My favorite time of day to visit a restaurant is around 3 o’clock. Mostly because no one is usually there but more so because you get to have a closer experience with the staff and maybe make a new friend or two. Such was my fate today. Southtown is a revived old railroad shipping hub so the architecture in this place makes for beautiful restaurants and shops. This shop is fairly new to the neighborhood and the brainchild of a native texan and his Italian wife.
Their initial farmers market following grew into a brick and mortar place pretty quickly. Owners Josh and Diletta are delightful. Diletta was so accommodating and even made sure my little bambina had her own little cup of gelato while I ate my panini. (Little bambina of course loved this and like most babies, disastrously devoured it with both hands.)
Their ingredients are local or imported from Italy. Their gelato is meticulously hand made. Like, even pasteurized on site. Hand crafted doesn’t seem heavy enough of a word for that. They also make their own pickles. Y’all…..I really like pickles, especially housemade ones. They were peppery, zippy, sweet and the perfect sandwich compliment. I was also lucky enough that some of the onions in the pickling brine made it into my sandwich too.
I had the Havanese – Prosciutto cotto, porchetta, fontina, pickles, and stone ground mustard – it was a stellar merriment of flavor. The bread was also pretty perfect. Crunchy and chewy, held its own and not greasy like some panini’s can get. Thin focaccia opened up as opposed to sliced bread was the key I think.
And the gelato. Well, I’ve been thinking for an hour how I might convey the gelato. There was no flaw in the mouthfeel and creamy just doesn’t seem good enough a word! Josh studied in a culinary program under gelato masters in Italy where he perfected his technique for making gelato (and fell in love with his cute wife). I had the goat cheese, cashew, caramel and pretty much sampled every other flavor.
They make their flavors daily and are have a knack for great combinations. It was full of flavor, but not so saturated that you couldn’t eat much of it. You could taste everything separately and together. I don’t even know how you do that! At the risk of sounding like a fumbling idiot, I will stop. Go eat here. Pronto!
South Alamode (1420 S Alamo St, San Antonio, TX // 210.788.8000)