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Cafe di Roma

Café di Roma

This location is closed

By Tim Hill | Posted 11/6/2002

Italian for lunch? Not since, oh, the '70s has it been fashionable to gorge yourself midday on massive quantities of pasta. The Italians may still do it, but they take two-hour-plus lunches. That's why Italian street food, like the cheap and filling sandwiches they serve at Cafe di Roma, is the perfect American alternative.

I ordered the San Marco ($6.95), a hefty and delicious prosciutto, basil, olive oil, and mozzarella sandwich on ciabatta bread. My dining partner took the slightly more healthy route, ordering a Portafino Panini ($5.95)--grilled Italian bread stuffed with savory portobello mushrooms, roasted peppers, red onions, greens, tomato, and provolone. Fantastic, but a little heavy on the olive oil. We couldn't finish off without a little dolce: The gelato ($2.25 regular, $3.75 large) is as close to the motherland as I've tasted, and my friend's little bag of cookies was tasty, if a bit pricey. We noted the Italian buffet upstairs ($7.95), sporting a nice selection of clams, shrimp, tortellini, and roasted chicken. Someday, when we get the time, we'll pull one of those marathon lunches, the way they used to.

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