Curious Appetite

Where to Eat on the Cheap & Budget Dining in Florence, Italy

 

One of my least favorite questions to get from people, whether friends or strangers, are “can you recommend a restaurant Florence dove si mangia bene ma per poco. (where you eat well but paying little)” Even worse, is when someone asks “where is a good place for aperitivo in Florence that has loads of food and doesn’t cost a lot.” Or even better “where can I eat well, with a view, in the center, eat well and pay little.” I decided to respond to my least favorite question with a curated, quality round-up of cheap eats & budget restaurants in Florence.ย  Continue Reading

Eating the World’s Best Gelato & Italy’s Best Pizza- in one weekend

My life sounds pretty rough right? But in all fairness- food is my job. How did I end up judging at a gelato competition? A few months back, I made an impromptu trip to Carpigiani’s Gelato University & Museum near Bologna with a fellow writer visiting from Seattle. After a crash course in gelato history and making, 2 of the University’s managers asked if I’d be interested to be apart of a jury for their upcoming World Gelato competition. I said no, I’m on a diet and I hate gelato but thank you.

HA! You damn right I said yes before they could finish the sentence.

This is how the conversation went: Them: “We have a world gelato competition coming up, would you like to…” Me interrupting: YES I CAN HELP EAT ALL THE GELATO HOW DO I SIGN UP?! Continue Reading

10 of the Best Restaurants in Florence for The Guardian

Curious Appetite is at it again- eating way too much for the sake of important journalism! Hey, it’s a hard job but someone has got to do it!

This was one of my favorite commissions yet, not to mention one of the proudest moments in my career. While I mostly rag on Florence’s dining scene, I definitely come to her defense when people say “A Firenze si mangia male” perche’ e’ troppo turistica” (Food sucks in Florence thanks a lot to mass tourism). Yes, Florence’s tourism problem is getting out of hand and with very haphazard approaches towards addressing it, but there are indeed valid gems still worth eating at near Florence’s major attractions.

Link here for all you curious travelers:

10 of the best restaurants near Florenceโ€™s major attractions Continue Reading

Eating & drinking through San Sebastian, Spain

Views along the urban hike to Monte Urgull from the foot of the Old Town

As promised, I’d provide a little list of my favorite places to eat & drink from my last trip to Spain. My last post perhaps seemed a bit strong and slightly negative about Italy. But feelings, like the moon, have their phases and moments. It’s safe to say I have a justifiable love-hate relationship with lady Italia. I think all of us do, really who has spent more than 5 minutes on the ground. I personally prefer honestly rather than having a happy-go-lucky game face all the time. We’re all human experiencing ebbs and flows in life- why pretend everything is peachy keen all the time? First of all it’s not real, not representative of a feeling human being and frankly BORING.

Italian Aperitivo- you got NOTHIN on Spain’s Pinxtos game

Moving on back to San Sebastian aka Donostia- I’ll be super clear to remind anyone reading I’m no expert on Spanish or Basque food culture. I live for marvelous food and research where to eat more than which museums are open. What I was amazed by was how advanced the Spanish (or Basque) are in terms of food culture compared to the Italian. The pinxto bar culture puts the Italian unappetizing aperitivo buffets down the toilet. As I mentioned in the last post, the food scene tends to be dominated by pinxtos (basque for snacks) and haute cuisine fine dining. After Kyoto, Japan- San Sebastian is the city with the highest concentration of Michelin star restaurants. Continue Reading

Voracious thoughts after 10 days in San Sebastian & Barcelona

quite possibly my most memorable bite in San Sebastian: anchovy toast with a spider crab whip & obligatory Txacoli (slightly fizzy local white wine)

I have no shame in admitting it- I am a glutton, a lush and voracious lover of all things food & drink. Except I do not like raisins unless they are made into wine and I do not like most juices and sodas. Unless the juice is raw and promises to clean my liver and the soda is like a shrub. And not because it is the hipster way. This year for my birthday, I gifted myself a solo 10 day trip to Spain, split equally between one of the greatest culinary bastions in this universe San Sebastian and funky cool Barcelona. Mainly, because San Sebastian is famed as one of the best places to eat in the world. Continue Reading

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