Roman Around – Day Four

We have done so much walking today!!
It was probably as much as the other days but it felt like so much more because we really went off track…

36352971_10156480851687480_5418792849602772992_n.jpgWe started the day early, walking into the historic centre.

Had to stop for a coffee first and this place was kind of interesting!!! Something to note if you come here, if you have your coffee at the “bar” rather than at a table, you will save yourself at least 2 Euro!

We wanted to take a few pictures at the Fountain of Trevi during the day, and then continue on into Travestere.

We found the fountain ok, but even at that early hour it was full of people and hard to get a decent shot.
We still haven’t thrown a coin over our shoulder into it!! Must remember to do that.

36347765_10156480856152480_8660236558026145792_n.jpgNext stop was the Pantheon!! Another site I wanted to take day photos at. We stumbled upon it by accident. Such an impressive building.


I know we’ve seen these sights before but soon we’ll be gone and who knows when I’ll get to see them again.

Found this cute little sign on a wall.

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We passed through Piazza Navona again which, in my opinion, is underrated. I looked up at the apartments and wondered who lives there!! and what are they paying to live there? Do the constant stream of tourists bother them? So many questions!


We hadn’t really had breakfast so hubby and I decided to look for more “special” pizza to have. We didn’t find it right away, but we did see this. Have you ever seen a bigger piece of Mortadella!!!!

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I should have got hubby to stand next to it for perspective.

Before we knew it we were crossing the bridge over into Travestere


That picture on the left is not Bocca Della Verita but I really wanted it to be… so we went past it and continued over the bridge.

Oh my god was it so nice over this side!!!! It was quiet, and peaceful and just what you’d expect Italy to be. We also noticed the prices were much cheaper.
We just wanted to keep ordering food!! We got coffee at one place, dessert at another. I didn’t even photograph the dessert I was so excited to eat it! It was full of this delicious custard! Oh god, it would be worth the walk over the bridge to get that again!

And it was just so pretty over there. Please, if you find yourself in Rome, you MUST go to Travestere!


I really should have taken more photos. I felt so at home in this section.

Without any plan or guidance, we started walking south and it soon turned, not so nice.
Well , in fairness, it got average, and then not so nice.

I had been looking for a handbag since we were in Greece and didn’t see anything I really liked. There was this one bag from a street vendor in Greece I kind of liked but was not in the mood to haggle.

I noticed it on the street in Travestere and while hubby was looking at the price, the guy came up and said it was a super special morning discount. The price quoted was 40 Euro but he said he’d sell it for 30 Euro. I said I wasn’t interested and for that price, I really wasn’t.. but he was so desperate and he said “What price would you pay for it” and I answered honestly “20 Euro”. I thought that was fair. It’s not leather after all, just a nice big bag I can wear on my back.

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He tried to ask for 25 Euro but when I said I wasn’t going to pay that and started to walk away, he said “Ok 20 Euro” and started to take the paper stuffing out to prepare it for sale right away, as if he was scared I was going to change my mind about the 20 Euro.

I felt so bad.

He just seemed so desperate for money and there is such poverty in the streets here.

I love my new bag though!

As we continued walking we found ourselves in an area that could be anywhere in the world. Not old, not new, just neutral. We didn’t really know where we were, we just continued walking.

We got some pizza at a pretty good price! And a couple of arancini balls.

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We needed a bathroom break so ducked into the free washrooms at McDonalds and I took a photo of the menu – Not sure if you can see it. Interesting to see a familiar menu in a different language.

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By now we were pretty tired and had no clue where we were. We crossed the bridge back over to “our” side but still had no clue. Nothing looked familiar and we were on wide roads with tons of cars streaming past. I looked on Google Maps and told hubby I thought we should be heading in a certain direction, but he was sure it was another direction and off we trotted…. and we walked, and walked and walked… and finally I said “Please for the love of God we have to ask someone or check Google Maps”
And turns out, we were walking in the wrong direction… Probably on our way to Naples.
Not that we could tell what Google Maps was saying as we had no reference point.

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When we asked the guy at the petrol stop where to go, he pointed in the direction we had just come from and said “second left after the gate”

I think he meant this gate?

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It still felt really foreign and we passed all sorts of ruins we hadn’t seen before or even heard about.

I’m sorry I didn’t take pictures. I think I was just too tired.

