Pickles and Pie, oh my!

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Blogging has not been my favorite thing to do this summer, it has felt like summer homework sometimes and I already have summer homework! However, I do enjoy writing about food and being a published food critic! (in Spain)

So today we left our family in Los Angeles and drove to Santa Barbara where one of the best TV shows takes place, Psych. It is one of Maddie and my favorite TV shows. It is hilarious and you can watch all of the seasons on Netflix, except from the current one.

So our ultimate goal is to get to San Francisco by Thursday, so we decided to stop in Cambria tonight.  But first, we stopped in Santa Barbara at Mac’s Fish & Chips on State Street.  We went there because we saw the Guy from Diners, Drive Inns & Dives went there.  We got steak and potato pie, fish and chips, chicken with curry, deep fried pickles ( they were super thick cut and just dreamy to eat)

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and chicken and chips.  They were so nice there and the food came out very fast.  The cooked it as soon as we ordered. The owner said that we ordered a ton , but Mom reassured him that we could handle it 😉

After Santa Barbara, we drove up the coast a little further to Cambria.  It is a cute town very close to Hearst Castle, which is where we are going to visit in the morning.  We are staying a place right by the ocean and we have a fireplace in our room!  That is a big change from a few weeks ago when we were sweating to death in the heat and mosquitos in Italy.  Now we have a fire on and are wearing sweaters!!!

In total, it was about a four hour drive from LA today.  When we arrived, we decided to take a walk through the town here in Cambria.  There was a cute pet store.  I miss Coco so much.  We walked around and saw a place that had chicken and dumplings on the menu and we had to go in because Mom makes the best chicken and dumplings, but we had to check 🙂  My vote is Mom still makes the best and hers has  soft carrots in it which I love 🙂

My Aunt and Uncle told us about a place called Linn’s and they said the Ollalieberry Pie was to die for and it was!!! Ollalieberries are a cross between raspberries and blackberries.  They are delicious!  Best fruit pie  I say!  And coincidentally, the Food Network voted them Best Slice of Anything, I think.

Ok bye for now.  Tomorrow we are going to some castle.  I din’t know they had castles in America???

Italy

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Fauglia

Fauglia

We spent 2 days in Fauglia, the village that we lived in for a year, 3 years ago. I wasn’t really happy to go because it brought back bad memories but  I am excited to be five days closer to returning home. Here , in Fauglia, it is impossibly hot every night and that leads to sleepless nights. We arrived and were greeted by Frida, our favorite Golden Lab and Coco’s best friend.  They remembered each other immediately and were very happy to see each other again. and then we went to  La Gattaiola for dinner .  It is our favorite place in town.  The owner, Francesco, even had our Christmas card posted up in the bar there.  It has been a favorite place to dinne with our friends and family when they visit for almost 8 years now. I had a bean salad.Mom got arugula pasta and Maddie got ragu   .

The next day we went swimming and went to go meet up with some friends in Livorno.   Then we went to La Greste  and they always  let me try a lot of cookies, and breads  before we buy them. Then we got some hot dogs in foccacia from Pizzi Cotto, a local pizza joint. I used to help the family that owned the place, fold the pizza boxes when we lived here.  This was bringing back a lot of memories.  Some good and some bad. I think everyone else had a much better time here than I did. I still get angry when I think about having to live here for a year and be subjected to that horrible school we went to.  Yuk! I am sorry, I am just not a country girl, I am a city girl. I don’t like the bugs and the no AC and the lizards and snakes and mosquitos! “ I’ll take Manhattan”  thank you very much. But mom loves it here and she was very happy to do her laundry on the line. I think that is one of her favorite parts about being in Tuscany.

Then the next day we had lunch with Catarina and Coco went swimming with Frida. Overall, the visit was great, but the heat and mosquitos were not fun!

Brilliant Barcelona!

