Trattoria Za Za

Upon arriving in Florence, Italy this past weekend I was met at the airport by one of my best friends Danielle, who is studying there. Once we had gotten through the initial hug and catch up, we began discussing our plans for the evening, and she enthusiastically turned to me almost screaming, “we HAVE to go to Trattoria Za Za for dinner tonight, it’s INCREDIBLE” and Danielle was indeed, correct.

The two of us, along with three of her roommates made a reservation for 8:00 pm and were extremely relieved we had when we saw the line at the door upon our arrival! Trattoria Za Za is located in a quaint, colorful, and historical plaza, called Piazza del Mercado Centrale and has been in business since 1977.

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Piazza del Mercato Centrale

The atmosphere was vintage and cozy, very comfortable with mismatched furniture and chairs and winding rooms which continued to empty out into even more spaces, the restaurant literally appeared to keep going “back and back” Evidently, the extensive space was necessary for every table inside and outside was completely full, and the line to get in stretched around half the block! And it was only a Tuesday night!

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Trattoria Za Za’s menu was extensive, at least 10 pages long completed with every food option imaginable-from steak, to fish, to more traditional Tuscan cuisines such as pizzas and unlimited choices of pasta, they had it all. After much contemplation, I finally decided upon the Tagliatelle with Truffle sauce. Unknowingly to me before giving my waitress my order, truffle oil and truffle sauces are actually one of Trattoria Za Za’s specialities!

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The dish was indeed, special. The truffle sauce was rich and creamy but not over bearing, or too heavy, a problem I usually have with truffle dishes. One of Danielle’s roommates, Abby, got the Grilled Beef Tenderloin, and that did not disappoint either. An absolutely ridiculous size, the steak was served on a large wooden slab, looking almost medieval. Unfortunately they were out of the rosemary potatoes, which usually accompanies the tenderloin, but it was more than okay. The dish was instead served simply with lemon, putting emphasis on the taste of the beef specifically. The moist, tender meat was more than enough on its’ own, and I found myself asking her for multiple bites throughout the meal!

Following our entrees, we all opted for a lemon liquor sorbet to cleanse our palettes, also known as “Zaza very light lemon liquor sorbet” It was indeed light and refreshing, exactly what we needed after our extremely large meals. It was the perfect ending to a delicious meal.

I would highly encourage anyone visiting Florence to take a trip to Trattoria Za Za, but ensure to make a make a reservation ahead of time!

Cereal Killer Cafe

Cereal Killer Cafe was truly a childhood dream come true. Located in London, England, and with two locations, one in Camden and more recently in Birmingham, the cafe is truly a one of a kind experience. Decorated with bright colors, childish furniture, and 80s’ and 90s’ memorabilia, I couldn’t help but feel nostalgic about my own childhood. My friend, Abby who was with me, even looked at me and said “its’ like we just went back in a time machine.” The Cafe offers over 120 different kinds of cereals, both British, as well as imported, 30 varieties of milk, and 20 different toppings. The options are beautifully displayed on a vintage chalk board, in bright, colorfully assorted writing. The milk alone varies from traditional types such as whole milk, and even almond and soy milk, and then continues on to unique flavors such as Salted Caramel, Banana, and even Bubblegum. The cafe does offer a menu of specialities such as the “Stacked Hot Chocolate,” and the “Lucky Charm Milkshake” but the best part is being able to customize your order. The cafe allows you to build your own cereal masterpiece with all your favorite additions, and although the endless options were a bit overwhelming I finally decided upon Frosted Flakes with chocolate milk, whipped cream, nuts and caramel.

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The presentation was more than impressive in itself with the large glass mug seeming to be overflowing with whipped cream, drizzled nuts and caramel, and perfectly finished off with a vintage blue and white straw.

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The combination was evidently like nothing I have ever had before. The sweet mixture of the various flavors was overwhelming sweet, but incredible because of it!  To say eating it gave me a sugar rush, would be an understatement.

Besides the absolutely delicious cereal creations, part of the reason my experience was so pleasant was because of the environment. The retro furniture and brightly colored rooms looked like something out of a comic strip, and made the Cafe that much more inviting and enjoyable. This feeling was evidently exactly what they were striving for, because they actually have a “Cereal Killer Cookbook” they sell at the cafe, and online! The book features two silly characters, displayed on the cover eating and seeming to be literally inhaling a large bowl of cereal. The book features cereal recipes, games, and other humorous cereal-related content such as the “important rules of eating cereal-slurp all you want, make sure you choose a deep bowl to avoid spillage on the way to the sofa.” Other products included vintage corn flake notebooks, “cereal killer cafe” stickers and even their very own set of trading cards the “the cereal killer trading pack”.

The Cereal Killer Cafe was a unique, fun, creative, and above all tasty experience! I highly recommend it if you find yourself in London, and I look forward to someday going back,  maybe when I have kids of my own!

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