Mexico Food Diaries from different cities

Tacos, enchiladas, chilaquiles, mole poblano… All of those and many more were my reasons to book a trip to México. I love Mexican food, and even if I try to make some homemade dishes, the results are not always the same as a true Mexican recipe with real and fresh ingredients.

If you are wondering why you should plan a foodie trip to Mexico, this is everything we ate on our road trip around Mexico DF. Check the post of the itinerary here.

1.Tacos de Barbacoa (San Juan del Río)

Thanks to The Taco Chronicles show on Netflix, this was our first meal in Mexico. We planned this trip to satiate all our cravings, starting with the tacos from this show. So when we planned the itinerary, we knew that we have to visit one of these restaurants on our way to Quéretaro.

Los Tacos de Barbacoa are typically from the Hidalgo province. They are prepared by a traditional method of cooking in an underground oven until very tender and flavourful. You can find many good restaurants near San Juan del Río. We got ours in a place called Barbacoa De Santiago. This restaurant is just next to the highway and seemed to be very popular among tourists and locals. Everything was fresh, and you can even see the people making the tortillas and cutting the meat in front of you.

You can choose different parts of the sheep, and they explained you difference between the cut and the flavor. Basically the difference is the fat content. We chose Espadilla and Costilla, both have a medium amount of fat. We also asked for the meat broth with chickpeas as a side dish. All these include different types of sauces and toppings.

This meal was amazing and so cheap. It fulfilled all our expectations regarding the dish and the quality of the ingredients. I liked more the flavor of the Costilla, but both were amazing. One suggestion about going to a Mexican restaurant is to start ordering little by little. I know its tempting to order many dishes at once. But I assure you that the quantity and the nature of the whole ingredients will fill you up very quickly.

2.Gorditas (Quéretaro)

Once we arrived at Quéretaro, we knew our next meal had to be Gorditas. It is corn flour dense dough cooked on a hot surface and filled with any type of goodies. We tried ours at this charming restaurant in the city center, called Las Deliciosas Gorditas del Portal.

We wanted to taste the most typical flavors, but since we already ate a lot of meat before (Tacos de Barbacoa), I decided to give it a try to the vegetarian options. That is why I choose guacamole with sour cream and cheese. It was divine and the guacamole was so fresh.

The gorditas seemed small, but since they are made with only whole corn flour, they are full of fiber. I had two and was already si full. Apparently, this is a good option if you don’t want a whole plate, and you can ask them one by one. They are ready very fast, so you don’t have to wait for the next one. Delicious!

3. Mexican Breakfast options (Quéretaro)

I think breakfast was the extra motivation to wake up early on our trip. What not to love! Fresh fruit, flavorful full, and a huge variety to try. Our accommodation at Quéretaro had the most amazing included breakfast. We could choose between many types of dishes and there was a buffet with cold dishes and fruit. The coffee was really good as well. This was our selection the two days we ate at the hotel.

4. Breakfast for lunch (Cadereyta de Montes)

During our trip around the vineyards and the magical towns, we stopped at this cozy and delicious place called La Casita in the magical town of Cadereyta de Montes.

Since the Enchiladas dish is originally from this zone, we wanted to try them in a local restaurant. At that moment we didn’t know that it was a breakfast dish, so we ordered for lunch. To our surprise, we ordered for the breakfast combo that included toasts with jam, hot sauce, fruit, orange juice, coffee, and the chicken enchiladas. That was plenty of homemade food and sooo delicious. Also, this was the first time that we tried Café de Olla. This coffee is basically cooked with spices, sugar, and water. It was nice, but definitely I prefer the regular one.

5. Gorditas Negras and Michelada

Another typical dish from the Querétaro province is gorditas, and in the magical town of Bernal, the gorditas are black. We got our at El Negrito Gorditas with one liter of Michelada (drink with lime juice, beer, and hot sauce). We had this meal at the main square in Bernal, with an amazing view of the rock.

6. Querétaro local delicacies

One night our dinner was just wine that we got from our tour around the magical towns and some local cheeses, deli meats, and chocolates. We bought the Pedos de Monja (Nun farts) only because of the name, but to our surprise, they were incredibly tasty. This dinner was superb with good wine very tasty snacks.

7. First dinner in Mexico City (Sopa de tortilla, Huaraches, and Flautas)

On our first night in Mexico City, we went to this place called Flautas Vértiz. It was just around the corner of our accommodation, so it was really convenient. Our host recommended us to visit this place and try the flautas, but we couldn’t resist the temptations of ordering more. Like some Huaraches of pork and some tortilla soup. This last one was so rich and they put a lot of tortilla chips (just the way it should be always!) We asked for cheese flautas with two types of sauces, they were crunchy and full of flavor. This place was cheap and delicious.

8. Tacos al Pastor (El Zócalo)

On the second day in Mexico City, we spend the whole day walking around the Zócalo (the city center). AT lunch, we went to this place called Taqueria Arandas, where the specialty is Los Tacos al Pastor. We ate in here for around 6 euros per two people, this included 6 tacos with toppings. The meat was so rich in flavor and the texture was almost crunchy. The pineapple, the onions and the cilantro on top made a great flavor balance.

