soberandhungry's Blog

we love wine, we love food and we love sharing


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Trogir – Croatia – would not recommend a visit

For the last leg of our holiday we traveled to Trogir which is a short coach ride away from Split. We would not recommend that you visit the area if you have spent time in Split because Trogir is a smaller, less impressive and touristy version of the former.

We visited the number one restaurant according to TripAdvisor at the time Don Dino and were hugely disappointed by the set lunch. Although we ordered two different pasta dishes the sauces were the same, the gnocchi was hard and the feta salad should have just been called a feta plate and was really salty. It did not really hit the spot.

Luckily we stayed in a really lovely apartment Ulica Matije Gupca 25 which had a lovely outdoor courtyard. We made use of this for a few of our meals enjoying a takeaway pizza from Riva one night and a large picnic from Konzum (the local supermarker) on another.

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Although the majority of the restaurants and cafes felt incredibly busy and bit ‘samey’ Café Bar Dovani is worth a visit for its ice cream Sundaes, one of which looks like Spag Bol!


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Vis – Croatia – where to eat / best restaurant: Konoba Stončica

After a couple of nights in Split we embarked on our next adventure to Vis the farthest inhabited island off the Croatian mainland. The ferry took a couple of hours and as we entered the harbour we were both pretty chuffed that we had decided to visit. Vis is stunning.

The island itself is not huge with an area of 90.26 square kilometres but it felt like there was a lot to do and the size of the island makes it accessible for exploration! All around the edges of the island are small intimate beaches and our host had recommended a small sandy beach which stood out amongst the pebble beaches we had become accustomed to in Croatia. This adventure led us to discover Konoba Stončica which was our favorite find on the island.

We rented bicycles to get there and where feeling pretty parched as we manoeuvred our way down the side of a hill to lock up our bikes.  Only intending to stay for a drink our eyes were drawn to the food and we stayed for 3 hours! Here we discovered some delicious Croatian Rose that we later discovered was a highly rated brand, the best Octopus Salad we have ever had and Croatian’s can cook potatoes as well as my mum’s Sunday Roasties. Again, the fish came out on a silver plate and they only had the freshest in stock (some items on the menu were not available because they had not been caught) and again we feasted on the best seafood that the Dalmatian sea had to offer. The total bill came to 575.00kn (2 people). After the meal we enjoyed some snorkelling in the sea.

TripAdviosr’s no 1 restaurant at the time of publishing this post is Roki’s. They specialize in ‘Peka’. A Peka is a large metal baking dish with a bell-shaped dome lid. It is used to cook food in an open fireplace, with hot coals and embers placed on top of the dome for even, slow cooking. You need to book 3 hours in advance and we chose the lamb. All the vegetables where freshly plucked from their gardens and their wine is home-made. The restaurant is situated in the heart of Vis and the owner will arrange a car to pick you up. It is worth a visit if you have the time. The total bill came to 496.12kn (2 people)

Some other useful notes if you are off to Vis:  

  • Outdoor Cinema: for 25kn you can sit out under the stars and watch one of the latest blockbusters (in English with Croatian subtitles, need a total of 8 people for the film to show)
  • Rent a bike: to get to all the beaches
  • Rent a Scooter: to get to Komiža which is the other side of the island. Ride through all the vineyards that make up 20% of the arable land
  • War History: we did not find the time to do it, but Vis is island steeped in war history. As well as tours revealing Vis’s secrets, there is a World War Two US bomber at the bottom of the ocean if you are into Scuba Diving. One for our to do list next time.


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Split – Croatia – where to eat / best restaurant: Konoba Matejuška

Following on from our amazing holiday in Pula we quickly booked another holiday back to Croatia to satisfy our hunger for Dalmatian life! This time we planned to visit 3 new areas. Firstly we went to Split, the second-largest city in Croatia. Our apartment was in the old town a stone’s throw away from the Diocletian’s Palace (a Unesco World Heritage site). We had done our research ahead of the trip and knew which bars and restaurants we needed to frequent for our short stay ahead of travelling to Vis.

The number 1 restaurant on TripAdvisor, as well as our favourite, was Konoba Matejuška. Situated off a side street from the main Riva, this unassuming restaurant probably only seats around 20 people. We had emailed and called ahead to book to no avail. On our first day we walked to the restaurant to book ourselves in and found that there was only one table available during our stay late in the evening (they do not check their emails we were informed).

