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Vietnam Culinary Tour | Vietnamese Food Adventure | Access Trips

Vietnam Culinary Tour | Vietnamese Food Adventure | Access Trips


Access Trips

Explore Vietnam’s culture through its mouthwatering cuisine on our Vietnam culinary tour. Sample street food, cook with top chefs, visit vibrant markets.

Alaska Food Tour Reading List

by Meloni @ Access TripsAccess Trips

Alaska Food Tour Reading List Perhaps one of the best ways to get ready for an upcoming trip is to surround yourself with information about the location you plan to travel to. Our Alaskan food tour is no exception to that rule. Coming into the Country John McPhee Cultural Portrait | 1991 | PAPER | 438 pages | Favorite A [ ... ]

15 Most Charming Mountain Getaways Down South

by FlipKey @ The FlipKey Blog

Summer or winter, there’s nothing like heading up, up, and away into the mountains. Let’s explore some charming cabin vacations down South where the welcome’s warm and the scenery is second to none. Southern Mountain Getaways With Small Town Charm We’ve chosen 15 charming mountain towns where you can have a fantastic getaway, whatever the season. These places are blessed with a small-town air and breathtakingly scenic backdrops of forested peaks and endless sky. Take your pick of quaint cabin vacations in the South, whether you fancy fall foliage, winter snow, spring greenery, or summer splendor. That’s the wonderful thing about the great outdoors—it’s open all year round! Once you know where you’re going, it’s time to get that cozy mountain rental sorted. There’s plenty of choice, ranging from cabins with forest views to quaint downtown apartments just steps from the local restaurants. When you book a vacation rental, you have access to amenities like a full kitchen, bubbling hot tub, and loads of space, so you can check in and feel right at home. Here are 15 southern mountain getaways we think deserve a closer look. When you’re finished browsing, vote for your favorite at the bottom of this list! Helen, Georgia Time for an adventure in the Blue Ridge Mountains! Start with a ride on the Unicoi Zip Line or an afternoon of horse trekking on a Chattahoochee Stables tour. Add a few rounds of mini golf, some tubing on the river, and maybe a vineyard tour to round a perfect day during your mountain getaway. Evenings in Helena are meant for kicking back with a beer and a plate of the Bavarian-style cuisine this place is famous for. See all Helen rentals on FlipKey! Mountain View, Arkansas First stop in Mountain View should be the Ozark Folk Center State Park, where you can learn about local history, traditional craftsmanship, and folk music. Leave some time to browse the antique stores in the afternoon, then at the end of the day catch some live folk music, especially exciting in the warmer months when the musicians spill out into the town and play in the open air. See all Mountain View rentals on FlipKey! Brevard, North Carolina Come to Brevard to experience the stunning natural beauty of Transylvania County. With its tumbling waterfalls and cycling trails with jaw-dropping views, this mountain getaway is sure to delight. Spend a day kayaking on the French Broad River and retreat to your private cozy cabin as the sun goes down. See all Brevard rentals on FlipKey! Hiawassee, Georgia “We felt like it was just us on that mountain. Sitting in the chairs on the huge back porch with a steaming cup of coffee was just what I needed. The view was breathtaking. The cabin was perfect.”— FlipKey Reviewer Hiawassee is perched on Lake Chatuge, a beautiful spot for boating, jetskiing, fishing, and more. This really is a four-season cabin getaway, with the Georgia Mountain Fair in summer, the blooming rhododendrons at Hamilton Gardens in the spring, eye-catching leaf tours in the fall, and foggy lake vistas and snowbound scenery in winter. See all Hiawassee rentals on FlipKey! Highlands, North Carolina Book your Highlands rental and set out to discover the Nantahala National Forest. Go fly fishing in the Chattooga River, enjoy a round of golf with mountain views at the Old Edwards Club, and drive right under the Bridal Veil Falls. In town, you can stroll around the art galleries and round off your day with a meal at Wolfgang’s Restaurant & Wine Bistro. See all Highlands rentals on FlipKey! Hot Springs, Virginia Hot Springs is a top choice for snow sports, with good snowboarding and skiing amenities on offer at the Homestead Resort. Alternatively, take your bike out along the Hidden Valley Trail or rent some clubs and hit the Cascades Golf Course. Whether you prefer snow-covered slopes in the winter or verdant mountains during the summer, Hot Springs offers mountain getaways like no other. See all Hot Springs rentals on FlipKey! Birmingham, Alabama A picturesque mountain town cradled by the Appalachians, Birmingham welcomes outdoorsy types, so pack your mountain bike or hiking gear. You’ll need them if you plan to explore Oak Mountain State Park—the Red Trail is particularly recommended for avid cyclists. Locals recommend filling up for breakfast at neighborhood favorite Bogue’s and relaxing with a craft beer in the evening. See all Birmingham rentals on FlipKey! Pigeon Forge, Tennessee “Great location. Beautiful home. Clean. Well stocked with everything needed to relax. Even stayed an extra night because it was so nice. Would come again and recommend.”— FlipKey Reviewer When visiting Pigeon Forge, you must take a driving tour to fully appreciate the epic scenery of the Great Smoky Mountains. Wind along the tree-lined roads, and be careful not to miss Cades Cove, a valley where you’ll find pioneer log cabins and grist mills, and maybe some white-tailed deer or coyotes. There’s also the Dollywood theme park and water park, part-owned by local country-singing legend Dolly Parton. See all Pigeon Forge rentals on FlipKey! Slade, Kentucky The main attraction in Slade is Natural Bridge State Park, with its sandstone bridge and scenic hiking trails. Next door you can see the geological delights of the Red River Gorge. From spectacular cliffs and roaring waterfalls to fields of beautiful wildflowers, there’s nothing quite like a mountain getaway in Slade. Book your cabin rental to get one step closer to discovering it all. See all Slade rentals on FlipKey! Dahlonega, Georgia Here in the Blue Ridge foothills, you can pan for gold in the river, sample the goods in a local winery, and explore the historic center filled with 19th-century buildings. Make sure you stop in at the Dahlonega Gold Museum for some fascinating gold rush history. Ready for an adventure? Leave town and head west to see the impressive 600-foot Amicalola Falls and wander through the surrounding state park. See all Dahlonega rentals on FlipKey! Asheville, North Carolina Asheville is a breath of fresh air, any time of year. For a bit of local history, take an audio tour of the grand Biltmore House, then set off on a hike through Craggy Gardens, culminating in a picnic with soaring views. When you’re not exploring the beauty of the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains, retreat to a comfy cabin on the outskirts of this majestic mountain town. See all Asheville rentals on FlipKey! Eureka Springs, Arkansas “The barn is the most beautiful cabin I have ever seen. We enjoyed our stay & will be back again soon!” — FlipKey Reviewer Nestled in the heart of the Ozark Mountains and known for its flowing natural springs, Eureka Springs is an idyllic cabin vacation destination down South. Spend a day soaking in a spa or choose a high-octane tour of the treetops with Ozark Mountain Ziplines. Just 11 miles north you’ll find the Promised Land Animal Park, complete with a petting zoo for the kids. With its awe-inspiring beauty and vibrant downtown packed with enticing shops and places, this alluring mountain town boasts something for everyone. See all Eureka Springs rentals on FlipKey! Shenandoah, Virginia From summer hiking to winter skiing, there’s plenty to keep you entertained in the Shenandoah Valley. Grab a mountain cabin hideaway to make the most of those inspiring valley views, and spend your days touring the wineries, seeing the splendid formations in the Luray Caverns, or fishing in the Shenandoah River. See all Shenandoah rentals on FlipKey! Burnsville, North Carolina Burnsville’s a friendly little place, known for its quaint town center, its local arts and crafts scene, and its farmer’s markets. Hop in your car to track down the area’s 200 Quilt Blocks, painted squares mounted on local buildings. This charming mountain town is just a short drive to lovely Asheville and a couple of hours’ drive from our next and final pick, Gatlinburg. See all Burnsville rentals on FlipKey! Gatlinburg, Tennessee   “The cabin exceeded our expectations. It is especially clean, and most importantly, comfortable. There is a home away from home feel to the cabin. It was far enough away from the noise and close enough to be convenient to the attractions of Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge.” — FlipKey Reviewer A family-friendly vibe, lively center packed with places to eat, and the splendid Smoky Mountains right at your doorstep—Gatlinburg ticks all the boxes for an unforgettable mountain getaway. Try your hand at horseback riding, fly fishing, and black bear spotting along 800 miles of hiking trails, and don’t miss the waterfalls of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. See all Gatlinburg rentals on FlipKey!

The post 15 Most Charming Mountain Getaways Down South appeared first on The FlipKey Blog.

Eating Italy Food Tours: Daylight Trastevere Tour – Rome, Italy

by Food Tour Finder @ Food Tour Finder

Reviewed by FoodTourFinder! See our review in the Comments section   With its narrow cobblestone streets and laneways, Trastevere is the quintessential Roman neighborhood. While by night it is a happening destination for tourists and locals, during the day, Trastevere is like a small village with its timeless and artisan shops serving the same local […]

15 Best Affordable Warm Winter Vacations Right Here In The US

by Olivia Cohen @ The FlipKey Blog

When the weather outside is frightful, book a warm winter vacation to get away from the cold—without breaking the bank. From coastal villages to desert oases, forgo international travel with a winter sun getaway right here in the US. These spots boast some of the most affordable vacation rentals in the country. Great Winter Getaways For Warmer Temps As temperatures drop, prices can rise in popular warm winter vacation spots like Orlando, Miami, and San Diego—but a high price tag need not deter you from taking that perfect affordable winter trip. From Florida to California, we’ve rounded up 15 affordable warm winter getaways, featuring mild daytime highs perfect for hiking and urban adventures, and lows that make nightlife more appealing. Prices are based off the average weekly rate for a two-bedroom rental property from FlipKey, for a stay between December-February.* Bring the whole family along for off-season roomy beachfront rentals, or cozy up in chic townhouses perfect for two with close proximity to bars and restaurants. No matter what destination you choose, Flipkey will help you find the right vacation rental at the right price. Davenport, Florida Average Weekly Rate, 2BR Rental: $686 Florida vacations may conjure glamorous images of Orlando and Miami, but the oft-overlooked city of Davenport offers equally enticing attractions—and equally warm temperatures—without the big-city price tag. Mild daytime highs make for pleasant afternoons walking down the nature trails at Lake Kissimmee State Park or playing a round of golf on Davenport’s two large golf courses. Or, use the city as a base for day trips to nearby attractions like Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando while avoiding the high costs and 24/7 bustle of the city. See all FlipKey rentals in Davenport! Edisto Island, South Carolina Average Weekly Rate, 2BR Rental: $807 Located just an hour outside of Charleston, Edisto Island combines the easy-going vibes of a beach destination with ample opportunity for outdoor adventure for an ideal warm winter vacation. Look out for dolphins as you kayak or cruise through sweetgrass marshes, walk past driftwood forests at Botany Bay, or learn about the Barrier Islands’ unique Gullah culture on an island tour. Plus, an off-season visit promises fewer crowds and a better chance at scoring choice rentals right by the beach. See all FlipKey rentals in Edisto Island! Punta Gorda, Florida Average Weekly Rate, 2BR Rental: $868 A historic downtown and boutique shopping district lend Punta Gorda an air of luxury, but this mid-sized city rings up as an affordable winter vacation. Walk along the 2.5-mile Harborwalk on the Gasparilla Sound-Charlotte Harbor Aquatic Preserve, kayak through mangrove forests, snap photos under palm trees, and sip cocktails at waterfront bars and restaurants—then return to a house big enough for the whole family or a beachside cottage perfect for two. See all FlipKey rentals in Punta Gorda! Mexico Beach, Florida Average Weekly Rate, 2BR Rental: $899 Come to Mexico Beach to experience ultimate tranquility on Florida’s Undiscovered Gulf Coast. Mexico Beach provides a warm winter getaway during the quiet off-season, ideal for solitary sunset strolls or quality time with friends and family. Close proximity to Panama City Beach means that a classic beach boardwalk and nightlife are never too far away. See all FlipKey rentals in Mexico Beach! Tempe, Arizona Average Weekly Rate, 2BR Rental: $903 Sandwiched between Phoenix and Scottsdale, the small city of Tempe holds its own with concerts and exhibitions at the Tempe Center for the Arts, a historic downtown brimming with local restaurants, and plenty of outdoor activities that take advantage of year-round warm temperatures. Although it’s home to the University of Arizona’s main campus, the housing rental options are far from elementary: luxury furnishings, backyard pools, and lakeside views offer visitors premium accommodation at basic pricing. See all FlipKey rentals in Tempe! Port Isabel, Texas Average Weekly Rate, 2BR Rental: $912 Port Isabel is as close as you can get to a Mexican vacation without shelling out for international airfare. Situated just north of the US-Mexican border and right on the Gulf of Mexico, Port Isabel combines classic beach activities with historical tours and attractions that let visitors explore the area’s rich culture. Not only was the town voted “Most Beautiful Place to Visit in Texas” by Culture Trip, but it is also the most affordable warm winter vacation in all of Texas, according to FlipKey’s average two-bedroom rental rates. See all FlipKey rentals in Port Isabel! Mesa, Arizona Average Weekly Rate, 2BR Rental: $913 Less expensive than Phoenix and quieter than Tempe, Mesa is an ideal choice for that affordable winter vacation with the whole family. With well over 50 public parks, four museums, and a large amphitheater and event center to boot, a trip to Mesa melts away any lingering winter blues. See all FlipKey rentals in Mesa! Bradenton, Florida Average Weekly Rate, 2BR Rental: $952 Book your Bradenton rental and set out to discover all this Florida city has to offer. A high ropes course, niche history museums, and the 487-acre Robinson Nature Preserve guarantee that everyone in your group will find something that suits their fancy. Located on the southern tip of Tampa Bay, Bradenton also offers close access to the posh city of Sarasota at a fraction of the cost. See all FlipKey rentals in Bradenton! Golden Isles, Georgia Average Weekly Rate, 2BR Rental: $963 Get four-for-one value on a warm winter vacation to Georgia’s Golden Isles, which include the islands of St. Simons, Little St. Simons, Jekyll, and Sea Island, all interconnected by highways and boats. Experience classic Southern hospitality and coastal charm, leaving your vacation rental to stroll along Driftwood Beach, visit historical monuments, or learn about sea turtle conservation. See all FlipKey rentals in Golden Isles! Pahoa, Hawaii Average Weekly Rate, 2BR Rental: $982 A little town on the Big Island, Pahoa packs in the best of Hawaiian vacations—minus the touristy vibes, overpriced excursions, or over-the-top vacation packages. Find your piece of paradise in an oceanfront beach home or chic eco-lodge; all offer the same unbeatable access to world-class snorkeling and rainforest hikes that don’t break the bank. See all FlipKey rentals in Pahoa! Cocoa Beach, Florida Average Weekly Rate, 2BR Rental: $1,055 Opt for a luxe vacation in a high rise condo or book a simple cottage right on the beach—either choice lets you take advantage of Cocoa Beach’s eco-tours, scenic pier, and close access to the Kennedy Space Science Center. Located just an hour drive from Orlando and Kissimmee, Cocoa Beach is the perfect place to post up for a relaxing warm winter getaway while remaining close to exciting attractions. See all FlipKey rentals in Cocoa Beach! Cathedral City, California Average Weekly Rate, 2BR Rental: $1,179 Situated just south of Palm Springs in the Coachella Valley, Cathedral City offers many of the same types of attractions as its ritzy neighbor. A trip to nearby hot springs will banish any remaining winter chills, while a number of parks, golf courses, and cultural attractions keep both kids and adults well entertained. Cathedral City is also famously the site of Frank Sinatra’s grave. See all FlipKey rentals in Cathedral City! Lake Havasu City, Arizona Average Weekly Rate, 2BR Rental: $1,242 Though named for the shimmering Lake Havasu, Lake Havasu City is probably best known for its bridge, not its water. The original London Bridge was relocated to Lake Havasu City from England to link the mainland to marinas just shy of the California border. This warm winter vacation spot also makes an ideal jumping off point for hikes, horse trails, and water sports, many of which are available year-round thanks to the city’s mild climate. See all FlipKey rentals in Lake Havasu City! Saint Augustine Beach, Florida Average Weekly Rate, 2BR Rental: $1,258 Kick back with a good book or enjoy quality time with loved ones on a trip to Saint Augustine Beach. The perfect vacation rental is key to enjoying your time at this quiet beach town; look for beachfront property, ocean views, and an outdoor space that lets you take advantage of the warm weather. See all FlipKey rentals in Saint Augustine Beach! Paso Robles, California Average Weekly Rate, 2BR Rental: $1,424 Year-round sunshine pairs with premium wines in Paso Robles, a city known for its wineries and olive groves. Stay downtown for close access to restaurants, parks, and boutiques, or opt for a country estate that feels leagues away from the city bustle. See all FlipKey rentals in Paso Robles! *Data reflects December 2017 through February 2018.

The post 15 Best Affordable Warm Winter Vacations Right Here In The US appeared first on The FlipKey Blog.

10 reasons to visit Vietnam during Tet Festival

by Maeve Nolan @ Backyard Travel

Mid-February marks Vietnam’s most important date – Tet, the New Year’s period. It can be hard getting accurate insider information about Tet celebrations and what happens across the nation during its most festive period. It can be hard figuring out if Tet is a good time to visit Vietnam. Knowing what we know about Tet,

Read 10 reasons to visit Vietnam during Tet Festival on Backyard Travel.

Sneak Peek of K Restaurant’s Brunch Menu Items Debuting This Sunday

by Tiffany Nguyen @ Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

Our delightful feast was prepared by Chef de Cuisine, Ryan McLaughlin We were invited to K Restaurant in College Park to preview a few dishes from their new Brunch menu which will launch this Sunday, January 21 from 10AM-2PM and includes carafes of Mimosas & Bloody Marys. We also got to try dishes from their dining menu which changes daily according to the availability of fresh ingredients from locally sourced Central Florida farms and artisans, so be sure to check out their website beforehand for their updated menu. We enjoyed meeting the owner Chad Phelps (pictured above) and his wonderful team. The restaurant is quaint and dreamy, making it the perfect spot for a date or a casual meet-up with good friends trying out great fresh and local food. You must check out K Restaurant in College Park soon if you have not already! It is incredible. The talented kitchen staff The amazing serving staff Pork Belly Benedict Chicken and Biscuits with Sausage Gravy Fried green tomatoes Shrimp and Grits Basket of Biscuits and cinnamon maple honey butter The following dishes are from their dining menu of the night: Arancini Oysters with champagne Oysters with herbs Charred Octopus – Waterkist Farm tomatoes and peppers, olive oil, lemon Wild Mushroom and Caramelized Onion Toast Duck Cassoulet – great northern and cranberry beans, chard, pork belly, duck confit Shared Vegetable Platter K Filet – smashed red bliss potatoes, rainbow carrots, truffle oil, veal demi-glace with a serving of vegetables Lemon Meringue Tarts French Toast Bread Pudding – cinnamon anglaise, caramel Plated dessert course by the lovely Pastry Chef, Michelle Hulbert Chocolate Orange Grand Marnier Pistachio Layer Cake (my favorite!) Chocolate Mousse Torte Almond Cake – fresh blackberries Their beautiful outdoor patio Be sure to check out K Restaurant soon!  Stop by K Restaurant this Sunday,  January 21 from 10am-2pm to kick off their new Brunch with them! K Restaurant 1710 Edgewater Dr, Orlando, FL 32804 (407) 872-2332 http://krestaurant.net/

Banh Mi Nha Trang – Banh mi sandwiches – Orlando

by Ricky Ly of TastyChomps.com @ Vietnamese – Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

A few months ago, as part of the epic Orlando Weekly Banh Mi Battle, I got the chance to visit Banh Mi Nha Trang to pick up some new banh mi from their shop for the first time to enter them into the competition. Although they did not win 1st place (the honors went, to the deserving Boston Bakery across the street), Banh Mi Nha Trang which just opened a few days prior placed 2nd for best banh mi in Orlando.  It is a bit hard to find Banh Mi Nha Trang as it is tucked away in a courtyard on Colonial Drive just to the east of the intersection with Mills Avenue. I like to tell people its in the strip between Lollicup (now renamed Chewy Boba Company) and Saigon Market with the big yellow flag on the flag pole. You have to park in the rear and walk through to the courtyard to reach Banh Mi Nha Trang. Its an unassuming hole in the wall of a place to say the least, but its these holes in the wall that most often have the most heart in their food.  The place is a mom and pop type joint, run by a lovable, friendly and always smiling Vietnamese lady. Her English is not good at all yet but you can pretty much order the same banh mi you can as the other banh mi joints. They also sell home made nem chua pickled meat and cha lua pork roll meats. They specialize in banh mi Nha trang, a banh mi from the south central coastal region of Vietnam and topped with a special garlic fish sauce and peppery goodness. The sandwich is full of various cuts of Vietnamese deli meats like cha lua pork roll, cha siu roast pork, and pickled carrots and daikon veggies. The bread is also different from the other banh mi places as it is a bit softer and more chewy. The banh mi dac biet Nha Trang is $2.50 (the cheapest price you’ll find for banh mi in Orlando) and if you buy 5 you get 1 free.  Tips: its cash only for the moment so remember to bring some when you go. The Banh Mi Nha Trang Dac Biet – a great sandwich for $2.50~ Scenes from the Orlando Weekly’s Banh Mi battle

Pet-Friendly Florida: Fish, Food and Fun in Daytona Beach with a Dog

by Solo Travel Girl @ Solo Travel Girl

Beach. Spring break. NASCAR. Bike Week. These are some of the things I associate with Daytona Beach and never would have thought this popular Florida East Coast destination is dog-friendly. Boy, was I wrong!

