Laurie Eats Sometimes-Italy Edition

There is so much great food in Italy! I don’t even know where to begin…

The food is delicious, fresh, mouthwatering and even the take out pizza boxes are sexy! Wow!

I guess since I mentioned pizza, I’ll just start there. The pizza is so delicious in Rome and along the Amalfi Coast-I could have eaten it every day! I’ve been craving pizza since the last time we were in Italy years ago and it didn’t disappoint me.

I don’t know how I will survive with the crappy pizza joints in our neighborhood! Cooking it ourselves is the only option and it won’t be the same.

One especially delicious pizza place was Pizzaria Criscemunno in Salerno-so good that we ate there twice! And you get an amazing view of the duomo.

Then, of course, there is the pasta! Fresh and made daily, if you are lucky. Fresh ingredients and minimal toppings.

We loved our delicious meal at the third generation restaurant, Colline Emiliane, in Rome.

Tip-Don’t forget to use quality olive oil in your cooking! (Cheap olive oil just doesn’t taste good in anything).

Speaking of pasta, we had a fabulous ravioli at Trattoria da Armandino in Praiano. In fact, we also had amazing anchovies and prosciutto with melon there too. The food, setting and staff were incredible and made us feel like family!

Yes, that’s an Aperol Spritz in the picture. I love that refreshing Prosecco drink and I don’t care if it’s not really “trendy” anymore. It’s delicious and tastes even more delicious in Italy! Saluti!

As I mentioned in my Salerno post, the food in Salerno was outstanding…and…the prices were really reasonable.

We had a delicious dinner at Pazza Marea. They described the entire menu to us and then you could fill your own wine pitcher downstairs, just choose red or white, which we loved!

And an equally delicious lunch at Botteghelle65. Here, you will be greeted enthusiastically then shown a case of mouthwatering entrees to choose from-and served up family style.

Both places are highly recommended and worth a visit! You won’t be disappointed!

Along the Amalfi Coast, you will find lots of fresh fish and seafood. So many delicious dishes to choose from.

And you will see lemons everywhere on the Amalfi Coast. These aren’t just ordinary lemons, they are specific to the Amalfi Coast. We loved how the pastas and risottos were flavored with lemon. We enjoyed lemon sorbet and limoncello-delicious! You can read more about the lemons here.

Limoncello Photo credit: appetite magazine

And I suppose you can’t talk about the food without mentioning how great Italian wines are! Brunello, Barolo and Chianti Classico are some of my favorite reds…a glass of proscecco is always a delicious way to start a meal and you can check out this link for some delicious whites.

If you aren’t a wine fan, how about an Italian beer?

No Italian food post would be complete without talking about gelato. We sampled lots of gelato in Italy and most were great-it’s pretty hard to mess up gelato.

La Romano, in Rome was particularly good! It’s been around since 1947. Here is a great guide to gelato in Rome.

La dolce vita indeed!

Next up…Sevilla, Spain

Laurie Eats Sometimes-Vietnam edition

The food in Vietnam is pretty amazing! It’s fresh and delicious and the cool thing is that it can be found and prepared almost anywhere!

I’m a fan of Vietnamese food so I knew I would like eating during our Vietnam travels. I guess the only downside was that it was so hot and humid, we weren’t that hungry for much of the trip. But, fear not, we forced ourselves to eat…for research😀

Before we went to Vietnam, I would have said my favorite dish was Bún Chà -a dish of grilled pork and noodles.

And, I did really enjoy this but my new favorites (which I’ve had before) are Bành Xèo and Bàhn Mì.

The bread for the Bahn Mi was especially delicious in northern Vietnam. It’s just everywhere-on the street and in every restaurant. Bread, pate, egg, herbs…Unbelievably good.

The Banh xeo was so addictive-I was craving it during our trip. It’s a delicious thin pancake filled with shrimp, a little pork, egg, bean sprouts, wrapped in rice paper, lettuce and dipped in a sauce. Mmm!

