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Need Food Recommendations for Italy Trip

We're taking morning trains between major cities, staying 2 or 3 days in each city. So we'll be looking for a lunch upon arrival, dinner that night and lunches and dinners the following day(s).

Jun 17, 2010
Gator Tom in Italy

Need Food Recommendations for Italy Trip

Two couples celebrating our 40th Wedding Anniversaries in Italy in late July through mid August. (Yes, we know it will be hot, but my wife teaches, so we are limited as to when we can travel – and we live in Tampa, Florida so we’re used to heat and humidity. We also know our itinerary is ambitious, but we’re high energy types and are locked in as to dates, so we’ll just have to keep moving. We can rest when we get home!) We’re experienced and highly accomplished eaters, but virgins re: Italy. I’m the “foodie” of the group – tasked with ensuring we have great meals. We’re adventuresome diners, willing to splurge when necessary, but wanting good value as well; we would like to avoid tourist traps and eat more like locals (although none of us speak Italian).

Here’s our itinerary, with the meals we need to plan for each city:

Rome: Sun. – Lunch near Piazza del Popolo
Dinner near Borghese Gallery, Spanish Steps, Pantheon or wherever

Mon. – Lunch near Vatican
Dinner wherever

Tue. – Lunch near Coliseum
Dinner wherever

Florence: Wed. and Thu. – Lunches and Dinners

Venice: Fri. and Sat. – Lunches and Dinners

Tuscany: Sun., Mon., Tue. – we’re staying approx. 50 km SW of Florence; we plan to
research and explore, but suggestions are welcome

Milan: Fri. and Sat. – Lunches and Dinners

Cinque Terre (staying in Vernazza): Sun. and Mon. – Lunches and Dinners

We have a couple days planned for Switzerland between our Tuscany and Milan stays (in case you noticed the missing days).

I’ve been quite impressed by the thoughtful responses on this forum to requests such as mine, so I’ll thank you in advance for any guidance you can offer. Of course we also would like your input on the best places for gelato, pizza, porchetta sandwiches, local pasta and other food specialties. Again, thank you.

Jun 17, 2010
Gator Tom in Italy

Detroit Suggestions?

Wow - you've all been very generous and helpful with your replys! We may have to stay for a week or two. I recall reading somewhere recently that the Detroit area has some excellent pizza places. (My idea of great pizza, BTW, is fairly thin crust but with a good "chew", blistered and blackened around the edges, slightly sweet tomato sauce, and light on the cheese and toppings - if that's helpful.) Also, we're into beer and brewpubs, so any additional ideas in that regard would be appreciated. And any local fish fry places? Thanks again.

Detroit Suggestions?

Will be in the Detroit/Rochester Hills/Auburn Hills area for four days beginning next weekend. Plan to go directly to Zingerman's/Ann Arbor from the airport. (Torn between their pastrami and Montreal smoked meat sandwiches - any suggestions?) Looking for good eats for Saturday (lunch), Sunday and Monday. I've heard Slow's is good for BBQ, and am considering Lafayette for Coney Dogs. Any other meal suggestions out there? Our tastes run the spectrum - i.e. "don't miss" local dives to high-end dining - so don't hold back! Thanks.

Decent Food around Helen, GA?

We enjoyed a very good German meal at Vines/Edelweiss. Particularly liked the potato pancakes, schnitzels and spaetzle. Thanks for the suggestion.

Decent Food around Helen, GA?

Couldn't find any pumpkin fudge - suspect it's seasonal - but thanks for the reply.

Decent Food around Helen, GA?

Family trip planned this week for ATL and North GA/Helen area. Need a few meal recs for the Helen part of our trip/stay. Any good BBQ (esp. pulled pork) in the area? Are any of the nearby wineries worth the visit? If so, how are their restaurants? Any help would be appreciated.

Tampa-Fish Fry

I live in Pinellas and am also in search for a good fish fry. I've found decent "fish and chips" (i.e. cod) at Pete and Shorties ($8 or $9 on Fridays) and at Grind House (McMullen-Booth Rd. a little N. of Gulf-to-Bay) - also cod - but I would love to find a Haddock fish fry somewhere. We found a "haddock fish fry" at Cafe al Fresco in Dunedin, but the last couple visits the "haddock" seemed to morph into cod (i.e. three little planks vs. one big filet, and more of a cod texture). Not sure if I'm any help since I'm talking Pinellas, but take my comments for what they're worth. Meanwhile, if anyone can recommend a haddock fish fry place, I would be grateful.

Mar 24, 2009
Gator Tom in Florida

Cecil's BBQ

Only been to the S. Orange Cecil's. The beef brisket sandwich is always good, but the hot link sandwich is truly outstanding - little flecks of jalapeno give it perfect residual heat. I wish I knew where they get their hot links!

Feb 28, 2008
Gator Tom in Florida

Spokane Foods

I have a friend from Spokane who I would like to surprise with a "care package" of food items that are unique and/or intrinsic to the Spokane area. Any suggestions? What foods "say Spokane" that might travel well. Thanks.

Nov 12, 2007
Gator Tom in Pacific Northwest

Need South OC Recommendations

We live in Florida but will be spending a week in Irvine and Huntington Beach in July and need ideas for some good meals. Although we lived in OC for 3 years, it was 1995-98 - so our restaurant knowledge is stale to say the least. Looking for suggestions for fine dining as well as casual/ethnic - e.g. Mexican, Vietnamese, BBQ , etc. We enjoy all food - so don't feel constrained - just tee up your favorites. Also, is there a good izakaya restaurant in South OC? BTW we will probably make the trip to LA for a Langer's pastrami, and I'm wondering if we should try to get reservations for Mozza - is it worth it? Is it feasible to get a reservation? Oh, how about a good beerpub in South OC? Thanks.

Jun 19, 2007
Gator Tom in Los Angeles Area

tenderloin sammies

Pete and Shorty's in Clearwater has them. Not sure how they compare to those from Indy.


Jun 10, 2007
Gator Tom in Florida


Agree - El Cap and Chattaway in St. Pete

May 31, 2007
Gator Tom in Florida

Dockside Daves or Woody's Waterfront

The last time I was at Dockside Dave's (many months ago) their beef-on-weck wasn't served on kimmelweck rolls - just plain old rolls. Authentic kimmelwick rolls are topped with coarse salt and caraway seeds - that's what makes them "weck". Have they changed to the real thing? If so, I'll give them another try. Thanks.

May 31, 2007
Gator Tom in Florida

BBQ Query

Cecil's has excellent hot links - the brisket is good too. And free soft-serve ice cream to soothe your mouth after the hot links.

May 24, 2007
Gator Tom in Florida

Five questions about food in St. Pete's - bakery, barbecue, soul food, sushi & espresso

The St. Pete Beach Italian bakery is Casa del Pane. It's about a mile north of the Don Cesar on the East side of Gulf Blvd. - has a red sign. Its breads and focaccia are excellent! Agree with comments on Mazzaro's - it's worth a drive if you're a foodie. They have great meatball and other subs (huge - a steal at $5). A great Italian market!

May 22, 2007
Gator Tom in Florida

Site for Birthday Dinner

Looking for a restaurant to accommodate 20-25 people for a surprise 60th birthday party for my wife. Would consider anywhere in the Tampa Bay area, but preference would be Pinellas County (ideally N. Pinellas). Very flexible as to cuisine - but would prefer not to be stuck in the middle of a large dining room. Private room would be perfect. Thanks.

Apr 12, 2007
Gator Tom in Florida