Where to begin?...I got to Pellicci's at 12.30, which was just in time to beat the rush. The inside (maybe 20 seats) was already packed, but there was a free table outside-fine by me; it was a lovely day. I was barely there for a moment before I was being given a menu and asked what I wanted to drink. Nothing on the menu is more than £6.40 (sandwiches for 2 quid? OK!), and the £6.40 meals were for meat and two veg-type family-style Italian meals. I had just walked a mile to get there, so I opted to splurge on a proper meal-grilled lemon chicken with potatoes and cabbage. Wow. It was delicious! The server, when I told him that's what I wanted, said 'Good choice-my mamma was just making the chicken this morning.' It really felt like a home cooked mea, and the food was simply fab-fresh, simple, full of flavor.. Total for my bill, which included a can of Coke?....£7.20. Seriously, if I would have had that meal in Central London, you could easily have doubled or tripled the price! As I was paying to leave, the server asked me if I enjoyed the meal. I told him, 'it's very unfortunate. I live in West London, so coming here is a bit of a hike. But, it's completely worth it! The food is delicious.' I'm sure he hears this a dozen times a day, but he still seemed quite pleased, and as I was putting my change in my purse, he said 'young lady-wait a minute' (I *love* anyone who still calls me young lady! :))...and he reached into the pastry case and handed me a piece of bread pudding: "my mamma just made this this morning. please take a piece and enjoy.' How incredibly sweet.
While I was at the restaurant, I got the distinct feeling that I was the only person there who doesn't come in at least 3 times a week; now I understand why. Great food. Great service. Great prices. If you find yourself with some free time, make the effort; you won't be disappointed!
On my way back West, I opted to find the Algerian Coffee Stores. Never one to turn down a good cup-or opportunity to smell good beans (which seems to be the calling card of this tiny shop), I ventured into tourist-town near Piccadilly Circus to find the shop. It's barely large enough to fit 10 people in, but the selection of beans-flavoured and normal, and the selection of equipment is by far the most complete collection I've ever seen. I could easily have stayed in there for an hour and scoured the shelves, but it was too cramped to do so (2pm on a Friday. my mistake...). So, I stayed long enough to buy some beans and a double espresso (yum), and headed out.
All in all, a pretty successful field trip. I think I'll have to break open the book again this week and try another suggestion or two!