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Food we remember

In an effort to keep our travel spirits up, I am starting a thread about one food item (or more then one) which takes you back to a specific place or trip. It should be an item which you can’t replicate in the US. You might be able to buy it near where you live, but it wouldn’t taste the same. One example, in 1975 i went to Amsterdam, first overseas trip. My sister didn’t like to eat much and had a very limited taste. Anyway, we stopped at a little stand that was making small pancakes called poffertjes. They were delicious. When I finally returned to Amsterdam in 2015, I ate those darn pancakes everyday for 9 days. My hubby, cousin and CIL thought they were okay, but me, nope, they were little pillows of Heaven. Everyday we found a stand and I savored my Dutch pancakes. At home, i ordered the special PAN and mix from a Dutch website, but it is not the same.
Other food I remember like it was yesterday are:
Fish and chips at Leo Burdocks in Dublin
Belgium Waffle in Brugges
Soft pretzel at Augustine-Keller Beer Garden in Munich
Gaggerlschmarm in Garmish (a cross between pancakes and a souffle)
Croissant at Paillard in Quebec old town, really, any of their pasteries
Doughnuts at Stara Paczkarnia, a chain in Poland and kielbasa at the Blue Van in Krakow
Wiener Schnitzel at the PalmenHaus in Vienna
Ćevapčići (Sasauge) in Međugorju and Burek in Neum, Bosnia
Salami in Hungary
Lepina, a cross between pita bread and an English muffin, in Croatia

Posted by
1599 posts

I have 3, but I'm cheating on your instructions because two of them my wife figured out and even improved upon.

  • Lu Fran Calin-restaurant in Nice, France. Best lasagna I ever had. My wife has always been proud of her lasagna-with good reason, but after this one I told her she was now in 2nd place. She was not pleased that I said that. But we went back to the same restaurant the 2nd night and she ordered it and told me that I was right. She hasn't figured out how to recreate it yet.
  • Joe's in Chicago. Best meal I ever had in a restaurant. Ribeye with a blue cheese sauce. When she got home she went to work and recreated the blue cheese sauce, but since has improved on it and now makes a blue cheese crust that we broil on top of our steaks.
  • Hotel California-Todo Santos, Mexico. There was a pear and gorgonzola pizza on the menu. Sounded weird, but we gave it a try. It was outstanding. Once again, we got home and she figure it out. I can't recall if it is good as the original, but it is damn good.
Posted by
24627 posts

Smoked Meat in Montreal

those tiny sandwiches in Vienna

Green Sauce in Frankfurt

Ditsch. Anything from Ditsch. I even have a fold up shopping bag with their logo

Nougat off the production line in Montélimar in France

Chocolates handmade in Gent, Belgium handed to me by the wife of the owner of Luc van Hoorebeke

From a counter across from the Field of Miracles in Pisa - fantastic and it only cost 0.80€
From Caffetteria Bar Pigafetta in Vicenza, and sitting at a table watching the world of Vicenza go by. One espresso could last at least 20 minutes. Well the coffee lasts less than a minute, but reading the paper and watching and listening - without limits
From a tiny hole in the wall across the road from Trajan's Column in Rome. What they could do with 1.10€ and a few beans!

Pastries and fresh squeezed orange juice with an espresso at Pasticceria Tonolo (ask Commissario Brunetti) just around the corner from San Pantelon in Venice

My my what a good thread

Posted by
2737 posts

A couple of things spring to mind. I've tried (and failed repeatedly) to recreate them at home.

Cheese spaetzle. Had this for lunch in a restaurant in the Black Forest many years ago. And even many years later the sense memory is still there. Puts even the best mac n cheese to shame.

Meringue with raspberry coulis. This is the firm Meringue we fell in love with in Switzerland. Don't know how they get just the right degree of firmness on the outside and softness on the inside without browning them. The sweetness of the meringue combined with the tartness of the sauce has my mouth watering at just the thought.

Posted by
36 posts

What a great thread. Something we can really sink our teeth into . . .
These are some of my most memorable meals as they all evoke special memories. I've left off the list all the times I've simply purchased some bread, local cheese, local salamis and local wine and sat on the Arno, across from the Eiffel Tower or by the Danube

I'd start with real Cassoulet inside the Medieval City at Carcassonne. So hearty, filling and delicious.

Provencal Daube over ravioli at Le Chastel Restaurant in Aix en Provence.

Risotto in Amarone at Antica Bottega de Vino in Verona.

Lasagne Bollognese at San Michelle All Arco in Florence.

Duck breast (magret) with pan seared foes gras at Eduard's Bistro in Bordeaux.

Artichoke soup at Dagobert in Tours.

Stuffed rabbit at La Vache et Le Cuisinier in Montmarte in Paris.

Chicken with a Lambic beer-based sauce at In't Spinnekopke in Brussels.

Chicken with Champignons at Le Dandy in Lyon.

Posted by
2373 posts

Risotto sepie in Venice. Coal black rice flavored with squid ink. The taste of the sea!
Sucking pig in Toledo. So tender and delicious.
Pasteis de Belem in Lisbon. Best pastry ever!
Fried artichokes in the ghetto, Rome.
Greek salad in Athens. The best tomatoes I’ve ever had with a huge piece of delicious feta.

Posted by
23 posts

Osso buco In a tiny roadside restaurant somewhere in Umbria
Pizza al tonno from a hole-in-the-wall place in Rome
Fresh, new season herring with onions (both raw!) in Zealand, the Netherlands....

