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Travel Bites (Europe, Las Vegas, New Orleans)

Author: Adrienne L.
Date of Trip: April 2010

Having a big Sunday dinner has long been a family tradition at our house. As we enjoyed today’s feast, our conversation turned to the many memorable meals that we’ve enjoyed throughout our travels. Here are a few we’d like to share:

1. Barcelona Wrap — While strolling along Las Ramblas, we found that the food offerings were plentiful. One of the ways that we select a restaurant in a new city is by the size of the crowd. We were drawn to the Rajah, a Pakistani/Indian restaurant, a little walk-up spot with enticing aromas and a long line. We enjoyed the most delicious chicken wraps we’ve ever had and the numerous toppings and fixings made this eating experience unforgettable. Needless to say we visited it several times during our stay in Barcelona.

2. Lunch in Positano –On a drive along the Italian Amalfi coast, we stopped to have lunch at a hotel in Positano. Our tour guide, Aldo had assured us that this would be a special meal — and he was right. It proved to be one of the best Italian meals we’d ever had. It was served in a beautiful dining room that had floor-to-ceiling windows that enabled us to have a breathtaking view of the Bay of Naples. There were several menu choices, but we selected the Chicken al Limone, prepared to perfection and topped with fresh capers, picked from a nearby hillside. It was complimented by spinach lasagna and a zucchini side dish that had to be tasted to be believed. The pies-de resistance was the dessert, a fresh-from-the-oven lemon cream cake, baked by the hotel owner’s mother, who came out to greet us and serve her delicious creation.

3. Osteria del Circo is one of the fine dining restaurants at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas. The decor is reminiscent of a European carnival tent, featuring views of Lake Bellagio with its periodic water-and-light extravaganza. The menu features upscale Tuscan fare, and the meal that we enjoyed reminded us of some that we have enjoyed while visiting the Tuscan region. It was more than an exquisite meal, it was an experience.

4. It is common knowledge that Italy is famous for gelato. On a warm July afternoon, following a morning of sightseeing and shopping in Florence, we noticed a large crowd gathered outside a gelato shop. In need of refreshment, we ventured into the establishment. As we studied the colorful array of offerings, we made our selections. I chose the cantaloupe and the taste was so fresh it was like taking a bite out of a ripe juicy melon. It was the perfect treat for a hot day.

5. During a recent Mediterranean cruise we stopped in to visit friends on the island of Santorini, Greece. While exchanging pleasantries, our friends produced a jug of homemade wine that was truly unforgettable.

6. We had often heard about the beer in Belgium. So when we had the opportunity to visit Bruges in April we decided to find out for ourselves. We stopped at the Half Moon Brewery to sample their brews. Was it ever worth it! To say the least, it was the best beer we’ve ever had. Of course the chocolate, fries and waffles are also worthy of mention. We can’t wait to go back.

7. New Orleans….where do we begin? Is there anything there that doesn’t taste good? We ate our way through the French Quarter. The first meal was blackened red fish, red potatoes, jambalaya and lobster bisque. Other dishes that really stood out were coconut shrimp, gumbo, red beans and rice, bread pudding, and of course the beignets.

8. While visiting the Provence region in France, we enjoyed a wonderful afternoon in the university town, Aix en Provence. We strolled down the Cours Mirabeau, a wide tree-lined thoroughfare, bordered by fine houses formerly inhabited by French aristocrats and decorated by fountains. In keeping with our quest to taste foods from each region that we visit, what caught our eye was the creme caramel in the window of one of the charming pastry shops. What a great selection. It was exquisite.

9. While enjoying a lovely afternoon on the island of Capri, the aromas emanating from a busy pizzeria caught our attention. We decided to try the pizza margherita that was recommended by one of the other customers. It was simple, fresh and delicious.

To see photos of more memorable meals from our travels, visit our photo album “Travel Bites”

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