The Fred Effect
Long before we started blogging, we were fans of Little Italy. As bloggers, we have a bad habit of looking for new places to blog while ignoring old favorites. When we looked at the Commercial Appeal Friday, we were pleased to see that not only had Fredric Koeppel reviewed the place, but he thought rather highly of it too.
Only a fool would go to a restaurant on the day that it was reviewed in the CA. You just know the place will be packed. But when it comes to fools, we’re top notch.
Sure enough, the place was crowded when we got there, but no one was at the counter to order, so we were in good shape. There were a few tasty items in the display case. We ordered a sausage stromboli and a veggie stuffed pizza.
We also ordered Little Italy’s finest item, garlic knots. We were delighted to learn that they were very freshly made. For the uninitiated, these are knots of bread dough that are soaked in garlic butter before being baked and served with marinara sauce.
Finally we ordered three New York style slices with pepperoni and three with cheese only. There was a beautiful pizza fresh from the oven on the counter, and when we ordered, the lady at the counter jumped on that pizza with a frantic urgency that we didn’t quite understand.
After we ordered, we stood to the side while we waited. We overheard another couple who came in after us. They were disappointed that the place was no longer taking orders. After they left empty-handed, we asked at the counter. Sure enough, we had just laid claim to the last pizza of the day. The were completely out of sauce.
The told us that after the lunch rush, they were forced to lock the doors to keep out new arrivals because they were out of food. They snuck folks who had already eaten out a side door. After making more food during the afternoon, a similar dinner rush again cleaned them out. They had to turn the phone off. The place had been Freded.
The lady at the counter, the guy doing the deliveries, the guys cooking, all of them were nice. All of them had a sort of thousand-yard stare though. The day’s events had left them dazed. They had most assuredly been Freded.
Later, as we sat at home with stromboli and stuffed pizza with great crust and those lovely garlic knots and slices of pizza the size of schooner sails, we were glad we have Fred to remind us of the good places. Even if he does take a toll on the good folks there.
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1495 Union Ave
Memphis, TN 38104
Monday – Friday 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Saturday Noon – 9 p.m.