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Hi everyone, for the past 3 days we have been in Barcelona. The first day when we got here it wasn’t very eventful because we drove 4 ½ hours from Altea and our room wasn’t ready, so they bought us lunch.  Mom has a chicken caesar salad, Grandma Nutt had farm chicken with guacamole and chips, Maddie and I each had chicken tenders with french fries and BBQ sauce ( so good that Maddie had them every day after!)  There was something like corn flakes in the chicken tender batter and it was all white meat chicken breast.  JUICY!  ALso, for an appetizer, we got Marina’s nachos which were guacamole with crab meat and chips sticking out of it and cheese drizzled over the chips.  Every day that we went to the pool, I had those nachos!  They were so good.  That night, mom went out to eat with Kelly and our friend Georgio who arrived in Barcelona when we did.

The next day we had the breakfast buffet which is the best in the world.  They have amazing crepes there and really good tea.  We are staying at the Hotel Arts, in Barcelona and it is one of our favorite hotels.  They have an amazing pool and it is near the beach and the food is really good here.  We also went to the Picasso museum for a little bit.  There was a really long line to get in.  Then we went to Happy Pills, this candy shop in Barcelona that we love. For the rest of the afternoon, we went to the pool and I swam for 3 hours!  That night they have movies by the pool for the kids and we ordered dinner and watched “Up” by the pool.

Then the next day we went to the breakfast buffet again and then to the pool, where Maddie and I practiced a lift, me flipping off of her shoulders and we did it!  I got completely out of the water almost every time.  Then we showered up, went to Parc Guell, and beautiful Gaudi inspired parc and then had amazing tapas at Tapas 24. My last croquettas de jamon for a while 😦

Today we are packing up and we are heading north to the French border to a town called Banyuls- sur Mer.

Adios Barcelona!  Until next time!

Restaurant Review : Tribus, in Benitachell, Spain

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Yesterday we went to Tribus. Tribus moved since the last time we went there to a local beach town because the restaurant there  because it was bigger. But not only the location changed, but the menu also. Instead of the Asian Fusion food  they became a gourmet diner with burgers. None of the old items were on the menu. It was very upsetting and I was disappointed.  But then we ordered the coconut shrimp, ( chips) thick cut fries, patatas bravas ( potatoes in a slightly spicy sauce), and golden nuggets that were very tender. I hadn’t eaten in a long time so I was longing for food  and I was very surprised at how good it was. Well it is Tribus, the best cuisine in the world after all! Then for entrees  Mom, Madison and Kelly got route66 which was beef, cheese pickles barbecue sauce , bacon and lettuce. Grandma Nut ordered the coconut shrimp again. I had the teriyakizilla which was a burger with tempura shrimp, wasabi aioli on the side and teriyaki sauce. It had the perfect amount of sauce and amazing flavor. I loved it. But the best news came when the chef, Neil Browning, said he would make us chicken lettuce wraps , my absolute favorite in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD!!! And even though it wasn’t on the menu at the new Tribus, ( it was on the old menu) he still made it!!!  My heart was filled with joy!!!The lemon grass flavor was so much more vibrant than I remembered. Then for desert we had  carrot cake, Fruit of the forrest berry cheese cake, home made lemon sorbet, and apple tempura ( another favorite of mine) that was specially made for us. Everything was amazing  I  am extremely impressed with Tribus. Yanina, Neil’s wife, who runs the front of the house is SUPER nice and she told us they even have challenges which they compared to Man V. Food, one of my favorite tv shows. They had a giant bowl of pasta with a giant meatball, a  4.4 lb burger, and seriously spicy chilly hot dogs. Tribus since its reopening in  February, have sold 900 burgers !! They are so polite and friendly there and  it is the restaurant that has my highest grade in the WORLD… A 11 OUT OF TEN!! It is a restaurant recommended for all ages, and a timeless classic. Tribus continues to surprise me. I wish Tribus were in NYC because it blows all restaurants there away.  If you are ever in Spain, you MUST go to TRIBUS.  On their website they even have a REVIEW from little ol’ me when I was only 9 years old!!! Just click on REVIEW or go to Reviews tab on their website, http://www.tribusbenitachell.com/, and you will see a 365 Days of Gelato Blog review by, yours truly.

