We have been traveling now for nearly 18 months. We stayed in a lot of places. We have seen a lot of sights. We have eaten – well – hundreds of meals. Some better than others. Most acceptable. A few downright spectacular. So we thought it was time to share our Top Ten Dining Experiences Around the World on our year and a half Grand Adventure;
Lisbon Portugal– our number one most favorite meal of our top ten dining experiences around the world took place in Lisbon, where we seriously
gorged ourselves on the best seafood meal I have ever enjoyed. Thankful to have our son’s friend Salvador there to order for us, we ate non-stop for several hours at Lisbon’s famous Cervejaria Ramiro restaurant. It’s memorable for many reasons, the most important the way Salvador managed the waitstaff, ordered food and beer at breathtaking speed and told stories of his growing up in Lisbon. I would love to relive that meal again and again.
The remaining top ten dining experiences around the world are in no particular order –
Sofia Bulgaria – Hidden in a neighborhood behind a tall fence is the historic Sofia restaurant of Manastirska Magernista where we were introduced to Bulgarian cuisine. Here we tasted for the first
time the warm crusty bread dipped in olive oil and a Bulgarian dry spice mix. The slow roasted pork knuckle as big as my head and falling off the bone. The fresh and delicious Shopska salad of cucumber, tomato and feta. Staple foods of a cuisine we knew nothing about but now is one of our favs. We ended up at this restaurant twice we loved it so much.
Nesebar Bulgaria – Bulgaria is the only country to land two spots in the top ten. But our lunch in the beautiful seaside town of Nesebar deserves to be on the list. At Plakamoto we again had pork
knuckle, a huge piece of meat we shared with fresh yogurt soup, cucumber salad and cold frothy beer on a sunny day overlooking the sea. Perfect.
Piran Slovenia – fresh from the sea anchovies smothered in local olive oil and garlic still makes my mouth water thinking of it. We ate two platters full in a tiny restaurant onboard a boat in the
harbor called Ladja Podlanica, with about 15 other local Slovenians. After we licked the platter clean we then ate a gigantic bowl of linguine con vongole (linguine with clams) in a perfect wine and garlic sauce. We loved it so much we ate there twice, both times with our friends Marbi and Raymond. Tiny Piran is not a place you would expect to find one of our top ten dining experiences around the world.
Asilah Morocco – one of our most favorite Airbnb’s and one of our most favorite local cuisines were combined during our wonderful ten days in Asiliah, Morocco. Here we met Latifah, our cook and housekeeper who opened our eyes to
the wonders of Moroccan food. She cooked for us everyday, she taught us how to cook, she took us to the market, she smiled and enjoyed watching us consume her scrumptious concoctions – all while not speaking a single word of English. We loved her and wanted to take her home.
Hoi An Vietnam – two separate experiences put the colorful city of Hoi An in the top ten dining experiences around the world. First I took an amazing cooking class here, in a beautiful cooking school called Miss Vy’s. One of the most advanced cooking schools I have experienced, I learned so much about Vietnams cuisine and Hoi An’s local specialities, which I learned to both cook and enjoyed eating.
Furthering our Hoi An experience was our bicycle food tour with Grasshopper Tours. We headed out at dusk and spent three hours going from place to place eating our way through Hoi An and enjoying everything from Bahn Mi to Chicken Feet, Vietnames Pancakes to “Jumping Chicken” (frog), noodles to ice cream. Loved it.
Barcelona Spain – we had been a bit disillusioned about the food in Spain, since the cuisine on the Camino de Santiago was less than inspiring – until we arrived at Bodega 1900 in Barcelona. We
began perusing the menu after we were seated but then the waiter arrived and whisked our menus away and announced the chef recommends a tasting menu of his choice, “is okay?”. “Well, umm, okay”, we agreed reluctantly. Arne’s eyeballs turning to dollar signs not knowing what we were getting ourselves into. But not to worry – a gastronomic feast of a dozen small plates from olive oil blobs to sardines, from sashimi to squid and so much more. A lovely experience at a reasonable price.
Swakopmond Nambia – our favorite tour guide
Seven made sure we had a chance to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary in style. He surprised us by making a reservation for us at Swakopmond’s best seafood restaurant, The Tug, overlooking the beautiful bay. Here we tried for the first time two different fish – Kingclip and Kabeljou. Both were prepared perfectly and absolutely delicious and a now a new yet hard to find favorite. It was a lovely evening.
Luang Prabang Laos – We stayed in the beautiful Maison Dalabua hotel in Luang Prabang complete with a UNESCO World Heritage Lily Pond. It was a lovely place and we dined at the Manda de Laos
restaurant that sits over the lily pond. The evening was warm and lovely and it had been a long time since we dressed up and had a nice dinner. We enjoyed the local Laos cuisines including papaya salad, noodles, chicken and more, all served impeccably and presented with fresh flowers as garnish. A top ten memorable evening and a top ten dining experience around the world.
Dubrovnik Croatia – Learning to make the local dish called Peka in a local families home outside of Dubrovnik was a wonderful experience for me – even though the dish is extremely complicated and not something I think I will ever make at home. But I enjoyed it so much we made a reservation later to enjoy it again at Dubrovnik’s famous Konoba Dubrava restaurant high above the hills of the city. Peka is a dish of pork, lamb or beef cooked with potatoes and vegetables in a giant metal pan (Peka) buried in the coals of a blazing hot fire. It creates a sweltering kitchen with a mouth watering result. A very memorable meal both times.
Is it any wonder I haven’t lost any weight on the Grand Adventure? LOL. Life is fabulous!! Fat and happy travels.