Views from the Space Needle

I visited the Space Needle in Seattle last August.  The Space Needle is an observation tower and restaurant built in Seattle for the 1962 World’s Fair.  It reaches to 605 feet in height and offers sweeping views of Seattle, Mount Ranier, the Olympic Peninsula, and even into Canada.

I was fortunate to have a beautiful day with clear blue skies during my visit.  The restaurant rotates slowly and during my lunch I was able to go around about 3 times.   At lunch, the food was very good and considering the location I thought reasonably priced.  I had expected to pay more.

Please enjoy the pictures of the views out the window from my table.  I highly recommend visiting when you travel to Seattle.  Thanks.  rk

Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue in Kansas City MO


Jack Stack Barbecue in Kansas City MO is legendary for their barbecue.   Since it is Kansas City, beef is the star here.   I took my family recently to show them the best “burnt ends” in Kansas City.

If you don’t know what burnt ends are, that is okay.   No one in my family did either.   Burnt ends are bite size chunks of beef brisket charred to perfection.   I ordered two plates and before I could snap a picture they were all devoured.   If you want to learn more about Kansas City burnt ends, check out this link:

Jack Stack Barbecue has five locations in Kansas City.  We went to the location at the “Freight House”.    This is a historic railroad building that has been converted into 3 fine restaurants.   We chose this location as we could walk a short distance to Thou Mayest, a local coffee shop/bar.   Jack Stack is definitely upscale barbecue.  The ambiance is almost fine dining and the lighting is dark.   Prices are reasonable and quantities are huge.   They also offer a full bar.


If you are big meat eater, then I suggest you try their Crown Prime Beef Ribs.   This is a interesting cut of meat.   It was explained to me that the Prime Rib is on one side of the sternum of the cow and the Crown Rib is on the other side.   It is served fully cooked and tender, almost like pot roast on a bone.   One rib would probably be enough to satisfy most people.   Josh stepped up and ordered 2, but was accidentally brought 3.   He put a big dent in the Crown Ribs, but ended up having to get a box.


Crown Prime Beef Ribs with Baked Beans and Cheesy Corn Bake

Other family members ordered pork ribs, beef brisket, pulled pork, turkey, barbecue shrimp, and combinations of all of the above.   One side item that was popular was the Cheesy Corn Bake.   It was kind of like macaroni and cheese, but sub corn for the macaroni.   I hope you enjoy the pictures and get to visit Jack Stack during your next visit to Kansas City.    rk


Barbecue Shrimp


Baby Back Ribs, Baked Beans and Fries


Beef Brisket, Pulled Pork, Baked Beans, and Cheese Corn Bake

Steadfast Coffee

There is a list of places in Nashville that I try to go to every time I visit. Over my last few trips to Nashville, Steadfast has become one of those places. Located off of 6th Ave in north Nashville, Steadfast is a great place for brunch or an afternoon snack. They sadly don’t serve pour over coffee but the do have very good espresso and drip coffee which you can get both of with their Duo menu item. As far as food goes the breakfast plate with poached eggs, bacon, and toast with jam is my go to although the porridge is pretty good too! 

They also have a coffee soda that is quite refreshing after a hot summer day! 
– Josh

The Rendezvous in Memphis TN

It can be argued whether Charles Vergo’s Rendezvous in Memphis Tennessee is the best BBQ in Memphis, but it is universally acclaimed to be to be the most iconic place to eat Memphis BBQ.


Charles Vergo’s Rendezvous

What is Memphis BBQ and how is it different?   Memphis BBQ is typically pork and is known for its dry rub.   Dry rub is salty mix of spices that is rubbed into the meat before grilling.   Every restaurant in Memphis will have their own special blend of spices.  You can usually order “dry” or “wet”.   The dry is the meat and spice mixture and wet has sauce added.

Rendezvous is in the heart of Memphis, two blocks from Beale Street.   The entrance to the restaurant is down an alley.  Do not be discouraged by the alley entrance, come on in and down the steps to be seated.   The restaurant is surprisingly large and busy, even on week nights.   Don’t be surprised if you have to wait for a table.   The servers are friendly and the food comes quick so it is okay to wait till they can seat you.


