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How to Choose the Best Italian Restaurant

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In a recent survey, Italian food was crowned the world’s favorite cuisine.

But how do you find the best Italian restaurant when you get that craving? It’s not just about pizza and pasta anymore. Italian food has so much more to give.

So if you’re feeling hungry, let’s take a look at a few things you can do to ensure you’re getting the best of the best.

If you’re serious about Italian food, it’s important to do some research before visiting a new restaurant. A few key questions you will want to answer are:

  1. Who are the owners?
  2. Is the food authentic?
  3. Is the restaurant self-service or table service?
  4. Do they serve other cuisines?
  5. How are the reviews?

Ideally, you will be able to find the answers on the restaurant’s website. However, in some cases, you may need to look further, such as on social media. 

Who Are the Owners?

Great food comes from passionate Chefs. When trying to decide how to choose a restaurant, the owner should play a part in your decision.

Finding an Italian restaurant run by an Italian is a great start. Chances are the food is more authentic, having been passed down through the family. 

However, it is possible to find authentic and delicious food made by a non-native. The key is to avoid franchise restaurants with generic menus that are the same at all locations. 

Is the Food Authentic?

A few keys things to take into account when checking out an Italian menu are:

  • Italian food is usually seasonal
  • The dishes shouldn’t be covered in cheese and sauce
  • It’s so much more than just pasta

Great Italian food changes with the weather and highlights quality ingredients. They use lots of fresh vegetables, and rarely will you see a bowl full of pasta drowning in sauce. 

Is the Restaurant Self-Service or Table Service?

Typically, a self-service restaurant is thought of as a lower class of dining experience than table service, and in some cases that is accurate. 

On the other hand, when you learn more about it, you can see why many restaurants are changing their business models – especially in the current climate. By removing the servers, the restaurant has the opportunity to focus more on the kitchen and the quality of food. 

Do They Serve Other Cuisines?

Although you should be looking for a variety of dishes, a kitchen that serves up a variety of cuisines might not be the best option when it comes to quality. 

A restaurant that is trying to cater to everyone is less likely to be the best option if you want real Italian food. Their focus is more on getting tables booked than what they are serving. 

How Are the Reviews?

Checking reviews is a must. Any great meal can be spoiled by a rude server or an unappealing atmosphere. 

Search for local Italian restaurants and see what people have to say. In many larger cities and towns, you should be able to find reviews left by tourists. Look for those by visitors from Italy to get the most trustworthy information. 

It’s Ok to Order Pizza

Italy is the home of pizza, after all, so don’t be ashamed to order one when you find the right Italian restaurant for you.

By doing a little research beforehand, you should be able to find a place that will offer you some authentic local cuisine, along with the familiar favorites. The difference will be the quality of the ingredients which you will no doubt be able to taste. 

Check out our food section for more help with finding your next great meal. 

Destinations

A Must See Desert Oasis In Southern California

Think of the desert and your mind conjures up images of dry dusty lands full of cactus and crawly things. But there is a desert oasis in Southern California that will completely transform your vision of what a desert setting looks like. At Whitewater Preserve you will find…

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Think of the desert and your mind conjures up images of dry dusty lands full of cactus and crawly things. But there is a desert oasis in Southern California that will completely transform your vision of what a desert setting looks like. At Whitewater Preserve you will find 2,851 acres of streams loaded with trout, untouched wilderness and winding trails leading you into the mountains. Just north of Palm Springs and surrounded by the San Gorgonio Wilderness this is one desert destination that you will want to add to your bucket list. The rich habitat hosts the endangered Southwest willow flycatcher and Bell’s vireo, and provides the opportunity to see migrating summer tanagers and vermilion flycatchers. The canyon, an important wildlife corridor between the San Bernardino and San Jacinto Mountains, has a robust wildlife population. 

