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My Bologna Food Itinerary...Thoughts?

Check out Trattoria Meloncello. It was one of our favorite meals in two weeks in Italy. You might also want to leave something open after Italian Food Days & get a reccomendation. Alessandro is great!

Sep 16, 2012
Ruby16 in Italy

Blue Ridge Parkway Trip Report

I love that all comments reference Blenheim! I am so glad I discovered it.

Sep 15, 2012
Ruby16 in Southeast

Portland - Acadia

Good to know! Thanks for the tip.

Sep 15, 2012
Ruby16 in Northern New England

Portland - Acadia

It's our first trip to Maine and my first trip NE (finally!).

We are heading to Portland & Acadia for 4 nights (Portland, Acadia, Acadia, Portland). We will have a car and are staying in Southwest Harbor while exploring Acadia.

I am finding a lot of great tips for Portland & Acadia/MDI on the board already, but am having a hard time finding anything in between. Any suggestion for must stop food places on our drive?

Any additional tips for Portland & Acadia area would be great as well! We usually like to try a mix of mostly small local places and a couple of amazing foodie type places (sometimes they are the same!)

Thank you!
Rachel

Sep 14, 2012
Ruby16 in Northern New England

Blue Ridge Parkway Trip Report

We drove the BRP from The Smokies to Shenandoah and found some great food(with the help of Chowhounds!) along the way.

Gatlinburg: Only here one night before we headed north. We were looking to escape the touristy crowds.The Smoky Mountain Brewery was a great place away from the main strip, but close enough to walk from our hotel. The pizza was great and the staff was friendly (they saw our logowear and put on the ballgame without our asking). Good, housemade beer too!

Maggie Valley: Butts on the Creek is a bit hard to find, but only because it's past all of the other places to eat at this stop. The BBQ was better than good and it was nice place to relax, you can sit outside on enclosed deck, next to the creek.

Pisgah Inn: We stayed here, so we ate here. It was very busy and the service was slow. The food was ok. But you come here for the view, which is outstanding!

Didn't stop in Asheville because we are there a lot visiting family. But, if you don't go a lot, you should. Some of our perennial favs are: 12 Bones, Tupelo Honey, Luella's, Asheville Pizza & Brewing Co. and Early Girl (not my fav, but my husband loves it)

Spruce Pine: The Knife and Fork was one of our few destination restaurants. We planned our entire day around getting here in time for Brunch and it did not disappoint! We split Chicken & Pancakes, Three Cheese Plate, Chicken Wings & Rabbit Wings. Everything was delicious, but the Rabbit Wings were off the charts! And I am not a huge rabbit fan. I'm going back just for more of those and the great service. Everyone was super sweet and really wanted to know that you were enjoying the food & the space.

The bar at the Little Switzerland Inn: We stayed here, so we ate here. Again, great staff and outstanding bar food. We were still full from Brunch so we ate small plates (Blue Ridge Tapas?) at the bar. Swiss Onion Soup, Homemade Chips with Blue Cheese and Carolina Caprese ( fried green tomatoes with homemade pimento cheese & a red pepper puree). We had breakfast in the main dining room the next morning and it was good, but nothing special. Apparently there is a good view, but we couldn't see it with all of the fog.

Linville Falls Community: Famous Louise's Rock House is indeed a rock house. It is also on the National Register of Historical Places. I had a housemade Pimento Cheese sandwich and my husband had a burger with the same pimento cheese. It was great pimento cheese, but it wasn't a good as the pie!

Boone: The Gamekeeper was another destination restaurant, and it was also worth it. This was my favorite restaurant of the entire trip (including a few days in DC after the Shenandoah). We showed up early and relaxed at the bar. I thought that it might be a little too fancy (from the website), but it isn't at all. It's a cozy, elegant space and the people are exceptionally nice. We split, as we do, the following appetizers: Mixed Grill (including ostrich, antelope, rabbit and alligator sausage and bison sausage), Pork Belly, Gazpacho and, of course, the Cheese Plate. It was all fantastic, but I was surprised by how much I loved the antelope... I really, really, really loved the antelope! I will be back.. someday.

