I’m a firm believer that food always tastes best at the place where it originated. I’m also the kind of crazy/dedicated person who will go to a city just for a slice of pie. After spending an awesome week at Ann Arbor at our annual summer picnic, I jumped on a plane to Chicago to reconnect with my good buddy Krishna from Chennai and PIZZAARGHH. Yes, you read that right, pizza. Good old cheesy Chicago-style deep dish pizza. Also, Krishna lives in Chicago now and creates drugs for a living 😛 It had been nearly two years and it was about time I caught up with both. As soon as I landed, he picked me up from the airport and we decided to put business first and take the Chicagoan bull by the horns. (get that NBA reference?! :)) The fresh pizza of Pequod One of my friends Dennis who…Continue Reading
On a fateful day in 1943, two ABCIs (American born confused Italians aka second/third-gen Italian descendants in Chicago. FYI this is an acronym I made up, I mean if there are ABCDs – American born confused desis, there’s gotta be ABCIs right? :P) opened Pizzeria Uno to create a type of Italian-American fusion pizza, adding a twist to their traditional thin-crust Neapolitan version. The ingredients were prepared in a circular pan, about three inches deep. The base of the pan was drizzled with olive oil, then topped with a thick bed of semolina and white flour, followed by a pound of mozzarella cheese, vegetables, and meat and finally a thin layer of chunky tomato sauce. Notice how they added the cheese first and add the tomato sauce. The UPSIDE DOWN pizza was then baked to prevent cheese from burning. (Genius!) The olive oil and flour blended to give the pizza…Continue Reading
When I shut my eyes sometimes and daydream about my time in Nice, I picture the narrow alleys of the old town dappled in sunlight , the distressed building walls’ drenched in bright cheerful hues and one important detail sticks out. The window shutters. Or volets as the French call them. Mint volets. Blue volets. Volets with laundry hanging in front on their wrought-iron balconies. Volet with flower boxes. Closed volets. Open volets. Partially open volets. The whole nine yards. My first night in Nice, my host bustled into my room, closed the volets stated something in rapid French, motioned to the windows and walked out. I nodded furiously, even though I had no idea what she just said. Turns out that most houses and apartments in the South of France have volets. As the sun goes down every day, so do the volets. People shut them tight after sunset…Continue Reading
When Bobby first floated the idea of an RV camping trip from Atlanta to the Atlantic coast in South Georgia, all of us except Raj shot it down. We ended up going because Bobby was very enthusiastic about planning the whole gig and all of us wanted something low-key and inexpensive. In retrospect, the trip was amazing and we felt pretty darn moronic for not wanting to go in the first place. I mean, what’s not to love about hanging out with a fun bunch of friends in an RV nonstop for three days? Also, what’s more American than an RV camping/road trip during the 4th of July weekend? Fireworks? We had that covered too 😀 That said, RV came with its own set of challenges. To begin with all of the RV consumer guides I read said that the RV is a huge beast and it’s not easy to…Continue Reading
May 2016 Some of my closest friends and I happened to be in Rome at the same time, for a day. We made no plans whatsoever and spent most of the day aimlessly strolling in the charming neighborhood of Trastevere, laughing uncontrollably, worrying only about what our next meal would be and if we would explode if we had at least one gelato every hour. The struggle was real. We got off the plane perfectly in time for lunch and prosecco and made a beeline for the charming Pianostrada in Trastevere. The place is really tiny and it was packed tush to elbow all the way in. But that’s a good thing; we made friends with the super-fun Norwegian people sitting at the next table and they made sure we drank enough prosecco for all the time we already “lost” not drinking prosecco – aka 8 am- lunch time. The postage-stamp size restaurant is…Continue Reading
Highlights from a week in Croatia April 2015 A year ago I embarked on my epic 5-week trip to Milan, Croatia, and Paris. It would have an epic five-week SOLO trip to France, but my best friend decided to play “kabab-mein-haddi”/a gooseberry/third-wheel (whatever your drift is) between Paris and me. Nonetheless, the trip was fantastic and so is she, so I’ll let her transgressions slide. Why Croatia? Four weeks before my trip, I asked Sukanya if she wanted to travel with me to Europe and she called rain-check. To be precise, she said, “I don’t have time; I want to save money and focus on getting married in December, Europe doesn’t excite me that much and I would much rather visit these cities in my sixties, blah blah blah.” Me: “Bummer”. Fast-forward 1 week => disastrous yet successful Schengen visa incident. Fast-forward another week. Right after I bought my tickets,…Continue Reading
March madness in Milan, Italy, Easter, travel
March Madness in Milan March 27, 2015 In an effort to prevent millions of photos from disappearing into a black hole forever, I have decided to start a #lastyearthisday series (Today is Easter, so it’s very symbolic 🙂 ) First up, Milan. Sukanya and I flew into Malpensa airport last year around 10 in the am. Our ultimate destination was Croatia but tickets to Milan were cheaper, so we decided to fly into Milan, explore the city for two days and then hop onto an overnight bus to Zagreb. Quick tip: If you are looking for cheap tickets from North America to Europe, I suggest looking for tickets to Milan and then taking a low-cost airline/train to your intended destination… and thank me later of course. Anyway, Sukanya flew in directly from India and landed at the international terminal and I got into the domestic terminal. When she asked an…Continue Reading
postcards atrani Amalfi coast Italy The sleepy and adorable village of Atrani is a hop, skip and a handful of medieval watchtowers away from Amalfi. Whether you are there for a couple of days or just an evening (like me), this stamp-sized village will charm your pantalonis (Italian for pants ;)) off. I like to believe I saw a shooting start. 🙂 Don’t miss Atrani for the world and don’t tell me I didn’t warn ya 🙂 Ciao!
Amalfi beach
December 2014 Sigh! Yes, that’s more than a year ago, clearly Pomodoro is not working out for me. My friends joke that all the photos in my camera get sucked into a black hole. Not too far from the truth, I guess 😛 Winter sunsets in Italy are awfully early. (Boo!) It was 4:30 pm and we drove to Amalfi, (the entire coast is named after this town) from Minori just when the sun was setting the sky ablaze. The sight of the coast at dusk, with the twinkling lights shining from the colorful houses stacked so neatly on top of the other, the Christmas trees, the rocky landscape and the glistening water was simply.. magical. As luck would have it, our hotel was in the heart of the town. NOT. We drove into the city, through the city and kept driving past it. After about ten minutes, we discovered…Continue Reading
January 2016 After surviving a night at the “3-star” Ramada hotel in downtown Denver (where we found a note with “Help me” and stripper magnets on the lamps), we hit the road early morning on Sunday, towards Moab, Utah. We drove alongside a nearly frozen Colorado river; past many precariously-perched ski resorts and herds of healthy fat black cows grazing in the wild. (Which I could not get enough of, my friends will testify haha) The wide roads were flanked by massive mountains on either side and dusted with a perfect blanket of white snow. Words/photos cannot describe how beautiful the landscape is but I’ll attempt to show you nonetheless. I hope that these postcards will motivate you to plan a/another trip to Colorado in winter. When you do, just make sure to: Avoid Hotel Ramada downtown at all costs. Have breakfast at the cutest breakfast place, Olive and Finch. I…Continue Reading