Japanese Bath Etiquette

by Meloni @ Access TripsAccess Trips

A Must-Know: Japanese Bath Etiquette Japan, a culture wrapped in history, ancient customs and respect. Our Japan tour is not only a cuisine adventure, it is a cultural immersion. From temple visits to Soba lessons, lively market tours, a traditional Japanese bath experience and overnights in Ryokan, Japan will open your senses. One of our [ ... ]

First Look: Sticky Rice Lao Street Food

by Ricky Ly of TastyChomps.com @ Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

Had a truly delicious lunch today at Sticky Rice Lao Street Food! Located on the first floor of Bikkuri in Mills 50, the owners of Sticky Rice has transformed the small restaurant into something resembling an outdoor Laotian night market stall with dark ceilings and low, wooden tables. The menu is very affordable with most dishes ranging from $4 to $5, perfect sizes for sharing over Laotian beers with friends if one chooses. You’d be tempted to order the whole menu. It reminded me of places my uncles would go to enjoy grilled meats and beers (they serve BeerLao here!) late into the night growing up. Alot of the food had flavors that reminded me of my childhood, though Vietnam is a neighbor of Laos there are some similarities as well as differences in the cuisine. I loved the char on the grilled chicken wings seasoned in fish sauce and sugar, and the crispy pork rice lettuce wrap which had little crunchy bits and pieces of roast pork. It’s important to note that the sticky rice order is meant to be eaten with other dishes such as the pork sausages or beef jerky rather than alone – making a perfect combo of carbs and meat. They also had a delicious noodle soup that reminded me of Vietnamese banh canh or udon noodle soup called khao piek sen. khao piek sen noodle soup Another favorite was the pork tapioca dumplings, sticky chewy white balls of tapioca stuffed with crispy pork and garlic! pork tapioca dumplings Save room for dessert like the sweet pandan jelly in coconut milk, mango sticky rice, and coconut gelato on purple sticky rice served inside bamboo. We dunked our sticky rice in the sweet coconut milk for that extra sweetness. Overall very impressed by the food and the authenticity of flavors at Sticky Rice – definitely will bring my family back here to try. Go soon and with friends and enjoy Orlando’s first and only Laotian street food restaurant! They are open 11:30am to 10:00pm daily. Sticky Rice Lao Street Food 1915 East Colonial Drive Orlando, Florida https://www.facebook.com/pg/StickyRiceStreetFood

A Brief Walk Through “Little Vietnam” in Mills 50 District

by Ricky Ly of TastyChomps.com @ Vietnamese – Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

Exactly 40 years ago on April 30, 1975, the capital city of South Vietnam, Saigon fell to the forces of the communist North. There was panic in the streets as countless Vietnamese sought refuge at the American embassy, many who had worked along side the US – as soldiers, journalists, hairdressers, and more – during the decades long war. Fearing reprisals from the North, deservedly so, many fled that day airlifted out by helicopters and later, by boat – becoming refugees with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Thus began the exodus of hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese – all in search of freedom and democracy, and a better future for their children, many of whom ended up in places like Australia, France, and right here in Central Florida. My parents were both Vietnamese refugees. My mom, orphaned at age 12, escaped by a small rickety fishing boat headed out to the unknown wide ocean, leaving her brothers behind, with nothing but her unyielding dream of a new world beyond the Vietnam she had left behind. Eventually reaching Malaysia at a refugee camp, living there for a year before being sponsored to the United States by a kind family in Indiana. She met my father in South Florida where I was born and raised before moving to Orlando 13 years ago. The Vietnamese American community in Orlando has grown through the decades along the Mills 50 District, starting from a small Asian grocery store to a restaurant to more and more. Now, Asian immigrants from other countries have settled in the area and opened up even more restaurants – from Malaysian to Sichuan Chinese and more. I was honored these past few weeks to help lead a guided tour through the “Little Vietnam” area in our Mills 50 District for WMFE for their series on “What is Little Vietnam?“, helping to share stories from the Vietnamese American community, how they came to Central Florida, and what lays ahead for the community after 40 years. WMFE’s What is Little Vietnam? Series Orlando’s Hon Viet DanGroup keeps Vietnamese Culture through Dance Vietnamese vets still fighters forty years after fall of Saigon Family business continues to thrive since first settling in Orlando’s “Little Vietnam” New development changes face of Orlando’s Little Vietnam Chasing traditional medicine in Little Vietnam Central Floridians remember Vietnam War For Vietnamese, heritage endures at places of worship New cultural center reflects diverse Asian community, including Vietnamese Orlando’s Little Vietnam preserves its history to enrich its future Two generations of Vietnamese-Americans, three decades apart The young ones: Vietnamese youth redefine their community Trays of small bites from Vietnamese grocery store Tien Hung Oriental Market – one of the very first markets in the district – many of the businesses along this strip come from the family of Tien Hung. Cecilia Nguyen, also Miss Vietnam Florida 2004, is the owner of the Tien Hung Jewelry Store – she takes cares of customers and is in charge of the store, taking over for her parents.  Wall art at Chewy Boba Company – Quang Vu, a UCF alumni, and his family started Lollicup many years ago and were the first in Orlando to sell boba or bubble tea, a popular drink with roots in Taiwan, where little tapioca pearls are slurped through large straws. Steven Thach Luu mans the register at Chewy Boba Company, where they also sell macarons. One of my favorite dishes, Banh Cuon, a rice crepe noodle dish stuffed with mushrooms and ground pork – velvety smooth – found at Vietnam Cuisine restaurant.  A look above from the meal – banh cuon, bun thit nuong, and bun rieu all at Vietnam Cuisine. Bun Thit nuong cha gio – rice vermicelli noodles with veggies, egg roll, grilled pork and shrimp at Vietnam Cuisine. Bun rieu, a special tomato, pork, and seafood noodle soup at Vietnam Cuisine. In recent years, more restaurants and shops from other Asian countries have sprouted up in the Mills 50 District. Mamak Asian Street Food specializes in Malaysian and pan Asian cuisine. Traditional Eastern medicine shops and acupuncturists dot the corridor in Mills 50 District. Crawfish in garlic, butter shabang sauce, fried shrimp, jambalaya, po boy sandwiches, gumbo – all found at King Cajun Crawfish run by Ha Nguyen. Mrs. Nguyen worked in Louisiana and ran a cajun restaurant there for 15 years before moving to Orlando after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 to be closer to her family. Many Vietnamese who immigrated to the US were sent to the gulf coast region and became fishermen and shrimpers, some facing discrimination from the KKK at the time. There is still a large community of Vietnamese Americans in New Orleans today in the neighborhood of Versailles. Brendan Byrne and Matthew Peddie of WMFE 90.7 FM News on location, digging into the crawfish. Chelsea, enjoying her crawfish at King Cajun Crawfish Mrs. Ha Nguyen, the Queen Cajun at King Cajun. Beignets – fried dough with powdered sugar Pho at Viet Garden, one of the oldest Vietnamese restaurants in Orlando Dumplings as recommended by Crystal Chavez The staff of WMFE with some of the personalities in the What is Little Vietnam series.

First Look: Mai’s Bistro in Mills 50

by Ricky Ly of TastyChomps.com @ Vietnamese – Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

Mai’s Bistro is a new fast casual restaurant that has opened up in Orlando’s Mills 50 District, specializing in Vietnamese street food such as banh mi, Vietnamese sticky rice, and banh cuon rice crepes. They bake their own bread and sweets and make everything in house. On a recent visit, I loved their banh cuon rice crepes and their variety of both sweet and savory Vietnamese sticky rice (xoi). You could get bbq roast pork, chinese sausage, or shredded chicken for savory sticky rice and jackfruit for sweet sticky rice. They bake their bread from scratch on site and their grilled pork banh mi is one of the best i have had. Their staff was very friendly and hospitable. Will try again soon and update! Mai’s Bistro in Mills 50 830 E Colonial Dr A, Orlando, FL 32803 Menu: maibistrousa.com Phone: (407) 730-8538

Patriotism, respect for flag cannot be ‘ordered’

by Gene Policinski @ Newseum

This weekend's "Take a Knee" controversy brings to mind failed efforts from our past to mandate patriotism.
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White Peach Bellini Recipe and Christmas Tips from Chef Peter Gilmore

by Lara Dunston @ Grantourismo Travels

This White Peach Bellini recipe is courtesy of one of Australia’s best chefs, Peter Gilmore, who helms the kitchens of Quay and Bennelong in Sydney, arguably two of the city’s and Australia’s finest restaurants. Here he shares his recipe for his go-to Christmas Day drink...

The post White Peach Bellini Recipe and Christmas Tips from Chef Peter Gilmore appeared first on Grantourismo Travels.

The Best Hanoi Street Food Tour - The Foodie Dietitian

The Best Hanoi Street Food Tour - The Foodie Dietitian


Kara Lydon

Hanoi, Vietnam is the place to go for delicious, authentic street food and Hanoi Street Food Tours is the company to book with. Recapping the best Hanoi street food tour!

Andrew Llyod Webber’s Love Never Dies North American Tour

by Autumn Murray @ Simply Amazing Living

Love Never Dies at Atlanta’s Fox Theatre November – December 3 I received complimentary tickets to Love Never Dies, but as always it did not impact my writing of this post.  This post may contain affiliate links. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Love Never Dies is the sequel to world renowned Phantom of the Opera.  Phantom of...

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The post Andrew Llyod Webber’s Love Never Dies North American Tour appeared first on Simply Amazing Living.

Hike China – Beijing & Hangzhou Hiking Plans & Tips

by kylelong @ UnTour Food Tours

Hiking in China – What to know Touring China does not have to be all ancient temples, museums and big cities. When you’re traveling in the world’s most populous country, it takes a bit of effort to avoid the crowds – why not add a little adventure to the effort and a day or two

The post Hike China – Beijing & Hangzhou Hiking Plans & Tips appeared first on UnTour Food Tours.

Inaugural Epcot International Festival of the Holidays – now through December 30th

by Tiffany Nguyen @ Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

Don’t walk, run.  Epcot is hosting its inaugural International Festival of Holidays now through December 30th.  It is a great event packed with seasonal food and beverage specialties, festive merchandise, and live entertainment only being offered exclusively during the festival. Epcot International Festival of the Holidays is a festival like no other, featuring the joyous holiday traditions of their 11 World Showcase nations.  Enjoy unique food and beverage offerings at the expanded Holiday Kitchens abound – with a festive global tour as costumed performers bring time-honored traditions to life throughout World Showcase! We toured the new Festive Center which includes the “Cookie Nook” and other festival goodies.  Cookie Nook is the brand new & biggest feature at Odyssey.  Cookie Nook has already sold over 10,000 cookies since it opened last week. Make your own FREE snowflake ornament at the Festive Center (same building as Cookie Nook) and take it home with you or hang it on the mini Christmas tree. Lunch time!  All food items for the festival are distinctly different to celebrate different traditional food from different regions. Bavaria Holiday Kitchen, Germany – Cheese Fondue In a Bread Bowl with Fresh Steamed Baby Vegetables and Marble Potatoes featuring Melissa’s Produce Yukon Holiday Kitchen, Canada – Seared Salmon with Crown Royal Maple Whiskey Glaze, Parsnip Silk, Apple Chutney and Hazelnut Croquant Traditional French Canadian Tourtiere with Canadian Ketchup American Holiday Table – Slow-roasted Turkey with Stuffing, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans and Cranberry Sauce Feast of Three Kings – Roasted Pork with Smashed Yuca and Pickled Green Bananas Thank you Epcot for the generous goodie bags! Rockin’ the festive Disney ears with my celebrity friend and Disney expert, Lou Mongello. The festival includes merchandise that you cannot find anywhere in the world, exclusive to Disney, and some for only this park – like artisan Reinhard Herzog, who creates personalized glass-blown ornaments at the Holiday Market. Festival gear and exclusive Annual Passholder t-shirt (middle). Explore the Festival – We encourage you to enjoy some of the cultural entertainment throughout World Showcase at your leisure including: Sigrid Meets Julenissen The Christmas Gnome (Norway) – Celebrate the season with laugher, as the unsuspecting storyteller Sigrid encounters Julenissen, a magical, mischievous gnome. El Mariachi Coco de Santa Cecilia (Mexico) – Inspired by the Disney•Pixar film “Coco” and the celebration of Dia de Muertos. Mostly Kosher (Between Morocco and France) – Capture the joy of Hanukkah and Klezmer music with this unique, high-energy indie band. Joyful: A Celebration of the Season (Fountain View Stage) – The ‘JOYFUL!’  singers celebrate two holidays of the season— Christmas and Kwanzaa—with spirited, uplifting R&B, Pop and soul-stirring renditions of classic holiday music. Voices of Liberty (American Adventure Rotunda) – Embrace the spirit of the season with the festive a cappella holiday music of the Dickens Carolers. Candlelight Processional at America Gardens Theatre – A joyous retelling of the Christmas story by a celebrity narrator, accompanied by a 5-piece orchestra and a glorious massed choir.  The celebrity narrator that evening was actress/comedienne Ana Gasteyer from but not limited to: Saturday Night Live and Mean Girls. NARRATORS Nov. 24- 26 – Laurie Hernandez – NEW! Nov. 27-28 – Matt Bomer – NEW! Nov. 29 – 30 – Ana Gasteyer Dec. 1-3 – Whoopi Goldberg Dec. 4-5 – Pat Sajak – NEW! Dec. 6-8 – Jodi Benson Dec. 9-11 – Kurt Russell – NEW! Dec. 12-14 – Warwick Davis – NEW! Dec. 15-17 – Trace Adkins Dec. 18-21 – Neil Patrick Harris Dec. 22-24 – CCH Pounder – NEW! Dec. 25-27 – Jaci Velasquez Dec. 28-30 – Chandra Wilson Festival of the Holidays version of IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth.  The World Showcase Promenade comes alive nightly with the brilliance and splendor of music, lights, lasers, water fountains and custom pyrotechnics.  With the song “Let There Be Peace on Earth” at its center, this special musical finale brings the message of peace and goodwill. I am going to wrap this up like a gift!  Be sure to check out the inaugural Epcot International Festival of the Holidays before it ends on December 30th, you don’t want to miss this! (Source credit: Walt Disney World) Epcot 200 Epcot Center Dr, Orlando, FL 32821 (407) 939-5277 https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/events-tours/epcot/holiday-festival/

Publix debuts “Asian BBQ” Sub sandwich

by Ricky Ly of TastyChomps.com @ Vietnamese – Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

UPDATE: April 7, 2013 I finally got to try the new Asian bbq sandwich from Publix! (Seen above) though not too much to do with a Vietnamese banh mi sub, the sandwich itself was not too bad. I enjoyed the pork but it could be improved with some more hoisin bbq sauce. They should make a spicy option of this sandwich with optional sriracha hot sauce. Overall, not too shabby Publix! ————– As described first by TheDailyCity.com here, Publix has unleashed their newest creation the Asian BBQ Sub sandwich, inspired by the Vietnamese banh mi sandwich. The official post on the new sandwich can be found here: the official Publix post on new Asian BBQ Sub sandwich. The banh mi inspired sandwiches is nothing new, there have been many mainstream restaurants as well as local food trucks such as Big Wheel Food Truck who have put their own touches and homages on the Vietnamese street food dish. Publix is a local Central Florida institution and is well renown for their deli sandwiches. Is this move to an “Asian” inspired sandwich another step towards the bastardization of Vietnamese cuisine, a simple way to cash in on a cultural phenomenon, or just an evolution of American cuisine? The Publix Asian BBQ sandwich features roasted and shredded pork in a sweet chili BBQ sauce, topped with cucumbers, matchstick carrots, and fresh cilantro. If this was a true banh mi, traditionally they would use sweetly pickled cucumbers and carrots and there would be a liver pate and butter spread on a French baguette. I wouldn’t be so bothered by it all if they only spelled “banh mi” correctly on their site (incorrectly as “bahn mi”) or if they could get rid of those signs in Vietnamese that say “no parking” at their Publix store at Shine Avenue and Colonial, in the heart of the Vietnamese district in Mills 50. Signs in Vietnamese – literally “Parking for Publix Customers Only” – I think that would be nice if they changed to “Feel free to park here we love the Vietnamese community and their banh mi sandwiches” So including Publix, there is Banh Mi Nha Trang, Boston Bakery, Yum-Mi Sandwiches, Pho 88, Vietnam Cuisine, Hawkers, among many other local restaurants in the area who currently serve up banh mi. Try them all and let me know what you think!

The Most Popular Places of 2017 on Grantourismo – From Siem Reap to the Isaan

by Lara Dunston @ Grantourismo Travels

Our 10 Most Popular Places of 2017 on Grantourismo included the Southeast Asian destinations we love and frequently cover – Cambodia’s main cities and towns, Thailand’s capital and most off the beaten track region, Vietnam’s key destinations, and lovely Luang Prabang in Laos. As 2017...

The post The Most Popular Places of 2017 on Grantourismo – From Siem Reap to the Isaan appeared first on Grantourismo Travels.

An Authentic Cuban Mojito Recipe from Old Havana – With a Cambodian Twist

by Lara Dunston @ Grantourismo Travels

This authentic Cuban mojito recipe is based on the mojitos we sipped in Old Havana on our first trip to Cuba in the mid-Nineties. It’s a refreshing drink that is a perfect sip for a sultry day in the tropics. As we live in Siem...

The post An Authentic Cuban Mojito Recipe from Old Havana – With a Cambodian Twist appeared first on Grantourismo Travels.

Wall St. Plaza Cantina Introduces New Menu

by Katherine Nguyen @ Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

Wall St. Plaza Cantina brings a new Feliz Hour taco menu with new tacos and deals you can only get on Tuesdays between 2-7pm. We were invited to try each as well as Terremoto’s new tequila. The tacos can be served on soft white flour, white corn tortilla, or hard yellow corn shells. The white corn tortilla is a tad dry for my fancy, but the hard yellow corn shell was good. Yet, our favorite has to be the soft white flour tortilla. Taco de Pescado (back left) – white fish grilled “a la plancha” and topped with shredded cabbage and cilantro cream. The grilled fish is tender and has a good kind of unique taste. $2 Tuesday Taco (back center) – choose ground beef or shredded chicken. In this case, we tried the ground beef. It’s a traditional taco of Wall St. Plaza Cantina on a hard yellow corn shell with shredded iceberg lettuce as well as topped with Monterrey and cheddar cheese. It is simplistic, yet delicious. Pollo Frito (back right) – fried chicken strips tossed in a house honey chipotle sauce before being topped with shredded cabbage and cilantro crema. This was my favorite taco of the night. Sweet with a slight hot kick to the end. The chicken has a crispy coating from being fried; yet, it does not heat up the cabbage and cilantro crema, which makes me very happy for it not to do because the cabbage and cilantro crema adds a fresh touch to the taco. Tico Taco (front center) – house braised, shredded pork with onions, cilantro on a white corn tortilla and a signature tico sauce. The shredded pork is slightly dry,  but the flavors are nice. The onions add a nice crunchy texture to this dish. Terremoto was present with their jalapeño lime infused tequila as well as their churro infused tequila. You can have them in a margarita form or shot form. Both are tasty depending on your mood! For more information, please visit Taco Tuesday.

The Best Yangon Hotels – from Grand Colonial Gems to Boutique Loft Hotels

by Lara Dunston @ Grantourismo Travels

The best Yangon hotels range from grand colonial-era gems such as The Strand, which has had a recent renovation, and Belmond Governor’s Residence, in a 1920s teak mansion, to a boutique hotel with loft-style duplex suites and a Thai-style luxury hotel with a palm-fringed pool....

The post The Best Yangon Hotels – from Grand Colonial Gems to Boutique Loft Hotels appeared first on Grantourismo Travels.

First Look: Metro Diner at UCF – University Blvd

by Ricky Ly of TastyChomps.com @ Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

“Where the Locals Eat” Known as one of the best places for breakfast in Jacksonville, winning multiple accolades, Metro Diner has finally expanded further into the Orlando area near the always brunch-happy UCF area in East Orlando. The first Central Florida is in Altamonte Springs. Founded in Jacksonville in 1992, over 25 years ago, Metro Diner specializes in breakfast specials and comfort diner food and was recently featured on Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” on the Food Network. Let the flavor town train roll on! On a recent visit, the place was packed with local professionals in from the cold on their lunch breaks. People love breakfast and brunch in Orlando and there seems to be more and more options each day. I ordered their signature Fried Chicken and Waffle – the fried chicken was nice and crispy, but the waffle was the real star – light and fluffy yet also with a nice crisp. The strawberry butter was also a wonderful touch to this sweet and savory dish. Fried Chicken & Waffle $15.49 Half a fried chicken and a Belgian waffle, topped with powdered sugar and sweet, strawberry butter. Served with their special honey tabasco, sweet and spicy sauce. Metro Diner 11650 University Blvd Orlando, FL 32817 https://metrodiner.com/locations/florida/orlando-university/

Eating Out Alone: Tips for Dining Solo at a Restaurant

by Annette White @ Bucket List Journey | Travel + Lifestyle Blog

If dining solo scares you, you're not alone! These tips for eating out alone at a restaurant will have you enjoying a delicious meal by yourself in no time.

The post Eating Out Alone: Tips for Dining Solo at a Restaurant appeared first on Bucket List Journey | Travel + Lifestyle Blog.

Icelandair’s New Ad Featuring a Gay Couple Proves Not All Airlines Are Out of Touch | Advocate.com

by Russell Cook @ Coda Tours

United just profiled a gay male couple in the worst way but Icelandair is LGBT-friendly. t seems like endless bad […]

The post Icelandair’s New Ad Featuring a Gay Couple Proves Not All Airlines Are Out of Touch | Advocate.com appeared first on Coda Tours.

Alaskan Culinary Tour: Treats From The Wild

by Meloni @ Access TripsAccess Trips

From Tree to Table We’ve all seen images of maple harvest in the Northeast. Soldierlike maple trees, standing bare among the snowy hills of Vermont, with metal taps protruding at waist height. Thick late winter sap is collected in buckets and then boiled and simmered into edible, delectable maple syrup. But did you know that [ ... ]

First Look: Mai’s Bistro in Mills 50

by Ricky Ly of TastyChomps.com @ Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

Mai’s Bistro is a new fast casual restaurant that has opened up in Orlando’s Mills 50 District, specializing in Vietnamese street food such as banh mi, Vietnamese sticky rice, and banh cuon rice crepes. They bake their own bread and sweets and make everything in house. On a recent visit, I loved their banh cuon rice crepes and their variety of both sweet and savory Vietnamese sticky rice (xoi). You could get bbq roast pork, chinese sausage, or shredded chicken for savory sticky rice and jackfruit for sweet sticky rice. They bake their bread from scratch on site and their grilled pork banh mi is one of the best i have had. Their staff was very friendly and hospitable. Will try again soon and update! Mai’s Bistro in Mills 50 830 E Colonial Dr A, Orlando, FL 32803 Menu: maibistrousa.com Phone: (407) 730-8538

Taking The Foodie Motorbike Tour In Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Taking The Foodie Motorbike Tour In Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam


Travel Happy

Get a unique view of night time Ho Chi Minh City from the back of a bike on the Foodie Motorbike Tour with XO Tours' elegant female guides.

Travel to Vietnam: Saigon Food Tour by Night

Travel to Vietnam: Saigon Food Tour by Night


Solo Travel Girl

Have I mentioned how much I enjoy culinary tours? Okay, I don’t need to be on a tour to enjoy food and beverages but, during my April trip to Vietnam, I joined Urban Adventures on a Saigon fo…

South African Culinary Tour – Wine!

by Meloni @ Access TripsAccess Trips

South Africa Tour It is with absolute delight that we at Access Trips announce the launch of our newest exotic culinary destination! A South Africa tour is just what the doctor ordered for the cuisine savvy adventure seekers who love all that Access Trips has to offer. Our newest tour is sure to dazzle you, [ ... ]

Orlando Magazine’s Dining Awards 2018 Readers’ Choice Ballot! Closes Feb 1!

by Ricky Ly of TastyChomps.com @ Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

It’s time again to cast your ballot for the best in Central Florida dining in Orlando Magazine’s Dining Awards 2018 Readers’ Choice Ballot! Poll Closes Feb 1! Voting closes on February 1st, so the next two weeks is crucial to get your vote in. Bonus: a voter will be selected at random and win a dinner for two! People can vote on their favorites or nominate restaurants. Winners will be revealed in the May Dining Issue, and celebrated at a private ceremony with a plaque and rowdy round of applause. Make sure to vote LOCAL!!!! Vote Here: http://www.orlandomagazine.com/Orlando-Magazine/December-2017/Dining-Awards-2018-Readers-Choice-Ballot/

Japan Culinary Tour Highlight: Sampuru “Fake Food”

by Meloni @ Access TripsAccess Trips

Japan Food Tour If you haven’t discovered the Access Trips Japan tour yet, it’s time. Our Japan tour gives you an insiders view of the cultures we visit, and as with all Access Trips tours, it’s through the lens of the cuisines that shape daily life. We recently showcased our stop at the Sampuru factory on the Access Trips blog [ ... ]

6 Food Tours Worth Traveling For

6 Food Tours Worth Traveling For


MSN

Embark on the culinary adventure of a lifetime.

