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Archive for the ‘restaurants’ Category

facade

Vmannequinfemale

At the entrance to Restaurant Carmen

insideRestaurant Carmen

We arrived in Icod de los Vinos around noon, so decided to have lunch before going to visit El Drago (see previous post). We chose Restaurant Carmen, on C. Hercules 2, just opposite the entrance to the El Drago parking garage, so very convenient. It’s a free-standing building, adobe with a caramel color and wooden doors and windows. The entrance faces the street, but at the back there’s a sweeping view over some banana plantations and towards the sea.

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peacockpic

One of the paintings on the walls

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winesign

One of the wine plaques “Ode to Wine”

You enter, past a couple of mannequins in folkloric dress, and walk down some stairs to a large dining area. It has very interesting décor, including various urns and statues, a collection of decorative plates on the brightly-painted walls, and many tiles with sayings and quotes about wine. A central column of ferns gives a nice touch. It’s a fairly casual place, but tables are still laid with real linen.

 

 

 

 

winesign2

“Wine and sun cheer up the heart”

winesigns

Wine plaques

tomatocheese

Tomato and cheese salad. Note the red and green mojo sauces in the bowls behind

We had a selection of small plates, all delicious— garlic prawns, cheese and tomato salad, salad with cod and avocado, and a typical Canarian stew. Plus bread with mojo (the typical Canarian sauces I mentioned before, see here https://viviennemackie.wordpress.com/2018/04/05/eating-on-the-canary-islands/), a glass of wine, bottled water, and coffee, all for a total of  €42.50. Service was good and friendly, and if we were ever back in Tenerife, we would definitely return.

shrimp

Garlic prawns (shrimp)

avo

Avocado and cod salad

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and the Men’s bathroom

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And just for fun…the sign on the Ladies’ bathroom

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outside

Entrance to La Perla

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inside

The bar counter inside

La Perla Bar Restaurant, Garachico, Tenerife

On Jesus Diaz Martin, just a block off the main plaza, opposite the Quinta Roja Hotel.

The lady from our hotel recommended this the first night we were here in Garachico when we said we wanted to try local cuisine. We liked it so much that we returned another night.

It’s quite plain on the outside, but with pretty décor inside (lots of green plants and statues) and linen tablecloths, and doesn’t seem too touristy. There’s also a large bar, with wood trim. But, the main draw is the food—large servings of really tasty dishes. And the amazing thing is that it’s all produced from a tiny kitchen off to the side, run by just the owner and his wife and a helper.

insidetables

There’s the small kitchen where it all happens

insidetables2

Attractive interior

All the wait staff are very pleasant and we managed fine even though we don’t speak much Spanish really and their English is limited. Luckily the menu is in English, Spanish and German.

menu

winelabel

The wine made on the Canary Islands is actually very good

hammelon

Ham and melon

The first night we had sopa de pescado(fish soup—Rod) and Melon con Jamon(melon with ham—Viv) as starters, then Cherne plancha(seabass platter). Plus 2 bread rolls (as I mentioned earlier, on the islands you pay extra for bread), a large bottle of water and a bottle of Canarian rose wine, and the total was only 43 euros!

We also had our first experience with two of the famous Canarian sauces: they are called mojo saucesand are served with every meal, usually with the bread, but added to anything. The most common are the green sauce (mojo verde) and the red (mojo picon), which is much spicier. We also had the famous wrinkly potatoes (batata arrugado), served at almost every meal and a traditional Canarian food. These potatoes are boiled in their jackets in salted water and when tender are drained and left to dry over a low heat until they become wrinkled, hence their name.

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Fish dish, 2 sauces, and wrinkled potatoes

Rham

Rod M with ham and melon

Rprawns

Those are giant prawns!

messels

The mussels were delicious

The second time, we both had the melon and ham, as it was so good. Then I had Mejillones (mussels) and Rod had Lagostino(giant prawns), plus the wine, water and bread rolls, all for a total of only 50 euros.

Many of the other hotel guests also seem to come here and they were all very satisfied too. And plenty of locals come, so it must be a good place. Definitely recommended.

