24 Apr2006

trip

Marketman & family heads to Europe!!! In a few days, Marketman, Mrs. Marketman & the Kid head off to Europe for a few weeks of vacation… I have been working madly lately, writing up about 20 posts for programmed releases while I am away so that you will all still have something to read and amuse yourselves. However, my comments might be fewer and farther between as I am not sure what my internet access will be like during the trip. At any rate, Marketman & family seek your help, advice, counsel, insider chismis, black book, thoughts and suggestions that might make our trip a little more memorable…

Our itinerary includes a few days in Amsterdam for the Queen’s birthday (no silly, we were not invited to her party), onto Barcelona for a week (where the restaurant El Bulli is impossible to get into as reservations for this month were made over a year ago, they said!), then Florence and the surrounding Tuscan towns and onto Rome before flying back to Manila. We are going to see the sights (what with a 10 year old in tow), some museums and just simply walk around and take in the city life to recharge batteries and experience something new. Of course Marketman will hit some markets, food stores, etc. and record what strikes me as being unusual and worthy of a post… We are staying in apartments in several of the cities precisely so we can buy local food and possibly cook simple meals (and RICE once in a while!)to save on expenses… As much as one part of me would have a gourmet meal at every turn, the nosebleed prices in Europe means we are doing more of a market type tour…if you know what I mean.

This is a relatively low budget trip…so any advice you guys might have about reasonable restaurants, food stores, pizza joints, fruit stalls, markets to visit, etc. would be seriously APPRECIATED! We will probably not be able to do even a fraction of all of your suggestions but it would be interesting to hear from you all nonetheless. Please leave a comment if you think you can help us with suggestions… Many thanks in advance!

 

COMMENTS:

  1. ichabod1973 says:

    Bon Voyage Marketman and Family!

    Apr 24, 2006 | 8:06 am

     
  2. marga says:

    Have a safe trip MM and family. I have never been to Europe but am planning to go this Fall. I have been going through some brochures on the different tours avialable.I saw one that offers the tourist the chance to shop around the local market with a chef and then cooking lunch in a resto and eating them thereafter. Sounds interesting but…. I am looking forward to your comments about everything on your trip. So Godspeed!!!!

    Apr 24, 2006 | 9:50 am

     
  3. relly says:

    Just a happy trip MM and family.. at the Ibis Hotel near Amsterdam airport, there is one Filipina working at the Gift Shop hotel lobby. I spent a night there .. since she speaks dutch and live there.. maybe she can help..
    BON VOYAGE!

    Apr 24, 2006 | 10:08 am

     
  4. Mandy says:

    wow!! i’ve been to europe a couple of times bec my dad used to work for an airline(free tickets!). rome is wonderful!! my favorite city. if things go our way, my soon to be hubby and i will have our honeymoon there. if you like vespa, the museum is quite near florence. vespa in pontedra (bet pisa and florence). admission is free. :)

    i’d love to go visit barcelona–are you flying or taking the train? europe also has budget airlines now! barcelona-rome costs around 90 euro roundtrip!

    buon viaggio! buen viaje! goede reis!

    Apr 24, 2006 | 10:22 am

     
  5. fm says:

    Check out these blogs. Recent posts on Rome, etc… detail where to eat & shop. Good blogs too. Wonderful pix.

    http://brandoesq.blogspot.com
    http://www.chubbyhubby.net

    Apr 24, 2006 | 10:45 am

     
  6. gonzo says:

    Well if its a low budget trip you can forget about el bulli, i reckon! i mean, how good can it be, really? i much prefer markets and street food, esp the traditional, normal dishes of the locals. if one is visiting a foreign country, i think one should eat what the regular people eat, to get a handle on their culture. That’s what travel is about for me. i say save the experimental musings of internationally famous chefs for another time.

    Barcelona is of course a great food city where there has been an explosion of not quite traditional (for the region) tapas bars. For a more traditional dinner in an old restaurant, try Set Portes; or Roig Robi. For a funkier modern vibe the Tragaluz group has done some interesting things. Or try Julius. So many new places that you should check out and tell us about. Cheap eats: why not the cooked food section at El Corte Ingles? also the Boqueria market is a must! check out the impressive variety of bacalao at the bacalao stalls, then eat esqueixada, a salad of raw bacalao.