Yum-Mi Sandwiches Orlando serves up some tasty banh mi

by Ricky Ly of TastyChomps.com @ Vietnamese – Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

There’s a new banh mi shop in town, complete with new bar seats and tables and modern lighting. Where Ba Le bakery once sat, a new and trendy sandwich shop now occupies in its place, completely remodeled on the inside and out with a fresh new look. yum-mì sandwiches focuses on bringing a modern twist to the traditional Vietnamese banh mi. The Phans (sisters Linda and Rosa, and brother David) all UCF alumni, came together with a passion for the Vietnamese culture to share their food with the community. Growing up they always talked about having a business together (they come from a family with roots in the restaurant business a la Pho 88 down the street). This common love of food inspired them to create Yum-mi sandwiches. Having upbringings in a Vietnamese family, the Phan’s inspirations came from the traditional flavors  acquired growing up and with an open mind for the cultural diversity surrounding the Orlando area. Most of the prices range from $2.75 to $7.95, very affordable. “It was very exciting for us to come together and see our dreams come to life. The most challenging obstacle was to target the right audience while staying true to our Vietnamese roots. When we were younger, we noticed our friends were always hesitant to go into some of the traditional sub shops. So we wanted to create a place that was more inviting to the young crowd while still satisfying our traditional Vietnamese customers.” explained Linda Phan. “We serve the traditional banh mi dac biet which is different cold cuts served on a French bread spread with pate and top with cucumber, cilantro, pickled daikon and carrots and jalapeños with splash of soy sauce, but also have yum mi specialities like the V.P. which is our version of Vietnamese philly steak n cheese with two fried eggs on top,” Rosa Phan added. Some other must try’s also include the Lost Tofu (made with lemongrass spiced tofu)for the vegetarians out there and their custom fresh fruit boba tea freezers. The bread is baked fresh on the premises each day as well. On a recent visit, I admired the new digs at yum-mi and ordered a VP with the two fried eggs and thit nuong (grilled beef) inside. The sandwich was filling and enjoyable and the eggs over easy oozing yolk onto my banh mi made my lunch divine. My friend had the Ms Piggy with pork belly, lettuce and tomato and noted that although it was a great banh mi, he wished that there was more meat to the sandwich. I think filling is a very important part to the banh mi, as the bread and the meat ratio has to be a respectable amount so that one does not overpower the other. I believe this will improve as time goes on. Overall, it was a fun trip to visit yum-mi and it is definitely a welcomed addition to the new banh mi landscape in Orlando. You can sit inside yum-mi sandwiches at the new bar stool area, watching the cars race by on the concrete paved Mills Avenue. Delicious Vietnamese street food: banh bao, steamed buns filled with pork and hard boiled egg. Mango-lychee freezer boba drink Miss Piggy: The Pork belly, tomatoes, and lettuce banh mi The VP – Vietnamese Philly with two eggs yummi sandwiches are yummy

20 Affordable Christmas Vacations To Take This Holiday Season

by FlipKey @ The FlipKey Blog

Looking to plan the perfect Christmas vacation in the United States without breaking the bank? Then you’re in luck, as FlipKey has rounded up 20 affordable destinations in America where the nightly cost of a two-bedroom vacation rental is under $150. Rental homes in these top Christmas getaways range from $89 – $149 per night for the holiday break (December 22-26). Best Christmas Vacations On A Budget Whether you prefer a tropical escape in Hawaii, an outdoor adventure in Alaska, or a sunny retreat in Texas, FlipKey is committed to making your Christmas vacation as affordable as it is enjoyable. Expenses can add up quickly around the holidays, but booking a vacation rental for your Christmas getaway is a great way to plan an affordable trip. Whether you’re visiting family or taking a personal vacation, rental amenities like a full kitchen and access to laundry facilities can make your trip more convenient and cost effective. Book a home with multiple bedrooms and plenty of living space for a comfortable holiday stay. Spend less on your Christmas vacation and you’ll have more money for gifts—or treating yourself! With median nightly rental rates under $150, these 20 destinations are definitely on the “nice” list when it comes to the best Christmas vacations. US Christmas Vacation Destinations Median Nightly Rate, 2BR Rental (December 22- 26) Arcadian Shores, South Carolina $89 Hot Springs Village, Arkansas $90 Garden City Beach, South Carolina $106 Osage Beach, Missouri $120 Myrtle Beach, South Carolina $120 Cherry Log, Georgia $124 Lake Ozark, Missouri $125 Edisto Island, South Carolina $133 Chincoteague Island, Virginia $133 Branson, Missouri $135 Townsend, Tennessee $135 Hilo, Hawaii $135 Anchorage, Alaska $135 Gulf Shores, Alabama $138 Outer Banks, North Carolina $139 Port Isabel, Texas $140 Tucson, Arizona $140 Saint Simons Island, Georgia $144 Pahoa, Hawaii $145 Orange Beach, Alabama $149   Methodology: Median nightly rates are for all two-bedroom properties on FlipKey in each destination for a stay occurring from Friday, December 22 – Tuesday, December 26, 2017. When To Book Your Christmas Vacation A survey of FlipKey travelers revealed that while most travelers book their stay in a vacation rental 6-12 months in advance (40%), a combined 54% of travelers book 3-5 months out (34%), or 1-3 months out (20%). The holiday season is popular for travel, so book now to secure your perfect rental. Stunning properties in all 20 of our affordable Christmas vacation spots are available to book on FlipKey, where travelers can search, compare, and book hundreds of thousands of rentals worldwide, including cabins, apartments, beach houses, desert hideaways, and more. Feel confident in your decision with our Payment Protection. This post was originally published on the TripAdvisor Rentals blog. FlipKey is a TripAdvisor company.

The post 20 Affordable Christmas Vacations To Take This Holiday Season appeared first on The FlipKey Blog.

Foodie Flashcards: Week 3 – Soup Dumplings

by kylelong @ UnTour Food Tours

Hungry to improve your Chinese vocabulary, but don’t know where to dig in? Welcome to our weekly Foodie Flashcard series. Follow along, study these morsels of knowledge, then dig in at your local restaurant to fully digest the information. What is it: One of the region’s most famous dishes, xiaolongbao (or soup dumplings), can be

The post Foodie Flashcards: Week 3 – Soup Dumplings appeared first on UnTour Food Tours.

Rosen Shingle Creek’s 2017 Charity Partners Christmas Tree Decorating

by Tiffany Nguyen @ Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

Runway to Hope’s Christmas Tree Rosen Hotels & Resorts is known for being charitable and the holidays are no exception.  We were invited to check out 16 local charities gathering at Rosen Shingle Creek to decorate a tree in honor of their charity followed by a cocktail reception.  Rosen Shingle Creek is proud to display a very special collection of Christmas Trees decorated by each of their Non-Profit Partner Organizations in the hotel’s festive lobby adding an extra level of good tidings to the hotel’s multi-million dollar holiday decor. Mark NeJame, co-founder of Runway to Hope Pork Taco – Marinated Cabbage, Cojita, Cheese, Mexican Crema Chicken Taco – Marinated Cabbage, Cojita, Cheese, Mexican Crema Fish Taco – Marinated Cabbage, Cojita, Cheese, Mexican Crema Penne Pasta with Tomato, Basil, Calamatta Olives, Sun-dried Tomato, Capers and Parmesan Cheese Tri-Color Cheese Tortellini Shitake Mushrooms, Sweet Peas and Peppers in Pesto Alfredo Sauce Holiday White Chocolate & Milk Chocolate Fudge Jack and Lee Rosen JCC Girl Scouts of America, Citrus Council The Pixel Fund Osceola School for the Arts The Harris Rosen Foundation A Gift for Teaching Canine Companions for Independence Nemours Children’s Hospital The Orlando Union Rescue Mission The Elizabeth Parsons School of Dance Best Buddies International American Cancer Society Florida Hospital Transplant Institute Valencia College Foundation The Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando Compassionate Hands and Hearts Shepherd’s Hope We hope you enjoy their trees as much as we enjoyed watching them decorate it!  All of these organizations host their annual gala events at Rosen Shingle Creek and all events are unique and available for ticket purchase or donations.  Please visit their Holiday Tree Display at Rosen Shingle Creek’s hotel lobby! (Source Credit: Rosen Hotel & Resort) Rosen Shingle Creek 9939 Universal Blvd, Orlando, FL 32819 (866) 996-9939 http://rosenshinglecreek.com

Flight Deal - September 2017 - China to Vietnam | UnTour Food Tours

Flight Deal - September 2017 - China to Vietnam | UnTour Food Tours


UnTour Food Tours

Cheap flight deal to Vietnam from Chinese cities - Fall 2017

Jon Smith Subs opens in Oviedo

by Ricky Ly of TastyChomps.com @ Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

I was born and raised in Palm Beach County so have many memories of Jon Smith Subs growing up. They were the mom and pop corner sub shop where I lived. I was excited to hear that they have finally made their way up to Orlando (though all the way out in Oviedo) and dropped by during the opening recently. The first Jon Smith shop opened in 1988 in Palm Beach County, FL serving up their signature marinated grilled sirloin steak and real chicken breast subs. I ordered the Steak Bomb –  Sirloin steak, Grilled onions, peppers, mushrooms, bacon, tomatoes & provolone. My sub was quite delicious – the bread was fresh as was the steak. I think next time I’ll try their traditional steak with cheese and forgo the other ingredients – ok maybe I’ll keep the bacon. The manager/owner was in, a Oviedo native, greeting and welcoming each family and patron entering the shop – it was quite the welcome sight. Jon Smith Subs – Oviedo 3607 Aloma Ave, Oviedo, FL 32765 https://jonsmithsubs.com/locations/oviedo-fl/ Mon-Sat 10:00am-9:00pm Sun Closed

Foodie Flashcards: Week 2 – Wontons

by kylelong @ UnTour Food Tours

Hungry to improve your Chinese vocabulary, but don’t know where to dig in? Welcome to our weekly Foodie Flashcard series. Follow along, study these morsels of knowledge, then dig in at your local restaurant to fully digest the information. What is it: Wontons take many forms in China, but are generally first stuffed with pork,

The post Foodie Flashcards: Week 2 – Wontons appeared first on UnTour Food Tours.

Pho 88 Vietnamese Noodle Shop – Mills 50 District

by Ricky Ly of TastyChomps.com @ Vietnamese – Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

Pho 88 Vietnamese Noodle Shop – Mills 50 District [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PsSiA-JHm0U] Anthony Bourdain: Search for Pho in Vietnam – Food Porn It is an age-old remedy passed down from generation to generation: a nice large steaming bowl of pho after a night out to cure a cursed condition: “the hangover”. Its common wisdom that the soup – simmered over hours with ox tail, Saigon cinnamon, star anise, charred ginger, charred onions and garlic cloves – is a elixir to make those alcohol-induced headaches go away with each slurp of the rice noodles. Its a tender dish, it sooths and washes out all the bad demons of the previous night with every spoonful. I don’t know why we keep coming back to Pho 88, located on the left side of Mills Ave just north of Colonial Drive; there are plenty of other Vietnamese restaurants to pick and choose from out there in the Mills 50 District to satisfy our pho fix. Maybe its the big open spaces in their dining room that gives us room to breathe and slurp freely as we scour our bowls (offered in regular, large, or xe lua – super sized- size). It isn’t the service, as most Vietnamese places aren’t known for the greatest friendliest service and the waiters at Pho 88 are no different, each of them no-nonsense, straight to the point types. What we enjoy at Pho 88 is the low prices (seriously where else can you get such a huge meal for $7.50? ) the quality (Pho is the namesake of the place, and you better make it good) and the lightning speed of the food delivery to the table (literally less than 5 minutes from order time). Pho at Pho 88 is a cut above the rest. Their noodles are slender and tasty, their broth is layered with flavors from the spices and beef that have been simmering for hours, and the meats are pretty good. In Vietnam, you take a small sauce tray and put hoisin and chili sauce in it and then dip your meats in the sauces to taste. Their pho, although still no match for my mother’s, is a close contender. For appetizers, on this occasion, we chose the cha gio or vietnamese fried spring rolls. I like to wrap my spring rolls in lettuce before dipping it into the fish sauce, providing it a soft texture to contrast with the crunchy crisp of the egg roll shells. In addition to Pho at Pho 88, they serve delicious Vietnamese subs known as banh mi. It tastes really good and I recommend it here if you are extra hungry. In the phillipines, they are known to dip the french breads into pho to soften it before chowing down on the delectable banh mi. They have a wide range of offerings too from meat balls to eggs to the traditional dac biet with all the special deli meats. If you’re not in the mood for pho or banh mi, try some of their delicious rice plates with pork chops and egg, or other noodle soup specialties. Tasty Chomps Rating 4.5 out of 5 Tasty Chomps!!!! Graffiti art on the southern wall, always different and beautiful. A glass of iced Vietnamese lime-ade (nuoc da chanh), sweet and crisp Garnishes for the soup, basils, bean sprouts, mint, slices of lime, jalapenos Various meat cuts in the soup including flank steak, beef tripe, tendon, etc. dip sauces : sirarcha chili sauce and hoisin bbq sauce Pho – must be eaten hot immediately or the flavors will disappear! Crispy Spring Rolls aka cha gio Inside the cha gio is vermicelli noodles, wood eared mushroom, pork, carrots Wrap it up. Banh mi is found here at Pho 88 Take a bite.

Lost Plate: Hutong Evening Food Tour by Tuktuk – Beijing, China

by Food Tour Finder @ Food Tour Finder

Reviewed by FoodTourFinder! See our review in the Comments section   We are not another walking tour. Beijing is a huge city, and the only way to find the best, hidden local food is to wind your way through the hutong alleys of Beijing where the locals live…with your own tuktuk! We only stop at […]

Celebrating the season at IKEA’s annual Swedish Julbord buffet

by Tiffany Nguyen @ Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

  We were invited to celebrate the season at IKEA’s annual Swedish Julbord smorgasbord – a nationwide event at participating stores.  A traditional Julbord is a highlight of Swedish cuisine, consisting of local and family specialties enjoyed with family and friends. Tickets for the all-you-can-eat buffet featuring traditional Swedish dishes were $16.99 per person / $4.99 for kids 12 and under, or at a discounted rate for IKEA FAMILY members ($12.99 per person / $2.99 for kids 12 and under). IKEA Food Range and Product Developer, Peter Ho, says, “The Julbord buffet is at the center of the classic Scandinavian holiday celebration, uniting family and friends alike.  It is a much anticipated tradition in Sweden that we enjoy sharing with customers all over.” The cutest Christmas reindeer!  An IKEA employee informed me that they were sold out, unfortunately. Swedish cheeses, crispbread, thin bread, softbread Gravad lax with mustard sauce Christmas ham Swedish potato salad Hard boiled eggs Assorted desserts Daim cakes with and without chocolate, Swedish fish Coffee, tea, fountain beverages Pickled herring, Swedish cucumber salad, Red beet salad, Hard boiled eggs, Christmas ham, Gravad lax with mustard sauce Poached salmon, Jansson’s temptations, sautéed red cabbage and apples, mashed potatoes and gravy Meatballs with lingonberries, mashed potatoes and gravy, sautéed red cabbage and apples, Jansson’s temptations Swedish Santa Lucia processional Swedish Santa Thank you Swedish Santa for the complimentary tote bags! (Source credit: IKEA) IKEA 4092 Eastgate Dr. Orlando, FL 32839 +1 (888) 888-4532 ikea.com/us

Vietnamese Lunar New Year Tet – St. Philippe Phan van Minh Catholic Church at the Fairgrounds 2013

by Ricky Ly of TastyChomps.com @ Vietnamese – Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

The Vietnamese New Year, also known as Tet or Tet Nguyên Dán, is one of my favorite times of the year. This is the time when friends and family from throughout the Central Florida community come out and enjoy local cultural performances put on by fellow members of the community as well as more famous Vietnamese singers and performers, and also enjoy the wonderful home made Vietnamese food that you would normally not find at the local restaurants. As the Vietnamese New Year is based on the Lunar new year calendar, similar to the Chinese New Year, the actual date changes each year depending on the moon cycles. This year it falls on the night of Sunday February 10th and is the start of the year of the Snake. To avoid stepping on each others’ toes, the local Vietnamese community organizations, temples, and churches try to sparse out their festivities so that they would be on different dates. On Sunday February 10 Asia Trend Magazine and Mills 50 District will host the annual Orlando Dragon Parade for the 2013 Lunar New Year Festival. Celebrate the Year of Snake with Dragon and Lion Dances, Martial Arts, Japanese Taiko, Acrobatic Performances, Cultural Dances, Arts and Crafts and Exotic Asian Food On Saturday – Sunday February 16-17, the Vietnamese Community of Central Florida (Cong Dong) is hosting their annual event at the Central Florida Fairgrounds. The Sunday event includes the Miss Vietnam of Florida pageant. Also on Sunday February 17, CAACF Chinese New Year Dinner Celebration 2013 takes place at Koy Wan buffet at 5:30pm. For more info visit http://asiatrendmagazine.com/AT_events.html This past weekend, St. Philippe Phan van Minh Catholic Church hosted their Vietnamese lunar new year festivities at the Central Florida Fairgrounds. I took a visit and captured some photos of the scenes at the fairgrounds. The proceeds of the sales went to the church organization in supporting its works in the community. Volunteers making banh mi Vietnamese sub sandwiches A bowl of the spicy bun bo hue, the other beef noodle soup in Vietnam, stemming from the central region of Hue. An elderly woman pours some “chao” or rice porridge/ congee into a bowl. Traditionally a breakfast item or a cure for a cold day in Vietnam Ingredients for hu tieu noodle soup, including quail eggs Che Ba Mau, a type of dessert with beans and sweets A gentleman places sugarcane sticks into the machine, crushing the juices out to make sugarcane drink. A lady sells the delicacy hop vit lon, or fermented duck fetus eggs, also known as balut in the Phillipines. Nem nuong, Vietnamese grilled pork patties Ca ri de, curried goat Preparing Mi Quang, a Vietnamese noodle dish that originated from Quang Nam Province in central Vietnam, made with rice noodles tinted yellow with the use of turmeric. Mi Quang, made with rice noodles tinted yellow with the use of turmeric. Pho Hoa restaurant prepares Pho for sale Cha Lua, Vietnamese pork deli meats, used in preparation of banh cuon Bánh cu?n is a rice noodle roll made from a thin, wide sheet of steamed fermented rice batter filled with seasoned ground pork, minced wood ear mushroom, and minced shallots, served with cha lua Bun rieu seafood noodle soup with fried tofu Bun Moc – Vietnamese Pork and Mushroom Noodle Soup Friends enjoying the festival Youth performing a rendition of “Gangnam Style” on the main stage

Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante at Disney Springs opens on National Spaghetti Day

by Tiffany Nguyen @ Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

We were invited to the media preview and grand opening of Maria and Enzo’s Ristorante with a special dedication moment including leadership from Disney, Patina Restaurant Group and Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse.  Following the dedication, we went inside the brand new Italian restaurant for a media reception and we celebrated National Spaghetti Day with some apps, pasta, wines, cocktails and sweet treats; perfect for the occasion.  Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante is a warm and dreamy restaurant with friendly staff, delicious food, and airline themed aesthetics that is adventurous and playful. The backstory is that the building was a once-abandoned Disney Springs airline terminal from the 1930s.  Italian immigrants Maria and Enzo owned a small bakery business inside the airline terminal and they purchased the entire building after the airline terminal closed down.  As an airline pilot, Enzo was drawn to the abandoned airline terminal and to open a spacious restaurant in it was a dream of his and Maria, who both wanted to introduce Italian cuisine to guests at Disney Springs. CACIOCAVALLO FRITTO – fried sicilian cheese, spicy tomato and pomodoro sauce SPAGHETTI ALLA CHITARRA – burrata and meatballs ARANCINI DI CARNE – fried rice stuffed with meat ragù, peas and mozzarella.  They were delicious! PROSCIUTTO-WRAPPED BREADSTICKS CHERRY TOMATO AND MOZZARELLA SKEWERS Delicious TIRAMISU! These were the best CHEESECAKE POPS that I have ever had in my life! CANNOLI– sheep’s milk ricotta, chocolate chips, candied orange.  It was the best cannoli that I have ever had in my life! Randomly selected guests will be upgraded upon arrival to the First Class Lounge and will receive a more upgraded level of service.  Guests 21 years of age or older will be served a complimentary glass of Prosecco and kids will receive a complimentary airline pin. Be sure to book a reservation at Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante, link below, so you can experience this amazing new restaurant for yourself! BONUS: We also got to take a tour around the new Enzo’s Hideaway Tunnel Bar. …and The Edison. Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante The Landing, Disney Springs, 1570 E. Buena Vista Drive, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830 (407) 560-8466 mariaandenzos.com Enzo’s Hideaway Tunnel Bar 1570 E. Buena Vista Drive Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830 (407) 560-9288 enzoshideawayfla.com The Edison 1570 E. Buena Vista Dr. Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830 (407) 560-9288 theedisonfla.com

Ultimate Singapore Tourist Attraction: Gardens by the Bay

by Annette White @ Bucket List Journey | Travel + Lifestyle Blog

The futuristic Supertrees are part of the most well-known places, a must Singapore Tourist Attraction to visit in Gardens by the Bay. Don't miss the Cloud Forest, Flower Dome and view of the Marina Bay Sands hotel.

The post Ultimate Singapore Tourist Attraction: Gardens by the Bay appeared first on Bucket List Journey | Travel + Lifestyle Blog.

Vietnam Culinary Tour – Join Us on a Vietnam Food Adventure

Vietnam Culinary Tour – Join Us on a Vietnam Food Adventure


Grantourismo Travels

Our Vietnam Culinary Tour will explore the regional cuisines of Vietnam, from Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) and the Mekong Delta in the south, Hoi An and Hue in Central Vietnam, to Hanoi and the mountain food of Sapa and Bac Ha in the north. We'd

Black Friday-Cyber Monday: Get 25% Off Gift Certificates

by jamie @ UnTour Food Tours

UnTour turns SEVEN! It’s holiday time! WE’RE OFFERING 25% OFF ALL SHANGHAI & BEIJING GIFT CARDS! The holiday season is upon us and if UnTour was a child, it would be in that picky eating phase (ugh, the worst). As proud operators of a seven-year-old food tour and big fans of the holiday spirit, we’re offering

The post Black Friday-Cyber Monday: Get 25% Off Gift Certificates appeared first on UnTour Food Tours.

Culinary Backstreets: Lisbon Eats Essentials – Lisbon, Portugal

by Food Tour Finder @ Food Tour Finder

Reviewed by FoodTourFinder! See our review in the Comments section   Blessed with some of the world’s best fish and seafood off the coast and the bounty of rich farmland inland, the Portuguese are spoilt for choice of great culinary resources. The cuisine of Lisbon, which draws from a diverse range of influences hinting at […]

Siem Reap Hospitality Training Restaurants – Meals that Make a Difference

by Lara Dunston @ Grantourismo Travels

These Siem Reap hospitality training restaurants serve up some of the most tantalising meals in the city – and they’re meals that make a difference. The money you spend contributes to training young Cambodians, helping to lift locals out of poverty. Located in Cambodia’s northern...

The post Siem Reap Hospitality Training Restaurants – Meals that Make a Difference appeared first on Grantourismo Travels.