Beale Street in Memphis TN

I usually order the ribs and pork shoulder combination, but the ribs & brisket are a good choice as well.   Or just get the ribs……you can’t go wrong.   Today, like always, the meat was very flavorful and delicious.   I like just a little sauce on mine.    Take a look at these pictures and tell me you aren’t wanting a plate!


Ribs at Rendezvous


Ribs and Brisket Combo at Rendezvous

While Rendezvous is one of my favorites, there are a bunch of other great BBQ places to visit during a trip to Memphis.   Also consider trying Interstate BBQ, Memphis BBQ Company, BB Kings, and Central BBQ.    I know a lot of people like Corky’s BBQ, but I just don’t see it.   I’ve been disappointed every time I have been there.

If you have any other favorites in Memphis that I haven’t mentioned, please comment and let me know.   I’m always open to trying a new BBQ place.   Thanks for reading.   rk

Atlanta’s Ponce City Market


Atlanta’s Ponce City Market is truly a gem.   What was once a Sears Roebuck and Company Building covering 4 acres and the largest brick building in the south is now an urban center drawing locals and tourists alike.   The architecture and history here is something to really savor.   The complex has shopping and dozens of unique and imaginative restaurants on the first two levels.   The great thing about these restaurants is that they are not chain restaurants but are truly local restaurants.   The upper levels of the building are condos and there is access the Beltline (a walking and cycling path through all the cool parts of Atlanta) from the 2nd level.


One of the best places to eat at Ponce is Bellina Alimentari.   This trendy Italian restaurant has a hidden bar area in the back that is really cool.   Start with their local and Italian charcuterie and cheese board paired with a nice Italian red wine.   All the entrees are fabulous because they make the pasta onsite daily, but my personal favorite is their Lasagne.   It has fresh pasta, sautéed spinach and mushrooms with ricotta, béchamel, and parmigiano reggiano.  Finish with a Cannoli Milanesi and if you are feeling dangerous try a shot of the grappa.


Dancing Goats Coffee Bar is great place for a coffee and I am hopeful to try the City Winery the next time I visit Ponce.  If you are in the area I also recommend you try Honey Bubble down the street for Atlanta’s best boba tea.   If you aren’t familiar, then google boba tea and then hurry down to Honey Bubble to try the best I’ve ever had.






Café Du Monde


Beignets from Café Du Monde

I don’t think I have ever been to New Orleans without stopping at Café Du Monde.   This restaurant is pretty well known, some might even say “world famous”.    The concept here is simple:   gorgeous location, irresistible hot beignets, and cool atmosphere.

Café Du Monde is located in Jackson Square in the heart of the French Quarter.   Jackson Square is the cultural heart of the French Quarter and a great place to hang out and soak in that cool atmosphere.   There are usually artists painting in the square (and selling their art as well).   Towering over one end of the square is the St. Louis Cathedral which is a historic and beautiful basilica.  On the other end of the square is Washington Artillery Park with sweeping views of the Mississippi River.


The St. Louis Cathedral seen from across Jackson Square

In one small corner of the square is Café Du Monde.   You will notice when you visit that it isn’t fancy and takes only cash.   They serve the iconic New Orleans beignets and chicory coffee.   The beignets are fried dough covered with large heaps of powdered sugar.   They are also served hot and you can down more than you would think in very short order.  The chicory coffee is bitter and best with large amounts of cream and sugar.   Nothing makes you feel like part of the French Quarter than devouring these hot delightful morsels and watching the activity all around you.   Make sure to stop here during your next visit to New Orleans.



Café Du Monde

Havana 1957 in Miami FL

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My favorite place to eat on South Beach is Havana 1957.  The location is gorgeous and the atmosphere is very inviting.   Imagine an open café with all the South Beach ambiance around you.    The food is authentic Cuban and delicious.   Last time I was there I was trying to eat healthy and ordered Pechuga de Pollo a la Plancha.   That is grilled chicken breast served with white rice and black beans.   It sounds simple, but the chicken is marinated in something sweet and tangy and paired very well with the rice and beans.   Havana 1957 has a full bar but since it was lunch and I was “working” I chased my delicious meal with a Cuban coffee.  It started strong and finished sweet.   This is great place, definitely visit the next time you are in Miami.


