Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Staff Picks: Dining out for the budget traveller

Not too far from our offices in the center of town is a wonderful little restaurant in Piazza Ghiberti called A Casa Mia. If you're on a budget, and looking for a place to have a filling lunch, we suggest you check this out. You won't be able to beat the price for lunch specials here, the service is fast and friendly, the food tasty, and the portions large.

Two of our staff members stopped by one day for lunch and were not dissapointed. There is always quite a crowd, as many locals take advantage of the lunch specials, but the service is so speedy you won't be left standing long. Alternatively, if you'd like to guarantee yourself a spot, try heading over around noon- chances are there won't be many Italians lunching that early.

A Casa Mia has 2 alternative lunch options:
3.90E for a first course, 1/2 liter of water, and an after-lunch espresso.
6.90E for a first course, second course, side dish, 1/2 liter of water, and espresso. (a real deal!)

When choosing the lunch special you will be handed a menu with your 3 choices of a first dish (the day our staff members went we had a choice of spaghetti carbonara, risotto with rucola and gorgonzola, or gnocchi with broccoli and cream sauce. They usually rotate this menu- see site for all they offer).

Our staffers both chose the risotto which was cooked to perfection: creamy, cheesy, and filling on its own. It only took about 10 minutes between waiting for the first and second dish- the second course was stuffed farmers chicken plus a side of grilled vegetables. The other options were filet and rabbit.

All in all it was filling, incredibly tasty and the service was wonderful. We each had a glass of wine which was only 2 or 3 Euros, and the serving portion, like the food, was very satisfactory.

Besides the special, they also offer pizza, deserts, and various other options. But remember-the specials are only on for lunch, so if you want to get the maximum amount of hearty cooked Italian food for your wallet stop by A Casa Mia. There are 2 locations in Florence: Piazza Ghiberti and Via Pisana. For a full menu, click here.

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