Second Harvest Food Bank presents: Chef’s Night Featuring Chef Trina Gregory-Propst, Pastry Chef/Owner of SE7EN BITES

by Tiffany Nguyen @ Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

Chef Trina Gregory-Propst is amazing.  She was the one who recommended my family’s restaurant, Saigon Noodle and Grill – Bumby to the Food Network producers when they asked her if she knew of any good Vietnamese restaurants in Orlando to be featured on an episode of “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives”.  My family had no idea that Triple D was coming to our city (for the first time ever) so we did not expect to be contacted by them, however, when they reached out to us we knew that it was truly a blessing sent from God.  We accepted the offer to film an episode of “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives” and it has changed our lives for the better.  We are now recognized worldwide and we have met so many loyal Triple D fans from all across the world.  Chef Trina’s restaurant SE7EN BITES was featured on “Diners, Drive-Ins and Drives” and both of our restaurants are located in the Milk District, so we are actually neighbors.  What an honor it is to put our city and district on the Triple D map with Chef Trina.  My family cannot thank her enough for what she has done for our small restaraunt business.  We are so grateful for her and her awesome wife’s friendship! Chef’s Night is an evening at the food bank featuring some of Central Florida’s best chefs and cuisine, all to benefit their Darden Foundation Community Kitchen’s Culinary Training Program.  The Culinary Training Program provides qualified, at-risk and economically disadvantaged adults with the culinary and life skills training needed to pursue a sustainable career in the food industry.  When you support Chef’s Night, you are helping to change lives, and help pull your neighbors in need out of poverty. SE7EN BITES specializes in nostalgic southern comfort food with a modern twist.  Chef Trina has loved to bake since her Grammy first introduced her to baking when she was a child.  Grammy helped develop Trina’s love for all things sweet.  Add in a professional culinary education, talent and passion and the result is a great recipe for local Orlando Goodness.  Chef Trina created a 5-course “Brinner” menu, a delicious combination of breakfast served at dinner.  Special thanks to SYSCO for donating all of the food to Chef’s Night to make the event a success. Bloody Mary and Mimosa Bar Deviled eggs with candied bacon (best deviled eggs that I have ever had in my life!) Pimento Cheese Biscuit bites with sweet red pepper butter (so yummy!) Appetizer Course – Fried grit cake with tomato jam, Andouille and dressed Arugula Salad Course – Citrus Pistachio Salad Main Course – Colonel Marmalade in the Kitchen with a Knife.  Biscuit stacked with Pimento Cheese, Buttermilk Fried Chicken, over medium egg, sausage gravy and finished with a dollop of Orange Blossom Marmalade (so delicious!) Dessert Course – Cinnamon Roll Sundae Grammies, Cinnamon Roll topped with Vanilla Ice Cream Espresso Maple Caramel, Garnished with Milk & Salted Caramel Crumble Chef Trina with her awesome wife, Va Propst. The talented Se7en Bites staff This lovely lady just got hired by Chef Trina to work at her restaurant, SE7EN BITES!  Big congratulations!!  (P.S. – She looks familiar.  I think we went to high school together.  So cool!) Follow @themichaeljavier on instagram – he’s a cool dude, I want his charisma! If you missed out this year, be sure to join us at the next Chef’s Table at Second Harvest Food Bank!  Details will be posted on their website so keep an eye out for it. (Source credit: Second Harvest Food Bank) Second Harvest Food Bank 411 Mercy Drive Orlando, FL 32805 (407) 295-1066 feedhopenow.org Se7en Bites 617 N Primrose Dr, Orlando, FL 32803 (407) 203-0727 se7enbites.com  

Gay Travel - Coda Tours is Your Home

Gay Travel - Coda Tours is Your Home


Coda Tours

Gay travel is Coda Tours' speciality. We are a leader in luxury gay travel since 1998, specializing in upscale small group tours & customized private gay travel arrangements.

Airbus: solution to the overhead bin issue! REALLY? | Travel + Leisure

by Russell Cook @ Coda Tours

Brilliant, says Airbus! But we need the “under the seat in front” for our poor feet! he battle between your […]

The post Airbus: solution to the overhead bin issue! <em>REALLY?</em> | Travel + Leisure appeared first on Coda Tours.

15 things you want to eat at the Vietnamese New Year festival, Jan. 30-31 and Feb. 6-7

15 things you want to eat at the Vietnamese New Year festival, Jan. 30-31 and Feb. 6-7


Orlando Weekly

We're still a couple of weeks out, but it's high time you started planning your culinary sojourn around the Central Florida Fairgrounds to celebrate the...

6 Epic Trips To Check Off Your Travel Bucket List—And 5 New Ideas To Add Right Now

by Feria Kazemia @ The FlipKey Blog

What better way to get excited for 2018 than by checking off one of those epic vacation ideas on your travel bucket list? Whether it’s a classic destination, or something off the beaten track to make you the envy of all your Instagram followers, FlipKey has drummed up 11 can’t-miss destinations to throw your wanderlust into high gear! From classic bucket list trips like catching the Northern Lights in Iceland or swimming along the Great Barrier Reef, to new experiences like eating your way through Japan’s culinary hotspot and whale-watching on the edge of the world, FlipKey has incredible rental properties that’ll be the perfect base for your bucket list vacation, without breaking the bank!  6 Classic Travel Bucket List Trips 1. Witness the Northern Lights in Iceland or Norway The Northern Lights are on many travelers’ bucket lists and during the winter months, from Norway to Iceland, there are many incredible destinations to catch the Aurora’s mesmerizing colors. Where To Stay: Explore Iceland’s raw beauty with a stay at this charming 3-bedroom cottage. Its remote location, with views of the ocean and mountains, is perfect for spotting the elusive Auroras. See all our Iceland rentals here! Where To Stay: For equally spectacular views, this coastal 5-bedroom lodge in Norway’s Lofoten Islands offers the best of both worlds with a completely modern interior, while its picture windows are perfect for cozying up to watch the spectacular light shows at night. See all our Norway rentals here! 2. Walk Along the Great Wall of China Walk along one of the world’s most impressive architectural feats—the Great Wall of China. Located just outside Beijing, stay at modern apartment in the city for a dose of excitement from the Chinese cultural capital and a day trip to this impressive UNESCO World Heritage site dating back to the 7th century. Where To Stay: Enjoy the historical Chinese capital from your own private apartment near the Old City’s east gate. For as little as $21 per person, per night, this modern 1-bedroom apartment, which sleeps three, has easy access to the metropolis’ many sights and is a perfect base for your trip to the Great Wall nearby. See all our Beijing rentals here! 3. Unwind in a Balinese Paradise With its unique culture, stunning scenery, and plethora of activities, it’s no surprise Bali was the top TripAdvisor Traveler’s Choice Destination for 2017. To experience the best of this Indonesian paradise, a modern villa in trendy Seminyak is the perfect base for this bucket list destination! Where To Stay: Despite its central location, Villa Kailysa offers a relaxing private retreat in the Balinese hotspot. Just minutes from the beach, this beautiful open-concept villa lets guests make the most of Bali’s incredible weather, with a spacious veranda containing its dining, lounge and kitchen, leading to an inviting pool. For adventurous types, this villa is a great base to explore the beaches and nearby rice paddies, or for planning an early morning trek up Mount Batur. See all our Bali rentals here! 4. Gaze At A Natural Wonder: The Grand Canyon With its sheer size and majestic beauty, it’s no surprise the Grand Canyon is one of the world’s seven natural wonders. Stay at a cozy vacation rental in nearby national parks to really explore and marvel at the rock formations of this expansive gorge, which date back billions of years! Where To Stay: Relax at this charming, romantic, and secluded two-bedroom cabin near the Coconino National Forest. Just a few hours from the Northern Rim of the Grand Canyon, it’s the perfect base for day trips to explore the Grand Canyon. After a busy day exploring, head home and relax among nature on the large wraparound terrace and cozy porch swing. See all our Arizona rentals here! 5. Head on a Wild South African Safari Always wanted to spot a lion in the wild? What about a rhinoceros? If any of the Big 5 (lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants, and buffalos) are on your bucket list, then pack your bags for a South African safari stay near Kruger National Park! Where To Stay: This stunning modern 3-bedroom property sits in the heart of South Africa’s wildlife region. With its location on a secure private wildlife estate, you’ll get to know your four-legged neighbors from the expansive terrace, or find yourself sharing the pool with some unexpected furry visitors. Dining and shopping options are only minutes away in nearby Hoedspruit and, of course, don’t miss out on one of Africa’s largest game reserves, Kruger National Park, which is less than an hour away. See all our South Africa rentals! 6. See An Underwater World: The Great Barrier Reef There’s no doubt exploring the underwater world is on many bucket lists, but while there’s many places in the world to grab the scuba gear, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is the ultimate destination! Exploring this stunning aquatic wonder with a stay at a vacation home in nearby Port Douglas. Where To Stay: Base yourself only 300 feet away from the famous Four Mile Beach at this modern 3-bedroom Port Douglas villa. The gated property offers guests plenty of privacy and entertaining options with its outdoor swimming pool, lush gardens, and al fresco dining. Located in a quiet residential area of Port Douglas, this villa is a perfect base for vacationers keen to explore an incredible underwater world at the Great Barrier Reef. See all our Port Douglas rentals! 5 Fresh Travel Bucket List Ideas To Add 7. Immerse Yourself In Argentina’s Cultural Mecca Latin passion and classic European glamour converge in electrifying Argentina. With its dual-heritage, the city’s public squares  could easily be mistaken for European piazzas, while its cobblestone streets and vibrant colors ooze Latin charm. Stay near the city’s historical Recoleta Village and watch as the two worlds collide. Where To Stay: Immerse yourself in Buenos Aires’ rich history with a stay at this stunning 19th century apartment within minutes of Recoleta Village. The 3-bedroom, 4-bathroom property exudes old world charm, with its 15-foot ceilings, exposed beams, and brick walls. See all our Buenos Aires rentals! 8. Explore Chinese & French Influences In Vietnam Small, chaotic, yet utterly charming, Hanoi is a full-on sensory experience. The city’s old quarter exudes energy, as mopeds whiz through the narrow roads, street hawkers sell their wares, and crowds spill into the streets. Explore the city’s dynamic fusion of Chinese and French influences, insanely cool local culture, and raw charm from a bright Vietnamese vacation rental. Where To Stay: This stunning zen apartment offers travelers a quintessential fusion of Vietnam’s Chinese and French influences, with an added modern touch. The one-bedroom rental sits a short walk away from the city’s Old Quarter, making it the perfect retreat from Hanoi’s energy. Soothing whites and neutrals in the apartment complement the greenery and florals throughout, while exposed brick and a heritage clawfoot bathtub add to the magic. See all our Hanoi rentals! 9. Escape To Fogo Island Explore nature from one of the world’s four corners. Fogo Island’s intimate and profound entanglement with the sea and forces of nature have helped create the island’s unique culture. From striking landscapes and incredible wildlife, to a much-buzzed about art-scene and delightful gastronomic experiences, a charming rental property along the Atlantic is a great way to see why this small island draws visitors worldwide to its shores. Where To Stay: Enjoy Fogo Island from this charming colorful Newfie cottage perched along the Atlantic Ocean. Hike along the nearby towering cliffs, watching majestic whales swim along the shores below. If you’re spent after a busy day exploring this historical island, cozy up in front of the cottage’s large picture windows and watch as icebergs float by your living room window. See all our Fogo Island rentals! 10. Eat Your Way Through Japan’s Foodie City: Osaka From sushi, to yakitori and Okonomiyaki—arguably the region’s most famous export—Japan’s second largest city offers an unparalleled culinary experience making it a must-visit bucket list destination for any foodie! Base yourself in a comfortable Osaka rental to eat your way through this culinary region. Where To Stay: Live like the Japanese in a traditionally styled apartment. Neutral colors and minimalist aesthetic adorn the apartment, creating a spacious feel. Located near the historical Osaka Castle, this property boasts wonderful Japanese features, like calligraphy on the walls, a traditional Japanese dining table, as well as Japanese double futons, sleeping up to eight people. See all our Osaka rentals! 11. Combine Culture & Beaches in the Indian Ocean If you can’t decide between stunning coastlines and UNESCO World Heritage Sites, why not combine the two and tick Zanzibar off your bucket list? Stay at your own stunning beachside villa to explore the island archipelago’s miles of unspoiled beaches, impressive cultural mélange, awe-inspiring architecture, and delectable aromas. Where To Stay: Located on the opposite side of the island from bustling and historical Stone Town—yet still within an hour’s drive—this gorgeous private villa puts the warm waters of the Indian Ocean right at your doorstep. This fantastic coastal property features two masters, each with its own en-suite. Both bedrooms have balconies leading to the terrace, with incredible 180-degree views of the beach. The property also boasts an infinity pool, perfect for a night swim. See all our Zanzibar rentals! This post was originally published on the TripAdvisor Rentals blog. FlipKey is a TripAdvisor company.

The post 6 Epic Trips To Check Off Your Travel Bucket List—And 5 New Ideas To Add Right Now appeared first on The FlipKey Blog.

Maui Bucket List: 43 Best Things To Do on the Coolest Hawaiian Island

by Annette White @ Bucket List Journey | Travel + Lifestyle Blog

What are the best things to do on the Hawaiian island of Maui? Fun activities, cool attractions, nature, tasty restaurants and traditional luaus.

The post Maui Bucket List: 43 Best Things To Do on the Coolest Hawaiian Island appeared first on Bucket List Journey | Travel + Lifestyle Blog.

Outback Steakhouse opens at new location in Oviedo

by Ricky Ly of TastyChomps.com @ Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

Outback Steakhouse, the Tampa-based Australian-themed American casual dining restaurant chain, has recently moved from its original Oviedo spot down the street to a new location just across the way from Sushi Pop. It was previously the location for Bojangles Fried Chicken. One of their newest dishes is: Big Aussie Bloom NEW Address: 215 W Mitchell Hammock Rd, Oviedo, FL 32765 Mon-Thu: 11:00 AM-10:00 PM Fri-Sat: 11:00 AM-11:00 PM Sun: 11:00 AM-10:00 PM for more info, visit: https://www.outback.com/locations/fl/oviedo

Pho Vinh – Vietnamese – Orlando

by Ricky Ly of TastyChomps.com @ Vietnamese – Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

Pho Vinh – Vietnamese – Orlando One of the newest contenders to throw their hat into the Vietnamese restaurant ring: Pho Vinh. Coming onto the scene with strong traditional Vietnamese offerings, Pho Vinh is a restaurant where attention must be paid. Sitting in the remodeled building that once housed 4-5-9 Chinese restaurant on Primrose, the decor is elegant and simple, with pink orchid decor and paintings of Vietnamese women and children along the walls ( a la Lac Viet nearby). Right next door is Pho Hoa who also provides decent Vietnamese fare for our area. It’s a shame that not more people know about these two restaurants, despite being only a few blocks away from the busy Mills Avenue / Colonial Dr corridor. Among the many dishes I have tried on various visits here with friends and loved ones, a few things stood out for me. The flavor of the Pho here at Vinh is deep and tasty, and the meat is plentiful. The thit nuong (grilled pork) is exceptional, where I once thought that all the Vietnamese restaurants used the same meat or recipe, the grilled pork here is actually quite delicious. The service isn’t too bad here either as the waiters on all occasions have been considerate and thoughtful during our meals, bucking the trend of brutish service at our local establishments. Overall, Pho Vinh is a pleasant surprise and welcome addition to the Orlando food scene. Banh Xeo – A Vietnamese crepe/pancake dish stuffed with shrimp and pork Banh Xeo – A Vietnamese crepe/pancake dish stuffed with shrimp and pork (make sure you dip it in the fish sauce provided)  I like to wrap my egg rolls in lettuce and dip it in the sauce yummy  ( it makes me feel like its healthier that way ) Bun Bo Hue – a mildly spicy noodle soup from the city of Hue     Com Thit Nuong – Rice platter with grilled pork 

Foodie Flashcards: Week 1 – Hotpot

by kylelong @ UnTour Food Tours

Hungry to improve your Chinese vocabulary, but don’t know where to dig in? Welcome to our weekly Foodie Flashcard series. Follow along, study these morsels of knowledge, then dig in at your local restaurant to fully digest the information. What is it: Sometimes called Chinese fondue, hotpot is a fun DIY meal where diners dip

The post Foodie Flashcards: Week 1 – Hotpot appeared first on UnTour Food Tours.

15 Most Romantic Cabin Getaways According To Travelers

by Lara Kavanagh @ The FlipKey Blog

Secluded cabin rental for two? Step right this way for tried and tested romantic destinations where love is most definitely in the air. Romantic Cabin Getaways Loved By Travelers Reviews tell us a lot about the kind of vacations a destination is good for. So when we were looking for some of the best places for romantic cabin getaways, we checked what travelers had to say. At FlipKey (part of the TripAdvisor family), we used a special algorithm to analyze every single TripAdvisor review, identifying which locations across America had the highest percentage of reviews mentioning romance. What’s left are some of the top romantic cabin getaways that travelers rave about—each boasting secluded cabin rentals available to book on FlipKey. No matter the season, these inviting destinations make excellent retreats for couples in need of some time away together. There’s no doubt that a cabin makes a pretty romantic setting, whether it’s nestled high up in the mountains or perched on a cliff by the sea. When you book a secluded cabin rental with FlipKey, you get the whole property and its amenities to yourselves, so you can take your morning coffee on a private porch, in a scenic garden, or tucked up in bed with a jaw-dropping view. Here are 15 traveler favorites for romantic cabin getaways, from red-rocked desert towns to pretty lakeside villages. Jenner, California A couple of hours’ drive away from the throng of San Francisco on a rugged stretch of Cali coast is where you’ll find lovely Jenner. This coastal village is ripe for seal-spotting, beach-combing, and uninterrupted ocean-gazing, and it’s one of the quieter spots featured in this list. Peace at last. See all FlipKey rentals in Jenner! Saugatuck, Michigan “This home exceeded our high expectations. First, the view took my breath away; it never got old. The elevation and combination of door walls, windows and screened porch off the back and side of the home provide a treehouse atmosphere, while cozy woodwork and furnishings convey warmth. We spent many hours sitting in the screen porch enjoying the sounds of birds and crickets chirping.” — FlipKey Reviewer On the shores of Lake Michigan stands the small town of Saugatuck. Leave your stresses at the door of your rental—it’s time to relax. You can chill out on Oval Beach, hike across Saugatuck Dunes State Park, or browse the little art galleries in town. Alternatively, you could simply go from cabin to beach to cabin every day, making the most of your time out together. See all FlipKey rentals in Saugatuck! Logan, Ohio Here’s another beautifully quiet place to hole up in a secluded cabin hideaway. When you’re ready to venture out, try a gentle forest walk in Lake Logan State Park or go boating on a lake full of catfish. At nearby Hocking Hills State Park, don’t miss the atmospheric Rock House, Ash Cave, and Cedar Falls. See all FlipKey rentals in Logan! Hood River, Oregon “The house is perfect for a family or a couple looking for a centrally located place to stay with gorgeous views of the Gorge. It’s comfy and walking distance to eateries and local grocery stores. Can’t really ask for more than that. Nicely equipped for our needs along with a garage spot and laundry. We’re already looking at dates for a summer visit so we can enjoy the deck and a wonderful glass of wine.” — FlipKey Reviewer Hood River ticks all the boxes for romantic cabin getaways, with the scenic Columbia River flowing by, plenty of hiking trails for long walks, and picnic stops for undisturbed lunches for two. There are also plenty of good places to eat here, with farm-fresh food lending a truly local touch. See all FlipKey rentals in Hood River! Manitou Springs, Colorado People used to come to Manitou Springs to drink the naturally carbonated mineral water, thought to have healing powers. You can still taste it today, but if you’re here for romance, you’ll probably want to chug along taking in the views from the Pikes Peak Cog Railway. Here, the highest cog train in the world will take you up through a romantic landscape of rocky terrain and pine forest, finishing with gorgeous views over the Great Plains. Don’t miss the amazing Manitou Cliff Dwellings, preserved Anasazi homes full of artifacts to explore. See all FlipKey rentals in Manitou Springs! Big Sur, California Not many people, plenty of space, and uninterrupted Pacific views. Sounds pretty romantic to us. Just book your private cabin and you’re all set for the couple’s trip of a lifetime. Driving the coastal road along this breathtaking stretch of California is up there with our all-time favorite activities—do make a stop to snap the famous Bixby Bridge in all its glory. See all FlipKey rentals in Big Sur! Aspen, Colorado “Very gracious family home. We had a wonderful time. This home had everything for amenities.” — FlipKey Reviewer It’s easy to see why so many couples choose Aspen for their romantic cabin getaways. Take a horse and carriage ride, ascend the mountain on the Silver Queen Gondola for awe-inspiring views, or book your places on the Aspen Cooking School’s culinary course for couples. We’re sure your first visit won’t be your last. See all FlipKey rentals in Aspen! Mendocino, California Discover the towering Redwoods, ocean views, and Victorian seaside homes of pretty Mendocino. There are beaches and walking paths to wander at Mendocino Headlands State Park, plus some charming villages to visit in the surrounding area. Just up the road is Fort Bragg, with its glistening Glass Beach and the Skunk Train chugging gently through the forest. See all FlipKey rentals in Mendocino! Dahlonega, Georgia This is gold-rush territory, so you may want to start your visit at the fascinating Dahlonega Gold Museum, before wading into the river to pan for some of the sparkly stuff yourselves. After that, explore the pleasant historic center, which welcomes you in for romantic wanderings among its 19th-century structures. See all FlipKey rentals in Dahlonega! Luray, Virginia “We love it. The yard is huge with 2 types of grills and a fire pit. The view is phenomenal. The interior is beautiful. The owner is very nice and easy to work with.” — FlipKey Reviewer This is the cabin capital of Virginia, so you’re in the right place for a romantic cabin retreat. Luray is set in the spectacular Shenandoah Valley, so you can set off to fish and hike in Shenandoah National Park or paddle on the river. A visit to the atmospheric Luray Caverns is a must, with its lofty caverns and huge natural rock formations, all beautifully lit for visitors. See all FlipKey rentals in Luray! Blowing Rock, North Carolina This area is rich in cozy cabins with glorious views. From spelunking to spa days, there’s plenty to keep couples entertained. Be sure to motor along the Blue Ridge Parkway with the top down for the ultimate romantic drive. Stop off along the way at the curious Blowing Rock itself, which directs the mountain winds upwards. See all FlipKey rentals in Blowing Rock! Stowe, Vermont The mountain resort of Stowe is stunning throughout the seasons, whether you’re here to ski, leaf-peep, or simply escape the daily grind. This is one for the outdoorsy types, so peel yourselves out of your secluded cabin rental and get involved in the season’s activities. Finish up the day with an intimate meal, accompanied by remarkable alpine views, at the Austrian-style Cliff House Restaurant. See all FlipKey rentals in Stowe! Lake George, New York The lake is the focal point of romantic cabin getaways in Lake George, so be sure to board a traditional steamboat for a daytime tour of the shore, or, even better, a romantic dinner cruise when the sun goes down. Take a drive or hike up Prospect Mountain for unbeatable views of the surrounding area, or set off to the Natural Stone Bridge and Caves to see the largest marble cave in the east. See all FlipKey rentals in Lake George! Leavenworth, Washington Leavenworth is utterly charming all year round, with its Bavarian character and warm welcome. Enjoy horse-drawn carriage rides through town in the spring, sleigh rides through the snow in the winter, and wine-tasting sessions whatever the weather. Simply heaven. See all FlipKey rentals in Leavenworth! Sedona, Arizona “We had everything we needed here for a comfy stay and we loved the location just minutes from Bell Rock trail and convenient to attractions, food and whatever you want to do in Sedona. The beds were comfy, the home was stocked with pots and pans and dishes, coffee and tea, plenty of towels, bedding and wifi.” — FlipKey Reviewer Ok, ok, you won’t actually find a wealth of cabin rentals here in sunny Sedona. But this place scored way too highly on the travelers’ romance scale to be left out of this list. Whatever kind of rental you choose, expect a scenic desert town bordered with pine forests and imposing red rock. You can enjoy this striking landscape on a jeep tour, or head out just the two of you to catch some sun and slip down the natural water slide at Slide Rock State Park. See all FlipKey rentals in Sedona!

The post 15 Most Romantic Cabin Getaways According To Travelers appeared first on The FlipKey Blog.

Classic Negroni with Spices – Our Recipe for a Warming Christmas Negroni

by Lara Dunston @ Grantourismo Travels

A classic negroni with spices has become our new Christmas drink. You need a really good reason to mess with a classic negroni recipe and as far as we’re concerned there are few better reasons than Christmas. This is the first in a series of...

The post Classic Negroni with Spices – Our Recipe for a Warming Christmas Negroni appeared first on Grantourismo Travels.

Butterfield & Robinson | Biking and Walking Since 1966

Butterfield & Robinson | Biking and Walking Since 1966


Butterfield & Robinson

"Slow down to see the world." It’s our mantra and our guiding light—but only because “Slow Down to See, Sip, Taste, Meet, Greet, Learn and Become Enlightened” was too much of a mouthful.