Posted by
4211 posts

Beef rib and brisket at Black's, Lockhart, TX
Porchetta and salami plate at a hole in the wall Salumeria just outside the Vatican.
Margherita pizza from a tiny backstreet 'restaurant' in Rome.
Smoked Polish breakfast in Warsaw, so good we went back for lunch two hours later.
Pan fried duck hearts in Sofia.
Rattlesnake chilli pie in Dallas.
7 course menu at the Chef's Table at The Gilbert Scott, London.
Anything at The Shoe Inn, Exton, Hampshire.

Posted by
2447 posts

Oh my, so many food memories!

~Arancini in Taormina, Sicily @Da Cristina
~Anything at Mani Mani in Athens, ate there x3
~Favorite Croatian dinner Hotel Kazbek, Dubrovnik
~Best seafood on Nevis, Caribbean @ Nesbit Plantation
~Anything at Julija in Ljubljana, Slovenia- especially Pumpkin Seed Oil.
~Best Tuscan bean soup in Maratea, Italy
~Cassoulet in Carcassone, France @Maison du Cassoulet
~Best pasta dishes & Tiramisu @ Antiga Ustaia Zita in Levanto, Italy
~Chocolate in Modica, Sicily
~Fried Artichokes- Rome Ghetto
~Libations- Limoncello- Amalfi Coast, Aperol Spritz- Venice overlooking the Grand Canal & Budapest @Cafe Vian (the best I've ever had)

Posted by
423 posts

F-o-o-d!! My favourite subject.

  • Kase spaetzle in Oetz, Austria. Lovely baked cheesy noodle dish with deep fried onions on top. OMG.
  • Tiroler Groestl in Kitzbuel, Austria. Fried potatoes, bacon/sausage, with a fried egg on top. Warms the cockles of my heart.
  • Cream tea in Dorset, England. Clotted cream, strawberry jam and lovely scones. Num.

I could go on, but this is a good start.

Posted by
348 posts

Oh, now I am so hungry!

-- little teeny tiny clams, steamed with garlic, in Granada
-- octopus grilled with garlic, ate it all through Andalucia
-- snails with garlic butter from the Rialto market, cooked in our tiny apartment kitchen by a Venetian chef (yes, we like garlic)
-- a plate of figs, hazelnuts, orange slices, aged cheese in Fuengirola, Spain. So fresh, to die for.
-- chocolate from the Coop in Switzerland. Brought home an embarrassing amount and did not share.

Posted by
2159 posts

JC - I love Black's beef ribs and brisket too!

So much good food - but I would have to award the gold star to the bistecca alla fiorentina at Hostaria il Desco in Florence, or maybe the artichoke alla Giudia at the now defunct Al Fontanone in Rome.

Posted by
6098 posts

Pesce Spada in Crosta di Pistacchio at Locanda di Collegio on Ortigia Island, Siracusa, Sicily. We had many delicious swordfish dinners in Sicily but this one was the best swordfish I have ever had, so nicely prepared.
Grilled octopus in Greece, Portugal and Spain. This dish is the reason I will return to these areas.

Posted by
65 posts

What a fantastic thread! Experiencing new foods in new-to-us cities is half the reason we love to travel. My husband and I still reminisce about some of our best meals.

Kasespaetzle paired with a local pilsner in Austria or Germany. I taught myself how to make it after our first trip to Salzburg, but there's something about being in Europe that makes it taste better.

Ice cream or sorbet at Berthillon in Paris on the Ile Saint Louis. We stayed in a little apartment across the street from Berthillon several years ago. We were there 5 days and visited Berthillon 7 times, peering out the apartment window to see when the line wasn't too long and we could make a run for more. It is sublime.

Cider in Normandy, fresh out of the bottle from a small farm. Ideally paired with baguette and cheese.

A simple to-go box of braised meat, potatoes and carrots we carried away from an outside stall at the market in Bayeux. We were jockeying for the last morsel while eating it in the car before touring Utah Beach.

Posted by
1797 posts

Thanks to everyone who is responding. I, and I hope you are too, taking notes for future trips. I am also looking up menus and locations for specific restaurants mentioned. On a personal note, I feel like I am getting out of my funk and all these different threads help. Thank you all.

Posted by
5483 posts

French onion soup in Amsterdam
Seafood chowder at Mournes in Belfast
Pears and chunks of bleu cheese in Rome
Scones with clotted cream at Fortum and Masons
Calamari at Restorante alla Madonna in Venice
Fresh mussels in coconut broth in London

Darn I want to travel again!!!!

Posted by
1569 posts

Berberechos somewhere in Barceloneta - I'll have to look it up the name of the restaurant. We still remember our waiter too, with his black sparkling eyes, who couldn't wait for us to try them.

Fiocchetti di pera in salsa taleggio asparagi (small pasta pouches with pears in a sauce of taleggio cheese and asparagus) at Quattro Leoni in Firenze. The pasta was so unbelievably thin and light.

There are more. This is encouraging me to drag out my trip notes!

Posted by
3415 posts

York, England- Gert and Henry's (lovely restaurant in a half-timbered leaning building just outside the market area)- 'Sunday Roast'- roast beef, Yorkshire Pudding with real gravy, roasted potatoes, grilled onions and the freshest bread. Hubby had the fish and chips and swore they must have gotten the fish right off the boat. When they brought the check they brought pieces of 'tablet' (a brown sugar fudge-like candy) that melted in your mouth.

Betwys-y-Coed, Wales- a restaurant attached to a B&B in the heart of the village- the best rare roast lamb with both roasted and boiled potatoes.

