A Month in Rome:Advice One Foodie to Another

As much as I wanted to take Anthony Bourdain’s advice on skipping touristy stuff in Rome, I couldn’t help myself. A month in Rome gave me more than enough time to see both tourist attractions, while also maintaining a tight budget. It was at times difficult, yet simple, to keep my money in my pocket since Rome has evolved into a serious tourist trap. Food is no longer authentic in most restaurants. You find yourself exhausted looking for authentic pasta, gelato, or suppli and at times unsatisfied. As a true foodie on a budget, my grand advice to anyone traveling to Rome is COOK! cook as much as you can. DSCF6962

If there is anything worth trying in Rome it’s buying amazing produce at a local farmers market and making a simple meal. I cooked four days out of the week, even though at times, I got home exhausted. I always looked forward to the bright white carrots, sweet onions, fresh basil, etc. waiting for me in my fridge. If you really can’t cook then at least treat yourself to a cooking class and learn a bit about the cities food history, because ultimately food can you tell you a lot about a culture. Always look to have an authentic experience.

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The formula to achieve an authentic experience is:

Eat where the people that live there blog about+ experience the nightlife+ avoid any lines tourist are on+ visit a street food market. Below are must eat places in Rome and random photos of the city .

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Must visit:

-Gelateria del Teatro: Via Dei Coronari 65

Best Gelato in Rome point blank!! try all the flavors

-La Moretta Trattoria

Must have their Carbonara Ala Romana: pasta with pork and egg yolk, one of Romans most common dishes

-Hosteria Grappolo d’oro

Cacio e pepe pasta to die for!: pasta with pecorino cheese and black pepper

-Testaccio Market( Farmer’s/Street Food Market)

Try the porchetta there but also try the Trippa sandwich from Cucina Romanesa

-Eataly

Best Suppli( Italian street food) ever

Make sure the cheese inside is runny and goeey

Great place for wine and olive oil to bring back

Onion

Happy Travels!

Cow

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Brooklyn Bell The Local-Crown Heights, Brooklyn

 

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Multi-ethnic boutique restaurants are sprouting all over Crown Heights, Brooklyn as locals are now more than ever dining out, but where to go for ice cream when your delicate palate wont settle for Baskin Robbins on the corner of Franklin and Eastern Pkwy? Café Froyo on the opposite corner of the intersection had been satisfying frozen treat cravings for a few years but the place has now shut down, I assume due to the lack of traffic and steady bills not adding up.

Ron Cunningham, ice cream genius/software engineer/private chef, decided to change all of this by bringing local, fresh, and quirky ice cream to Crown Heights through Brooklyn Bells The Local. The parlor embodies patriotism with hints of red, white, and blue displayed on the walls and décor. “We’re very patriotic; the American dream is ingrained in our psyches,” said Mr. Cunningham during a New York Times interview.

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Not only is the décor patriotic, but some of the most popular flavors are as well such as Sweet Potato Pie—a subtle creamy vanilla ice cream swirled with chunks of sweet potato sneaking up on you every few bites. The Backyard Bourbon—a peach flavored ice cream with outstanding hints of bourbon that fade the initial peach flavor you were hoping for. I asked about the ingredients to the ice cream base and Mr. Cunningham stated he wouldn’t reveal the ratio, but that it does consist of solely whole milk, heavy cream, egg yolks, and turbinado sugar.

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You’re bound to hear salsa music in the background, as El Gran Combo played throughout my time there. Paintings of locals are plastered onto the walls giving an emphasis on how much Mr. Cunningham cares to involve the neighborhood with his establishment.

