I was drafting a post about the week after exams. My friend, Fiona, came and stayed with me for 46 hours (we only had to buy one transport ticket, bonus) and we visited the entirety of Rome in that time. I also ate more pizza than I ever thought possible, but it’s Italy so why waste the opportunity!? However, I was flicking through my camera roll the other day and I came across quite a few photos I’ve taken of food. So, for a bit of variety and sparkle, this post will be dedicated to some memorable meals I’ve eaten.
Place: Cafe Friends, Via della Scrofa
Traditional Italian breakfast famously consists of a quick coffee and cornetto (brioche, not ice cream), followed later by a lunch of pasta and meats. Brunch doesn’t really come onto the radar. However, one rainy Sunday we decided that brunch must be had. We found a place near Piazza Navona that advertised its ‘American Style Brunch’, but also served vegetarian options for my flatmate, Corinna. My brunch consisted of toast, fried eggs, bacon, and some scrambled eggs. And free orange juice.
Place: Settebello, Via dei Serviti
On the last morning of Fiona’s trip, we went to a cafe recommended by Corinna to grab breakfast. I was planning to get the traditional caffe/cornetto, but when I saw something that resembled a huge jammy dodger – with chocolate – I changed my mind pretty sharpish. Many Italian dolci are made with pastry that looks like shortbread which, depending on your opinion of shortbread, could be a good or a bad thing. I am firmly pro-shortbread and to my delight this Jammy Dodger-esque biscuit was made of shortbread! I had some pear juice to go with it, and it was a very satisfying breakfast.
Dinner – AperiCena
Place: Tempio di Mecenate, Via Merulana
A popular alternative to the full, prolonged affair that is an Italian dinner is ‘AperiCena’; a mix between an aperitivo and a dinner, it is a buffet style service with many fantastic drinks. The buffet at this restaurant was different to what we expected, with constant rotation of dishes on offer and people serving you rather than it being self service. The combination of these two factors meant that you missed out on some of the meals as they were rotated through the buffet, and you were served surprisingly small portions for the price you paid. The food itself was well cooked and very yummy, although the lack of labels describing exactly what it was presented a problem. AperiCena can be hit and miss, and personally I would consider this more of a miss. However, we will be trying another AperiCena place in the near future, so I will update you on that.
Dinner – For When You Miss Nandos
Place: T-Bone Station, Via Vittoria Colonna (near Piazza Cavour)
Sometimes being on an Erasmus year just feels like being A Long Way From Home. In the exhausted slump week that follows exam season, I was ready to go home for a break. When my friends invited me out for dinner at this restaurant with ‘really different food’ I thought ‘uh oh, it’s going to have some crazy delicacy like ox tongue’ (true story, that nearly happened once). Imagine my surprise when they took me to a diner that was a mix of British/American style! The menu consisted solely of hamburgers and chicken. Having had a craving for Nandos growing steadily more urgent over exam season, I was absolutely delighted. My main issue for the night was deciding between Southern Fried chicken bites, or a chicken wrap. Bliss.
The Glaring Omission
If you know me at all, you will know that I enjoy no dish more than a classic, italian-cooked margarita pizza. You just can’t go wrong with one. I haven’t got any mouthwatering pictures of a perfectly cooked pizza to add to this blog, but trust me when I say that they are up there with the best foods I’ve eaten in Italy.
Semester 2 has started with a bang and my life has become a whirlwind of Plato, trams, and packed lunches once again. If you’re in the UK, good luck with the last few weeks of term and dissertation hell!
Until next time xo