Ristorante Pizzeria Bibiano, Assisi, Italy
Thank God that we found this place - the situation was looking grim. Stuck on a tour to the town of Assisi a couple hours outside of Rome, we were led to a lunch buffet, which screamed tourist trap everywhere. I ducked away next door in hopes of a better venue, and it admittedly didn't rub off as too authentic either. But it turned out to be one of the best meals on the trip. The carpaccio di bresaola was everything one would expect to taste from a northern Italian air-dried salt-cured beef (rather than straight raw beef) with rucola choppings, cheese shavings, and olive oil.
Next up were a variety of pizzas - finally they were thin and crisp - so much that you could hear the crunching sound from tableside neighbors when they cut into it (much better than yesterday). The toppings were savory yet not excessive. We also had a ravioli in salsa rosa (apparently an exclusive), which were certainly much smaller in size than Chef Boyardee (ha ha) but much richer and creamier. The zuppa di verdure (vegetable soup) was also a good clean yet filling soup - so filling (and so big a bowl), that we ordered too much.
And it came down to only 10 Euros (US$12.50) a head. This was one potential disaster that was salvaged completely. Nice, especially considering the refreshing gelato and coffee bar upstairs. We've just gotta find more of these places.