The other night I had a craving for Gelati and since the weather was so perfect, I decided to walk to the North End with Bryan and Adam to get some Italian ice cream. On our way to Hanover Street we took a side road and stumbled across a street festival! Street festivals are always a big surprise to us South Enders since the closest thing we have to one is our rinky-dink Pride parade. For a foodie, this was the festival to be at. The festival was called the "Fisherman's Feast" and the smell of "Italian" carnival food filled the air. Alongside the carnival games were fried arrancini balls (the size of a tennis balls, no exaggeration), cannoli made by the "Original Cannoli Girl", fried dough, Italian Ice, and even meat on a stick. We resisted all of these wonderful delights (well, Adam did get freshly squeezed lemonade that a nice Italian girl made him) and made our way up Hanover street to get some, now, much needed gelati. I had remembered there was a gelateria close to the beginning of Hanover and so that's the way we were going when were we stopped dead in our tracks by a marching band holding up a Madonna statue in a little gazebo-shaped thing. Attached to the Madonna were strands of dollar bills. The band played, then stopped, shook the Madonna, spun Her around, and marched on to the next block. It was the most bizarre religious procession I'd ever seen. The Madonna made a sharp right down another side road and we were finally able to make our way to the gelateria uninterrupted.
Gigi Gelateria was right where I remembered it to be. There is a small serving station facing the street so you don't even have to go in if you don't want to. However, your choices on the street are minimal...maybe four or five flavors to choose from at best. Inside is where the goodies are. The shop is small but friendly and thankfully there was no line (most people were still following that Madonna covered in money!). We were greeted by three young women who offered us free samples of the MANY flavors before us. Bryan had a sample but Adam and I just went off the name. Together the flavors we tried were:
Peter: Watermelon, Green Apple
Adam: Chocolate Chip Mint
Bryan: Lemon, Grapefruit, Amarena (Cherry)
All of it was delicious. My favorite was the Green Apple, followed by the Watermelon and Grapefruit. What I loved about all the flavors (and about Gelati in general) was that they were light and totally natural tasting, none of this artificial watermelon taste. It was the real deal. Gigi Gelateria gets high marks from me, not only for their wide selection of flavors but for the quality of the product. If you are in the North End, this is definitely a stop worth making.