Mt. Airy (or Mayberry?): We decided to make a detour and have lunch at The Snappy Lunch. We wanted to see "Mayberry" (Andy Griffith was born here and based a lot of the show on his hometown) and try famous Pork Chop Sandwich. It was strangely fantastic! I ordered mine with everything (tomato, chopped onion, mustard, coleslaw, and a special chili sauce). It was messy. And wonderful.

Meadows of Dan: We didn't eat here, but did discover Blenheim Ginger Ale. The best ginger ale I have ever had. And I've had a lot of ginger ale. You can get it in Hot, or Not as Hot. I had the Hot.

The Peaks of Otter: Another place that we ate because we stayed. It's old school in a not so good way. My husband had the Fried Chicken and I had the Prime Rib.The food was not bad, but it was very average. I am pretty sure it's your only option if you stay, but I would recommend finding another place to do both. We did see a lot of wildlife on and around the lake from the huge windows!

Shenandoah: The Spottswood Dining Room (at Big Meadow Lodge) is a beautiful place with great food and a wall of windows along the back wall, perfect for watching the sunset. This is old school done right! I had Chesapeake Fried Oyster Stew and we split the Rainbow Trout and Black Iron Roasted Smithfield Pork. We also split dessert, which we very rarely do. The Blackberry Cobbler is amazing and the Blackberry Sundae is something else... good, but a little too much sweet for my savory tooth. I would eat here even if I weren't staying overnight!

If you need more tips, I found this Travel & Leisure article waiting for me when I returned: http://www.travelandleisure.com/artic...

I hope this helps someone as I had a a heck of a time trying to figure out my food itinerary for the drive, but it was worth the extra effort, mostly.

Sep 14, 2012
Ruby16 in Southeast
1

Where's the REALY good food in Gatlinburg?

Hello ellclare,

We are staying in Gatlinburg for one night and are looking for exactly what you were. Did you ever find anything? Thanks for any tips!

May 26, 2012
Ruby16 in Kentucky & Tennessee

Blue Ridge Parkway

Thank you for the tip. It looks like it's open!

May 21, 2012
Ruby16 in Southeast

Blue Ridge Parkway

Thank you! Knife and Fork looks amazing. It looks like it will be closed when we are there, so we are trying to rearrange a few things. I really hope it works!!

May 21, 2012
Ruby16 in Southeast

Blue Ridge Parkway

Hello.

We are driving the Parkway from The Smokies to Shenandoah and then on to DC. Any food recommendations other than in the Asheville area (we already spend a lot of time there)?
Thanks for any tips!

May 20, 2012
Ruby16 in Southeast

Need a few more DC recommendations

Thank you for the recs. We decided to just have apertivos at America Eats & probably breakfast at OEG. We are realizing that there are too many good food places to go too not try some different things!

Need a few more DC recommendations

Lemon Pepper Wings?? That sounds like my new favorite thing! And Thai X-ing just went on my list. The Lounge at Citronelle & Vidalia look fantastic as well.

Thanks so much for your patience & great recommendations. Now we have to make some decisions.

Need a few more DC recommendations

We are looking for mix of kitschy/touristy places & upscale/foodie spots. We like pretty much everything, as long as it's good. No price guidelines. We don't plan to drive. Not much info I know... Do you have a top 5?

Need a few more DC recommendations

Thank you dining with doc! This sounds like a great list. Fun stuff during the day & great food at night. I didn't realize it but that's exactly the experience we are looking for. Thanks for reading my mind : )

Need a few more DC recommendations

As for what interests us, we like to eat local/regional food when we travel. We general like classic roadfood/ diner/tavern type places with a couple new places thrown in.. we will be going to jaleo one night. We will have a car, but plan to take public trasport & walk.

Need a few more DC recommendations

Thank you! I think we are just going to stop by America Eats for cocktail hour, but the hommade catsup is very intriguing! Do you know if they have any eats at the bar, besides oysters? Like maybe fries with a sampler of catsup! : )

Need a few more DC recommendations

Thanks! I am very excited about checking out the market. We mgiht go to Ben's, etc. because we have decided to completely embrace out inner tourist! but we have decided to only go to America Eats for Happy Hour, so might do a similar "drive by" at the others.

Need a few more DC recommendations

Thanks for the info. I can always rationalize eating Italian of any kind!

