“Penne Amatriciana” is my order.
The guy behind the counter repeats it back to me, except his accent is impeccable, and thereby he reminds me, once again that I am not Italian. It’s nothing personal. He does this to everyone. He has the thick, tough voice of a Boston townie, except when he’s talking about food and then his voice is back in Bologna.
This, I should say to you, is archetypal Boston behavior. This is a city with a dozen universities and more than its fair share of geeks, nerds and pedants. Whether it’s Red Sox statistics, Buffy The Vampire Slayer history, or wearable computing, Bostonians will find some subject that gains their passion and will take it as their duty to educate the hell out of you with pride and love. The crew at Casa Razdora just like to do it with Italian food.
I used to work around the corner from this place and would stop by for lunch at least once a week. I like going on Thursdays for the risotto special, but this sells out early so I try to get in early to beat the substantial rush. They’ve gotten even more famous after being featured on TV and the lines are longer, but if you want something quick, their eponymous sandwich – the Razdora, a delicious combination of roasted red peppers, soppressata, prosciutto, and homemade bread – is always reliable.