Today I was going to start my (hopefully) ongoing series on the Villanova University School of Law cafeteria, but I just couldn’t. Nothing looked that great on the menu, and the samples they put out to show you what the food looks like didn’t impress me much either. I’m not really too hopeful it will be better any other day, but I’ll reserve judgment until the official tasting. Still, I feel kind of bad for Blank Rome LLP; they sponsored the dining room, not the kitchen, but the potentially bad food will still reflect poorly on them…at least in my eyes.
As I was walking out of the school, I missed a call from a friend, who was calling me Mr. Blue Sweatshirt, because I was wearing the light blue hoody my girl gave me from her med school. I called him back and he told me that he was meeting two other schoolmates at Antonella’s. I had eaten there once before, so I knew it was generally safe.
The parking is pretty tight there, so if it’s busy, be prepared to park across the street at Flips or walk a block or two. When you walk in to Antonella’s you are pretty much standing at the main counter, and there is a small dining area to your left. We were greeted in a friendly manner by a man who looks to be the owner on the website.
Since I knew I was going to be reviewing the food, I decided to let them choose what I was going to be having. They recommended either the Italian, or the (all beef) Meatball sub. I chose the Italian because I have issues with large balls of meat. It just doesn’t seem natural to want to eat it in ball form. Keep it loose and put it in the sauce, or make a patty, or whatever. I kind of want to punch whoever decided the ball was the correct way to go about getting meat into pasta or a sandwich.
In any case, the Italian sub had American Prosciutto, Capicola, and Genoa Salami for the meats, and Provolone for the cheese. It was topped with lettuce, tomato, and onion. I also added oil, vinegar, oregano, and pepper. The final choice of accoutrements included either hot or sweet peppers (or both). I chose hot.
Their meats come from a specialty butcher, but they wouldn’t tell me who it was. All they would say is that it is from a local farm. This would seem plausible and follow the general trend, seeing as how their bread comes from the Abruzzi bakery in South Philly.
The other cool part about dining here is getting an Antonella’s branded root beer, cream, grape, or orange soda. I know it’s probably not a special formula, or anything that great, but drinking pop from a glass bottle is a rare treat that we indulge in so little anymore. It makes me feel nostalgic for a time I never experienced; when people had faith in their government, the Malt Shoppe reigned supreme, and the Fonze said “Hey!”
We sat down at our table to find that we had a box of Trivial Pursuit questions to keep us occupied as we waited the 10 minutes for our food. If every restaurant did this, I would never complain about waiting. As the plate arrived I noticed that the sandwich was piled high with meat, and I also realized that meat, especially cured meat that has never been cooked, does not actually look very appetizing. Nonetheless, I felt it was my duty to eat and evaluate, and I have never been one to shirk my duty.
It was a pretty standard Hoagie (which I found out is the untoasted cousin (or maybe sibling) of the Grinder) as far as they go. The meats did taste and look more high quality than your average Wawa Shorti, but nothing to get very excited about. I think the highlight of the sandwich were the hot peppers, which were diced in an oil base. This might not seem so great, but it worked out to be almost like a hot pepper jelly, which really lubricated the sandwich well. Mayo used to be my favorite sandwich lube, but now there is a new king in Krishna’s mouth.
One of the people in our group had to bounce out early because his girlfriend had SARS (or something to that effect) and he needed to take care of her. When we got up to pay, the person at the register charged us for his meal. Since I think stereotypes became stereotypes because there is some truth behind them (at least at some point in time), and this friend is an upstanding person of Hebraic origin, I decided that he may have ‘forgotten’ to pay his bill, and called him to find out what was up.
He had in fact paid his bill, which not only shot my racially charged theory to death, but also made me feel kind of stupid. At least they gave me the money when I went back in and told them what happened. I feel that it was an honest mistake and they were not trying to rip us off purposely, but they almost caused me to commit a hate crime, and made me feel foolish. This is not a great way to keep me coming back.
Edit: The special today was Chicken Tetrazzini…if you watch ‘The Soup’, then you know some people go crazy over that stuff!