Its good to be back. Italy is the land of good food. Not only good food but good meals—which means a nice 2-hour lunch, a bottle of wine, and lots of sunlight—not a bad way to eat. I love it!. You are driving along some secondary road, the weather is wonderful, and at noon it is time to eat. Sometimes you will see a “Ristorante or Trattoria” sign along the road. You stop, go inside and you are seated at a table with tablecloths, beautiful decor (they are very proud of their places)  and an array of spotless glassware. The meal begins. You eat, you drink, and after an hour or two, you are sent on your way with a slight buzz—not too much but just enough. America is different and in America, Vermont is still more different. It would be nice to drive along a road, enjoying the scenery, spot a restaurant sign and hop in and have a good lunch but that is not the case. Perhaps in some states, but here in Vermont, all you find are these places—little crumby roadside stands with greasy burgers and no services—and I love it!

I must admit that after a week or two of just great food and fine cuisine, I miss a crappy meal at one of these places. Now that it is autumn, they are closing down for the season and soon I will be heading south. Florida will be different—very different. You are rarely driving along country reads—most of the time it is expressways with little signs every few miles at the exits pointing out the local fare—McDonalds, Burger King, Chic-Fila etc. Not too exciting, but hey, its home. What you have to do is find a town and in Florida there are lots of them—just head toward the ocean and there are towns. Most places along the water serve fish and its fresh and there is nothing like a catch-of-the-day and a beer. I suppose it is just what you are used to.

One thing about Italy though is that my long-range plan is to spend a summer in Italy and my lunch routines certainly will change. Then I will be getting into just going into a bar and having a sandwich and a beer and they make great sandwiches!

By the way, this photo is taken in Vermont—not Italy and the “joint” is in between two towns—the names of which I can not remember. Dining in Vermont can be an anonymous experience.