Vienna, Austria- a tiny restaurant just down from our hotel (and our first trip to and food in Europe, ever)- Wiener Schnitzel with buttered spätzle.

Aviemore, Scotland- The Cairngorm Hotel Restaurant- first a piper played his bagpipes on the front porch before supper! then my VERY FAVORITE - Their roasted chicken dinner. Chicken so tender it was falling off the bone, roasted potatoes, 'kilted soldier'- a link sausage wrapped in bacon, 'bread sauce' (we'd call it dressing), and 'skirlie'- the most wonderful mix of oats, and onions sautéed in butter!

Posted by
1512 posts

Things I'm never going to replicate at home:

• Callos Madrilenos in a back room off the beaten path in Madrid -- I asked for a plato tipico and the cook asked me in return if I had an "estomago fuerte" -- and I sure needed it.
• Ris de veau with chanterelles at a hidden gem in the Marais, where every dish was a delight to all the senses.
• Pâté de foie gras at a traditional, and slightly formal, restaurant in Nîmes, that was preceded by a lengthy disquisition about appreciating its origins and production -- a lesson in savoir faire that has served me well ever since-- from the maitre d' . It came from a farm in Catalunya.

These are all offal memories. I can add some top cuts later.

Posted by
661 posts

No way I can name one...

Pierogis in Krakow

Sausages in Vienna

I agree with someone who said small sandwiches at Trzesniewski's in Vienna

Osso Bucco with Saffron Risotto in Milan

Beef Sandwich in the central market in Florence

Fried Anchovies in the Liguria region, Italy

Flammenkuchen in France

Foie Gras in the French Dordogne region

Chocolate in Bruges, Belgium

Finally...Doner Kebab almost everywhere, but in the USA!!!

Good thread...

Posted by
127 posts

My husband and I stayed at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London on our honeymoon in 2004. One night I got room service, ordered tomato soup. It was the best tomato soup I've ever eaten! Sometimes I dream about it, but I'll never taste it again. I'm sure if I went to London and stayed at the same hotel, it wouldn't be the same after all these years.

On the other hand, the worst hot dogs I've ever had were from a little stand in Hyde Park in 2018. My girls and I just looked at each other in amazement. So bad we couldn't eat them.

Posted by
1319 posts

Fish and chips from the Reel Dingle Fish Co., Dingle, Ireland. Monkfish, gin in the batter, eaten on a bench by the street. Passerby cheered me on.
Farro risotto with eggplant and tomato, Trattoria da Leo, Lucca. That one I have managed to make at home, enjoyably, if of dubious accuracy.
Eggplant pizza, Siena. I think it tasted even better than usual because I had remembered the Italian word for eggplant.

Posted by
2989 posts

December 1984, 1st time in Italy. Couldn’t find reasonable accommodations in Venice, so stayed at a hotel in Malcontenta. It had a restaurant, where I ordered gnocchi with seafood sauce. You can tell how delicious I found it from the fact that I remember it so fondly 36 years later.

Posted by
88 posts

Great topic! Thank you for this thread.

Chez Boulay in Quebec City - northern Quebec cuisine and wines we can’t get in the USA. Real, freshly made creme brûlée and breads.
Anywhere in Scotland - restaurants only locals frequent; that serve whisky shots for ~£5 as opposed to $20 a shot in USA.
Iceland - the local breweries that serve specialty soups. The best? Saegreifen (Sea Baron)) fish chowder.

Malpeque Bay PEI oysters or mussels from any restaurant across bay from our house.

If I were to tell someone visiting USA about food here, I would say:
Pubs here in Vermont are the best in States. Really diverse foods and local brews.
Maine: lobster lobster lobster.

Posted by
11972 posts

Oh my.

Someone mentioned poffertjes? We had to-die-for poffertjes for dessert at Café De Prins in Amsterdam after a killer dinner of cheese fondue and salad.

Flemish Stew (Carbonnades Flamandes) at Shilling and De 7 Schaken in Antwerp, Belgium. OMG.

Waffles pretty much anywhere in Belgium. Let's just say we never one that wasn't worth the calories.

Frites pretty much anywhere in Belgium too. Now that I think of it, same for Amsterdam.

A pear-and-cheese tortellini pasta at Il Circolino di Città Alta in Bergamo. We highly recommend the expansive, vine-covered terrace of this local coop on a balmy night! Just be aware that English is only marginally spoken.

Fall-off-the-bone pork knuckle at a restaurant in Aachen, Germany whose name escapes me, although I could have eaten the whole damn serving (meant to be shared by a table of 6) by myself.

Käsespätzle at a couple of places in Munich, including a surprisingly good one at at the airport. Our flight was seriously delayed so they gave us vouchers for the restaurants. We chose Airbräu; can recommend for both food and craft brews.

Gelato; Italy. Do not ask me to choose just one place but one of the best was Gelateria Sartori, tucked up against an outside wall of Milan Centrale. We were sent there by a local who knew her ice cream.

Posted by
2054 posts

The WORST thing I have ever had is breakfast sausages in a hotel in Liverpool. Completely inedible. Just not spiced right or cooked right.

Good meals:

1) Our 36th Anniversary meal, in a small French village near Quimper in Finesterre: It was in our small hotel, Hotel Les Voyageurs, and was the only restaurant open. The meal was fabulous. 31 € for the menu. 35 € for the wine. 110 € for the whole thing - I can still see the food - fabulous.

