Being stuck in a country that - I don't quite know how to put this, but, ... hmmm ... - does strange things to food in general, I had almost given up trying to find espresso that actually deserves the name. I mean, regular coffee is mostly okay over here, even though you have to take care not to get a decaffeinated or oddly flavored kind by mistake.
However, when it comes to espresso, the americans seem to mess up totally.
Usually you can choose between one shot and two shot espresso (often hurtingly misspelled as expresso). One shot meaning like 6 ounces, two shots 12 or so. Basically, this is somehow three or four times as much as a usual Italian espresso, while being half as strong as it is supposed to be. Even Starbucks - though being supposed to know the coffee business better than most people in the world - contributes to this collective espresso-raping over here. What a pity.
But then, yesterday, I really found a gelateria (yes, it is honestly called like that) downtown that really has a genuine italian espresso machine, unbelievably making genuine italian caffÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¨ (= espresso). Woohoo! Now that was a surprise. (It's sort of excusable therefore, that the staff understands no single italian word, thus having to pronounce things like lampone (= raspberry) in a very american manner... ;) )
Anyways, I think I'm going to step by Francesco's more often now. It gives kind of a European feeling to me on diaspora ;)