9. Churros with hot chocolate (El Zócalo)

Since our lunch wasn’t too heavy, we decided to have coffee (or hot chocolate) at this famous place in the city center called El Moro. We ordered 12 churros and a typical Mexican hot chocolate. In addition, we chose two dipping sauces for the churros, one of Cajeta (caramel sauce) and Chocolate (my favorite was the chocolate one). The churros were crunchy and fresh and the hot chocolate was like a big hug from a mexican grandma.

10. Tortas (Polanco)

On the day we went to Chapultepec castle and park, we stopped at this place called Taquería Selene. Our main intention was to have Tacos al pastor again, but the tortas were the most delicious dish we tried in this small and quiet expensive taqueria. Probably there were bigger and better options in other places, but al least this one was good.

11. Sweet mango with hot sauce

At the Chapultepec park, we saw many people eating this snack. We didn’t think it too much, and the bought one from the first seller that we saw. The mango was so sweet and the balance with the hot sauce and the tajin (chili powder) was perfect for the hot day. This was the perfect dessert after our Torta. Since that moment I am always combing sweet mango (or another type of sweet fruit) with chili powder. Thanks to Mexico for changing my life !!

Mango con chile

12. Lunch at Tepotzlán

We were ready to start trying the cuisine from the southeast part of Mexico D.F. This means we were craving for some Mole and famous Chile Nogada. Since we were going to visit the magical town of Tepotzlán for the pyramid, we decided to choose a restaurant with these dishes. Luckily, we found Los Colorines just in the city center. This restaurant is beautiful, you feel like you are in the Coco movie with all the colorful decoration and the music. Their food is divine as well, even we didn’t get the usual decoration for the Chile Nogada, it was still very tasty.

13. Breakfast at Tepotzlán

On the following day, we had breakfast at our accommodation. We chose this nice cozy hotel because it was a bakery as well, so we thought that breakfast must be good, and indeed it was. It included fruit, fresh bread with jam and herb butter, a main dish to choose, juice, coffee, and a slice of extra sweet bread for taking away. We got the mushroom omelet and the chilaquiles in red sauce as the main dish. It was the perfect breakfast for our road trip day to Cholula.

14.Lunch at Cholula

We had a late lunch at Cholula, in this place called La Casa de Frida. This lovely and busy restaurant was just next to the pyramid, and it offers a great variety of local dishes. We got the Mixed Pozole with chicken and pork, this one is a kind of soup of corn with some extra salad to put on top. We also got natural fresh juices and they give you complimentary homemade bread with different sauces. This is place was one of the best and most beautiful table services restaurants on our trip.

15.Lunch at Puebla

On our last day in Puebla, we couldn’t leave this amazing city without trying the local specialties, such as Enchiladas Franciscanas (Chicken enchiladas with 3 types of sauces: mole, red and green pipían) and Chalupas Barrocas with 6 types of sauces. The mole was so flavorful and the pipían sauces were a nice surprise, with a pleasant nutty and aromatic taste. We ate at this restaurant just outside of Puebla downtown called El Ranchito.

That was it, I hope you take note for your next Mexican food adventure. Probably I missed many dishes, but you always have to leave something for the next time, because definitely Mexico will have a second visit from this foodie hiker.

Happy Eating! 👩🏽

3-days Disneyland Paris/ Full board Plus Dining plan/ Sequoia Lodge

Around September from last year, I wanted to surprise Glenn for his birthday in January. Which better place to celebrate his 32nd-year-old than the happiest place in Europe. I checked the discount and I got a half-board free dining plan and a 25% discount on my stay. I was so excited because when we got married we wanted our honeymoon in Disneyworld with the dining plan, but we couldn’t do it. So this was going to be like our birthday/honeymoon celebration. At the end of the page, you can check how much we spend on this trip.

But well, for me one of the most important things is the food. So I read a lot about the best restaurants in Disney, and in which I can use the Disney dining plan. After reading a lot the menus, we decided to book two months (yes, 2 months earlier!)earlier in the following restaurant. Also, you can check some of our snacks outside the dining plan.

Disney plus dining package

How it works? Well, there are 3 different types of dining packages: Basic, plus, and premium. Since we stayed in a moderate price hotel (Sequoia Lodge) we got the plus package. We decided to upgrade the package to full board, so we could go to more restaurants. The discount only included free half-board (breakfast and a meal in a restaurant per night), but with the full-board, one more meal per day was included. We thought that we package didn’t include drinks, but it does. Per person, you can have a soft drink (soda or juice) or a coffee/tea. This last one was very useful for me because normally I eat with water and having tea after the heavy meals were amazing (yes, you can ask for tap water for free).

