I enjoy a good tasting menu, especially ones not with NYC prices, and when I saw that a Santiago restaurant had been named as one of the 50 Best Restaurants in the World, I planned our first night in Santiago eat at that exact restaurant – Borago!!
I spent Valentine’s Day weekend in Paris, France this year, sadly without Dan (SORRY DAN)! It was a girl’s weekend, and we had the best time. I will be posting more about what we did, where we ate, how Paris is in February (spoiler alert, it was amazing and 60 degrees and sunny!), and how you can recreate our itinerary, but for now, here is a snippet of some of my favorite pictures!
Just in time for Dan and my third Oktoberfest, here is my take on the greatest beerfest in all of the world! We will be there the second week and are also attending the Cannstatter Volksfest in Stuttgart! Prost!
A few weeks ago I spent a weekend in the Catskills Mountains. Specifically, Phoenicia. Phoenicia is a small town (technically a “hamlet”), about 20 minutes from Woodstock (the more well-known town in the area), in the Catskills Mountains. The town is tiny, with one main road, surrounded by mountains with lots of hiking. Phoenicia has recently received press by way of a few new business ventures opening in the sleepy town, including the Phoenecia Diner – which is probably the most popular place to eat in the area! Vouge magazine mentioned it in a piece on travel in the Catskills Mountains a while ago, and it seems to be all the rage with the hipster crowd.
I visited Bologna for one reason only – to eat! In planning my trip, a number of foodie blogs recommended Trattoria da Gianni as a local restaurant to taste Bologna’s famous foods. So I obviously made a reservation (or had Dan do so, since his last name is Italian!).
Trattoria da Gianni is located in the center of Bologna, not too far from Piazza Maggiore, down a small side street. We called ahead a few days before and made a reservation for “Sunday Lunch,” which is a very popular and heavy meal in Italy. Actually, I recommend making a reservation for any day/night. The restaurant is not very big and it seemed as if all of the tables were reserved when we were there. If you do show up without a reservation and have to wait, the servers were handing out complimentary glasses of prosecco to pass the time!
I am a huge fan of food tours and try to convince Dan to take them wherever we go!
Now, when planning Sweden, I did not expect a culinary destination, but I was happily surprised! Luckily, I came across Food Tours Stockholm when doing research and signed us up! This tour was informative, both in the historical and culinary sense, delicious and pleasantly provided some insight into modern Swedish culture. I also found this tour to be an excellent way to spend a day in the winter, as there was minimal outdoor walking!
The tour started at the famous Östermalms Saluhall! This famous food hall is clean, swanky and probably the nicest food hall I have ever been in! I recommend visiting here even if you do not take the tour!
In Östermalms, we started the tour with a sampling of Swedish cheese. Who knew the Swedes make such delicious cheese? They do. Believe me. This stand also sold some delicious jams from things I didn’t even know were real. Think cloudberries. Yep, thats are a real, tasty berry.
I LOVE tasting menus. I love the idea of multiple course dinners. I love to try dishes that I wouldn’t normally order. And I love when the restaurant pairs the menu with drinks! Not surprisingly, Stockholm has a lot of restaurants offering tasting menus, some costing as much as $1,000 US a person (!).
I decided to find one more reasonable for my trip (and have Dan take me there for my birthday dinner! ). Doing some research, I came across the winner – Pubologi! Pubologi is a hip gastropub right in Gamla Stan. Pubologi offers 5 or 7 course tasting menus of “modern nordic food” (plus complementary amuse bouche and tasting treats post dinner) and it pairs the food with either beer or wine. Sold! We made reservations online before we left (recommended). The cost of the 5 course tasting menu was 550 Swedish Crown and the beer pairing (beers from the Pang Pang Brewery) was an additional 355 Swedish Crown when we were there.
For our meals, we both went with the 5 course tasting menu. That was a good choice. The portions were LARGE for a tasting menu. There is no way that I could have finished the 7. For my drink pairing, I opted for the beer pairing! Dan went with the wine. Both were good and a substantial amount of alcohol.