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outside

beerA Chicago Institution

Downtown Chicago has so many places to eat that it’s difficult to know where to choose. One of our favorites is The Berghoff. We’ve often been to The Berghoff and like it for many reasons: it’s well placed between Union Station, and Millennium Park and the Art Institute, where we usually arrive and go to visit; it’s close to Club Quarters, where we usually stay, and to the Willis Tower; but, more than location, it has atmosphere and very good food. It also has an interesting history, as it’s been an iconic Chicago dining experience since 1898 and is one of the nation’s oldest family-run businesses. It started with Hermann Joseph Berghoff, who immigrated in 1870 from Germany. For a history of the restaurant see here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Berghoff_(restaurant) .

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insideIt’s also known for being the place with the first liquor license in Chicago after Prohibition was lifted, proudly known as Chicago Liquor License “Number One”. The license hangs behind the bar and they boast that there’s not a drink that they haven’t served. They also make their own beers, in many styles, some of which are famous.

The Berghoff Restaurant is up a few stairs from the entrance and the Berghoff Café, which offers lighter fare, is a few steps down.

The restaurant is pretty big, so they seem to easily accommodate most people, in the bar section or the dining section. The interior is very attractive, with big wooden beams, wood paneling, lots of framed old photos on the walls, and some stained-glass windows. We’ve been here as a couple, I’ve been with my sister, and also as part of a group, and the wait staff do very well either way.

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Vera

sole

Sole dish

We’ve always been happy with the menu and the service here, and the prices are reasonable for Chicago. The menu is a mix of traditional (old-style from Germany/Bavaria) and more modern, and all the dishes sound great.

Some of the ones we’ve chosen at various times were stuffed sole and free-range lamb chops with salad. Delicious. Of course, with 2 Berghoff Heffeweizen beers.

 

 

Rnearbar

Near the bar

sausage

Game Sausage Plate

VandVOne time we were there in December and they had two musicians in the bar playing live music. We were seated very close to the bar in the dining section, so could hear them very clearly above the general chatter of diners. Very nice. That time Rod had the Game Sausage Plate (3 sausages—duck, venison, pork—with spatzle) and I had the halibut special. Both were very good. On other occasions we’ve had the stuffed sole—also delicious.

Note too the great way they serve the selection of breads.

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Rbreadwine

lambchops

Lamb chops dish

Definitely recommended if you are ever in Chicago and looking for a place to eat, no matter the season.

Address: 17 W. Adams

Daily 11am-9pm, closed on Sundays

https://www.theberghoff.com

 

 

 

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ale

They make their own beer at Oliver Brewing Co on sight

Rale

Ale outside

Pratt Street Ale House

While in Baltimore we ended up coming here a couple of times for lunch and for dinner. Partly because its location was so convenient—opposite the Convention Center and close to our hotels—but also because after our first meal there we realized that the food is really good, fairly reasonably priced and has a wonderful convivial atmosphere and really friendly wait staff.

We sat outside the first two times at tables under trees that line the sidewalk. The next two times we opted to sit inside as the weather had changed to terribly hot and steamy. Both were fine in different ways: outside we could watch the world go by, and it did, in a steady stream of pedestrians and noisy traffic; inside we were cool and could listen to snippets of conversation at other tables as people discussed the merits of the local baseball team, the Orioles. On our final night in the city, there was a game on between the Orioles and the Chicago Cubs and many Cubs fans were in town. Many seemed to be in this pub as it’s on the way to the stadium, so we also heard lots of “go Cubbies” comments too. Remember that Baltimore is serious about its sports!

Rtuna

Inside—tuna salad

Rsalad

Outside—tuna salad

OsignBut, back to the Ale House.

They have quite a large menu with many options, lots like typical pub food. For lunches we tried a couple of their special salads: a crab cobb salad and a seared tuna salad with wasabi soba noodles and vegetables. So good, in fact, that we had the tuna again!

They are a brew pub and their speciality is Oliver’s Ales, so we had to try one of those at least once (because our grandson’s name is Oliver!), and their beer menu is impressive. One evening we chose “Staring at the Sun”, a Belgian-style wheat beer that was pretty good.

alemenu

An extensive menu

crabcobb

Crab Cobb salad

Rsteak

Ribeye

salmon

The salmon and shrimp dish was delicious…

For entrees, the rib-eye was good (Rod), but the really amazing dish was the salmon with shrimp, a mashed potato patty and wilted spinach. I would definitely go back just for that!

Address: 206 W. Pratt Street, opposite the Baltimore Convention Center and a few blocks from the Inner harbor.

tuna

…and so was the tuna salad!