TIP: Only upgrade if you will stay enough time in Disney, in our case we arrived on a Friday morning and leave on Sunday Night. For us, the meals portions in the package were huge, so it was a good idea to disperse our 6 meals between the 3 days. Our schedule was the following;

First day:

2:00 pm- Lunch at Captain Jack’s

9:00 pm- Late Dinner at Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show

Second day:

10:00 am- Late breakfast at the hotel, this is one is from 7:00 am to 11:00 am (after Magic hours)

7:00 pm- Early dinner at Bistrot Chez Rémy

Third day:

9:30 am- Late breakfast at the hotel (we woke up late 🙂

6:00 pm- Early dinner at Cape Cod

On the second and the third day we had some snacks between meals. These were not included in the meal plan, but were worthy 🙂

Captain Jack’s – Restaurant des Pirates

Our first meal in Disneyland Park was this romantic and delicious restaurant. The cuisine is tropical/Caribbean, and we were curious about this. Since we are from the tropic and our culture has a lot of Caribbean influence, we wanted to know how good Disney was doing proper research on the international cuisines. We were not disappointed!

With the dining package, you can only ask for the selection available for this selected plan. If you want something else from the premium package, you have to pay extra. We got the chicken salad and the fish soup as an entreé. They were huge, actually, they were almost like a main dish. On the side, they brought us a warm coconut bread that was nice (for me nothing special, it tasted like bread with artificial coconut flavor). The salad was delicious, it has like a Thai papaya salad flavor, and it was fresh and crunchy. Glenn’s fish soup was also very good, it tasted like tomato soup with tuna, it doesn’t sound good. But actually, the combination of species and textures was very authentic.

As a main dish, I chose the baked Mahi Mahi with coconut rice, and Glenn had the Caribean chicken with rice as well. My fish was baked in a tomato sauce (similar to the fish soup from the entreé) and some extra vegetables. It was really good and the rice was amazing. Glenn’s chicken was big and very tasty as well.

Our desserts were fantastic, but one more than the other one. I had the sugar cookie topped with roasted pineapple and cream. Glenn had the seasonal dessert of Christmas, it was a Minnie cookie shape, topped with berries mousse and raspberries coulis. The best was this last one, the pineapple one was good but I expected something more sophisticated and less sweet.

Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show

At night, we went to the Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Dinner Show. You can go without paying extra with the plus dining package at the 9:30 pm show. Since we don’t have kids, this was perfect for us. We saw many kids sleeping in the middle of the show, so if you are going with kids at this show make sure they sleep before going, so they can enjoy the whole show.

The food was a typical American BBQ. Once you get to your site, there are some tortilla chips on the table. Then, the staff starts giving you the beverage and a piece of cornbread. This last one tasted like vanilla cake with some corn flavor, was good but no phenomenal. TIP: The beverages are unlimited, especially the beer 🙌🏽

As the second dish, we got a delicious Chili con Carne. As an expert on this field, I can say it was full of flavor and the portion is big enough. Well, at this point we were already kinda full, especially because we ate a lot of chips at the beginning (do not make this mistake, the best was going to come).

The main dish was a full BBQ with glorious pork Ribs, a chicken leg, a spicy sausage, and some roasted potatoes. The best were the ribs 🤤so much flavor and they were warm. The chicken was really good as well. It was a huge meal, and it didn’t end there.

The dessert was a warm apple cobbler with vanilla ice cream on top. It was really sweet for my taste, but I still ate it all 😂. They also brought us coffee or tea and a small chocolate coin for later. This was a good experience and the show was entertaining. I don’t think we will do it again, but we didn’t regret trying it at least once. I think is a must-do in Disneyland Paris.

Breakfast at the Hotel

We were pleasantly surprised about the breakfast at our hotel. The restaurants were you can get it are Hunter’s Grill and Beaver Creek Tavern, located on the ground floor. Both of them have nice decoration and they are very big, so there is not a problem to get a space.

Because before getting we read reviews about it and people said it was very basic. Not at all! The breakfast included many types of bread, scrambled and boiled eggs (but really in France you have to the get the scrambled, with all that butter). All kinds of cheese, seasonal fruits, and deli meats. Lastly, the best for us was the Croissants and the pancake, both fresh and delicious. The coffee was ok but the best, at least good to start the day. TIP: I combine half espresso with half hot chocolate… amazing mochaccino.

Snacks

Between meals, we had snacks and some of them were seasonal. Like this Gingercake and the Christmas donut. Both of them were around 3 euros per two portions. They were nice, especially the ginger cake, but the donut was basic, just like Dunkin Donuts. Also, we had to try the Croque Monsieur from Market House Deli, after reading a lot of reviews about it. And yes, it was delicious and huge.

Bistrot Chez Rémy

The second day we had dinner at the restaurant from Ratatouille attraction. The topic is french cuisine but with American portions, so for us was perfect! The ambiance is unique, you really feel like the restaurants for the rats of the movie.

As an entreé, I got the salad with a poached egg and Chantal cheese. Glenn got the seasonal soup, pumpkin soup. Both were delicious, and the ingredients tasted very fresh.

As a main, both of us got the fish with Ratatouille and mash potatoes. I think this was the best dish I had on this trip. The sauce was bloody amazing, and everything on the plate was like a celestial marriage. The portion was perfect, not too big or too small. The ratatouille was on the same plate (different from other plates).

Finally, our dessert was the tiramisu and the chocolate mousse. For me, both were very sweet, and I would prefer a typical tiramisu, but in general, it was good since they were already made in a freezer. The chocolate mousse was ok, I prefer the ones that the chocolate flavor is more intense, but I guess they have to make one in the middle for every taste. Next time I would like to try the Gusteau’s Dessert, because yes I hope we will have the next time in this restaurant 😍.