 

 

This desert oasis is a perfect place for a nature adventure, whether by yourself or with the family. The Whitewater Trout Farm’s historic building has been transformed into a Ranger Station and Visitor Facility. This is the best place to start your adventure. Here you can get a trail map and checklists to help identify local flora and fauna. Although there are many hiking trails, some are not always safe to access. The Ranger Station will have information on any trails that have limited access. After you have spent some time exploring, enjoy the refreshing water at the shaded picnic area. 

 

 

Visitor facilities include individual and group picnic areas and camp grounds that sit in the shadow of steep cliffs where bighorn sheep are often spotted. Fishing is available, but limited to organized catch and release programs for children, in which all the equipment is supplied. There are a variety of hiking trails at Whitewater Preserve, you will find something for everyone. There are paver paths around the pond, perfect for the elderly, and a trailhead leading to the Pacific Crest Trail for the more experienced hiker. No matter what trail you take you will be out in the sun so make sure to bring a hat and use your sunscreen.

 

 

Whitewater Preserve is open daily year round from 8 am to 5 pm, closing only on certain holidays or in the event of dangerous weather conditions. Permits for camping, backcountry trip parking and after hour hiking are available at the Ranger Station during open hours. 

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The Prettiest Small Town You’ve Ever Seen

About sixty miles east of Krakow, Poland is the ancient village of Zalipie, one of the country’s top tourist attractions, and the prettiest little town you will ever see. The small wooden cottages of this charming village are painted with scenes of nature and local folklore. Considered…

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About sixty miles east of Krakow, Poland is the ancient village of Zalipie, one of the country’s top tourist attractions, and the prettiest little town you will ever see. The small wooden cottages of this charming village are painted with scenes of nature and local folklore. Considered one of the most picturesque villages in Poland, Zalipie is surprisingly not overrun by tourists.  

 

The tradition started more than a century ago when the female residents began to paint their homes with floral motifs to cover up soot smudges and other faults around their home. Not having access to the materials needed for the project, these ingenious women made their own equipment. The paint was made with the fat from the dumplings they cooked, and hair from the tail of their cows was used for brushes. The women had to repaint their cottages each year, they did this after the Feast of Corpus Christi when they weren’t as busy with the farm work. This unique habit was passed down from one generation to another, and is continued to this day. One woman in particular became obsessed with the tradition. Felicja Curylowa lived from 1904 to 1974, she decorated every surface of her cottage inside and out. After her death the beautiful house was turned into a museum. 

 

Zalipie is a massive painting full of color and history, the entire village is painted. The best time to visit is in the spring when they hold their Painted Cottage Competition. This competition started after the end of World War II in an attempt to cover up the damage done by the war. Visiting this quaint village is a great way to escape the busy life of large cities, to relax and simply enjoy the art. It’s a delight you must see for yourself.

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Destinations

You Can Stay In SpongeBob’s House

At the Nickelodeon Hotel & Resorts in Punta Cana you will find the resort’s signature dwelling, a replica of SpongeBob SquarePants’ pineapple house that is above the sea. If you are a fan of SpongeBob you will delight in this surprisingly luxurious Bikini-Bottom inspired villa,…

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At the Nickelodeon Hotel & Resorts in Punta Cana you will find the resort’s signature dwelling, a replica of SpongeBob SquarePants’ pineapple house that is above the sea. If you are a fan of SpongeBob you will delight in this surprisingly luxurious Bikini-Bottom inspired villa, brimming with unbelievable amenities. 

Simply called “The Pineapple”, visitors to this SpongeBob themed villa will be immersed in the world of SpongeBob SquarePants. With an entryway that is a perfect replica of Sponge Bob’s TV home and measuring nearly 2,300 square feet the villa includes three bathrooms, two bedrooms, a loft style living room, a garden, a play area, and an infinity pool. With a hefty price tag, the villa houses up to six people. But the high price is worth it considering the incredible service that is provided to the guests. Served by a private butler, guests are ensured that the villa meets every need. From the very beginning of the vacation the private butler is available to take care of every need including arranging of your tailor made activities, whether it is a moonlight beach dinner, wine tasting, or maybe an in-suite pizza party. For a closer look and more information head on over to the Nickelodeon Resort Punta Cana website.

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