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Wolferman's English Muffins

I think Sunset Foods in the northern suburbs still carries them. Also, I used to always see them at the Harry & David stores around the area.

Dec 06, 2014
SueFH in Chicago Area

Quick menu question, Rome

Gotcha, thanks to both of you. So excited for some carbonara!

Sep 24, 2014
SueFH in Italy

Quick menu question, Rome

Could someone explain the difference between "complete" and "typical" menus? I'm seeing it at Armando website but think I saw it elsewhere as well. Is it fixed price, one from each category? Ala carte? I don't recall needing to worry about them padding the menu up selling, but don't want to seem too dumb.

Sep 24, 2014
SueFH in Italy

Long though incomplete/imprecise Florence review, including taking one for the team...

I'm not nearly as savvy as many of you, but I so appreciate all the advice and suggestions I've received in planning my trip to Italy I want to share what I can. I also don't have notes handy at this moment so I will update when I get them. Which means you have to read my blather again! Sorry.

First meal was at Sostanza--what a way to start! We had late (9:15) reservations and were so hungry so we went into Sei Divino just around the corner for a drink. They had lovely apperitivo buffet set out, VERY strong willpower kept us from gorging but it looked great and people were really enjoying it. For the price of a drink. I'd go back to eat (great kir too)!

Sostanza was so good. SOOO good. The artichoke omelet...I could eat that every day of my life. I want one now. I don't know how I'm going to survive without that thing, loved it. Like, the best tasting eggs ever, the chokes were just icing so to speak. I had the butter chicken, which was, luckily, as good as it is billed. The hub had steak fiorentina, enjoyed it a lot. We shared a green salad with the best olive oil I've had in Italy, and some green beans that we couldn't get enough of. Were going to skip dessert but our tablemates had a sort of cream cake with meringue and chocolate chips....looked great. I've no idea what it was, but we licked the plate clean. Service was mostly helpful if not tremendously attentive. House wine was fine. Would definitely recommend and return.

We had lunch at Casalinga and it was great. We shared a pasta bolognese which was very delicious. I had guinea fowl stuffed with roasted pork and rosemary, it was wonderful. Not served as I expected but we both liked it a lot. €10 bottle of chianti went down very nicely. I know there was more, will update. Would recommend and return.

Gelato at Vivoli. My husband won't even try anywhere else.

We had dinner at Il Santo Bevitore. The burrata with wilted spinach was outstanding, but overall we were a bit underwhelmed there. Service was odd...waiter wasn't especially helpful with wine suggestions (though we did like what he brought us). We started with the burrata. We had soups, a creamy almond soup with prosciutto and figs that wasn't served hot nor cold. Tasty but rich despite assurances it wasn't. Then the waiter basically disappeared. We've become used to the relaxed service here, but we had menus on the table and he just went back and forth past us time and again. I had a pasta with duck ragout that was delicious, my husband had Chianina carpaccio which he enjoyed. We decided to skip dessert. It was very loud, not ideal for a couple as for a larger group I think. Don't know that I'd return.

Alla Vecchia Bettola...loved it. Had a delightfully pleasant waiter who was helpful AND friendly and attentive. Our table mates were French without much English so not a lot of conversation, but we loved the wine deal. We started with prosciutto/melon and cheese with a pear. Both were great. In deciding about entrees we literally forgot to look at primi, so I sadly have no idea about the pasta. Sure looked good. I couldn't decide between two things so they gave me half orders of both..no extra fee, nothing like that. Roasted pork and a stuffed zucchini...not sure what the stuffing was, he'd said beef but it wasn't beef. Tasty though could've used some sauce IMO. Roast pork was nice also. Hub did another steak, which I tasted and thought was good. We shared tiramisu which was ok, not great. Would recommend and return.