 

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phillips

powerplant

The former Power Plant building

Phillips Seafood was recommended by a friend originally from Baltimore and by all the tourist books and brochures, so we decided we should go there our first evening in Baltimore, as we hadn’t scouted out any other good eating places.

This popular place is at the edge of Inner Harbor in part of the old Pratt Street Power Plant building (Barnes and Noble and Hard Rock Café are in there too). The former coal-fired power plant, built 1900-1909, was repurposed from the mid 1970s. Phillips Seafood moved here in June 2010.

Come very early, or a bit later (8pm) as it gets very crowded around 5:30-8pm and you’ll likely have a long wait, especially on weekends.

Rinside

Rod M inside

There is indoor and outdoor seating: we opted for indoors as the wait was slightly shorter. It was cooler inside too! The décor is attractive with pretty chandeliers and stained-glass insets in the ceiling. We had a beer while waiting and then got a bar area table pretty easily.

Here in Baltimore (and in Maryland generally) crab cakes are a speciality, so we had to try them. We shared a beet salad, with two different colored beets and feta cheese on arugula, which was delicious. Then Rod had the classic plate, which was a crab cake, a shrimp skewer, a piece of salmon, mashed potatoes and asparagus. I had crab-stuffed shrimp, which was 5 butterflied shrimp

shrimp

Crab-stuffed shrimp

stuffed with a crab mix, with mashed potatoes and asparagus. All very nice, with a very friendly server.

The atmosphere is pleasant, as it’s bustling with people and two guys on guitars were playing and singing, a bit like John Denver.

Phillips Seafood is a very prominent institution around here, and it would be hard to miss with its huge red sign. I’m glad we came and it was fun. The food was good, but pretty over-priced, I’d say. Definitely good for one visit, but I’m not sure we could afford to return.

601 E. Pratt Steet, Baltimore, www.Phillipsseafood.com

 

 

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front

glassesFishlips—an Intriguing Name for a Restaurant

Fishlips Waterfront Bar & Grill, 610 Glen Cheek Drive, Port Canaveral, Florida

Their slogan: From hot burgers and cold beer, to fresh fish and fine wine – Fishlips Waterfront Bar & Grill in Port Canaveral has “Something for Everyone!”

There is a row of four or so restaurants near the port terminal at Port Canaveral, but our Florida family has been to Fishlips before and we were happy to be guided by them. We were not disappointed.

group

Our family group

baby

The baby loved the boats and birds

fishlipspole

An interesting logo

This lovely place is close to Cocoa Beach, so if you’re planning on spending some time at the beach, this is perfect for lunch or an early dinner before driving back to Orlando. You pay $15 per car to park in Jetty Park for the beach, but parking at Fishlips is free.

On Boxing Day (December 26) our large extended family group did just that: drove to Fishlips for lunch and then spent the afternoon at the beach. Coming from the Mid-West, where frigid and icy weather had been the norm, we were so happy to feel warm sunshine.

It’s a nautical-themed seafood grill and bar, with an extensive menu (see here http://fishlipswaterfront.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/FishlipsMenu_March2015.pdf ). They have a special Sunday brunch, and can also offer special facilities for parties, banquets etc.

surf

A surfing photo op!

boats

View from waterfront patio

cod

Cod encrusted in mashed potato

You can dine downstairs inside, or outside on the waterfront patio. They also offer an indoor sports bar, and sun deck with Tiki bar upstairs. We opted for the outside waterfront tables that face the port inlet and it was wonderful to see and hear the sea birds wheeling and calling, to see dolphins splashing in the water, and to watch boats of different sizes and shapes glide by: from a small motor boat with two people and a dog, to a ferry, to fishing boats, to a huge container ship. Cruise ships apparently also pass by here, but none came the day we were there.

oysters

Fresh oysters

triple

Triple skewers

We were a large group, with varying tastes, so many different items on the menu got chosen. Everyone in our group seemed to be pleased with their choice—from a dozen fresh oysters, to conch fritters, to coconut shrimp, to baked cod, to burgers, to a crabcake sandwich, to scallops risotto, to mention some of the dishes. My daughter has a baby and our server was very happy to bring small side dishes of vegetables for her. Considering the number of people in our party, we thought that our server did very well—she was accurate and always smiling and pleasant. Prices are pretty reasonable too, if you remember this is Florida and this is close to where huge cruise ships dock.

conch

Fried conch

I hope that we can return here on our next visit back to Orlando.

