not gelato at al gelato

i haven’t tried all the flavors of gelato they have there. in fact, of all the times i’ve gone to al gelato, i’ve only ordered gelato once. with my incredible sweet tooth and absolute love for all things cold, sweet and creamy, i would imagine that i’d clean out the freezer case on every visit, but i don’t. even for dessert, i end up with tiramisu or cheesecake. blasphemy at a gelateria!

the reason must be that the food is delicious and by the end of a regular meal there, i truly cannot fit in dessert. that says a lot about al gelato because nowhere else do i ever skip dessert, no matter how much i’ve already eaten. i have this sneaking suspicion that al gelato uses a lot of sugar in all their foods, wreaking havoc on any balanced insulin levels and creating crazy carb cravings – the customer orders more bread! more pasta! more pizza! and even dessert at the end. south beach diet foiled again!

the sweet factor is most pronounced in the tuna salad. it’s just tuna, maybe some very finely diced onions, no celery, and no other fillers. what perplexes me is why and how it is sweet. i ask for the recipe every time, but the waitress only smiles and says it’s a secret. i can’t imagine that they just add plain sugar – that would be too easy. is it sweet pickle juice, perhaps? the egg salad also has a hint of sweetness, but that’s not the most notable feature. somehow, they have managed to make the egg salad fluffy. it’s not creamy, like the eggs have been pureed with cups of mayonnaise. there really and truly is no other way of describing it than fluffy.

the pizzas are nothing spectacular, as pizza is so hard to *wow* with anymore. but the pastas are fantastic, and i very rarely eat pasta! the portions are almost too enormous to be respectable, but shared between two or even among three people, a bowl of the rigatoni is perfect. the tomato sauce, again, is delicious because it’s sweet. and i just don’t think i can accept that it’s the natural sweetness of the tomatoes. they have got to be adding something else; i just know it. crack (sugar, that is).

the pasta alone is good, but add a chicken cutlet or a meatball if you feel guilty about not eating any protein. i’ve gone before and just ordered the softball-sized meatball alone. with the bread they bring to the table and the little bowls of olives, peppers, and pickled vegetables (is it called giardiniere?) it’s definitely enough to be a meal.

and the reason i ever first went to al gelato way back when? of all things, the chicken soup. the recipe has changed a little, and it’s not always available the day i go, but when it is, i order it. even if i have to take most of it home. someone’s mom has been back in the kitchen since 5 am simmering chicken, carrots, celery and herbs. the chicken is in pieces, with meat falling off the bones, as it should be after long, slow cooking. the carrots and celery are peeled, but like the herb sprigs, are left almost whole. it’s rustic and homey. just like mamma mia never used to make.

al gelato
806 south robertson blvd. (at gregory way)
los angeles, ca 90035
310.659.8069

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  • GrowItGreen

    I love gelato, but it is difficult to find a shop that makes it in my small town in S.C. so, I have to make it myself when I get a craving. I appreciate all of the recipes I can get my hands on. Check out this “cool” article about gelato at http://www.foodista.com

  • http://www.mythaibeach-restaurant-santacruz.com Restaurants Capitola

    ooh how i love gelato

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