    Pa amb Tomaquet (country bread rubbed w tomato and olive oil) will be everywhere, as will tortilla de patata, and butifarra sausages– satisfyingly simple, and cheap. let us know what you think of their ensaimada (the original ensaimada– brought in from nearby mallorca– from which ours is derived). a traditional dish of barcelona is, weirdly, canelons, or cannelloni, or canalones to us pinoys. But as i said i like the local simple foods of foreign places.

    After dinner, you can then get wasted on cava in a champagne bar, heh heh.

    If you like home decor don’t forget to visit the home stores: the famous Vinçon (on passeig de gracia), Pilma, et al. Barcelona makes a big deal about its affinity for design, modern and otherwise.

    Of course you must make the obligatory stroll down the rambla. as for the sagrada familia, well i can see why the term gaudy comes from Gaudi…

    If you’re feeling energetic, take a day trip out to Figueres (a bit north of barcelona) and eat at Hotel Emporda, allegedly the birthplace of the new catalan cuisine.

    i hear that Queen’s Day in Amsterdam is a blast– one big street party my dutch friends say. would like to read about your observations! with pics preferably.

    as for italy, i envy you, MM, i don’t think you can get a bad meal anywhere in italy. there is a specialty sandwich shop in rome that everyone eats at but the name escapes me at the moment. i hope you write about gelato as well. i don’t like sweets or ice cream all that much, but real italian gelato is a revelation. Your 10yr old will probably flip. (Also, in barcelona, your little one may enjoy going up Tibidabo mountain– superb views plus amusement park. take the funicular, quite a trip in itself.) rome pizzerias: 1)Zi Fenizia, 2) Ai Marmi. of course you must check out the market at campo dei fiori.

    My gf at the moment is from paris so the euro trip coming (in sept, hopefully my often recalcitrant cash flow will cooperate!) will necessarily be franco-centric, but foodwise, i think i prefer italy. by a mile.

    Apr 24, 2006 | 11:24 am

     
  7. gonzo says:

    one more thing, in Firenze, you MUST eat the local steak (called Bistecca alla Fiorentina everywhere in italy except Florence), which is beef from the world-renowned Chianina breed of cattle, and then tell us all about it.

    Apr 24, 2006 | 11:40 am

     
  8. RobKSA says:

    or you can post your questions at tripadvisor.com and also to virtualtourist.com where I got your site from one of the travelers.

    Apr 24, 2006 | 12:28 pm

     
  9. kusinero says:

    Have a good and safe trip MM. God bless you all!

    Apr 24, 2006 | 1:41 pm

     
  10. trishlovesbread says:

    MM and family, you MUST see the BOQUERIA in Barcelona and food-shop yourselves silly. I hoarded Palacios chorizo, jamon serrano, and all sorts of bread there, seriously. And please have frites/chips (fat french fries) with the pale yellow mayo dip on the streets, or even at the Schipol airport of Amsterdam. In Florence and Rome just make “papak” fresh tomatoes in the markets and I guarantee perfect happiness…mmm.

    Apr 24, 2006 | 2:29 pm

     
  11. MasPinaSarap says:

    Europe!

    WOW! I lived in Spain for a few years, and I can tell you, one of the most exciting times of year was the weeks following Lent. This time of year in Andalusia (southern state in Spain) the cities are alive with lights, colors and attractions of all sorts for “Feria”. This is the time where the girls dress in their Sevillana dresses with all the frills and polka-dots. If you’re headed that way, I definitely suggest that; and you can find many places for cheap Tapas, and great beaches. I’d say the cheaper supermarkets in Spain would be Supersol, Lidl(it’s German), and Dia. Watch out though, aside from Supersol, the store hours are funny, espicially Dia. Oh, and trying to find anything open on a Sunday is hard period.

    Oooh, and, I don’t know if you’ve ever visited Spain, but you have to try their Helado (Ice Cream), it’s definitely comparable to Italian Gelato…maybe even better. LOL. They are served on 10 inch long cones that are almost better than the ice cream themselves. My flavor of choice: Nata.