 

Brooklyn Bells The Local

Address: 843 Classon Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238/ Phone:(718) 399-2613
Website: http://www.brooklynbell.com/

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120 Hours in Granada, Spain

The city vibrates with influences from Arabic, Jewish, Spanish, and gypsy Romanian decent but like any modern city many have migrated from all over the world bringing their culture’s cuisine along with them. If you’re looking to travel cheap and consume lots of beer Spain is undoubtedly the perfect place to visit being that every drink is accompanied by a tapas (side snack of cured ham, cheese, fried seafood, or meats in stew smothered over French fries). As long as you’re drinking you will never go hungry. I had visited for 120 hours and left with a memorable experience. There is nothing like a city that although is extremely popular in tourism stays true to its culture as the city paints it onto its food, architecture, spirit, and people.

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Los Italianos Heladería

Calle Gran Vía de Colón, 4, 18001 Granada, Spain

This place is the first thing you should do when you arrive. It’s located in a traffic packed central plaza in Granada, across the street from the backside of The Cathedral. For just 3 euros you can’t get what they call a Capricho—a cone stuffed with about six different scoops of the ice cream flavors that are soon to be changed out—an ice cream bomb explosion in your mouth. I don’t know the secret in the base for their ice cream but it’s the reason behind the consistent richness and pungent taste in all the flavors offered. Staff is super friendly and one scoop is just one euro if you’re not into stuffing your face with six flavors.

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*Michelle Obama had ice cream here with her daughters.

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The Sacromonte Neighborhood

Near Rio Darro—Keep walking up the cobble stones.

Visit Sacromonte at night. The fun begins as the streets fill up with local folks desiring to watch a flamenco show and eat tapas alongside a glass of wine. The Sacromonte neighborhood is a mountain of cave “dive bars” in which gypsy flamenco music is played and dancers are dressed to entertain your night away. Walking around this neighborhood also gives you great view of The Alhambra at night and during the day. The C2 bus near the central plaza takes you straight to the caves, just request the stop with the bus driver.

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The Alcaicería

Between Plaza Nueva and Plaza Bib-Rambla

If you’re looking for knick-knacks and souvenirs to take home this would a place worth stopping by. Located near the rear of The Cathedral it is a place where you can buy an assortment of exotic teas, spices, leather wallets, and cheap cool Arabic inspired jewelry. The vendors are not aggressive in the way most street market vendors can be. They are also not too big on bargaining but give it a try anyway.

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Sierra Nevada

Plaza de Andalucía, 4 Edf. Cetursa – 18196 Sierra Nevada – Granada –

 The Sierra Nevada is both beautiful in the summer and winter and a moderately cheap place to Ski and snowboard compared to ski resorts in the U.S. Rentals start at just 9 euros but if such activities are not your thing just climb onto the cableway for 5 euros. Soak up the great views higher up the mountain and enjoy the local restaurants serving hot chocolate and churros.

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Seafood Tapas For Days

Seafood is extremely cheap in Granada, Spain. Tapas can range from 3 to 6 euros for a decent plate of fried fish, octopus, or calamari.

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Feast At A Mediterranean Restaurant

Don’t leave Granada without having a decent plate of Mediterranean food. Couscous, chicken simmered in spices and raisin all oven-cooked in a clay pot is a must. Most of these restaurants are found near The Alcaicería. There would mostly likely be expeditors outside trying to lure you in for some dinner and hookah.

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La Alhambra

Calle Real de la Alhambra, s/n, 18009 Granada, Spain

No need to explain why you should visit this palace. It is one of the most visited historical places in the world.

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Restaurant Review:Pokeworks

 

