Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Sfogliatelle and Calamari

Downtown San Diego...Little Italy's 15th Annual Festa.

Sunday was the perfect day for an outdoor festival. Sun shining, sparkling ocean just down the street, and so much delicious food. 

BFF, her hubby, Wiley E. Coyote, and I went to Little Italy. After hunting for a parking spot and finally forking over ten dollars we park and walk to India Street. A long stretch of the street is blocked off and there are people walking everywhere, music playing, and people dancing.

One man was singing sounding like Frank or Dino and there was an adorable older couple dancing. She was wearing the most outlandish clothes but they were so cute. 

Sorry about the hand...that's the singer doing his crooner impression. They were whirling around just having so much fun.

As we walk in, I see someone selling balloons and they are not your usual balloons...they are octopus balloons. 

Me: Why octopus balloons?

BFF: Because it has eight legs.

Me: I know, but why an octopus?

BFF: Why not? They're cute.

Me: They are cute but they are not your normal balloon, so why the octopus?

BFF: *laughing at me* See, they have eight legs, that makes them an octopus. 

Me: Ummm...okay.

As we walk away, I still cannot figure out why they would have octopus balloons in Little Italy. It was too cute to be Ursula from the Little Mermaid.  

See. I KNEW there had to be a reason for the octopus balloon...octopus salad. What? No tentacle tortellinis? 

I don't know about you, but when I go to places like this, I go for the food and the people watching. This brought back so many memories. My best friend growing up was Italian and her dad was forever teaching me how to say all the words. I made for good comic relief. All the older Italian couples just reminded me of her parents.

We started with sausage sandwiches with grilled peppers, onions, and sauce. And you know what? The water was only $1. A dollar. Not $3 or more. I wanted to hug everyone there. The sandwich was so good and it is gone in no time flat. We are sitting on the curb enjoying the people watching. The lines are long but they move quickly. 

There are models of the Nina, Pinta, and the Santa Maria because Columbus is one of them you know. 

We wander further down the street and I see heaven....pastries. Pastries that look like they weigh a pound each. Pastries that look like 3 days' worth of calories. Like I care. I was salivating so bad that I forgot to take a picture. Wiley gets in the long line and BFF and I stand up front deciding exactly which pastry we want. 

And I see it. Sfogliatelle. But how do I tell Wiley what I want when I can't even say it? Su-fog-la.... Try again. S-vog-ti.... A woman turns around and in perfect Italian tells me how to say it! I repeat after her and she smiles at me like her favorite kid. I manage to tell Wiley what I want and we get calamari. They are making it right there in front of us and it smells so good. 

I know. 

Calamari and sfogliatelle. Pastry and squid. BFF is holding her nose and diving into her Iris, a giant deep fried donut stuffed full of cheese. I tease her with the legs. She is not amused. Wiley squeezes lemon on the calamari and it is delicious. 

BFF's next vehicle? Wiley just bought a motorcycle, so why not. Beep, beep. Pink is her favorite color, too. She told me growing up she used to ride a moped around town. What?? A mini motorcycle mama? 

Sidewalk chalk artists were at the end of the street. The only thing we drew on the sidewalks was hopscotch squares and four square. Maybe I can become a stick figure Picasso. Wait? Maybe I would be Goya. Not being Italian and all. 

What a day....wish you all could have been there.

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Mrs4444 said...

Oh, man! Seriously, how in the world did my mom get to that festival all the way from Wisconsin without telling anyone?! I'm not kidding; if I didn't know better (she has a bad back and aching hips and hasn't danced since my dad passed away and well before that, haha) I'd think it was Mom.

We are always on the lookout for good calamari. Unfortunately, it's always hit or miss (mostly miss.) I'm jealous.

Happy Hour...Somewhere said...

Mrs. 4444...Your mom would have had a blast~! I guess every year around Columbus Day they have a festival and I will not miss it again.

I am just discovering calamari and this tasted delicious. Hot, hot, lemon juice, a little salt...glad you can't see me, I'm drooling. I have calamari that was kind of rubbery and chewy, so I guess it can be an iffy thing.

Thanks for stopping by~! I've been getting your posts emailed to me recently and I look forward to them.

Funny in my mind said...

Sounds like a successful day of eating and people watching- also MY favorite things. Not a calamari fan but I married an Italian so I should make it a point to attend an Italian festival sometime!

Happy Hour...Somewhere said...

@funny...It was a perfect day for both. I have just become a calamari fan, so we shall see. Maybe will have to invent a squid rating system. By the way, you looked awesome in the new hat. So unfair. I look dreadful in ALL hats.

Aunt Juicebox said...

I've always wanted to go to Italy. I'm very interested in the language and the history, especially Rome, but I don't really care for Italian food.

Jeanne said...

Kat! You brought the festival alive and I really enjoyed your post. Glad you had such a great time. :-)

@eloh said...

All I could think about was "squid on a stick" street food. Or, the first time I ate octopus from a open bowl in a dirty bar in some tiny village...and realized I was still chewing three beers later.

ethelmaepotter! said...

The balloons really are adorable. Sounds like a perfect day.

Lola Lakely said...

Wow, what a cool festival. You're making me hungry just thinking of Italian food. Mmmm, calamari. And the octopus convo made me laugh. Thanks for this post!

kyslp said...

Sounds like fun! I'll bet the food was terrific!

Nezzy said...

Looks like one fun festival. Cute balloons and the chalk art is amazing. The thought of calamari is makin' me drool. I'm so glad ya'll had a blast.

Have a wonderful weekend, Ya'll!!!

drollgirl said...

i wish i could have been there, too! san diego is GORGEOUS. and fun. with super weather and a million things to do!

and the FOOD. i bet it was TO DIE FOR!

Sandi said...

Sounds wonderful. I have a photo of that Little Italy sign from our last visit to S.D. Coming from an Italian family, I love these events. They always remind me of my growing-up years and all the "old-timers" who are no longer with us - and who I miss.

By the way, checked your profile and we share a favorite movie and book! Found you on Maria's blog.