Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Texas Roadhouse!

I just happened upon this restaurant, Texas Roadhouse while in New England and thought I had discovered the mother lode. What a fun place, where one can eat peanuts and just toss the remnants onto the floor and listen to country kicking music and yell "ye ha" every hour! If you go, you must try the rattlesnake bites, which are out of this world; not even chili poppers, so popular in So. Cal. come close to these! The steaks were cooked to perfection, the fresh hot bread is really something else (while trying to cut down on bread) served with cinnamon butter as well as, the daily assortment of awesome fresh veggies.

So for a fanatic against chains...I have to admit, this one has got me changed along with RiRa (Irish pub and grill -FAbULOuS food and cocktails)! This is one amazing restaurant and bar serving perfect Irish fare (try the Reuben with their homemade corned beef), great hand cut fries and since I was in New England, had to try their clam chowder finding it to be just perfect (as well as their potato leek soup). Most of these pubs have taken over old historic buildings and while maintaining the decor as it was when it was either a bank (or something else), they have transformed these into working bars and restaurants while preserving a part of our past, fantastic!

One last recommendation before I have to run out the door here, is Jumping Jays Fish Cafe! This is located downtown Portsmouth, NH and was the best meal I had in the 3 week vacation. The fish was unbelievable; ultra fresh, prepared with a choice of sauces and each one done to perfection. The martinis were good, the bread superb and the caesar salad was (finally) the way it should be, just olive oil, lemon, garlic, anchovy and parmigiano (nothing saucy or over dressed)! Mind you to eat here on a Friday or Saturday, you MUST make a reservation way in advance otherwise forget it. Even during the week you should make a reservation especially during the tourist season.

Portsmouth offers wonderful coffee houses, fabulous bakery items and oodles of Italian restaurants as well as the classic pub, brewery and chowder houses. The one thing I did not do with my other half was go to a great martini bar  (I was told by an insider it has the best).  The Red Door Martini Bar and martinis are not all they serve, check out their music line up, damn wish we had found out this little tip earlier, before we had to leave (guess I have a good excuse to go back)!  ;-)

Friday, April 9, 2010

Eye Opener of a Vacation

I am now convinced after spending time in New England, variations on a theme regarding clams, lobster, cod and such are really hard to find. After three weeks of the same type of menus, I never thought I would say this, I almost broke down and went to an Italian restaurant in the US (OMG)!  Nonetheless, the freshness of the shrimp, the three sizes available for clams, the lobster and great tasting fresh cod seemed to take away the boredom of the choice. I love New England but to eat some of their traditional food means you really have to exercise; those chowders are not low fat (but wow, are they delicious)! 

New England strives to be eco-friendly, green and eco-correct but I found that to be just a "tad" hypocritical when everyone drives SUVs! America has GOT to get a grip on it's over sized engines in these over sized vehicles to drive around in town. Just because it snows does not mean one must have an SUV unless you live in an area where the road to your own home is long and off the main road then yes, most of the trucks have their own snow blade attached to the front. Again, the cost of pushing that heavy blade added into the size of the truck = how much gas consumed? Salting the roads is bad for the rivers and streams and such because it is not just pure salt flowing in when the melts arrive. Snow plows paid for by the cities are for the main roads only so, what is a person to do?  

Well I have one suggestion, downsize the cars and engines without sacrificing power (as done in Europe for decades) and still have a four wheel drive vehicle able to pull a trailer, or pack your kayak on top.  Check out these photos of the Fiat Panda 4x4 and the ultimate dream of making the Fiat 500 into an SUV ...

For most of us who drive from the house to town for marketing and errands, why not downsize to the revamped Fiat 500? Remember this the old one?  Check out the new one and talk about gas savings!

After driving around Vermont and seening how beautiful that state was and how nice to see all the eco-correctness there as well and fierce pride in serving Vermont-made products and using 7th Generation products in hotels, I was severely disappointed to see again, the massive number of SUVs, trucks and, the incredible amount of trash at rest stops, in town (Burlington), cigarette butts all over and the number of people who smoked. Wow, what a dichotomy.  
So as we approach another year of crisis proportions for jobs, taxes and less money to buy gas...I think it would be a good time for America to really wake up and not just talk the talk but walk it. We have an amazing country and a great people but we really need to downsize our standard of living for the good of all.  Take a few lessons from Europe and its small cars and truck/vans. :-)

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Sunday, April 4, 2010

Back from Vacation!

Whew, just got back from a long vacation and much needed at that. Found lots of things to share so stay tuned and not all of it about cooking. ;-)
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