I recently wrote about all my favorite places to eat in Florence. In this post, I'm doing the exact opposite and sharing the five worst things we ate. Of the three cities we visited, Florence was the only city where we had less than stellar food experiences. There were some things we took a bite of and threw away, and others we simply felt wasn't worth the money. Encountering food that doesn't match up to our tastes or expectations is inevitable, but it's all a part of the fun when traveling to a new place!
Trippa alla Fiorentina at Il Ristorante
Inside of the Mercato Centrale (Via dell'Ariento, 50123 Firenze, Italy) on the second floor is Il Ristorante, a counter known for their Tuscan specialties. Together we shared the Trippa alla Fiorentina (Tripe Florentine-style), a "poor-man's dish" that consists of braised tripe in a hearty tomato stew. I'm a fan of offal, but this was too much offal for my taste buds. The meat was tender and jiggy texture-wise, overpowered by an intense barn-like fragrance that made me want to vomit a bit. I took a tiny bite and that was all I could handle. No, thank you.
Panino con il Lampredotto at Panini e Vini di Nante
The most popular street food in Florence is the Panino con il Lampredotto, a sandwich filled with stomach meat (abomasum) from a cow, topped with its own broth. Patrick and I decided to stop by Panini e Vini di Nante (Piazza Duomo 52 Rosso, 51025, Florence, Italy) to try out this very popular local dish, but we both couldn't stomach it after taking one bite. The stomach meat has a pleasant texture of tender pastrami, but then you quickly realize that you are eating a cow's stomach from that unpleasant funky taste of offal.
I've come to realized that as much as I love offal, I don't like how it's prepared in Italy.
Truffles at Il Tartufo Luciano Savini
Also inside the Mercato Centrale (Via dell'Ariento, 50123 Firenze, Italy) on the second floor is Il Tartufo Luciano Savini, a small counter that offers dishes with fresh black or white truffles. Priced at 16€ to 20€ for a dish, I expected the white truffles to be of amazing quality, but sadly it wasn't. Together we shared the fried eggs and steak tartare and enjoyed both, but the truffles were mediocre. In comparison to all the truffles we had on our trip, these truffles were underwhelming, lacking freshness and that pleasant musky aroma. There are plenty of other options to choose from to get your truffle fix, this place is overpriced and the quality just isn't up to par.
Chestnut Street Vendors
It's chestnut season in Italy and I was lured by the sweet fragrance of chestnuts roasting on the streets. It may have been our bad luck in choice of vendor, but these chestnuts sucked. Tough and hard to chew on, nearly inedible, and many burnt.
Custom Magnum Bar at Magnum Pleasure Store Firenze
I'm a sucker for Magnum ice cream bars, so I couldn't resist designing my own custom bar at their Magnum Pleasure Store (Piazza del Duomo 47/R, 50122, Florence, Italy). It just sounded so cool. Unfortunately, the experience was pretty pathetic. You walk in and choose three toppings and what you want your ice cream dipped in from dark, milk, or white chocolate. The person behind the counter dips your bar and shakes the toppings over, drizzling it with melted chocolate to finish. I choose a white chocolate bar with pistachio, popcorn, and popping candy (the candy did not pop). The toppings bar was messy and they tasted stale. I only ate half the bar and threw away the rest. At a cost of 4.5€ a bar, it was pretty pricey for what it was. Skip this place and go grab yourself some fresh gelato instead.