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Review Of The Day!

13 Feb

Since I can’t travel all year long, the other thing I love to do is go out with friends and find good places to eat, drink, dance, etc.

A few years ago, I was introduced to www.yelp.com. Here, as thousands of other people, I keep track, through reviews, of the places I’ve been. Reading someone of the reviews of Cafeina (in Miami, FL) I decided to give it a try. Loved it and on top of that got ROTD (review of the day)!!! ūüėÄ

Here’s the link: Cafeina

Hope you enjoy it as much as I did, and check out other reviews, I assure you Yelp comes very handy when debating on where to go or wanting to try something new.

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Drinking Around the World 2011

25 Oct

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This past weekend I went “Around the World” in just one day, thanks to the Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival, and my friends who made the trip with me.

I’ve been on this trip several times before… As many other people, my friends and I call this the “Drinking Around the World” tour. You’ll see groups with matching T-Shirts, others with maps to hit as many Countries possible but, most people, like us, just walk and stop where they see something they like.

This year I started in Mexico. It is my tradition to start with a Margarita (Frozen or on the rocks). This year’s special offering for this Country was a Lime Strawberry Margarita on the rocks. Refreshing, and I liked the sweet and sour combination. With it I also had the Shrimp Taco. The shrimp is breaded, with a sort of slaw salad and a spicy green sauce – delicious. We stepped inside Mexico’s pavilion, where you can enjoy tequila tasting, or more Margarita options like pineapple, passion fruit, avocado, and more.

From Mexico we went to China where I had the Pork Pot Stickers, one of the most satisfying dishes offered. 2 pot stickers per plate filled with meat. To drink I chose the Happy Lychee cocktail. I believe this is Vodka with Lychee juice and lime. Interesting flavor… There’s some sweetness to it because of the lychee but not sure if I really liked it or not, still glad I tried it.

If you’re keeping this same route, soon you will hit the Cheese kiosk, where I recommend to get the Artisan Cheese selection. Right in front there’s the beer stand where you can choose dark, pale or wheat beer. They even offer a flight in case you want to try more than one. I had the Braufactum Roog (smoked wheat beer) and recommend you try it too. I’m not a big beer drinker and this one I would have again…

Germany is next so, for beer lovers, you’re in luck!!! More to choose from, plus they have Goulash.

Italy was just steps away… I’ve always liked visiting this Pavilion, especially more now that I’ve actually been to Italy. You can always find good wine here.

In Japan you can find sushi rolls, some beers and sake. Being with a group of friends we all decided to do sake bombs. Buy one sake for 2 – 3 people and 1 beer each. Build the sake bomb yourself and cheers! Bottoms up!

I also visited New Zealand where I ate a scallop with Kumara-red curry puree and Apple radish salad. The scallop I loved but, even though I appreciated the heat of the curry, it was not my favorite thing.

Morocco came too soon after eating the Scallop so I just tried their Sangria and the Mimosa. I love Mimosas but, the Sangria, I can make it better…

I could see Belgium near but France was next and I knew I was eating there… Still, really wish I would have tried either the Belgium Waffle with berry compote with whipped cream or the Chocolate seashell truffles. Next year this is on my list.

In France I just had to get Escargot. These come in mini garlicky bread bowls. I paired them with a Sparkling Pomegranate Kir, and as dessert a “creamsicle” frozen cocktail. You MUST have at least one of these. Trust me, it will be one of your favorites from this “trip”.

Australia is another good Country to visit, Food always smells and tastes good, not to mention their wine.

As you can see, there were Countries we just flew by to get to our destinations… The “World” is a big place to tour in one day, especially when there’s others in line. Still, this trip is always fun and delicious, and I highly recommend it to everyone. If you are planning on going this year, you have until November 13, and here’s a link that will help you organize your tour: http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/media/wdw_nextgen/CoreCatalog/WaltDisneyWorld/en_us/Media/InternetMediaType/Event/EpcotInternationalFoodAndWineFestival/2011-food-and-wine-guide-map.pdf

If, for some reason, you can’t this year, no worries there’s always the next. Just remember to end it on a sweet note, maybe with one last treat from the desserts and champagne kiosk, or the Bakery in France, and watching the amazing fireworks to celebrate this amazing trip.