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Epcot International Food and Wine Festival 2016 Review

I was fortunate to be able to attend the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival this year for a couple of days with my wife.    If you are not aware, the Epcot World Showcase normally has eleven countries and it is a rite of passage to eat and drink yourself around the world.   During the Food and Wine Festival each autumn, Disney adds 35 different booths representing countries or unique themes.   They issue you a passport where you can get a sticker and check off each item from each booth.   The temptation to excess is extreme with all that is normally there along with the Festival booths.

We stayed at the Walt Disney World Dolphin resort with a short walk to the back door entrance into the Epcot World Showcase.   This location was really nice as we could sneak back to the hotel to take a nap and get right back without losing a ton of travel time if we had to take a bus.   The Dolphin is a very nice hotel, but note that you do not get the Disney Magic Bands or access to the Extra Magic Hours when you stay there.   I had allotted 3 days in Epcot to hit every booth.   We managed to get at least something from all 35 booths in the first two days, but made ourselves miserable in the process.   The portions aren’t real large and if you split each item you only get 2-4 bites.   The drinks were sometimes large but usually the wine was only about 3-4 ounces.  But when you are cruising through the booths, it ends up being was way too much rich food and alcohol in a short time and honestly by the end I felt a little sick.   The Food and Wine Festival also has events you can pay extra for and I wish I had done some of those to break up the constant eating and drinking.   Epcot doesn’t have a ton of rides and the ones it does have are mostly across the park from where the Festival is.   I did do the Frozen and Soarin’ rides several times and probably should have watched some of the dated films in France, China, and Canada.

Okay, I decided to go ahead and break down by booth in order what I tried and missed and what I thought of each location.   This is a lot of information, so you may want to take a seat and relax while you read this.   Many of the booths are pretty much the same from year to year so if you decide to go next year you can probably still use this guide to make wiser choices than I did.

The Festival Center:   This is where you should start to get basic information about what is going on and to see exhibits and buy souvenirs.   It is near the front of the park by the Universe of Energy building.   If you are interested in signing up for the events, it is too late to do so now.   Reserve those months in advance if you are interested.

Craft Beers:   This is in a building in the transition area between “Future World” and the “World Showcase”.    It is on the right near Mexico.   I was excited just to go into the building as I hadn’t been in it before.   This was a first stop of the day so we were hungry and tried everything.   The Piggy Wings with Korean BBQ sauce were really good.   I recommend those.   The Charcuterie plate and the Pimento Cheese Dip were both average.   Unless you really like charcuterie and pimento, I would skip them.   I did the beer flight trying Concrete Beach Stiltsville Pilsner, 3 Daughters Bimini Trist IPA and Shipyard Midnight Snack Milk Stout.   The Stout was my preferred of the three as it wasn’t overly bitter and was tasty.   My wife who doesn’t like beer at all said the stout was “okay” and actually had a second sip.


Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea:  There are 4 Joffrey’s locations scattered around the World Showcase.   These are always there, but each had a themed drink for the festival.   We tried 3 of the 4.   The Tiki Torch was fruity and vodka laden, the Spiked Chai Latte was very good.   I had it made with Bailey’s.   The Kahlua-tini Iced Coffee was overpriced and not good in my opinion.   I didn’t try the Frozen Strawberry-Lemon Sunset.   The temperature was cooler by then and I didn’t want another frozen drink.

Islands of the Caribbean:   Here we tried the Mojo Pork with Black Beans, the Pescado con Coco, and the Quesito.   I didn’t try the Jamaican Beef Patty.  The Mojo Pork was great.   Get it.   But the best dish to me was the Pescado con Coco.   It was a seared grouper with rice pilaf and a coconut sauce.   The sauce was sweet, didn’t taste like coconut to me.   I really liked it.   Drink wise, we skipped the Presidente Pilsner and tried the Frozen Mojito and Caribbean Sangria.   The Mojito wasn’t very minty and nothing special.   The Sangria was good.