La Galleria. Oltrarno. Thought we had a Sunday dinner res that apparently got lost in my draft box. We wandered but everything was really crowded. Came upon this Galleria with outdoor seating in a sort of vestibule. It was not good. I checked for the double language menu and there wasn't one so I thought we were ok. I was wrong. Service was awful, tremendously unhelpful, rushed, brusque, just put a bad tone on the whole thing. The people next to us ordered spaghetti with pesto and he brought them ragu. And didn't bring them pesto. We shared a pappardelle with boar ragu that was tasty. Salty but there were pieces if meat that were fine. The bread was hard, eventually they brought another basket. I will add more but consider yourselves warned. This was the ultimate tourist trap and everything I feared was true.

More to come. Sorry for verbosity!

Sep 23, 2014
SueFH in Italy

Less expensive in Venice?

Went to Promessi Sposi this evening and loved it. Food was good, priced fairly, service was delightful and helpful, exactly what we needed! Thanks all.

Sep 17, 2014
SueFH in Italy

Venice: Alle Testiere and Antiche Carampane price update?

From my other comments about lunch today at Testiere: Our lunch, sharing appetizer and primi, secondi for 2, 2 glasses of wine and no dessert was €120. It was excellent but we both left a little hungry.

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Sep 16, 2014
SueFH in Italy

Anything wonderful in Leuven?

Thought I'd follow up with a few comments about our eating in Brussels, Bruges and Leuven. Essentially we didn't eat anything in Leuven except waffles. Amazing waffles. And apparently my daughter is working on the Heverlee campus and there are a bunch of Michelin starred spots there but she didn't know about any of them and the waffles were pretty satisfying.

We had a pre-dinner snack at Nord Zee, lived it and wish we'd gotten there earlier as they ran out of stuff. The croquette was a revelation!

In Brussels we had dinner at Fin de Siècle and it was pretty great. Great energy there, the food (carbonnade, and a lamb steak in port sauce) was delicious and I'd both return and recommend it. Really good chocolate mousse.

We also ate at Scheltema on a friend's rec. My husband and daughter loved everything, my bouillabaisse was underwhelming. Absolutely outstanding chocolate mousse.

Ended up having lunch in Bruges at Al Gastro. I'm not sure how we ended up choosing that one, I think it was higher priced than others, the food was all tasty but pretty uncreative and service was perfunctory. Wouldn't return or recommend it particularly. Chocolate misuse was pretty good.

If you see a pattern with the mousse, it is my husband's favorite thing. He loved Belgium.

Sep 16, 2014
SueFH in Europe

3 days in Belgium/TYPES of waffles?

Well I'm sorry to report we never got to try the liege waffles despite looking for them everywhere we went. We did have Pinnochio waffles in Leuven and they were unbelievable. After trying those I'm sad we didn't manage to find the others for comparison. Loved them.

Thanks to all who responded.

Sep 16, 2014
SueFH in Europe

Less expensive in Venice?

Lunch today was at Alla Testiere. It was delicious, with probably the freshest seafood I've ever eaten. The prawns were amazing, the baby clams tender and delicious, really everything was yummy. And I knew it would be, the hubby did not.

For dinner tonight we tried to get into Antiche Carampane but without reservations the concierge suggested al Paradiso. We tried to keep the price down by sharing one appetizer of grilled calamari, shrimp and cuttlefish. Delicious but the shrimp were nothing like the ones at lunch! We shared one pasta and one entree, one drink and a bottle of water. Should've been ideal except the grilled app turned out to be €32. In comparison the lunch seemed downright reasonable considering the quality difference! Nothing wrong with Paradiso, but we wouldn't return.

We have reservations at Anice Stellato for Thursday, as well as something in Burano for lunch. Tomorrow may be big breakfast at the hotel with some cichetti, period.

One thing I must add, as we walked along the places surrounding the Rialto Bridge, we thought they looked pretty fine. Maybe not foodie unique or life changing lol, but stuff smelled good, people were enjoying. My husband thinks I'm a food snob, I just don't want to waste limited time here on food that could be better!

Thanks to all for your help and comments.

Sep 16, 2014
SueFH in Italy

Less expensive in Venice?