2) Ayvar in FRY (former republic of Yugoslavia). It is the ketchup - salsa of FRY. Roasted red pepper and eggplant in a paste or sauce. Sometimes hot, usually not. Wonderful

3) Cevapcici - little Croatian-Serbian sausages

4) Sarma - stuffed cabbage

Posted by
2054 posts

Some of our best memories are of simple food in France. A good piece of cheese or maybe 2, a baguette, a bottle of vin du pais for 3 €, some pate or sausage, and some cornicion pickles on the grass. We fed the duck pate to the ducks in Chateau Chenanceau.


Posted by
14210 posts

Potato pancakes in Munich at the Christmas markets. They are traditional for Hanukkah, but I never really liked them. Thank goodness the ones in Munich from a food stand were incredibly good - haven't eaten any since!

Salmorejo in Cordoba (well, anywhere in Andalucia but it originated in Cordoba). Very similar to gazpacho but sooo much better. I've never tried to replicate it at home.

Macarons in France. The best I found were in Paris at Pierre Marcolini, in fact a Belgian (!) chocolatier.

Green wine in Portugal - nothing quite like it (thank you Kathryn in Cascais).

And of course, Aperol Spritzes in Italy. My first was at a cafe in Bologna facing the Duomo. I've lost count how many since, and easy to make at home . . . especially during lock-down. Every time I have one now it brings back memories of somewhere in Europe.

Posted by
4211 posts

There are more that come flooding back as I read this thread!

Snow crab legs in Hilton Head Island. I'd never eaten snow crab before and they were sublime.

We found plenty of recommendations for a small Mexican restaurant attached to a petrol station in Orlando. The place looked as you would imagine it would and had it not been for the glowing reviews I would have passed it up but I'm glad I didn't. Authentic, superb Mexican food focusing primarily on tacos.

Bison and hoisin stir fry in West Yellowstone, so good I could have eaten another plateful.

Deep fried baby octopus dunked in aioli anywhere along coastal Spain.

Roast goose pierogi with beetroot rosti in Warsaw.

Bear stew in Tallinn.

Bigos in a bread bowl in the bowels of a dark restaurant in Krakow surrounded by Poles (local or not, who knows!) all drinking a strrange sparkling red drink, we stuck to beer.

A dish of unknown ingredients in a food court in Kuala Lumpur. I think the main protein was squid but I couldn't be certain, fantastic though.

Posted by
126 posts

I "third" the cassoulet in Carcassone. The best I had was in a small cafe off the main thoroughfare, and not in the main square. I haven't replicated it, but continue to try. The duck confit is what sets it off! Also, the pate in the Dordogne region, at any cafe. Baguettes from almost any bakery in France. Simple roast chicken dinners with frites found even in fast-food places anywhere in Germany. Simple wursts with frites from the Imbiss Express fast food stand under the Marienplatz in Munich, as well as the wurstsalat there. Cheap and simple but just really good! Yum! And all the good home-made meals we enjoyed at family dinners with my husband's relatives in France (gigots, couscous, pissaladiere, scrambled eggs with truffles, fantastic soups, and the best frites anywhere.)
Good thread! I'm hungry.

Posted by
5518 posts

Just one I remember: pumpkin soup in Austria (on GAS). It was wonderful. I've tried to re-create it at home unsuccessfully.

Posted by
4382 posts

This is a great thread. There's no way I will be able to post just one reply.

Barbara, replicating European foods is indeed difficult, if not impossible. All the ingredients are different, including the water. But we can get close. And as Allan mentioned, sometimes come out with a result we like even better.

My first thoughts: (I'll be back with more!)

Poland: Bigos, for sure. I've never heard of it's being served in a bread bowl, though. It's cheap food, peasant or worker food.

Kiełbasa z rożna: street food, sausages grilled over coal, charcoal, or wood. Incomparable.
Szaszłyk: also street food. Skewers of meat, sliced onion, and fatty bacon chunks, grilled. The meat can be lamb or beef.

Bread. Polish bread is in a category by itself. I have been able to come up with a recipe that comes fairly close. It's a fine textured rye bread. No caraway, no molasses, no added flavors or sweeteners at all. Crusty, with a chewy interior. Best just out of the huge ovens, if you're ever so lucky as to be standing in line at a Polish bakery when the bread comes out. So hot you can't touch it; so good you can't resist it.

Spain: jamón. We were fortunate enough to have the best quality (there is a range) at our "last dinner" on our Rick Steves Barcelona/Madrid tour. Unbelievably good. This stuff makes prosciutto look like Spam.
Bocadillo de calamares. Fried calamari on a baguette. Simple and perfect. Order a beer to go with it.

Posted by
147 posts

Favorites are:

Cannoli in Florence, Italy on Via dei Cerretani
Peach Melba dessert of peaches, raspberry sauce, and vanilla ice cream at Les Palmiers in Villefranche-sur-Mer, France
Wiener Schnitzel with cranberry sauce at Schapeau in Hotel Torbraeu in Munich Germany
Buttermilk scones with clotted cream and jam with tea at the Pump Room in Bath, England
Chicken marinated souvlaki at the Arcadia Restaurant in Athens, Greece
Chicken with couscous sauce and vegetables at Adamo ed Eva Eden Roc in Positano, Italy
Gelato at Caffe Lavena on St. Mark's Square in Venice, Italy
Chicken pasties at Paddington Station in London, England

So many of my favorite memories of Europe are related to the wonderful food!