Café Fantasia

On the last day, we want to go to this café, since it was number one in Tripadvisor from the Disney restaurant. The scenery and the decoration are amazing, in fact you are paying for it. We got the seasonal hot chocolates and a Croque monsieur to share (yes, the one in the picture is a Croque monsieur…). We were kinda disappointed with the food. The hot chocolates were normal, just the decoration was nice, but we realize you can get the same hot chocolate (with the decoration) for half the price in one of the stalls outside. The Croque Monsieur was a joke for me, it was like one of those simple sandwiches you make for kids. The whole price of this meal was 33 euros. Buring the fantastic Croque Monsieur at Market House Deli was only 7,5 euros (double the size, and the real thing). You can find those chocolates for 5 euros each. To sum out, this improved meal outside can cost you half-price. Basically, you pay the other half for the place.

Cape Cod

Our last meal was a buffet before getting back home. We chose Cape Cod because we wanted to visit this hotel, and the reviews were really good. People were right about this one, one of the best buffets I have tried in Europe. Everything was fresh and delicious. We loved the soup, the salmon and of course the desserts. This was the perfect ending for our Disney foodie trip.

Hotel Sequoia

I have to give you my thoughts about our Hotel. The Sequoia Lodge had good reviews, and a price is a perfect option if you on a romantic trip. We stayed in the main building, in the east wing. Our room was a little bit far from the reception or the restaurant, but this was ideal for us since it was quieter. The only bad thing about the position was to walk until the reception to get back from the room, but it was not a big deal.

The view from the room was great, it was the lake. From here you can see the Disney globe and the Sequoia trees just outside the hotel. The room was big and the bed was comfy. The decoration was about Bambi and we found small shampoos and conditioners with Mickey design in the bathroom. The room didn’t have a kettle or tea facilities (we didn’t stay in the Golder Forest rooms).

The hotel is very cozy in general, for the winter is perfect. In addition, having a wine or a hot chocolate in front of the biggest fireplace in Europe is a must, this one is located in the Redwood Bar and Lounge. In general, this is an amazing hotel, and the location is less than 15min to the parks.

Budget

Accommodation (free half-board dining package, upgraded full-board, 2 nights, magic express, and park tickets for 3 days): 1035 euros

Food (outside the Dining Package): 66,5 euros

Transport (Train from NL to France in Thalys): 198 euros

Total: 1299,34 euros

Next trip wishes

Definitely, we want to go back and experience all the things we couldn’t on this last trip.

Places to eat (Buffet): Restaurant Agrabah Café, Inventions, Hunter’s Grill and Beaver Creek Tavern.

Places to eat (Table service): Silver Spur Steakhouse, Manhattan Restaurant, Walt’s, The Steakhouse, Auberge de Cendrillon, and Annette’s diner.

Places to eat (Counter Service): Earl of Sandwich, Fuente del Oro, Hakuna Matata, and Au Chalet de la Marionnette.

Places to stay: We would love to stay in the new Marvel Hotel (it was under construction), Newport Bay’s Club, Hotel Disneyland, and Cheyenne.

Many things to do in the happiest place in Europe. Please let me know if you need more info or if you recommend something for our next visit.

Happy traveling! 👩🏽

Berlin food guide

Finally, you decided to visit this amazing city, since it is the German capital your perception of its food is basically pretzel, beer, and pork. Well, think again or just check this post!

Berlin is famous due to the harsh history regarding the wall, a physical border that divided basically the world from the ’60s until the end of the ’80s. This caused a lot of pain and wars, but certainly, it made Berlin what it is today. A rich multicultural city with a creative and inclusive vision, always trying to let behind radical ideologies that separated the world before. All this provoked a cultural culinary hub, giving one of the best places for a foodie to discover high-quality dishes from all around the world.

Döner Kebab

Some of the dominant cultures, apart from the German one, is the Turkish one. This one has given a legacy and a staple dish to the city called the Döner Kebab. A tasty pita bread sandwich filled with braised beef or chicken, salad and several sauces. You can find this delicacy everywhere in Berlin, the quality depends on your budget and your patience.

We got ours from Fugger Imbiss, where the price for one is 4.5 euros. In my opinion, it is a healthy dish on a budget (without the fries).

Baklava

Another Middle East dish, but this time a very sweet one. While I was doing my Berlin foodie research, this place called Pasam Baklava was a recurrent result. They have many flavors to try, and if you ask they can make you an assorted box with 2-3 pieces of each flavor. This was around 10 euros. I recommend eating them the same day because there is nothing more delicious than a fresh Baklava, crunchy on the top and wet on the bottom. We still have some the following day, they were still pretty tasty but definitely were better the day before.

Vietnamese food

Another culture that is present in Berlin due to the different ideologies is the Vietnamese. Since we are Pho lovers, we had to go for one. Our provider was this place called Cao Cao. Overall, it was a good experience but not the best Pho we have tried in Europe, France still has the best European Pho. Maybe we did not go to the right place in Berlin. About this place, the decoration is amazing, it makes you feel you are having dinner in Vietnam. They have Vietnamese beer (Saigon) and many types of dishes, it is kinda pricey for been Vietnamese and a Berlin restaurant.