Open 11am-2am

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summerfield

Summer view to mountains

winterfield

Winter view

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Entrance to the farm stall

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Many creatures on the approach road

MOOIBERGE FARM STALL

This is always a good place to have lunch in the Stellenbosch winelands area as it’s easy to get to, the prices are very reasonable and it’s a lot of fun.

Mooiberge means “pretty mountains” in Afrikaans and the view out here certainly is that, as it’s right below the Helderberg Mountains.

 

many

springbok

A Springbok (SA rugby team) and a Wallaby (Australian team)

stormer

A Stormer (Cape rugby team)

On the R44 road between Somerset West and Stellenbosch, this landmark farm stall is hard to miss, as much of the property is “fenced” with a line of colorful art creatures/’sculptures’ (can we call them sculptures?) that the farm calls scarecrows and transportation creations. They are colorful, whimsical, and sometimes naughty scarecrows! Many of them are animals representing various sports teams, both South African and other countries. For many people, Mooiberge is “that farm with the crazy oversupply of scarecrows.” We wondered how it all began and in fact, the menu explains some of the history.

It started off in the 1950s as a farm stall selling strawberries, run by the Zetler family (Samuel and Josie Zetler and 5 sons), who later added sweet peppers too. As the roadside cart grew too small, they built a bricks and mortar stall that blossomed/mushroomed out into what we see today—a colorful, sprawling complex.

crafts

Some of the crafts in the modern farm stall

gooseberries

Cape gooseberries for sale

sauces

What about some Mama Africa’s hot sauce?

thirstys

Thirsty Scarecrow play area

Some might say it’s a kitschy produce market-cum-wine shop-cum-market for bottled goods (jams, sauces, olive oils for example), cakes, nuts, biltong, local crafts, wine barrels, fruits and vegetables. But, it’s undoubtedly a lot of fun. We once bought a bottle of wine for R25—one of their advertised specials. They seem to have many of the specials for various airlines.

It’s a great place to take kids in the strawberry season (November-January or February), as the strawberry picking is very popular. There’s a wonderful play area called the Thirsty Scarecrow, which the kids in our group loved on the last visit.

 

eva

oslide

croda

Caroline M, Rod M, and Anthea K enjoy lunch

Over the years we’ve been here many times to eat lunch and it’s always been great. In the winter, there’s obviously no strawberry picking and the rows of plants are all covered in plastic. But, it’s still a great lunch place, as it has a fun atmosphere because of the setting and very good food—a tasty meal, with very generous servings, of fresh, locally-sourced ingredients.

The outside deck where you can sit looks out over the kids play area and across the pepper/strawberry fields to the mountains, the whole view enlivened by the bright, quirky, animals (mostly) sculptures—which in general you’d say don’t fit into this (wine) environment, and yet they’ve become a local fixture and a tourist feature and attraction.

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Miss E at entrance to Farmers Kitchen

salad

One of their delicious salads

rburger

Rod M has the lamb burger

The restaurant is called the Farmer’s Kitchen, which re-opened in September 2011 after new owner Kelly Zetler revamped it, to “French colonial meets rustic countryside comfort”. Its hours are 8:30am-5pm, and they specialize in breakfast, snack meals and lunch, with many dishes featuring strawberries in season.

At different times over the years, members of our party have tried many items on the menu. Some of the favorites are a huge lamb burger with Greek-style cucumber-yoghurt sauce; an avocado and chicken wrap; a bacon, brie and walnut pizza, served with salad; a parma ham and fresh fig salad; and a fresh salad with pomegranate and goat cheese. They also have very good meat and cheese platters. The house wine is Du Toitskloof sauvignon blanc and there is also beer, hard cider and all kinds of cold and hot drinks.

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Another great salad

rugby

We look down at rugby player scarecrows from the restaurant

dinosaur

More creatures

Also in the Mooiberge complex is the Thirsty Scarecrow Bistro-Pub, open Mon-Sun 11am-11:30pm.

Mooiberge the Farm Stall is open Mon-Sun 8:30am-6pm.

This should definitely be on the list for anyone visiting the Cape Town and Stellenbosch winelands.

tractor

Mooiberge’s first tractor

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