Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Dagostino's Italian Food

Dagostino's is an Italian cart located at the Rose City Food Park in Portland, Oregon. They are still relatively new, having opened in mid-October 2012. I stopped by on their first week of business.

Betty is the owner and chef. As one would expect, she has Italian roots (second generation). The food she serves here is basically what she grew up eating. Something I love seeing is a person taking his or her family's recipes and sharing it with others.

Several menu items are crafted into a street food-friendly aspect. Here, Betty calls them "wedges," instead of hoagies, subs, or sandwiches. The usual cast of characters are present, from meatballs and parmesan to sausage and peppers.

I tried the Meatball and Parmesan wedge ($8), which starts with a (very) slightly toasted sesame seed roll. Homemade meatballs using a beef-pork blend are cooked up, with a simple chunky tomato sauce, mozzarella, and parmesan.

Meatball Parm Wedge

Very good meatball!
The meatball wedge here was good, although I feel like bolder flavors would really sell me more on this. The three meatballs inside the wedge were slightly larger than golf balls, each cooked very nicely. Perhaps a bit more seasoning on the meat. No complaints on the mozzarella, a nice, melty awesome sight. Maybe a bit more Parmesan would also be nice, but that's just me.

I also got a sample of some Almond Pepper cookies. Yeah, that'd be black pepper, but I honestly couldn't taste such a spice in there. Just a well-made cookie here with crushed almonds.

Almond Pepper cookies
I'm more lenient on them because they were virtually a brand new cart on my visit. The food seemed to take a bit longer than normal, likely because the staff here was trying to get used to running a cart. I'd certainly like to give the sausage and peppers wedge a go. Betty says the pasta (using penne) is a top seller. The vegetarian stew should remain a hit as the winter months approach.

I'd call it an OK first experience. for now. I hope to be back. 6.5/10

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