Monday, March 15, 2010

I really love The Diner

I read this quote of Khalil Gibran's the other day: "Is not the mountain far more awe-inspiring and clearly visible to one passing through the valley than to those who inhabit the mountain?" This quote stuck with me. I thought about it all day long after I read it. Its a quote that resonates with me, living so far away from home. The American mountain IS far more awe-inspiring when I view it from a distance. I love Italy so much. I've got such a connection with this place. Italy is magnificent and reaches a new level of breathtaking every day. The thing is, though, Italy isn't home. I'm homesick, and being homesick has made me really think about America and all the things about America I love. The list is pretty fucking long. I love my country. I came to Italy thinking "Thank God! I'm getting away!" and I know for sure when I get home I'm going to think "Thank God! I'm back!". I will always love Italy, but my home is where my heart is. Which is why I really love The Diner.

My readers back at home know how important diner food is. Diner food is the best food. Pork roll, cheese fries, burgers, shakes, pancakes, coffee. Mmm, mmm, mmm. Florence has capitalized on this, praise the good Lord. Five minutes from the Santa Croce and you're there. The Diner. An English fellow owns the place and this man is a genuis. Every Sunday from noon til four this place is packed to the rafters. You've actually got to wait to get a table! This is a serious abnormality for Florence. Its a shrine to America, honestly. You can trust that they will play The Beatles, The Doors, The Beach Boys, and other American classics, always. They've got photos of American icons on their walls. They've got paper placemats. The waitresses speak English. Their menu may not include pork roll (trademark: New Jersey), but they do have hash browns, milk shakes, chocolate chip pancakes, and coffee. They even have cream to put in it. I inject coffee into my veins at home, thats how much I love coffee. Espresso just doesn't make the grade. Its good, sure, but I'm a severe coffee addict. I sighed in relief when I heard about the existence of American coffee in Florence. THE DINER EVEN HAS CHEDDAR CHEESE! This is a food product you don't realize you enjoy so much until it doesn't exist in the country you're inhabiting.

The first time I went there it took me a solid twenty minutes to decide what I wanted. The menu looked so good. I ordered scrambled eggs, toast, hashbrowns, coffee, and orange juice. I need to explain what Italians do for breakfast so that you, reader, can understand how colossaly satisfying this was. The typical Italian breakfast includes a cornetto (crossaint) filled with nutella or marmelade, and a cappucino. Ew. They do little breakfast, big lunch. I like brunch. So I went to The Diner and I had myself a brunch. To have buttered toast, something so simple, was actually something so important to me I feel the need to mention it in my blog. I had orange juice, freshly squeezed, instead of the boxed watery sugary orange liquid they call orange juice at the Italian markets. I was hooked after that meal. I went again the next week. I got chocolate chip pancakes. I love pancakes so much. I ate every last bite on my plate. I smothered them in syrup, something Italians don't even know about yet. They don't have chocolate chips, either. Its all gourmet shredded chocolate. Seriously, Diner, you've really outdone yourself. The last time I went I said to the waitress "I'm going to be complicated and ask for something really American". "Okay," she said, "So a toasted bagel with egg and bacon on it, side of fries? Coffee, too?" Exactly. The Diner has got it down to a tee.

For students who will study abroad in the future and happen across this blog, you're new best friend is The Diner.
Arrivederci, for now.
Love, Gabby.

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