February 28, 2008


I met my father at Mandola's Italian Market today for lunch. "It is very authentic," he said.
Lunch was fabulous, and as we left had had me weave in and out of the market part to see all of the breads, cheeses, meats, and baked goods. It is even put together beautifully.
An elderly woman, not quite five foot tall and giddy with excitement, asked my father if he spoke Italian in a thick accent. He told her that he didn't, which is mostly true. "Oh, it is very authentic! I am so excited, it is making me salivate!" She puts her hands to her cheeks as she looks around, wide eyed. "I lived in Sicily for 8 months." She looks like she might cry she is so overwhelmed. "I lived in Rome for nine months," my father said. Again, it was mostly true. "Oh, I lived in Italy eight years; had two babies there." The look on her face as she reminisced told me she was not in Austin anymore, but a young mother in Italy with her babies at market. She reached towards me and affectionately touched my arm, "It's just so lovely. It is my first time here, I hardly know what to do!" I wish I could have stayed to talk to her, but my lunch break was nearly over. "Yeas, it is very nice, and the food is very good," I had to move toward the exit, "Enjoy your meal, it is very good!"
And so I left Mandola's Italian Market with my dad, feeling all warm and fuzzy inside.


Ellie said...

Scott and I go there every Sunday morning almost, for pastries and coffee. I love Mandola's but I actually never thought it was authentic-- I always thought it was an American's idea of authentic. I am pleased, because I'm looking for a reason to like it without reserve. Try their double short latte and their bear claws some day. And their pignoli cookies. Oh my God. But I wish they'd knock off the fifties Italian-American Vegas music.

Corley said...

The music part in unfortunate. I didn't notice though, the customer noise was too loud to notice.