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Waiting on an hour long line to get a Pokiritto at Pokeworks  happens to be a great way to meditate on life and future endeavors. The restaurant is blending in with the now fast casual restaurant trend of high quality ingredients aligned in a cafeteria served manner. The place is smaller than you’re nearest gas station clearly demonstrating the unpredicted success the owners had in mind with their sushi burrito concept. Currently, demand is so high, guest are only allowed to order up to two items on the menu. Pokeworks success has thrived due to the almighty power of social media. It all essentially started with the worldwide spread picture of a sushi burrito that allowed lines of prominently college students to spiral down the block. As folks start piling in, the wind permeates a whiff of Ahi tuna through the air tempting the stomach of those still waiting on line . “Cup of miso anyone,” yells out one of the employees handing out warm miso soup with bits of minced scallions for guest waiting more than forty five minutes. Oddly the restaurant is located right next to a cabaret and adult film store. Nonetheless, the sushi burrito was long overdue here in New York, I however thought Pokeworks demonstrated how social media hype has at times fallen flat when high expectations are set. I ordered the Spicy Ahi a combination of Ahi tuna, sriracha aioli, green & sweet onion, cucumber, and masago rolled into steamed white rice and nori. Tuna was fresh, aioli was mild, hints of cilantro here and there, but lacking elements of flavor that you were hoping would outshine your local sushi take out spot. Pricing ranges from $10-$15 depending on the burrito size. Top selling items have been the Salmon Shiso, a combination of fresh-diced salmon, green & sweet onion, edamame, cucumber, shiso leaves, crispy onion & garlic, yuzu ponzu. All combinations come either in a bowl (Poké Bowl) or a burrito (Pokiritto).

Address: 63 W 37th St, New York, NY 10018/Phone:(212) 575-8881/Hours: 11AM–8PM/Menu: Pokeworks.com

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Let Us Claim A Staple New York City Dessert

 

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You travel to Florence to find authentic gelato. You travel to Istanbul to find mouth-watering baklava. You come to New York for cereal milk soft serve? Essentially New York has never had a staple dessert, yes the cronut was birthed here and has had tourist piling in from left to right, but I say we become known for Momofuku’s cereal milk soft serve. Lines at Milk Bar can be out the door as customers pile out with the soft serve in hand. There has been many things done to ice cream but nothing I have tasted beats this yet. The soft serve is served in a white paper cup with corn flake cereal bits on the bottom, cereal milk ice cream is swirled in, then wrapped in a ribbon of more toasted corn flake bits. The cornflakes however have a light kick being that they were buttered, toasted, and sprinkled with a hint of salt. Soft serve taste as if the remaining milk after finishing a bowl of corn flakes. The milk left in the bowl that you either chug down or leave behind is now swirled into a cup as a cool treat for a sunny spring day. Milk Bar is very proud to claim the longevity the soft serve has, before it begins to drench down onto your hands creating the typical soft serve mess. The trick I believe is the wrapping of the toasted buttered cornflakes as they cage in the ice cream giving it a longer melting point. I find myself at times even craving it. Like one would crave chocolate ice cream at 12 A.M. or flaky pie after a hearty lunch, I crave cereal milk soft serve any given time of the day.

Address: 382 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211
Phone:(347) 577-9504
Hours: Open today • 9AM–12AM
Menu: milkbarstore.com

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Morning Pastries Oh la la!

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Morning Pastries Oh la la!

Whilst the butter proofs in the oven as layers of puff pastry rise between seconds, the butter curls spherically into seventeen layers of flaky morning pastry. Ring! Yells the convention oven as the double egg washed croissants have browned to perfection. Oh the magic, the science in baking as layered butter in detrempe beautifully symphonizes with steam in the convention oven to create such a phenomenal treat.

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Have a croissant with some tea or coffee with a splash of cream. Slice the pastry in half and add blueberry jam, whipped butter, or almond cream filling. With every bite the pastry crackles in your mouth crumbling on your plate and lap like snowflakes. Fingers greased with butter, nonetheless no one ever cares.

Morning buns proof in the oven whilst layers of paton are rolled in coarsely ground cardamom, orange zest, and sugar. Open the oven doors—for they are ready to be indulged as aromatic steam seeps into your nostrils. You crave this treat filled with butter, a kick of zestful acidity and love.

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The perks of being a baker are the harmonious smells in the kitchen. For while others sleep tight in their beds, I bake at 5 am with nothing but caffeine and love for pastries running through my veins. Buttoned up in my chef jacket and apron I stand below the concrete streets of Williamsburg, Brooklyn baking my soul away.

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