Need a few more DC recommendations

We are kind of going for the novelty, we are doing an Americana thing this year.
But... I think we'll still check out Jaleo & your other recs. Thanks especially for tips on Ethiopian & the hard to find Indian dishes. I had no idea & am very intrigued by both.

Need a few more DC recommendations

Thank you! Good to know. Looking at mdpilam's list now!

Need a few more DC recommendations

We are going to be in DC for 3 nights (7 meals) and have 4 spots picked out. We need more!

Here's what we have so far:
Old Ebbit Grill
America Eats Tavern
Pearl Dive Oyster Palace
Ben's Chili Bowl

So, that's what we like. Any additional suggestions or comments on these would be much appreciated!

Biologna Review

We were in Bologna for two nights... well three if you count one night in Sasso Marconi.
We had Tagliatelle Ragu once everyday.
Our first stop was Antica Trattoria Gigina. We stopped for lunch on the way into town (we were driving from Ravenna to the Ducati Factory & drove right by the exit!). The food was excellent. I had the Truffle Gnocchi and my husband had a rabbit version of Tagliatelle Ragu. Most of the other diners were locals on their lunch hour(s) and we felt a bit under dressed... we were dressed more for a Ducati Tour than a nice lunch, and folks in Bologna have great style!
In Sasso Marconi we stayed & ate at Locanda del Castello. The food was very good, but it was not the best Tagliatelle Ragu. Sauce was very good, but pasta was too al dente. At first, I thought it might be my American sensibilities, but my other ragus were not quite as al dente. Other than that, everything was perfect. We had the Parmigiano Reggiano Semifreddo for our anti & a blue cheese plate for dessert. I like to call this meal my cheese meal. The semifreddo was my favorite! I want to learn to make this dish. My husband had a mixed grill that he really enjoyed, even the horse!
In Bologna proper, we really only had one full meal out. It was at Trattoria Meloncello and it was one of our favorite meals in Italy! The Tagliatelle Ragu was perfect. I had their delicious specialty meatballs. My husband had Rabbit Involtini, which was one of his 2 favorite dishes in all of Italy... and he is a food guy. They don't have a written menu, but we pretty much ate what we were told at most paces anyway! We intended to come back the next night, but were too full from our food tour to eat anything else.
We spent our last full day on a food tour: Italian Days Food Experiences. We aren't big tour folks, but this one was great! Alessandro is very passionate about food & will feed you all day! We went to three "factories": Parmigiano Reggiano, Balsamic Vinegar & Modena Ham. DOP of course. We went behind the scenes & got to do a lot of tasting! Balsamic Vinegar and Gelato is an amazing combo! After the tour we had a HUGE lunch with more courses than I can remember, but the Tagliatelle Ragu was great. So was the rabbit & wild boar. And who knew Lambrusco could be so good?
Other than that, we walked into Tamburini, but didn't eat there. It looked good, but didn't feel very welcoming. Not that we care a lot about that, but in this case it seemed to matter.

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Meloncello
Via Saragozza, 240, Bologna, Emilia-Romagna , IT

Gigina
Via Henri Beyle Stendhal, 1, Bologna, Emilia-Romagna 40128, IT

Jul 31, 2011
Ruby16 in Italy

Please help me decide on my Florence meals

We ate at Due G last month & it was one of our favorite meals of the trip. For two it was around 75-80 euro and we were very well fed! The bistecca was amazing, but the wild boar pasta might have been the best one dish we had in all of Italy.

Jul 30, 2011
Ruby16 in Italy

Cinque Terre Review

Thanks Jen. Still new at this & forget to link!

Jul 30, 2011
Ruby16 in Italy

Cinque Terre Review

We were in Riomaggiore for 3 nights.
We walked to Trattoria Dal Billy in Manarola 2 nights! It was wonderful! Both nights we ordered the mixed seafood antipasto. Not only was it delicious, it was never ending. They keep bringing you small plates of seafood & other treats. I think we had 12. The first night we were not expecting it, so we were very amused as they kept bringing more & stacking them on our small table (we didn't have reservation, so we were lucky to get a table at all). The second night we made a reservation & got a bigger table. The whole fish w/potatoes is great & so is the shrimp pasta. It is quite a hike, especially from Riomaggiore, but the food & the view are worth it. And, you get limoncello, grappa & mirto (which is fantastic!) at the end of the meal.

