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Everything posted by Alberts

  1. An agriturismo Ca' dura baja www.cadurabaja.com was recommended to me by the manager of the Produttori del Barbaresco. We haven't stayed there, but it is near the town, and he seems like a reasonable guy. Do you know anything about this place, Bill?
  2. Excellent review. I think we will make a trip back there this week. Yes, that cheese bread...what exactly is it? Hard to say.
  3. Extra We tend to get the sampler platter which includes both, if memory serves me. I am, by no means, an expert, but I think you will enjoy it. It would be great if someone with a working knowledge of Salvadoran cuisine logged in on this. I would like to learn more. Also, they have someone playing guitar on weekend nights. The address, by the way, is 8324 S.E. 17th, (503) 231-5140. The bakery next door is "Piece of Cake" (503) 234-9445.
  4. El Palenque in Sellwood, just south of Tacoma, is very good, and under-appreciated, although it can be a little busy on the weekends. It has a split menu Salvadoran/Mexican, as well. (Of note, next door is a bakery that supplies the cakes to New Seasons groceries, and has an incredible creme brulee ice cream [my extreme apology for not remember the name, I wanna say "A piece of cake" or something like that]). We have enjoyed both places many times.
  5. I had a conversation here in Portland yesterday with a winemaker from Piemonte (Canale across the Tanaro River), named Antonio Deltetto . I asked him about Combal. He was familiar at least with the reputation and told me that the influence was a touch of Vietnamese (you mentioned "almost Japanese in its look"). His description was una parte piemontese e una parte fantasia!Seemed appropriate. We can't wait to try it.
  6. Excellent discussion as usual Craig, particularly as we will be visiting the area north of Verona in the Springtime. In drinking various Valpolicellas, one is confronted by the paradox, that despite the volume of spectacular wine deals in the Italian red market, there are also too many inexpensive Italian reds that are not deals at all given their poor quality. Valpolicella seems to often be the latter... a lot of large producers, with unspectacular wines and low prices. Sorry to hear that Amarone has also suffered somewhat. There are "Amarones" (what they actually are, I'm not sure) on sale
  7. My humble opinion There are few more magical moments than walking out the back door of the train station in Venice and seeing the Grand Canal for the first time. I couldn't imagine missing this experience. Driving into Venice, on the other hand, feels like driving into Disneyland, huge car park, crowds. With regard to restaurants there, we have found them hit or miss, even those highly recommended. Get lost in Venice through the smallest alleyway you can find. Walk and walk and walk away from San Marco, except early morning, and the evening when the tour buses are gone. Find your own small p
  8. Without playing travel agent... We are looking at flights from the Northwest to Italy for June. With extensive, and I mean extensive, research, the best fare we have found is $770, booked online. Seattle to London, Heathrow, direct on British Air, then Alitalia to Milan. It is probably even cheaper in June. The only real European sales right now are to or through London. Oh by the way, the food on British Air and Alitalia beats the food on the American planes. (Obligatory food reference).
  9. Alberts


    Magnifico! Sounds outstanding. We will likely be staying at or near an albergo/ristorante called Del Buon Padre, near Barolo. We can't wait.
  10. Alberts