Refreshment Port:  This is a permanent stand as well like the Joffrey locations unlike most of the booths across the festival.   If you have been here before, you know about the “Cro-Nut” they serve which is fabulous.   I went for the iconic Disney Dole Whip with the added Bacardi Coconut Rum.   The Dole Whip by itself is insanely good and I think Coconut Rum makes everything better.   My wife got the Dragon Berry Refresher with the Bacardi Dragon Berry Rum.   While both were good, I got the better drink here.


Greece:  Here we skipped the Loaded Greek Nachos (meatless sausage crumbles scared me off) and got the recommended Chicken Gyro and Spanakopita.   We also skipped the Vanilla Cake.   It didn’t look like anything special to me.   The Chicken Gyro was the best.   The Spanakopita was plain and bland to me.   They had 3 different Greek wines.  I picked the Syrah from Florina which was okay.   It was served ambient temperature which was about 82* F so that didn’t help.

Desserts & Champagne:   This location is bubbly wines and Hard Soda floats.   My wife got the “Yellow Label” Brut which she seemed to like.   The long fluted glass was cool.  The cast member at the booth recommended the Hard Cherry Cola Float which was a winner.

Patagonia:   We tried everything at this booth.   The Beef Empanada, the Grilled Beef Skewer, and the Roasted Salmon with Quinoa & Arugula.   I was trying to narrow it down to just one to recommend but really all three were good.   We got both wines which were a very tasty Malbec and an also good Pinot Noir.   Both wines were from Rio Negro.


Hawaii:   Here we got both the Pork Slider and the Spicy Tuna Poke.   I had high hopes for the Hawaii booth but both items disappointed.   The Pork Slider was okay but nothing special.  The Tuna was completely raw and the sauce on it was so hot it was basically inedible.   The Mai Tai did make some amends and my wife enjoyed her Sparkling Pineapple Wine despite it being actually from Florida.   We skipped the Koa Brewing Big Wave Golden Ale.

Farm Fresh:   Here we got the Loaded Mac N Cheese and the Chicken & Dumplings.   Surprisingly, the Chicken & Dumplings was one of our overall favorites on the festival.   I felt on the Mac N Cheese that they tried too hard.   The green onions and peppers was the predominant flavor not the bacon or cheese which is what I had hoped for.   We skipped the pickled beet salad (of course) and did get a Dry Pear Hard Cider and a Elderberry Hard Cider.   Both were cold and satisfying.

New Zealand:   Everything at New Zealand was good.     The Steamed Green Lip Mussels were fresh and garlicky, the Lamb Meatball was as good as it sounds, and the Seared Venison Loin was tender and had a delicious Wild Mushroom Marsala Sauce.   To drink we paired with the Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc, both from Marlborough.

Australia:   We tried everything at Australia as well.   The Grilled Sweet and Spicy Bush Berry Shrimp was spot on.   The Grilled Lamb Chop with a Mint Pesto sauce was good as well, but I really enjoyed the Lamington dessert.  We paired this with a Shiraz from McLaren Vale.

Mexico:  Mexico is one of the countries where we started to get really full.   I am sure the Barbacoa Enchilada was good but we settled for just the Taco de Camaron.   This was a battered shrimp with way too much purple cabbage.  It was okay.   We also skipped the Flan as that is something that isn’t mass produced very well normally.   The Jalapeno and Pineapple Margaritas were very popular but we passed on all 4 of the Mexican alcoholic beverages.   Tequila isn’t a good way to finish a day of drinking.

China:   We had hit China early in the 2nd day and tried most everything.   The Beijing Roasted Duck was really good.   We ditched the bread it was served with.  The Sichuan Spicy Chicken and Black Pepper Shrimp were both okay, but the Chicken Pot Stickers was one of the best things I ate all day.  It was served crisp and tender.   Very nice.   I had the Kung Fu Punch and my wife had the Happy Peach which were both very tasty and strong.  We skipped the Tsingtao Lager, Strawberry Plum Wine, and the Ritzy Lychee drinks.   They also had a Mango Bubble Tea that I planned to go back to get but never did.   I regret not making it back for it.   One other note for China is that the Terra-Cotta Army was removed and replaced with an exhibit on Disney Shanghai.   I found the new exhibit very interesting but I wish they could have found somewhere else for it.   The Terra-Cotta Army is always something that mesmerizes me.

