One of my favorite parts of visiting the little village of Prizzi was our dinner at Blue Games, the best meal of our trip! Don’t let the ambiance fool you! From the front, it was a deli with cases of cheeses and meats. In the back, are modest tables. There was a familiarity about the restaurant and people, I felt like I was visiting my cousins in Long Island, New York. It was Friday night and the teens were out in groups getting their hamburgers and French fries.
Our waiter Giuseppe was very genuine and spoke to us how he grew up in Prizzi, but was moving in a week to Milan for work as an electronic engineer. He was already melancholy about leaving his hometown. He was very excited to serve us his favorite dishes. He pointed to a set menu for €20/person. He then chose the options for us “instead of french fries, I’ll give you the antipasto dish…and instead of steak, you should try the 3 meat trio since the lamb and sausage are local.” We could not believe when course after course kept coming (note that the photos are only 1 portion, NOT for the entire table to share).
Antipasto: The antipasto was my favorite part of the meal, since it was filled with a variety of Sicilian cuisine, a few which I was trying for the first time: panella (chick pea/garbanzo bean fritter, tasting similar to polenta), caponata (also known as ratatouille, like an eggplant vegetarian stew in stewed tomatoes), slices of parmesan cheese, fried eggplant, marinated mushrooms, olives and bread.
Primo piatto: The pasta was in a tomato sauce with a hint of cinnamon, mushrooms and local sausage from Prizzi.
Secondo piatto: The meat trio included steak, local sausage and local lamb all over rucola. I usually don’t like lamb, but to my surprise, this lamb was delicious and was actually my favorite of the dish!
Dolce: Call me crazy, but I have never particularly liked cannoli in the US since, to me, it tasted like a stale cookie filled frosting. This all changed when I went to Sicily and became obsessed with cannoli!! When you walk into the Sicilian bakeries, you will see empty cannoli in the case. That is because they only fill them in the spot once they are ordered. They are filled with ricotta cheese, which is not particularly sweet, but decadent and rich. The shell isn’t hard and stale, but instead fried to a light crisp. Cannoli is now my dessert of choice!!
If you happen to find yourself in the small hillside village of Prizzi, definitely enjoy a meal at Blue Games.
Pastizzi and Maltese coffee at the Crystal Palace, Is-Serkin 🥰
Crystal Palace is considered the best pastizzaria in Malta, probably because they serve the pastizzis crispy right out of the oven, instead of getting soggy in a case like most bakeries. They are so cheap, so take this opportunity to try all the pastizzis: mashed peas, the traditional pastizzi (€0.40), cheese (€0.40) and chicken (€0.50)
(From Valletta, take Bus 51, 52, 53 or 56 to Rabat 3. In the shopping center is Crystal Palace, Is-Serkin, with the black and orange sign)
Read more about my Pastizzi experience
Read more about a 1-day Malta Itinerary
Today I was again woken up early by the church bells! I took this opportunity to plan my trip to the Maltese Island, Gozo. It definitely takes time to get to Gozo from Valletta, so you must dedicate an entire day to the little island. I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s a “must see”, but if you happen to be here for a week, Gozo is worth a visit. This is my Gozo in 1-Day Itinerary:
BUS: VALLETTA –> ĊIRKEWWA FERRY TERMINAL
From Valletta, go to the main bus station and proceed to Bay 6 (past all the buses, then left and then continue walking to the end). Take either Bus 41 or Bus 42 to the last stop, Ċirkewwa. This is where you will get the ferry to Gozo. The bus ride will take around 1.5hrs and 75 stops. Bus tickets are €1.50 (or €2 during high season) and can be bought directly from the bus driver. There is also free WiFi on-board all public buses.
ĊIRKEWWA FERRY TERMINAL –> GOZO
When you get off the bus, there will be sales representatives from various Gozo tours companies approaching you. I used the Hop On Hop Off, CitySightseeing Goza. It was advertised online for €20, in the brochure it stated €18 but the saleswoman gave it to me for €15 (maybe because it was November, which is off season). It was a fine bus tour, however, be aware that buses only come every 45min, so getting off must be carefully thought about. You will be given an exact bus schedule in the brochure.