    We'll be in Piemonte in the springtime, likely staying at a place that specializes in Tajarin cuisine. I thought I knew something about piemontese food, but hadn't heard about this? What exactly is it? Anyone know.
  11. I know it is expensive, but splurge on the convenience of the Hilton at the airport. You can get rid of the rental car the day before if you have one. The breakfast is expansive, the rooms are comfortable and you can easily walk from your room to the flight. I don't work for Hilton by the way.
  12. Hearing about the story from Piemonte, and yours Robert is making me wonder whether maggots do something special to cheese... any hard, aged cheese...that adds texture and flavor (?). I guess it doesn't need to be pecorino. Still not gonna try it.
  13. Good point, but there is something about the image of honeybees landing on clover and flowers vs that other stuff that flies land on.
  14. I don't know. Eating something that even the maggots and flies have left! I suppose it is hard to pass judgment on what is "ok" and what is not, except that even the health authorities in Italy don't think this cheese is a good idea. I have been known to do a lot of things on vacation that I might not do normally. That article in the Portland Mercury was great, though.
  15. I always wonder about the origin of these cultural oddities. Did someone long ago find a round left in the dark, eat it, find it delicious, and then realize it was full of maggots? Or maybe times were so tough at some point, nobody cared, and at least it was something to eat. We try to make a habit of ordering "la specialita della regione" and taking our chances. I'd love to see Sardinia, and I suppose no one would offer us this stuff without due warning. I guess we're safe.
  16. I wasn't sure if this was really the right place to post this, or whether some other thread that attracts the more thrillseeking crowd would be more appropriate. Did anyone else peruse the latest Saveur magazine and find the sidebar on Casu marzu cheese from Sardinia? It seems, though "illegal" in Italy, a cheese is developed from Pecorino, by infesting it with fly larvae, and aging it in darkness, so the "maggots remain dormant." The maggots live in the cheese, eating it, making it "pungent and creamy-chunky in texture." Has anyone out there tried this? Would you?! I love all things Italy,
  17. I love that combination. We rented out a Thai restaurant for a buffet and even invited the rabbis assuming they wouldn't show. They did, with their families. I'm not sure, but I might have seen them munching on the pork satay. I'll admit, it was delicious.
  18. My heartfelt sympathy to all in Santa Monica affected by the horror of the event yesterday at the Market. Speedy recovery the those injured. We Portlanders are thinking of you.
  19. A report back on the Seattle experience of a Portlander. First of all, even the food at Safeco field was better than average (of course, $2.75 for a cup of coffee?). What a great food town! Matt's in the Market was having a wine dinner and was full up, so we opted for Osteria La Spiga on Broadway at Union. I had noted the complaints about the service, but ours was exceptional, probably because we were there early and there were only a few other tables full at the time. We even had time to BS with the waiter and talk about Italy. Anyway, we ordered stuffed piadina with roasted eggplant, scam
  20. Marionberries (Oregon variation of a blackberry, from Marion County), Walla Walla onions, red lettuce, first of the season heirloom tomatoes, fresh garlic.
  21. Okay, so enough talk about kids at the market. We are considering motorizing our stroller, so ours can drive without us..if we could just get them to carry their own produce. Anyway, Trillium, I respect your opinion. We will all have fun in our own way. I'm glad we are all supporting the market, and yeah, I guess I am glad you aren't the supreme dictator
  22. Yikes, no strollers? What's next? No wheelchairs? No walkers? We've been to the market with our small kids virtually every weekend for the past four years. We have a great time, buying produce, listening to the music, meeting the vendors. It is almost the only place where a person can teach their children where food comes from without buying a cow. Markets are, and always have been community, family gathering places. They're not bars, afterall. I would recommend going early.
  23. More thanks With regard to Osteria La Spiga, I think it was one of the owners there that came down to Portland for the Slow Food convivium last year and did a discussion of "eating Italian" in the Northwest with Cathy Whims (formerly) of our restaurant Genoa. Sounded good. Too bad about the service there. We have Piazza Italia here, run by a family and friends from just outside of Rome. Excellent, authentic food, but the service is also crappy, and I mean crappy every time. We put up with it only for the chance to speak Italian and eat good stuff. It is shocking the difference between a famil
  24. These are exactly the kinds of places we are looking for. Thanks.
  25. Ok Seattle friends, this Portlander could use a recommendation. My wife and I will be without the kids for dinner in Seattle in a few weeks and would like to hear a few suggestions, particularly downtown. My first wish would be simple, authentic Italian, nothing too pretentious. Anything fresh and local would take us out of an Italian fixation though. (I will admit the gelato thread has me thinking Italian). I hate using citysearch, etc. and would rather hear it from those of you who really go out to eat. Thanks
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