September Is for Seniors

by Newseum @ Newseum

During the entire month of September, the Newseum is offering special senior discounts, classes and free guided highlights tours!
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How to Skip the Airport Immigration Lines in China: E-Channel

by kylelong @ UnTour Food Tours

Want to feel like a VIP when you get off the plane (even if you flew coach). Skip the immigration lines before and after your flight by registering for the e-channel program. Yes, you, a foreigner! No, don’t pay any money! No, there is no horrible application or waiting period! No, you never have to

The post How to Skip the Airport Immigration Lines in China: E-Channel appeared first on UnTour Food Tours.

People From 14 Countries Reveal the Most Annoying Things Foreigners Do When They Visit | Travel + Leisure

by Russell Cook @ Coda Tours

Tourists get a bad rap – but sometimes, they deserve it. Source: People From 14 Countries Reveal the Most Annoying Things […]

The post People From 14 Countries Reveal the Most Annoying Things Foreigners Do When They Visit | Travel + Leisure appeared first on Coda Tours.

Yuki Hana Fusion Sushi’s Chef’s Multi-Course Tasting Event

by Tiffany Nguyen @ Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

At Yuki Hana they provide guests with a beautiful, modern dining experience and the freshest, most flavorful Japanese dishes around.  From innovative sushi featuring fresh fish from the world’s finest markets to flavorful fusion dishes prepared with locally sourced veggies and herbs, every plate on their menu is fun, flavorful, and a new adventure.  No matter the occasion, they are always more than happy to welcome you in and treat you to an unforgettable evening of bites and sips.  Visit them and experience the finest in Japanese cuisine all under one roof. Every season Yuki Hana hosts a special dinner showcasing their chef’s creativity and talent.  We were invited to their Chef’s Multi-Course Tasting Event and as always, we were impressed with how creative and well thought-out each dish was.  Not only did the food look good but it also tasted delicious as well.  Each dish that came out was like an exciting surprise, we were all blown out of the water with their innovation, presentation and quality.  Yuki Hana Fusion Sushi exceeded our expectations with every dish that they delivered that night.  They are like food scientists, they know their stuff, they are creative, and they just keep getting better and better.  You can tell that each dish was hand made with hard work, love and intention. Begin – Butterfly Pea Crystal, Citrus Sake Appetizer – Amuse-Bouche, Squash Dumpling 1st Course – Cape Cod Oyster, Wasabi Foam, Cocktail Pearl, Lemon Confit 2nd Course – Shima Aji, Wasabi Asparagus, Kombu Chip, Crispy Garlic, Ume Ponzu 3rd Course – Nigiri Tasting Mussel (mussel puree, garlic chip) Hamachi Tartare (tobiko, cured egg snow) Tuna (tare, avocado) Kohada (charred negi vin) Break – Frozen White Chocolate Lychee Gusher 4th Course – Seared Shiromi, Cabbage Menage, Bacon Seaweed, Dashi Aioli (My favorite!) 5th Course – Roasted Beef, Oxtail Croquette, Pickled Pumpkin, Sweet Potato Sphere, Roasted Leek, Honey Soy (my second favorite!) Dessert – Persimmon 5.0, Gelato, Compressed, Gel, Meringue, Soup (it was delicious!) Special thanks to owner Ping Jiang and her talented staff for their hospitality and amazing food!  Be sure to check out Yuki Hana Fusion Sushi soon, you won’t regret it! Albert DeSue – Executive Chef Steven Phan – Head Sushi Chef Edwardo Mena – Sous Chef Lance Herbas – Sushi Chef Steven Chang – Sushi Chef (Cover photo and last photo taken by Quay Hu) Yuki Hana Fusion Sushi 3635 Aloma Ave Oviedo, Florida 32765 (407) 695-8808 http://sushiyukihana.com

2018 Orlando Food Predictions You Want to Know

by C Major @ Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

Happy 2018, Food Friends! Can we all agree that glitter and unicorn desserts are so 2017? Well maybe not, but a girl can dream. I caught up with some of Orlando’s coolest chefs to find out what they see coming to a table near you in 2018, and here’s what they had to say. The Verdict: Crazy desserts are out; smaller, savory sweets are in Asian eats are here to stay RIP to unnecessary gluten-free dishes Say hello to veg cuisine, it’s here and it’s not playing HAWKERS Asian Street Fare – Kaleb Harrell  “Ethnic desserts – We are revamping our entire dessert line because we feel customers are ready. Desserts that have a savory edge, are fruit-based, or just have ingredients outside of mainstream will gain popularity as the size of desserts decreases. Today’s customer would rather have a few bites of something amazing to end their meal than a bowl of corn syrup. Savory cocktails – This one has been on the fringe for a while, but I think 2018 is the year for savory cocktails to take hold.  Think meat stocks, dry rub ingredients, and vegetable instead of fruit juices.  Fast and fresh – This is the mecca for market share in lunch business.  A few companies are doing well and expanding quickly, but it’s a race to see who keeps consistency. Virtually every diner is looking for a fast, and ultra fresh lunch option. How many days can you eat a Chick-fil-A salad for lunch? Vinegars and sours – Fermented flavors are gaining more popularity and will continue in the next year. Look for pickling, fermenting, gourmet mustards, and generally bold flavors in small quantities to continue.  Cheese and charcuterie are amazing, but the accoutrements are starting to take center stage.” Black Rooster Taqueria – John Calloway “I think we will see a lot of cauliflower. Gluten-free has reached its peak, so we will see more artisan and/or rustic breads and people milling their own flours. Mexican will still be everywhere, but I believe Indian food is the next big cuisine. Food as medicine will also be a big focus. From all of the juice bars to doctors and nutritionists prescribing specific foods and diets, we’ll be getting back to our roots with the earth healing our bodies.” K Restaurant – Michelle Hulbert “I think there will continue to be interest smaller desserts – that are portion-control friendly. Over-the-top, gigantic desserts will be a thing of the past. The healthier sides of sweets will include more seasonal fruits.  I think in general we will see a larger focus on vegetables as the star and less starch-heavy dishes.” K Restaurant –  Ryan McLaughlin “I think in 2018 we will see a continued movement toward more vegetable-forward dishes, a dedicated focus on limiting food waste, and an even stronger movement within the chef community to support small, sustainable farms that are focused on the ethical treatment of animals.” Tapa Toro – Wendy Lopez  “I see familiar foods becoming more prominent on menus at restaurants. Think pork rinds and hot dogs. They will be reimagined with new ingredients and presentations. I think we’ll start to see lesser-known cuts of meat appear on menus around town – like Vegas strip and Oyster steak. We’ll start to see more family-style dining options at restaurants. At Tapa Toro, we see groups of people passing plates around the table. Why commit to one entree when you could try a little bit of everything?” Pizza Bruno – Bruno Zacchini “I’ll start with pizza! For me, I see Neapolitan pizza still going strong but new styles and types will become the next thing from Detroit squares to Roman thin crusts and artisan slice pies with farm-to-table ingredients. Pizza has so many styles most people have never seen so it’s really wide open. Overall fast casual is going to keep happening and moving forward with counter service places and places focusing on singular dishes done extremely well.  Flavors for me are Middle Eastern, more regional Asian (think Bangrak), and Italian, of course! I also think that in 2018 we’ll continue to see veg-centric cuisine making its way onto more menus.” Valhalla Bakery + Valkyrie Doughnuts – Celine Duvoisin  “I see a bubble bursting of the stuff on stuff on stuff on stuff. (Not that I’m not going to do excessive shit until it dies.) I think that more Asian popularity will happen, I foresee a rise in proper ramen coming to town and possibly Asian desserts. We’ve hit this wall of sugar hell, with no one hitting the less sweet almost savory desserts. Hopefully an end to the gluten-free obsession. My fingers are crossed for more Mediterranean-type places that focus on macro-based foods as fuel instead of insanely over designed places that don’t have the food to seal the deal.” Is this roundup missing something, or are you seeing a trend worth sharing? Comment below and cheers to new year! Snack on, Chauniqua Major, but we’re friends so call me Major! +++

Russian Recipes, Holiday Memories, Homesickness, and Nostalgia

by Lara Dunston @ Grantourismo Travels

My family Russian recipes make an appearance every January when Terence and I can often be found in the kitchen rolling out dough for Russian dumplings and making baboushka’s pink beetroot potato, while I recollect the summer holiday family feasts of my childhood, and miss...

The post Russian Recipes, Holiday Memories, Homesickness, and Nostalgia appeared first on Grantourismo Travels.

Cambodian Num Pang Recipe — How to Make Num Pang Barang

by Lara Dunston @ Grantourismo Travels

Our Cambodian num pang recipe is a recipe for what I have called num pang barang – ‘barang’ means ‘foreigner’ in Khmer. Cambodia’s banh mi is similar to Vietnamese banh mi — a Vietnamese sandwich or technically a baguette packed with pork, pate and salad....

The post Cambodian Num Pang Recipe — How to Make Num Pang Barang appeared first on Grantourismo Travels.

Venice Bites Food Tours: Off The Eaten Path – Venice, Italy

by Food Tour Finder @ Food Tour Finder

Reviewed by FoodTourFinder! See our review in the Comments section   By visiting our local family-owned and operated businesses, our mission is to honor and celebrate their work and their perseverance in preserving what is left of the fabric of Venice, which is gravely endangered.  We have a dual purpose:  Yes, we want to get […]

2016 Guide to Celebrating Vietnamese/Chinese Lunar New Year in Orlando

by Ricky Ly of TastyChomps.com @ Vietnamese – Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

It’s that time of year again! Seems like only yesterday. The local Asian American community here in Orlando will be celebrating the Lunar New Year once again – one of my favorite times of the year, not just for the festivities but also for the great food that goes along with the holiday celebrations. I remember gathering around at home growing up with my uncles, aunts, cousins, and grandma around the family dinner table having a huge feast, praying to our ancestors and the gods of fortune for a lucky and healthy new year. My favorite dishes were the fried egg rolls and roasted duck, Hakka style, filled with Chinese spices, herbs and wild mushrooms. This year the Chinese/Vietnamese Lunar New Year’s Official Date (which changes each year because – surprise – it follows the cycles of the moon) is Monday February 8th, 2016 – but the celebrations begin much earlier and last almost all month. This is the year of the Monkey and those people born in the year of the Monkey are said to be “smart, clever and intelligent, especially in their career and wealth. They are lively, flexible, quick-witted and versatile. In addition, their gentleness and honesty bring them an everlasting love life. Although they were born with enviable skills, they still have several shortcomings, such as an impetuous temper and a tendency to look down upon others.” Luckily for us here in the Central Florida community, we are home to the largest ethnic enclaves of Asian Americans in the entire state, particularly around the Mills 50 district with shops, restaurants, and markets all getting ready to celebrate the Lunar New Year. Lunar New Year Traditions Eating dinner together as a family – people journey from wherever they are, to come home and have dinner. Every year this time marks the largest mass migration of people when workers in the cities travel home to their home villages to visit their families again. Giving/Recieving Red Envelopes – filled with lucky money from elders to the young. Asian culture is big on karma so want to start off the year doing good things for others and hope for good things to happen to you in return later in the year. Universal balance. Clean the house before the new year start the year new, and pay off all your debts Big parades with lots of firecrackers. The loud noise “scares” away any evil spirits so you can start off the new year fresh. On that Monday, February 8th if you have lunch in the Mills 50 area, you will see the Wah Lum Kung Fu Lion Dance team “blessing” each business with their lion dance and fire works. Last year we had lunch at Chuan Lu and they came with fireworks and a dancing Buddha and two lions – quite the festive sight! What to Order – Traditional Chinese Dishes for New Years Eat Noodles – The longer, the better – the noodles represent longevity and long life Dumplings – They are shaped like little gold nuggets, symbols for good fortune and wealth Fish – The word “yu” sounds like “abundance” in Chinese, so your new year will be abundant with good luck – eat whole fish so that your whole year is full of good luck Fried Spring Rolls – The name also sounds like “good fortune” in Chinese, eat it for a lucky new year Oranges are also plentiful during new years because the name and look of the orange is similar to gold. So giving oranges as a gift is also quite common, as it the giver is seen as wishing prosperity on the receivers. Vietnamese Banh Tet – Bánh tét is a Vietnamese savoury but sometimes sweetened cake made primarily from glutinous rice, which is rolled in a banana leaf into a thick, log-like cylindrical shape, with mung bean or mung bean and pork fillings, then boiled. It is a must have traditional food in Vietnamese Lunar New Year. It demonstrates the importance of rice in the Vietnamese culture as well as historical value. During Vietnamese Tét, family members would gather together and enjoy feasting on bánh tét, the central food of this festive Vietnamese holiday to celebrate the coming of spring. Drink Wash it all down with a glass of Baijiu Baijiu – traditional clear grain spirit made from sorghum and wheat The number one drink in the world at about 40-60% alcohol Like Vodka to the Russians, Rum to Puerto Rico, Baijiu is to the Chinese It’s drank at almost all meal gatherings in China. Say Happy New Year! Vietnamese – Chuc Mung Nam Moi Cantonese – Sun Lien Fai Lok or Gung Hay Fat Choi (Literally : Congratulations on your Prosperity – have a prosperous new year) Mandarin – Xin Nian Kuai Le Places to Celebrate: Local Orlando Restaurants: Ming Bistro – Chinese Dim Sum – Great for Families/Friends/Groups 1212 Woodward Street #6, Orlando, FL (407) 898-9672 Chuan Lu Garden – Authentic Sichuan cuisine – for spicy food lovers 1101 East Colonial Drive, Orlando, FL – (407) 896-8966  http://chuanluyuan.com Tasty Wok – Chinese street food / barbecue and noodles 1246 East Colonial Drive, Orlando, FL  (407) 896-8988 Chan’s Chinese Cuisine – Dim sum and traditional Chinese cuisine  1901 East Colonial Drive, Orlando, FL (407) 896-0093 Golden Lotus Chinese – Dim sum and traditional Chinese cuisine 8365 South John Young Parkway, Orlando, FL (407) 352-3832 Local Markets – Pick up New Year goodies Saigon Market 1232 East Colonial Drive, Orlando, FL 32803, United States (407) 898-6899 Tien Hung Market 1112 East Colonial Drive, Orlando, FL 32803, United States (407) 849-0205 http://tienhungmarket.com/ 1st Oriental SuperMarket 5132 West Colonial Drive, Orlando, FL 32808, United States (407) 292-3668 http://1storiental.com Phuoc Loc Tho Super Market 2100 E Colonial Dr, Orlando, FL 32803, United States (407) 898-6858 Street Food Festivals/Events Vietnamese New Year Festival by the Vietnamese Catholic Church Saturday January 30 and Sunday January 31 at the Central Florida Fairgrounds – Orlando Foodie Forum facebook group meet up on that Sunday January 31 at 10:30AM – Try the pork meatballs, sugarcane juice, Vietnamese banh mi, other street foods – http://www.philipminhparish.org/ Vietnamese New Year Festival by the Vietnamese Community of Central Florida Saturday February 6th – Sunday February 7th at the Central Florida Fairgrounds – Street food and also Miss Vietnam of Florida Pageant on Sunday See below for last year’s schedule for an idea of what will go on – Vietnamese Vegetarian Food Festival at Bao An Temple Sunday October 31st –   8am – 2pm (local cultural acts, lots of vegetarian Vietnamese food for sale) and the new years eve celebration is the night of February 7th (they have singers, performers, food for sale) Bao An Buddhist Temple – 5788 North Apopka Vineland Road, Orlando, FL 32818, United States Last year’s flyer below for now – Other temples such as Chua Phap Vu Temple on Dean Road will also have a Vietnamese new year celebration / ceremony on the eve of Lunar New Year – Sunday February 7th, usually around 8pm. Dragon Parade and Lunar New Year Festival at the Orlando Fashion Square Mall – Sunday February 14 at 11am http://www.centralfloridadragonparade.org/

NYE Dinner at Yuki Hana Fusion Sushi

by Tiffany Nguyen @ Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

Wagyu Gyoza We were invited to the All You Can Eat NYE dinner at Yuki Hana Fusion Sushi and it was the perfect last meal to finish off 2017.  The ambiance of the restaurant is dreamy, perfect for a date night, the owner and staff are super nice, and the food is innovative while still maintaining its integrity and delicious taste.  You never know what to expect when you order at Yuki Hana Fusion Sushi because they always blow you away with their creativity; it’s always a nice surprise whenever your food arrives at your table and is presented right in front of you.  Overall, it is a fabulous restaurant that you need to experience for yourself, especially during their special event dinners! Butternut Squash Soup Roasted Seasonal Vegetables Octopus Fritters Seared Pork Belly With Seasonal Vegetables With House Curry On The Side Chicken Yakitori Oxtail Taco Oysters House Cured Salmon Assortment of Nigiri – Tuna, Salmon, Yellowtail (Chef’s Pick) Ahi Poke Assorted Rolls – American Dream Roll, Fuji Mountain Roll, Shrimp Tempura Roll, Fire Cracker Roll (with scallops fried on the top), Citrus Roll (with cobia on top), Katana Roll (with tuna on top), and Salmon Madness Roll Sake Steamed Clams Banging Shrimp Chocolate Cake Japanese Cotton Cake Matcha Creme Brûlée Sake Poached Pear Be sure to check out Yuki Hana Fusion Sushi soon!  They host many special events so follow them on instagram (@yuki_hana_sushi) to stay up-to-date!   Yuki Hana Fusion Sushi 3635 Aloma Ave Oviedo, Florida 32765 (407) 695-8808 http://sushiyukihana.com

Vietnamese Lunar New Year Tet in Orlando 2012

by Ricky Ly of TastyChomps.com @ Vietnamese – Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

The Vietnamese Lunar New Year or Tet or Tet Nguyên Dán is upon us here in Orlando again! A time to spend with family, friends, and welcome in the new year. Last weekend St Philp Phan Thanh Minh, the largest Catholic Church in Orlando, hosted their annual Tet Festival at the Central Florida Fairgrounds to bring in the new year of the Dragon. This weekend, the Vietnamese Community of Orlando is hosting their own Tet Festival with a Miss Vietnam of Florida Pageant starting at 1pm on Sunday. Entrance is $5 but I definitely recommend going especially for the food. Here at the festivals, you get a chance to taste different authentic Vietnamese dishes and street food that are usually not available at local Vietnamese restaurants. The prices are a bit steep, especially for the noodle soups, but a lot of the foods here are home-made and go to a good cause usually. Address is 4603 West Colonial Drive Orlando, FL 32808-8158. If you can’t make it out this Sunday, next Sunday on February 5th there is the Dragon Parade Lunar New Year event hosted by the Chinese American Association of Central Florida and the Mills 50 District starting at 11:00 AM – 3:00pm. More details here: http://www.facebook.com/events/136825883100048/   Below are some scenes from last weekend’s Tet Events: Orchids and flowers and plants for sale, welcoming in Spring. Vietnamese high schoolers doing traditional Vietnamese rice hat dance for the festival The Vietnamese rice hat dance Chim cut roti or roasted quail It gets busy here at the Vietnamese New Year Festival! Nem nuong and thit nuong, or meat balls and grilled pork on a stick. A favorite street food item of mine! Banh teo, a kind of Vietnamese fried donut pastry Vietnamese calligraphy. The Vietnamese language was romanized by the French centuries ago, previously things were written in chu nom, a kind of Chinese character system used by the elites. Bun bo hue, the Hue style spicy beef noodle soup Watching the show! Grilled pork Hop vit lon, or balut in the Phillipines, boiled fertilized duck fetus eggs Pate a choux, meat filled pastries, and banh bao, pork and egg filled buns, relics of the French and Chinese influence on Vietnamese cuisine. Bun rieu, a seafood crab tomato noodle soup dish.

Saigon Noodle and Grill – Vietnamese cuisine

by Ricky Ly of TastyChomps.com @ Vietnamese – Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

Saigon Noodle and Grill recently opened in the same location where Pho Pasteur has been for quite a few years, in the plaza on the southwest corner of Lake Underhill road and Goldenrod road. I had visited Pho Pasteur a few years ago and thought it to be okay but not that memorable. The new Saigon Noodle and Grill is a big change from the previous Vietnamese incarnations in this place. Gone are the murals of Vietnamese jungles and rivers, replaced by a more placid light green wall color. The menu, still undergoing changes, has some of the faithful Vietnamese dishes like bun thit nuong (rice vermicelli noodles with grilled pork), com dac biet (rice platter with grilled meat, pork casserole, tomato, etc.), and of course pho, the Vietnamese national dish of beef and rice noodles in soup. Vietnamese food holds a special place in my heart, and I often find Vietnamese restaurant renditions of some dishes to be lacking at times, especially those who try to take short cuts or use less quality ingredients. The pho here is quite exceptional and filled with cuts of meat. The broth is as good or even better than the ones found in the Mills 50 area where competition runs high. I would say the pho here ranks among my favorite pho in Orlando. Service is also quite nice, run by Mr. and Mrs. Nguyen, long time restauranteurs and owners of Saigon Noodle and Grill. They are very friendly and gracious every time I’ve visited, and were accordingly accommodating to their other guests as well. For those living on the east side of Orlando, this is the best bet for some great Vietnamese food. Even if it were downtown, it would probably do well and best even some of the longstanding Vietnamese restaurants in the Mills 50 area. Below are photos from a recent visit:  Cafe sua da – Vietnamese iced coffee – a bit strong, so you may need some water to help lighten it up   Delicious fried Vietnamese spring rolls – cha gio A savory bowl of pho Com Suon – Rice with pork chops Goi cuon – summer rolls made with translucent rice paper Com dac biet

Contiki - Vietnam Experience

Contiki - Vietnam Experience


Contiki

Ho Chi Minh, Hoi An, Hanoi, Halong Bay - for a geographically compact country, Vietnam sure has some hot spots. The Vietnam Experience is for those who want a bit more time than the average traveller. Picture yourself relishing the rice region of Mekong Delta by taking a traditional boat through floating markets & local fruit farms.

Free smoothies for a year to first 50 guests at the grand opening of Tropical Smoothie Cafe in Winter Park

by Tiffany Nguyen @ Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

We were invited to check out the new Tropical Smoothie Cafe in Winter Park and we got to try a few of their menu items.  I LOVE smoothies.  They are my favorite thing to consume whether I am at work, home, or just finished a grueling workout and want something ice-cold and replenishing in my system to hold me over until I get ahold of some food.  Fortunately, Tropical Smoothie Cafe sells smoothies and hot items, so you can get both on the same stop.  The new Winter Park store is beautiful, bright, clean, and inviting and the smoothie and hot items were fresh and delicious.  You can expect to see me in line tomorrow morning trying to win free smoothies for a whole year! Detox Island Green (seasonal) – Spinach, kale, mango, pineapple, banana & fresh ginger (naturally sweetened).   The serving is generous, the smoothie had a great consistency and it tasted fresh.  I really enjoyed the fresh ginger in it too, since it’s so good for you! Cali Chicken Club Flatbread – Bacon, smashed avocado, tomatoes, romaine, mozzarella & basil garlic mayo.  This was my favorite! Buffalo Chicken Wrap – Made it vegetarian by substituting the chicken strips with Beyond Meat®Chicken-Free Strips, no lite ranch & mozzarella, and adding extra avocado & veggies.  It includes tomatoes, romaine and buffalo sauce.  This was my second favorite! Turkey Bacon Ranch Sandwich – Bacon, tomatoes, a romaine spinach blend, swiss & lite ranch on ciabatta Kale & Apple Slaw – It was really good.  The best kale & apple slaw that I have ever had in my life.  I loved the flavors of their sweet dressing, apple slices and julienne carrot married together to balance out the kale which is naturally bitter but so good for you as well! Be sure to drop by the new Tropical Smoothie Cafe – Winter Park early tomorrow,  January 10, for your chance to win FREE smoothies for a year!  They open at 7:00 A.M. Tropical Smoothie Cafe – Winter Park 501 N Orlando Ave. Ste. 209B Winter Park, FL 32789 (407) 637-5002 tropicalsmoothiecafe.com

Newseum to Open Photo Exhibit Exploring the Tet Offensive

by Newseum @ Newseum

The exhibit includes tactile images and audio interviews with Marines who fought in the bloodiest battle of the Vietnam War.
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Inside the Real India: These Exquisite Short Films Take You There | AFAR

by Russell Cook @ Coda Tours

Photographer and filmmaker João Canziani explored some of India’s most colorful places—and the results are stunning. ast year, we sent […]

The post Inside the Real India: These Exquisite Short Films Take You There | AFAR appeared first on Coda Tours.

