Little Italy Pasta

Pasta, Panini and Catering

July 30, 2015
by Gerry
0 comments

August Long

Well here we are folks, another long weekend Friday kicks off in just a few hours. We of course will be closed on Monday, back for a four day work week next week, then off on a much needed vacation, so please make note below we will be closed for another week. As for this weekend though, I hope you all have a safe and fun holiday weekend. We are open for lunch today, see you at noon.

VACATION ALERT: The cafe will be closed the week of August 10th-14th as I take a much needed vacation with the family. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Today’s UberFact: “Fraggle Rock” was HBO’s first original series

THE PASTAS: includes Garden Salad w/House Balsamic Vinaigrette or Caesar Salad & Garlic Toast

Baked Cavatappi Alfredo  $10.50

Spaghetti w/Meat Sauce $10.50  w/Tomato Sauce $10.00

TODAY’S SOUPS: Includes Garlic Toast Small $4.70 Large $6.15

Soup Is Taking The Summer Off

THE SIDES:

Saintly Good Meatballs $1.40

Sensational Spicy Sausages $1.60

DOLCE:

Tiramisu  $3.00

Cannoli $3.00

July 29, 2015
by Gerry
0 comments

Don’t Call Me Cheap or Easy

So many of you may have seen it, many perhaps not. There was an article written in the Edmonton Sun by “food critic” Graham Hicks trashing this year’s Taste of Edmonton. I’ll be blunt, I have never been a fan of his work. This just adds to it. I understand he didn’t like many of the offerings, I also understand he has some dietary issues. Here’s a thought Graham, if you have some pretty strict dietary issues, maybe Taste of Edmonton wasn’t for you. It’s fine, you can say, “none of this stuff looks good to or for me”, way too much deep fried etc. But he took it another step further, basically ripping so many people a new one without even thinking of their efforts involved. For those not named directly, he lumped us all in as being just too cheap or too easy. Borderline insulting, in my opinion. Look, I’ll be the first to admit, there is too much deep fried stuff at Taste. At the same time, as someone that has participated in it for 3 years now and brought 4 different dishes in those three years, I have a pretty good grasp at how much work it takes.  We are trying to feed anywhere from 500-2000 portions of food in a day for 10 days. We only get to bring 2 items. We only have so much space. It costs money to register, purchase product and pay staff. In all of that, we need to come up with two dishes that offer people a “taste” of some of our menu. They’re items that have to be on our in house menu. It’s a crap shoot. In my first year, I served 2 pasta dishes; Gemelli with Tomato Sauce ( great with kids and vegetarians) and Mushroom Cream Sausage Rotini (spicier & meaty) They did pretty well. Year 2 I ditched the Gemelli and brought in Affogato ( espresso over ice cream) a nice dessert option, ties in great on hot days and nights and brought back the Rotini. Going into this year, I wanted to raise the bar a bit for myself. I kept the affogato because it’s an easy dish to prepare. It’s a scoop of ice cream with an espresso shot over it. However, I thought it would be a great opportunity to serve up my meatballs on a much larger stage. I came up with an all beef meatball slider. The same meatballs we have available at the cafe, simmered in our own tomato sauce served on a baby bun from the Italian Bakery. I went with beef, because as I learned from two years of pasta with pork sausage, not everyone eats pork. Plus, I wanted to gain some traction and exposure as hopefully the meatballs will be retailing come the fall. (Fingers crossed on that note.) Thru all of this keep in mind the number of people we are trying to feed, the number of expenses we have incurred. Now, we are allotted 6 tickets to plan our payments. That means of between your two dishes, they can’t be more than 6 tickets combined. So you have many 3 & 3 or 4 & 2 combinations depending on where you went. I went with a 3 & 3. This way no matter what, I’m making the same amount. Here’s a key thing to remember; profit is not a dirty word. Yet there are a handful of “foodies” that want to go on a tirade about how we are all trying to do everything as cheap as possible and not worry about the quality of our product. Clearly you have no idea of what happens at Taste then, so just don’t come. Or at the very least, explore all of us, do some research and if you can find a way to turn Alberta raised prime rib into a cost effective meatball, I’d be happy to hear from you. Until then ground beef works fantastic so shut it. Don’t lump all of us together. I know I spent a lot of time putting things together and my staff and I spent a lot of time rolling meatballs by hand. Taste of Edmonton had a record turnout. People love Taste for whatever reason. Great! Come on out have fun. Try something new, indulge in some of your favorites. But please, don’t sit there and tell me we all do it for the cheap and to just make money. I do want to introduce people to my business and make money, and I do so working pretty hard at it, many of us do. In turn we go out and spend our money on everyone else’s stuff. It’s a wonderful thing. Rant over. Time to make lunch. See you at noon. Hopefully not Graham Hicks though, I just don’t like that guy.