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I promised hubby we would stop for icecream (haha) so as soon as we hit civilisation, (as we had been walking down a freeway for quite some time up until this point) I got us some ice cream.

It was absolutely  delicious!

When we finally got back to the apartment I had a glass or two of Limoncello and I was out like a light.

No more Limoncello for me ever again please!!!

IMG_7520Although we love pasta and pizza, we were looking for something different tonight.

Am I wrong in thinking there’s only so much pasta and pizza you can eat?

We walked past a million places and finally settled on this one place that seemed ok. I think we were just tired of walking and looking.

Hubby thought he might like some risotto and this place had it on the menu so in we went.
Most people sat outside but I kind of liked the interior. It was cute.

I don’t think you can see it in the picture but at the top of the wall there is a painting of different parts of Rome. It’s really well done.

I went for something light – Some bruschetta and minestrone soup and hubby had a risotto and cannelloni.


I wasn’t a fan of the bruschetta because it had rocket throughout it and not basil.
The minestrone was ok. Hubby was happy with his.
I feel like I need a change of cuisine tomorrow thought.

The supermarkets close at 10pm here which meant we couldn’t get any sneaky snacks to bring home! Probably just as well.

Goodnight and god bless.

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The Office

Today on the Dining Diaries…

We walked in with low expectations and were pleasantly surprised,
Christmas lights/decorations pretty up the dining area and
Who needs a band for entertainment when you can people watch..

f2027b20a2769a270d0f692a091ffa98Diners today we were at The Office on Pirie St in Adelaide’s CBD.

It was another one of those days where we couldn’t agree on where we wanted to go for dinner and as the clock continued to tick over on this particular Saturday evening, our options were being limited even further.

Finally we settled for The Office. I called at about 5pm to make sure they weren’t booked and was told I couldn’t have a 6pm or 6.30pm booking unless I was ordering the seafood platter. The next available time they had to reserve a table was 7pm.
Honestly it didn’t really make sense to me, perhaps he misunderstood what I’d said?
When we got there, there was a work group having their Christmas break-up party downstairs, and upstairs in the dining area, there was a table of about ten people.
So my guess is they wouldn’t have had the staff to cater for us if we’d come earlier. That’s the only thing I could think of because there were many tables available.

fullsizerender3Now the staff were very friendly and lovely and a girl brought us some menus. I do like the dining area which is like a balcony overlooking the bar. It was also prettied up with lights. I don’t know if this is how it always is, or if they’ve just put these up for Christmas but it looked nice.

The menu seemed to have your usual pub fare with a good amount of pizza options on there too.

I saw some plates coming out and they looked really good. That’s always a positive sign.
Oh and I should add that I thought the prices on the menu were very reasonable too!

We decided to start off with some nachos. My greedy little eyes were quite excited when we saw these being delivered to our table.

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This was quite a generous serve for the price. Not only for the size of the serve, but for the amount of cheese and salsa that was not only on the top, but actually through the nacho’s as well. The salsa was a little too sweet for my liking but that is only personal preference. It’s been a while since we’ve enjoyed good nachos so I’m glad we’ve found a new place where we can satiate our nacho cravings!

When it came to mains, although there were a few things I could have gone for on the menu, I went with the mushroom risotto. I’ve wanted to have one for a while but usually, if there is a risotto on the menu it’s a Seafood one and I don’t like to eat things with tentacles…

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I really don’t know how this mushroom risotto could have been better. The rice was perfectly cooked and the risotto had a lovely creamy but firm consistency. The cheese on top was a perfect addition and I’m sure if I’d had the chance to add the cheese myself I would have ‘Over cheeseed’
If you love mushrooms or are a vegetarian I would highly recommend this dish. Risotto is not an easy dish to make so the fact that the chef  produced one of this quality says a lot about him.

Hubby went for one of his staples, the Salt and Pepper Squid.
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As soon as he started eating it I heard sounds of gastronomic pleasure so I knew he was enjoying it.
He said the Squid was tender and not chewy and it all looked really good on the plate. There was also plenty of dressing on the salad, and a good amount of tartare sauce.

I found myself thinking that it was a shame that there weren’t more people dining here. I guess The Office is known more as a bar than a restaurant, but perhaps that needs to change.

While we were dining a work group were having their Christmas function and that was really interesting to watch.You can perhaps imagine the type of things we were seeing as this group of people continued to drink more than eat.
There was a live band starting about the time we were finishing up but we had been thoroughly entertained by the Christmas party revelers!