The only other dinner we had was at La Grotta in Riomaggiore. It was very good. We split a huge earthenware bowl of mixed seafood for our primi & should have stopped there. Not because the pesto & fish we had later were not great, but because it was HUGE! We went back for lunch the next day & split a Caprese & the best calamari we have ever tasted. It was one of the best lunches we had on our trip.

We didn't spend enough time in the other towns to eat much more than gelato, but I would have taken the train from any one of them to eat at Billy's.

Jul 29, 2011
Ruby16 in Italy

Emilia-Romagna rec's????

Hi! We were in Ravenna for one night a few weeks ago. We went for the mosaics as well. and they were great! We only had one meal & it was at Il Melarancio. It was very "cool" and good. They have two areas, a bar/enoteca downstairs and a more upscale upstairs. We were tired from walking all day, so we ate in the bar. The most memorable thing was the "new" Caprese: a few very unique twists on the tomato, mozz & basil combo plus one traditional. My favorite was what I can only describe as a tomato semifreddo. It was bit too "unique" for my husband, but I loved it.
Our favorite place in Bologna, hands down, was Trattoria Meloncello. Outstanding!

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Meloncello
Via Saragozza, 240, Bologna, Emilia-Romagna , IT

Jul 29, 2011
Ruby16 in Italy

Florence Reviews

We were only in Florence for two nights, so I don't have a lot of reviews, but I do have some good ones!

1. I Due G - Possibly the best food we had in our three weeks Italy. At least in the top 3! The staff was very nice & accommodating. The other patrons were all Italian & everyone seemed amused at our attempts to speak Italian.
We had:
Bruschetta (amazing)
Crostini (great - I am not a big liver fan, but my husband loved it!)
Caprese (amazing & free, because they gave it to use by accident & let us keep it!)
chingale pasta (extra super amazing! Probably the best one dish we had)
renowned 'Fiorentina' steak (split between two of us & amazing. Our waiter showed me how the Florentine's get everything off the bone, which was much appreciated!)
Wine was good & pay for what you drink, which we also appreciated.

2. Cipolla Rossa - Great food. Great location. Service was good, but our waiter wasn't terribly friendly. I chalk it up to being a slow night. Unfortunately I don't remember what our first courses were, but the Chicken was fantastic and the Truffle Gnocchi was out of this world! I think the gnocchi erased all memory of the other dishes for me : )

3. Il Fratellini - I am so glad we walked by this place. We didn't plan to go, because of some not so great reviews. But when we happened by we had to stop. It was cute, good, cheap & fun. Not the best sandwiches ever, but a great atmosphere for sure.

4. Procacci - we stopped in for the tiny truffle sandwiches. The were fantastic! Especially with prosecco. Nice afternoon, before the train snack.

We didn't eat at a lot of places, so cannot really compare, but I cannot imagine anything being much better than I Due G.

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Cipolla Rossa
Via de' Conti,53, Florence, Toscana 50123, IT

Jul 22, 2011
Ruby16 in Italy

Ravenna & Cinque Terre (Riomaggiore)

Hello!

I did a search for both Ravenna & Cinque Terre, but haven't found a whole lot. I have seen almost nothing on Ravenna and most of Cinque Terre advice is for Vernazza. We will be based in Riomaggiore.

So... Does anyone have any advice for Riomaggiore or Ravenna?

Thank you!

Jun 18, 2011
Ruby16 in Italy

Help narrowing down Florence dinner spots

Thank you for the advice. We always need a plan B andthese sound great!

Jun 18, 2011
Ruby16 in Italy

Help narrowing down Florence dinner spots

Grazie minchilli! That was the feeling I got from the call, but I wanted to be sure. I am used to reserving as soon as possible.

Jun 11, 2011
Ruby16 in Italy

Help narrowing down Florence dinner spots

Hello and thank you again! Just curious on how far in advance to make reservations. I just tried to call Cipolla Rosa & got flustered (my Italian isn't that great). They were very nice & spoke English, but acted like I was a bit nuts for trying to reserve 2 weeks out. Not sure he got my name : )

Jun 10, 2011
Ruby16 in Italy