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Allan Peterson 8:30 a.m., June 15
I'm hauling through South Park. Lotta people.
Oh yeah. Their Walkabout's happening. Jump off the #2 at Fern and Beech. Have to see what my latest favorite patio's doing.
This is Buona Forchetta (3001 Beech Street, 619-381-4844), the Italian pizza place that has finally filled a defunct li'l ol' coffee shop that had the nicest, roomiest patio in town.
Buona Forchetta have upped the ante, made this sidewalk cafe thing really sing. So it's crowded as usual. People all ages filling every space in the dappled light under the trees - see it's getting me waxing poetic already - and they're not just sitting like rows of crows. They're yakkin', eating, drinking with gusto. Some places do that to you. Wish I knew the secret.
Of course I go first to the antipasti, because that's where the single-figure items live. Of course I end up paying more than if I'd just had a pizza. Pizzas go from nine to fifteen. Instead I go for pea soup, which is $5, and a"polpettine," your basic "house-made beef and pork meatball" with tomato sauce. It's $7 but I'm thinking bulk here.
What I like is you get that big frosty bottle of water with the flip ceramic stopper to pour...
and really no need to order beer or wine. Still, can't resist forking out another $5 for an Alesmith Nautical Nut Brown Ale.
Order it over a Stone IPA. Figure it might be sweeter.
Star of the evening? That pea soup.
They say the peas are crushed on the spot. Taste's so fresh, and they've topped it with little splots of cinnamon that kick it up a little. Needs bread. When I ask, I get a little untopped pizza they've cut up. Works fine.
And it turns out the meatball is three meatballs. Big two-inch ones.
They're not just filling. They've got a great herby zing to them. Honestly, I'm full by the time I'm done.
The Nut Brown? I like the sweetness, but what I really miss is the hoppy kick of the IPA. Guess I've been spoiled.
I ask the guys - all Italian - if they're doing anything special for the Walkabout. They shake their heads. And, uh, even though this is a bit after the horse has bolted, happy hour?
No happy hour.
But with a business firing on all cylinders like this, guess they don't have to.