Vietnam Cuisine in Mills 50 District

by Ricky Ly of TastyChomps.com @ Vietnamese – Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

Don’t judge a book by its cover – This tiny restaurant has served as home to quite a few different restaurants over the year – I think due to its small space, but this iteration is a winner. It is tiny, just maybe 8 tables, seat maybe 40 in the whole building. Tucked between a nail supply shop and a Vietnamese owned wedding cake shop, just a few doors down from Saigon Market and Tasty Wok, I love Vietnam Cuisine for their banh cuon, velvety smooth rice crepes stuffed with woodeared mushroom and ground pork, pork sausage, Vietnamese sweet fish sauce. pour it over. Known for their take on northern Vietnamese dishes – other than Lac Viet, most other Vietnamese restaurants in town specialize in the southern cuisine of Vietnam. The cha ca thanh long is a popular dish, a type of fish patty with tilapia spiced in turmeric and herb (what herb) =, I think it is a play on a fish becoming a dragon. Also, bun cha ha noi, a rice vermicelli dish with pork meat balls and sweet fish sauce for dipping. It’s like tsukeman Vietnamese noodles – Vietnamese rice spaghetti and pork meatballs ? Also, great pho here with lots of meat cuts and ox tail. Generous portions. On the way out, I get a few banh bao, a type of stuffed pastry stuffed with pork meat, hard boiled egg, Chinese sausage. It’s known as a poor man’s meal and popular street food – you can get full off of just one bao. It was popular in Hong Kong years ago, but I guess owners got smart and cut back on it so their customers wouldn’t get full off of just one pork bun. Get the banh cuon – velvety smooth rice crepes stuffed with woodeared mushroom and ground pork, pork sausage, Vietnamese sweet fish sauce. pour it over. Cha Ca Thanh Long Beef Noodle Soup aka Pho Special Rice plate with egg, grilled pork chop, pork casserole Bun bo hue, with blood pudding Stir fried noodles More Pho Rare to find blood pudding in Bun Bo Hue in Orlando – very authentic! Bun Cha Ha Noi

Florida Everglades Open for Business After Hurricane Irma

by Solo Travel Girl @ Solo Travel Girl

My eyes watered with sadness as I drove through Everglades City on my way to Chokoloskee and spied the piles of debris sitting by the road, eyed blue tarps, and saw some closed businesses with obvious damage. These manmade hills were made of toilets, bedding, and a mish-mash of what were once personal effects and home fixtures damaged by the storm’s fury waiting to be hauled away, more than two months following the storm. It was a sad scene to absorb.

Where to Find Shanghai’s 2018 Bib Gourmand Cheap Eats Winners

by kylelong @ UnTour Food Tours

Want to Eat Cheaply in Shanghai? Try these 2018 Shanghai Bib Gourmand Winners Looking for Michelin Guide-worthy dining on a budget? The 2018 Bib Gourmand winners represent some of the city’s best casual dining on a budget. With street food stalls rapidly disappearing as the city makes way for new developments, these winners are a

The post Where to Find Shanghai’s 2018 Bib Gourmand Cheap Eats Winners appeared first on UnTour Food Tours.

Feast of the Seven Fishes Dinner at Reel Fish Coastal Kitchen + Bar

by Katherine Nguyen @ Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

One of the world’s tastiest holiday traditions will receive a “Florida-style” twist with the debate of a limited time only “Feast of the Seven Fishes” menu at Reel Fish Coastal Kitchen + Bar. This menu is offered from December 24, 2017 to January 6, 2018, including a seven-course seafood and wine Christmas Eve extravaganza to kickoff the celebration. The December 24 dinner will begin at 6:30pm and is limited to the first 25 guests. We were invited to taste the menu as a sneak peak to provide everyone insight of what is to come! The Bahamian Conch Fritters are served with a mango sauce. The mango glaze adds a nice sweetness to the conch fritters. Conch fritters are crispy, yet smooth in textures. The flavors are mild without the mango sauce. The Red Grouper Ceviche is fresh and cooked nicely with a lemony zest. The Smoked Rainbow Trout Fish Dip is a tad salty, but balanced when eaten with some saltine crackers. The trout has a texture similar to tuna. Be careful as it may have bones. The reception snacks above are paired well with Col De Salici Extra Dry Prosecco, which is a vintage Prosecco. The Mayport Shrimp on Grit Cake with Seafood Gumbo Sauce was cooked really well. The grit cake is crispy on the outside, while smooth and creamy on the inside. The shrimp was caught off of Jacksonville, FL. The Nueske’s Applewood Smoke Bacon-Wrapped Scallop with Butter Beans has an abundance of textures and flavors that blend well when eaten all together. When taken apart, the bacon may be salty so make sure you’re eating it with the scallop and butter beans. The scallop is very delightful and cooked well. The butter beans were very smooth and a type of bean I would like for someone who is not fond of beans. The savory and salty plates are paired with the Stags Leap Wine Cellars Aveta Sauvignon Blanc. It is very smooth with so many notes of fruit. The fruit notes are prominent in smell before it hits your palate. The Whole Fried Hog Snapper and Black Sea Bass with Smothered Tomatoes & Okra is paired with Spatz & Hall Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast. The Fried Hog Snapper is very fresh with a corn flour seasoning. The meat has a slight sweetness to it. The Black Sea Bass is slightly dry in certain sections, but very tender and moist in other regions because the moistness depends on what area you pull the meat from. Nonetheless, the fish is very fresh! The outside is very crisp and flavorful. The Lobster Ravioli is very fresh and house made. It is served with a Seafood Bolognese Sauce that brings it all together. The lobster ravioli even tastes great alone without the sauce if you are sensitive to red sauce. It is paired with Stags Leap Wine Cellars Hands of Time Red that is full in flavor. The oyster of the Gulf Oyster Shooters (featuring Tito’s Vodka) is very fresh. There is a rim of Old Bay around the glass that goes well with the shot. It is absolutely earthy as it is suggested by the menu. The Famous Carrot Cake is famous for a reason as it is moist and has a chewy texture to it, which is delightful in my opinion. The Red Velvet Layer Cake is very moist and thick as it coats the palate. The cakes are paired with the Prunotto Moscato D’ Asti. The Prunotto Moscato D’ Asti is very smooth and delightful for a dessert wine as I am not usually fond os sweet wines. This dessert wines is not as sweet as the usual dessert wines that are paired. For more information, please visit Reel Fish Coastal Kitchen + Bar or their “Feast of the Seven Fishes” Facebook Event.

Your Inflight Wi-Fi Might Actually Work in 2018 | AFAR

by Russell Cook @ Coda Tours

Source: Your Inflight Wi-Fi Might Actually Work in 2018 | AFAR

The post Your Inflight Wi-Fi Might Actually Work in 2018 | AFAR appeared first on Coda Tours.

Where to Get Your Xiaomi or iPhone Fixed in Shanghai

by kylelong @ UnTour Food Tours

PLUS How to Get Your Phone Fixed Via Wechat So you dropped your Xiaomi or iphone on one of Shanghai’s many marble floors and now the shiny little screen looks like a cracked mirror that will bring you seven years of bad luck? Never fear. There are tons of places around town to get it fixed, but

The post Where to Get Your Xiaomi or iPhone Fixed in Shanghai appeared first on UnTour Food Tours.

Berlin Food Tours: Berlin Mitte Food Tour – Berlin, Germany

by Food Tour Finder @ Food Tour Finder

 Reviewed by FoodTourFinder! See our review in the Comments section   Mitte is Berlin’s first and most central district which literally means “the center.” It constitutes Berlin’s historic core and includes some of the most important tourist sites. Mitte contains some of the city’s oldest buildings, most of the political institutions and also an enormous […]

Viet Garden in Mills 50 District

by Ricky Ly of TastyChomps.com @ Vietnamese – Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

I may have written off this place as just your typical run of the mill, if not tired, Vietnamese restaurant, having not visited in maybe 10 years since my days in college. Maybe it’s because I had a secret bias against restaurants that serve dual cuisines – you know, like those dual Chinese / Sushi take out places you see around town. Often times when restaurants end up dividing attention among more than one cuisine, they end up neglecting one or the other or both cuisines, resulting in substandard fare. I have to apologize to Viet Garden (which tauts its Vietnamese and Thai cuisine) for it does Vietnamese cuisine quite well. The restaurant is one of the oldest Vietnamese restaurants in the Mills 50 District but definitely deserves another look. I particularly was surprised and delighted to see the breadth and depth of the Vietnamese cuisines offered, in addition to your typical dishes, they had quite a few unique and seldom seen noodle soups and home style Vietnamese family plates that are hard to find elsewhere. I ordered their dumplings, which aren’t really Vietnamese, but excellent nonetheless – home made with plenty of delicious pork filling and a nice dumpling skin that had the right amount of chewiness to it. I ordered the special rice platter for my main and really enjoyed the thit nuong, or grilled Vietnamese pork, as well as the crispy tofu shrimp skin that came along with the plate. Overall, definitely would return. My dining companions from WMFE would agree. Dumplings – quite fabulous, home made dumplings Fried Spring Rolls The Pho – Beef Noodle Soup Special Rice plate  Bun Dac Biet

Fab Food Trails: Dublin Tasting Trail – Dublin, Republic of Ireland

by Food Tour Finder @ Food Tour Finder

Reviewed by FoodTourFinder! See our review in the Comments section   On our award winning  Dublin Tasting Walk, we visit a range of bakeries, food halls, street markets, cheesemongers, delicatessens and other speciality shops. You’ll meet those that have traded for generations producing great food as well as new arrivals to the food scene, bringing […]

9 Luxurious Ski House Rentals Around The Globe With Insane Hot Tubs

by FlipKey @ The FlipKey Blog

Planning your next ski getaway? Whether you’re an avid skier or you prefer the après-ski lifestyle, a luxe hot tub is the perfect amenity for every mountain vacation. To make planning easy, FlipKey has rounded up nine chalets in top ski destinations around the world with stunning hot tubs. From a hot tub in a French cave to one set outside a 16,000 square foot castle in Park City, these relaxing spots are perfect for your next group ski trip. Lake Vista | Jackson Hole, Wyoming 5 bedrooms, 9 bathrooms, sleeps 11 Check out the Lake Vista chalet on FlipKey! Soak in the hot tub under the stars at this stunning Jackson Hole home. With mountain and lake views, Lake Vista is the perfect place to relax after a long day on the slopes. Inside, guests will find multiple fireplaces, including fireplaces in the master suites, game room, theater room, gym and wine cellar. Glass walls and massive picture windows throughout the house allow for plenty of sunlight during the day, and spectacular views around the clock. See all rentals in Jackson Hole! Top of the Line 6 Bedroom | Vail, Colorado 6 bedrooms, 9 bathrooms, sleeps 10 Check out this Vail rental on FipKey! This Vail home is the definition of mountain luxury, located at the top of Forest Road for some of the best views of Vail Valley. Guests will love the A-lister experience, including an elevator and 20-foot windows for plenty of sunlight and stunning sunset views. Relax in the state-of-the-art media room, or arrange for a massage with the professional massage table inside. Outside, the driveway and patio are heated, so no need to worry about ice and snow removal, and the hot tub and outdoor sound system are both operated by a touch screen for easy adjustments. The home offers ski-in/ski-out access to the Born Free catwalk, and features personal ski lockers and glove and boot warmers for the ultimate ski experience. See all rentals in Vail! Mont Tremblant Chalet | Mont Tremblant, Quebec 6 bedrooms, 9 bathrooms, sleeps 15 Check out Mont Tremblant Chalet on FlipKey! Enjoy all of Mont Tremblant’s charm from this luxury waterfront cottage. Guests will love the home’s rustic architecture, stunning views, beach access and relaxing atmosphere. After a long day of skiing, settle into the hot tub with breathtaking panoramic views of the mountains and valley. While Mont Tremblant is best-known for its skiing, this home is a favorite year-round. Head out for a hike in the spring, hit the beach in the summer, or watch the leaves change from the hot tub in the fall. See all rentals in Mont Tremblant! Chalet Devlin | Lech, Austria 5 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, sleeps 14 Check out Chalet Devlin on FlipKey! Chalet Devlin in Lech, Austria offers a premier chalet experience in a world class ski destination. The home can sleep 10 adults and 4 children over four luxurious floors. The house is ski in/ski out above the Schlosskopf lift, and offers easy access to the exclusive enclave of Oberlech. The elevated location offers unbeatable views of the surrounding mountains, which guests can enjoy from the cozy outdoor hottub. In addition to the spectacular location and beautiful outdoor space, the home includes a cinema room, wine cave, sauna, hammam, fitness area, bar, library, ski room, dining room, luxe sitting area, and fully-equipped kitchen. See all rentals in Lech, Austria! Cascade Ridge | Big Sky, Montana 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, sleeps 10 Check out the Cascade Ridge rental on FlipKey! Plan your Big Sky escape in style at this striking private home, which includes access to the resort’s fully staffed private lodge with ski-in/ski-out access. The lodge offers equipment lockers and glove and boot dryers, so guests can leave their gear and relax at home. After a long day of skiing, relax in the indoor-outdoor pool or the luxe hot tub at this hilltop escape. The location allows guests to enjoy views of three different mountain ranges in the Big Sky valley. Love your ski trip? Return in the summer for plenty more outdoor activities, like mountain biking and hiking, and enjoy the proximity to Yellowstone National Park, which is under an hour away. See all rentals in Big Sky! Chalet Valentina | Zermatt, Switzerland 5 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms, sleeps 10 Check out Chalet Valentina on FlipKey! Contemporary isn’t usually the first adjective to come to mind when you think of chalets—but it will be after a stay at Chalet Valentina. Designed by acclaimed Swiss designer and architect Heinz Julen, this cutting edge home will make you rethink chalets with its use of clear glass walls, a glass-enclosed hot tub with spectacular views, and custom made furnishings. The most amazing feature? A unique architectural system in the open plan dining room allows guests to raise the table up to the ceiling to create more space for pre-dinner drinks or dancing! Guests will also have access to a professional chef, concierge, ski instructor, and hosting staff during their stay. See all rentals in Zermatt! Chalet Anchorage | Courchevel, France 5 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, sleeps 10 Check out Chalet Anchorage on FlipKey! For an authentic Alpine experience, head to Chalet Anchorage in Courchevel. Guests are greeted with champagne and fresh flowers, and will immediately feel welcome and cozy in the great room, made from old wood and local materials, and centered around a corner fireplace. The most picturesuqe area of the home, however, is the wellness area in the lower level, with a stone plunge pool, shower, hammam, and sauna. Added bonus: if your group is larger than ten, consider booking its companion chalet, Chalet Alaska, for additional space. See all rentals in Courchevel! The Villa | Whistler, British Columbia 6 bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, sleeps 15 Check out the Whistler villa on FlipKey! Whistler is consistently ranked as one of the top ski resorts in North America, making it the perfect place for your next ski getaway. The Villa is perched on the side of Whistler Mountain with ski-in/ski-out access, and offers unparalleled southwest views of the surrounding mountains and lakes. The Villa offers guests a top notch experience, with a billiards room, steam room, exercise space, indoor resistance pool with waterfall, in-floor heating, and of course an outdoor hot tub with mountain views. This contemporary, single floor home was remodeled in 2014, and offers the perfect homebase for an Aspen getaway. The home’s original wood-burning fireplaces are perfect for après-ski plans, and floor-to-ceiling windows make it easy to enjoy 180-degree mountain views of Aspen and Snowmass. The living, dining and kitchen areas are open plan, and extend out onto a private patio that runs the length of the home. Outside, guests will find a built-in barbeque, fire pit and a private hot tub, perfect for soaking in the beautiful surroundings. See all rentals in Whistler! Park City Castle | Park City, Utah 6 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, sleeps 22 Check out the Park City Castle on FlipKey! This rental is truly fit for royalty. Styled as a grand chateau and set in a gated community, guests will be greeted by a luxe porte cochere and an arched entry hall with carved limestone fireplace and marble floors. The home sits on 5.8 acres and offers ski-in, ski-out access to the Quicksilver Gondola, six bedrooms, and 16,000 square feet of space that sleeps up to 22 guests. The home features about every amenity guests could imagine (pool table, steam shower, wine room, fireplace, boot warmers, three laundry rooms, fully-equipped kitchen plus prep kitchen, library, media room) but after long days of skiing, the luxe private hot tub on the home’s lower deck will be the most appealing. See all rentals in Park City!

The post 9 Luxurious Ski House Rentals Around The Globe With Insane Hot Tubs appeared first on The FlipKey Blog.

Fascinating Harajuku Culture

by Meloni @ Access TripsAccess Trips

Harajuku Culture on the Access Trips Japan Tour How do we put into words the fascinating world of Harajuku? A lifestyle? Cultural phenomenon? Fashion era?  In Japan, it is all of those things and more. Uniquely Japanese and cultivated in Tokyo, Harajuku fashion is a combination of childlike fantasy, anime, and expressive other-worldly wear that [ ... ]

Food Lover Tour: Tapas Tour – Barcelona, Spain

by Food Tour Finder @ Food Tour Finder

Reviewed by FoodTourFinder! See our review in the Comments section   We have all tried to find “the” place to eat—where the locals go, yet undiscovered by the tourists, where it’s possible to order like the locals and enjoy a delicious meal that it would be nearly impossible to discover on your own. This sensation […]

Saigon Flavors – Oviedo, FL

by Ricky Ly of TastyChomps.com @ Vietnamese – Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

Saigon Flavors opened not almost a year ago and has already won Best Vietnamese in the Critic’s choice in this year’s Orlando Sentinel Foodies Awards. That is quite the accomplishment for the “new kid on the block”, and indeed quite the achievement being located so far from the Mills-50 district area where the majority of Vietnamese restaurants are clustered. Goi cuon / summer rolls with shrimp and pork Saigon Flavors is located in Oviedo, Florida right off of Aloma Avenue and SR-417 just east of Tuscawilla Road. Although the restaurant is new, the owner Charlie Tang has a long history in the Vietnamese restaurant business, having previously owned Viet Garden on Colonial Drive near Mills Avenue in the “Viet Town” area. He is very much active in Saigon Flavors, manning the front desk and checking up on guests quite regularly during meals. I enjoyed Saigon Flavors on quite a few occasions and though the flavors are a bit toned down from what I am accustomed to, I do understand as the clientele is a bit more “American” and have differing tastes. I’ll take what I can get out here I suppose. Bun thit nuong cha gio / Rice Vermicelli Noodle bowl with spring rolls and grilled pork My favorite item on the menu are their goi cuon / summer roll appetizers ($3.50) filled with shrimp, pork, vermicelli rice noodles, and herbs wrapped in rice paper and served with a hoisin/peanut butter dipping sauce. The bun thit nuong cha gio (rice vermicelli noodles with grilled pork and egg roll) are also fantastic. I did notice however that the cha gio / fried egg roll had much more vegetable filling than I am accustomed to in a Vietnamese egg roll which I did not like. It was tasty though even without alot of meat. The quintessential Vietnamese dish “Pho”, beef noodle soup, is decent here as well, although it did seem to need a tad bit more flavor. Maybe the soup needed to simmer for a little longer. Pho noodle soup! The service here is decent, much more accommodating than the usual brusque attention that you would get downtown. The decor here is a bit of a fusion of modern and traditional Vietnamese, with tall wooded pillars, colorful walls, and some murals of temples and Vietnamese markets. chicken fried rice~ Overall, Saigon Flavors definitely was not a disappointment and is a welcome addition to the growing offerings in the Oviedo area. I hope it will achieve continued success, but also hope that it can continue to stick to the traditional Vietnamese cuisine and keep bringing the “saigon flavors”. Note: Saigon Flavors is closed Mondays. .

50 States Series: Best Food Tours Worth Traveling For - The FlipKey Blog

50 States Series: Best Food Tours Worth Traveling For - The FlipKey Blog


The FlipKey Blog

Every region you visit has its own distinct cuisine and flavors. I’m sure you’ve heard about the exotic locales like the delicious Italian

#VeteranOfTheDay Air Force Veteran Gary Peterson

by Nick Pearlman @ VAntage Point

Gary Peterson served three tours in Iraq. His duties included leading teams responsible for transportation, fuel, planning and supply chain management.

The post #VeteranOfTheDay Air Force Veteran Gary Peterson appeared first on VAntage Point.

Newseum Unveils Exhibit on Fake News

by Stephanie Castellano @ Newseum

The exhibit uses eye-opening examples to show how lies and misinformation influenced the 2016 presidential election.
Read More

10 Fascinating Lessons You Can Learn on Safari | AFAR

by Russell Cook @ Coda Tours

Sometimes, these wild revelations even mirror the human world. By Kathryn Romeyn n an African safari, your senses are heightened. […]

The post 10 Fascinating Lessons You Can Learn on Safari | AFAR appeared first on Coda Tours.