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International Noodles in Prague

17 Oct

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Inside The Yasmin hotel is located “Noodles”. Here you will find typical Czech food but, it’s real allure, as the name implies is the international noodles the serve.
You can enjoy fantastic Italian, Chinese, Thai or Mongolian pasta, and from other countries too.

I went with Germany. Ordered the Speatzle with mushrooms sauce, roasted ham, “Wiener“ onion and fresh vegetables. Everyone at the table had to try it and agreed it was delicious. Creamy, full of flavor, and the fresh salad was a great side.

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The food is not the only great thing about this place but service is great too, at least we had a great experience. Party of 10, the lady taking care of us was very helpful with the language, making recommendations, and making sure we were all pleased with what we ordered. To the point that she exchanged my drink (it was too strong for me) without a face or complaint. She just removed from our check and replaced with something else.

The decor is very cool, modern, and inviting. Starting at the lobby area with sofas and comfortable seating area, making it’s way to the restaurant, to the outside garden seating, perfect for the cooler, blue sky days.

I ended my meal with dessert and a fresh mint tea.

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Not sure why but, the presentation, and the fact of it being fresh gave this a more personable touch, making me like “Noodles” even more.

Prague goes French

21 Aug


Francouzsk√°
restaurace is a French restaurant we visited while in Prague…

Table for 10, which means 10 drinks at once, plus wine carafe. I would never attempt it but, our brave server did and unfortunately lost. Of all things, wine goes down. Nooooo! It’s ok, we mourned a little but when it’s replacement came we were all happy again. Our server apologized profusely – poor lady really felt bad when, to us, it was just a minor delay to order.

I started with the duck Foie Gras. Served with perfectly toasted bread and caramelized red onions. At first I hesitated on the onions but once I tried it all together it was delicious. Even my “picky eater” sister liked it.

As main course I had the duck breast, also really good. Served with orange and a Grand Marnier Sauce. All main dishes come with 3 sides: potatoes, and different vegetables. That night we got creamy potatoes, white asparagus, and artichoke. Yes, I tried all 3 and cannot tell you which was my favorite. I would go have them again.

From the other plates at the table, I tried the Coq au Vin – this is one of their most generous portioned plates, the Fricase the Guinea, and the Beef Cheeks were so tender you almost didn’t need a knife.

Wine carafe was enough for four glasses, and good pairing to our dinner.

Oh, and their coffee, I LOVED! I had a “piccolo”, which is like an espresso, it’s thick and strong – exactly how coffee should be.

It’s located near the National Centre so you have a nice view when waking by.

Another good restaurant to try while in Prague.

Pilsner Urquell – what we drink in Czech!

16 Aug

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In Czech they drink and love their beer. Most of the restaurants and hotels have a contract with Pilsner¬†Urquell and this is what’s served – draft, obviously. Your selection, regular or dark.

I’m not that much of a beer drinker (sorry!) but, must say, I was pleasantly surprised when I tried this one. It’s served in big Pilsner glasses, cold, and it goes down smooth. You can have a regular size one or large (like a 2 in 1). Another plus, this beer doesn’t seem to hit you (get you drunk) as quickly as other beers. This one is made to enjoy it.

So, after all the beer I’ve seen, and drank, my (new) brother-in-law took us to the Pilsner Factory. Here you get to see how beer was made when they started, in barrels and cold caves, and how things have evolved to modern times. You get to see how they wash the bottles, fill them and close them, ready for retail. Same thing with cans.
Interesting fact, here, in Czech, they charge you 3 crowns when you buy beer, for the bottle, when you bring this back, for recycling, you get your 3 crowns back. Smart!

Oh, and yes, on the tour, you get to ‘sample’ the beer (you can choose between small or large cup – you’d be surprised to know some do chose the small one), right in the caves where it used to be made.

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Tour is about 1.5 hours, and it’s available in Czech and English. Check for other languages.

