summer

Formentera Cooking

My favorite island. Ever. Definitely go here. Rent a scooter. Explore.

Unfortunately, this was one of the places I found the grocery selection to be rather grim. The market closest to our little dwelling was pretty crummy (maybe just since I’m a veg and have less options). Not a ton of restaurants in our area. But we made pasta one night. It wasn’t great. Actually, it was pretty bad- we used tomato sauce, since they had no pasta sauce. Haha oh, well. Not a crisis. At least there was wine.

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The second night we also made dinner & it was significantly better because we went to a different grocery (right near where the ferries are docked). We made fish tacos, and they were marvelous. In the middle of dinner, we noticed a strange reflection on our window, so I jumped outside to see what it was from. On the opposite side of our house was the most unbelievable sunset happening without our knowledge.
We stood there trying to peek at it over the trees, debating if we should go try and catch it at the beach. Finally, after much deliberation (“should we? we’ll probably miss it, it’s so pretty though, what if the sun’s down by the time we get there”) we hopped on our scooter, drove about two minutes up to a beach inlet, & sprinted down the boardwalk to the sand. We had about two or three minutes of sunset to enjoy, and it was so worth it. With the dark clouds contrasting the sun’s orange and pink hues, it was one of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve seen. Pictures don’t do it justice. But this is one of the perks of making your own dinner- you can flee from the table as you please, without any repercussions, other than some cold food.

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Tapas Bars of Mallorca

Our hostel in Mallorca (Hostal Apuntadores) was located in a street/alley that was overflowing with the most interesting tapas bars. It couldn’t have been more convenient. In the evening this area is so alive with activity- wonderful music, great smelling food, tanned vacationers smiling and laughing. Mostly tourists I’m sure, but it is such a fun atmosphere, and there are tapas bars and restaurants galore, I think it would be a shame to avoid this area. We had a hard time choosing where to eat, but it was nice just walking around scoping all the places out. During our stay on the island, we went to a few noteworthy bars/restaurants right in this area.

Restaurante La Cueva – My favorite tapas bar in Mallorca. You step down into this den-like atmosphere. It had a lively, yet intimate atmosphere. We sat at the bar. Ordered a few items. What did we order? The best seafood I’ve ever in my life tasted. An octopus, shrimp, and meat dish. I didn’t taste any of the meat dish, but it looked great. The shrimp were still sizzling when they reached us, and were so incredibly flavorful. The octopus, though, was my favorite by far. I think it was for both of us. The flavors with this, too, were unreal. Also, we ordered wine. Never forget the wine. I will go back to Mallorca. And when I do, I’m stopping back here for sure.

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El Cuerno – Stopped here for drinks. And thank god we did. This is the home of the worlds greatest sangria. I literally think about the sangria we drank here on a regular basis. White wine sangria, with lemons, and who knows what else. We both loved it. Like, we were floored. I was tempted to go back while I was waiting for my friend to deal with a business call just before we left Mallorca for good. I regret my decision not to.

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Bar Cafe Coto – We had dinner here and sat outside on their large patio area, which had beautiful lighting and a great atmosphere. Our food was delicious. I ordered a vegetarian lasagna, with a white sauce and second to the restaurante la cueva, it was the best meal I had in Mallorca. The bruschetta we ordered was marvelous. Everything.

Lastly, a tapas bar right next to our hostel, but we only stopped here for a drink, and by this time I was knee deep in sangria, not paying attention to the restaurant name, like a true vacationer.

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Mallorca Picnic

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Mallorca.

A place I insist everyone should visit sooner than later. And perhaps never leave.

While on this perfect, perfect island, we had a beach picnic or three. From the nearest grocery (which was not far), we purchased our necessary foods for the day – strawberries, tomato, cheese, turkey, baguette, pineapple juice, y agua.
Then plopped down on la playa & basked in the warm summer sun together. No towels needed. Just bury your butt in the sand or use your tshirt. Cheap lunch with a priceless beach view. My heart aches for this. Take me back.

Side note-These may have been the best strawberries I’ve tasted in quite some time.

Buddha Bar

The photos I have from Buddha Bar suck, so I’m only including two.

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The restaurant had very dark red lighting, as you can see via my selfie. So not exactly conducive to food photography. But regardless, this was the best sushi I had while in Europe over the summer. We ordered a variety of rolls and they were all great. Spicy tuna. Salmon. Eel. Etcetera. All perfect.

Buddha Bar is not only a restaurant, but also a hotel. And about 200 times nicer than the wretched hostel we stayed at in Budapest. Oy vey.  Probably 200 times the price as well. Located right near the river, the Danube if I’m correct, Buddha Bar was one of the fancier restaurants we ate at. I loved the atmosphere inside. Like I said, very dim & warm. Interesting little nooks and sectioned dining areas gave the inside some character. Fancy water pitchers. Wine out of wine glasses. You know, all the things college students aren’t accustomed to.

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Toast

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Double espresso, a chocolate croissant & summer patio seating. Heavenly.

It took me forever to figure out where this place was. After staring at google maps for a decade and retracing my steps from 6 months ago, I found it. Named Toast & located on S. Molton Street (the diagonal one), this was my favorite cafe in London. Yet another gentlemanly citizen, the likes of which you only meet in Britain, sat beside me and we chatted for an hour or so over coffee. I swear traveling alone makes you 100 times more approachable to random people. It’s wonderful.

Airplane Food

In flight meals for a vegetarian these days aren’t looking (or tasting) so great. I’m not sure how it is for all y’all meat eaters.
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The return flight was so much better. There was a tomato.

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The cardboard tragedy that passes for a bread roll.

IMG_0563The tomato wedge & cucumber were quite satisfying.

I am not complaining, I simply find it comical. I ate my veg dinners because that’s what ravenous Monica’s do. They were surprisingly edible. Except the rolls.

NYC Picnic

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Lunch for 3 bucks? In New York City? I’ll allow it.

I accidentally booked a flight to Dublin that had a very long 12 hour layover at the Newark airport (which is just across the river from NYC). The flight itself was not accidental. Just the layover. Oops. Realizing this at the very last minute, I decided this was a perfect time to visit the big apple. So I took the train from the airport into the city. Googled a place to leave my luggage for the day. And set off into the concrete jungle. I brought a cliff bar with me for sustenance, but this did not prove to be sufficient- no surprise there. Walking around in riding boots for a solid 7 hours is a little exhausting. Being the stingy collegiate that I am, I refused to spend my money on any of the over priced lunch places I passed by. I encountered this nice man selling fruit on the street (& many others like him). My initial reaction? How grotesque. Street fruit? But, it all looked delicious and was pretty cheap. So I bought some, and headed for Central Park. After scoping out a good spot, I plopped down on a hefty warm slab of rock, engorged the many fruits I purchased, and took a long nap in the summer sun. Not too shabby.