Looking for a dinner rec that won't cost €100 for 2. Our lunch, sharing appetizer and primi, secondi for 2, 2 glasses of wine and no dessert was €120. There are more high end meals planned (including tomorrow cichetti), and the hubster would like an inexpensive dinner (€50/2??) without causing me to weep about missing a memorable meal opportunity.

Sep 16, 2014
SueFH in Italy

Florence-- your thoughts on our list...

Is Sostanza open on Sunday? Monday? I had thought to try to make it for dinner on our first night after sunset at Piazza Michaelangelo, now I'm rethinking.

Sep 09, 2014
SueFH in Italy

Gelato Rome? Frigidarium? Also: "Strange/new" foods....

Elizabeth, thank you, that's the type of info I was hoping for re gelato. My daughter will have no choice but to listen to our position to try other places. Jen, I've never been brave about offal so some things remains iffy, but otherwise truffles are on my must-try list.

I personally am looking forward to real carbonara and not US-style "Alfredo with bacon." I've read some about the regional specialties, I will definitely be trying the new (to me) stuff and hope to report back with my experiences. Everyone here has been so nice and helpful. Will be in the air one week from now!

Sep 05, 2014
SueFH in Italy

Sunday breakfast/brunch Ghent, dinner Bruges

Any "don't-miss" meal options? Close to train station(s)? I know Sunday isn't the best day, but it is what we've got.

Sep 04, 2014
SueFH in Europe

Gelato Rome? Frigidarium? Also: "Strange/new" foods....

My daughter's friend has been raving about Fridgidarium in Rome, but I haven't found anything about it here on CH. Maybe I'm spelling it wrong, anyone ever heard of it?

Any don't-miss gelateria?

My husband is NOT a foodie and already warned me against trying to sneak in too much gelato but I think I can sway him. However new foods aren't his forte. Can somebody give me an idea what tripe is actually like? Other regional specialties to look for that he may be willing to attempt?

My confession: neither of us eats mushrooms. I think we discovered it on our first date and were fated from that moment. But I'm absolutely willing to try truffles, especially white since our timing looks good for them, but how do I convince the guy to try them? Any suggestions considered.

Sep 04, 2014
SueFH in Italy

Rome reservation check

I'm so relieved to see the comments, I have reserved all three (maybe not roscioli, have to check my emails) plus Piperno for lunch after our Ghetto tour and another I think I have forgotten. I'm getting super excited! Now just have to research gelato...

Sep 04, 2014
SueFH in Italy

Siena / San Gimignano day trip---what order for best food?

My husband is adamant about not wanting to rent a car. And hiring a car is probably too much for what we wanted this day to be. Going to try tackling SITA again, maybe that'll help.

Aug 26, 2014
SueFH in Italy

Siena / San Gimignano day trip---what order for best food?

Thank you Jen exactly the type of advice I hoped for. I only want to be sure about the frequency of the buses for SG back to Florence, I think we have to change in another town so timing will be important. I find the SITA site difficult to navigate!

I haven't seen many specifics in searching Siena but like the leisurely lunch idea. I should investigate sundown time too, for optimal planning.

Aug 26, 2014
SueFH in Italy

Siena / San Gimignano day trip---what order for best food?

We plan to take the bus from Florence early on Saturday to either Siena or San Gimignano, have lunch at first town, then bus to the other for the second half of the day and dinner before heading back to Florence.

I sense that dining options are better in Siena, so maybe we should plan to end there vs starting, and finding something simple for lunch in SG. Any thoughts, suggestions, recommendations?

Aug 25, 2014
SueFH in Italy

Best place to buy pop/soda/soda pop in Chicago?

Dang Butterscotch root beer is insanely addictive, try it if you come across it!

Aug 25, 2014
SueFH in Chicago Area

Best place to buy pop/soda/soda pop in Chicago?

http://m.realsodamidwest.com

They supply dozens of hardware stores with huge selections, and can often get what you desire if they don't have it. Owner is a doll, will happily send you someplace close.

