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Greenwich Village Food and Cultural Walking Tour‏

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again … the best way to check out a City is with a food tour. We chose Foods of New York Greenwich Village Food and Culture Walking Tour. We arrived at 11am on Bleecker Street with empty stomachs. Our guide was a friendly young actress who had definitely done her homework. She was chock full of food & Village knowledge. We walked the charming neighborhood for 3 hours and were stuffed by the end.

Here is what we ate:

Stop 1.  Cheese pizza slice @ Joe’s Pizza
Stop 2.  Olive oil tasting @ O & Co. 
Stop 3.  Mac & Cheese @ Home restaurant
Stop 4.  Rice balls @ Faicco’s Italian Specialties
Stop 5.  Four tasty bites @ Centro Vinoteca
Stop 6.  Chocolate chip cookie @ Milk & Cookies
Stop 7.  Cheese @ Murray’s Cheese Shop
Stop 8.  Cannoli @ Rocco’s Pastry Shop

There are a bunch of historical stops on the tour too but I’ll let you see that for yourself.

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If anyone says the food is not enough they must have a tape worm because we were completely full with 3 stops to go. I had to bag my cookie, pass on the cheese and I FORCED myself to eat the cannoli!

Website: http://www.foodsofny.com/

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Adventurous Appetites Tapas Tour – Madrid


For our first foodie adventure in Spain Mike and I decided to go on a Tapas tour since we had limited time in Madrid and no idea where to go. Our walking tour started in the heart of the city at the Puerta del Sol where we met our guide James. We had a fairly small group of 6 people which was nice because any more and you would have difficulty finding spots in bars where we could all be together.

Mike pouring cider

Our first stop was a bar known for Asturian cider and blue cheese. The cider was alcoholic but not like what you would expect in the states. It tasted like olives or a dirty martini. Definitely an acquired taste. Along with the drinks came plates of complimentary ham and cheese as well as a cold potato salad. Then came the creamiest blue cheese I have ever tasted. It was like pâté and was spread on sliced bread. Awesome! We also tried some tasty chorizo and potatoes with paprika before heading off to our next location. While walking James gave some basic history of Madrid and the food culture.

blue cheese

Next stop:  Jamón!
Here we tried the daddy of all Spanish ham — iberico along with manchego cheese, salami, olives and washed it all down with Sangria. Yum.

Destination #3 was a small wine bar. Here we drank terrific red wine while feasting on blood pudding, roasted peppers with salt, lamb sweetbreads, steak w/ mushrooms, croquettes with prosciutto, tripe with chick peas and paella.

You’d think that was the end but we had one final spot for Seafood. While we sipped white wine a bevy of sea creatures were placed on our table… octopus with potatoes, anchovies with potato chips and olives, garlic shrimp and barnacles ( looks like a tiny elephant foot and tastes like a salty clam). Everything was fresh and delicious.

This was hands down our favorite event on our European vacation. When the night is over you will be full and content. We would highly recommend taking this tour. James is a fantastic guide.

Note: In order to try and keep the tours bar/restaurant locations from becoming overrun with tourists I did not reveal the names.

Website: http://www.adventurousappetites.com/

New Orleans French Quarter Culinary History and Tasting Tour

foodtour
When I heard there was a food tour of NOLA I was intrigued. This was a 3 hour walking tour (mostly inside!) that covers the rich culinary history of New Orleans. Here was our tour schedule:

1st stop – the historic Antoine’s where we received a tour of the many dining rooms as well as the kitchen.
Tastings: Gumbo creole (Louisiana gumbo with blue crabs, oysters, and gulf shrimp)
Crevettes remoulade
(boiled Louisiana shrimp served cold in Antoine’s remoulade dressing)

2nd stop – Supposed to be Leah’s pralines but it was closed on Sunday (we went back the next day and tried some)

3rd stopBrennan’s for a tour of the restaurant (no food)

4th stopKitchen Witch (new & used cook book store)

5th stopTony Seville’s Pirates Alley Cafe
Tasting: Rum cake

6th stopLa Divina Cafe
Tastings: Muffalino (twist on the classic Muffuletta sandwich – same ingredients but in panini form)
Coconut Gelato

7th stop: Creole Delicacies (small grocery)
Tastings: Pralines & Red Beans & Rice

8th stop: Tujague’s Restaurant
Tasting: Beef Brisket with Creole Sauce (horseradish ketchup)

The pics:

Overall Mike and I enjoyed all aspects of the tour especially the food. All the dishes were wonderful. Antoine’s deserves all the praise it gets and the muffalino is better in my opinion to the original Muffuletta. Our journey through the French Quarter led by a local former chef passed quickly and our tummies were full at the end. The concept of a food tour is brilliant. Being able to sample different cuisines at one time is awesome. Each major city should have one.

Website: http://www.noculinarytours.com/

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