On our arrival we were greeted by a very friendly waiter and ordered the local wine (the wine is usually classed as first rate or second rate, if you go for first rate you are getting a top notch bottle). He then came out with a huge silver plate of fish. You select your fish from the plate and that is what they cook with the fish charged by weight! For our starter we had muscles in a white wine sauce and squid ink risotto. The muscles were cleaned really well and were huge – the biggest muscles I have ever seen and the squid ink risotto was exquisite. We chose a large Sea Bass and a mixed fish plate including Tuna and Shark (with a side salad to add some colour). Our waiter de-boned the white fish at the table which was charming and impressive. The total bill came to 1,109.90kn (for 4).

Another restaurant that is worth noting is Trattoria Bajamont. Although it is not rated in the top 50 restaurants on Trip Advisor (and has some mixed reviews), other bloggers rated it, as did we. The muscles did have a little crunch at times but the sauce they were in was amazing. As we were looking at the menu the waitress came out to cross out all the dishes that had been sold out and we were quick to secure a spaghetti and scampi (king prawns) and a spaghetti and mixed sea food dish. They were both substantial portions and we enjoyed sitting outside the restaurant on a rickety small street in the heart of the old town. The total bill came to 435kn (for 2).

Some other useful notes if you are off to Split: 

  • Bobis: within the Diocletian’s palace there is a  bakery chain called Bobis – great for a cheap light bite.
  • The Basement of the Diocletian’s Palace: For 40kn you can go under the Palace and walk around the impressive basements (also good for GOT fans I am informed)
  • Tour Ticket: you pay 10-20kn to get into the attractions within the center. Rather than paying individually the most cost efficient way is to by a muti-ticket for 45kn which will get you into the Cathedral, Treasury, Crypt, Bell Tower and Baptistery.
  • Rent a bike: Split is really bike-friendly, we would recommend renting a bike and cycling around ‘Marjan’ a hill on the peninsula of the city. It is covered in a dense Mediterranean pine forest and completely surrounded by the city and the sea, making it a unique sight.
  • Froggyland: a fun collection of stuffed frogs in human poses 35.00kn


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Dave’s Toad in the Hole with self raising flour

Today we embarked on a culinary exploration into a world of unique batters unspoken of in other Toad in the Hole recipes (having no plain flour in the cupboard we used self raising flour). The results were pretty spectacular…

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If you yourself fancy being filled with innuendo (words fail me today and everything I pen has an air of, well, erm), here is how we did it…

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Vienna – Austria – where to eat / best restaurant: Figlmüller Wollzeile

The last leg of our adventure landed us in Vienna – the capital and largest city of Austria. It took us a while to get used to the hustle and bustle of a major city after being in the smaller cities of Salzburg and Graz. Vienna is best explored in the evening when the large tour groups have dispersed and there is room to breathe and take in the stunning architecture.

We had booked ourself into Figlmüller Wollzeile in advance, and it was a good job that we did as they were turning away custom all night. Famous for its Schnitzel, we had been saving ourselves for this sizeable Austrian classic. Even though the restaurant is an obvious tourist trap, it is still quaint and intimate. We orderd a traditional House Schnitzel (pork) with a roast potato gratin and a Chicken Schnitzel with a side salad. The reviews had not lied about size with the House Schnitzel barely contained on its plate and the Chicken Schnitzel consisting of three whole breasts! The Chicken Schnitzel came up trumps with a flavoursome batter and a well seasoned salad with potato, cabbage, carrot and green leaves. We washed it down with  Blauer Zweigelt Classic  2012 a raspberry coloured red wine with good hold that was not too strong or sweet and complimented the meat well.

 Some other useful notes if you are off to Vienna: 

  • Salm Bräu: we were a bit disappointed when we visited this brewery/restaurant. We had read raving reviews about their pork knuckle and beer selection, but rather than feeling like a homely family brewery it was quite commercial and very crowded.
  • Zanoni & Zanoni: for some of the best ice cream ever!
  • Naschmarkt: a vast but somewhat limited market. There are a few restaurants that you can have a sit down meal in, but the majority of the food stalls sell dried fruit and sweats or fruit and veg. You will struggle to find a nice takeaway lunchbox or sandwich.
  • Suite Novotel Wien City: we risked the Secret Hotel on Lastminute.com and found ourselves at the Novotel, it is located ideally next to a main tube and the room was really big and spacious (images online do not do it justice). We would not recommend buying into the breakfast because it is badly managed.

