Chicken soup for the foodie soul - The Behrend Beacon

Chicken soup for the foodie soul

Posted on Monday, January 28, 2013 at 4:17 PM

Author: Sarah Veslany (a&e editor)

Woman versus food. One might not think that those words can be synonymous, but I take them as a personal challenge. As a connoisseur of all food both decadent and dive, I’m always up for it. I’m always on a tour de cuisine, no carbs left behind, clean plate quest. 

While out on a quick jaunt Friday night I went out with the sole purpose of fulfilling this week’s lasagna craving at Erie’s local Italian restaurant, Nunzi’s Place. This hole in the wall was not much on the eyes but I had a feeling the quality of the food would make up for the severe lack of atmosphere.

This family owned joint boasts no more then 15 tables and white walls with sporadically placed cheesy Italian decor. The tables are bare and the vinyl chairs and faux wood tables had obviously seen better days. Upon scanning their menu and making it through all the quintessential Italian options, I was intrigued by their list of specialty burgers. I’m normally not one to stray from the house specialties, but with cheesy names like, “The Godfather Burger” or “The Black N’ Blu Burger” I couldn’t say no. 

My growling belly and wry sense of humor led me to choose the “The Hangover Burger.” Without a description of what the burger contained, I quickly asked my server for a rundown of its contents before taking the plunge into the unknown. Little did I know this burger was no joking matter. The monstrosity contained a fried egg followed by onion rings, raw onions, American cheese, burger patty, bacon, another blanket of cheese coupled with a second patty, ending with a solid foundation of lettuce and tomato. With a bargain price tag of $7.50, I knew I had found my next rival. 

I ordered and braced myself for the swiftly approaching colossal caloric expenditure. I received my meal in under 20 minutes and was quite surprised at the speed of the service due to a full house at prime time dinner hour. Being the self proclaimed foodie I am, before diving into my meal I reveled in its simplistic presentation. There was no need for a fancy presentation or substandard variations of potatoes. This leaning tower of cholesterol stood in a league of its own and commanded the attention of all patrons within a 10 ft. radius of my table.  

I immediately was under a siege of questions. I could here murmuring all around me, “What is in that,” “Lady, I hope your buddy has a bottle of Tums in his car,” and  “I bet she won’t finish that.” Or, my personal favorite was the middle aged couple beside me that told me I was going to be on Lipitor for the rest of my life. I wore their awe and scrutiny as a badge of honor. Not wanting to succumb to defeat or disappoint the crowd, I trudged on and finished the gargantuan portion in under a half an hour. 

My pluck and perseverance paid of in the end in the form of free dessert compliments of my astounded server, who claimed that the burger had been finished in one sitting by grown men but I was the first woman of my caliber to take on the meal and succeed. I give the establishment two thumbs up. Their no frills, blue color atmosphere and attitude grew on me throughout the course of my meal. All of the right ingredients are present for Nunzi’s Place to continue to remain a longstanding Erie institution for years to come.