South Korea:   This was one of my favorite countries when it came to food which surprised me.   The Korean-style BBQ Beef was really tender and I liked the BBQ sauce a lot.  The Roasted Pork Lettuce Wrap was also delicious.   We didn’t try the Vegan Korean BBQ item.    I had no idea what any of the drinks were so we picked the Raspberry Wine over the Grapefruit Sparkling Wine and the Fruit Slushy.    It was sweet and went well with the BBQ Beef.

Refreshment Cool Post:   I had the Spicy Hot Dog with Kimchi and Mustard Sauce.   It was the right amount of spicy and was really good.   It warmed me up after a couple of Frozen rides.  We also shared the Frozen Brown Elephant drink.   This was frozen Coca-Cola with Amarula Cream Liqueur.   We were fighting over this drink, it was that good.

Africa:  The Buttered Chicken is a traditional favorite and it was okay, but I actually liked the Berbere-style Beef Tenderloin Tips more.   If I had to pick one, I’d get the beef.   We paired this with the Pinotage from Stellenbosch which was the right choice.   The Jam Jar Sweet Shiraz you can get at Kroger and Chenin Blanc didn’t seem to match the food well to me.


Brewer’s Collection:   Considering this is the Food and Wine Festival, it was surprising how much beer was here.   I had to pick between the Zwickel Pilsner, Hefe Weisse, and the Zitrone Weizen-Mix.   I had no idea was any of this was, but gambled on the Schofferhofer name and got the Zitrone Weizen-Mix.   This turned out to be a really sweet Lemon Citrus beer similar to the grapefruit one this brewer is known for.   Jackpot.   I really enjoyed it during the hot part of the day.

Germany:   We declined on the Schinkennudeln which is pasta gratin with ham and the Apple Strudel just because I was really full here.   We did get the Roast Bratwurst in a Hard Roll.   We ditched the roll and just ate the bratwurst.   It was long and skinny, but tasted like a bratwurst so it was good.   We passed on all three Reislings and the Zwickel Pilsner here and instead got a Schoefferhofer Hefeweizen each at the regular stand in Germany.   Anytime you can get that on draft you must do it.   This is the very refreshing grapefruit beer.

Poland:   Poland was another country that really surprised us was so delicious.   Plus we sang the Veggie Tales Christmas song about the 8 Polish Foods of Christmas.   Google it if you haven’t heard it before.   The Kielbasa and Potato Pierogi was really good as was the Golabki.   Golabki is pork stuffed cabbage in tomato sauce.   To drink we got the Hungarian Wine and the Frozen Szarlotka.   The Szarlotka was like dessert, basically an apple pie blended with vodka.

Italy:   I think we made the wrong choice here.   We got the Pennete alla Parmigiana in honor of my friend who loves his Chicken Parm and couldn’t make the Festival this year.   It was bland and chewy.   The chicken was obviously fried in a factory somewhere and not fresh.   I think we should have gotten the Spezzatino alla Toscana con Polenta (Tuscan Stew) and the Cannoli al Cioccolato.   I did pair with a nice Chianti from Placido.

Hops & Barley:   This is the American restaurant.   We went with the New England Lobster Roll and ate the lobster right out of the bread.   It was fresh and good.  We passed on the Smoked Beef Brisket Pimento Cheese sandwich thing and the Carrot Cake.   You can get the Carrot Cake all year round at Disney.   There were a bunch of commonly available US wines and beers but we chose the Frozen Orange Spiked Tea with “Orlando Orange” vodka since it sounded unusual and local.

Block & Hans:   Sadly, this permanent location also in the USA section wasn’t open when we came through the area.   They only had a Pale Ale and the Festival Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon which were all items you could get in other booths so no big loss.

