I had two reasons for doing this. First of all, Gustavo is a self-proclaimed “Cappuccino Snob”. (He’s also a self-proclaimed “Beer Snob”, “Liquor Snob”, and “Vinegar Snob”, and probably several other variations that I either haven’t heard him claim or he doesn’t admit out loud. I’m trying to think of a gentle way to suggest that he might be able to just do away with all of the modifiers and simply use the “s” word in isolation.)
Secondly, Gustavo is of Italian extraction, and I knew this would pique the interest of Angelo, Roma’s lively Italian owner, who is usually on site and interacting with patrons. Angelo’s presence is a wonderful thing, because in addition to receiving the benefit of an Italian attitude towards food (simple, fresh, high quality ingredients used in harmony with each other), you also get the benefit of…well, just plain old Italian attitude.
Roma’s main star is gelato, but the food there shouldn’t be ignored. Panini (for pity’s sake, if you order a single sandwich, use the word panino; Angelo has taken great pains to post instructions about terms in his menu) made fresh with only the best ingredients (many imported from Italy), and espresso based beverages are well worth their own trip to Roma’s.
Gustavo termed the cappuccino “good” (which is actually a compliment when coming from a snob), but had serious praise for the panino he had. (It might have been the first food I’ve ever heard him praise. I think I clutched my chest, Fred Sanford-style, thinking I was experiencing “The Big One”).
In addition to the fantastic tasting food, you get great atmosphere at Roma’s. The standard sized espresso beverages are served in real, china cups (larger sizes can be put in paper cups), and Angelo is generally happy to interact with you and explain why his gelato, cappuccino, and panini are so wonderful. (His short answer is that in addition to using excellent ingredients, Italians are just better at most things. Especially love, fashion, and food.)
I love supporting local businesses, but more than that, I love finding local places that hold a unique spot in our city, and make it easy to go back again and again. Roma’s is one of those. So, for a little Italian experience in Oklahoma, go to Roma’s, eat a panino (only say panini if you get two or more), drink a cappuccino, and have some delicious, artisan gelato afterwards.
You’ll thank me. Really.