- One of my former colleagues is launching a new site Menuism – A restaurant reviewing site that I was lucky enough to be a part of the beta version! Very cool design and I really like the emphasis on the menus of the restaurants! Ready now for all the major cities in the U.S. When their international version is out, I’m first in line! Take a Tour or Sign Up!
- A brilliant use of country flags and their designs in an ad campaign – Meet the World
So I didn’t mean to leave you hanging like this all weekend, but guess what? While I was rushing around trying some new places and taking pics, I got sick. And it’s an unfortunate sick as it doesn’t restrict me to bed and stumbling around in a medicine-induced haze with a blanket wrapped around my body like a cape, but it has a your-lips-are-moving-but-im-missing-something quality to it as my head spends most of the day floating above the rest of my body at work. Of course, today was of the days where I interacted quite a lot with the President of our company (natch) and agreed to deadlines and action items that now escape me. November 1st it is! I’ll write down the points to be done! Agenda forthcoming! Ah, well.
This evening we just bought tickets to go to London the first week of December….yay! We have a national holiday the 8th and Milan also has one the 7th (Sant’Ambrogio, the Patron Saint of Milan) so we’ll be doing a nice fat weekend there. I can’t believe we decided to fly with Ryan Air again after last time’s mishaps but what can you do…this time they made us pay for checking baggage (9 euro each bag) and then charged us 10euro to pay with a credit card online! (Suckers <- us) Hopefully that's where the drama ends. But back to this eating place in Florence. Unfortunately for Rowena, this place does not make pumpkin ravioli....what it does best is focaccia sandwiches. And not the kind that were made at 9am and now it’s 2 and everything looks wilty and soggy and dry at the same time. This is a DIY kind of place! They open at noon and stay open usually until 2am (can anyone say…good late-night food?)
The bread is all fresh baked and ready-sliced into wedges. It sits in a fat wheel of bread on his left and it goes fast! You then choose from 1-3 ingredients to put between the slices. Ingredients range from traditional mozzarella e prosciutto to the more exotic such as the figs sitting there near the bread. There’s a list of the most popular combinations on the wall but you really have to let your eyes do the ordering and make up your own combinations.
Then he slides the whole thing in the oven, which melts it all together and toasts it perfectly. In the meantime you’ve hopefully secured one of those tables I mentioned in the last post that are pretty scarce, and you keep an eagle eye out for your slices coming out of the pizza oven. They aren’t big on bringing it out to your table (there are a lot of people in there) but you are usually so eager to get it, you’re standing right there waiting for him to make eye contact with you. I recommend working on getting the table before ordering.
I always see this mix, and I’ve never gotten up the courage to try it, though someone must be buying it since I always see it. It appears to be an Italian ceviche-like mix…there’s some fish, eggplant, tomatoes, onions…someday I’ll get there!
These stuffed tomatoes look delicious. My eyes are always way bigger than my stomach – I always think that I’ll be able to eat more than two slices but they really fill you up so I have to go with my sure picks first and then get adventurous.
My absolute favorite, and the one thing that wins hands down is the onions. Just the onions and this yummy tomato sauce makes it the winner every time. The pesto or the eggplant parmesan come in a close second, but everyone always agrees that the onions, what I alway order, is the best. They have a few staple ingredients but usually they change daily, like the tomatoes and local olives we sampled on our shared second round.
If sandwiches aren’t your thing, then they usually have one or two pizzas fresh and ready to be tasted. Here’s one with some Tuscan sausage!
One of the things I really admire about this place is that they let you pay after you are finished. They ask you what you ate, and then they tally it up. No suspicious looks and I never check the receipt because I always feel like I’ve gotten the better end of the deal. My girlfriend and I had three wedges total with two bottles of water for 10 euro total. Think that’s not that great? Well, it’s smack dab in the middle of Florence, and that morning, she and I paid 12.50 for two pastries and two cans of peach tea for breakfast.
Trust me, it’s a great deal for healthy, fresh food! I hope you check it out. It’s unassuming and quite hidden. There’s no website and the outside sign reads plainly “Foccacine.” It’s on the same street where the San Lorenzo market is, directly behind the booths, on the side that empties out near the station of Via dell’Ariento and the intersection of Via Nazionale.