Monday, October 08, 2012

Around the Neighborhood: Lucca Ravilio Co, An Italian Grocery

On every corner there's either a grocery or a liquor store. One doesn't have to walk very far to satisfy a gastronomic craving. Saturday a class sent me on a scavenger hunt to the Italian market a few blocks from home. Antipasto-Foccaccia-Proscuitto_5398 On Saturday, I woke up excited to make fresh flatbread to photograph. After reading through the recipe -- and still not trusting our gas oven to maintain an even temperature -- I opted to shoot fresh-from-the-bakery items. Now if you know anything about bakeries in The Mission you'll know that they run out of ingredients around noon. What time did I head out? After 1 pm. Of course, Arizmendi Bakery did not have flatbread left. A light went on. Lucca Ravioli Co might have foccaccia. Cheese-Counter-Lucca_5395 Now, you're probably wondering why there would be an Italian market in The Mission. The Mission is synonymous with Taquerias. It wasn't always that way. Italian immigrants lived in North Beach and in The Mission. As I was told growing up, Italians did business on a handshake so they didn't see the need for leases. Buildings were sold; affordable rents went sky high; Italian businesses closed or moved. Olive-Salad-Bar-Luccas_5397 When I first moved into the neighborhood, my mom and I stopped by Lucca's during lunch. The line was out the door. Lucca's is not very big. At lunch -- a little less so on Saturday afternoons -- Lucca's is wall to wall with people; it can be a little intimidating. I did a quick walk through and decided to come back on a day when Lucca's was less busy and when I knew what I wanted. Deli-Meats-Lucca_5396 All this time I'd overlooked Lucca's. It wasn't until Souvenir Foto School that I had a pressing need to venture back into Lucca. (You can check out photos from Souvenir Foto School's first assignment on Flickr.) And, boy am I glad I did return. Lucca, like Arizmendi Bakery, Ritual Roasters, and Valencia's Farmer Market is now in the Saturday morning line up. We'll be enjoying antipasto more frequently in our house.
Do you have specialty grocers in your neighborhood?
Bon Appetit!
Credits: All images taken by Eden Hensley Silverstein for The Road to the Good Life.