What would we do if you came to visit us in Hagerstown? Here is what we did yesterday.
My nephew, Brendan and my sister-in-law Cyndi had visited Hagerstown at the beginning of the summer and had tasted the white pizza with shrimp at Dolce. They loved the combination of perfect pizza crust, ricotta cheese, garlic and shrimp. Back home in Brookeville, Brendan told his brothers, Jack and Kevin. Now they all three Kelly Boys wanted to come to Hagerstown to have this fantastic pizza. So, yesterday was the day.
First, we crossed the Mason-Dixon line as we visited Martin's Mill Covered Bridge in nearby Franklin County, Pennsylvania. The covered bridge spans the Conococheague and holds memories of days long ago. This day, we floated down the stream in inner tubes, swam, swung out over the water on a rope. Well, my nephews did. Cyndi, The Professor and I just sat beside the Conococheague River with our feet in its sweet cool water. Heaven.
Then we visited Martin's Farm Market off Route 11 in Hagerstown. We stocked up on candy and nuts. Gummy bears, chocolate and red licorice. Walnuts, cashews, and soy nuts. Yum. But not to spoil our appetites, they were put aside until we went to Dolce.
A warm welcome as always when we walked into Dolce. Franco immediately pegged my nephews as athletes. "Football?" he guessed. "Lacrosse," my nephews said.
Franco wore a rosary around his neck, one of those glow-in-the-dark kind. As children, we would crouch in the closet and watch that greenish rosary glow. No television back then! Simple pleasures.
First Franco brought us fresh garlic rolls, so hot we burned our palates in our eagerness to eat them.
The pizzas came next, one White Shrimp, the other one was Four Cheeses. Thumbs up came from my nephews. Jack spoke eloquently about the place of ricotta cheese on an excellent pizza.
The pizzas were completely gone when Franco came again with a gift of fried dough sprinkled with powdered sugar. "Like small funnel cakes," said Kevin. They were devoured in a flash. We all sat back, replete.
Then, the door opened. In came a man dressed in military fatigues carrying a brown paper bag. He went straight to the counter and handed the bag to Julia. She peeked in and cried out, "Tomatoes. From your garden. Thank you. Thank you." Mmm she blew him a kiss. He left, smiling.
The door opened again and a mother and her son came in. He was a stocky ten year old dressed in football gear and sporting a green cast on his right arm.
My nephews considered all the dangers of playing football with a broken arm. Dangers to the player himself and dangers to others who might get hit by that heavy arm.
The kid had a gorgeous mohawk hair cut. Perfect hair for it. And he was grinning. His mother ordered seven pizzas for his party down in Funkstown.
Julia grinned too. Seven pizzas!!!
The woman paid and Julia came from behind the counter. She swept the ten year old kid up in her arms and gave him a big smackeroo on his shaved head. She held him close to her bosom and hugged him tight. Then letting him go, she gave him one of the tomatoes. Franco was there again. "Eat your vegetables," he said to the kid.
That kid had a grin on his face from here to the Mason-Dixon line as he held that big red tomato in his hand.
That's life at Dolce's Restaurant. Generosity goes around in circles, giving and receiving. Blessing and being blessed. Cooking and eating. "Thank you for the tomatoes." "Here is a tomato just for you." How sweet life is at Dolce Restaurant!
The door opened again and we left for this day. In the parking lot, we divvied up the gummi bears and licorice sticks. Cyndi and my nephews drove back to Brookeville. We were home. Home in Hagerstown.
792 Frederick Street
Open 7 days a week. 10:30 am to 10:00 pm.
Cash only. No credit cards.
Pizza, gourmet and Eastern European foods.
Your comments are welcome...