Berliners

We couldn’t visit Berlin without trying one type of Berliner, or several… We had ours in this place called Bäckerei & Konditorei W. Balzer. This little shop has a nice atmosphere with an excellent variety of Berliner. The coffee is pretty good as well. We tried the original glazed filled with prune jam, one called “Strawberry cheesecake” filled with strawberry jam and covered with cream cheese glazed, and lastly one glazed with mix berries filling.

Currywurst

This street food has its origins in Berlin, probably another result of the mix of cultures. It is basically a warm sausage cut in bite pieces covered in a special sauce with curry. You can eat it with fries or bread and cost around 2 euros.

Markthalle Neun

After a long walk around the city, we ended up having lunch at this food hall. There were many options to choose from but in the end, the crepes from the nice french guy convinced us. We got the regular with ham and cheese and the vegetarian one.

Berlin traditional cuisine

On the last day, we were finally ready for something more German options. Our choice was to try the Schnitzel, the sausages, and local beers at Dicke Wirtin. This place has a lovely atmosphere and welcoming staff. The food is pretty good and the portions are big. We are glad we came here for this dinner and I would come back in the future.

On the go food

Apart from the food, you can crab in a restaurant, we had some good on the go snacks, such as seasonal prune tarts from a local bakery, a greek salad on the go from Pret A Manger, and a cinnamon cookie scones from Kamps. For our hike, we got a sandwich from Kamps and two types of Ritter chocolate, our favorite was the one with coffee bean pieces inside. The other one with salt, honey, and almonds tasted like a Toblerone, so it was yummy as well.

Breakfast at the hotel

I had to make a special mention to the breakfast we had every day at the Crowne Plaza Berlin City Centre. This is the best buffet breakfast I have ever been, so many options and everything was fresh and delicious. This hotel is well located and the complimentary spa was perfect to freshen up after a busy day.

We had an amazing time in Berlin and the food did not disappoint us at all. Definitely, Berlin is a foodie paradise, so another visit from us is mandatory!

Happy eating!

Hiking CZ – Karlštejn to Srbsko via Solvayovy Lomy

Distance: 21 km

Getting there: Both cities have train stations

Difficulty: Middle

Scenery: Trail with castle views, forests, limestone mines, mountains, and suburbs.

On our Prague Holiday, we decided to take a day to escape the craziness of the city and deep into the magical Czech forest. One option for this was Bohemian Paradise, but since it is far (around 2 hours by train) and we only had one day for this, we chose another closer hike.

After some research, we found this hike from this blog https://www.timetravelturtle.com/hiking-near-prague-karlstejn-castle-czech-republic/

We started our hike from Karlštejn train station, an hour train (route S7) journey from Hlavní nádraží station, in Prague city center. After walking with all the tourists going to the castle through the small picturesque town, we turned right just in the main entrance of the castle to start the trail on the forest.

A few meters later, we reached the entrance of the national park. This national park is hiker friendly, giving you many benches and tables to rest along the trail. Also, all the signs and maps are very clear, so it easy to follow. On the way, there are many types of scenarios, from old houses to crops and deep forests.

After discovering one of the many caves present in the trail, we found a nice roof with benches where we had our local produce sandwich (Moravian ham, Parenica cheese, and bakery bread). Later, we went to the limestone mines (Solvayovy Lomy), where there were numerous types of old machinery and a café.

The trail after the mines had amazing views of the mountains, especially from Vyhlídka Mramor scenic spot. From there you can see the little town of Svatý Jan pod Skalou, where there are a huge monastery and the tomb of St. John under the rock. You can go to the cave where he lived for several years, it is kinda creepy but interesting at the same time.

Finally, our last trail to reach Srbsko was mainly on the road until the last 2 km that we turned right and enter some forests. This little town is full of new houses, it is more like a suburban town. From here we reached the train station and took the train back to Prague.

Czech forests are just magical and I like the fact that there are hills and a lot of interesting archeological rocks. I think we only saw a little bit of what the Czech Republic could offer to the hikers. I would love to come back and discover more from this tiny but diverse country.

Trail map

Happy hiking!

Czech must eat food

The Czech Republic is famous for many things, like the beer, the forests, the beautiful Prague and so much more. But something that is a little underestimated is the food, and it shouldn’t be! Keep reading to find out the best food we got in an hour trip to Prague and Karlovy Vary.

On our first day in Prague, we want to have a good breakfast somewhere. After reading a lot of reviews, we chose Café Savoy. This place is expensive but completely worthy. The dishes were delicious, the decoration was splendid, and everything was fresh. We had a Czech breakfast that includes coffee, orange juice, and omelet, typical cake, bread, and some regional deli meats. The french breakfast was superb, it includes a croissant filled with scrambled eggs, sausages, salad, and a baked french toast out of this world. I recommend this place without hesitation.