    ITALY! Try to eat at “Trattorias”, they’ve got wine and food in the form of a house daily special, that should stretch your Euro farther.

    That’s my advice. Enjoy your trip and if you do go to Feria, watch out for pick-pockets!

    Be Safe and God Bless!

    Apr 24, 2006 | 2:40 pm

     
  12. MasPinaSarap says:

    Oh, and I’m not sure if you’ve read it already, although it’s probably in any Amsterdam guidebook.
    If you want coffee, you have to go to a Cafe. “Coffeehouses” sell more of the “herbal” variety.
    :)

    Apr 24, 2006 | 2:42 pm

     
  13. trishlovesbread says:

    Oops, just realized that Gonzo mentioned the Boqueria already. Thanks, Gonzo, for reminding me of the bacalao there! Final tip: Are you planning to visit the Vatican Museum? If you do go, those headphones for rent that have recordings about the stuff on display, are really, really worth the money. Have fun you guys!

    Apr 24, 2006 | 2:57 pm

     
  14. RobKSA says:

    Go to this “Barcelona” page of our kababayan in Barcelona at virtualtourist. I think she is a sister of Rio Locsin. You can also email her to get some tips on Barcelona. Tell her RobKSA from virtualtourist referred you to her as an introduction.

    http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/60626/430de/

    Apr 24, 2006 | 4:22 pm

     
  15. RobKSA says:

    ops now I’m not sure whether he or she is or he might be the husband of a sister of Rio or he might be a brother. Darn, I’m confuse but just ask him/her what is he/she to Rio Locsin. Honey, I need my prozac please.

    Apr 24, 2006 | 4:25 pm

     
  16. juls says:

    MM, it’s nice that you’re the one who’s making the itenerary and not some package tour.

    some things i hope to suggest:
    1. go to vineyards and have a winetasting tour
    2. visit some cheesemakers and ham makers while in italy
    3. get a walking tourguide from google. i think local tourism offices have info on this.
    4. go to flea markets for great kitchen finds
    5. buy foodstuffs and souvenirs that can’t be found in manila (eg. balsamic vinegar of modena – tradizionale kind, limoncello, a pack of el mus playing cards from barcelona, buy madeira wine while in spain, etc.)

    *also, bring extra memory cards for your digital camera. you don’t want to erase some pictures just to make space now do you?

    Apr 24, 2006 | 5:48 pm

     
  17. sydney129 says:

    This has nothing to do with food, but I consider it the most memorable (and moving) part of my trip to Amsterdam some years back : Anne Frank’s house – http://www.annefrank.org.

    Apr 24, 2006 | 5:50 pm

     
  18. juls says:

    in amsterdam, you should try their “brownies” in their coffeehouses.

    in tuscany, be sure to go to San Gimignano, the fortress town where they shot that film, “tea with mussolini”, go to sienna & volterra too. also, if you want cheap accommodations (just in case, or just for the experience), stay at convents around italy.
    cheers!

    Apr 24, 2006 | 5:57 pm

     
  19. Katrina says:

    Oooohhh…I’m SO ENVIOUS! I LOVE Florence, and have always wanted to go to Barcelona! One of my favorite things to do in Florence was just to walk around in the evening. Even late at night, the piazzas were well-lit and full of people strolling. But, yes, anywhere in Italy (especially Rome), you have to watch out for pickpockets. The gypsies were particularly annoying. They’d sidle up close to you and pretend to beg, but really their very quick hands were already stealing your wallet. Mothers would use their babies as a way to cover their hands going into your bag/pocket, and children would use newspapers. I hate to sound racist and generalize about gypsies, but that was our experience. One gypsy woman wouldn’t leave my younger sister alone, and my mom had to shout at her to chase her off.

    The gelato in Italy is truly wonderful, and the flavors are endless! There was a gelateria near our hotel that stayed open till very late, so every single night we would drop by on the way back to the hotel and try a different flavor. A piece of advice, just in case you’ve never been to Italy (though I’m pretty sure you have): when you eat in the non-fine dining restaurants, you may want to just buy the food and then eat standing up at the counter, or get it for take-out. They charge you extra (billed as “cuperto”) for sitting at a table! I’ve never experienced that outside of Italy!