 


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Graz – Austria – where to eat / best restaurant: Frankowitsch

Although it is the second largest city in Austria, after Vienna, we were unaware of the cultural city of Graz. We had done our foodie research and everyone online raves about Frankowitsch for its breakfasts and cakes. On an evening walk whilst sussing out the intricate backstreets we uncovered its location. An Austrian passerby gave us a gushing appraisal in German about how fabulous-a-place it was. We were sold and returned for our lunch the next day.

Frankowitsch is very popular with the local residents. The tables and chair outside were packed as we made our way inside. A brightly lit counter showcased their range of open sandwiches with every colour and topping imaginable. The only concern that you have is how many sandwiches you can possibly fit in your stomach. We chose a mix of meats, fish, egg and cheese. And like everyone before, strongly recommend that you fit Frankowitsch into your itinerary.

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Some other useful notes if you are off to Graz: 

  • Glöckl Bräu: well priced food, a good selection of Austrian beer. Those feeling brave should try the Schneider Wisse unser Auentinus 8.2%, it will make you very giggly!
  • Torina Fiesta: if you find yourself with a free evening head to Prokopigasse where a cute bar has very recently opened. We stumbled across it after a hardcore day of sightseeing and befriended the Brazilian barman who makes an excellent cocktail. We had a break from Austrian food, snacking on grilled meat and salad.
  • Schloss Eggenberg: although located slightly away from the centre, a visit to Schloss Eggenberg is a must, we would recommend the tour of 24 grand stately rooms
  • 24hr Museum ticket: there are loads of museums to see, you can buy a ticket for EUR 11 which will gain you access to most museums, including Schloss Eggenberg

 


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Salzburg – Austria – where to eat / best restaurant: Gasthaus Zum Wilder Mann

On a recent trip to the baroque city of Salzburg (Austria) not only did we enjoy walking around a historical center which was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997 and take in scenic Alpine surroundings – we also got to try some authentic Austrian cuisine. We were only there for a couple of days as our one week tour of Austria took us to the three main capitals, Slazburg, Graz and Vienna, but if you are going to Salzburg, there is one restaurant that we would recommend you visit Gasthaus Zum Wilder Mann.

Tucked away off one of the main streets Gasthaus Zum Wilder Mann is intimately sized with no more than 10 or so tables. Dark brown wooden beams and protruding antlers give the warmth and homely comfort of a hunters cabin and we had arrived after a down pour of rain, so felt instantly welcomed into the restaurant.

Men wearing traditional Bavarian lederhosen served us Bauernschmaus mil Knödel and Sauerkraut (Roast port, rolled hot ham, sausage, dumplings, potatoes and sauerkraut) and Gulasch mit Knödel (Goulash (stewed beef) and dumplings). Both came in a healthy portion size with a huge dumpling lavished in thick meaty sauces (no doubt a secret recipe passed down through the generations). Although stuffed we could not resist sharing a pudding Mohr im Hemd mit einer Kugel Vanilleeis (Nutcake with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream) which was delicious. We washed it down with a light 0,5l Stiegl ,,Paracelsus-Zwickl” unfiltiertes Kellerbier, and a dark 0,5l König Ludwig, dunkles Marzenbier aus der Flasche Austrian beer.

The total bill came to EUR 42,20 – an absolute bargain! We would have ventured back, had the rest of our adventure not been ahead of us.

Some other useful notes if you are off to Salzburg: 

  • Barenwirt: We ate here too, the food was also good but the menu is limited and it is much more expensive.
  • Fustung Hohensalzburg (Fortress): visit the Fortress, it has beautiful city views and a tour explaining the history of Salzburg is included within the ticket.
  • Salzwelten (Salt Mines) in Hallein: Hallein is only 20 minutes from Salzburg train station and you can buy a package ticket that includes your train to Hallein, a bus to the Salt Mine, the Salt Mine entry and the Celtic Museum entry. The Salt Mines are really interesting and have wooden slides in them.
  • Arte Vida: if you are after a place to stay we recommend Arte Vide. The owner Reinhold is friendly and helpful, and has created a calm boutique Moroccan themed guesthouse with spacious bedrooms and lovely communal areas.