My last chance for a meal in Rome before beginning a driving holiday: My AirBNB host recommended this place, saying the pasta was great, and referencing the house specialty: the democratic rigatoni.
When I arrived, just past 12.30pm, there was one table of staff or owners or something on the side, and no waiter in sight. I approached them, and comically, as I’ve come to expect from the Romans, they all sort of shrugged, rolled their eyes, and inclined their heads towards the poor sucker who was supposed to help me out. He readied to get up, realised that his pants were undone (or his fly was down or something). He turned away from me, adjusted himself, then turned back and indicated, how can I help you?
I asked if I could sit outside, and he simply indicated, yes, choose anywhere you want, and he was then replaced by a portly waiter, properly dressed for the job, and unRomanly polite.
In any case, macaroni and cheese (Kraft dinner) was a feature of both my childhood and my university days, so I have a fondness for it. This may be the original Italian version, rich and creamy and cheesy, with al dente rigatoni (handmade, I hope) and a sort of crisp bacon sort of addition. Along with a glass of house white, this was a lovely last lunch for me in Rome. Hey, it’s not gourmet food, but as its name implies, it’s democratic: I’d guess it would appeal to a huge amount of people. It did to me.