All in all, kudos to the chef (and yes I did tell the wait staff we had really enjoyed our meals here)

If you are thinking about dropping into The Office for a meal I would recommend you do so. Great food at great prices!

Have you been to The Office?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below!!

Till next we chow…

Our Place

Today on the Dining Diaries…

Lunch turns into dinner…
Exceptional food is served over an exceptional time and
We are dazzled by the beauty of an Adelaide hills backdrop

Diners today we were at “Our Place” in Willunga. I really want to start off by saying “wow” but I should start at the very beginning….

I can’t say it’s an easy place to get to. It was a forty minute drive from Westfield Marion.
Even once we saw the place looming in my Google Maps, I still couldn’t work out which building it was until I saw a faded sign that said “Our Place” and screeched “turn here, turn here!!!” to hubby. It was very hard to spot as it’s just a modest “house” from the road and if I hadn’t seen the sign, I wouldn’t have known that was it.

We parked the car and instantly were struck by the beauty of the surrounding landscape.


The photos don’t do it justice. There were a few “hearts” etched into the grass which I thought was a nice romantic gesture on someone’s part but we never found out the story behind that.

We walked into the building and here’s were modesty stopped.
We went from oooing and ahhing over the landscape to oooing and ahhing over the interior.
There were just too many things to look at.

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The photo above is part of a balcony area which was quaint and had a lot of charm in its own way.

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This was our table and as you can see, we had views of the surrounding landscape (above) and views of that serene indoor pond (below)

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So the way that this place works is that you don’t order food – You pay a set price and they bring food of their pleasing to you. They start of with a few “antipasto” type items and gradually evolve to dinner and dessert. We were told to arrive at 12 midday for drinks and that food would start to be served around 12.30.

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We were getting quite anxious for food by the time the first tray started coming around.

I’m not really sure what this was but it was made from chick pea and it was pretty tasty but had a texture I wasn’t familiar with.

I must admit, we kind of looked at each other at this point and said “is this sizing an indication of the portion sizes to come?” but we kept being reassured that there was plenty of food to come.

fullsizerender12The next tray they brought round had pizza on it. Good, authentic style Italian pizza!! That means it had a good spongy dough with a little crunch to the crust and little toppings but a good amount of good quality tomatoes.

It was just divine!! The server allowed us to take a couple of pieces then walked away. We must have been in starvation mode because we kept looking at other tables and other diners and wondering if they’d been given more than us. The server did come back and asked if we wanted more. Not two seconds past before we were all standing and grabbing another two pieces from the tray.
She then stated that it was really only supposed to be one piece for each person… whoops. My question was, well then why did she come back to the table?? We can’t help it if we’re hungry and the food is gooooooood!!

At 1.05pm, our host Andy Clappis took the microphone and addressed us. I felt like we were at a wedding reception without a bride and groom! He told us a little history of “Our Place” and told us about the food that was to come. One thing that shone through was his passion! The love of family and food was a constant theme during our afternoon.
In fact Andy was so passionate that at one point, he actually stopped and asked a naughty table whose occupants were talking to stop talking so they could hear him explain to them about the food.

So we’ve had the talk now, please bring us more food!!!
img_7658The next thing they brought out was the most delectable bread I’ve had in a very long time.

It was fresh out of the oven. Deliciously warm and that crust was crunchy!! There was olive oil on the table or butter if you preferred.

When the server brought ours we asked, “Can we have a knife to cut it?” and she replied “No, just break some off with your hands” and so that’s what we did…
With the bread they brought a Baccala spread (Dried and salted Cod) It was soooo good but clearly not enough as it didn’t last longer than a few seconds on my table.
I was happy with the bread and olive oil though so I didn’t mind!

fullsizerender9The next dish was veal.

I’ve not had it like this before so it was something new to me.

The veal itself was sliced thinly and very tender.

The mayonnaise was tuna based and very thick.

Most people on our table liked it but I can’t say that I was one of them.

Of course, that just comes down to personal preference. I can see that it had been made well.

Because we didn’t know what was still coming, and because the serves had been teeny tiny, we were really wondering if we were going to be leaving hungry and this seemed to be a constant topic at my table.
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The next tray had bocconcini with fennel on it.

This plate was to serve seven people and I took the photo before anyone had taken any of it.

