Sunday, December 6, 2015

The Elusive Pappy Van Winkle

If you are a bourbon drinker, you probably know of the legendary Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve. It is allegedly one of the world's greatest bourbons, produced in extremely limited quantities by the Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery Company. I say allegedly, as I have not had the privilege of tasting it. In fact, the chances of me ever getting a taste of this magical spirit are close to zero.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Zio's Italian Kitchen – Georgetown, Texas

You have to wonder about a restaurant where the appetizers outshine the entrée. It doesn't happen often, however, at Zio's Italian Kitchen in Georgetown, Texas, the salad and appetizer were so outstanding that it was a bit of a letdown when the main course showed up.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Off-Centered With Dogfish Head

The recent craft beer popularity explosion affords beer drinkers more quality choices than ever before. Sam Calagione and his Dogfish Head Brewery in Milton, Delaware, is one of the best of the microbreweries. With a name like Dogfish Head, you know this has to be good stuff, and Sam and his team produce an incredible array of unusual and extremely interesting craft beers. "Off-centered ales for off-centered people," is the official description.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Kentucky Bourbon: Great American Whiskey

I did not know bourbon was whiskey. I didn't know what it was made from, how it was made, nor had I tasted it. I've tried drinks with Canadian whiskey, Scotch whiskey, tequila, vodka, and gin, and didn't enjoy any of them enough to stick with it, always returning to beer as my adult beverage of choice. Then, a trip through Kentucky in the summer of 2014 got me interested in bourbon.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A Special Texas Kind of Feeling

Luckenbach, Texas has a special feeling about it. It's the feeling you get when you meet a legend in person, although of course, Luckenbach is not a person. It may only be a place, but it has a distinct personality, located deep in the heart of Texas – literally and figuratively. If you've been there, you know what I mean. If you've never been there, you owe it to yourself to make the trip to this Texas landmark, ten miles southeast of Fredericksburg, Texas.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

April 19, 1995 - Oklahoma City

April 19, 1995 – twenty years ago. I was living in Tulsa, OK at the time, and the next day, after the bombing, I had to work in Oklahoma City. A group of us drove downtown, parked and walked to within a few hundred feet of the Murrah Building.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Sam Adams – Great American Beer

The first time I tried a Sam Adams beer (The Boston Beer Company), I couldn't believe how good it was. It was Boston Lager, the taste was full, the color was a deep beautiful amber, and I was in love. I had never tasted anything like this before, and it was so much better than the mass-produced beers I was used to. My next thought was, why did I spend so many years drinking that other stuff?

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Holly's Drive-In – Post, Texas

If you love hamburgers and soft ice cream, Holly's Drive-In, in Post, Texas, is a must visit. If you live in or travel through the Post/Lubbock area, take the time to try the food at this great drive-in. It's a classic small town sort of place; a place where you can step back in time to a kinder, gentler era.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Cracker Barrel – Harker Heights, Texas

If you do much traveling, you've seen Cracker Barrel restaurants just about everywhere in the US. These popular eateries are usually conveniently located at major highway exits, and are well advertised on roadside billboards. We have visited several Cracker Barrel locations; the Harker Heights, Texas store is one of the best.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Voss' Bar-B-Q – Utica, New York

If you travel through Utica and you don't eat at Voss' Bar-B-Q, you're missing out on a treat. We stayed in Utica in the summer of 2014 and of course, one of our stops was this outstanding food stand that offers exceptional hot dogs, bar-b-q, ice cream and more.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Red Roof Inn #180 – Utica, New York

Hotel/motel prices tend to be ridiculously high, especially in the summer tourist season. If you want to stay in a decent hotel, you're generally going to pay $100 or more and you still take your chances. How many times have you booked a room at what you considered a higher than normal price and ended up being disappointed with the accommodations?

Friday, February 6, 2015

Schlotzsky's – Killeen, Texas

You have to appreciate the humor behind the slogan on the door of their stores: "No shirtzsky, no shoezsky, no Schlotzsky." Schlotzsky's makes one of the most unique sandwiches anywhere - The Original® (yes, it's a registered trademark). What began in a small store on South Congress Street in Austin, Texas in 1971, grew to more than 350 stores, primarily in the southern and southeastern US.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham Merrimack/Nashua, New Hampshire

One of the most pleasant surprises of a recent New England vacation was a stay at the Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham Merrimack/Nashua, New Hampshire. This beautiful hotel sits among tall pine trees and with its rustic look, is very different than other hotels at which we stayed on our trip during the summer of 2014.

"This place is fantastic," said my wife as we turned from Daniel Webster Highway into the hotel driveway. "I can't wait to see the inside."

Friday, January 30, 2015

John's Java House – Copperas Cove, Texas

You want a good cup of coffee. You want coffee brewed by someone that knows coffee beans and how they should be roasted in order to produce the perfect cup. You're not the least bit interested in fast food, chain store stuff. So where do you go?

Go directly to John's Java House in Copperas Cove, Texas.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Comfort Suites DFW Airport – Irving, Texas

Hotel/motel requirements are simple: clean, reasonably priced, easy to find, pleasant atmosphere, close to your destination. Most travelers may consider a compromise on one or two, but obviously we want all of our requirements met whenever possible. One hotel satisfied all of those requirements on a recent stay – the Comfort Suites DFW Airport in Irving, Texas.

Friday, January 2, 2015

IHOP #3028 – Harker Heights, Texas

The coffee was fantastic.

We weren't greeted when we entered, and we stood in the vestibule waiting for someone to notice. It was about 9pm on a Sunday night, and the restaurant wasn't close to being crowded. After several minutes, I stepped through the door of the entryway, hoping to catch someone's attention and finally, a cook in the kitchen saw me standing there and spoke to a server who led us to a table.