Livingstone, Zambia is a walkable town with a number of restaurants that seem tourist-friendly. On our first night, we ended up walking just down the street from our hotel to Cafe Zambezi, an Africa/Caribbean restaurant located in a strip mall! Odd mix!
While its in a strip mall, the restaurant is quite large. The front is all enclosed like a normal pub, but the back opens up to include outdoor seating! The crowd was a mix of locals and tourists, both international and African, and one could certainly meet fellow travelers here. All of the staff spoke English and were quite accommodating!
Dan and I visited Mendoza in November on our trip to Argentina! I liked everything about Mendoza, and recommended it as a short getaway to anyone in northern or western Argentina or northern Chile.
Mendoza is in Western Argentina in the Cuyo desert region, and it is the capital of the Mendoza province. The city is a popular spot for wine production and tourism. While best known for wine, Mendoza has a number of adventures for the outdoorsy. Its near the Andes mountain range, including Aconcagua, the highest mountain outside Asia. There are opportunities to hike, fly fish, partake in extreme sports, etc. But, we didn’t come to Mendoza to be extreme, we came to drink wine, and drink wine we did! Continue reading
The last stop of Eurotrip2014 was Salzburg, Austria! Salzburg has long been on my travel wish list, and I was very happy to travel here!
We rented an apartment in Apartment City, which was a great location just off the Getreidegasse, between the Altstadt and the University area. Gorgeous views from the apartment! In addition to the views, there was a beautiful old church that turned into what appeared to be a drug-fuled, underage rave on Friday…luckily it stopped at midnight, and went right back to a church on Sunday morning! #clubchurch
We arrived on a Friday night, and our first stop was Augustiner Bräu Mülln – also long on my wish list! Augustiner Bräu is a brewery and beer hall, serving delicious, delicious beer and housing a variety of stalls selling food.
On our first full day, we toured all of Salzburg’s best sites, including the Mirabell Palace Gardens, Mozart Square and residences, the Salzburg Cathedral and the Festung Hohensalzburg.
We also stopped for coffee, breakfast and the famous Sacher Torte at Cafe Sacher. The cake was decadent! Bucketlist – check!
After hitting the “must see” list, it was finally time for shopping on the Getreidegasse! The Getreidegasse is a pedestrian-only shopping street abounding with international chain stores, restaurants and tourist shops selling Mozart balls and countless other Mozart paraphernalia. In addition, to shopping, Getreidegasses is quite picturesque, as all of the stores, including the McDonalds, have metal signs displaying a picture of their wares, harking back to the time when the masses were illerate. The street was so picturesque, I returned early Sunday morning to take pictures without the crowds.
My favorite shop on Getreidegasse was a small shop called Spirtuosen Sporer. Sporer is a family-owned liquer store, selling countless varieties of flavored brandy and schnapps – from pine to edelweiss to blackberry – since 1903. We tried a variety of samples and all bought bottles to take home. Plan accordingly, Sporer is closed on Sunday and closes at 5 on Saturday.
Later that evening, we dined at a delicious restaurant – Bärenwirt. his may have been the best schnitzel I had on the trip (close with my Hallstatt schnitzel), and this was certainly our best meal in Salzburg. Our waitress spoke perfect English and was extremely friendly. The mean ended with a complementary bowl of gummy bears!
Our final day (SAD), began with a stroll down an empty Getreidegasse for pictures and then a visit to the famous Cafe Tomaselli for some truly delicious coffee!
After, we set out for what was one of the most fun events of the trip! We walked about 30 minutes to the Stiegl-Brauwelt, or the Stiegl brewery, for a brewery tour! This is truly a great brewery tour and it is one of the best I have ever taken. The brewery also has a restaurant, beer garden and a fabulous giftshop!
We ended the trip on a touristy note by a Mozart dinner concert at the Restaurant St. Peter Stiftskeller. The performance was very good and the location was gorgeous. A good way to end the trip!
I was very sad to leave, but we had a great time in Salzburg!