Italian Roadtrip – First Stop

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My roadtrip was wonderful. So many new experiences and an amazing scenery during my drive. It is truly unbelievable what the world has to offer – and you neither have to fly to America nor Asia – the wonders of nature and beautiful surroundings lie ahead a short drive from Munich. Even if I have driven the main part of my route already many times – this time I had such a pleasure, because I soaked it up all by myself without talking to any co-drivers.

Snow, Mountains, Greens, Rocks, Wine Grapes, Zypress, Olive trees, Sun, Lakes… all on one drive to Florence. Unbelievable beautiful images that occurred in front of my eyes – although I couldn’t enjoy them fully as I had to steer the car.

Nevertheless, I loved driving the car down to Italy. You have to know that I am a roadtrip type of person, thats why far distances have never mattered to me. But I wanted to do the travel in 3 different stops, since I didn’t want to drive down the whole route to Florence and missing my favourite town on the way: Bolzano (why: click here).

As usual when I’m in Bozen, I was staying at the Laurin Hotel.

The hotel contacted me already in advance of my stay apologising for the inconvenience they will cause during the night of my stay, because of a Food Festival was happening in their garden. Several local award winning cooks did in total eight dishes – each on their own “food station”. However, to me this was a “Jackpot” – of course I didn’t mind the inconvenience – quite the contrary: I reserved me already a ticket for the food festival in advance!

And this was also the highlight of the day in Bozen. After having had the obligatory gelato, a walk through the city center and some sun-bathing, I was among the first persons on the festival. There were a lot of wineries present who let you try several wines and of course I took advantage of this (but since I was travelling alone I only took a few sips each) and I learned about a winery I didn’t know yet (Eisacktaler Kellerei) which I will definitely visit during my next travel to Italy.

But now to the food: It was “fair & local cooking night”, and the cooks were creating a diverse menu that included local ingredients but also fair trade items from all over the world. Everything was prepared barbecue style in the garden of the hotel. All tasted delicious and each course was exciting, also because every cook prepared something different in style from each other. Now some of the courses in pictures:

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Tomato gazpacho with grilled char and kataifi.

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Risotto with artichoke with scampo on charcoal  and crunchy quinoa.

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Barbecue-Ravioli filled with suckling pig on bock beer creme, pointed cabbage bouillon and wild fennel.

Unfortunately I didn’t took any pic of it, but I especially loved the dessert with Raspberry Tapioka, grilled marshmallow and a safran-tamarind-macaron. Tasty!

All in all, the trip had already started very good with my first stop and I was wondering then if this even can get any better. Well, it did… but about the other days of my trip in my next posts.


P.S.: My top 3 songs from my roadtrip playlist:

  • Su di noi – Pupo
  • You belong to me – Bryan Adams (maybe the best one of his songs ever?)
  • Mr. Jones – Counting Crows

 

Weekend in May

As mentioned a few posts earlier, I don’t know how to continue with the format of this blog – it became quite boring for me to only write about where to eat and what to eat or where to travel or what to do.

Today I still don’t know what will happen, but I just keep writing, maybe in the hope that the blog will find it’s own way during the next couple of posts.

Why not write about my current weekend. Isn’t this what a blog – an online diary – is about?

So far, my weekend has already been filled with a lot of nice things. Although it began with me being annoyed:

Being back from a travel to Berlin… I wanted to spontaneously go out for breakfast while also enjoying the sun. In Berlin this wouldn’t have been a problem. A dozen of cafés would pop up in front of my way through the streets of Berlin. However, Munich doesn’t offer a variety of good breakfast places with an al fresco option. I mean there are options where you can sit outside and enjoy the start of the day, also good ones, but honestly I can count them up to 3. And if you haven’t reserved any table – no chance for a spontaneous breakfast.

So I had the hope, wandering around the streets with no exact goal, finding a new good spot in Munich to have breakfast al fresco. After almost two hours (!) I gave up and went to one of my favourite places: Stereo Café. In the end a good decision, but it was already lunch time and I was hungry as hell.

