Category Archives: Food

La Migliore Birra del Mondo

The Best Beer in the World

Approaching the Cafe

Westvleteren has been voted the best beer in the world. By … you know … people who do those kinds of things. Westvleteren is a trappist brewery – one of only 6 in Belgium. And though the beer is exteremely popular, the monks haven’t raised the prices or production – they make enough money to live on and to do their good works. Of course, this year part of their abbey became condemned and they’ve started to try to sell a little more.

One of each Westvleteren Beer – 6,8,10

Anyway, after much research, we found out that we could go and have a beer at their cafe between certain hours. Generally they don’t sell any for you to take off campus, and certainly not to be resold … but we could taste the elixir! We ordered one of each kind that they have – my favorite was the 10.

View from the table in the Cafe

The cafe itself was pretty nice – we ordered some meet and cheese to go with the beer …

Enjoying the best beer in the world!

But mostly it was about the beer.

The spoils!

As it turned out, they were selling some beer today. You were allowed up to 6 bottles per person of either the 6 or the 8. We were travelling ryan air, so we couldn’t bring much … but we bought 3 of each kind of beer, and a couple of glasses to keep for ourselves.

A happy customer!

For more on Westvleteren: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westvleteren_Brewery#International_reputation

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Filed under Belgium, Food

Birra in Centro – Bruxelles, Belgio

Beer in the Town Center – Brussels, Belgium

Statue of a girl peeing … I don’t know why.

Later in the evening in Brussels we made our way to Delirium Cafe – know for their large selection of beers on tap, for their own brand of beer, and for the awesome pink elephant logo.

Posing outside Delirium Cafe (Can you see the pink elephants?)

A view of the bar at Delirium Cafe

Inside the Cafe, there was a large selection of beers – each of which comes in its own glass … of course. We didn’t really know what to order – so we just guessed.

First Round! (Check out the Pink Killer!)

So I picked out the one with the awesome pink bulldog on it – “Pink Killer” a grapefruit flavored beer.

Ryan playing with his silverware at dinner …

After beer, we headed for dinner at a place just down the street. Being low on recommendations, we had to trust lonely planet … though it never instills much confidence when you’re sitting down to eat *on* tourist row. Fortunately most of the food was good. :)

Waterzooi – classic creamy seafood stew

It’s Christmas! Love the lights and trees everywhere!

Riding a bike to generate electricity at a cafe

The next morning we stopped in for a quick coffee and pastries before taking one last swing through the adorable center of town.

In the Town Square

Another view in the town center

Another view of the town center

Another view of the town square. What? It was awesome!

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Svizzera – Interlaken

Switzerland – Interlaken


Interlaken was our home base for exploring the Berner Oberland. It’s not quite as picturesque as staying up in the mountains, but we had a short time to travel, we planned it at the last minute (I know, you’re shocked … we never do that ;-), and it turns out that we were there in the THE ONLY MONTH that’s offseason. Anyway, it worked for us.


We stayed at Hotel Saint Georges which was really adorable – and at least 12 times nicer (and more expensive) than the types of places we normally stay. Everyone says Switzerland is really expensive, and we kind of felt like “Sure, Switzerland is expensive, but so is London and Rome, and Paris … and pretty much everywhere in western Europe.” We underestimated Switzerland … Switzerland is in a class of its own.


Our first night in Interlaken we took a walk through town, to the river, and to the little town across the river to hunt down dinner. It was so picturesque and quiet and cold. With all of the twinkly lights, it was really wonderfully romantic.


We were looking for some Swiss food, and found a little restaurant that turned out to be so good that we actually went back.


cordon Bleu was recommended by our guide book, so we tried that


and I went for swiss breakfast for dinner, which I (predictably) loved.

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Filed under Food, Switzerland, Travel

La Svizzera – Vi Consiglio di Mangiare a Ginevra

In November we took an amazing trip to switzerland. We rented a car since our ultimate destination was the Berner Oberland, and we picked Geneva as our entry point simply because the fares were cheapest on Easy Jet.

We didn’t really see much in Geneva – we landed late, and left early. But we did have the best meal we’ve had in Europe.

I feel like I should give some caveats because I know that’s a pretty serious statement. We had done absolutely no research about Geneva, so when we got to the hotel we asked for a restaurant recommendation. The reply “Um, if you go down that street, there are a lot of restaurants.” We’ve travelled enough to know that that’s not actually a recommendation. Especially being a in a country that’s known for the high cost of pretty much everything – it’s doubly painful to pay an arm and a leg for bad tourist food. So we searched around on TripAdvisor for a restaurant that was near our hotel – found one that looked good, and called and made a reservation. After we called, I worried that it was a bad sign that they were able to take us so soon … maybe the restaurant was terrible … and empty.

Inside Bistrot du Boeuf Rouge

Turns out I was wrong. Bistrot du Boeuf Rouge was packed.

