UPDATE: VENUE CLOSED. Baciamo Le Mani is a new Sicilian pasticceria-rosticceria in Rome, just off Viale di Trastevere. This new arrival on the Trastevere street food scene offers both sweet and savory Sicilian specialties. They will fill cannoli to order, prepare trays of almond cookies, or produce homemade cassate for parties. They also serve quick street food like arancini (fried rice balls filled with meat sauce and peas), sfincione (spongy pizza made with tomatoes and onions), and (my favorite) pane con le panelle (a roll stuffed with fried chick pea flour patties). I discovered this place quite by accident last Saturday night as I was headed for a pizza at Ai Marmi.

As I was walking along Viale di Trastevere, I smelled the distinct odor of boiled spleen wafting from a spick-and-span store front with a brightly lit interior beyond. I immediately recognized this as the makings of pane ca’ meusa (spleen sandwich), a staple of western Sicilian street food. After living in Palermo for a month earlier this year, that smell has been permanently imprinted on my brain. Having never caught wind of this palermitano classic in Rome, I went to inspect. The place was crowded, and there was a pizza at Ai Marmi with my name on it, so I quickly swiped a business card and left with intentions of returning for lunch a few days later.

When I got to Baciamo Le Mani at 130PM on Wednesday, I found it packed with businessmen clamoring for pane ca’ la meusa and arancini. I anxiously awaited the preparation of my pane con le panelle (fried to order!), and watched as men in suits tore through sesame bread and grey strips of spleen. While I had no expectations that my panino would be as good as the real deal in Palermo, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it wasn’t far off. Baciamo Le Mani does a damn good pane con le panelle. Now I have to try the rest of their offerings, though I might skip the meusa.

Baciamo Le Mani
Via Cardinale Marmaggi 12 (Trastevere)