The Good Lunch


I may have already mentioned that my only regret about taking a Globus tour was that our meals were not outstanding.  Don't get me wrong ... they were good, all right.  We certainly didn't go hungry.  But with semi-exceptions like the Tuscan Dinner and the Burano Lunch, none of our meals was anything to write home about.  Most, in fact, were pretty ordinary.  Great meals, apparently, are something you give up when you settle for a guided tour.

So when Margia and I were wandering through Orvieto, I was ready to settle for some gelato for lunch.  And in fact, we almost ate at a gelateria, because I thought Margia had seen something she wanted to eat.  But no, she came walking out of the place dissatisfied.  She wanted some sort of rice dish, and she couldn't find it where we'd stopped.  So on we wandered.

And then we came across a grocery/deli that had many interesting food items on the shelves.  I stood in awe and wondered how much I could cram into my carry-on luggage.  And Margia found the rice dish she'd been looking for.

In the back of the place was an almost-closed sliding glass door, and behind it I could see some tables.  Margia said she'd like to eat her rice back there, so I poked my head behind the door and found a mother helping her young daughter with some schoolwork. 

I asked if we could use the tables, and the young woman nodded.  So I sat down. 

Suddenly the young woman's husband showed up with place mats and silverware and menus, and I realized we'd activated a ristorante situation.  OK, no problem.  And then when Margia showed up with the rice she'd purchased in the deli, the young man took it away and returned to serve it on a nice plate.

And I looked at the menu.  I wasn't hungry, but I realized I was obligated to order *something,* so I asked for the "misto" of "bruschetta."  Misto is something like an assortment, and bruschetta is good stuff on toast.  And that picture below is what I got. 

Oh golly it was good!  Let's see, what do we have here?

The bread in the center is toast with excellent olive oil.  Then starting at 12:00 and working clockwise we have:

Spicy tomato paste that made my tongue tingle
Beans with a slight chili taste
Black olive spread
Eggplant with olive oil and garlic
Porcini mushroom spread

Yum, yum, yum, etc. etc.  This was so good, I can't begin to put it in words.

Margia's rice was good too, she said.

Here's the deli counter.

And here's the front door of the place.  That's a stuffed wild boar in the entrance.  Finding neat places like this was one of the greatest pleasures of the trip.