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With my stomach being satisfied and having soaked up the sun on Stereo Café’s terrace, I did then the only to do I had for this weekend: Pre-travel shopping.

I’m getting more and more excited about my trip next week. And since I am traveling alone, I had to buy something that I would have laughed at just a couple of weeks ago: a selfie stick. But hey, I do not hand over my phone to complete strangers to take pictures and maybe run away with all my data…

Since I was already at the electronic shop, I also got me a new SD card, a power bank, a mini-tripod  and a cleaning wipe for my system camera. So – I’m perfectly prepared for my travel.

On my way home I grabbed a coffee from Starbucks – why am I telling you that? Because, for a non-coffee drinker I realize with every day, that I turned to a semi coffee-drinker – but only the coffee with a lot lot lot of milk and a sweet flavour shot in it. Does that already count a drinking coffee?! Anyway – lately I have gotten me a coffee a Starbucks and was surprised that my name can actually be written wrong in a way I have never seen it: Flurita – what the ?!?!?! – of any letter that can be spelled wrongly in my name, how can it be the “o”? So now I am just saying my nickname “Flo” – this is so easy, but hey, I am waiting for the day that even someone will invent an alternative spelling for it.

So basically my day went on without any greater excitement – after a short nap and hitting some golf balls at the range (which got me frustrated again….grrr) – I found some time for home cooking and made a very standard Summer Pasta dish: Asparagus, Prawns, Rocket, Tomatoes and Pasta.

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As I didn’t feel like going out, I ended Saturday with a semi-funny French movie. Since it was only semi-funny I’m not mentioning it’s name here.

After having experienced the frustration of finding a new breakfast spot yesterday, I decided to just grab something from the bakery today and have a breakfast on my rooftop terrace. Where I am still sitting right now – typing this weekend-story 🙂

Sometimes this is the best – home sweet home.

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My day is going to be continued – maybe with a round of golf, some running and a coffee with friends… let’s see. Anyway – I wish you all a nice remaining Sunday and hope that the weather is as good as here in Munich!

 

Counting the days

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First stop on my trip will be in Bozen/Bolzano

I hardly have ever counted the days for any travel. Normally the excitement about my travel kicks in when I am packing my luggage the day/weekend before and I start to realise that wonderful days will lie ahead.

This time it’s different. My upcoming Mini-Roadtrip is in my mind all the time now. Maybe because it’s a trip I do completely on my own or maybe because everyone whom I’m talking to about it, is also excited. People start relating it to a mini “Eat Pray Love” travel or are giving me a lot of recommendations for small towns on my way, eateries or wineries. Even though I just don’t know how to fit them all in for the couple of days I’m on the road, I’m happy that I will have a lot of choices.

Recently I have also started creating a playlist and keep adding songs to it. But for the poolside or evenings, I still have to find a good read. And because winter has just ended, I also will bring the car to a check up for the breaks. Then, enough of precautions, I’m ready to go 🙂

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Bozen Summer 2016

Breakfast on Sundays

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Whilst I hardly have time for a proper breakfast on weekdays (I survive with only one of these: either Müsli, fruits, yogurt or bread) it is the opposite on weekends. Especially on Sundays, which usually is my leisure day -> no appointments and no obligations.

Sundays are meant for extensive breakfasts which in my case can also easily extend to a two-three hour brunch with discussions or just a newspaper at hand (Welt am Sonntag!).

If I am doing a homemade breakfast the table will usually be packed with various eats and for more than a year I have been influenced by breakfast posts on Instagram and one of my Sunday favourites is following breakfast dish now, consisting of Poached eggs and Avocado on bread. Already for some time it seems to be kind of a favourite for the so called hipster generation. However, I can’t help myself and I love it as well.

My versions of the Avocado-Egg-Combo are also simple but yet also very effective:

Dark bread, Cream Cheese with Horse Radish, Avocado, Tomato, Salmon and Poached Egg

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or Dark Bread, Avocado, Tomato, Green Asparagus and Poached Egg (photo below is just from yesterday!).