Posted by
1797 posts

And I thought I needed to research restaurants, nope, I have delicious recommendations from all the RS posters who responded. They will be added to my research notes. A big thank you

Posted by
393 posts

CLOTTED CREAM !! CLOTTED CREAM !! CLOTTED CREAM (stuff should be illegal)-UK
Baileys and Porridge- Ireland
Panini's - France & Italy
Grand Marnier & Chocolate Crepes - lawn of the Eiffel Tower
Souvlaki-walking the streets of Athens
Quark Balchen: walking up to Neuschwanstein castle
Large Pretzel's - Hofbrauhaus
Trdelník- Prague

did I mention Clotted Cream

Posted by
864 posts

-Cheese Spaetzle at Christmas markets in Germany. I see several people have already mentioned this. Good, because it is oh so good!
-Pumpkin risotto in Sorrento.
-Turkey schnitzel in Salzburg. I don’t like schnitzel generally but this turkey schnitzel was delicious.

Posted by
841 posts

Siena (though it could be anywhere in Italy), one of those little gelato shops that makes their stuff fresh in the morning in the back of the store. Had just arrived after flying in from California, leaning against the wall outside the shop, a cup of ginger and honey gelato in my hand, watching the sun go down. Tears of delight, telling myself, "Yep, I'd fly 6,000 miles just for this!"

Posted by
1586 posts

Great thread.

JC - I think I have eaten at that taco place - Mexas Tacos?

So much good food in the world.

  • Zurek soup and golanka in Poland
  • Burek and fresh ayran in Edirne
  • Pelemeni anywhere
  • Dim sum, especially XLB
  • Cevapi with onions, flatbread and kajmak at Zeljo Sarajevo
  • Pinkerton's BBQ Houston
  • massive fresh tomatoes from in laws garden with fresh slaughtered pig
  • real hand made ramen

List can go on and on

Posted by
414 posts

Butaman (pork filled steamed bun ) Japan
Okonomiyaki (Japan)
Best bowl of ramen ever (small train station) Japan
British bacon sandwich (big train station) London
Battered cod nuggets (street market) Amsterdam
Fish & Chips (fast food place) near Big Ben (surprisingly really good and not expensive)
Hot pressed ham & cheese sandwich (Venice, Italy)
Every single gelato in Italy
Jar of mayonnaise containing bits of tuna (convenience store outside Amsterdam) - couldn’t believe my husband bought it. It was really good

Puffy tacos (San Antonio, TX)

Posted by
4211 posts

JC - I think I have eaten at that taco place - Mexas Tacos?

Yes Ufkak, it was Mexas Tacos! What did you think of it?

Posted by
1586 posts

JC - it was good. I was there last year for a conference and stopped in with coworkers, everyone really liked it.

Posted by
4211 posts

Good to hear. I'm glad it's still open, the people working there are fantastic.

Posted by
68 posts

A few come to mind:

Taipei Peking Duck. My husband does a nice version at home, but it is not the same
Vernazza Walnut ravioli with walnut sauce
Portugal Francesinha - Not in a good way -
Portugal Octopus salad
Oaxaca Chicken mole
Singapore Chili crab

Posted by
116 posts

Spring Spargel - white asparagus any method (steamed, soup, grilled etc) - anywhere in Austria & Germany . But best with schnitzel & spaetzle.

Posted by
265 posts

How can ones mouth water from reading ? And how to narrow things down?
Siena, pici (thick spaghetti) wih wild boar sauce. If I was to be executed, and could have anything as my last meal, this would probably be it.

Piazza dei Mestieri, Turin. This is a charity/trade school aimed at troubled/disadvantaged youngster. They teach brewing, cookery etc. Some progress on to trainee chefs. There is a restaurant at the top of the school - it was recommended to us. We ate "six dishes selected by the chef" , several I almost certainly wouldn't have ordered. Steak tartare among them. Every course was sublime - if not the best meal I've ever eaten, it's in the top 3.

Market day, Lake Iseo, Italy. The stall were closing for the day, we bought an enormous bag of mixed, cooked seafood at about half normal price. Two small loaves of bread, a couple of beers and a lemon from other stalls, and picnic by the lakeside. Almost certainly the moment rather than the food.

Athens: Couldn't get into the highly recommended Mani Mani - wandered nearby looking for recommendations on web app, came to a modern but not especially noticeable restaurant - very small, very inexpensive menu. ordered lamb skewers, greek salad and beer. No idea why this stands out so much - such simple food, but oh so beautifully prepared.

JC's recommendations - The Shoe, Exton - amazing what you learn here. This is not at all far from home. I'm here nearly every summer (makes a convenient turnaround spot for a cycling trip) but have never eaten here. I must correct that before the next lockdown.

Posted by
1319 posts

Ooh, another one - got an exceptionally good piadina at a cafe in Monteriggioni, with various veggies, artichoke cream, and a beautifully toasted wrap. Ate it in the town square while admiring the landscape.

Posted by
1237 posts

Tiny clams fresh out of the lagoon , in pasta, in Venice.
A pretty good breakfast with very good coffee, in the Hotel Continental; right at Grand Canal level in Venice.
Not a "foodie" person, but sometimes the atmosphere is the thing.

Posted by
661 posts

Hmmm. This is a fun project for me, as I am getting a little down about not being able to travel and experience the joy of sitting at a cafe/bar and just watching the world go by. Here are some of my memorable meals/dishes or drinks enjoyed on my travels. I have tried duplicating the Tortilla and the Bellini cocktail but they just were not the same. The tortilla I created was very delicious, albeit tricky and time consuming. Again, it is the experience that is important to me.

