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Looking to go off the beaten path in Italy

I suggest that you pick up a Rick Steve's book or at least flip through one. It's not necessarily a gourmet guide, but he does a great job getting off the beaten path, despite the fact that he's so well known. I have had a lot of luck with his suggestions. My suggestion is this: while you may find some great places by going to the specific establishments that people suggest, don't forget to leave some of your time unplanned. Explore the little towns along the coast. Take a drive and see where it takes you. Italians are incredibly friendly and warm. They are proud and love to tell you where you can find the best everything. Some of my greatest travel memories from Italy are from places I've just happened upon. Enjoy your trip and Buon Apetito!

Mar 02, 2010
hoosier_gourmetgirl in Italy

The Fresh Market?

Fresh Market is like shopping in heaven. The experience, the food, the service, the atmosphere.....it's all perfection. The music they play is so relaxing and the whole store is a merchandising masterpiece. You really feast your eyes on the food before you ever buy it. 100% awesome....aside from the fact that it costs an arm and a leg and I can hardly afford it.

Mar 02, 2010
hoosier_gourmetgirl in Chains

New Trader Joe's yea/nay thread - 1st quarter 2010 [OLD]

Yays...

Gyoza Sauce - Excellent dipping sauce for all things Asian. This is a staple in my pantry. It's very addictive.

Vegetable Gyozas (frozen) - These are a great standby for a light meal or appetizer. They are like mini dumplings or potstickers and the filling is tasty. For some reason I like the vegetable gyozas a lot more than the chicken (even though I'm a meat lover).

Mini Beef Tacos (frozen) - Maybe it's just me, but these things are like crack in a taco shell sometimes. You can put them in the microwave for a minute and they're filled with shredded beef and cheese and they're pretty delicious.

I really don't have any nays. I'm sure there's something I don't like at Trader Joe's, but overall I love the place. They have a great selection of tasty, cheap wine too!

Mar 01, 2010
hoosier_gourmetgirl in Chains

Anything good at Panera Bread?

Here are my thoughts on Panera: The breakfast stuff is pretty good. I have a big weakness for the Cinnamon Crunch bagel every once in a while. The baked goods are definitely worth trying.

The savory selections, however, are not my favorite. I like the soup, but it's nothing special. The sandwiches don't come in ingredient combinations that are all that appealing to me and if you've ever tried a chicken sandwich or salad - the meat is just not good.

It's a great place to take your laptop, use the free wifi, have a snack and get some work done, but I don't recommend it for serious eating.

Mar 01, 2010
hoosier_gourmetgirl in Chains