Few things have the power to stop me in my tracks these days and today I encountered one of them: a chain restaurant in Testaccio. As it is, Chicken Hut, Burger King, Spizzico, and McDonald’s are all over Rome. Even Subway is cropping up here and there. As vile as the growth of fast food chains are, there is something particularly unsettling about an American-style chain steakhouse opening just steps from the old slaughterhouse and Monte Testaccio archeological site, places that were instrumental in the sacred food history of the city.
The place in question, Roadhouse Grill, sits right on via Galvani, occupying several storefronts in the Nuovo Mercato Testaccio, the new Testaccio Market. While the butchers, fish mongers and produce stalls are still being completed, the Roadhouse Grill is open for business. Disgusting doesn’t cover it.