Bourbon Pecan Pie - Alcazar Hotel swimming pool St. Augustine FL
Fresh Anchovies marinated with Sorrentine lemon and oil-Sorrento, IT
Stewed Bulls Balls-Córdoba SP
Pasteis-Belem Portugal
Tortilla with Jamon and Sangria chaser at cozy cafe-Alhambra in Granada SP
Bellini cocktail-top of Tour Montparnasse to watch the sparkling Eiffel Tower
Limoncello at beach cafe-Island of Ischia IT
Guava and Pineapple Shave ice-Matsumoto’s Haleiwa HI

Posted by
173 posts

A few food highlights I have enjoyed
French fries and strawberry whipped cream waffles in Brugge. Also beer tasting there.
Crepes with ham and cheese while overlooking the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Also all the wonderful patisseries and boloungeries sp?, okay bakeries everywhere.
Chickpea fritters, Arancini, and most food in Sicily a few years ago. The food on the island was consistently better than the more traveled mainland.
Tapas in Triana area of Sevilla. If there are more locals than tourists, have a drink and eat there. The best was fried baby squid free with a beer on a side street in Segovia.

Posted by
279 posts

Steaks, but honestly everything else too, at Bila Krava in Prague.

A skewer of pork and steak at Zur Holl in Rothenburg.

Spatzle in Germany

Duck and lamb dishes at a small Parisian place in Copenhagen (the owner was French and spoke very little English,. He was a one man operation, so not a tourist trap)

Duck and mussels at Snaps Bistro in Reykjavik.

A soft pretzel and wasabi cheese from Viktualienmarkt in Munich.

Posted by
231 posts

Mussels and fries in Brussels
Fresh oysters on a beach in Normandy
Street tacos in Oaxaca
Shrimp and green mango salad in Bangkok
Fried squid in Spain
Everything that was served on our riverboat cruise between HoChiMinh and Siem Reap, Cambodia, the food was amazing!
Breakfasts in Belfast, the full Irish!
Cake and strudel in Osnabruck, Germany in a little bakery my aunt took us to
Squid Ink risotto in Lake Bled and seafood risotto in Venice
Anything at the night market in Krabi, Thailand....oh what delicious flavours!
An apricot cake bought in a bakery in Sisteron, France. I still think of it, was Devine
Oh...the list could go on...

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397 posts

Cheesecake at Hisa Pod Graham in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Light, fluffy. Best I’ve EVER had.

Cinnamon and cardamom rolls from Circus bakery in Paris. If you ever wondered what heaven smells like, that place is it.

Fresh bread straight out of the oven at the bakery at St. Peter’s abbey in Salzburg.

Gelato anywhere/everywhere in Europe. Preferably with a great view.

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1 posts

I'll add my two cents!

-Spaghetti Carbonara in a family-run Italian place in London (somewhere near Victoria Station/Apollo Victoria theatre, was with a group, not sure of location)
-Baguettes and croissants/pain aux chocolate/pain aux raisin in France; nothing else compares!
-Spinach and cheese pizza from Pizza Peppino in Berlin. I still dream of it! Thin crust, with perfect amount of sauce, lots of spinach and a creamy white cheese.
-Chocolate from an Elisabeth chocolate shop in Brussels (my name is Elizabeth!).

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1797 posts

Me too Mike! I ordered some poffertjes mix from a dutch website and I am gonna plan on making them this friday when we visit my grandkids.

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48 posts

I don't recall the particular restaurants but...
- Crispy Duck in Chinatown, Manchester England
- Fish, Chips & Mushy Peas in Liverpool, England
- Pesto, Frutti di Mare Pizza, Acciughe al limone, and sciacchetrà wine in Manarola, Italy
- Chocolate Croissant - Paris

...and the one thing I have NEVER been able to recreate or find anywhere in NY in the Hudson Valley where I live was a restaurant called the Bruynswick Inn with a chef who was from France. He'd make a Steak Au Poirve that was AMAZING. Even in France I could not find it. The restaurant has since closed and I'm sad!!

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173 posts

The best margarita pizza I ever had was at Da Franco Pizza in Sorento Italy. It is listed in the RS guide book. They also made chocolates that were great.

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1092 posts

"Stewed Bulls Balls-Córdoba SP" - what type of wine do you drink with that?

Ambience and the genuine friendliness of waitstaff improve an eating experience. I like stone walls, real stucco, heavy wood, flagstone floors, beams, folk art or romantic art, pretty windows etc. I don't recall exactly what in most cases but we've eaten at least twice at the following places, and if I really enjoy a meal then I usually order the same thing the second time around, or a slight variation. Always meat involved for me, sometimes with a sauce or reduction.

Deutscher Hof in Iphofen

La Grappe d'Or in Riquewhir

Chez Suzel in Hunawihr

Auberge des Lavandières in Bergheim

Il Cavatappi in Varenna

Osteria Acquacheta in Montepulciano. One of the times was bistecca at a late communal sitting. Lots of fun.

Il Covo in Montepulciano. A family restaurant on the outskirts of town, where I tried shaved truffle for the first time (beef carpaccio). They also make an excellent pizza.

Antico Agnello in Miasino ( the only restaurant in the village, we ate there a few times during our stay).

Abba in Orleans on Cape Cod. Far more than I usually pay for food: it was our anniversary both times we visited.

Side orders:

A. Schweinshaxe. I've had quite a few. The only bad one was in a restaurant in Ernst on the Mosel (hardly any crackling at all).

