Vigilucci’s several restaurants are familiar to me, but I might never have noticed Vigilucci’s Gourmet Market except for an empty parking space I found next to its sidewalk patio. Being next door to the larger Vigilucci’s Cucina Italia, I suppose every time I drove past that I lumped the two locations together.
But while a table service Italian meal rarely disappoints, what I really want is a market in my neighborhood selling Italian cured meats, cheese, and fresh pasta. It’s not that I’m a diehard Italophile, but the country does such wondrous things with simple ingredients.
I imagine how often I would drop by on impulse to grab a couple things to make an easy dinner. How I would eventually acquaint myself with the regional differences among Italian olive oils. Or how I’d finally, definitively learn to distinguish between pancetta and prosciutto.
If I lived near Carlsbad Village, this gourmet market would have my number. They also makes a lengthy list of sandwiches on Bread & Cie bread, so while I browsed pasta sauces and a myriad of delicacies, one of the women behind the counter was making me a $12.75 Calabria sandwich featuring soppressata, mortadella, and two kinds of salami plus roasted bell peppers, provolone, red onion, and lettuce dressed with vinaigrette. The tangy, spicy, salty combination of cold cuts on crusty, chewy bread was everything I wanted.
But honestly, any of the sandwiches would have bowled me over. Looking in the meat-and-cheese case, everything looked like a foodie wish list for Santa Claus. There was fontina, scamorza, buffalo mozzarella, jamón serrano, ibérico pork, and a 24-month-aged prosciutto di parma.
2943 State Street, Carlsbad
If a market like this were walking distance from my home, I’d eat there two or three times a week. For now, the realities of having to drive there from South Park keeps me grounded. But I did pick up a little package of fresh linguini and a plastic tub of Vigilucci’s bolognese to take home. It took me six minutes to make and five minutes to devour.
If Roberto Vigilucci is reading this, I’d like to turn your attention to a few empty storefronts on Beech Street, right there in South Park.