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Omnivore - Don't be gauche, just order it

Another encounter with "priceless" specials

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Image Seven of us dined Friday night at Baraonda Caffe Italiano a block from the Fox Theater at 710 Peachtree St. It's been several years since I visited Baraonda, but it was, like Fritti, among the first to offer Atlantans a taste of "real" Naples-style pizza.

I was actually the only one of our party to order pizza — the Prosciutto di Parma. The red pizza included a layer of fresh arugula under the prosciutto, both added after the pizza came out the oven. It was the most generous portion of prosciutto I've seen on a pizza in Atlanta.

I also ordered a starter of clams with white wine, chilies, garlic and parsley. While I thoroughly enjoyed my pizza, the clams were better looking than they tasted.

We had a great waiter but, like so many others in town, he recited the specials without giving their prices. Annoyed, I asked him why he did that and he said, "Truthfully, most people order specials no matter what the cost is." He jokingly used the word "gauche" in his explanation, too.

Whatever. As I've written before, Anis, where I lunched last Friday, posts its specials on a chalkboard without prices. Ditto for Amuse in Midtown. I did recently ask Andy Alibaksh, one of the owners of Amuse, why he doesn't post prices on his specials board and he said it was because the prices change more often than the specials do...or something.

Anyway, our meal at Baraonda was excellent.

(Photos by Cliff Bostock)