I've just returned to Firenze, and rented an apartment for two months. My location can't be beat: right around the corner from all the hustle and bustle of the Mercato Centrale. On my previous visit this past spring, I enjoyed a healthy combination of preparing my own meals consisting of farm-to-market fresh produce purchased from the vendors inside the covered market, and at other times, allowing myself the pleasure of having the professionals cook for me instead! I found so many delightful little bistros, trattorias, and osterias that I've come to assume just about every place in Firenze must be pretty good, else it wouldn't remain in existence.
La Felicita somehow slipped through the cracks.
First allow me to state that my visit was not a spur-of-the-moment decision. La Felicita is directly across the street from me, and even as I type here at my dining room table, I can see directly inside from my first-floor window. I thought about it for several days, observing the slow but steady stream of customers, and finally succumbed to the temptations of fried rice with vegetables, and Chinese noodles with vegetables.
Oh how I wish I hadn't.
Both dishes were quite dried out (perhaps from being under a heat lamp too long?). The vegetables had been cooked to within an inch of their lives, and had no crunch or discernable taste. I suspect the fried rice dish had been prepared with prepackaged frozen vegetables, as they looked a little too "perfect" - or had at one time. I will say one thing: they were not tempted to over-salt, and in fact, had erred on the side of caution, as both dishes were very bland.
The Chinese woman at the counter spoke neither Italian nor English, which is a little surprising in a city where the vast majority of the people do. She exuded neither warmth or welcoming, and I was overall sorry to have come.
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