Curious Appetite

food opinions

A different take on Trattoria Sostanza (Il Troia) in Florence

sostanza florence room
inside Trattoria Sostanza (il troia) Florence, Italy

Thank ***ing goodness, 2016 is about out the door! It’s been a doozy and despite dystopian nightmares coming to fruition, my eating career has definitely had some highlights! I’ve decided to make my last post of the year dedicated to the heavily praised Trattoria Sostanza (il troia) in Florence. I’ll cut to the chase, I don’t agree with all the praise out there. Although the service was genuine, the staff sweet, the interior and ambiance totally authentic- I found the food mediocre, overpriced and some of the dishes to me didn’t scream pure Florentine/Tuscan albeit having the status of a local relic. Hear me out! Continue Reading

An alternative guide to the “best” panini in Florence

salami florence panini brunori

There is more to panini in Florence than l’Antico Vinaio. Places like Antico Vinaio are extremely famous thanks to a failproof recipe: thousands (13K+) of tripadvisor reviews mostly since they’ve been listed for ages, tasty albeit obnoxiously large panini and cheap wine all for under 5€. However rarely questioned is the quality of their ingredients. Like are those industrial factory produced cheeses and grocery-store quality meats? Aren’t you curious as to what’s in those sauces/globs?

I’m going to flat out and be honest- this post is a reaction to seeing l’Antico Vinaio on nearly every major publication’s list, usually written by writers who are just passing through probably gleaning clues from other articles without contacting local on-the-ground experts. While I’m not saying me or anyone is the ultimate authority, it’d be nice if visiting writers actually reached out to the people who live and breath the food scene every day in Florence, to make their pieces more authentic.

The panini at l’antico vinaio are good, even delicious, but not worth to me waiting up to an hour in line for. Italian panini, were meant to be simple and traditionally included few ingredients: primarily cheese and/or meat. It seems that they’ve become monstrous man vs. food feasts here! Not that I don’t enjoy a decadent massive panino, but again, I suggest folks to consume info (and food) with a discerning palate. I am suspicious of the ingredients in terms of what’s actually in there and truffle sauces with 99% artificial flavor and 1% truffle extract. My personal tastes goes towards more artisan style eateries, where ingredient quality is emphasized. Not always, I do enjoy junk food too! But I get a lot of questions “is Antico Vinaio really that good?” Yes- it is but in case you don’t want to wait in line for an hour, here are some alternatives.Β  Continue Reading

Thoughts on Florence’s dining scene (on Eater!)

(photo credit: Gurdulu’ Firenze)

Hey guys! I’m really stoked about the latest feature I wrote for Eater.com (and if you don’t know what Eater is- it’s basically a handy site/online mag for food & drink culture news)

This was a piece that marinated in my brain for some months. I got to talk to many awesome chefs and food purveyors, and best of all- my understanding of cuisine went a little bit further down the rabbit hole.Β  Continue Reading

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