So while everything on this plate was divine, we didn’t really all get to try some.

I didn’t get any bocconcini and some people missed out on the fennel.

I think we all got a wedge of tomato….

The next tray was Squid!
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Again, there was nothing wrong with the food.

in fact it was pretty delicious but this plate was for the seven of us.

I’m not big on squid so I gave mine to hubby who greedily ate it.

If we had known what was coming, we might not have been so frantic for food but so far, what we’d seen was small serves and quite long wait times between trays.

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After the squid Andy got on the microphone again and addressed the room.

They had discovered that about five people in the room were celebrating birthdays so they got them up to “carve” the Turkey we’d be eating later.

It was these kind of things that made the afternoon special and I have to applaud Andy for that because apart from having to pay for your meal, you’d think you were at some family event.

So after a little while, they brought out this amazing Mushroom Risotto. I mean it was just to die for! I could smell it before it even arrived at the table and it was just sooooo good.  The rice was cooked perfectly and there was such a gorgeous creamy consistency throughout.

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The server must have seen how gluttonous we were though because she came back a few minutes later and asked if we wanted another dish of it to share. “Yes please” was the resounding answer.
Unfortunately another table was asked if they wanted another dish of the risotto but when the server when to get it,  there were no more left for them…. So that’s not really good planning is it?

The gnocchi came out next and this was another portion disappointment.

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We actually had to measure these out and everybody on my table got three each.
Three
One, Two, Three…. all gone.
What was there was really nice. That sauce was definitely the best thing about it.

By now we’re starting to get tired and to be honest, a little fed up. I kind of think they would have done better to have served a few dishes all at once so we could have filled our plates and at least feel like we’d eaten something. We just felt like we’d been picking at bits and pieces all day and I never expected to still be waiting for a main at 4pm.

The turkey and vegetables did seem to take a very long time to come.

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Turkey was fine and I couldn’t complain about the size of it. In fact Andy himself came around a bit later and was filling people’s platters up a little more so that was nice.

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The vegetables were delicious and drizzled in that gorgeous olive oil. We got two plates of vegetables for our table which was nice.

A few people had to leave so the server gave them some of the dessert (cannoli) to take with them.
At 4.30pm there were only two of us at my table and we were simply waiting for the dessert. It had been a long afternoon!!!
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We were told if we wanted coffee we had to go get it from the bar so off I went to stand in that queue to order us some coffees….

A short black is still the best way to finish of any meal in my opinion!! Even better without sugar. Just let the natural coffee taste do what it’s supposed to do.

And still we waited for the Cannoli…. When I saw them coming out, instead of being on individual trays being brought out to different tables, they were just on one very large tray and one guy was taking that around to everyone.
fullsizerenderNeedless to say, it was going to take ages!!!

So I got up and got some for our table.

They were amazing.

The crust was light and crunchy and the centre was a creamy custard with a lemon tang.
I just wish I was in the mood to enjoy it more.
By this point I was just stuffing it in my mouth so I could say I’d had it and we could get on out of there!

I think if we had known this was going to be an event that covered over five hours, I may have been more up for it but by the end I just wanted to go.
I couldn’t fault anything I’d had and the hosts couldn’t have been nicer!! You just have to realise that if you come to “Our Place” it’s not just a meal, it’s an event or an experience.

I would definitely recommend going because the food itself is a marvel and it’s made with so much love and passion that really comes through. You just have to be the type of person that knows how to relax away the afternoon.
Sadly I think our culture had moved away from this.

Have you been to Our Place?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below!!

Till next we chow…

The Pink Pig

Today on the Dining Diaries…

We enter a place that would terrify the strongest vegetarian,
We see yet again that the ratio of food to sauce provided is not right!!
I get to watch a hot young waitress try to put a bib on hubby….

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Diners tonight we were at The Pink Pig! The Pink Pig Wine Bar is an iconic establishment in North Adelaide.

I remember walking past there many times seeing that smiling pig on the outside, and wondering what was happening behind those doors.
Tonight I got to find out….

The restaurant is actually quite large! It’s a little deceiving because the front is not overly huge and I’ve never really been able to see inside. I’m not sure how many people it actually accommodates but you could easily have a larger party there.
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The lighting was pretty dim (hence my poor quality photos) and there was contemporary music playing. Staff were really friendly and when I said I had a booking the server spoke to me as if he’d been expecting me. Well I guess he HAD been expecting us but I felt very welcome and wanted.

