Los Angeles to San Francisco | California

Route 1

Hey friends!

Leili here. I just got back from a mini family vacation to California, traveling from Los Angeles to San Francisco and eating everything in between. And now I get to share all that good stuff with all of you wonderful people.

View of the Bay

Not to rub it in, but it was pretty great. I had never been to California before, and I can now safely say that I’m a fan. Aside from the gorgeous weather and the “ooh”-and-“aah”-worthy scenic highways, the Golden State has a very calming air to it. Which explains why its culture appears to be one of perpetual leisure, I suppose. Continue reading

Portland, ME

Portland Sign

Hi friends. We’re back with another post from the north – Portland, Maine. Even though this is a monster of a post, we are barely scratching the surface of the food scene in Portland. This small city has one of the most restaurants per capita in the country. Once we got there, we understood why – we were literally surrounded by restaurants, bars, and more food. We had two very wonderful friends to show us around this very charming and seductive city.

Day One

We had very little sleep when we first arrived so we quickly made our way to Bard Coffee, a place recommended by more than one person. When we entered this little coffee shop, we found a quiet cafe buzzing with the sound of the espresso grinder and milk steamers. In this sun-filled space, we were more than happy to sit down and relax with a couple cups of caffeine.

We ordered the latte and mocha – both equally beautiful and delicious. Bard Coffee has an incredibly relaxing atmosphere; we spent a couple hours there talking about boys, food, and the places we were going to hit up next.

bard coffee meta

Bard coffee Continue reading

Eating Through Europe: Gelato

fatamorgana gelatoWhen August rolls into September and I notice the leaves begin to drift lazily to the ground, I usually breathe a sigh of relief at no longer having to wipe droplets of sweat off my forehead and peel myself off of public bus seats. And like the next girl, I always get a little excited thinking about all those comfy autumnal layers I can soon show off.

But this year?

Summer is hanging around a bit longer. The air is still heavy, and I’m still sticking to things. And it really makes me wish I was back in Italy, letting my tongue chase drops of gelato as they rolled down their cone, while I happily sat under a scorching Tuscan sun. Since I’ve been back in Boston, this is what I’ve missed the most: the obligatory afternoon gelato to keep cool (and sane). Unfortunately, it’s hard to find great ice cream here. And when we do, we don’t eat it every day. Which is a damn shame.

So, this is an ode to the gelato I fell in love with in the handful of cities I was lucky enough to visit this summer: Paris, Venice, Florence, Siena, Rome, Parma and Bologna, with the best for last. I hope it inspires you to get yourself a cone before summer slips away. Enjoy!
leili eating gelato Continue reading

Eating Through Europe, Part III: Italy (continued)

siena plates
Ciao, bellos!

This is the third and final part of Eating Through Europe – read up on Part I and Part II to whet your appetite. Part III is all about my visits to Florence, Siena, and Rome. Let’s do this.

Florence

Traveling from the red city of Bologna to the gray city of Florence marked the transition from the Emilia-Romagna region into Tuscany. Florence and Siena, my two stops in Tuscany, were by far the most scenic, and were home to the most beautiful works of art.

firenze

In Florence, after a full day of walking through galleries and visiting the David, my stomach demanded sustenance. Luckily, there was a nearby panini shop, All’Antico Vinaio, that had a never-ending line out the door. The enigmatic guys behind the counter made ordering a panino easy – either you told them what you wanted, or they surprised you with a combination of meats, cheeses, and veggies that melded so perfectly together you could say they were the Michaelangelo of sandwiches. I can’t even tell you what the specific ingredients were in my panino, but I do know there was a hefty amount of pecorino cream on each piece of freshly baked rustic focaccia. It was divine.

allantico vinaiopanini man panino Continue reading