Of course, there is always the reliable and cheap bowl of pho. It’s a great breakfast food and it was especially common and good in northern Vietnam.

We had a variation with fried fish and it was incredible! This one was at Quan An Ngon, a restaurant that we went to during our Hanoi Kids Tour.

I love how the food is pretty simple-just lots of fresh herbs and greens. We took a cooking class through the Four Seasons Resort Hoi An, which, by the way, was one of the best places we’ve ever stayed!

We toured their garden, then took a van to town to shop at the old market. Then, we came back to the resort and whipped up four delicious dishes in their very impressive kitchen.

And the mangoes…mmm! We could not get enough! And now that we’ve been traveling through SE Asia, we are able to taste the difference between lots of different mangoes from different parts of Vietnam and Asia. Our favorites were the mangoes that we had in Cambodia followed by a specific variety that came from a northern province of Vietnam.

Here is a link to different mango varieties-just in case you are interested.

Speaking of Mango…

We had dinner one night at Mango Mango in Hoi An. It’s Vietnamese fusion with Latin twist. They had live music downstairs, an open kitchen upstairs and a friendly staff. (Also had lots of cool fans and a very clean bathroom!) The Spring rolls were incredible!

Of course, you can’t have food without having drinks…

Egg coffee is a Hanoi specialty. It’s strong Vietnamese coffee with whisked egg yolk on top. It was created in the 1940’s when milk was scarce in Vietnam.

Frosé-where have you been all my life? Had my first one at The Bamboo Bar at Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi. (Yes, I know this isn’t a traditional Vietnamese drink but it was so good that it’s worth mentioning!)

I had coconut juice several times but this huge and ice cold coconut in Hoi An was my favorite. I had them cut it up when I was done so I could eat it! I was extremely hot and sweaty in this picture and the coconut was really cold so I’m happy here!

There is no shortage of delicious food in Vietnam. You will love it!

Laurie Eats Sometimes-Singapore edition

Singapore is full of just about every food you can imagine so perhaps you will find my post a little dull.

My favorite thing was the fruit! As this was the gateway to the SE Asia part of our trip, this was our first exposure to such extensive tropical fruits.

I love tropical fruit and I never get it at home so I was thrilled to eat mango, dragon fruit, Asian pears, papaya, pineapple, persimmon, kiwi and rambutans! And more! Also, the juices were delicious. Fresh juice every morning!

Ok. There is a lot more to Singapore food than fresh fruit and juice…

There are food courts in every underground mall. And, they have everything you can imagine! Pastries, soups, noodles, fish, beef, chicken, juices etc… It is a bit overwhelming!

Harry really loved the fish ball soup. I understand this can be served dry or in a soup. There are many variations and lots of opinions on the best ones to try!

I tried the Hainanese Chicken Rice-it’s considered to be one of the National dishes of Singapore. The chicken is poached and then the rice is cooked with the chicken broth plus ginger and garlic. I thought it was ok but poached chicken just didn’t work for me. However, the rice was absolutely delicious!

Photo credit

In Little India, we had amazing and spicy Indian food at Gandhi Restaurant.

You can wash down the spicy with a cold Tiger Beer.

Another dish that was delicious was the Indonesian Fried Fish.

In Singapore, the food courts are called Hawker Centers with Hawker Stalls. Here is a link to the 5 best Hawker Centers in town. We walked through the one in Chinatown. I found the crowds and smells, combined with the heat, overwhelming but hey, that’s just me because it was super packed!

Another National dish of Singapore is Chili Crab. It’s said to be invented in the late 1950’s early 1960’s (reports vary) and typically uses mud crabs with a tomato and chili sauce.

Photo credit

You will also find Kaya Toast everywhere. This is a common Singaporean breakfast food. It has a spread of coconut and eggs along with butter and typically accompanied by soft boiled eggs. It’s good!

There are also many great options for a fancy High Tea in Singapore. Eating mini sandwiches and sweets while sipping tea (and perhaps a glass of Prosecco) isn’t a bad way to spend an afternoon!