Our waitress brought us to our table and left us to try to decipher our menus. I figured I’d be able to sort through the french well enough to pick out something good for us to eat. Thank goodness the waitress came over to talk us through the specials … ’cause we ended up ordering most of our meal from the adorable chalkboard. We topped off our selections with a small pichet of beaujolais nouveau – which had just been released – and made everything feel more festive.

Fois gras poele’ au saveur de pain d’e’pice et sa confiture d’e’chalote

This warm Fois Gras appetizer was probably the best thing we ate that night. It was unbelieveably fantastic. Ryan had never had fois gras before, and I was pretty sure I’d only had pate’s w/ fois gras and fillers. The fois gras was soft and warm and amazingly flavorful. It was served with a confiture, and the plate was drizzled with other flavors. I can’t even describe how good this was.

Tournedos Rossini – Ryan’s

Even before tasting the appetizer Ryan decided he wanted to go crazy with the Foie Gras, and he was pretty happy with that decision. He ordered a Tournedos steak with a fat slice of foie gras on the top. This time the foie gras itself was cold, but it was so rich it became melty with the warmth of the meat. It was … amazing.

White sausages with Morel mushroom cream sauce and fluffy potatoe bread/biscuit/indescribableness

I chose a white sausage dish with morel mushroom cream sauce and potato things mostly because every single ingredient is something I adore. Also, I still think it’s funny that morels are something Ryan used to gather in the woods in Missouri, and I’ve only had them in fancy restaurants. The textures of everything went together amazingly – everything was soft .. and the sauce was ridiculous.

My mouth is seriously watering thinking about all this food again … and I’m not even hungry.

A Happy Customer

It wasn’t a cheap meal … but it was worth every penny.

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Filed under Food, Switzerland

Un Assaggio di Toscana

A Taste of Tuscany

These are the things I’ll miss about Italy…

Some friends of ours took a trip up into Tuscany and brought back some culinary delights to share with us. 3 different aged pecorino cheeses – including one that was aged buried in straw.

young pecorino cheese and tuscan meats …

Cheese, meat, and honey – a perfect Tuscan aperitivo!

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Filed under Food, Friends, Italy, Tuscany

Prague nel Inverno

Prague in the Winter

What? Just ’cause it’s summer now doesn’t mean I can’t write about the trips we took last winter … Prague slowed me down ’cause I took approximately 8000000 pictures. (Approximately). I managed to whittle them down to 3 posts worth … and I kinda sorta remember what they were of. Prague had been on my list forever, and we finally managed to get there for a long weekend.

First Meal

Our first night we headed out to a local place for some Czech food. It was a lively bar restaurant – where we tried a couple of beers and local food – meat with gravy and starches (potatoes, rice balls, dumplings …) … pretty much everything that Italian food isn’t.

St. Vitus Cathedral in the Castle Complex

As usual, we didn’t really know what we were going to do in Prague, so we opened up the Lonely Planet guide the next morning and sorted through the ‘things to do’. First stop Prague Castle.

Awesome ceiling inside the palace

We bought the multi-ticket – St. Vitus cathedral, St. George’s Basilica, The Golden Lane, Old Royal Palace.

Prague Castle … on a manhole cover. Clearly awesome.

Golden Street – with lots of tiny doors

Hot Wine and sugar/cinnamon pastry

After touring around the castle, we tried a local warm pastry that is wrapped around a rod,  and baked with cinnamon and sugar. It went very well with warm wine … especially since it was fricking freezing out.

View from the Castle

Then we started to work our way back down from the Castle. The views of the city were gorgeous.

Another high view

Crossing the Charles Bridge – view of the Castle in the background

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Filed under Czech Republic, Food, Travel

Roma Sparita

Rome Disappeared (ish … I’m feeling too lazy to ‘interpret’ a good English translation for this … it’s the name of a restaurant.)

For (yet another) birthday celebration with some friends we finally went to Roma Sparita in Trastevere – made famous as a Restaurant X by Anthony Bourdain, and know for its cacio e pepe. Lucky for us there were artichokes in season!

Carciofo alla Giudia

So we started with an excellent Carciofo alla Giudia – fried artichoke which is usually not my favorite – but turned out to be fantastic. It was crispy and salty on the outside, and delicious and soft on the inside. (I usually like alla Romana – which is more like a sauteed artichoke? I guess? I don’t really cook much … but it’s softer, and with olive oil.)

Cacio e Pepe

Next was the Cacio e Pepe … pasta, spaghetti, cacio (cheese) and pepe (pepper) – in a crispy cheese bowl. It turns out that it was, in fact pretty delicious.

Pasta con Carciofi e Formaggio

As was the special that we ordered on the recommendation of the waiter – pasta with carciofi and cheese. :)

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Filed under Food, Italy, Rome