Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Pasta Factory: Your Borgatti's Alternative

So, we are complete idiots and waited until the day before Christmas Eve to head over to Arthur Avenue and 187th to shop for all of our Christmas meal ingredients. Seriously, we live 10 minutes away, and we chose to go on a day when tourists from all over the NYC metro area flock to the hood and take up all the parking - the municipal lot was at least a 45 minute wait.

After lucking out with a non-metered spot (yahoo!) on Hoffman Avenue, we walked over to Borgatti's with the intention of picking up ravioli. Easier said than done. The line was (not surprisingly) out the door... but we waited anyway. About 30 minutes into the wait when we were finally pretty close to getting inside, an employee came out and announced that anyone waiting for ravioli or manicotti could form a shorter line to the left of the pasta line.

Pandomium of course ensued, and everyone behind us ended up in front of us because we're not nearly as aggressive as all the Westchester morons we were waiting with. We gave up and walked away all huffy without any fresh pasta to show for all our shivering.

We headed down the street to check out a much more reasonable alternative: The Pasta Factory, which is on 187th between Crescent and Beaumont Avenues. There was literally no line there, and the employees were super friendly. A dozen of fresh stuffed shells was $7.50 and almost a pound of frozen tortellini is only $5. I don't have any official price comps for Borgatti's (we usually just get ravioli there, which is $12 per box), but I'm willing to make an educated guess that The Pasta Factory is cheaper.

We've mentioned this before, but don't forget to check out Calandra's Cheese on Arthur Avenue all the way down near Crescent Avenue as an alternative to the famous (and always insanely crowded) Casa della Mozzarella on 187th...

Another hot tip for you: if you do decide to wait in line for pasta at Borgatti's and hypothermia is setting in, step into Roma Luncheonette right on the corner of 187th and Belmont for hot chocolate. I have no idea what they put in the stuff, but I'm addicted to it. Their food is good as well, just don't expect 5-star service or ambiance... it's just a cute little neighborhood spot, made even cuter by the fact that it was the site of ErLu's first date back in college. Nothing like some greasy bacon and eggs to cure a hangover. Goddamn, we were romantic back then!


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