Taste of Rome is the place everybody calls home.

For my second post ever on this blog, I wrote about my dinner, sitting outside at the Taste of Rome (I love their spaghetti bolognese) when Taylor dragged the entire table with him cos he was so excited about something. Though older now, he still gets excited; and there’s no stopping him when he gets excited. I’ll never know what that something was. I was too busy picking up after him and me. He was never invited back, banned for life. On the other hand, I have come back on several occasions. And so it was on this particularly simple and easy Friday night, I f0und myself here again.

I immediately notice the walls where once there were paintings (of which someday I hope to be my work displayed), there are now photographs. And there isn’t a band playing. The ambience still makes for a good couple of hours on any evening, especially this one — the eve of the eve of New Years Eve.

Someone named Randall Bonn** left a bunch of paperwork including his driver’s license at the corner table where I decided to sit. There’s always something interesting that goes on here. Usually at this time on this day of the week, this place is packed. It seems the entire Bay Area is sleepy this week, possibly waiting to blow it all out tomorrow for New Years Eve. The people that are here are busy with conversation. There are old people. There are young people. There are families. There are friends. There is me.

The server, with a healthy dose of gravity stunting his growth, even shorter than I am sitting down, brings the patrons their dinner. Most of them are having what I have — the spaghetti bolognese — while others are having one of the specials — linguine with clams, spaghetti with mussels, steamed mussels, penne alla nerano, while some others I cannot quite make out in the near distance.

Michigan and Florida St play football in the first meaningful bowl game of the season. I cannot believe this year there will be no bowl games on New Years Day. What’s happened to college football? Perhaps because it lands on a Sunday? Alabama, Clemson, Ohio St, and Washington will vie for the national championship. I laugh inside at my Dabo Sweeney impersonations, not even close to sounding like the Clemson coach. Michigan just scored a pick six, closing the score to 20-15 FSU. They failed on the two-point conversion. It’s a good game. Maybe it’s time for a beer.

The meatballs didn’t live up to billing, but the rest of the spaghetti bolognese is still top notch. It’s cozy and comfy here. If I had a family room, I think I would like for it to look like the Taste of Rome.

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