B. Roast pork, topped by a mound of crackling, on a crusty kaiser roll at the medieval festival in Gernsbach.

C. Charcuterie and a sausage casserole (heated in a microwave) at Enoteca Al Boeuc in Orta San Giulia.

D. Bienenstich cake at Konditorei Bachbeck in Schiltach

E. Close to the Vatican, there is a greasy spoon owned by a bit actor who appears as a heavy in Italian films. I had a cheap 3 course lunch there, including an excellent bean soup and the best lasagne (not baked).

F. Worst food. One of the restaurants lining the lakeshore road in Tremezzo. Canned tomato soup for nine euros (2012/13?) and a mushroom penne which tasted like spoiled fish.

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784 posts

Yep .. hungry now! 2 meals jumped to mind
1) some little hill town outside of Barolo Italy...I don't know if our host at the argriturismo recommended it or we wandered in but a very small place we sat under the stairway. I speak very little Italian the host spoke very little English. Dinner was "burro bruno e salvia” with the tiniest raviolis I have ever eaten. I could have eaten it every day after. Mom was the cook and was upstairs in the kitchen. The host was her son … very warm and friendly. I can still feel the "warmth" of the place and how welcome we were. YUM!!!!

2) Gdansk (I'm second generation Polish born in the US) we found a café a few blocks off the main square and I we basically ordered everything on the lunch menu to try! I could never replicate since I can never remember all that we tried. My husband thought I was crazy. I think I cried when we sat down feeling like I belonged there although my family are from Krakow

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753 posts

Just finished reading an article on Eater estimating the number of restaurants in Portugal to have permanently closed due to Covid to be around 30% with an estimated loss of over 70% should the pandemic go thru the spring. I have to believe that these numbers are fairly standard around Europe and the USA. I see evidence of this all around the Seattle/Tacoma/Olympia metroplex. Places that have been standbys for decades are gone, and won't be back. Others are trying desperately to overcome the obstacles and remain open.

I have fond memories of meals eaten; in a small gasthaus off Oscar von Muller Ring in Munich, in the old Souk in Qatar, from a street vendor in Pyeongtaek, and others. I fear they are never to be repeated.

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1797 posts

Big Mike, I am happy to report that my day with my 2 grandsons was fun, we even had a little Halloween party since it was Friday night. And yes, my poffertjes were delicious. About as close to the original as we could get. It was my last biox of mix so I will have to order a few more for Christmas.

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123 posts

Pasta with pear from Ciro and Sons. I also loved their Margherita. I'm not a foodie but I've never had anything bad there.
Walking back to my hotel by the Pantheon from the Coliseum I stopped at a Geletaria. Not one I had researched but a glance in the window and it ticked all the things to look for. It was hot and a spur of the moment treat. I wish I knew where it was because I took a chance on the cantaloupe which I had never seen before. It was fabulous. I took a photo of it and hope the photo has the Metadata. I didn't know a year and a half later I would be thinking of it or I would've paid better attention.

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26 posts

Mushroom soup along Hadrian's Wall and Chilean empanadas
hot from an oven in the market area of Los Dominicos, Santiago

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1586 posts

Places that have been standbys for decades are gone, and won't be
back. Others are trying desperately to overcome the obstacles and
remain open.

Personally I think this a good thing. I think we will have a renaissance in dining options if/when this ends.

Posted by
1797 posts

Ufkak, my husband says the same thing. Many restaurants in NYC are closing and people are leaving. But he says there will always be people with a dream to replace them. Let’s hope you and him are right

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2373 posts

Personally I think this a good thing. I think we will have a renaissance in dining options if/when this ends.


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1092 posts

".....he says there will always be people with a dream to replace them." - yes, there will be (the same with airlines), though I doubt the standard or choice of cuisine will alter that much.

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73 posts

Any raspberry pastry in France
A full English breakfast (without the baked beans)
French pizza , ham and mushrooms with honey drizzle.
Fish and chips anywhere in GB except London.
Gelato, Gelato,Gelato...

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1996 posts

On a daytrip via train from Krakow, I visited the town of Pszczyna in southern Poland, and her magnificent Schloss Pless. From the historic train station, you walk about 15 minutes due west, crossing through the Baroque town and the market square, the "Schloss" is right next to the square, on the other side of the old Lutheran church.

I ate a remarkable lunch at Restauracja Frykówka right on the the market square, a rustic tavern that serves traditional Silesian food. I had their specialty, called Zebro Adama, which is "fall-off-the-bone" beef short ribs braised in local foraged mushrooms and sauerkraut, very filling. One could definitely see the mixing of Germanic and Slavic influences on the local Silesian cuisine, a history lesson onto itself!

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121 posts

Our best meal was in a small restaurant RS recommended in Salema, Portugal. 17 years later and we still talk about it.

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661 posts

Dana, was the restaurant you mentioned in Salema “Restaurante Lourenco”, The Fish House?

I had several meals there and it was very good.

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954 posts

Oh my! My mouth is watering! Thank you, everyone! A few of my favorites have been:
Cold sour cherry soup in Romania. Can't name the place - out in a village - but maybe the best soup of my life.
Fresh ricotta ravioli with a light truffle cream sauce at Il Giardinetto in Volterra.
Super crisp and light lemon basil gelato in Florence. The flavors of fresh lemon and fresh basil were astounding!
Ribollita (bread and vegetable soup) at Osteria dei Pazzi in Florence. Thick, warm, full of veggies on a cold Dec. day
And of course: fried Jewish artichokes at Nonna Betta in Rome!

