Thursday, November 11, 2010

Tin Fish Anyone?

In San Diego, right across the street from the convention center, there's a great little outdoor cafe called the Tin Fish. It's on a little tree-covered boulevard practically in the middle of the street just as you head into the Gaslamp District. You can smell the fish frying all day and I promise you, if you ever have one of their fish tacos, you'll be spoiled for life. The place is always busy and it takes a while to get through the line to order your food - so don't go if you're in a hurry. But it's served fresh and hot and well worth the wait if you do! It's a great spot to sit outside in the beautiful San Diego weather and enjoy great food (They do also have some tables indoors)
I'm lucky because there's A Tin Fish located here in Minneapolis too - There are also locations in other CA cities, WA, FL and IN - Try it, I know you'll like it!

Burgers, chicken, soups and of course seafood (fried or grilled options)

My Faves: Fried fish tacos and fish and chips
Note: This restaurant sits right in the shadow of PetCo Park, so if there's a Padres game it will be especially busy.

The Tin Fish
170 6th Avenue
San Diego, CA

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Table by the Window

I just had dinner at a delightful restaurant in Montreal. It's located on the cobble stone street of Rue St Paul, just on the edge of Old (Vieux) Montreal which is a great area to wander and poke into antique shops, boutiques and other novelty shops (Although things close fairly early - many by 6:00pm - It's still fun to window-shop.)

The cozy bistro, Les Pyrenees, specializes in cuisine from that part of the world (North of Spain and South of France.) I had cod, perfectly seasoned and pan-seared over a bed of wheat risotto with sun-dried tomatoes while my two colleagues enjoyed a fish stew loaded with mussels, squid, shrimp and vegetables,and a pasta with red sauce and chorizo. All were delicious and portions were large. There were some good choices of wine by the glass and deserts looked tempting - although we were too full from the great dinner to partake.
A short walk back to our convention center hotel made it a perfect evening.

Oh and by the way, while I happened to be out with colleagues on this occassion, I did see a woman tucked into one of the comfy corner tables dining alone and thought, "I would definitely feel comfortable eating here alone," and I probably will if I ever make it back to Montreal and don't have the company of clients or colleagues.

Menu: Bistro Fare from the Pyrenees
My Faves: The cod, zuchinni cake and the ambience
Special note: Although not as crowded as the bistro right next door, don't let that fool you. Pyrenees is worth a stop.

Les Pyrenees Restaurant
320 Rue St-Paul Ouest (Quartier des Arts)
Vieux Montreal, Quebec H2Y 2A3

Monday, April 12, 2010

A Taste of the Middle East

Who would have thought that I would have some of the best Baba Ghannouge ever at a restaurant on a little side street in Baltimore?!
Lebanese Taverna is a small east coast chain and although I've never been to any of the others, this one in Baltimore's East Harbor neighborhood has fast become one of my favorite spots to eat when here for work. I sat at the bar where they had full-service and although the bartender was busy (it was a Saturday night) he was attentive and gave me his (good) opinions on some of the dishes.
For something a little different than the hundreds of touristy seafood restaurants in the inner harbor area - I recommend a little middle-east respite.

Yummy middle east dishes
Moderate pricing
Full service in/at the bar
My faves: The Baba Ghannouge and the friendly and helpful service

Lebanese Taverna
719 S. President Street, Baltimore, MD 21202 (410) 244-5533
Located on the corner of S. President and Lancaster Streets in the newly developed Harbor East!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Chain Gang in Vegas

I just got back from several days in Las Vegas for a conference and I thought I'd post a couple of restaurants that are located right on the strip that offer the comfort of familiarity. Let's face it, just because you're in a place with fabulous restaurants, sometimes you just want to stick with something simple and something you know ... and for me one night while I was there, the perfect meal was an order of lettuce wraps and a glass of wine at PF Changs ... :>)

- PF Chang's at Alladin/Planet Hollywood (ph)
- Rain Forest Cafe at The MGM Grand
- Hard Rock Cafe in The Showcase Mall (next to MGM Grand)
- Outback Steakhouse at The Coke Bottle
- Maggianos Little Italy at The Fashion Place Mall

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

As Easy As ABC

The ABC Carpet and Home Store in the Union Square neighborhood downtown Manhattan is one of my favorite places to hang out if I have a little bit of time to kill. From the outside, the store looks unremarkable but once through the door you feel like Dorothy stepping into Oz. Brightly-colored oriental rugs and crystal chandeliers of various size and height hang from the tall, six story ceilings in a feast for the eyes. The open construction, and separate shops spaces give the whole space the feel of an upscale, indoor bazaar. Each shop is filled to the brim with eclectic and beautiful housewares, textiles, rugs and more from all around the world. One-of-a-kind shops like ABC Carpet and Home are just one of the many things that I love about New York. At any given moment you can step through any seemingly ordinary door and you may just get to feel like you spent a few minutes somewhere over the rainbow.

The ABC Home and Carpet Store
881 and 888 Broadway
Hours: Mon-Sat: 10-7, Sun: 11-6:30
ABC Store

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Bonjour Mon Ami!

Because I'm in trade show marketing, I end up in Vegas quite often. I don't really mind, since one of my favorite restaurants (Mon Ami Gabi) is located at the Paris Casino. It's one of those places again, where I can take clients/colleagues and they love it, but it's also perfect for solo dining. The decor is casual French Bistro, there are several small tables, wonderful salads and side dishes that you can make a meal of, and they have great wines-by-the-glass. And if it's warm, you can sit outside on the huge patio and have a nearly front row seat to watch the "Dancing Waters" at Belagio just across the street.
Many is the evening I've sat in that bistro or on that patio and enjoyed a plate of mussels or an order of steak frites, a glass of wine and a crusty baguette --mmm Can't wait to go back.

Mon Ami Gabi
Paris Hotel/Casino
3655 Las Vegas Blvd S.
Las Vegas, NV 89109

Menu: French bistro fare
Faves:Steak Au Poivre w/frites, mussels, fabulous wines by the glass
Other Info: They don't take reservations for patio seating, so if it's a nice day/evening and you're set on it, get ready for a bit of a wait.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

A Quiet Walk in the Windy City

Is there such a thing as a "quiet" walk when you're downtown Chicago? One of my favorite things to do when I find myself with a few minutes and want to get outside when I'm in Chicago on business that you may want to try, is to wander down Michigan Avenue to the Chicago River. When you get to the northeast corner of the bridge (the end closest to the Tribune Tower) you'll see some stairs. As you walk down the winding staircase the sounds of the city just start to melt away and you'll find yourself on a lovely walking path that follows right along the shore of the river. If you have time, follow along about 3/4 of a mile toward the lake(east)and you'll come across the back entrance of Lizzie McNeill's - a great little Irish Pub you can stop into for a quick drink or sandwich if you want to. Also, in warm weather, Lizzie McNeill's provides outdoor seating right on the river where you'll be sitting next to the lovely, cascading Centennial Fountain which is located near the spot where the city reversed the flow of the Chicago River back in 1900. From Memorial Day to Labor Day a water cannon shoots a huge arc of water across the river for 10 minutes at the top of every hour beginning at 10 a.m., (except the hours of 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.). It's quite a sight to see!