After years of coming to terms with culture clashes and accepting that things are simply done differently in Italy, I still from time to time cannot get over how inconvenient the Italian pausa is. La pausa is the break. The break that is a total pain in the back for travelers and locals alike. Italy, I love you for everything- the good and the bad. You are what I consider the closest thing to a husband- I take you for what you are. I can only hope you can forgive the following post as seemingly insensitive criticism to your cultural quirks. Continue Reading →
restaurants in Florence
People ask a lot: Where can I get a good steak, stellar red meat and the famous “Bistecca Fiorentina” in Florence? Well, there are a few good places. But one that always comes to mind is…Perseus.
This place is a trip in itself. It feels like I went back to the 80’s even though I only knew what that was like in the womb or running around tormenting my older sister as a scary, awkward burger obsessed toddler. Did I just date myself? Yes, I did. A young foreign woman in Italy talking about food, at that. Continue Reading →
I’ve come to appreciate how teeny tiny Florence is whenever I leave, where I could walk from one end of the city (Santa Croce) to the other (Oltrarno, Santo Spirito) in about 20 minutes. However as tiny as Florence is, about 5 areas/neighborhoods come immediately to mind when looking for consistently good food in Florence. Continue Reading →
As much as I enjoy a fancy cave aged, herb crusted goats milk and a oily, aromatic glass of Sauvignon Blanc from the Dolomites, at the end of the day I simply adore a good rustic Tuscan greasy spoon hole-in-the-wall with house wine that could pass just as easily as oily gasoline…
This is what I ACTUALLY adore most about Florence. It’s the family run, health department renegades, the hole-in-the-wall where you sit elbow to elbow with strangers at your table, the Tuscan peasant food oasis that has absolutely ZERO pretension…Italian food is this to me.
Fancy name brand chef restaurant serving shot glasses of heirloom tomato coulis and vanilla pod risotto with some equally pretentious mystery “foam” that lacks not only soul but the ability to make you break a sweat when you’ve eaten a little too well. Put it away. I don’t want it. Unless a gorgeous Mediterranean man is insisting on taking me there (happens ALL the time! ugh- lay off, Fabios!), I will snub it just like it snubs me with its out of reach menu prices. Continue Reading →
Jesus Christ, Florence. You’re beautiful. You’re a gem. But you’re stuck in a moment. And that moment is the Renaissance.
Brac is the embodiment of the anti-renaissance, pro-hipster movement of Florence. It bleeds with contemporary “we’re so alternative but artsy organic homey Anthropology-store front displays”, it hurts. Even the menù is a collection of food porn- taken with a Polaroid camera all pinned up on the bar wall. Jesus, if this was the antimony of Renaissance…well it would be.
You might be asking…so what the hell is it…BRAC?
It’s a restaurant caffé that has a bunch of books in it so it’s called a “literary caffè.” Barf. Europe, how pretentious you may can be. So I have books in my bike sometimes…so does that make me a literary biker??? Those books I generally don’t read but accumulate in order to look educated and like I give a damn about anything else but hooch and hot butchers.
I digress… Basically, it’s a little bistro style resto in some random alley that serves up some gourmet, fancy frilly vegan and vegetarian food. Despite all its sickening cuteness and “cool,” you can’t beat Brac for wicked solid vegetarian meal. Or vegan at that.
I’d been here for dinner on a pair of occasions. I highly recommend the piatto unico and it’s basically a mix of all their fancy savory mains like Sardinian flatbread pie, lasagna and fagottino style cheesy pasty.
This time recently however, I was here for brunch (pronounced “braaaaanch” by moi). I came on a Yelp-event occasion and most people were pining for pancakes…and I knew better than to order pancakes from some fru-fru bourgeois literary caffè…pancakes are for hungover American wolves of the indulgent excessive palate. It’s quick risen lazy man crepes with some blood sugar roller coaster-inducing syrup doused on top…to me pancakes are like diabetic sponges that only lead to stomach aches and cavities.
My theory is “when in Rome”…and when in some snooty vegan bistrot, you are best to order the snobbiest thing on the menu and for me- my dear readers- was the wild fennel and citrus vegan tartare (oxymoron, right?) atop a crema di spinaci which was fancy foodie talk for blended spinach.
For €8, it was a fab-bo deal. Beautiful presentation, lovely flavors, crunch consistency and a mark in my “I’m an adventurous eater” book of brags.
So word to those who need an escape from the grandma house decor of Renaissance Florence for an equally revolting overdose of all things modern, hipster and contemporary Brac is your man. Or woman. Or whatever.
With a smile,
p.s. Here is your BRAC info:
via dei vagellai 18r 50122 firenze http://www.libreriabrac.net firstname.lastname@example.org +39 055 0944877
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