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4 posts

Soparnik in Tugare, Croatia

Pašticada in Trogir, Croatia

Ćevapi in Mostar, Bosnia

Pizza(!) in Dubrovnik

Pie and chips - almost anywhere in Britain!

Traditional oggie in Cornwall

Anything from Sprünglis in Zurich, but particularly the Luxemburgerli

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11905 posts

Pulpo gallego ( Galician-style octopus) at three different restaurants in Catalunya: one in Barcelona, one in Cadaqués, and one we hiked to in the middle of nowhere. It was always delicious, and tender, not chewy, with a light dusting smoky paprika to accentuate the mild sweet taste of the octopus.

I have seen recipes for it but have not looked for the octopus to try making it ( though Indo have lots of the Spanish paprika that is called for). I would prefer to keep to my fond memories than risk messing them up with a bad preparation.

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1567 posts

There are many examples, but three that stand out are:

A fish soup in Krakow.
Many years ago I was in Krakow on my first trip to another country on my own (i.e. not a school trip and not with my parents). One day I was somewhere in Kazimierz I think and found a small restaurant where I had an amazing fish soup. I can't remember what the restaurant was called or where it was, but the soup was amazing.

Freshly smoked mackerel in Träslövsläge.
Just south of Varberg on the Swedish west coast is the small fishing port Träslövsläge. While more or less a suburb of Varberg today it is still home to a few fishing boats and a small fishmonger where their catch is sold, both fish and shellfish, fresh as well as prepared. An on vacation in the area a couple of years ago we stopped here, bought some freshly smoked mackerel for lunch, together with some bread and vegetables. It was a great lunch, eaten on the shore overlooking the sea.

A black pudding burger in Aviemore.
After my sister had spent 4 years in Scotland I went on a final trip around Scotland together with her and our parents before she moved to England. When we stopped in Aviemore we had dinner at a pub one day that had a few odd items on the menu. Including a black pudding burger with blue cheese. It was one something I felt I had to try because I might regret not trying it, and it was actually great (but nothing I would recommend for those who don't like black pudding).

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2677 posts

Oooooh. The pizza at The Black Hill in Colfosco, Italy.

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295 posts

Pistachio soufflé with chocolate bits in Paris (my husband would say his Grand Marnier Soufflé was his favorite) at La Cuisine de Philippe in Paris
Tarte citron by Jacques Genin in Paris
Pain au chocolat and chocolate eclairs
Tartine at Poîlane in Paris with that memorable bread
The big bowl of homemade mousse au chocolat our French friends served us at their home
Galettes from Breizh Cafe in Paris, and again in Rennes. First encounters with savory crepes - so good!
Thin crust napoletana pizza from Amici Miei in Torino, Italy
Gianduiotti chocolates in Torino
Gelato everywhere in Italy!
Fresh cooked jumbo prawns from the Bergen Fish Market, enjoyed on the dock waiting for our ferry
Mövenpick ice cream in Luzern - so rich and decadent!
Salami and cheeses served in a paper cone for snacking and strolling in Saint-Jean-de-Luz, France
Our whole cider house dinner in Basque country, outside of San Sebastian. Cod with peppers, a cod omelette, excellent grilled beef, idiazabal cheese from the region, excellent bread, all accompanied by wonderful ciders in a spirited room with long tables full of happy people.
Pinxtos in San Sebastian - my first taste of pulpo - well prepared octopus!
Shave ice in Hawaii - it was like eating tropical fruity sweet fresh fallen snow! So soft and not grainy at all.

Great thread - I loved reading favorites of other travelers - trying new foods (and also photographing them) is one of my great joys of traveling.


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24 posts

Oeufs en Meurette (eggs poached in wine) at Le Restaurant de la Porte Guillaume in Dijon, France. Simple, but decadent.

My other food is as much a Proustian memory as anything else... In college, I did a semester abroad in Israel/Palestine. It was a program that studied the then robust peace process. We were centered in Jerusalem. There were street vendors all over that sold these large rings of airy bread (with a crusty outside). And with your bread you were always given a paper cup (usually folded newspaper) of dry za’atar spices. You would tear off a piece of bread and dip it in the za’atar. Again, so simple - but absolutely wonderful. I think about that bread, and I am 20 years old again walking down the street and through the Damascus Gate into the Old City. What a memory!

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2 posts

The best croissant ever - Ble Sucre in France
I have had croissants from many bakeries in Paris but this must be the best of the best. Absolutely light, crisp and buttery. I just learnt that Fabrice Lebourdat just retired but Ble Sucre is still going strong and the croissant this morning was as good as on a previous visit. A simple bakery but the selection of sweets on display is just fabulous.

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202 posts

Mostly remembering locations.

58 Tour Eiffel on the first level of the Eiffel Tower. It’s been 8 years and we still remember our dinner there every time we see an image of the Eiffel Tower...which is almost daily. Just try to forget the Eiffel Tower. I dare you.

Chateau de Pray near Amboise - it was featured in two of Rick’s shows and the service and food was wonderful.

Wedgwood on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh. Rick Steves walked in while checking on restaurants mentioned in his guide book. When he noticed we were looking his way he came over to say hi. They had a seven course “Taste of Scotland “ with small portions of well know Scottish dishes done in a gourmet style. Lovely!

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1797 posts

Like most others, we are hoping for travel at the end of 2021 and Paris and London are at the top of our list. We hope to go to both cities for 10 days each. I’m keeping a list of all the places recommended.