This past Friday in Milan. The weather was surprisingly pleasant, a limpid sky with a cool and refreshing breeze blowing through the streets. For me it was 1 day away from reaching a very big milestone in life, one day away before crossing over into another decade! Oh what to do, what to do, when you want to remember the date as a spontaneous yet special foray into the city? Why, you draw up a plan for breakfast, snacks, lunch, shopping and carpe diem like nobody’s business.
Breakfast at Pavé: gotta try La Centosessanta
Part bakery, pastry shop, and cafe, the vibe at Pavé is so laid-back that we actually visited twice in one day: first thing for a cappuccino and brioche, and a last stop in the afternoon for espresso and one of their excellent tarts. There’s a casual feel to the place and if I didn’t know any better, would’ve thought that I had just stepped off the plane in Portland? Pavé’s specialty item is the Centosessanta (160), a delicate brioche/croissant filled with an intensely-flavored apricot jam. I vaguely remember an article explaining the “160” as the amount of apricot filling (in grams) that initially goes into the dough, and during the baking process, some of it evaporates down to 100. Whatever it is, I was hooked on the first bite. We also tried the kipfel, an almond and custard-filled pastry.
I can’t be the only one who feels that macarons are so yesterday, but we’re talking Ladurée here and I don’t see them ever going away no matter what state the economy is in. These are nothing but sheer indulgences for what they cost, and I’m glad to report that they’re still worth it. Orange blossom, Chocolate coconut, Strawberry candy and Yuzu ginger (the best-tasting of the bunch, in my opinion) make up my 8-piece box.
Magnum Pleasure Store (preceded by a yummy tomato/mozz panzerotto from Luini)
I mentioned MPS at the end of the post here and patiently counted the days to create my own Magnum bar. It was worth the wait and subsequent 4€ each. You feel like a kid in a candy store faced with all those toppings to choose from. And the pink! I could not resist those cute little candy hearts and raspberry nibs. MotH, on the other hand, got a little punch in the mouth with chile pepper flakes, pistacchio and hazelnuts.
Lunch: Filipino Fast Food
Even with all the filipinos living in Milan, it came as a shock to learn that there was an actual place to get home-style filipino cuisine. This was around 3 years ago when I first heard about the hot pink food truck at Piazza Vesuvio. The owners dish out favorites like pancit, lumpia and pinakbet in front of a very apropos location: the filipino consulate.
Not wanting to fill up too much and ruin the rest of the food tour, we shared a plate of rice, bbq pork stick, pancit and lumpia shanghai – 6.50€ with the Coke. The menu lists a lot of other items (I was excited to see kare-kare and diningding), but they aren’t available every day. There are several benches in the park to sit down and enjoy your meal.
Bab: korean sushi to go
I’ve never tried korean kimbap before so it’s impossible to know how it compares to what’s in the display case at this tiny shop on via San Marco. Your choice of 12 pieces for 10€. The owners of Bab employ a creative style that makes it a tasting experience rather than the usual rice and other fixings rolled up in a sheet of nori. Look how pretty they all are, nestled side by side in a paper-lined box. Everything tasted delicious, but I especially liked the rice balls flavored with a spicy sauce and topped with sesame seeds.