Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Florence, Italy - All'Antico Vinaio

Having taken a noontime train to Florence and immediately walking around the city for several hours, it all of a sudden hit us that we had skipped lunch and had worked up a considerable appetite. (Ok, fine, I admit it, I ate a massive gelato for lunch). Stomachs rumbling, we tried to find a restaurant, only to come to the realization that 4pm was the in between lunch/dinner hour and everything was closed. Not being overly familiar with Florence, I kept weaving down little side streets, not knowing where I was going, and just before I hit hunger delirium, I stumbled upon the Mothership: All'antico Vinaio (via dei Neri, 65). 

This hole in the wall is just about the best damn sandwich shop on the planet. You choose your meat, your cheese, a variety of sauces and toppings (artichokes, eggplant spread, mushrooms, rucola, tomatoes, you name it) and its all smothered in between two slices of hot fresh focaccia bread. Can't make up your mind? No problem. The gregarious and accommodating men behind the counter will make up a combination for you. Max price for this amazingness: 5 euro. 

Go early or go late to avoid the lines, as I'm told this place is no secret ...

The sandwiches are the size of your head; if you're two people you might want to split one. (I got my own, and due to my competitiveness, even with inanimate objects, felt the need to polish it off. Yes so, needless to say, I skipped dinner that night). 

If you're lucky enough to grab one of only a handful of stools on the sidewalk, this is the pretty view of the street:

Just when you thought it couldn't get any better, it does: self-serve wine from the sidewalk for 2 euro a glass. Just pop your change in the box, take a glass, pour yourself some local wine, and wash down that panino. 

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