The central attraction in Bangkok is the Grand Palace and Grounds featuring many temples, palaces and a museum. To do it right, the area is worth most of a day and that means at least finding a place to sit down and have lunch. If you are in the area near Wat Pho (Giant Buddha) a good choice for lunch is Eat Sight Story. The restaurant is on the Chao Praya River across from Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) with a deck featuring tables, umbrellas and great views. To find it, go down Tha Tian Alley towards the river from Maha Rat Road, south of the Naval Welfare Department.
In addition to the deck overlooking the river, ESS has tables inside along with a small air conditioned dining room. The staff is friendly and efficient and, while not inexpensive, the food is very good. The afternoon we visited, we had curried beef, Pad Thai, grilled chicken skewers with rice and cold Thai beer and were very pleased with our selections. Based on other meals we ate in Thailand we believe that their offerings are toned down some to appeal to western tastes.
The Beer Bridge was located just down the street from our hotel in the The Portico Building, 31 Langsuan, Ploenchit Rd., Lumpini, Pathumwan, Bangkok. The Beer Bridge is a modern eatery in an upscale neighborhood just a block away from Central Chidlom, Bangkok’s largest department store and near a number of major hotels.
They offered a wide selection of beers (local and imported) along with a nice wine list, cocktails and typical pub food. We ordered an appetizer which turned out to be the tiniest Buffalo chicken wings we’ve every eaten. But, after a long and warm day walking around Bangkok, The Beer Bridge provided exactly what we needed – really cold beer and some western familiarity.
Most people think pasta when it comes to Italian cooking but actually Italy has a number of regional cuisines. Tuscan and Florentine diets trend heavily toward cold sliced meats, grilled meats, lots of beans, soups and stews. With the exception of lasagna, pasta is usually done as a side dish or a casserole in Florence. Because Florence has become such an international city and a huge tourist destination many of the restaurants have put together menus that fit the visitors expectations. One small restaurant in the central city that doesn’t fit that description is Trattoria Mario.
If you are looking for a great value in good authentic food in Florence, Italy check out this gem. A local trattoria with an international clientele, owing its popularity somewhat to a bit of encouragement from Trip Advisor reviewers. It is located at Via Rosina, 2r, 50123 just a short walk from the Basilica di San Lorenzo.
The restaurant is cozy and if crowded you will probably be sharing a table if you are a small party, but that is part of the experience. While there we overheard several tables talking in several languages. The restaurant has the feel of a neighborhood place with a staff that is friendly and efficient. The dishes are prepared with skill and are mostly priced between €5 and €8. The menu is hand written and taped on the kitchen window and as the chef runs out of an item he comes out and strikes thru it. Inexpensive splits of local wines are also available.
With this post our hope is to offer some of our specific experiences with food in different locations during our wanderings. We will include posts on a number of locations and each will be open for comments. We encourage visitors to leave comments about their own travels and favorite restaurants,
cafes, pubs and bars on these posts. If this proves successful, we will begin to organize comments into blog entries. However if you prefer…
If you have a favorite restaurant, cafe, bar or pub anywhere in the world we would ask you to share with us. Please send us an email with your experiences:
Please describe the location, approximate date and your opinion of the value. Attach photographs if available. For detailed information refer to About Us.
Manila is a large and diverse city with lots to see and do. If you are there for several days it is possible to enjoy the diversity and to venture into the outlying countryside for some picturesque sites. If you only have a day, Singing Cooks and Waiters should be your number one stop.
First, and most important, is to know the address of this Manila Gem. It is located in the Ongpauco Building on Roxas Blvd, Pasay, Metro Manila. It is best to have this written down for your taxi driver as they seem to have a hard time finding this place. It is open for lunch (11-3) and dinner 6-11) but confirm the hours by either calling (632 832 0658) or checking their website.
Once you are seated in the dining room, you are presented with an extensive menu of local Filipino foods in a wide range of prices. There are several pages of poultry, meat and seafood to choose from so it is easy to pick several dishes that can be shared. If you are inclined, there are also a few local beers to enjoy with your meal.
As you wait for your food, you can enjoy the Filipino hospitality and the amazing entertainment. The show varies by time of day and day of the week. On our lunch there was a piano player and a local on the guitar and they were joined by singers who are also your waiters and cooks. They sing together and also perform some impressive solo numbers. The microphones are soup ladles from the kitchen. The singers walk among the tables to get diners to join in and eventually staff and guests make their way to the “stage” to sing and or/dance. The only problem comes when you finish eating and it is time to leave. Getting your check can take a while as everyone is having so much fun they don’t want to break away!
As you exit the restaurant there is a very attentive doorman who will send you on your way or help you get a cab. If you still have a little time left in your day and you feel like shopping, the fabulous Mall of Asia is just a short taxi drive away.
Civitavecchia is actually a nice city with a number of nice restaurants and lots of good shopping. It wouldn’t be a tourist destination though if half the cruise ships in the Mediterranean weren’t coming and going from its port. That’s what probably brings most of us to this city. The waterfront is about eight or ten blocks long stretching from the train station to the port entrance. To its credit there are a number of restaurants along this strip featuring outdoor seating. Great for a cappuccino, wine or a bite but if you want pizza we have a suggestion:
Pizzeria Margherita Di Gandolfi Cristian
To find the pizzeria walk down the water front toward the port until you get to the McDonalds. Turn right and walk up two blocks and follow the street to the left past the pedestrian mall. On the far side of the Cathedral of San Francesco d’Assisi turn right on Via Giuseppe Mazzini. Walk up the hill and take the second left on Via Giosuè Carducci and the Pizzeria Margherita Di Gandolfi Cristian is on the left with an outdoor seating area. I don’t think there is actually a name on the restaurant though.
This neighborhood pizzeria is the real thing and it usually has six or eight different pies out at any one time. You make your selection by the slice, they put them on a scale and you pay by the weight of the order. They offer single serve bottles of wine and soft drinks.
Most of the seating is out on the sidewalk with only a few small tables and chairs inside. When the weather turns cold they have an enclosure for the tables out front with heaters.