VACATION ALERT: The cafe will be closed the week of August 10th-14th as I take a much needed vacation with the family. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Today’s UberFact: While watermelon is a fruit, it’s rind can be used as a vegetable.

THE PASTAS: includes Garden Salad w/House Balsamic Vinaigrette or Caesar Salad & Garlic Toast

Gnocchi w/Rosee Sauce $10.50

Spaghetti w/Meat Sauce $10.50  w/Tomato Sauce $10.00

TODAY’S SOUPS: Includes Garlic Toast Small $4.70 Large $6.15

Soup Is Taking The Summer Off

THE SIDES:

Saintly Good Meatballs $1.40

Sensational Spicy Sausages $1.60

DOLCE:

Tiramisu  $3.00

Cannoli $3.00

July 28, 2015
by Gerry
0 comments

Some Events From Taste of Edmonton

So, here we are back to it at the cafe. It’s really a different scene than what was at Taste of Edmonton. That was an interesting go this year in our third appearance. It started off with my booth being broken into the night before we started and they took my tool box. I was annoyed, but really nothing was taken in terms of food. Turns out they actually caught the guy not long after he took my stuff, trying to break into some other building not far away from Churchill Square. Then there was the visit from Steve Tyler from Aerosmith on the Friday night. I turn around from stirring meatballs, and spot some wildly dressed up guy at my booth. Upon closer inspection, it was Steven Tyler. We chatted for a few minutes, explained that the meatballs were made from scratch, turns out we are both Italian, (his last name is Tallarico) he enjoyed my meatball slider, expressed how much he liked the bun to meatball ratio, made a joke about not eating too much, then showed me his abs. True story. He was also very polite, and yes I charged him three tickets for his meatball slider. There’s a few more tidbits I would like to share with you, but that will come tomorrow. Time to get lunch ready. See you at noon.

VACATION ALERT: The cafe will be closed the week of August 10th-14th as I take a much needed vacation with the family. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Today’s UberFact: Bill Murray used to work at a Little Caesars Pizza shop in Illinois; he says it’s the best job he’s ever had.

THE PASTAS: includes Garden Salad w/House Balsamic Vinaigrette or Caesar Salad & Garlic Toast

Beef Penne with Mushroom Cream Sauce$10.50

Spaghetti w/Meat Sauce $10.50  w/Tomato Sauce $10.00

TODAY’S SOUPS: Includes Garlic Toast Small $4.70 Large $6.15

Soup Is Taking The Summer Off

THE SIDES:

Saintly Good Meatballs $1.40

Sensational Spicy Sausages $1.60

DOLCE:

Tiramisu  $3.00

Cannoli $3.00

July 27, 2015
by Gerry
0 comments

Hellooooooooooo Acheson!!!!

And we’re back. It was a hectic 10 days, but the cafe is open again today. Now full disclosure, we’ll be closing again for a much needed week off  in August from the 10th to the 14th, otherwise, I’m never getting a vacation. We’ll talk more about that and our adventures at Taste of Edmonton later, we have lunch to prepare. See you at noon.

Today’s UberFact: Fez’s name from That 70′s Show was actually an acronym for Foreign Exchange Student.

THE PASTAS: includes Garden Salad w/House Balsamic Vinaigrette or Caesar Salad & Garlic Toast

Rotini & Peppers w/Olive Oil & Garlic $10.50

Spaghetti w/Meat Sauce $10.50  w/Tomato Sauce $10.00

TODAY’S SOUPS: Includes Garlic Toast Small $4.70 Large $6.15

Soup Is Taking The Summer Off

THE SIDES:

Saintly Good Meatballs $1.40

Sensational Spicy Sausages $1.60

DOLCE:

Tiramisu  $3.00

Cannoli $3.00

July 17, 2015
by Gerry
0 comments

It’s Day 2

Taste of Edmonton is fully under way. The weather looks to be interesting, but the food has been impressive. They’re calling for rain today, but hopefully nothing to crazy. After today, the cafe is closed all next week. Stop by the booth, say hello. See you at the square.

TASTE OF EDMONTON July 16-25: We will once again be at Taste of Edmonton this year and for the week of July 20-24th, THE CAFE WILL BE CLOSED. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but then again it’s also why I am telling you now. Be prepared, make lunch plans. However, don’t worry, we’ll be back on Monday July 27th. For more details about the Taste of Edmonton go to tasteofedm.ca

Today’s UberFact: Flirting is more efficient when it’s sunny outside.

