Archive for the ‘Quick & Easy’ Category

Venetian Bites

In Italy, Quick & Easy on November 2, 2009 at 7:57 pm

Cichetti by the Calli

Eating Italian – pizzas, pastas and lasagnas. Few actually know that eating Venetian, however, is a trickier affair. Cichetti (pronounced as chee-ket-tee) is Venice’s answer to tapas – small portions of appetizing snacks that tickle your taste buds seductively.

Cichetti usually comes in an assortment of cubed octopus, small sarde in saór (fried sardines) and marinated anchovies. The result: a rare flavour of fresh lemony seafood in its simplicity. It literally tastes of Venice.

Where to Find the Best:  There are tons of restaurants in Venice that serve up tantalizing cichetti. Cantine del Vino gia Schiavi in the Dorsoduro district reinvents cichetti. Slurp your ombra (small glass of wine) while biting on these petite canapes on one of those slow and lazy Sunday afternoons. Oh, it gets crowded on some days. Fret not, bring the feast onto the staccato footsteps – watch as a gondola slowly rows by. Or why not turn your feast into a picnic and munch your cichetti onboard a Venice gondola ride?

While some cantines serve up seafood cichetti,  small palates of cheese or cured meat also dominate their menus. With luck, you might be chancing upon quality ham that could make you sit up and think.

What’s Next: After some quick bites, head out to Piazza San Marcos for some Spritz to wash down the oil. For most, the Venetian typical aperitif is drank before meals and serves to whet the apetite. It’s a potent concoction of carbonated water, white wine, lemon or olive and usually Campari.

There’s no harm in having the aperitif after meals, though an Italian would probably give you a disapproving look. Who cares, as long as you’re in Venice?


5 Great Eats Under £5 – London

In England, Great Eats Under $5, Quick & Easy on October 27, 2009 at 11:17 pm

London grudgingly holds the throne as one of the most expensive capitals in the world. Pauper days while living in London were mostly spent hunting for the cheapest eats in town. So as a tribute to my cold-and-poor days in London, here’s a roundup of 5 great eats under £5 and where to get them.

O'Neills Sunday Roast1. Special Sunday Roast at O’Neills

If London were a dish, it would be the Sunday Roast: beef fillet, Yorkshire pudding, roasted potatoes and tons of gravy. Feasting on this meaty platter is the mandatory Sunday activity for the Brits. You can easily find an English Pub at almost every street corner, and all of them do the quintessential Sunday Roast. Try to catch the promotions on selected days, with a set going for £4.99.

Check out the website http://www.oneills.co.uk/ for a list of pub locations.

2. Camden Food Market – International Food

This is where India meets Morocco meets Mexico. The artful assemblage of exotic foods from different corners of the world makes for a great hangout for foodies. Feast your eyes on the colorful foreign foods on display, and all that, for prices as low as £3.50. My choice: beef rendang at the Indonesian store – only for the spicy-tongued.

Camden Road, London, NW1

Camden Food Market - Photo by 2Camels

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Miami’s Best Pizza

In Miami, Quick & Easy on October 20, 2009 at 4:53 pm


It ain’t no lie. Miami’s Best Pizza actually does serve up the city’s juiciest, thickest and richest pizza, ever.

I’ve lost count of the times spent gorging down thick pizza slices, laughing and hanging out in the pizza place during college days. A hop and a jump from University of Miami‘s Coral Gables campus, the pizzeria is easily the most down-to-earth spot for a quick bite.

Miami’s Best Pizza has been around forever, serving college students and residents for decades. It’s a classic good ol’ American pizza joint with a casual atmosphere and hearty menu.

My personal favorite is the meat lovers’ pizza, but some say the Miami special (pepperoni, ham, italian sausage, onions, pepper) wins hands down. You’ll have to try it to judge for yourself!

1514 South Dixie Highway

Coral Gables, FL

Tel: 305-666-5931