(DeLuca’s) Villa di Roma – Italian Market – Philadelphia, PA
Hey everybody did you know the Pope is coming to Philly? Yep, that is right; Pope Francis is taking a trip from the Vatican to visit the “City of Brotherly Love” for the World Meeting of Families 2015 and the city has been in frenzy for months. Millions of people are descending upon my hometown and they are all going to have to eat somewhere. Even though Pope Francis is from Argentina, and maybe because I am not Catholic, I always relate the Pope to Italy first and foremost. With Italy on my mind, I decided a trip to the Italian Market was in order. The place I decided was worth a try was (DeLuca’s) Villa di Roma (VDR). VDR is old school. You know immediately not to waste your time here unless you are paying in cash. The lights were dim, the staff Italian, and a certain atmosphere that can only be described as hipishly outdated. I would start out with their clams casino.
I do not know if holy moly is the best way to describe the dish, but there was defiantly something holy about what I was served. This was hands down the BEST clams casino I have been served EVER. The generous sized clams were squirting full of juice while still intact in the shell and topped with an amazing combination of herbs, spices, and bread crumbs all cooked to perfection. They were blessed indeed. Up next would be a meatball parmigiana sandwich.
The roll appeared to have gotten a little too close to the fire pits of hell as it was burnt pretty bad, but GLORY GLORY to the gravy and meatballs inside as they were righteous and angelic. The meatballs were huge, yet moist in every bite and firm enough that they did not crumble or fall apart at all while eating. The sweet gravy poured inside was topped with just the right amount of mozzarella cheese made the sandwich exult in all of its tasteful glory.
I do not know how I will feel once Pope Francis arrives, but I can tell you that my experience at VDR was heavenly. I really enjoyed my visit and will certainly be back. AMEN!
Four out of Five Stars