25 Best Pet-Friendly Vacations In America

by Lara Kavanagh @ The FlipKey Blog

If you’re a dog owner, there’s no doubt you consider your furry companion part of the family. But when it comes to taking a trip, he/she can make things a little tricky. Fear not! Here are our top pet-friendly vacations across America where your pooch pals are just as welcome as you are. Top Dog-Friendly USA Vacations If you’re the kind of traveler who just can’t bear to leave the dog at home, you’ve probably experienced the frustration of trying to book a getaway catering for both people and pets. Can my dog stay in this hotel? Can he/she visit the local coffee shop, or sit with me while I eat at a restaurant? And is there anywhere that allows dogs to run and play off the leash? We’re here to help. Firstly, and most importantly: finding a pet-friendly place to stay. Each location in our list has great pet-friendly vacation rentals available to book from FlipKey. But it doesn’t stop there. You’ll also enjoy off-leash beaches, gourmet pet bakeries, doggy spas, and more. Vacation rentals are particularly good for this type of trip, as many accept animals and you’ll avoid the obstacles you might experience in other types of accommodation: cramped spaces, no outdoor area, or, most awkward of all, sharing communal areas with people who just don’t like dogs. Simply book a pet-friendly house from FlipKey with a garden or an apartment just off a dog-friendly beach, and you’ll have the perfect pooch-friendly setting for your stay. San Diego, California You’ll be pleased to hear that the residents of San Diego are barking mad about dogs, so you’ll meet little resistance if you’re bringing a furry companion. Try lunch at the Patio on Lamont at Pacific Beach, where there’s tasty Californian cuisine for you, as well as home-made dog biscuits for canines. There’s also the dog-friendly terrace at the Pier Café on West Harbor Drive. Have a run about at Nate’s Point Off-Leash Dog Park at Balboa Park (open 24 hours) or explore the dunes and surf of Fiesta Island. And why not go all out and book a pet photoshoot with Feather & Fur Pet Photography? See all FlipKey rentals in San Diego Bar Harbor, Maine “Karen’s cottage is exactly as advertised. We brought our two dogs and it was a great property for them as well as a wonderful neighborhood to walk them in. The cottage is well furnished and lacks for nothing.” — FlipKey Reviewer Pets are most definitely invited in charming Bar Harbor. Sit on the deck at Stewman’s Lobster Pound Downtown, order yourself something delicious, and then check out the special doggie menu for your furball. Margaret Todd Windjammer Cruises accept dogs on board, so you can sail around Frenchman Bay without leaving your favorite companion at the rental. Keep the leash on when exploring Acadia National Park, except at the Little Long Pond Leash-Free Area, where animals can run free. See all FlipKey rentals in Bar Harbor Austin, Texas West Austin Dog Park is a friendly place for pups and owners, and there’s also the park at Auditorium Shores, which has access to the water. If your dog’s particularly fond of swimming, head to the Red Bud Isle pensinsula for plenty of off-leash fun and lots of water to play in. In February, there’s a popular Mardi Gras Dog Parade, and there are a few other doggy events held throughout the year. Pick up some treats at the Groovy Dog Bakery to keep Fido happy back at the rental while you head out to hear some of that famous Austin live music. See all FlipKey rentals in Austin Huntington Beach, California Your first stop here should be Huntington Dog Beach, a stretch of true doggy heaven. Dog owners work hard to keep this place clean and the dogs under control, so it’s a pleasant place to visit. If you’re lucky, you might even see a four-legged creature whizzing past on a surfboard. Only in California… After all the excitement of the dog beach, you can book your pet in to freshen up in the Doggie Spa at Seacliff Village. See all FlipKey rentals in Huntington Beach Asheville, North Carolina “This cabin is older and rustic but it was clean and cute. The fact that it was dog friendly was enough for us because we didn’t have to pay boarding fees…or miss our dogs. The cabin was quiet and had beautiful views. This was a very pleasant place to cook, have dinner on the back deck, drink a glass of wine, and watch the sunset.” — FlipKey Reviewer Asheville’s got plenty to offer its canine tourists. There are 220 acres of grounds to cover with your pet at the Biltmore Estate, and there’s an onsite kennel where you can park the pooch while you tour the historic house. There’s also the French Broad River Dog Park, with a fenced-off, wood-chipped acre to run around in, and the river to splash in, too. Check out the Woof Gang Bakery for premium animal treats and toys. At Play with Sparky is a doggie daycare facility you could make use of if you’d like to tackle the more challenging local hiking trails sans dog. See all FlipKey rentals in Asheville Key West, Florida Time to introduce the dog to the buzz of Key West! The Key West Dog Beach is small but friendly, and your pet is free to play in the waves to their heart’s content. If you’d like to get right out on the water together, get in touch with Lazy Dog Kayak and enjoy the surroundings as you paddle along. Get your fresh seafood order in at Nine One Five Bistro and watch the world go by together on the dog-friendly terrace. See all FlipKey rentals in Key West Atlanta, Georgia You’ll find plenty of other happy dogs living it up in Atlanta. For lots of running space, try the Piedmont Dog Park, a designated off-leash area with a separate space for smaller animals. Pets are welcome on leashes at the Freedom Park and you’ll love discovering the peaceful Chattahoochee River National Recreation Park together. Let your dog take a well-deserved snooze at your pet-friendly rental while you hit the exciting bars and restaurants Atlanta has to offer. See all FlipKey rentals in Atlanta Washington D.C. This impressive city is studded with monuments and cultural institutions, many of them free to enter. Simply settle the dog back at your cozy rental to see the sights that are better for people than pups, then swing back to pick up your playmate and head out for a dog-friendly excursion. Enjoy a leashed walk in leafy Montrose Park, or try the off-leash zones at Shaw Dog Park, S Street Dog Park, and the designated dog run on the waterfront at The Yards Park. Canines can expect a warm welcome, a bowl of water, and a bit of a fuss from staff on the terrace of the friendly Logan Tavern. See all FlipKey rentals in Washington D.C. South Lake Tahoe, California Known for its skiing, beaches, and stunning alpine lake, this place is also a lovely spot to visit with the dog in tow. The Bijou Dog Park has shady areas, picnic tables, and fresh water to keep pets happy and hydrated. Pretty Kiva Beach is also dog-friendly as long as you keep the leash on. There’s a cage-free dog care facility called Tahoe Best Friends, where you can leave your pup in total comfort while you head out for a sophisticated dinner. See all FlipKey rentals in South Lake Tahoe Wilmington, North Carolina Four-legged friends are most definitely welcome in this scenic port city. The Java Dog Coffee House serves great coffee, dog treats, and welcomes dogs inside and out. The George Restaurant on the Riverwalk offers a range of tasty Southern dishes, and furry friends can join you on the deck outside. Take advantage of two acres of galloping room at the off-leash Wilmington Dog Park within Empie Park, complete with fencing and separate areas for pups large and small. See all FlipKey rentals in Wilmington Portland, Oregon “The condo was clean, new, and modern. The location in downtown Portland was perfect! I look forward to my next vacation to Portland so I can stay here again.” — FlipKey Reviewer How’s this for dog-friendly? Head down to the Tin Shed Garden Café on a Tuesday night to enjoy a free item from the dog menu for each human-friendly dish you order. Bargain! There are some nice off-leash sections for dogs in Chimney Park and Mt. Tabor Park. No visit to Portland is complete without ordering from its world-famous food carts. You can sign up for an official Portland Food Cart Tour and bring your leashed dog along too. See all FlipKey rentals in Portland Albuquerque, New Mexico Sunny Albuquerque is a great choice for a vacation, with its endless sunshine, desert vistas, and punchy local flavors. It’s particularly good for those traveling with dogs, as it has more than 10 designated dog parks. North Domingo Baca Dog Park offers a wood-chipped play area, with separate spaces for big and small animals, and some shady spots. There’s also the Rio Grande Triangle Park, Coronado Park, Montessa Dog Park, and more. See all FlipKey rentals in Albuquerque Charlottesville, Virginia “The fixtures in this two bedroom, 1.5 bath condo are high-grade: wide wood floor planks, granite kitchen counter tops, and enormous floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the surrounding treetops. Your dog will enjoy running across acres of freshly mowed fields between the house and the rural one-lane road.” — FlipKey Reviewer Here you’ve got the stunning Blue Ridge Mountains and the spectacular Shenandoah Valley, where there’s plenty for you and your canine companion to look at on a scenic drive. Grab a burger at Miller’s in the dog-friendly outdoor area or some Cajun catfish on the large patio at the Timberwood Grille. Treat your pooch to a runaround at Azalea Dog Park or Chris Greene Lake Park—the latter has a roped doggy swimming area. See all FlipKey rentals in Charlottesville Finger Lakes Region, New York Rich in vineyards and characterized by its long, narrow bodies of water, the Finger Lakes area is a fascinating place to visit. This is wine country, but don’t feel like you can’t take your pet with you if you want to sample a local bottle. Many wineries around here allow dogs—just call first to check their policy. You’ll also find plenty of pet-friendly vacation rentals to make everyone feel perfectly at home. See all FlipKey rentals in the Finger Lakes Region Flagstaff, Arizona One thing you’ll notice in Flagstaff is that a lot of the locals are dog owners. Many an establishment has its own furry incumbent ready to welcome you, so you won’t have a problem taking your dog out and about in the area. Diablo Burger has a pet-friendly patio where dogs can rest under a shady table while you enjoy one of the hefty house burgers. You can also get some great deals on vacation rentals in this area, leaving you more cash to spend on other things, like dog biscuits. Check out Thorpe Park Bark Park (try saying that really quickly), where you’ll find agility equipment and plenty of room for exercising. See all FlipKey rentals in Flagstaff Santa Barbara, California Santa Barbara’s lovely wide beaches and sophisticated center attract visitors all year round. Dog owners should head to the Douglas Family Preserve, where there’s an off-leash beach and walking trails. There’s also an off-leash area at nearby Hendry’s Beach, or Arroyo Burro Beach. At the end of a day on the sands, you can relax with a craft beer and some dinner at the Brewhouse—you’ll be happy to hear it has its own dog-friendly menu, too. See all FlipKey rentals in Santa Barbara Seattle, Washington Norm’s Eatery & Ale House isn’t just dog-friendly, it’s dog-themed. The walls are dotted with pooch portraits and you’ll find plenty of canine company already enjoying the surroundings when you arrive. Bark Espresso allows dogs outside or in their special hound-friendly lounge. Elegant Washington Park Arboretum welcomes dogs on leashes and Warren G. Magnuson Park has an off-leash area with some water access. Don’t miss the Fremont Oktoberfest Dogtoberfest, which welcomes leashed pets on the Sunday of the Oktoberfest extravaganza. See all FlipKey rentals in Seattle The Black Hills, South Dakota There are some pretty impressive attractions up here, including the craggy carvings of the Mount Rushmore National Memorial and the monumental buttes and spires of the Badlands National Park. Dogs are only allowed in restricted areas of the Badlands, but there’s plenty of forest and mountainside to discover with your leashed pet in the Black Hills. The little hub of Hill City has a lot of dog-friendly establishments, including the Naked Winery Tasting Room, where dogs are allowed on the patio, and the veranda of the Alpine Inn, a great lunch spot. See all FlipKey rentals in the Black Hills Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri The area around this beautiful and sprawling reservoir is known for its fantastic golf courses, wineries, and, of course, water sports. There are several dog-friendly hubs around here, one being the waterfront Dog Days Bar & Grill at Osage Beach, where they host a Canine Cannonball jumping contest each year. To the south in Branson, you’ll find Elmo and Rosalea Marrs Dog Park, complete with agility equipment, picnic tables, and plenty of room to play. If you need to do a little fur-free sightseeing, check your dog into Branson Pet Resort, where they’ll be well looked after while you investigate the environs. See all FlipKey rentals in Lake of the Ozarks Rehoboth Beach, Delaware In friendly Rehoboth Beach you can explore the lively boardwalk, packed with entertainment and places to eat, or treat the family to a day at Jungle Jim’s Water Park, where you’ll find slides, go-karting, and mini-golf. Delaware Seashore State Park welcomes leashed dogs to play in the surf and on the sands, and The Big Chill Cantina is a pooch-friendly place for a drink at the end of the day. See all FlipKey rentals in Rehoboth Beach Sanibel Island, Florida “Coquina Cottage was perfect! We are used to the resort experience, but I have to say that this was just what we needed! We took our two dogs, Bella and Sadie with us… No need to bring a lot with you because everything was provided that we needed to enjoy our stay. We will certainly return again.” — FlipKey Reviewer Sanibel Island is a cheerful vacation spot for pets and owners. Gulfside Beach, also known as Algiers Beach, is a good doggy destination, with calm, shallow waters to gallop through and sands strewn with beautiful seashells. Like all of the local beaches, dogs are very welcome, but you should keep them on the leash. Be sure to drop into the Island Paws pet shop for nutritious treats and high-quality toys. See all FlipKey rentals in Sanibel Island Nantucket, Massachusetts Historic Nantucket Island is bordered with sandy stretches where dogs are welcome to roam on their leashes, such as Francis Street Beach and Surfside Beach. You can take your dog out on the water on a private charter with Endeavor Sailing Excursions or sit back and relax with a drink at the dog-friendly Cisco Brewers. See all FlipKey rentals in Nantucket Asbury Park, Jersey Shore, New Jersey Dubbed “Brooklyn on the beach” by the New York Times, this Jersey Shore destination is on the up—and it’s getting its fair share of dog tourism. The famous Wonder Bar club and music venue hosts a popular Doggie Yappy Hour, where you can chill with a drink while your dog socializes in the large fenced area outside. There are two pools for them to splash in, dog biscuits at the bar, and there’s an organised dog run twice a week. The 8th Avenue Dog Beach is a fun spot, with plenty of canines enjoying the shallows and the dunes—check beforehand for timings as there are some restrictions. See all FlipKey rentals in Asbury Park Stowe, Vermont The beautiful mountain resort of Stowe has two mountains to conquer and a lovely New England village to uncover. Smugglers Notch State Park is breathtaking and accepts all adventurers (including leashed dogs). When you’re done with your hike, you might want to try the Double IPA at the dog-friendly Alchemist Brewery. In nearby Jericho, Mills Riverside Park provides some beautiful meadows for dogs to explore—watch out for the signage telling you which areas are on or off-leash. See all FlipKey rentals in Stowe Fort Myers, Florida We love Fort Myers for its great shopping, fishing, and beaches. Bring Fido to Barkingham Dog Park or Woof-a-Hatchee Dog Park, both fenced and off-leash parks with watering stations and separate areas for big and small dogs. Two of the more fascinating attractions in the area are the Edison and Ford Winter Estates. Though not dog-friendly, we’d be remiss to leave them unmentioned. These neighboring properties were the winter homes of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, and you can still explore the laboratory, homes, and gardens. With a pet-friendly rental, it’ll be no problem to leave your dog at the house while you experience these and other great Fort Myers attractions. Just be sure to bring them a treat when you return! See all FlipKey rentals in Fort Myers

The post 25 Best Pet-Friendly Vacations In America appeared first on The FlipKey Blog.

Michelle Obama shows us all how to dress for an Italian vacation | Travel + Leisure

by Russell Cook @ Coda Tours

The former first lady and her husband continue their post-White House world tour. ince Barack and Michelle Obama stepped out […]

The post Michelle Obama shows us all how to dress for an Italian vacation | Travel + Leisure appeared first on Coda Tours.

Tokyo Bucket List: 44 Top Things To Do in Japan’s Coolest City

by Annette White @ Bucket List Journey | Travel + Lifestyle Blog

Tokyo is known for its unique experiences, such as a medical themed restaurant where you can eat beef, shaped like a brain, inside a private jail cell. Or the cat cafes where petting felines and drinking coffee go hand in hand.

The post Tokyo Bucket List: 44 Top Things To Do in Japan’s Coolest City appeared first on Bucket List Journey | Travel + Lifestyle Blog.

15 Best Winter Beach Vacations For Sun In The States

by Meg Bernazzani @ The FlipKey Blog

Picture it: sea grass swaying in the breeze, the sun beating down on your face, and everything you need right at your fingertips. Plan a trip to one of the best winter beach vacation spots, and make your travel daydreams come true this season. America’s Hottest Winter Sun Beach Spots As if you didn’t need another excuse to escape the cold weather, we’ve highlighted 15 top destinations for winter sun. From undiscovered gems off the coast of Louisiana to tried-and-true Florida hot spots, these places are bringing the heat. And why rent a single room when you can have a whole house to yourself on vacation? Choose a spacious beach home and invite all your friends, or book a cozy beach cottage for a romantic getaway. Whatever your preference, you’ll find plenty of rental options in each of these destinations on FlipKey. Saint Simons Island, Georgia Beautiful beaches pair with Southern hospitality to create the ideal setting for a winter sun vacation in Saint Simons Island. Unwind on your rental’s screened-in porch or unfurl your towel at the beach—you can’t go wrong in Georgia’s Golden Isles. While you’re here, explore the salt marshes in a kayak, tour the St. Simons Lighthouse Museum, and dine on succulent seafood straight from the Gulf. See all St. Simons Island rentals on FlipKey! Orange Beach, Alabama Located along a beautiful string of Gulf Coast beaches, Orange Beach offers thrilling fishing charters, dolphin-sighting cruises, breathtaking nature hikes, and lots of seaside fun. Choose from waterfront condos and apartments, or rent a spacious beach house, so your whole family can join. Don’t pass up the opportunity to enjoy winter sun in Orange Beach. See all Orange Beach rentals on FlipKey! Galveston, Texas Gather your whole family and head to Galveston for a blissful winter beach vacation. Here, you’ll find sprawling beach parks and a wealth of kid-friendly attractions, like Moody Gardens, plus plenty of waterfront homes that sleep more than 10 guests—the perfect combination for any getaway. Whether you’re looking to sunbathe or discover nature, Galveston is sure to satisfy your winter wanderlust. See all Galveston rentals on FlipKey! Kapolei, Hawaii When it comes to winter beach vacations, Kapolei is as inviting as it gets! Situated on the coast of Oahu, Kapolei serves as a giant playground for its visitors. From snorkeling in Paradise Cove to golfing at Ko Olina Golf Club, there’s an adventure for everyone. Grab your swimsuit and sunscreen, and see for yourself why travelers describe it as “paradise found!” See all Kapolei rentals on FlipKey! Myrtle Beach, South Carolina Myrtle Beach is one of those winter beach vacations everyone in your family can appreciate. It boasts a vibrant boardwalk brimming with games and entertainment for the kids, stellar nightlife for the adults, and plenty of family-friendly activities everyone can enjoy together. Rent a condo overlooking the water and wake up every morning to the sound of waves washing over the sand. See all Myrtle Beach rentals on FlipKey! Sunset Beach, North Carolina Sprawling beaches, idyllic nature preserves, and pristine golf courses: what’s not to love about Sunset Beach? Situated on the southeast coast of North Carolina, halfway between Myrtle Beach and Wilmington, this winter sun vacation spot offers something to suit every interest. Mornings here are for leisurely beach strolls, while afternoons ought to be spent casting your fishing line from the Sunset Beach fishing pier. Rent a home right on the water and enjoy panoramic beach views around the clock. See all Sunset Beach rentals on FlipKey! Long Beach, California Located in the heart of Southern California, Long Beach offers everything from upscale shopping and state-of-the-art museums to waterfront trails and laid-back beach parks. While it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of attractions like the Aquarium of the Pacific and legendary Queen Mary, don’t forget to spend some downtime soaking up sun at the beach. A beautiful beach house will provide the perfect starting point for new adventures and lasting memories. See all Long Beach rentals on FlipKey! Marco Island, Florida Whether it’s a morning at the beach or an afternoon relaxing on your waterfront rental’s balcony, strawberry daiquiri in hand, Marco Island provides the perfect place for a winter sun escape. Cruise through the sparkling seas to nearby Keewaydin Island, or relax in the white sands of Tigertail Beach. Besides its breathtaking beaches, Marco Island boasts beautiful bike paths, soothing spas, and plenty of options for entertainment. If you’re seeking winter sun, head south to Marco Island! See all Marco Island rentals on FlipKey! St. Petersburg, Florida With its nickname the “Sunshine City,” it’s easy to see why St. Petersburg ranks among the best winter beach vacations. When you need a break from the sun, check out the colorful exhibits of the Chihuly Collection or explore the Dali Museum. Have kids in tow? Watch your little ones light up with glee at the Great Explorations Children’s Museum. See all St. Petersburg rentals on FlipKey! Half Moon Bay, California Drive just 45 minutes south of San Francisco and you’ll find Half Moon Bay, a charming coastal town that offers a true escape from the big city. Horseback ride in the sand at sunset, stroll around Pillar Point Harbor, or toast to a fabulous trip at Half Moon Bay Distillery. Need a break from the beach? Head inland to explore the awe-inspiring redwood forests. With something to satisfy all interests, this sunny enclave in Northern California is the perfect setting for winter beach vacations. See all Half Moon Bay rentals on FlipKey! Catalina Island, California Whether it’s a romantic getaway you’re after or a fun-filled trip with your friends, Catalina Island is an obvious choice. The scenic island lies southwest of Los Angeles and is known for its jaw-dropping coastline, abundant wildlife, and friendly atmosphere. Whether you cruise around the island in a golf cart, soar through the treetops on a zip line tour, or just plant yourself in the sand, you won’t be disappointed. Rent a home carved into the cliffs or an apartment right near the water, and make the most of your time here. See all Catalina Island rentals on FlipKey! Paia, Hawaii Pack your sunscreen and snorkel gear—Paia’s calling! Known for its epic waves, iconic beaches, and frequent sea turtle sightings, Paia is a dream for warm weather seekers. Get a bird’s eye view of the island’s stunning coastline on a helicopter tour, take a private surfing lesson, or simply bask in the sun outside. Whether you choose a beach condo just steps from Ho’okipa Beach Park or a secluded home surrounded by palm trees, there’s no better way to experience Paia’s natural beauty than with a stay in your own private rental. See all Paia rentals on FlipKey! Chincoteague Island, Virginia While Chincoteague Island’s wild ponies have helped put this charming beach town on the map, it’s unspoiled beaches, lack of high-rises, and slower pace of life are what continue to make it a great place for winter beach vacations. Explore the uncrowded Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, follow the bike trails around the island, or birdwatch from your rental’s back deck. Chincoteague Island is full of off-the-map treasures that will make your getaway unforgettable. See all Chincoteague Island rentals on FlipKey! Saint Augustine Beach, Florida Saint Augustine is one of the best winter beach vacations because it blends oceanside bliss with rich history and small-town charm. Step outside your vacation rental and explore the cobblestone streets downtown or grab a boogie board and play in the surf. You’re sure to feel at ease in St. Augustine! See all Saint Augustine Beach rentals on FlipKey! Grand Isle, Louisiana Although it’s just a two-hour drive from New Orleans, when you arrive in Grand Isle, you’ll feel a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of city life. This destination is known for its deep sea fishing, so hit the open waters on a private fishing charter. Prefer to stay on land? Pack a picnic for the beach and enjoy lunch with a view. Choose from a variety of beach rentals, and book a winter beach vacation your whole family will love this season. See all Grand Isle rentals on FlipKey! Best Winter Beach Vacations in the U.S. Saint Simons Island, Georgia Orange Beach, Alabama Galveston, Texas Kapolei, Hawaii Myrtle Beach, South Carolina Sunset Beach, North Carolina Long Beach, California Marco Island, Florida St. Petersburg, Florida Half Moon Bay, California Catalina Island, California Paia, Hawaii Chincoteague Island, Virginia Saint Augustine Beach, Florida Grand Isle, Louisiana

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10 Most Popular Recipes of 2017 – from Winter Comfort Food to Asian Specialities

by Terence Carter @ Grantourismo Travels

Our 10 Most Popular Recipes of 2017 on Grantourismo are an interesting mix of winter comfort food and Southeast Asian specialities – from a hearty Rabo de Toro and aromatic Cote de Boeuf to a refined Five-Spice Crispy Pork Belly and rich Cambodian Fish Amok. As 2017...