Dumplings (Houskový knedlík)

When you check which food to try in Prague, most of the people will tell you that you have to try the dumplings. In the beginning, the first perception that I have about dumplings was only the Asian ones. But then I realized that the Czech ones should be one category apart. They are not filled, instead, they are like potatoes dumplings with pieces of bacon inside, served with a flavorful goulash. They are delicious and very filling. We got ours in this delightful restaurant called U kroka. It was so good we went there twice on our trip.

Bohemian Roast Duck (Pecena Kachna)

I think there are two cultures that know how to make a good duck, the Chinese and the Czechs. This roast duck is so crunchy and sublime. It comes with dumplings, sweet red cabbage with apples and potatoes, and a deep flavor sauce. We got our as well at U kroka, I think it was one of the best meals on our trip.

Farmers and food markets

If you want to immerse in the food that Czechs are actually eating, try to visit one of the Farmer’s market we went to this one: Farmářské tržiště Náplavka. There you can try fresh and exciting produce. We got freshly cold-pressed apple juice from local produce that was so refreshing. Furthermore, we got one of these savory Strudl, with spinach and seed. The crust was so flaky and the filling was so fresh and warm.

Fresh spinach Strudl at the Saturday farmer’s market

Another market we visited was the Dyzajn Market. This market is famous for all the handicrafts, including some exciting food. We got a Chili con Carne hot dog (with local sausages) and a breathtaking burger. I know these foods don’t sound like traditional food, but I assure you that indeed they are some options that locals are eating.

Chili con carne hotdog and burger on a black bun

Selsky Oblozeny Talir_ Farm Plate

If there is something that I am very sure about Czech culture is their love for meat. This plate summarizes all the types of meat presentation they consume. Like baked sausage, roasted pork, smoked meat paired with red/white cabbage, bread, and potato dumplings.

Selsky Oblozeny Talir

Desserts

Medovník – Honey Cake

If you go to Prague this is the dessert to go first, nothing weird about it. Just dreamy honey sponge cake layer filled with a sticky and sweet frosting, top with a nice layer of crunch. Paired perfectly with whipped cream and maybe a dark beer. It is a dream.

Honey Cake – Medovník

Mísa Řezy- Chocolate cheese dessert

This dessert combines a sponge chocolate cake with a layer of cheesecake (it tastes a little with more sour, like yogurt) and a top layer of dark chocolate ganache. We had ours at U Kroka restaurant. Definitely, this dessert is an unmissable indulgence from Czech Republic.

MÍŠA ŘEZY

Karlsbader Oblate- Karlovy Vary Waffers

If you visit Karlovy Vary, you must grab this delicate and tasty wafers. They had them in several points across the magical town. It consists of a light cookie filled with a flavored cream. We indulged ourselves with a lemon one. So refreshing and delicious.

Karlsbader Oblate

Pernik na figurky-Gingerbread cookies

These are very common in all Europe, but the Czech ones are a little more different. The texture is like cake and the ginger flavor is not very strong. Nice with a cup of hot chocolate.

Pernik na figurky-Gingerbread cookies

Beer

This drink doesn’t need presentation. Life is simple, if you go to the Czech Republic you must grab a beer, or two. Since we appreciate innovations and handcraft produce, we went to small breweries to experience something a little bit more local. We went to this place just in the middle of the city called Roesel. They have a good selection of beers and the place was kinda hidden from the busy streets.

Supermarket Goodies

This is one is a small mention of all the goodies we god in the supermarket for our meals at the hotel or for our hiking trips. We loved, in particular, the herbal soda drink Kofola, the Mila wafer, and Parenica cheese (this last one is Slovak).

Well, this was all our food in Czech Republic. I hope you take some ideas for your next trip.

Happy eating!

Follow me on:

Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/thefoodiehiker/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/The-Foodie-Hiker-1421151448082977/

Hiking around Berlin: Seddin to Potsdam

Distance: 20km

Getting there: Trains service to Seddin and Potsdam from Berlin

Difficulty: Low

Scenery: Forest, come easy hills and Einstein summer house

Even Berlin is big enough to spend many days exploring it, we wanted to discover it from another point of view. As good hikers, we did some research about possible hiking routes around Berlin, and we decided to do this one due to the easy transportations and the scenic wonders.

This trail is part of the 66 lakes routes that surrounds Berlin. The total distance of the route is 417km, but since we only had one day to do it, we only walked 20km.

The first part of the trail was full of the tallest pines I have ever seen and beautiful lakes.

After getting out of the forest, we entered a nice little town called Caputh. Famous due to the presence of Albert Einstein Summer House and lovely street art.

We were ready to have lunch after Caputh, so after checking the ruins of Marienquelle, we ate our tasty sandwich from Kamps (a german bakery chain) and some local chocolates.

Finally, we started the last part of our hike by entering Postdam -Süd. This is a big park, where it is easy to get lost as we did. We climbed to a hill, near Mirenhaus, where there was a relaxing view from the far mountains. Additionally, very closed from this point there is Feuerwachturm Kleiner Ravensberg, an impressive white tower.

Potsdam station was just 4 km away from this tower and it is a big town with new architecture and industrial atmosphere. We took the first train back to Berlin once we got to the town, so we did not see much more about this place.

