Walter Mencken 11:31 a.m., Feb. 1
TJ Week continues!
I have just come out from an arcade where artists and musicians are making this feel like you imagine Paris when Paris was hot. Guys selling old books, folk singers singing original songs, people sipping wine, sculptors sculpting…this is so, well, cool ain’t the word for it. It’s real. Makes you want to grab a paintbrush or write down some lyrics about Afghanistan.
Back out on Revolución, things are happening, too. Like right here, a new café with a protected bay of seats on the sidewalk. And guess what? It’s the guys from Little Italy, Landini’s Pizzeria (741 Ave. Revolución, Tijuana, 011-52-664-685-0042).
Ysidro’s standing outside with free pizza pieces. Trying to build up a bit of business here. Caroline the manager is standing beside him.
“We’ve been open two months,” she says. "Yes, it’s okay so far. It’s new for people here. We’re selling the concept of New York thin crust.”
“I just had a feeling,” says Omar Martinez. He’s been with Landini’s for three years and cooking Italian for 25 years. He pushed for opening up here in TJ. “A good feeling about this town. That things are starting to come back. Look at the building going on. People are investing in Revolución.”
The problem? “People here are not used to our pizza, the thin New York crust and all. They say ‘We want more bread!’”
But they can’t be doing too bad: Omar says watch out for another Landini’s -- maybe more upmarket, a new cuisine/fusion place, not just pizza -- opening up on Agua Caliente in a few weeks.
“I’ve lived in New York for years. Everything’s risky. But when you have this feeling about a place, invest!”
Talking of investing, for us turistas the pie slices here are a bargain. In Little Italy you get two slices and a soda for $6. Here it costs 55 pesos. That’s, what? $4?