By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Oct 06, 2016 at 8:15 AM

For the 10th straight year, October is Dining Month on OnMilwaukee, presented by the restaurants of Potawatomi Hotel & Casino. All month, we're stuffed with restaurant reviews, dining guides, delectable features, chef profiles and unique articles on everything food, as well as voting for your "Best of Dining 2016."

I love to travel. When I’m gone for a couple weeks, I don’t miss home (unless my family isn’t traveling with me). I don’t miss my bed. I’d be happy to keep going. If money and vacation days were no obstacles, I’d go pretty much anywhere and wander and meet people and ... eat.

Often I remember places I’ve visited by the food I ate there. I know I’m not unique in this. Good food is boosted by a great atmosphere and by our memory of having enjoyed it.

Recently I was thinking about places I’d especially like to go for the food and these four places – each on a different continent – came to mind for a variety of reasons.

Azores, Portugal

(PHOTO: Visit Portugal)

There is no shortage of culinary destinations in Europe, of course, but ever since doing research on my family’s immigration to the U.S. from Italy, and seeing that their ships passed the Azores – and their vessels' presence officially noted – I’ve been intrigued by this archipelago of nine volcanic islands floating out in the Atlantic, about a third of the way across the sea from Portugal to North America. In addition to stunning natural beauty, the island has a unique cuisine that takes some cues from Portugal, but, thanks to the Azores’ remote location, has a feel all its own. Rustic and hearty peasant food is the order of the day but with amazing dairy products, pineapples and fresh seafood. Sign me up. Azores Getaways offers a full slate of all kinds of tours, including a family adventure deal that runs through the end of the year. Details here


(PHOTO: Buenos Aires Food Tours)

This is also on my to-do list thanks to my interest in genealogy. My Italian great-grandmother was born in Buenos Aires and spent the first five or six years of her life there as her migrant worker parents scratched out a living. That’s made me curious about the city in which they lived, but also the culture and food, which is a mix of dishes and ingredients native to South America, but with hefty influence from Spanish and Italian settlers. Though Spanish is the official language, nearly half of Argentines claim Italian ancestry. Thick steaks, asado barbecue, dulce de leche, Milanesas (Argentinian breaded or milanese, meats). I’ll get there someday, I hope. After 46 reviews (41 of which were excellent or very good) Trip Advisor gives Buenos Aires Food Tours a certificate of excellence.


(PHOTO: Bazel, public domain)

Since I was a kid reading Camus, I’ve dreamed of visiting Algeria in North Africa’s Maghreb, though the political mood hasn’t at times seemed especially conducive to that during my adult life. Then, I could try the blend of Berber, Arabic, French, Jewish and other influences that have led to interesting dishes like the sauteed and spiced onions and tomatoes topped with eggs (chakchouka), traditional hariri lamb soup and the sweet makroudh pastry (I’m especially eager to try the almond version) or the kanefeh, another sweet dessert (pictured above). Expert Algeria runs a variety of themed tours of the country, which you can find here (I wasn’t able to find any ratings for it, however).

Bangkok, Thailand

(PHOTO: Ppoonns/Wikipedia Commons)

We all know about Thai food by now, but like any other cuisine, I bet what you get in Thailand is broader, richer, deeper than the options we find here. Even if it turns out that American Thai food is pretty authentic, I suspect I’d have a great time making my way through the restaurants and street food vendors. Trip Advisor gives Bangkok Food Tours a certificate of excellence for its 1,030 excellent ratings and 135 very good reviews. You can see the wide variety of options here.

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.