THE PASTAS: includes Garden Salad w/House Balsamic Vinaigrette or Caesar Salad & Garlic Toast

Pasticcio $10.50

Spaghetti w/Meat Sauce $10.50  w/Tomato Sauce $10.00

TODAY’S SOUPS: Includes Garlic Toast Small $4.70 Large $6.15

Soup Is Taking The Summer Off

THE SIDES:

Saintly Good Meatballs $1.40

Sensational Spicy Sausages $1.60

DOLCE:

Tiramisu  $3.00

Cannoli $3.00

July 16, 2015
by Gerry
0 comments

And Away We Go!!!!

Here we go folks!!!! It looks like it may be a bit of a wet start to Taste of Edmonton today, but that’s okay, I still think it will be a fantastic time over the next 10 days. I spent a lot of yesterday around the square and it’s really looking like another great set up by everyone at Events Edmonton. Sandra will be driving the cafe today and tomorrow and then we will be closed all next week. Have a great day and see you at Taste of Edmonton.

TASTE OF EDMONTON July 16-25: We will once again be at Taste of Edmonton this year and for the week of July 20-24th, THE CAFE WILL BE CLOSED. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but then again it’s also why I am telling you now. Be prepared, make lunch plans. However, don’t worry, we’ll be back on Monday July 27th. For more details about the Taste of Edmonton go to tasteofedm.ca

Today’s UberFact: Since the court ruled against “Blurred Lines,” Marvin Gaye’s music has experienced a 246% increase in sales.

THE PASTAS: includes Garden Salad w/House Balsamic Vinaigrette or Caesar Salad & Garlic Toast

Chicken & Broccoli Penne w/Mushroom Cream $10.50

Spaghetti w/Meat Sauce $10.50  w/Tomato Sauce $10.00

TODAY’S SOUPS: Includes Garlic Toast Small $4.70 Large $6.15

Soup Is Taking The Summer Off

THE SIDES:

Saintly Good Meatballs $1.40

Sensational Spicy Sausages $1.60

DOLCE:

Tiramisu  $3.00

Cannoli $3.00

July 15, 2015
by Gerry
0 comments

Twas The Day Before Taste….

Well it’s Wednesday, Taste of Edmonton Eve really. Things are coming along nicely down at Churchill Square. Our booth will be completely assembled later today/tonight, and tomorrow, we wait for inspections and then bam, Taste of Edmonton is on for another year. Here’s hoping for lots of good weather and not the poorly timed rains storm we had on the last Friday. The cafe will be open tomorrow and Friday, but as noted below, we will be closed all next week. Okay, time to get things going here. See you at noon.

TASTE OF EDMONTON July 16-25: We will once again be at Taste of Edmonton this year and for the week of July 20-24th, THE CAFE WILL BE CLOSED. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but then again it’s also why I am telling you now. Be prepared, make lunch plans. However, don’t worry, we’ll be back on Monday July 27th. For more details about the Taste of Edmonton go to tasteofedm.ca

Today’s UberFact: Not sure this one isn’t more common sense than fact, taking a short break on a smartphone increases work productivity.

THE PASTAS: includes Garden Salad w/House Balsamic Vinaigrette or Caesar Salad & Garlic Toast

Cheese Tortellini w/Tomato Sauce $10.50

Fettuccine Alfredo $10.50

Spaghetti w/Meat Sauce $10.50  w/Tomato Sauce $10.00

TODAY’S SOUPS: Includes Garlic Toast Small $4.70 Large $6.15

Soup Is Taking The Summer Off

THE SIDES:

Saintly Good Meatballs $1.40

Sensational Spicy Sausages $1.60

DOLCE:

Tiramisu  $3.00

Cannoli $3.00

July 13, 2015
by Gerry
0 comments

2 More Sleeps

Two more sleeps and Taste of Edmonton kicks off. My brain is in two places; making lunch and making a few thousand meatballs or so. Today is also move in day when we start bringing gear over to Churchill Square. So, this one is going to be action packed. See you at noon.

TASTE OF EDMONTON July 16-25: We will once again be at Taste of Edmonton this year and for the week of July 20-24th, THE CAFE WILL BE CLOSED. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but then again it’s also why I am telling you now. Be prepared, make lunch plans. However, don’t worry, we’ll be back on Monday July 27th. For more details about the Taste of Edmonton go to tasteofedm.ca

Today’s UberFact: The real pitch for “Seinfeld” was to make a show about how a comedian gets his material—not to create a show about nothing.

