My friend and I walked up and down Little Italy, in New York City,
perusing the multitude of Italian restaurants, trying to distinguish one, from the other.
This was not left up to our leisure, however,
as each time we took a step toward a menu to take a glance, we would hear,
"Ciao, Bella. You want to come for dinner?"
Out of the shadows, a "suave" Italian young man would appear,
one restaurant after the other,
trying to seduce us with promises of culinary bliss.
By the time we reached the end of one side of the street,
I felt the need to take a long, hot shower,
and was tempted to change my palate and detour to China Town,
where the dinner specials were displayed (literally) hanging in the windows.
I had come for Italian food, though,
so we crossed the street and bravely walked back up the other side.
"Ciao, Bella!" said the fetcher (as I like to call them),
as it is their job to "go fetch the customers".
This one was cockier than all the rest.
His "sales pitch" was that his restaurant was better than all the rest,
so he makes no excuses for his prices and promises us no free coffee or desserts (like the others).
Inside, the tables were full of people, and it had that trendy, downtown appeal
that would impress many a passersby (especially tourists),
but that was not what I was looking for.
Like most things in my life, I know what I DON'T want,
but I don't know what I DO want until I stumble upon it.
And, then I did.
Inside, it was brightly lit, and anything but elegant.
Red, checkered table cloths and and chairs that looked like they had a few stories to tell.
By the front window, gathered around a table,
were a bunch of displaced characters pulled straight out of
the televisions series, The Sopranos.
THIS was the place that I was going to get a good plate of spaghetti and meatballs.