As I've entered year four of these chronicles, I've begun to realize that the world of frozen confections is much more than just ice cream. I've ventured a touch beyond that when it came to Whit's and their frozen custard, but I figured why should I be limiting myself? Time is short, and there's plenty of places I haven't gotten to yet.
So why not gelato, ice cream's silkier Italian cousin? And why not start in a place where you can find two ladies having a deep conversation in that very same language in the corner of the cafe?
San Diego's Pappalecco is a very familiar name to local residents. Started by Tuscan natives Francesco and Lorenzo Bucci nearly ten years ago in April 2007, Pappalecco now sports five locations throughout the region, with the latest opening up in the Del Mar neighborhood. On this night, our quest for some post-dinner sweets took us to what looked to be a fairly recent mixed-use development in the city's Hillcrest neighborhood.
While the cafe's modern construction may not lend the interior any old world charm, it does gift this branch with high ceilings in its larger than you might think interior. For busier times, an outdoor area adds some additional seating options for visitors. On the east side wall, a shelf containing a fairly decent collection of packaged pasta, wines and coffee beans can be found abutting a console piano,
Pappalecco offers up a variety of items you might expect from an Italian cafe such as paninis, personal-sized pizzas, and even a small breakfast menu. But on this night, it was the gelato offerings that brought us in, and Pappalecco's made-from-scratch renditions of flavors like Hazelnut and their flavor of the month Valentino (featuring both cherry and chocolate with a light spicyir tinge) proved to be la ciliegina sulla torta for this early evening, as we leisurely lapped our frozen treat (I personally think of things like gelati and sorbets as more of the "sippers" of the frozen confection world) and let time slide on by.
And oh yeah, those two ladies in the corner? Chatting as intently as ever as we got up to leave as when we first wandered inside. For some, time slips more slowly than others.
Pappalecco - Hillcrest
3650 Fifth Ave #104 (Google Maps)
San Diego, CA 92103
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