Thursday, January 05, 2006

Saturday, 12/24

  • meal 1: baguette
  • meal 2: roast pork sandwich from Franchi
  • meal 3: prosciutto and mozzerella sandwich from same grocery store as yesterday
  • coffee
  • meal 4: pasta with artichokes; oxtail in tomato sauce; tiramis├╣


When we checked into the hostel, one of the workers came over to our room to say hello to us. He asked what languages we spoke, and then started talking to me in Spanish. (My Spanish is still better than my Hungarian, but is getting pretty bad.) He told us that there were some chicas bonitas in our room, and that they were Japanese. I had some trouble waking up due to the mere three hours of sleep I had the night before, which left Joel to chat up these girls while I took a shower. When we left, he informed me that they were Chinese, not pretty, and had spent a full hour putting on makeup.

Our lunch was from Franchi, which is like one of my neighborhood's Italian food stores but five times as big. You order your food, get a receipt for it, take it to the cashier and pay, and then return for your food. They usually have pizza, calzones, and suppli, but didn't when we were there because they were dealing with the Christmas rush. I got roast pork; too bad I missed out on their roast beef, which was beautifully red in the middle (I didn't see it till afterwards). It was good, although Hungary has left me sick of pork.

My next sandwich was again excellent. I had a fun time trying to talk to the sandwich guy in Italian, who managed to convey to us that he was giving us mozzerella di bufala and that it was the best, and then gave us sandwiches heavier on mozzerella than they day before. They were better sandwiches, and they also cost a lot more. (The sandwich costs exactly the price of the ingredients, with no extra charge for assembling the sandwich.)

For dinner, we walked past the Colisseum and Circus Maximus to Testaccio, a neighborhood said to be hip. On Christmas Eve, it was more just abandoned, but we found a restaurant. Pasta with artichokes was a great appetizer and struck me as really easy to make: it looked like just artichokes, olive oil, and red pepper flakes. Oxtail with tomato sauce was good, but I would have preferred something that wasn't a stew, since Hungarian cuisine is almost entirely stews and I'm tired of them. The dish was similar to a pasta sauce Joel and I made once: tomato sauce with a tough cut of beef cooked in it. Our meat came out chewy, while the oxtail was falling apart. That bit of chewiness and being over pasta made our dish better than the restaurant's. Tiramis
├╣ was good though unexciting.


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