It was a really nice walk, and I loved that we met Berlin from another point of view. We hope to return one day and hike another track from the 66 lakes trail.

Happy hiking!

Costa Rican foods to try

As a Costa Rican living abroad, one of the things that I miss the most is food. Every time people ask me how are Costa Rican foods, and what do we usually eat, I tell them that actually, our diet is very similar to other countries in the region, but still, we have some staples dishes.

In this post I want to give you the most delicious dishes for me as a Tica (Costa Rican female) point of view: Definitely, a must try in your next visit to this paradise.

Gallo Pinto and Caribbean “Rice and Beans”

Probably you have already listened about this dish. It is a combination of rice with black or red beans (depend on the taste/region/or family). This dish is normally cooked with the leftovers of the day before and actually tastes better if it is prepared this way. The recipes vary depending on the cooker, but must of the time they prepared with onions, bell peppers, garlic, Lizano sauce and coriander or parsley at the end.

Central Valley Gallo Pinto with fresh cheese (normally Turrialba cheese), fried eggs, corn tortillas, sweet plantain and black coffee on the back.

Normally eaten as a breakfast with eggs, cheese, sour cream, sweet plantain or whatever you want. Some people eat it with meat or even fish. My favorite combination is fried eggs, sour cream, corn tortillas and of course strong Costa Rican coffee.

You can find this dish everywhere in Costa Rica, and actually, you can taste the difference between the recipes depending on the provinces. I grew up with the central valley kind, not too heavy and with black beans, but the one from Guanacaste is a little bit heavier in taste, for me is like a little bit toasted (my perception), and it comes with a different kind of tortilla typical from the region.

Gallo Pinto from Nicoya or Guanacaste, with typical nicoyan corn tortilla, fresh cheese and fried egg

On the other side of the country, the Caribbean coast, the cuisine is varied even more. They have their own version of Gallo Pinto, called “Rice and Beans”. Actually, a version is not the correct term, but based on the main ingredients, this is an easier way to explain it. This dish is cooked with coconut milk, thyme, o Panamanian pepper, garlic, onions, and bell pepper.

Contrary to Gallo Pinto, “Rice and Beans” is normally consumed as lunch or dinner, and it is eaten with meats, such as Caribbean chicken, shrimps, fish or beef. Maybe with a side of salad and sweet plantains. A common beverage to paired with could be cold “Agua de Sapo” or “Hiel”, that is basically a raw sugar beverage with ginger and lime juice.

Rice and Beans with shrimps, pasta salad and green salad

Soups: Olla de carne, Ceviche, Sopa negra and RonDon

Costa Ricans loves soups. It doesn’t matter if we are on the mountain or on the beach, we had one for any occasion. These are the most popular ones.

Olla de carne is a beef broth with starchy vegetables like potatoes, carrots, cassava, corncob and other root ones that we called the “otes” like chayote, camote (our sweet potato), ayote, or other, depending on the house recipe. Apart from the starchy carbs, we also like to eat it with white rice. Is a very rich and flavorful soup, usually made with the beef bones.

We have our own kind of Ceviche, different from the South American one. This is like a cold soup where the lime juice “cooked” the fish. We like to add onions, bell pepper, coriander, and a type of fish. We usually leave it overnight on the fridge, without stirring. In the case of this dish, the fresher the better. If it tastes sweet, it is not the real thing, probably they add soda like a sprite to make it last longer.

Croaker Ceviche with raw green plantain

It was usually consumed on the beach, but nowadays you can find it everywhere in Costa Rica. The usual way to eat it is with Patacones (fried green plantain), crackers or raw plantain. Some people like to add ketchup and mayonnaise as well. My favorite beverage to paired is beer, especially the Costa Rican one “Imperial”.

Home made Ceviche with plantain chips and beer

Another beloved soup is Sopa Negra, meaning black soup. It’s so famous than even Jamie Oliver did a version of it. The original one is made with the remained liquid when the black beans are cooked. Some people like to concentrate the flavor and add some other ingredients, like coriander, onions and bell pepper, etc. We eat it with eggs, could be hard-boiled or even poached on the soup. In the restaurants, usually is served with rice on the side.

Homemade Sopa Negra with avocado, coriander and hot chili sauce

Like the “Rice and Beans”, the Caribbean culture has a staple soup as well. This one is called RunDum, and it’s a seafood and coconut soup.

RunDum with fried green plantain (patacones)

Finally, I have to mention other soups such as “Pozole” (corn soup), Sopa de Albondigas (Meatball soup) , Sopa de Garbanzos (Chickpeas soup).

Gallos and Tortilla de Queso

A Gallo is similar to a Mexican taco, it’s basically a fresh corn tortilla with some type of meat or vegetables on top. One common is Gallo de picadillo. Picadillo is a type of dish with vegetables chopped very tiny. Could be Picadillo de papa (potato), Picadillo de Arracache (a common root vegetable) or Picadillo de platáno verde (green plantain). Also, there are Gallo de Lengua (cow tongue), Gallo de carne en salsa (beef stew), Gallo de pollo (Chicken) or Gallo de chicharrón (fried pork). Even we have simple Gallos, like Gallo de queso (Cheese) or eggs.

