veggies

All’ Antico Vinaio

Here begins my food blogging journey of my year abroad, in Florence, Italy! I am so happy I found All’ Antico Vinaio early on, because it is a gold mind of cured meats and cheeses. Tucked away on Via de Neri, a few streets up from the Arno river, this sandwich & charcuterie shop is anything but unknown. It has been rated by all the top food and travel websites as one of the places to get a phenomenal sandwich in Florence, which also means there is always a line. But, trust me when I say that not matter how long the line, it is worth the wait one hundred times over. All’ Antico Vinaio offers two types of dining; One were you can sit indoors in there intimate dining room with a antipasto platter of meats, cheeses, spreads, veggies, and jams while enjoying one of their many bottles of wine ( This is Italy after all, so I emphasize bottles).

…and this is the small!

Or you can venture a few meters across the street to their original claim to fame, and host of the infamous line, their sandwich shop. Here there are 2-3 men at any given time preparing the freshest, meatiest, cheesiest, most mouthwatering sandwiches with a sense of style and grace I never thought I’d use to describe sandwich construction. For starters, their menu consists of white writing on tall, thin chalk boards at the entrance to the shop. They make one thing, and one thing only which is Foccacia Misto, and rings in at 5 euro (7 if you splurge for the specialty meats). Listed below are all your cheese, spread, and vegetable options (which you can add as many as will fit in your sandwich for still 5 euro). Then listed on a separate board is the shining glory of your sandwich, the meats. It is stated very clearly at the bottom of the list that mixing meats is not allowed nor will it be tolerated. I believe they called it Blasphemy! There are at least 7 different meat options, 8 or so different cheeses to choose from, 6 types of spreads, and a variety of vegetable toppings. It may seem a little overwhelming at first but you will have plenty of time in line to decide, and even if you can’t, the guys behind the counter are super friendly and will even offer to build you their ideal sandwich. Also, while waiting in line be mindful and cautious of the men running back and forth between the restaurants with fresh stacks of their homemade foccacia.

For my first order, and I say first because I know for a fact I will be returning countless times, I went with proscuitto (freshly sliced as I wiped the drool from my face), pecorino toscano fresco, truffle crema, spicy eggplant, zucchini, arugula salad, olive oil, salt, and pepper. When the man handed it to me over the counter the only words I could muster in my state of pure awe and excitement were “It’s so beautiful!”

Now to put this in perspective for you guys, this sandwich felt like I was cradling a small, soccer ball sized baby in my hands. It was wrapped up just so, making  it impossible for any of those delectable ingredients to fall out of the bottom, but leaving every other part of the sandwich exposed for me to dig right in. I did just that, and never looked back.

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The flavors were amazing. The meat was perfectly salty, the cheese had just the right bite, and let me tell you, you know nothing of paradise until you have had this truffle crema. I couldn’t have been more satisfied with this sandwich.

Since I plan to become a regular at this place I will be updating this post every time I try a new combination of love…I mean ingredients…which in this sandwich’s case could very well substitute for love. So be ready, and try your hardest to re-create these back in the states!

Juice Press – SoHo

I just completed a 10-day smoothies cleanse and I wouldn’t have been able to stick to like I did without the help of the always amazing and satisfying Juice Press! As a college student constantly on the go, running from my class to internship to my part time job, it’s not super easy or ideal to be lugging around jugs  of smoothie. Enter Juice Press to save me! They have 16 locations all over the city (and 2 more opening soon!) and offer the widest variety of freshly made juices, smoothies, waters, and raw foods. Their price points aren’t too shabby either (ranging from $6-$15!) For someone on a college budget I found it very affordable and accessible. I frequented the store on Prince Street in SoHo, because of the proximity of both my job and internship. Every morning I was greeted by the friendly faces, always happy to offer their suggestions and encouraging me to try their “shot of the day”.

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Juice Press is not just for the cleansers and health fad-dies, whether you want a powerful, nutrient-packed detox smoothie, or a sweet, fresh pressed juice and some raw cheesecake, you’ll be happily satisfied. Their juice flavors range from sweet and citrusy to hearty and spicy! The same can be said for their smoothies! I would highly recommend checking out their online menu before heading in just to help you narrow down your choices from the 10+ smoothie options they offer!

So far I’ve tried…

Juices

Almond Latte juice

Doctor Green Juice

Glo juice

Little Green Monster

Smoothies

Harvey Wallbanger with the works!

D-tox!

Formula 12

Cell Rejuvenator

Raw Foods

 Avocado Toast

Hummus Lettuce Wrap

**Shout out to all my runners! Juice Press also has a running club that meets every Saturday at 9am at 6 of their locations (3 uptown & 3 downtown) for a 4-6 mile run. What a way to start the weekend!**