It’s true. My husband McLoves me soo much! Last year, was our very first St. Valentine’s in Italy. It wasn’t a big deal or anything but it was still special because it was the first in our new home. This year is no different than last year. In fact, we’ve been talking about it for a few weeks now and the idea of going to lunch downtown has been a big deal for us.
It’s not that we spent the afternoon at a fancy restaurant with lots of flowers and chocolates but, the idea of just being together was good enough for us… especially since next year we’ll have a little one with us.
Going out to eat in Europe is EXPENSIVE!! We don’t do it very often and when we do, it’s has to be worth it. Usually a Pizzeria is the cheapest way for us to have a good meal, but that’s not the only option. Last year, we splurged and had a slice of Focaccia and Grom as our Valentine’s Days meal. A meal like that will cost you €5 per person. Not bad at all. We decided to continue our tradition and have Grom but this time, Carlo changed things up on me. Instead of Focaccia, he took me to…. MCDONALD’S!! Laugh all you want… but I have been craving a hamburger for a very long time. As I mentioned, Europe is expensive so, a meal at McDonalds call easily cost you €8 if you get the larger size and ask for ketchup. (yes… they charge you .20¢ for each package of ketchup) Convert that to dollars and that’s $10 for a meal… for ONE PERSON!!
So, McDonald’s was the place to be yesterday. I was so crowded but then, it’s always crowded every time I walk by. This particular McDonald’s is at Piazza Castello. I don’t know if you’ve heard but, the Minister of Food & Agriculture has been pushing the new sandwich that features All-Italian ingredients. It’s called McItaly. It’s made with 100% Italian beef, cream of artichoke, lettuce & Asiago cheese and ciabatta bread. This is the first of many Italian themed meals at Mc Donalds. The Minister is basically wanting to bring more revenue into Italian farmers and agriculture but… there’s a problem! Italy is home to the Slow Food Movement which brings attention to locally grown food AND slow, home cooked meals. So, the fact that the Minister of Food & Agriculture is pushing these All-Italian meals has struck a nerve with the Slow Food people.
Since it’s introduction, I heard a lot about the sandwich but we don’t go to McDonald’s a lot so, I’ve never seen it… until now! Carlo decided he wanted to try the McItaly and see for himself if it was good.
You’ll notice on the lower right side of the package that there is a seal of approval from the Italian government.
Although it looked like a pretty much like a regular hamburger, it was not. Carlo said it was really really good. He could taste the artichokes on the sauce and he said the beef and cheese were good as well. The only thing he didn’t like about it is that the lettuce was a bit wilted. He said the beef must have been too hot for the lettuce.
I sometimes feel a little awkward taking picture of my food in restaurants but then, how will you know what it is that I’m eating right?!? Since I have been told by my doctor that I am not allowed to have any fresh fruits or veggies unless I wash them myself, I have to limit what I can eat which can sometimes be hard. I would have LOVE to have eaten a Big Mac…. but.. it has lettuce on it. So, I have to settle for their Crispy McBacon which is basically a Double Cheeseburger with Bacon. Either this burger was really small or it was really good because I kinda wanted another one….. and that was after I ate all of my fries. If you notice in the picture, Carlo even got me the larger size coke and fries… so maybe I was just really hungry or happy that I finally got a real hamburger from someplace familiar to me.
One thing I found really interesting is that because these restaurants are place old buildings, they don’t and can’t modify too much. So, as Carlo is in line, he tells me to go upstairs and find a seat. This location at Piazza Castello only has a few seat on the main level and those are bar seats. Just like sitting at a bar, there’s the counter with stools. So, I walk upstairs and it was like walking into a club. There are bars and stools facing the walls and in the middle.. tables with sofas! I have NEVER, EVER seen a fast food restaurant like this. As I walked through the room I just keep following the people in front of me who were also looking for places to sit. It was like maze… each turn was another room with seats. Finally I came to the very last room and luckily found a spot for two. I wonder why Carlo told me to have my cell phone available… so that he could find me!
Once we got settled and ready to eat, Carlo said that our next location was just outside the window. Since I couldn’t stand up and see (from the place where I was sitting) I asked him to take a picture of our San Valentino tradition. As I mentioned, last year we enjoyed Grom on Valentine’s day and this year we decided to make it mandatory! Every San Valentino, we WILL have Grom! I must say that my hubby McLoves me a lot because he has taken me to get gelato on Thursday, Friday & now Saturday. That’s 3 days in a row!!
After our delicious gelato, we slowly walked back to the metro stop to come home. Even though it was cold, the sun came out and it was a really nice day. By 4pm we were home and exhausted that we both feel asleep and took a 2 1/2 hour nap. We may be getting old but, at least we know how to have a good time!
♥♥♥BUON SAN VALENTINO!!♥♥♥
this is the flower shop next to our apartment. sorry i didn’t take a better picture.
for information about Slow Food click here.
recent article in Yahoo! News regarding McItaly click here.