Ben and Martha are American expats living in Italy.
Now, normally that wouldn’t send me into fits of camaraderie, but there’s a twist: Martha’s from my hometown, a small enough place for it to be quite a coincidence. But wait, it gets better! Not only does her family own my favorite cheesesteak shop in the whole world; I BABYSAT HER COUSIN’S KID when I was in high school.
How did I discover this unlikely bond between my fellow expats, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you. I was researching Italy stats for a client when I came across Ben’s blog – an exhaustive collection of information about Italy. After I had found what I needed, I noticed they had arrived on this side of the pond via the Queen Mary II. So glamorous and old school! I read their story, which features a picture of a Voltaco’s hoagie on the fricking Queen Mary, and fell off my chair. Emails were exchanged. A friendship was born!
Ben asked me to write a guest post about Italy for his blog, because he was having trouble getting a 21st-century Internet connection at their home. I haven’t written it yet, and here’s why: Every time I think of a great topic to write about, I check his blog to see that he’s already written about it! The man is a walking encyclopedia of life in Italy.
Now, Martha has alerted me to yet another gastronomic treat in Florence – Asian fusion. Although the restaurant’s website is hilariously unhelpful, Martha gave us the skinny:
Found this one, Buddakan at Largo Bargellini 7/8 near Santa Croce. The interior is very nicely done and food presentation was outstanding. The dishes were not authentic preparations, but the menu never says they are. All of them were very tasty and we will go back.
We started with spring rolls and calamari toast which was two spring roll wrappers with thin slices of calamari sandwiched in between and the fried. [Ed.: OMG YES PLEASE.] Ben had a seafood risotto which wasn’t really a risotto but was full of seafood. I had a duck curry and Ben had a shrimp curry.
It was all good. We never made it into the church.
I love when a meal is so outstanding it changes your itinerary. Thanks, Martha!