© Chuck Duboff
Drive by Little Maria’s at 4:00 in the morning; the lights will be on and Joe will be in the kitchen preparing food for another busy day at his funky little restaurant on Edmonton Street. The lineups to get into the 30 seat restaurant were so long at lunch time recently that people were standing outside with menus and Joe ran out of food around 1:30 in the afternoon.
The food, to quote my friend Joe, is “orgasmic”; watching the looks on people’s faces as they ate their meatball sandwiches…he may be accurate!! The atmosphere: think New York and the movie Goodfellas!! The atmosphere: fun, relaxing and people just enjoying themselves. Joe’s delicious meatballs can also be had in both chicken and vegetarian style.
Joe speaks with a passion that speaks to his love of cooking. “I could be retired now, but I am having so much fun!!” All his foods are made with the highest quality ingredients and Joe proudly talks about his Mom teaching him Italian cooking.
I know that as a writer, and someone who needs atmosphere to be at my most productive, Little Maria’s, named after Joe’s daughter, is perfect. I can sit and relax, not feel rushed, watch the eclectic people who visit the restaurant, listen to the music and be inspired by the art decor!!
Stop by Joe’s place at 77 Edmonton Street and order a: Sinatra or a Gandolfini or a Pauly or a Tony Bennet and savour some truly great cooking!! If you saw the movie Chef…Joe Pelligrino is Winnipeg’s very own CHEF!!