Tuesday, April 23, 2013

T Tavolo Caldo in Italy

T:   Tavolo Caldo or Hot Table


    You may know it as a buffet, a caffeteria or an Italian store that sells prepared foods.


As a solo traveler I spend too much time finding restaurants that I feel comfortable in or where the staff are not annoyed by serving only one patron. 

Since tipping in Italy is not required, you would think it would make no difference.  


In Italy there are cafes that offer an assortment of veggie dishes, pastas and other lunch type foods.
There are no instructions in the tour books but you can follow the lead of other patrons.   
If the cafe is very busy the staff may not have time to try to translate travel ITalian, but you can point to what you would like.
It is either priced by the item you select, the entire plate or I have seen it also weighed.   I can not tell you how you know, just follow the flow. 

Each trip I try to add to my list of TC where i can enjoy a hot meal.  In Florence I have on location past the Bobboli gardens frequented by only locals.


 
Also in Florence Leonardo is rather famous.  He has had his 'caffeteria' style restaruant for over 30 years.   This year we had a long conversation 'in Italian' and I believe he told me if you are happy with your work you will be happy at home.   Leonardo's is only a few blocks from the Duomo on the second floor.  

It is never busy when I have been there.   There is a selection of meets, pastas and salads.  Usually a meal is under 10Euros.




 On my second visit to Lecce, Puglia last year I found a real treasure.
Caffe Tito Schipa just off the main square.  

Arriving after the 'rush' there were only a few patrons so I had no problem asking for what I wanted, the owners (as do most Itlaians) spoke some English and I cuold understand what each of the dishes contained.




And of course there is always a dolce after lunch, but there are additional sweet treasures to find in many of the other cafes. 
 http://www.caffetitoschipa.com
I can find a treasure on any of my trips and think I am the only one 
who knows about it until I check the internet and see they have a web site!  You will find some great history about this lovely spot.    
From their web site:


The Coffee Tito Schipa, conducted in 1993 by the family Pati, occupies a prestigious position, located between the beautiful Piazza St. Horace, living in the city, the scene of concerts and events of various kinds and the wonderful "candy" of Lecce Baroque: The Basilica of Santa Croce.
Tito Schipa Coffee, one of the classic bar Lecce, while recurred over time, has kept up its name and quality of supply to customers, starting by the excellent espresso accompanied by the typical sweet Lecce: pasticciotto , to be eaten sitting at a table placed near the square ... or in the beautiful and elegant lounge, furnished austere but comfortable.
The culinary specialty of the restaurant is
the aperitif "Tito Schipa" , served at all hours, conceived and prepared by the owners, is a 'unique opportunity to taste the typical products of Salento in various and delicious recipes.
Due to the location offset from the square, the venue offers visitors the chance to enjoy the beautiful architecture of the center in a pleasant atmosphere accompanied by a friendly and professional service.



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