Japan:  The food in Japan didn’t look that great when we came through.   I’m not sure if that is because we were stuffed or it just wasn’t that great.   We ended up getting the Garlic Shrimp which was notably less fresh than the shrimp in China and passed on the Spicy Sushi Roll and the Grilled Spicy Edamame.   We passed on the common Kirin and Sapporo beers and chose the Pineapple Breeze Sake Cocktail.   It was better than expected (not a big Sake fan here).

Morocco:  We were pretty full by the time we made Morocco and got just the Chocolate Baklava.  It was served like an eggroll so the presentation was unique, but it was good.  We passed on the Kefta Pocket and Spicy Hummus Fries.   We chose the Mimosa Royale to drink and passed on the Pale Lager, White Wine and Moroccan Sangria.


Belgium:  The Beer-braised Beef with Gouda Mashed Potatoes was as good as it sounds.  We passed on the Belgian Waffle options since you can get those anywhere.  We also skipped all three Belgian beers.   Stella Artois isn’t that good and neither the Hoegaarden Witbier of the Leffe Blonde Belgian Pale Ale sounded good at the time.

Brazil:   We came by here as an early in the day stop and got all three food items.   The Escondidinho de Carne (Meat Pie with Mashed Yucca) was good but I never did find out what kind of meat it was.  The Crispy Pork Belly with Black Beans was the best thing here.   The Pao de Queijo was a waste of money.  It was a bland spongy cheese filled bread.   We actually gave half of it away to some other folks we were chatting with.   I skipped the Black Beer and Sparkling White Wine to get the really strong Frozen Caipirinha.   I mean really strong.

France:   Ah, France.   One of the best places to hang in the World Showcase and enjoy the views and also one of the best places to eat.  The Gruyere and Cognac Onion Soup was tres terrifique.  The Croissant aux Escargots is a must try.   I always like but can’t pronounce Boeuf Bourguignon.    The Crème Brulee Caramel Chocolat was more like a pudding with the caramelized sugar topping but I still really enjoyed it.   I could have eaten a dozen of these small delights.


Ireland:   I really liked the Seafood Fisherman’s Pie.   I don’t think my wife did, but I ate her share happily.  We also got the Irish Cheese Selection Plate which was okay and the Warm Chocolate Pudding with Irish Cream Liqueur Custard.   That was really good and I was sad I didn’t get to eat my wife’s half.  We chose to drink the Bunratty Meade Honey Wine and the Frozen Pumpkin Chai Tea with Caramel Vodka.   I don’t really care for pumpkin but it was a subtle flavor and I really enjoyed the Chai.  We passed on the Irish Cream Ale.


Scotland:  We got all three food options here as well.  The Fresh Potato Pancake with Scottish Smoked Salmon was kinda weird tasting.   I’d pass if I were you.  The Traditional Scottish Lamb Stew with Neeps and Tatties was very good.   I didn’t know what Neeps and Tatties were so I asked.   Turnips and Potatoes I was happy to find out.  The Tipsy Laird whiskey soaked cake with lemon cream was as good as it sounds.   We chose the Citrus Thistle gin drink over the Irish Whiskey Aged Stout.   It was a good choice but I’m sure the Stout would have been good as well.

Canada:   I was very much looking forward to Canada.   Their Cheddar Cheese soup is famous but didn’t live up to the hype.   It was more potato soup tasting than cheesy.   We talked to some others and it was different than what they remembered so either they changed the recipe or forgot to add the cheese.  The “Le Cellier” Wild Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon with Truffle Butter Sauce was as good as I hoped for and more.   I can now see why Le Cellier is such a hard reservation to get.    We passed on the common Moosehead Lager and tried the Apple Ice Wine and the Red Conception from Niagara.   Both were very good and I recommend them.

This next group of booths were up closer to the Imagination pavilion and I recommend visiting them at night as they are lighted up and have more permanent places to eat.   It made for a cool atmosphere.

