Sandri Patisserie: a fancy Italian Bar in Perugia that may (not) surprise you.

I do not know how many of you might have heard of Perugia. Do names like Eurochocolate, Umbria jazz festival, Renaissance, University for Foreigners ring any bell? They sure do to me: I spent my first three years of College in this tiny medieval city in the earth of the Umbria region and, needless to say, it has changed me quite a bit. It was the first time I was living by myself (sharing an apartment with 4 other girls to be honest but I remember loving it) and that meant having to figure out trustworthy places in which we could 'collect' food in order to survive. Kebab, Taralli and Gocciole cookies were a favourite of my friends and I but we were also pretty fond of Chinese takeouts...Basically anything cheap that would fill our bellies if you haven't grasped the concept already. But then...There it was...Right at the center of the Main Street of Perugia: Sandri Patisserie.

 I would stare at Sandri's windows like a baby would stare at a huge pink stuffed bear. I remember watching the waiters run back and forth with their steady but reassuring way of walking, carrying heavy silver trays of warm steaming cups of chocolate or tea tasting platters. I desperately wanted to go in and maybe get a tray of sweets to bring back home for the Sunday lunch or just take some time to watch people have their espresso or gelato..But I never did! Do not ask me why, maybe it wasn't the right time for me and window shopping was enough.

The place itself is really small; in the summertime they make space for outside seating areas right on the Main Street (Corso Vannucci)but during the winter you are gonna have to seat inside and there are only a few tables to choose from. That is fine by me: I am one of those people who doesn't mind having breakfast standing at the counter sipping on an espresso like it is you Saturday night Tequila shot and devouring a croissant while people push you out of their way...That is my jam. 

You will find all the main desserts Umbria is famous for at Sandri. Number one on the list is Chocolate! October is the month in which Perugia becomes a Willy Wonka kind of place: all the streets are filled with food stands (free food samples as well yey) and they are all Chocolate producers. I gained 20 pounds in my first year of College and maybe that was the reason why it 'happened'. One stop during your 'chocolatey' journey in Perugia has to be Sandri. They have their Maitre Chocolatier prepare a themed sculpture entirely made out of chocolate every year and it is always pretty cool...maybe a little bit old fashioned for my taste but oh well.

The fish you see is made out of a sweet almond paste, sort of like the one they make in Sicily but less soft. I order that because they said it was the most characteristic thing they made but my friends and I couldn't finish the whole thing because of its sweetness! Even if it was 30 degree outside and we already had a sausage pizza beforehand, we went ahead and tried the Dark chocolate mini cake: it was sort of layered cake of chocolate brisee dough and buttercream ganache. Left that too. It was ok but you could tell that the cream was really heavy as it would leave a layer of fat on your palate and I hated that feeling. I am going to guess that their sweet selection has not been renewed or changed since they first opened in 1860 :) I am all for tradition but being stuck in the 'golden era' is never a great idea.

You know when you always wonder about what something would be like but then you do it and your expectations fall out the window?That is what happened to me at Sandri. Do not get me wrong: the place is magical and I will always have good memories of it. I would recommend it to a tourist who wants to try a great Cappucino or a nice Gelato but the rest of their menu has not impressed me.

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