Sherman's Food Adventures: Mercato Centrale Roma

Mercato Centrale Roma

I initially booked out hotel close to Roma Termini for a couple of reasons.  First, I would be arriving into the station from the airport by train, so a quick walk to our hotel with luggage would be preferable.  Secondly, we would be leaving by train at the same station en route to Florence.  So that part of the plan worked out flawlessly and our hotel turned out to be pretty good as well.  However, a byproduct of staying so close to the termini would be access to Mercato Centrale with all of its selection of quick eats.  We ended up grabbing lunch here twice during our stay in Rome.

Upon entering the market, we spotted some pretty stacked pizzas at Il Forno di Raffaele D'Errico.  Yes, the display probably persuaded us to try their pizzas by the weight but really we shouldn't have.  This is not to say that there weren't enough toppings and also the crust wasn't heavy.  After a quick reheat in the oven, the crust was actually crunchy.  However, the pricing was rather pricey (32 Euros for 3 large slices of pizza), even though there was quite a bit of food.  We also found each slice to be too oily.

On the other hand at II Trapizzino, their sandwiches with ingredients stuffed in a triangular pizza-like shell were money.  Only 5 Euros each, they were filling and delicious.   My favourite was the Stracciatella with Anchovies.  They were not shy about cramming as much as they could in and it was overflowing with cheese.  The anchovies were briny and salty, which went well with the mild fresh cheese.  We also had the Polpette and it was a giant meatball that was tender but without much filler.  The sauce was tangy with lots of tomato flavour.  Surprisingly, the Pollo was probably the best tasting with fresh herbs.  The chicken itself was both plentiful and tender.  The bread itself was light and almost fluffy with a crispy exterior.

On another visit, I had to get some pasta at Las Pasta Fresca in the Linguine with Meat Sauce.  This was not a very good rendition of pasta, especially in Rome.  I found the linguine to be too al dente and hard.  As for the sauce, it was rather one-note being salty and not very tomatoey.  In fact, I didn't even get a good tanginess out of it.  No other distinguishing herbs or seasoning.

Viv and my son were craving burgers and went to Lo Smashburger.  She had the Single Smash Cheeseburger and he had the Double Smashburger.  Those came with pickles, onion, Joe's secret sauce and cheddar.  Believe it or not, these were actually quite decent.  The patties could've been thinner, but there was a good char and slight crispiness on the edges.  Good flavour with the meat too with natural taste accented by enough salt.  The bun was soft and conformed to the rest of the ingredients.

My daughter didn't go very complex and had the Caprese Sandwich from La Mozzarella e i Formaggi.  Pretty basic and nothing amazing but did the job nonetheless.  She found the bread a bit chewy but okay otherwise.  The ingredients were fresh and there was enough cheese, tomatoes and basil to make things interesting and not all bread.  As you can see, the food at the Mercato was not gourmet by any stretch of the imagination.  However, it isn't meant to be.  It served its purpose where we got some quick eats with II Trapizzino being my favourite and a must visit in my opinion.

The Good:
- A variety of eats for reasonable prices
- II Trapizzino is the star of the show
- Won't take long to get your food

The Bad:
- Not everything is good there.  Do your research


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