My Travel Unraveled eat well, travel often, and always enjoy the journey

Roberta’s (New York)

There were a number of factors that led to this piece: a slow day at work, a compelling urge for a creative outlet, a longing for home, a desire to motivate a friend, but most importantly, a rampant craving for some damn good pizza.


33 - Roberta's

I was bristling with anticipation.  No feeling beat the rush of riding the L Train over the East River.  It wasn’t a particularly quick ride from Manhattan but neither was it a tortuous, drawn out journey.  As Goldilocks would say, the ride was just right – long enough to allow for mozzarella and marinara day dreams to appropriately manifest themselves in my subconscious but short enough to keep me from descending into ravenous hysteria.  As the train pulled into the station, I could feel a knot forming in my stomach.  Was I nervous?  Stupid.  I was just starving.  Roberta’s always made me feel this way.  I could see the warm sunlight peeking through the Morgan Avenue station exit and I could feel the anticipation building with each step I took towards it.

Exiting at this stop, nestled in the heart of Brooklyn, was always an adventure.  The restaurant was less than two blocks away but no matter how many times I’d been, I always had to double-check whether to turn left or right coming out of the exit.  But once reoriented, there was nothing but a short urban jaunt between me and my pie.  I made my way down the street letting a comfortable sense of familiarity wash over me.  I saw the rusted trailer teeming with hipsters filing in and out of its cramped interior seeking clothes just beyond the limits of this month’s fashion trends.   I saw the large industrial buildings and their distinctive bright red brick exteriors, perched alongside sparsely populated streets, a stark contrast to the bustling boulevards of Manhattan.  Almost there…

As I rounded the corner to my destination, I was greeted with a pleasant surprise: no lines.  Nobody puts baby in a line.  I approached the nondescript bulding, cobbled together with old cinder blocks, and paused slightly to gather myself.  By now, I was salivating like a Pavlovian dog trapped in a bell tower.  I breathed slowly and pushed aside the heavy curtain allowing the delectable scent of tomato sauce ensconce me as it wafted out.  As always, Roberta’s was noisy and frenetic.   Wait staff frantically darted through the narrow pathways between the long, wooden communal tables.  The place was packed, as expected, but I managed to squeeze in at a table placed near the far corner of the room.

A waitress soon came to take my order.  Thick-horn rimmed glasses framed her slender face and the right side of her head was shaved bare, her hair slung to the left and falling well past her shoulders.  Her arms were adorned with an elaborate tapestry of flower tattoos, a series of roses and lilies intertwined up past her elbows and underneath the sleeves of her red and white plaid shirt.  When she spoke, she did so softly but with a thick Brooklyn accent.  She asked if I had any questions but I just smiled.  I knew what I came here for.

“One Bee Sting please.”

34 - Roberta's

261 Moore StreetBrooklyn, NY 11206,

261 Moore Street
Brooklyn, New York 11206
United States

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