Tag Archives: #paolosgelato

World Traveler In One Night

23 Jul

I’m exploring Atlanta more and I must say, I am enjoying it.

The summer has been strange. In addition to the normal scorching heat, it has rained practically every day. No really…every day for the past, oh say twenty days. Somewhere, some part of Georgia is going to get some rain and I don’t mean a trickle either. We are either getting rolling thunderstorms while the sun is still out, or mini monsoons. It’s annoying but eh, at least I’m safe and the Earth is cooling off.

It was one of these cool evenings that my friend, Tara and I decided to get a bite to eat at Surin of Thailand, which is a great place for Thai food in the wonderful Virginia Highlands. After we finished eating, I still wasn’t satisfied. First we were a little shocked that they didn’t have a special hot Thai coffee to sip and savor after our meal (they only had instant – gasp!) and our second shock was our server’s name was Nelson. Nelson? He didn’t look like a Nelson. I wanted to know what was his birth name but he just continued to smile and say Nelson.

I digress.

I had a brilliant idea for us to get some gelato from a quaint spot nearby called Paolo’s Gelato. To be honest, theirs is the first and only gelato I’ve tasted and I’ve been told that it is the best in town, so since I have nothing to compare it to, I’m going to roll with that statement as well. Gelato is the Italian version of ice cream but to me, it seems creamier and I’ve heard is 1/3 less fat (for those of you with a sweet tooth but want to pretend to count calories and what not). We walked into the charming establishment and greeted us, was a very short woman standing tall at no more than 4’11”. Just when we wondered how she would be able to serve us, she climbed onto her stepladder and asked us at eye level what would we like. As we looked at the delicious choices and inhaled the aromas, I asked to taste the Straciatella. It was a beautifully layered flavor of heaven and dairy but I wanted to try one more flavor. When I asked to try another, the attendant pointed to the sign and barked, “Only one sample!”

Oh…I just met the Gelato Nazi.

I know I’m dating myself but the Gelato Nazi is a reference to Jerry Seinfeld’s Soup Nazi (and yes, he is real as I experienced his shop back home in New York).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svSGKJFSl-8

Well now my lovely experience turned to neurosis anxiety, as I had to hurry up and decide what I wanted without the opportunity to taste anything else. The line was growing behind us and Tara’s eyes were darting back and forth at the choices and for a while could only utter “Umm…oh uh ummm”.  We gave our final answers just so we could hurry up and leave the glaring steel black eyes of the attendant. I felt my throat getting dry as I gingerly asked for one scoop of the mint chocolate chip on a sugar cone. I breathed a sigh of relief as she finally took her eyes away from me and completed my order. Since I was treating the both of us, I walked over to the counter to get ready to pay with my card. There I saw the next sign ‘Cash Only’ with no ATM in sight. I was about to break into tears (no, not really). Just when I was about to have Tara hold my dessert while I went to the bank, the attendant barked ONLY if I am paying for both orders, will she take my card. I quickly said I am and handed it to her. She grabbed it, swiped it, and slammed the paper on the table for me to sign. I signed it and returned it to her making sure I did not make any more eye contact and rushed out of the store.

We left out of the store full of glee for our Italian delights, and glad we made it out of there with our lives. Admonished, yes. Abused, no. We sat on one of the benches outside and I did my happy feet Snoopy dance for the first few licks. They top off your gelato with a delicate wafer that honestly tastes like it should be used for communion but I happily ate it anyway.

But seriously, it’s not that bad. The attendant is firm but thorough. I hope to meet Paolo one day to thank him for his gift of gelato to Atlanta. If you’re in Virginia Highlands, I recommend you try their gelato. If you’re not in Virginia Highlands, go there anyway. I’m sure you need to get out of the house. I can almost guarantee all of their flavors taste amazing and I hope to try most of them before the summer is out. Just carry cash. You’ve been warned.

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