    Apr 24, 2006 | 6:29 pm

     
  20. pt says:

    check out http://www.nytimes.com and read ‘affordable europe’ in the travel section.

    have a wonderful vacation!

    Apr 24, 2006 | 7:42 pm

     
  21. frayed says:

    Hi MM. Your trip sounds like fun. As your first stop is Amsterdam, I guess you won’t be looking for Asian food yet but if you do, try going to a restaurant that serves RIJSTTAFEL if you haven’t had it yet – it’s like a table with various sampler plates – about 15-20 little platitos of Indonesian food (who were of course a colony of the Dutch). Perfect for a family. Torn and I had it with a bottle of wine – great.

    Tuscany – have you heard of Agriturismo? I guess you can google it. The Italian govt had this great plan of turning old farmhouses into houses for rent. We rented one floor of an old house with a great view of the Tuscan hills. and it wasn’t expensive – you have your own kitchen, etc. So you can buy stuff from the market and cook (or eat) in your own home by the fireplace. Beautiful – your kids are lucky they get to experience Europe so early. I’m sure it will be a life-changing experience for them. Happy trip! We’ll be in the UK and norway this summer.

    Apr 24, 2006 | 7:57 pm

     
  22. gastronoma says:

    places to visit in Amsterdam, these are probably some of the usual tourist stops but they’re fun anyway:
    If you have time, go out of town to visit the cheesemakers to get some Gouda and see how it’s made. The windmills are a blast, of course.

    Aalsmeer, also a short distance from Amsterdam, to see the flower auction(world’s largest, I believe)–in minutes big batches of flowers will be bought and sold and delivered to various places all over the world. Quite fascinating. If they have the Floriade (their flower festival), it gets even busier. But the Floriade happens every 10 years only. They had the last one in 2002.

    Madurodam — a miniature park that’s a mini version of Holland. It’s always fun to have your photos taken with the model buildings. Make sure you take photos of yourselves standing BESIDE the miniature buildings to get the right effect. I know someone who took lots of photos of the model buildings ONLY. :)

    Travel safe and have fun! Kwento, pasalubong (harhar) and eyeball when you get back!

    Apr 24, 2006 | 8:53 pm

     
  23. Carlo says:

    In Florence, head for the Oltrarno district where there are osterias and trattorias that are less likely to be tourist traps. Bistecca alla fiorentina is a MUST!

    There was a really good (and cheap) falafel shop in Amsterdam but I forgot the name, sorry!

    Apr 24, 2006 | 9:57 pm

     
  24. iska says:

    Been to London and Paris but never been to Italy. Hope this year would be a good year to travel again… that means, sana may budget :)

    Have a nice trip!

    Apr 24, 2006 | 9:57 pm

     
  25. Jean says:

    Keep a close watch on your kids. Hubby and I were driving around Amsterdam and some guy came up to us offering drugs. JUST SAY NO!

    If you get the chance, go venture out towards Heidelburg, Germany. They have a Jose Rizal statue somewhere in the town.

    Europeans love their country. Respect it.

    Take many pictures and have the time of your lives MM.

    Apr 24, 2006 | 10:10 pm

     
  26. w says:

    a word of caution in amsterdam (maybe other european cities too), watch out for the bikes while you’re walking the streets! they get points for hitting you!

    have a safe and memorable trip.

    Apr 24, 2006 | 11:00 pm

     
  27. shane says:

    I have been following your site for months now, MM-Love it! When at the Colliseum in Rome there are folks who are dressed like Roman guards. They pose with tourists for pics, they will even be so nice to take your pics for you. Don’t pose with them unless you want to shell out 10 euros or say goodbye to your expensive camera!
    I know this trip is within a budget. If you ever decide to go shopping for luxury items i.e. prada, fendi, d&g,etc., go to the town of Montevarcchi. From the main train station in Florence (Sta Maria?) it takes 45 min and costs about 13-15 euros per person for a return ticket (take note of the return sched from montevarcchi to firenze). Once in Montevarcchi, take a taxi ride to the outlets (approx 8-15min)but, you must commission your driver to come back for you after several hours. Appoint a particular time and spot where you will be picked up. Be prompt and have a back up phone number for a taxi service in case someone nabs your ride-it is fairly common. This place is an outlet store of the real thing. If you are a savvy shopper your $1000 goes a long way (no v.a.t if paying with cash)
    Remember the restaurants closest to a tourist attraction will cost more. Softdrinks and water will cost even more. Just go where the Romans go and “do as the Romans do”. Buon Viaggio!