He left us to look over the menu which I found to be a little intimidating. I had gone through the menu online earlier in the day and nothing really jumped out at me as I’m not a huge meat eater. I figured I’d see what I felt like on the night…
But if you are a meat eater, you would love this menu.
Did you notice the little piggy on the front of the menu? In fact there were little piggies all throughout the restaurant.

On first glance things seem a little overpriced but then I don’t know the quality of what I’m going to get so I didn’t want to judge anything too soon.

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There were four in our party and we placed our order with a nice young waitress.

I looked around to try to see other people’s food but they were either finished or waiting for their food also.

The decor made me feel like we were sitting in an Italian restaurant – minus the red and white tablecloths.

The area behind the bar looked pretty interesting too. It was hard to capture because the lighting was so dim in there.


After we’d ordered, a hot young waitress came up to the table and said “Ok who ordered the ribs?” and hubby cautiously says he did.

She then proceeded to put a bib on him that said “You need our bibs to eat our ribs”

 

 

Hubby was not impressed. At least he allowed me to take the photo above but as soon as that was done, that bib was off. However after that happened, I looked around and saw a few other people were wearing those bibs!! How messy was this going to get??

By this time we’d also seen a few meals coming out and they looked soooo good!! I was really really eager to try mine.

We’d ordered some garlic bread to come out first and asked the waitress if the serve was enough for the four of us and she said “Oh yes! There’s six slices in there” but what we got were six tiny little slices and while they tasted good and the garlic was strong but not overpowering, I felt like I’d only just had a bite and it was gone.

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My main was one of the first to come out – Thai Beef Salad – Mixed salad w. a spicy Thai chilli dressing
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I’m sorry the photo is so bad. It was really difficult to capture in that light.
I have to say this was really really delicious. The meat was soooooo tender I could almost hear an old crooner serenading me as I ate it… I had to force myself to leave it till last so I could end off with that taste and concentrated on the salad first. The dressing was pretty good although the menu does say spicy Thai chili dressing and I don’t think it was very spicy at all (and I normally have a low tolerance for that sort of thing) I would have preferred for the tomatoes to have been cut a little smaller though. I know I can cut them myself but they were huge horse like chunks and it was just awkward.

Hubby, as we know, went for the Pork Ribs – Oven baked in our famous spicy sauce, served w. pickled slaw

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There’s supposed to be fourteen pieces in there. It’s a really bad photo once again (sorry) Hubby was disappointed with this dish. You have to remember he’s coming from a restaurant background himself AND he is the rib KING even if he hasn’t made them in years. He said while they were tasty, they weren’t falling off the bone and stated that he could make a better rib with his eyes closed – and that readers, is actually something I can attest to!  So while he didn’t hate it, it wasn’t as good as it could have been and remember, the prices at The Pink Pig are a little higher than other places we’ve gone to.

I had been tossing up between the Thai Beef Salad and the Risotto Fungi, and another member of our party chose that so I was able to see what it would have looked like.

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I had a bit of diners envy when I saw it as it looked pretty good! She said that it was a very tasty dish. The rice wasn’t stodgy and the tomato in there gave the dish a lift and made it really very refreshing.

The last member of our party chose to have the Salt and Pepper Squid salad but when the meal came out, it wasn’t the S & PS Salad but the Salt and Pepper dish.The difference being the amount of squid to salad I guess – Oh, and the price..

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It was a generous serve of squid and he just went with it but they also charged us for the more expensive dish which I think they probably shouldn’t have. I also wonder why, when you’re paying more than average prices for a dish like this, they don’t just chuck in some fries on the side?
Did you notice the tiny little bowl of aioli? It didn’t take long for that to finish and there was still quite a bit of squid left. Why do restaurants do this?? I find it so annoying. It’s just a little thing that doesn’t cost the restaurant much but can go a long way in pleasing the customer. The squid themselves tasted ok but it was just regular pub fare and we were not in a pub.

I do think the Pink Pig is worth a visit even just to say that you’ve been there. The food we had ranged from ok to really good so I guess it just depends on what you order on the day. All the staff that interacted with us were really friendly and helpful and into their jobs, not just going through the motions.
We may even visit again one day in the next twenty or so years…..

Have you been to the Pink Pig?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below!!

Till next we chow…..