THE PASTAS: includes Garden Salad w/House Balsamic Vinaigrette or Caesar Salad & Garlic Toast

Mushroom Cream Sausage Penne $10.50

Rotini w/Meat Sauce $10.50

Spaghetti w/Meat Sauce $10.50  w/Tomato Sauce $10.00

TODAY’S SOUPS: Includes Garlic Toast Small $4.70 Large $6.15

Soup Is Taking The Summer Off

THE SIDES:

Saintly Good Meatballs $1.40

Sensational Spicy Sausages $1.60

DOLCE:

Tiramisu  $3.00

Cannoli $3.00

July 10, 2015
by Gerry
0 comments

Happy Early Birthday Little Italy

Well, today is a double awesome day. We are celebrating the cafe’s 4th birthday albeit 10 days early because we will be at Taste of Edmonton. Hope to see a lot of you come out, dine on some Chicken & Prosciutto MacnCheese Alfredo and enjoy some free birthday cake and coffee. The other reason why today is extra special is because it’s mine and Sandra’s 5th anniversary. The reality is, without Sandra’s support, this cafe probably doesn’t exist. She was behind me from day one, and we’ve had our share of “discussions” about things, but she has always been beside me. Happy Anniversary to my amazing wife Sandra, words can’t express enough. I’ll just say, I LOVE YOU!!!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO US: We are celebrating our 4th birthday TODAY from 11-3 and you are all invited. We’ll be serving up some of that incredible tasty Chicken & Prosciutto MacnCheese Alfredo. There will also be free brewed coffee and birthday cake for you to enjoy. Hope to see you here.

TASTE OF EDMONTON July 16-25: We will once again be at Taste of Edmonton this year and for the week of July 20-24th, THE CAFE WILL BE CLOSED. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but then again it’s also why I am telling you now. Be prepared, make lunch plans. However, don’t worry, we’ll be back on Monday July 27th. For more details about the Taste of Edmonton go to tasteofedm.ca

Today’s UberFact: Fossil fuel isn’t made from the bones of dinosaurs—if it were, we would have gone through our entire supply in a couple days.

THE PASTAS: includes Garden Salad w/House Balsamic Vinaigrette or Caesar Salad & Garlic Toast

Chicken & Prosciutto MacnCheese Alfredo  $10.50

Spaghetti w/Meat Sauce $10.50  w/Tomato Sauce $10.00

TODAY’S SOUPS: Includes Garlic Toast Small $4.70 Large $6.15

Soup Is Taking The Summer Off

THE SIDES:

Saintly Good Meatballs $1.40

Sensational Spicy Sausages $1.60

DOLCE:

Tiramisu  $3.00

Cannoli $3.00

July 9, 2015
by Gerry
0 comments

And The Total Is……….

Well last night was one of those special nights that reminds me of all the fun that comes with this job. As many of you know, June was Cannoli Month here at Little Italy and all the proceeds raised from every cannoli sold went to Ronald McDonald House. Last night, we went over to the house, joined with our friends, Angie, Christina, Matt of SNS Technologists and of course Joni from Little Italy, and put on a Spaghetti & Meatballs dinner for the house. The kids were very instrumental in cooking dinner as they were elbows deep in Meatball mix and garlic bread. We all had a blast. Part way thru dinner, it was time to hand over some cash. In true Italian form, when we celebrate an event, we love to do it with envelopes. Envelopes with money. (Think of the scene from Goodfellas, at the wedding, everyone in line to hand over a nice gift to the bride and groom) Well thanks to so many of you, and your generous hearts and sweet tooths, we raised $1,550 for Ronald McDonald House. A big thank you to CTV Morning Live and Dinner TV on CITY for having us on to talk about the campaign. Also to Christina Gillett who rounded up her coworkers from SNS Technologists and joined in with us last night.  Seriously, if you have never participated in a Meals That Mend event at the house or just want more information about how to get involved, check them out at rmhcna.org  Now, we need to get some lunch ready. See you at noon.

Look at all those awesome faces...and the shine coming off my dome, I need to dull that down a bit.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO US: We are celebrating our 4th birthday this Friday, July 10th from 11-3 and you are all invited. We’ll be serving up some of that incredible tasty Chicken & Prosciutto MacnCheese Alfredo. There will also be free brewed coffee and birthday cake for you to enjoy. Hope to see you here.

TASTE OF EDMONTON July 16-25: We will once again be at Taste of Edmonton this year and for the week of July 20-24th, THE CAFE WILL BE CLOSED. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but then again it’s also why I am telling you now. Be prepared, make lunch plans. However, don’t worry, we’ll be back on Monday July 27th. For more details about the Taste of Edmonton go to tasteofedm.ca

Today’s UberFact: Bald eagles can swim.

 

THE PASTAS: includes Garden Salad w/House Balsamic Vinaigrette or Caesar Salad & Garlic Toast

Pasticcio $10.50

Fettuccine Alfredo  $10.50

Spaghetti w/Meat Sauce $10.50  w/Tomato Sauce $10.00

TODAY’S SOUPS: Includes Garlic Toast Small $4.70 Large $6.15

Soup Is Taking The Summer Off

THE SIDES:

Saintly Good Meatballs $1.40

Sensational Spicy Sausages $1.60

DOLCE:

Tiramisu  $3.00

Cannoli $3.00