The line to get a boat ticket was long, instead, just get on the boat. After the 20min boat trip, when you arrive in Goza, buy the ferry ticket at tbe Gozo ferry terminal, instead. A round trip ferry ticket is €4.65, but is only shown when leaving Goza. Please click the link for more information such as schedules for the ferry, the Gozo Channel.
TIME IN GOZA
When I arrived in Goza, I was starving! At the same time, I didn’t want to interrupt my excursion by going to a restaurant, so I ate at the Fuli Kiosk (Triq Lourdes, Ghajnsielem, Island of Gozo), only a 10min walk from the ferry terminal up the main street. Against my expectations, it was absolutely amazing and even had an outdoor seating area with a beautiful view of the marina. I would highly recommend the Grilled Chicken Salad which was a huge portion filled with so many ingredients and interesting flavors (see photo below).
Now get on your red bus (or green bus, depending on the tour company you chose) located right outside the ferry terminal building. Their WiFi password which is unfortunately not displayed anywhere, is: gozo1234
The only stop I got out at was Stop 12, the Ggantija Temples (€9), since it’s an UNESCO World Heritage Site. However, I would not personally recommend it. If I were to do the bus tour again, I would have gotten out in the Cittadella around Stop 4 (Victoria) and Stop 5 (Ta’ Ddiegi). From the bus, this village reminded me of Mdina, in the main island of Malta. Other passengers were getting off at Stop 13 (Ramla), for the beach. There will be a 10min stop at Ta’ Pinu which is enough time to get off and quickly take photos of this beautiful basilica (see photos).
RETURN TO VALLETTA
If you haven’t yet bought you ferry ticket, this is when you need it! After returning to the main Island of Malta, go to the bus stop (on the same side of the street as the ferry terminal). Hopefully you’re ride back to Valletta will be shorter than your arrival and not too crowded (it probably will be…but remember not everyone is going all the way back to Valletta).
ABOUT THE BUSES ON THE MAIN ISLAND
–Bus tickets can be bought from the bus driver for €1.50/person (€2/person during high season)
–Bus Stops displayed above the driver in front, so it’s easy to know upcoming stops
–Free WiFi on bus Free_Tallinja_WiFi (if it doesnt connect: click info “i” of the network and then re-connect to the network)
–GoogleMaps will give public transports direction in Malta, but Maps does not.
–Printed on the ticket, is the time of validity of use.
It’s hard to find a restaurant in Vienna that has spice, but Yori (Vienna, 1010) will definitely not disappoint! I ordered, as photoed, the Gemüse Ramen 🍜. I don’t have a lot of experience with Korean food, but I definitely liked the ambiance and spicy food! It was our first stop in our celebration of Christine’s Bachelorette Party 🎊🎉 .
This week I had the great pleasure of directing a play that I wrote at an Austrian school in Eggenburg. This course is designed to teach English through the creativity of theater. I’m so proud of the hard work from my students and happy with how the show has turned out.
Another bonus was dinners in the vineyards at W4 and the great hospitality of our host from the Weingut (bed and breakfast in a winery), Weingut Ruttenstock, where we stayed which offered us a glass of wine (or 2 😉) every night…a perk to working in the Weinviertel (Austria’s wine section in the northeast of Lower Austria).
I had the perfect day with my great friend Agnieszka! We went to the French bistro, Le Bol (Naglergasse 21, 1010 Vienna) and had their famous Monsieur Seguin Salad which was absolutely amazing with goat cheese and fruit. Then we had a lovely walk in the sunny 82°F / 28°C weather to Naschsalon (Liechtensteinstraße 38A, 1090 Vienna) where we had their Truffle Cake, the best chocolate cake…EVER!
Celebrating my Pre-Birthday Party (my actual Birthday is this Thursday on September 5th) at Il Sestante (Piaristengasse 50, 1080 Vienna) right outside the beautiful Piaristenkirche in the 8th District of Vienna. Thank you for the flowers from Christine and Jeff, the amazing birthday cake made by Agnieszka and my new godmother gear from Leona (and her parents Ashley and Julien). Thank you all who came to celebrate with me!