Cool tour, if you’re a beer lover, plus there’s a souvenir store right outside where you can get good, affordable gifts to those who share your love of beer.

Hotel U Prince – The Terrace (Prague)

10 Aug

On the 5th floor at the Hotel U Prince, you will find their restaurant, also known as The Terrace. Here you will find a good view of Old Town, Prague Castle, and surroundings.

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That day was quite an experience. We are enjoying the view, ordered our food… As soon as we’re served, I feel a thing hit my head, it was a seat cushion that flew on me. Black clouds and terribly strong winds almost blew away the terrace cover. Everyone was rushed downstairs, just in time. As soon as we got inside ‘all hail broke lose’ literally. Heavy rain, and hail came pouring down. We all had to carry our own plates, drinks, everything, while the staff, and some of the men eating there held everything from blowing away. You know it’s bad when even the staff looked concerned, and doesn’t do anything to hide it from their guest. But, thankfully, no one got hurt and, like I said, it was an experience.

Servers worked quickly downstairs to accommodate us. They improvised a table inside for us, and another for the other couple that was still there (everyone else went to the bar). They apologized for the inconvenience and we resumed our dinner. I ordered the Chicken Stir Fry. Plates here are not big, but I was satisfied with mine. Chicken, peppers, mushrooms, and some seeds. The prongs with boiled potatoes were good too, and you can choose¬†between 6 or 12 prongs. The Chicken plate with vegetables, was another winner. If you’re very hungry, avoid the caprese salad. This was all lettuce, 3 mini cherry tomatoes, and about 2 mini mozzarella, and a lot of onions. Those in our party who ate it said it was good but definitely not enough.

For drinks you have a wide variety to choose from: frozen drinks, cocktails, Martinis, shots, coffee drinks, and non- alcoholic mixes like the Coconut Dream which I was told was delicious. I had the Tiger Milk: kaluha, dark rum, creme the cacao, and cream, served in a mini martini glass with mint leaves. Not too sweet, so it was perfect for me.

Since portions weren’t big, and we couldn’t go out because of the rain, we ordered dessert. Tiramussu¬†was served in a Martini glass – very pretty, Creme Br√Ľl√©e was big enough for two, although so good you might not want to share, and the Strawberries with Mascarpone was light, fresh, just perfect.

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After the long walks around ‘Old Town’ this is the place to go to relax, enjoy the view, and some good food and drinks. Just check the skies before you go upstairs, remember, if it looks like rain, stay away, unless you want a story to tell, like me.

Dinner @ u Sadlu – a must do in Prague!

7 Aug

Literally a few steps away from pension Balbin.

I loved this restaurant. You are greeted by an armored statue, to set the Gothic/ Medieval tone of the restaurant inside. It’s sort of cave, you go down the stairs and are greeted by the server or the bar, whichever you see first.

Decoration inside is with more armored details, flags, big candle chandeliers (like the ones you see in movies). Lights are dim, tables, chairs, and other furniture is dark wood, giving it a more rustic/ old era feel.

To start they give you some bread and, instead of butter, they serve it with a mixture of potatoes and what I think was bacon fat – it tasted just like lard – you will either love it hate. In my case, one small bite was more than enough, and never again.

Menu is good for everyone. They offer chicken, beef, pork, fish, vegetarian dishes, and more. Main plates, sides, and desserts are translated to English, everything else, good luck… Fortunately our server was super nice, patient, and did his best to understand what we wanted. We were very grateful for that.

I ordered the goulash, and everyone at the table was eating from my plate. This is one of their typical dishes and I don’t think you can ever go wrong with it. Also tried the skewer dish, meat and chicken were tender and so well seasoned. For that plate we had special effects… Right before coming out, they turned off the lights and out comes this dish with blue flames – really cool. Also cool, the smile on our sever’s face when he saw that we liked it. Ok, back to the food. The beef with bacon and beans was outstanding. So tender, flavor was amazing, and even with the bacon it did not taste greasy at all.

This is one place you should put on your list when visiting Prague. Believe me, you won’t be disappointed.

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