    Apr 25, 2006 | 12:43 am

     
  28. sha says:

    MM in any case u side trip here in south of france
    I will more than happy to have gastronomic tour with you

    got few things to share with you on this trip but i have 3 mins on time.

    happy trip

    Apr 25, 2006 | 1:37 am

     
  29. Bay_leaf says:

    don’t forget to visit the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam, MM. :)

    Florence is beautiful but a trip to Tuscany is not complete without visiting Sienna & Volterra. bellisima!

    whenever my brother and sister-in-law visit me here in Switzerland, they buy food stuff which is rare or non existent in the Philippines and i call my contact and they send a balikbayan package home full of goodies. last year they even enclosed a small electric non stick grill.

    Apr 25, 2006 | 1:58 am

     
  30. MasPinaSarap says:

    Try the lemons in Sorrento. The way they grow on the side of the rocky hill, produces naturally sweet lemons that Sorrento is known for. You can find some unique lemon ingredients made from the sweet lemons that you can’t find elsewhere, and special limoncello too.
    :)

    Apr 25, 2006 | 4:15 am

     
  31. puglia_kid says:

    So you want the best market and street foods that the cities you’re going to have to offer? PM me.

    Apr 25, 2006 | 7:09 am

     
  32. linda says:

    “I can’t wait for the second bite!” as quoted by a celebrated chef here in Oz when he first tasted a pizza in Italy. It was pure bliss!

    Wishing you and your family a safe and wonderful holiday!

    Apr 25, 2006 | 11:49 am

     
  33. gastronoma says:

    Apr 25, 2006 | 12:02 pm

     
  34. baby says:

    Rome has a “tavola” in every street. It is very much like our “turo-turo” so you see what the dishes are like before you order them. Home cooked meals the Italian way. Really good and value for money as well. Do as the Romans do…eat at the “tavolas”. The Boqueria at Las Ramblas in Barcelona is a very good place to get lost in as many have already posted. But most importantly, watch out for pickpockets!!! They lurk about even in churches.

    Apr 25, 2006 | 3:56 pm

     
  35. Marketman says:

    Thank you! Thank you! For all those terrific suggestions and links to related articles, sites, forums, etc. I have to read this all and hopefully will be able to see a fraction of the great stuff out there. We are staying in a flat near the main market in Barcelona (on purpose) so it should be interesting foodwise…

    Apr 25, 2006 | 7:31 pm

     
  36. franics says:

    Hi MM,
    Mushrooms! The towns around florence and parts of northern italy are filled with tiny restaurants that excel in bringing out the most amazing flavors out of these forest dwellers.

    If you are able to cook in your apartment in tuscany, hit the markets for fresh and dried mushrooms. I chanced upon a street market in Fiesolewith an amazing mushroom section.

    Had an amazing salad with white truffles (and no, i can’t be baited into comparing them with black truffles for fear of never being able to set foot in france or italy again!) and Ovoli mushrooms. While you’re at it,why not a grilled/roasted platito sizd porcini (good powerful flavor but, quite frankly, a bit nakakaumay – what’s the english translation for that?- for my barbaric palate if the portion is too large). Top it off with a glass of barolo. Mushrooms might be mahal this time of year, but they’re not impossible to find.

    Apr 26, 2006 | 8:54 am

     
  37. Ivan the Streetwalker says:

    MM,

    Here’s something from a (very recent) backpacking trip:

    1. Eating in Spain.
    a. When you step in a resto, there are basically 2 types of seat, the bar (barra?) and the terrace (terraza) meaning the tables. The latter is usually more expensive by 20% (labor is expensive daw) so I suggest not bringing a lot when eating cos bars dont really have to much space.

    b. On ordering, there are basically 2 sizes in spain, Tapas are small (platito-size) servings while Raciones means big servings (I guess regular size for us), to taste more, order more tapas instead.

