Blog Archives

6 Fabulous Meals Worth the Extra Effort

The best meals are not always the fanciest, most expensive, famous, or easy to access. We always make the effort to find out the local specialties and tap into local sources for getting to the right place.  Join me as I recall a few of my favs:

Geneva, Switzerland

Breaking from our usual frenetic pace we enjoyed Geneva as the locals do.  Under the tutelage of our good friends, Geneva residents Eva and Bob, we are seeing some sites, relaxing, chatting, and enjoying views of the tranquil lake. A highlight for us was visiting the nearby country village of Hermance and enjoying some of the fabulous local perch prepared the typical Swiss way (with a butter sauce), at La Croix Federale.  No trip to this part of the world would be complete without sampling this delicious local fish. Good company, blue skies, perfect temperature, the harmony of the migrating songbirds, and cold white wine combined to create a day of really special memories.

Rhode Island

My husband and I love oysters and make it a point of trying them wherever we travel. I don’t know how it took us so long to experience these delicious bi-valves in a state we both love.  The Narragansett Indians inhabited this area and called it Matunuck meaning “lookout”.  Maybe the name reflected a need for security, or maybe it was the view. But the real stars here are the oysters.

University of Rhode Island aquaculture grad Perry Raso farms the delicacies close by on Potter Pond. His pond-to-plate concept at Matunuck Oyster Bar is a winner and his restaurant is on our must-visit list whenever we are in Rhode Island. Three varieties: Matunuck, Rocky Road, and Wild Goose.  So sweet and tender. Rocky Roads are our favs.  Go Rhody  Read the rest of this entry

Tarpon Springs: Get Your Greek On

 

 

Quaint, historic Tarpon Springs, Florida; sponge capitol of the Gulf coast.

Quaint, historic Tarpon Springs, Florida; sponge capitol of the Gulf coast.

All sizes and prices at the sponge market.

All sizes and prices at the sponge market.

Just north of Tampa Bay, you will find the gulf-coast community of Tarpon Springs.  Well-known in central Florida as a colorful Greek community, the area was made famous by Greek sponge divers who arrived in 1905.

Today, picturesque Dodecanese Street along the harbor-front, plays host to tourists with shops full of sponges and shells as well as a high density of authentic Greek restaurants.  Visitors can take a dolphin boat tour or a trip out in the Gulf to learn how early divers harvested the valuable sponges.

We chose Dimitri’s on the Water for a great Greek lunch, making the selection due to the waterfront location.  We sat outside and watched tourists board the sponge tour boat while chatting with the tour “diver” suited-up in the old-fashioned dry suit and heavy boots that would anchor him to the seabed.  He was leaving the next day for a two-week commercial fishing trip, still a thriving industry in this area.

No visit would be complete without a stop at one of the local bakeries (we stopped at Hella’s), for some traditional baklava or nontraditional baklava cheesecake – all delicious!

Sponges on a local fishing boat.

Sponges on a local fishing boat.

Pelicans wait for handouts by the commercial docks of this Greek community.  Tarpon Springs is located just north of Tampa Bay.

Pelicans wait for handouts by the commercial docks of this Greek community. Tarpon Springs is located just north of Tampa Bay, about an hour from Tampa.