There are so many great foods to try in Singapore and just no way to try them all or cover them here. You will just have to visit and eat your way through Singapore!

Laurie Eats Sometimes-Vietnam Edition coming soon!

Laurie Eats Sometimes-Cambodia edition

Did I get your attention with this plate of bugs?

We enjoyed trying silkworms (my favorite), crickets, spiders, scorpions and ants in spring rolls at the Bugs Cafe in Siem Reap.

Of course, there is amazing food in Cambodia…not just bugs 😉

The Khmer food is absolutely delicious! It’s not as spicy as Thai and it uses lots of fresh herbs, sweet and salty flavors, noodles and rice. I absolutely loved it-dare I say even more than Vietnamese and Thai!

One of my favorite dishes, which I ate every morning for breakfast, was num banh chok also known as Khmer noodles. You could choose the type of noodle, add meat and add herbs and seasoning to your liking.

We also loved the Lort Cha-short rice noodles with bean sprouts and topped with a fried egg. It can also be served with a rice cake. This popular street food is seriously delicious! Possibly my favorite dish in any country so far!

I was too busy eating for a picture so photo credit here to

We ate at a wonderful restaurant called Spoons while in Siem Reap. This restaurant trains young Cambodians in the hospitality industry. The food quality was terrific as was the service!

We enjoyed delicious and strong cocktails at the fabulous Miss Wong Cocktail Bar in the middle of Siem Reap.

You can also get beer for cheap in Cambodia.

We did 2 tours with a company called Taste Siem Reap. I highly recommend using them for an organized and fun night out which will require no planning on your part.

We liked these Cambodian Roasted Peanuts which are served everywhere with cocktails. They are roasted with some sugar, kaffir lime leaves and dried chilies…so addictive!

We took a walk through the Siem Reap Old Market and mostly browsed. Lots of cool stuff including large carts of snails drying in the sun.

Of course we had to stop and cool off after the Old Market with some iced coffee and ice cream too!

I’m sure you will love Cambodia and the delicious Khmer food as much as we did! It was a wonderful surprise.

Laurie Eats Sometimes-New Zealand Edition

Welcome to my first Food Post. In this edition, I’ll highlight favorite meals and treats from around New Zealand.

We had lots of great things to eat while visiting New Zealand but these are some of our family favorites!

We enjoyed a very fun and entertaining meal thanks to the extremely outgoing staff at The Shucker Brothers restaurant, located in the ferry building in downtown Auckland. We had gnocchi, calamari, oysters, prawns, fish cakes, ahi carpaccio. Absolutely delicious!

We thoroughly enjoyed brunch at Yonder in Queenstown. We especially loved the Blueberry Stack and mouthwatering Lamb Flatbread (craving it now!)with a beet spread!

In Queenstown, we stopped into Patagonia Ice Creamery for a sweet treat-a dipped mint ice cream bar, covered in white chocolate and sprinkles. Mmm.

You wouldn’t expect such high quality food in the middle of the woods but it’s here at Pio Pio Cafe in the Milford Sound Lodge. We especially enjoyed the Arancini 4 ways, the venison and the goat cheese croquets with honey (pictured here). It was washed down nicely with a bottle of Fiordland Sauvignon Blanc!

We had seafood chowder multiple times while touring New Zealand but we think the best one was at Slip Inn in Havelock (which happens to the the green-lipped mussels capital of the world). Delicious!

Another place that surprised us was Redcliff Cafe in Te Anau. Everything was good but the venison was especially outstanding!

Lastly, it’s the Christchurch, New Zealand based company Cookie Time. I don’t know how good their cookies are but their mascot, The Cookie Muncher, is very cute and you will see and small the shops and cookies everywhere!

It seems that if you love spicy food or are craving really good Mexican food, you won’t find it in New Zealand. However, there is seafood galore, delicious Sauvignon Blanc, plenty of game and burgers the size of your face!

Stay tuned for the next Laurie Eats Sometimes