The Chew Collective:   All of this was very good.  Ricotta and Zucchini Ravioli, Grilled Beef Skewer with Romaine, Apricots and Feta, and the Peanut Butter and White Chocolate Mouse.   The Grilled Beef Skewer in particular was marinated and seasoned well.   Again, I liked all of this.   The drinks here were just the Festival Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Greenhouse Guru:   After all the meat, cheese, and heavy foods we eagerly ordered the Heirloom Tomato Salad with Goat Cheese and Balsamic.   It was so good and refreshing.   We passed on the rest of the items here.   Duck Confit, Chilled Tomato Gazpacho with Lump Crab Meat, and Mini San Marzano Tomatoes.   The wines here were a Riesling from Washington and a Pinot Noir from Oregon that you could get at your local grocery store.

Chocolate Studio:  The Liquid Nitro Chocolate-Almond Truffle with Warm Whiskey Caramel.   The name says it all.  I should have ordered about six of these.   I loved this.  We also got the two other options, the Ghiradelli Chocolate Raspberry Torte and the Red Wine Chocolate Truffle.  They were both good, but the Truffle was the highlight.  We chose the Sweet Red Sparkling Wine over the Cab Sav, Port and Madeira.   Probably should have gotten the Madeira.

Wine & Dine Studio:  This was a cool place to hang out and we very much enjoyed what we got here.   The Seared Scallop was perfect and the Artist Palette of Wine and Cheese was fun to share.   The three cheeses were all very unique and paired well with the California wines.   This dish really summed up all of the best of the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival.


Tia B’s La Waffleria in Albuquerque NM

Tia B’s is a family favorite in Albuquerque.   We can’t pass through the area (like within 500 miles) without stopping to sample their delightful waffles.   Now you might be saying, what’s the big deal about waffles?    Well, let me tell you.   Tia B’s starts with 5 different made from scratch batters:   wheat/buttermilk, buckwheat/sour cream, rye/sour cream, multigrain/milk, and rice/coconut.   The base batter is used to make delightful and tasty combinations.   Some of our favorites include Waffle Rancheros, Sweet Goat Cheese & Port-Infused Cherries, Biscuits & Gravy, and Bacon & Egg.   No matter what you prefer, whether sweet or savory, Tia B’s has something to make your taste buds happy.   Check them out the next time you are within 500 miles of Albuquerque.   You’ll be glad you did.  Learn more at



The Maine ways to eat lobster


As I sit here pondering and blogging from a coffee shop in Portland Maine, I couldn’t help but think of all the different ways to eat lobster up here.   As you know, part of the travel experience is eating all the local food you can.   Sometimes that can be hidden local gems or an iconic tourist trap.   It’s all good.   So to sum up, here is a list of lobster filled dishes I have tried in Maine (with a few notes on each).

  • Lobster Roll with butter – the best way to eat lobster in my opinion.   Eat @ Red’s.
  • Lobster Roll with mayo – some folks think this is the best, but they are wrong. Charlotte’s Legendary Lobster Pound near Southwest Harbor ME does it well though.
  • Lobster Bisque – with real lobster chunks from Sea Dog Brewery in Bangor.
  • Lobster Tacos – Jalapenos in Bar Harbor, the lobster is subtle.
  • Lobster Quesadillas – also from Jalapenos.   It’s very rich.
  • Lobster Pot Pie – at the beautiful Kennebunk Inn in Kennebunkport.   And yes, it is delicious.
  • Lobster Ice Cream – not the best way to eat lobster.
  • Whole Steamed Lobster – classic.
  • Lazy Man’s Lobster – Testa’s in Bar Harbor, yummy and buttery.
  • Lobster Mac n Cheese – lobster and cheese!!!!!!
  • Lobster Omelets – Two Cats also in Bar Harbor.
  • Lobster Egg Benedict – umm yeah……. Two Cats

The picture at the top is from Red’s Eats in Wiscasset.   This was my favorite in Maine for value, setting, and sheer quantity of lobster.   It is iconic Maine to get lobster from a shack near the ocean, then eating at a picnic table under a sunny sky watching the lobster boats.  The fact that the huge lobster roll is huge, has so much lobster you can’t see the bread, and is dripping butter is amazing and tasty.  If in Maine, make time for Red’s in Wiscasset.