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(and if I’m too lazy, I will replace the poached egg by a normally cooked one 😉 – tastes also good, is just less exciting)

Have a great week!

 

Long time no see

Hello again! Long time no see.

Before I start, I wanted to let you know that this blog entry won’t be about any past food or travel experiences as usual – but instead I’ll tell you about a travel experience I will have in the near future. Because I am already too exited about my next trip!

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North Italian Highway (2016)
As I love driving, it will be a short road trip to Italy – with a final destination in Tuscany. Actually I wanted to enjoy driving some serpentine roads on my way, but they are still closed until June. It’s a pity, but will give enough reasons for future road trips 🙂

Anyway, I am looking forward to enjoying some Italian wine and food, maybe wandering around in Florence and Verona and of course taking a lot of pictures. I booked hotels I haven’t been before yet and even for an experienced traveler, I was unprofessional booking my last day stay, because I did only check the details of ratings after I booked the hotel. The hotel got my interest, because it is an art hotel, has a big garden and mainly because it is situated between Verona and Lago di Garda. The hotel itself shouldn’t be to bad, general ratings are good – but in the details people “warned” other travelers that they could be offended by the very liberal art exhibitions which are not suitable for children – let’s say it this way. Hahaha – will definitely keep you updated about this hotel.

Good thing is that I have already been in all the cities on the way of my road trip, so I have time to experience different things than classic sight seeing. It could be as simple as walking along streets, discovering food places only visited by locals or just enjoying daydreaming next to the pool. So, you can already see, I am really looking forward to this trip in May and promise to put some pics online.

Have a great week!

Blackbird

When I flew to Barcelona last weekend, I was reminded myself about this post. I read in the magazine of Handelsblatt (a German newspaper) about To-Dos in Chicago. And to my surprise it included the restaurant I also visited: Blackbird.

A michelin star restaurant in an upcoming trendy area.

I took the tasting menu. Their very natural inspired decorations (flowers and leaves) and their variety of vegetable ingredients were noticable. It were ten courses, of which I ate only nine – I will also explain why with the last course.

After having had some wine and yummy Sangria at the Godfrey (you remember from my last posting: here), I was in the mood for another lovely wine pairing accompanying my dinner. The day was so well, Chicago put me in the mood. With every course and every new sip of wine my mood got better of course 😉 and I must say that the menu was fantastic.

Here are some of the courses:

“spring onion brownie. uni ice cream. smoked strawberry. almond. green garlic”

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“green garbanzo. asparagus. sesame.”

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“potato. seaweed. lamb.”

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“ahi. smoked pork. fava. meyer lemon.”

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“mate.mint. green almond. fernet. ricotta”

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This was the last course. Which I unfortunately couldn’t finish. Well, on the one hand, I may have been tipsy…but acutally I tried everything on my plate…I may have been full, because I had a couple of hours before many dishes already at the Godfrey…but hey, this usually never stops me from eating desserts, even after 10 courses, I will manage a dessert…or two…so, it definitely was that I don’t like mint in my desserts at all! A decorative mint leave is still ok, but everything tasted too minty. Other people might love it and I’m sure many would have loved this dessert. Which was cleary the optical highlight of the dinner and had all textures I would want in a dessert: creamy, crispy, soft, chewy, melty, cold – I just don’t like it too minty. But this is just something personal (me, who even doesn’t like the tiny tic tacs with mint flavour!), so I’m 100% sure that you, dear reader, would have enjoyed every bite of it.

All in all the presentation, the well chosen ingredients, the beautiful platings and the composition of the texture of the food are excellent. Besides that I only had a few spoons of my dessert…I liked, loved and licked everything until the plates were more than clean!  This is a top location and I will stop there again on my next visit in Chicago!

 

Where? 619 West Randolph, Chicago    http://www.blackbirdrestaurant.com

Oktoberfest

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A lot of people are currently posting images and stories from the Oktoberfest. So, I don’t want to post anything special about it or go into any details you might have already heard.

But since it’s the last day of this year’s Oktoberfest, I wanted to share some food pics I took this year before it is all over again.

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Until next year – cheers 🙂img_61081