Sopa de Garbanzo (Chickpeas soup) on the left and Gallo de Arracache on the right

Another way we use corn flour, and a very popular one, is to make a Tortilla de Queso (Cheese Tortilla). This one is a traditional afternoon snack or entrée from the central valley, but especially from Cartago province and the surroundings. It’s made with corn flour, fresh cheese and the rest of the ingredients depend on the recipe, some people like to add sour cream, butter or even eggs. We eat it sour cream on a side and with a beverage, this one could be coffee or Aguadulce (Sugar cane drink) alone or with milk. You can see one in the photo of Olla de Carne, the one behind.

Arroz con Pollo

This one is a very traditional dish, and it is usually served at parties due to the low cost and convenient preparation. The rice is cooked with seasonings, the chicken and we like to put “achiote”, this one is basically a natural orange food colorant. We like to eat it with Frijoles Molidos (mashed beans), potato chips and salad.

Homemade Arroz con Pollo, with mashed Frijoles Molidos, chips and salad

Important snacks and bocas: Chifrijo, Patacones, and Yuca (Cassava) fries

We have many kinds of tiny dishes that we usually eat them as a snack, or when we go to a bar as an aperitif. They could be seen as our tapas.

Chifrijo is a mixture of beans, fried pork, avocado, and tortilla chips. Sometimes people like to put salad and rice. Patacones are fried smash green plantains, in some Latin American countries are called tostones. We like to eat them with some toppings, such as guacamoles, smashed beans, fresh cheese and pico de gallo (tomato, onion, coriander salad). They are also served instead of potato fries in some dishes. Cassava fries are only very popular, and they are served with ketchup and mayonnaise.

Sweet treats and desserts

We like sweets, from healthy ones like fruits to really guilty pleasure such as cakes, cookies, and tarts.

Costa Rica has nice tropical weather, giving a big variety of fruits all over the country. Normally you can find all kind of fruits all year around. Nevertheless, depends on the season how sweet and big they can be. Around the dry season, you can find sweet mangoes, watermelons, papaya and cantaloupe, the other season you can find pineapples, strawberries, bananas and green mangoes. It doesn’t matter the season, we like to have fruit salads, and we like to upgrade them with ice cream, gelatin, and sometimes sour cream.

As desserts, some of them are: Arroz con Leche (Rice pudding), Tres Leches (Cake with a 3 kind of milk sauce), Plátanos en almíbar (Sweet plantain in syrup), Queque de Cumpleaños (Birthday cake filled with dulce de leche (caramel)) and Cajetas (milk candy).

Homemade Tres leches with peaches

Well, here you have it, some of my food suggestion you should try in Costa Rica by a Tica (that right now is really hungry and nostalgic).

Please let me know if you have tried some of these or if you need some restaurants recommendations.

Happy eating!

Tiramisu tour around Rome

I love to watch worth it on YouTube, and that is why we decided to do the same in Rome but with Tiramisu. We selected 3 different tiramisus at 3 difference prices around Rome and this is our results:

Two Sizes: Don’t let the name fool you. Actually this is a small place, there is only one table, in the middle of the city center. It is easy to find due the amount of people in front. The Italian lady is there making all kinds of Tiramisu flavors in small cups. We got the classic one and the pistachio one. Please, if you can only choose one go for the classic one, is to die for! It was definitely made with mascarpone cheese, so creamy and the coffee taste was strong but well paired with the cocoa.

Price: $ ( small 2,5 euros, big 3,5 and mini 1,5)

Pistachio tiramisu

Pompi: Doing a quick research on the internet, I found this place as one of the best tiramisus in Rome. So, after visiting Vatican city, we went to the nearest one in Vía Cola di Rienzo. The tiramisu was already packed, and for our surprise, the place wasn’t full. Pompi also serves other kinds of pastries, but definitely, the Tiramisu is the best seller. Regarding the tiramisu, the cream was white and light, certainly, it has some whipped cream.

The shape was a rectangle, making the layers a little bit thinner, so you can try all the layers in a scoop. It was a good tiramisu but not the best in my opinion. I think it tastes more like the one you can find in a supermarket, and definitely by the presentation, it was not the fresher one in town.

Price: $$ (4 euros)

Classic Tiramsu

Ristorante RomAntica: This was our last stop in Rome. We had dinner here with a 50% discount with The Fork (thanks to this app with going to fancy restaurants :)) We got some pasta, but we definitely were curious about a fancier Tiramisu. The place, in general, is romantic, as the name suggested, the Romanian decoration transported us to another place. The prices were OK for a restaurant in Rome, and the service was perfect, I like when the staff already applies the discount without any comments.

We had the Tiramisu for sharing and it came in decorated glass. The flavors and colors suggested that was an old recipe, with the right ingredients and the way normally the Italian families eat it at home.

Price: $$$ (6 euros, plus coperto)

Classic Tiramsu

Final Verdict: My favorite was the Two Sizes one, it was good quality, price, and presentation. My second favorite was the one from RomAntica, homemade recipe and the ambiance made everything even more special.

This article is base on my opinion. Please let me know yours, or give me other places where I can try more in Rome.

Happy eating!