    c. Water is potable in Spain so if you can stomach it, go with tap (avaerage cost for a 1.5 Liter of bottle water = 1 Euros). Learn how to ask for ‘VASO DE AGUA” on restaurants, cause if you just ask for AGUA, then they give you bottled water. Adds up to the cost!

    d. On the Average, expect to spend about 15-20 Euros per meal (since you are with a 10 year old)

    e. For a quickie in Barcelona, join one of those Hop-on-hop-off busses (18 Euros one day and 22 for two)where you can go to to all the sites and get discounted rates to major sites. You can also spend hours just sucking in the spring weather and beautiful architecture. Check out the tourist office at the Plaza Catalunya right in the heart of the city.

    d. La Boquera- Barcelona’s most famous market- is located along the La Rambla- the most touristy and over-hyped shopping street in the city.It is very close to the Nuestra Señora dela O church.

    Apr 26, 2006 | 9:03 am

     
  38. Ivan the Streetwalker says:

    Oh, the Spanish word for menu is ‘Carta’

    Apr 26, 2006 | 9:23 am

     
  39. MGR says:

    Check out http://www.tripadvisor.com. Lots of info there. Yes, the boqueria market is a must. Try Bar Pinoxto there for tapas. Make sure you try the “tiny” strawberries which Catalans prefer. The Tragaluz group is good..El Bulli is in Rosas anyway (not in Barcelona) so unless you have a car, cash and the “golden ticket” ala Willy Wonka. Definitely check out the Monastery of Montserrat one day. Awesome views, boys choir sings at noon and make sure you eat some “melimato” or fresh cheese with honey from the outside vendors. Other cheap eats are Qu-Qu tapas bar in Passeig de Gracia..fine dining at Botafumerio and chocolates at Cacao Sampaka (owned by Ferran Adria’s older brother). Watch out for pickpockets everywhere. Do the Gaudi buildings tour.
    As for Florence..definitely bistec alla fiorentina. Try to eat at Riviore in Piazza dela Signora. Gelatos galore but beware and make sure you order the simple cone. You can end up paying $10 for a sugar cone if not careful for a scoop of ice cream. Also in Tuscany, instead of driving wine country..try the chocolate valley route. Visit Amedei.
    To save, my husband and I would eat a lot of the hotel breakfast included in the rate. Next meal will be a simple panini, dinner will be the posted special of the day. Italians eat a lot, so the meals of the day specials are “big” amounts. Have fun!

    Apr 26, 2006 | 12:01 pm

     
  40. twisted diva says:

    In Spanish, the vernacular for tap water is “AGUA DE GRIFO”. If you have any spare time left in Barcelona, take the ‘funicular’ up to Montjuich. I think you & the kids will enjoy it. BUEN VIAJE!

    Apr 26, 2006 | 8:03 pm

     
  41. goodtimer says:

    geez MM, your site’s just too interesting, it has brought practically my whole family here! i could read my 2 sisters and bother-in-law’s contributions. it’s bringing more people together than an annual christmas reunion. hehe.. and yes, i also get eyebags making babad in this site. i love reading your (funny)kwentos and all the comments and suggestions. A must site for food lovers indeed!

    Apr 27, 2006 | 12:22 am

     
  42. sha says:

    sorrento the best lemonade i ever had

    we are off to portofino and the amalfi coast soon plus capri

    Apr 27, 2006 | 4:48 am

     
  43. MGR says:

    Me, again! Actually, the bar eating versus sitting is more important in Italy. A cup of coffee can cost 5 times the price when seated than standing at the bar in Italy. Spain doesn’t really have big price differences, if any, versus standing and sitting. Also, as previously advised, if you decide to take the funicular to Montjuic (there’s one in Montserrat too), there’s an amusement park there and a church that houses a Santo Nino from the Philippines. Definitely go up the Sagrada Familia for jaw-dropping views of the city. A taxi also might be cheaper than taking the metro as you’ll have to pay per person at the metro in Barcelona.