Hope this isn't against any rules, I just know they're local and happy to help.

Aug 24, 2014
SueFH in Chicago Area

3 days in Belgium/TYPES of waffles?

Thank you both! This will not be a calorie conscious trip! I made yeasted waffles once, I believe. Very willing to let the experts show me the right way! We will surely be eating our way across the country, between the waffles and the frites and the chocolate and the beer...how much CAN I consume in three days?!?

Wish we had time to stop in Antwerp. Will ask again for anything special in Leuven.

Aug 23, 2014
SueFH in Europe

3 days in Belgium/TYPES of waffles?

Arriving Saturday afternoon.

Will have one real dinner in Brussels, the day we arrive. Going to Brugge next day, expect to eat lunch and dinner there, recommendations welcome. Then on Monday a lunch in Brussels and dinner in Leuven where my daughter is working and staying.

Also, a friend wrote my husband: Liege style waffles are better here than anywhere else in the world (in my opinion). What is the difference between a Liege style and regular old waffle? She said they visited Liege in the hopes of finding these waffles but didn't find any.

Aug 22, 2014
SueFH in Europe

Accidental Tourist in Florence?

We are considering a day with this group, they cover wineries early in the day as well as a cooking class (hands on) in the afternoons. It has good reviews on TA but since I don't want to waste our limited time with subpar meals (and it just so hard to discern WHO the reviewers really are after all) I'm hopeful some foodie person here has personal knowledge of this group and can give a thumbs up or down.

Aug 19, 2014
SueFH in Italy

Florence Piazza della Liberte area

Thanks again Bugsey. We will be there next month, 19-25 September. I'm expecting to do a lot of walking, and I think with the Firenze Card we get public transportation included so since everything we seem drawn to is in city center or south, I hope to become proficient at the buses!

Aug 19, 2014
SueFH in Italy

Florence Piazza della Liberte area

I cannot thank you enough, been very apprehensive about the location. Any thoughts about those I mentioned above? From TA?

Aug 18, 2014
SueFH in Italy

Florence Piazza della Liberte area

Anything near this location (where we are taking an apartment for 6 nights) worth seeking out? When I look on TA, not much comes up though Osteria dell tre panche looks pretty close. Anyone know this place, or recommend something else close? DA Tito seems in the vicinity as well....thoughts?

Is this the sort of "off the beaten path" locale where we will find hidden gems? Where locals might hang out? Or are we primarily in a barren wasteland over there? I know we will mainly head to the city center most days (when not day tripping) bùt if we feel lazy once or twice, can we find worthwhile stuff close by?

Aug 17, 2014
SueFH in Italy

Cooking class/"landmark" bar: 2 Venice questions

Love her website, don't know if the timing will work though :-(.

Aug 12, 2014
SueFH in Italy

Cooking class/"landmark" bar: 2 Venice questions

Thank you Elizabeth. As it turns out the hotel is only offering its 3-day course while we are there, not the private session. So it is a moot topic.

However, if you have any suggestions for the time we will be in Florence (6 nights) I'd be thrilled to hear them. I'd love to do a wine tour/tasting/cooking thing one day, though right now I'm leaning toward a half-day wine in Tuscany option only. So much to see, so little time!

Aug 08, 2014
SueFH in Italy

Foodie Visit to Rome

Wow, I so enjoyed reading this thread...I do hope someone sees this and responds as well! Would just love to know updates about any of the places tenortom visited and if others' experiences at said spots have been as successful. We don't have the wine experience so will be at servers' mercy in recommendations, but this whole past discussion has me extremely psyched for our trip next month (except we only have 4 nights and I want to try every place mentioned above--and below I suppose since I've no idea where this will appear on the thread).

Thanks again for the delightful conversation to follow!

Aug 07, 2014
SueFH in Italy

Delirium Cafe Brussels

2500 Beers from which to choose. Probably TOO overwhelming for us, but just in case, anyone know if they serve food at all? Website menu only shows beverages. Thanks.

Aug 07, 2014
SueFH in Beer