Friday, August 29, 2014

Nerbone's Panino Bollito for the yummiest best value meal in Europe at the Mercato Centrale in Firenze

I love Florence because of the shopping and the food. However, it was only on my last trip there that I really enjoyed the quiet Tuscan life (which you can read about here), and one of my discoveries was one of the best meals I've ever had in Italy - which turned out really cheap to boot!

The Mercato Centrale is one of my places in Firenze. It's a big covered building right in the center of town open everyday until around 2pm, with the leather market around it open the whole day.

Inside the Mercato is like a big deli, where you can find all the best ingredients to make a simple meal taste great. I love grabbing stuff here to bring home because everything is so cheap compared to buying it from the boutiques or buying it at home.
An assortment of Italian products.
Olive Oil in all flavors.
Pasta in all shapes and colors.
Truffle preserved in all forms so sauces and dips.
Fresh veggies, like Artichoke which happened to be in season.
This is really good served deep fried in the local restaurants.
Organic Sicilian sun-dried tomatoes
I took a picture of the tripe and other innards because I read that this
was part of the Panino Bollito from Norbone which I came for.
Big rocks of Parmesan and other kinds of cheese.
You can buy ready to cook packets for different kinds of risotto.
And my favorite, the different kinds of flavored salt.
The stalls normally offer free taste of their products.
And you can also order something to eat,
like a sandwich, which you're shopping.
There was also a stall that makes fresh pasta.
There are also several coffee shops, and tourists take their coffee standing
up, just like the locals do.

The highlight of my last visit was really the meal I had from Nerbone! Nerbone is located in one of the corners of the market, so if you walk along the outside perimeter of stores, you'll be bound to find it.
It has a distinctive green sign, and if you come around
lunch, a long line too match.
A closer look at Nerbone's open counter.
Tables are available across their counter, so you can sit and enjoy
your meal.
Step 1 is ordering at the Counter. I ordered from the nice man.
I asked if I could have a dish instead of a sandwich and he said yes.
After you pay, you get your receipt, and you line up again to claim it.
Claiming takes some time because the order is done
in front of you, based on your preference.
Bollito actually means boiled meat (I think!).
Then I think Lampredotto means tripe and innards (I think!) which is cooked
in that liquid where the bread is dipped for the Panino Bollito (sandwich).
This is someone's Panino Bollito order. I think if you're less adventurous,
you can get Bollito, but for the more adventurous you can ask for
Lampredotto to go with it. It's served with the best green and red sauce.
When it was my turn, I ended up with this dish. It was purely boiled beef.
The beef was melt in your mouth and so tasty, but I would have also loved
to try some Lampredotto, but that got lost in translation since I didn't
want to end up with a whole dish of tripe.
It's so good with the bread dipped in the broth. The green sauce reminds
me of chimuchurri sauce, and the red sauce is the hot sauce that provides
a nice kick.
This is an extremely happy me.
Note to self: must always eat here when I'm in Florence.
I can't believer that a full plate of the soft and tasty beef is only 6.50Euros.
This is totally a steal!!!
A miniature Nerbone Stand displayed in their stall.
They are so busy, the huge slab of boiled beef,
was only this small in the time it took for me to eat lunch.
I can't wait to go back to Florence, if only to visit the Mercato and eat here again. It's not really part of my plans for next year, but Sofia is already convincing me to take her to Italy because she's never been, so I may consider it for 2016, if I save enough money for it and she gets honors that is! just saying.

Da Nerbone
Address: Mercato San Lorenzo, Florence, 50123 | Map It
Phone: 055/219949
Open only for lunch and closed on Sundays

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