    Apr 27, 2006 | 6:52 am

     
  44. bea tenchavez says:

    hi marketman! I am bea and a filipino foodie..although I am based in Triest..the northeaster part of italy..I got to live in Florence for 4 months while studying italian cuisine and wines…since they already told you about Bistecca…it’s really a must try..go to Il Latini or Sostanza for that! You have to try in Florence the Panini Tartufati! The name speaks for itself! for 2euros you have this delectable mini panini filled with tartufo,drink it with a glass of prosecco!just can’t have one! It’s in Via Tournaboni accross the Tod’s or Hogan store..A must try! best gelato in Vivoli and try the affogato (hot chocolate with gelato) at Chocolateria Vestri..it’s by Santa Croce..I forget the exact street but try to find it as it is really really good..homemade different gelato made with chocolate drowned in rich,dark hot chocolate!!.in the san lorenzo market,there’s negroni a cafeteria of sorts, you have to try the lampredotto(innards or stomach i think)boiled to perfection and really tender, served in a sandwich dipped in the drippings and with salsa vert and red sauce..Yummy! a local delicacy as well!right outside florence,by fiesole,go to Omero.If you go outside like Sienna or San giminiano, you have to try the simple dish of fresh pecorino with honey! in oltrarno,by santo spirito,a good seafood place is Restorante Ricchi.there’s a cafe but next door is the fine dining.love it..love food tripping in florence and tuscany…the list goes on but these are tops on my list especially if you are there for a few days only!!enjoy and email if you need anything!! Barcelona is great too..that’s my dream to eat in El Bulli..but Fernan Adria has some restaurants in barcelona that you might be able to get into..I think there’s xocolat,if spelled correctly and another one that I forgot which he co-owns with his bro i think..not sure really…enjoy, enjoy!!!

    Apr 28, 2006 | 6:04 am

     
  45. Marketman says:

    bea, thank you so much for those tips. We just got up from our first night of sleep in Amsterdam and I am so glad I bought slami and bread before we went to bed…that’s breakfast! Will use your suggestions when we get to Florence! Thanks again!

    Apr 28, 2006 | 12:45 pm

     
  46. Marketman says:

    aridelros, while I do like food and have this blog, I don’t have a food business on the side. I have friends and family over to dinner but that’s about it. I have always toyed with the idea of a restaurant or food store but I think I would be my own worst critic. I did consider HRM at Cornell for college but decided to go the business route instead…

    Apr 29, 2006 | 10:36 pm

     
  47. Jeronimo Minino says:

    THANK YOU very much for your good advice and suggestions. We (Jeronimo and Masumi)are already back home, having much enjoyed our Manila trip.
    Here is what we know about Barcelona (is not much, we went there once last year):

    1) Dont miss the “Horchata” (=”Orxata”), it is a milky drink made of crushed “chufa”(the sweet roots of a sort of grass). I loved(!) it as a child, when living in Spain, so chances are your kid might like it too. But it must be the real thing, not the cheap stuff you get now in plastic bottles in the supermarkets. You might meet mobile vendors of organic “chufas” and “orxata” from Valencia in Barcelona: ladies dressed in a sort of typical costume with rolling carts made of stainless steel. I met one on the Ramblas. I assure you that their “Orxata” is worth the slightly high price.

    2) Near the Mercado de la Boqueria is a restaurant called “Casa Leopoldo”, backed by tradition and fame. Its kitchen will surely not disappoint you. (But it is also somehow expensive.) http://www.casaleopoldo.com/menu_eng.htm

    3) At a corner of Plaza Sant Jaume (I mena the corner to the right when you are facing the City Hall) is the tiny, traditional “bocadillo”(=the spanish version of “sandwich”) local called “Conesa”. It is sooo famous… Everybody in spain would recommend it, and people stand in spectacular rows in front of the local. Well, I went there, and I didn”t notice the sooo special thing about their “bocadillos” (or “entrepans” in catala language). But they were fairly tasty, so you can give them a try.

    4) I amk sure nobody will recommend you “Bocatta”, a fast food style chain which is to the spanish “bocadillo” what “McDonalds” is to the hamburger. Well, there is a “Bocatta” on the same “Plaza Sant Jaume” (near “Conesa”), and I am not ashamed to say that we went there and that we even (surprisingly) very enjoyed our combo on plastic trays… Kids also seem to like this kind of locals…

    ENJOY your trip very much!

    May 3, 2006 | 2:01 am

     
 

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