to have better business...sad that Italians are not open enough to try new tastes
(unless is a top $$$ restaurant, in that case the expensive meal can be anything just because it's pricey so worth it!)

And forget about Denny's: Italians do like to have only sweet breakfast, it seems. That's a bad note for me as well.

Instead I don't get US obsession with ice: it's always in and plenty, in hotels you have ice machines...what for? Do you really need icy drinks??
In Italy adding ice is a clever way to water down your booze :D