Trust me, you MUST go there!!!!

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Hola! a few days ago we left Madrid, but while we were there we hopped on a tour bus  and drove all over the historic parts of Madrid and we got off the bus at Mercado San Miguel which was an indoor market  consisting of all FOOD!!! We got paella ,chicken curry empanadas, chicken and ham croquettes  and chicken skewers. Everything was so good!! But it was unbearably hot so we had to go back to the hotel. Then the next day we drove to Altea, Spain, a place we love and have been 4 times now, and settled in. Mom did laundry and I swam alone for an hour practicing my synchronized swimming routine from last summer.

Yesterday I read  TWO 400 page books!!! and I swam with Maddie and we practiced our routine together. It has been all about relaxing here so I’m happy.   Mom made croquettas de jamon y pollo and tortilla Spangola ( not my favorite) and these little green peppers that she sautees, but they are not spicy.  YUM!

Beach Day in Saint Jean de Luz

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Yesterday we went  to the beach. Me at the beach does not happen …EVER. Before we went on a stroll and Mom made chicken and baguette sandwiches and they were good. They are our typical road trip lunch.  We get a baguette and chicken and make our own sandwiches for the car. We also get chips and Mom bought these cheeseburger flavored ones but we were afraid to open them.  Also, candy is a really good thing to keep your mouth occupied on a long drive. Haribo gummy stuff is really good.   This time we got gummy sour worms and sour orangina gummies. I would advise not to eat too many if you are driving on windy roads because you could get sick and that would not be good for the other people in the car 😉

Anyway, back to the beach yesterday…  Maddie and I went on the trampolines  and  then we went  in the  ocean and I don’t go in the ocean  usually because I  was stung as a child by a jellyfish. But I went in today and I had fun  in the water with an inner tube and these little girls played with me I had fun we found some sea glass. Then for dinner we had some tapas which were baguette topped with various toppings . Maddie and OTG shared a steak it was 2.20 lbs ( with the bone in of course)! Then Mom and I shared a fish that is typical an St jean de Luz called Merlu. It came out and it had the tail and HEAD on!!!!!  We asked them to chop it off and they did. It was food with seasoning . Then we ordered some desserts Greek yogurt with honey and pannacotta with berries . Maddie had chocolate fondant OTG had tiramisu it was so good . I had a great time yesterday!

This evening we arrived in Madrid and I could not wait to order ham croquettes.  They are out favorite and we totally overdose on them when we are here.  So we went to have a walk around after being in the car for 5 hours!!!! Mom said it would only be 4 1/2 and I was not amused!  So we decided to have a bite at an outdoor place and listen to live Bolero music.  I must say it was very relaxing.  Maddie and I had croquettas de jamon and mom had a quesadilla and Grandma Nutt had scallops.  Now we are off to bed.

buenas noches 🙂 😉

2 Hours For Tickets? How About… No! 7/ 15

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Hi everyone! Today we were supposed to go to the Eiffel tower… but the wait was 2 hours just for the ticket! Mom and I left while  Grandma Nutt stayed and waited with Maddie in line!  Mom and I walked all the way from the Eiffel tower to   Galleries Lafayette to go get mom a bathing suit  since she forgot to pack one. Then we snuck off to get egg rolls at Sichuan Panda ( my favorite Chinese Restaurant in Europe ) and while we were there we got ginger chicken, and soup dumplings also! Sichuan Panda redeemed itself! from our last visit if you recall it was not so hot, but I am glad I went back and gave it another chance.  Second chances are important( hint, hint)

, because people could be having “off” days and you may catch them on the wrong day.  The chicken was not fatty at all and the soup dumplings were amazing!  Maddie and Grandma Nutt returned from the tower and said it was worth the wait! I would not wait that long for anything ( Except Hunger Games Catching Fire midnight premiere !

And yes, can you believe I have ridden the Metro here every day??