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Delicious Daiquiris with Guest Blogger Allison Levine

by Julia Houghton @ Access TripsAccess Trips

Allison Levine of Please the Palate has shared a bit about her recent experience in Cuba on an Access Trips tour. She’s written a superb post about a quintessentially Cuban libation, the daiquiri! We loved reading her Pick of The Week, and can’t wait to share it with you. Thanks, Allison! Please The Palate Pick [ ... ]

First Look: Big Kahuna’s Island Style Bowl

by Ricky Ly of TastyChomps.com @ Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

In a world where the customer is always right, is it no wonder that the chipotle style concept where guests get to customize and choose their own ingredients has become more and more popular? Located in far flung Oviedo/Winter Springs – at the southwest intersection of Tuscawilla and Red Bug Lake – is Big Kahuna’s Island Style Bowl. It’s a chipotlified version of a poke joint where you can order your various raw fish topped with items such as avocado, fried onion chips, mango,  and more all on top of rice and a drizzle of sauce. They slice their fish fresh daily just like they do in the islands and it shows in the taste of the bowl. It’s a small place but the freshness in poke fish is critical for obvious reasons and in this regard Big Kahuna shines. Make sure to save room for the insane $6 Pineapple Dole Whip Float, it’s essentially a pineapple soft serve paradise served inside a pineapple. Don’t worry they give you straws and spoons so you can dig at it. Big Kahuna’s Island Style Bowl 1450 Tuskawilla Rd #108 · (407) 543-3700 http://www.bigkahunasbowls.com/

Pizzeria Roberti in East Orlando

by Ricky Ly of TastyChomps.com @ Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

Pizzeria Roberti can be found tucked in a small corner on the east side of Orlando, off of Curry Ford and Chicksaw Trail. Here you will find one of the best pizzas in Orlando – from the crispy, tasty house-fermented crust to the house-made mozzarella cheese, Pizzeria Roberti is the real deal. Joseph Roberti, owner and chef of Pizzeria Roberti, takes a lot of pride in his work and it shows through the quality of the food here. Roberti tells us, “Our pizza on the surface is a New York Style Pizza, but underneath it is much more complex than that. In reality it is a combination of Artisan style pizza, Neapolitan style pizza, and traditional New York style pizza.” “Our dough is made from cultivated yeast produced in house similar to the production of artisan sourdough breads (Artisan characteristic). Our sauce is made from San Marzano tomatoes imported from Italy and less than a handful of all fresh ingredients (Neapolitan characteristic). We bake our pies in a traditional bakers pride pizza oven (New York characteristic), but we cook them at a high heat between 550 and 575 degrees Fahrenheit (similar to a Neapolitan characteristic). Our cheese is a combination whole milk and part-skim Grande Mozzarella (New York characteristic).” “Every ingredient of our specialty pies is produced in house. Our specialty slice pies are often garnished to order not unlike a dish coming out of a high end restaurant. And that is just the pizzas. We also have beer, wine, salads (all dressings made in house), subs, appetizers (such as our homemade fresh mozzarella), pastas (all sauces made in house), and vast catering menu. We are off to a great start in developing our concept and look forward to continually evolve as we grow. “As a kid my father used to take me to a local pizza shop a few days a week and the cooks used to teach me little things here and there. By the age of 8 or 9 I made my first slice pie. Fast forward a bit to 14, I was now living in Orlando, Fl, and about to start high school. I was looking to get started in my cooking career and I got my shot at a neighborhood pizzeria & bar. I started as a prep cook, then learned the hot line, then pizza station, and even serving from time to time.” “I liked my job but had ambitions for more, I wanted to pursue a career as a professional chef. As soon as I got my license I took a job on I-drive as a dishwasher in a much bigger and more known restaurant. It was a step backward, but it was also a foot in the door with a successful brand. Fast forward again about 3 years, I worked at few spots around Orlando, most notably the Citrus Club under chef Scott Haegele, and went to culinary school.” “Upon graduating culinary school I decided to go back to New York to learn how to transition from a cook to a chef. I got my shot, this time with accomplished chef Hung Huynh who took me under his wing, trained me, and gave me the exposure and opportunity to work with many great culinarians.” “Fast Forward another 4 years, I’m living in Miami, at this point a chef myself running various kitchens. In 2015 I created a company “Motion Hospitality Group” as a hospitality consulting business, with the intention of one day opening a place of my own. Fast Forward to today where Motion Hospitality Group currently owns and operates its first restaurant concept: “Pizzeria Roberti”.” What are your first childhood food memories? One of my first memories with food was when I was around 5 or 6, my parents weren’t home and my brother was watching me. He must have fallen asleep or something, and I made an apple omelet. The first thing I have ever cooked by my memory. What are some of your favorite dishes at Pizzeria Roberti? My favorite dishes at the pizzeria are the pesto & margherita pizzas, chicken marsala with farfalle pasta, and the pizza dough zeppoles. What do you like to cook for “comfort food” at home with your family? My Favorite thing to eat at home is Mom’s Lasagna. The Sauce “Our pizza sauce consists of a combination of San Marzano tomatoes imported from Italy and all fresh ingredients including fresh herbs and garlic. San Marzano tomatoes are known for their natural sweetness and low acidity.” The Dough “Our dough is made in house with our specially cultivated yeast, which is fermented on premise. This is an important characteristic of our dough because it creates a more robust flavor and the natural fermentation of our dough, makes it healthier and more digestible.” Pizzeria Roberti Address: 2751 S Chickasaw Trail Suite 107, Orlando, FL 32829 https://pizzeriaroberti.com

Custom Food Tours - Savor Saigon

Custom Food Tours - Savor Saigon


Savor Saigon

Savor Saigon guides chefs and dedicated foodies on tours through Saigon. Savor Saigon offers a custom guide service that seek to show you everything you want to see and eat

Weekly Tour Photography Winners (Updated)

by kylelong @ UnTour Food Tours

Share the foodie photo love. We invite our guests to upload their photos from their food tour on social media (Instagram @UnTourFoodTour FB: UnTourFoodTours or on WeChat moments and we’ll choose our weekly favorite to send a free tour voucher. Finally, a real reason to take photos of your food. See below for all of

The post Weekly Tour Photography Winners (Updated) appeared first on UnTour Food Tours.

Season’s Eating with Sonny’s BBQ Pitmaster Brandon Manly at Williams Sonoma – Park Avenue

by Tiffany Nguyen @ Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

Pitmaster Brandon Manly teaching us how to make some delicious eats for the holidays. We were invited to check out this free and public event hosted by Sonny’s BBQ last Saturday at Williams Sonoma on Park Avenue in partnership with Peterbrooke Chocolatier.  I loved that the event landed on a Saturday afternoon because I frequent the popular Winter Park Farmers’ Market on Saturday mornings so I was able to pick up a few things and walk over to the cooking demo afterwords.  During our cooking demo we learned how to make Stuffed Pork Loin with Cranberry Agave Glaze, Smoked Turkey, Gruyère Potatoes, and Chocolate Bacon Holiday Bark.  Everything was delicious! Sonny’s BBQ – Winter Park 3390 University Blvd Winter Park, FL 32792 (407) 671-2002 sonnysbbq.com Peterbrooke Chocolatier of Winter Park 300 S Park Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789 (407) 644-3200 http://peterbrookewp.com Williams Sonoma – Park Avenue 142 S Park Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789 (407) 628-5900 williams-sonoma.com/stores/us/fl/winter-park-park-avenue

Vietnamese Theatre: A Traditional Water Puppet Show in Hanoi

by Annette White @ Bucket List Journey | Travel + Lifestyle Blog

The water puppet show in Hanoi is a representation of a traditional Vietnamese theatre show that dates back centuries.

The post Vietnamese Theatre: A Traditional Water Puppet Show in Hanoi appeared first on Bucket List Journey | Travel + Lifestyle Blog.

Florida Travel: What to Do in Punta Gorda & Englewood Beach in 2018

by Solo Travel Girl @ Solo Travel Girl

'Tis the time of year for my annual month-by-month listing of what to do in the Southwest Florida community of Punta Gorda and Englewood Beach (basically Charlotte County) in the New Year. As usual, most activities can be enjoyed anytime of the year. And, I hope you try something that pushes your personal boundaries in the New Year because that's how you learn, grow and maybe find your new passion.

Hong Kong Foodie Tasting Tours: Sham Shui Po Foodie Tour – Hong Kong

by Food Tour Finder @ Food Tour Finder

Reviewed by FoodTourFinder! See our review in the Comments section   Savor the Local Flavor Follow us on a food trail to explore one of Hong Kong’s most fascinating neighborhoods — Sham Shui Po. This old Kowloon district houses a plethora of foodie hot spots, from decades-old eateries serving Hong Kong’s most beloved dishes, to […]

Yappy Hour at K Restaurant + Wine Bar

by Katherine Nguyen @ Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

On Monday, Dec. 11, K Restaurant launched their first, monthly, Yappy Hour. To inaugurate this series of tail-wagging fun they have partnered with Woof Orlando from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Orlando locals are invited to bring their furry four-legged friends out and enjoy free spent-grain dog treats made from local breweries and enter-to-win two raffles with prizes including gift certificates for a free grooming. We were able to experience what “Doggie chaperones” can expect when it comes to tongue-in-cheek Yappy Hour dishes from Chef Ryan McLaughlin as well as drink specials as K Restaurant is excited to share that they just received their full liquor license. Crispy Pig Ears are fried with dates pepper hot sauce and herbs. The pig ears are sliced thinly to make them crispy like a chip. They are lightly salted and delicious with or without the hot sauce. Be careful, the hot sauce is thick and has a major kick to it. “Pawsta” is fried ravioli with ricotta filling. Served on marinara with pecorino cheese and herbs. The fried version of ravioli is very airy like a puff pastry. Each ingredient subtly blends well together upon the palate. “Milk Bones” are veal bone marrow bones with charred bread and radishes. The bone marrow is very smooth and works well with the bread and radishes. The charred bread adds a saltiness to each bite. We almost ordered a second round of this dish! The Cosmo-paw-litan (left) is made with vodka, orange shrubb, lime, and cranberry juice. A simple drink to socialize with. The Snoop Dog (right) was our favorite out of these two. The Snoop Dog is made with gin and pineapple juice; it is like a tropical version of a Screwdriver. Since we were still slightly hungry after all the samplings, we ordered the Ricotta Gnocchi off the main menu, which changes up from time to time so you can come back to try new items all the time. The Ricotta Gnocchi is made with duck confit, butternut squash, garden greens, brussel sprouts, and sage veloute. Everything is made in-house and as fresh as possible for each order. Our specific plate was a tad more salty than I would prefer, but the dish is still delicious nonetheless. The Ricotta Gnocchi was paired nicely with a 2014 Carmenere made in Valle Del Maule, Chile. This wine has a smooth and solid flavor with notes of spices, black cherry and blackberries. For more information, visit the K Restaurant & Wine Bar Event Page.

How To Be a Better Traveller – 18 Ways to Travel Responsibly in 2018

by Lara Dunston @ Grantourismo Travels

How to be a better traveller is something I constantly ponder, particularly after a year in travel that saw a rise in anti-tourism sentiment across Europe, the emergence of beg-packing in Asia, and an explosion of naked tourism and public pooping. No wonder locals have...

The post How To Be a Better Traveller – 18 Ways to Travel Responsibly in 2018 appeared first on Grantourismo Travels.

39 Awesome Foodie Shots of the 2015 Vietnamese New Year Festival in Orlando hosted by the Vietnamese Catholic Church

by Ricky Ly of TastyChomps.com @ Vietnamese – Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

This past weekend, the Vietnamese Catholic Church of Orlando, St Philip Phan van minh hosted their annual Vietnamese New Year Festival at the Central Florida Fairgrounds for 2015 – the year of the goat/sheep. The actual Lunar New Year is not till Thursday February 19th this year so there are still lots of great events to come. (See Guide to Celebrating Chinese/Vietnamese New Year Festivals in Orlando Post for the lowdown). Here are 39 photos showing why the Vietnamese New Year Festival rocks: Shout out to the Orlando Foodie Forum on facebook for coming out to the event!

Vietnamese Food: The Ultimate Food Guide

Vietnamese Food: The Ultimate Food Guide


Travel + Leisure

“An com chua?”If you’re going to understand Vietnam and the Vietnamese, this three-word phrase is key. A friendly greeting exchanged throughout the day, it poses a seemingly mundane question: “Have...

Bulla Gastrobar – Winter 2018 Menu

by Ricky Ly of TastyChomps.com @ Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

Winter, brief it may be, has arrived to Central Florida with the latest frosty blasts covering most of our region this past week. The Spanish-inspired Bulla Gastrobar has recently debuted their Winter Menu, featuring savory, hearty dishes that will certainly warm any foodie’s appetite this winter. Here is the menu: Sabores de Invierno Winter Menu Padrones Rellenos $8 – Shishito peppers stuffed with Mahon cheese, encrusted with panko crumbs and a spicy tomato dipping sauce Caldo Gallego $8 – Galician Soup, White beans, pork shank, chorizo, kale Piquillos a la Vizcaina $11 – Ground beef and pork stuffed piquillo peppers, bechamel sauce, black currants Lechon Asado $23 – Slow Roasted Pig, Pork Demi, Panadera Potatoes Chuletas de Cordero $23 – Lamb Chops, Honey Beer Reduction, Kale, Potato Foam Some of my favorites from the menu included the: Padrones rellenos, crunchy panko crusted, stuffed shisito peppers filled with mahon cheese – each bite oozes with warm cheese – perfect. The Piquillos a la Vizcaina, stuffed piquillo peppers were both savory and sweet – savory from the ground beef and pork and bechamel cheese sauce but also a touch of sweetness from the black currant reduction and nutty sliced almonds. If you are a fan of lamb chops, try the chuletas de cordero – subtly sweet from honey reduction, it’s a hearty dish with delicate potato foam and crispy kale. My absolute favorite on the menu is the lechon asado, thrice cooked slow roasted pig with a pork demi sauce and panadera potatoes – thick and juicy, the pork just melts in your mouth with the crispy pork skin is a fantastic treat. The menu lasts all winter until March so visit soon! Bulla Gastrobar 110 S Orlando Ave #7, Winter Park, FL 32789 bullagastrobar.com

Caribbean Carnaval at Loews Sapphire Falls Resort

by Katherine Nguyen @ Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

Take a musical journey through the Caribbean during this interactive dinner show. Enjoy authentic food, songs and dances inspired by the islands. Savor the vibrant colors, delightful tastes and rich sounds of the Bahamas, Cuba,  Jamaica, Barbados, and Trinidad. This is your island escape. Come do the limbo, jump into the conga line and take part in the festivities. Now on Fridays! Includes all-you-can-eat buffet, plus complimentary non-alcoholic beverages. Wine, beer and Planter’s Punch are also complimentary for those ages 21+. CARNAVAL TICKET: $71** adult, $36** child (ages 3 – 9) Children under age 3 complimentary. PRIORITY TICKET: $81** adult, $41** child (ages 3 – 9) Sit closer to the action with seating in the first two rows of tables nearest the stage. Children under age 3 complimentary. TIME: Dinner Buffet Seating: Begins at 6pm Show: 7pm – 7:45pm LOCATION: Under the outdoor Cayman Court pavilion at Loews Sapphire Falls Resort. PARKING: Complimentary self parking (with validation stamp) or $5 valet parking. AGES: All ages welcome. Buy tickets at this eventbrite website. Photographs of the food and event are below. Check out the menu for the event!

The Foodie Tour in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam is amazing.

The Foodie Tour in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam is amazing.


Simply Amazing Living

The Foodie Tour gives tourists a unique experience and shows the true culture of Vietnam. A great way to experience authentic Vietnamese food and culture.

First Look – Viet-Nomz Vietnamese Pho & Street Fare

by Ricky Ly of TastyChomps.com @ Vietnamese – Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

First, in full disclosure, the three young men who started Viet-Nomz are old friends of mine from college. But even if I did not know these three foolish friends who decided to take on the food industry, I would wholeheartedly feel the same about Viet-Nomz. Phillip Nguyen, Chris Chen, and Mike Cho began this journey just a few years ago when they started to brainstorm about how to bring their collective love for Vietnamese food together. Phillip, who is of Vietnamese descent, traveled around the world and America, most notably in the Vietnamese enclaves of Southern California as well as the motherland in the streets of Saigon in south Vietnam, to taste and try dishes to bring back to their project in Orlando. With this inspiration, the three friends, each with their own years of experience in the restaurant industry, opened up Viet-Nomz in late June and has hit the ground running ever since. The space is quite hip, with natural wood ambiance. Order at the counter and your dishes will be brought to you. I visited on multiple occasions and enjoyed everything I had, from the plump, fried pork egg rolls to the grilled beef banh mi sandwiches drizzled with spicy “nom nom” sauce, to the delicately nuanced and flavorful bowls of pho, the staple of Vietnamese restaurants every where. In some ways, Viet-Nomz is the Vietnamese version of a ramen-shop, with piping hot bowls of pho beef noodle soup instead of ramen emanating from their open kitchen. There are some updates to the Vietnamese menu here, brought on by the founder’s own upbringings. Chris Chen, who is of Taiwanese descent, brought some of the doughy, steamed white buns that make the famous gua baos in Taiwanese street foods, and married them with Vietnamese banh mi ingredients like pickled daikon and carrots and grilled pork. There are also banh mi tacos on the menu, something that was a favorite on our visits. Everything is made to order, and you can watch as they assemble and grill the dishes for the rice bowls or noodle bowls, and pour soups from the huge vats of pho beef noodle soup that have been simmering for hours and hours that day. For vegetarians, do try their vegetarian pho, one of the most flavorful renditions I’ve ever tried, made through a special combination of bok choy, mushrooms and vegetables that just speaks volumes of “umami”. Instead of Vietnamese coffee made by the drip cannisters, the coffee here is made via an espresso machine with a unique house blend of coffee beans. Must try. The only complaint is the heat from the grills and soup pots that emanates from the open kitchen area – it can get quite uncomfortable, but some say it does bring memories of the hot summers of Vietnam. I hear the heat issues will be remedied soon. Located just outside of Full Sail on Goldenrod and University, they plan on opening late nights on the weekend in the future for the university crowd. Overall, I do recommend nomming down on Viet-Nomz soon,  and bring a friend. Viet-Nomz Vietnamese Pho & Street Fare 7581 University Blvd, Winter Park, FL 32792 Corner of University Blvd & Goldenrod Rd (Across from Winn-Dixie/Tijuana Flats) Phone: +1 407-636-6069 http://vietnomzfl.com/ HOURS Sunday – Thursday 11:00 AM — 10:00 PM Friday & Saturday 11:00 AM — 3:00 AM

Journalists Visit Newseum for IPW Press Brunch

by Heather Bien @ Newseum

IPW is the world's biggest gathering of tourism professionals.
Read More

Watermelon Mint Cooler Recipe – A Refreshing Cocktail For a Warm Day

by Lara Dunston @ Grantourismo Travels

This watermelon mint cooler recipe is super easy to mix and makes for a refreshing light cocktail to drink on a stifling summer afternoon or a sticky day in the tropics. If you’re in the chilly northern hemisphere turn up your heating and pretend you’re...

The post Watermelon Mint Cooler Recipe – A Refreshing Cocktail For a Warm Day appeared first on Grantourismo Travels.

11 Great Places To Rent A Summer Lake House (That Probably Aren’t Your First Guess)

by FlipKey @ The FlipKey Blog

Best Lake House Vacations Forget the oceanfront hotel. We’re all about a stunning lake house this summer. Okay, so we’re not totally against the beach. But there’s another type of vacation that was made for America: a classic summer cottage on the lake. Or a cozy cabin. How about an eight-bedroom summer lodge for a full-family affair? You get the point. America boasts some of the best lake destinations in the world for outdoor recreation, incredible scenery, and action-packed adventure. In other words: the perfect combination of activities for a thrilling (or relaxing) summer escape. A summer lake house often comes with kayaks, canoes, paddleboards or even your own personal boat for use (assuming you have a license)! You’ll stay just steps to the water—or hiking trails—and enjoy substantial privacy. But with so many great lake house options, where should you choose? Enter FlipKey. We’ve bypassed the touristy, crowded lakes—nobody wants to share the bay with other jet skiers, after all—and instead identified 11 amazing summer lake retreats that aren’t quite as…occupied. You’ll find affordable summer cottages and cabins in each of these spots just waiting for you to make new lifelong memories. Deep Creek Lake, Maryland Maryland’s Deep Creek Lake has everything you could dream of in a summer vacation. The surrounding towns of McHenry, Oakland and Swanton all offer lake house rentals of various types. Get the adrenaline pumping with whitewater rafting or opt for more leisurely pursuits in fly-fishing, a scenic kayak ride, horseback trek or walking through Deep Creek Lake State Park. A summer lodge, complete with outdoor patio and barbecue grill, is the perfect home base after the day’s adventure. As night falls, spark up the fire pit and gaze at the stars. See all rentals in Deep Creek Lake on FlipKey! Moosehead Lake, Maine As its name would suggest, this Maine gem has abundant wildlife. When you aren’t fishing for landlocked salmon or trout, keep your eyes peeled for moose and other four-legged friends that roam the land. A summer cottage on Moosehead Lake puts you just steps to unlimited water recreation. And the lake is especially good for canoeing and kayaking, boasting tons of hidden coves, inlets and islands to explore. Lake houses are mostly located in the towns of Greenville and Rockwood, both offering rentals from charming summer cottages to classic log cabins. Some properties even come with personal ATVs – the trails around the lake are ripe for off-roading. See all Moosehead Lake rentals on FlipKey! Minocqua, Wisconsin Part of the “Lakeland” area of Northern Wisconsin, Minocqua is a small town as cozy as the summer cabins themselves. There’s the aptly named Lake Minocqua, plus Blue Lake, Kawaguesaga Lake and Tomohawk Lake all in a short vicinity of each other. If you’re seeking a peaceful summer escape, look no further. Vacation rentals here are fewer than some other popular lake spots, meaning your summer cottage will have the utmost privacy. Enjoy a morning coffee on the porch while watching water skiers slice across the clear waters. Choose to join them with some aquatic adventures, or simply take another sip as the sun warms the air. See all rentals in Lake Minocqua on FlipKey! Lake George, New York This 32-mile-long “Queen of American Lakes” is chock-full of summer lodging, attractions, eateries and just about any form of recreation you can name. Take your pick: parasailing, fishing, diving, jet skiing, hiking, golfing, mini-golf, horseback riding and more. If you’ve got kids in tow, you can spend a day at the Great Escape and Splashwater Kingdom, New York’s largest amusement park. Hikers gravitate to Prospect Mountain, which offers panoramic views from the top. Among the cleanest and clearest of major US lakes, Lake George is as splendid today as when Thomas Jefferson described it as “…without comparison, the most beautiful water I ever saw.” See all rentals in Lake George on FlipKey! Grand Lake, Colorado Take your family to Grand Lake and enjoy stunning Shadow Mountain scenery with the tranquility of a private summer lake house. Spend a lazy afternoon lounging on the hammock, or rent a pontoon boat for leisurely lake cruising – just don’t forget to bring the cooler! Nearby Rocky Mountain National Park offers great hiking trails, often shared with deer, elk and foxes. See all rentals in Grand Lake on FlipKey! Lake Champlain, New York Lake Champlain is one of the Eastern United States’ most beautiful attractions. It stretches almost the full length of Vermont, separating the Green Mountain State from neighboring New York. Summer lake houses are abundant in many of the surrounding towns, most notably Shelburne, Colchester, Burlington and the Grand Isles (VT); and Plattsburgh, Keeseville and Willsboro (NY). Lake Champlain is great for families, offering calm waters and great outdoor recreation. For a unique cabin experience, stay in a Burlington rental right on the lake. You’ll be close to the charming downtown area of Church Street (shops, bars, restaurants and live music), yet have adventurous activities like hiking, kayaking, paddle-boarding, boating and swimming right at your fingertips. See all rentals in Lake Champlain on FlipKey! Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire Meredith is New Hampshire’s go-to lakeside destination, with Lake Winnipesaukee offering incredible summer lodges, cottages and cabins for groups of all sizes. Popular with 20- and 30-somethings, Lake Winnipesaukee visitors are often a lively bunch, enjoying the water sports and warm weather to the fullest. Though there’s still plenty of privacy to be had, as many rentals have their own docks at secluded areas along the lake. See all rentals in Lake Winnipesaukee on FlipKey! Soldotna and Sterling, Alaska Heading to The Last Frontier? You’ll soon be basking in the dramatic, diverse terrain of wide-open spaces, mountains and forests, with wildlife galore and many small towns. If it’s a summer lake house you seek, just follow the Kenai River! The gorgeous body of water runs westward from Kenai Lake to the Cook Inlet, through the towns of Sterling and Soldtona. A summer rental here is as close to nature as you can get without actually camping. It’s truly a mesmerizing experience, capped by the “midnight sun” –  when the sun sets around 12:00am due to the long daylight hours during summer season. See all rentals in Soldotna on FlipKey! See all rentals in Sterling on FlipKey! Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia Talk to anyone about a Virginia vacation and you’ll hear about Williamsburg’s rich history or the boardwalk at Virginia Beach. But avid summer vacationers would be wise to consider a different destination, some 240 miles away from the ocean. We’re talking about Smith Mountain Lake, the state’s popular lakeside retreat though not as frequented by the outside masses. A summer cottage on “SML” means sunshine, scenery and s’mores all week long. The lake is surrounded by beautiful mountain landscape, with most rental accommodations in the community of Moneta. See all rentals in Smith Mountain Lake on FlipKey! Coeur d’Alene, Idaho If we were giving out nicknames, Lake Coeur d’Alene would get “that of many bays.” Summer lodges are cozily tucked within numerous bays across the lake, like Bennett Bay, Windy Bay, Sun Up Bay, Kokanee Bay and Rockford Bay, to name a few. This means plenty of privacy and calm, kid-friendly waters. But Coeur d’Alene is notable for more than its stunning lake: it’s a unique combination of five-star resort town (fine dining, theaters, golf courses and spas) and natural wonder (unspoiled hiking trails, scenery for days). An affordable cabin gives you the best of both worlds – sunshine free of charge. See all rentals in Coeur d’Alene on FlipKey! Mount Desert, Maine Mount Desert may better be known as the side of Acadia National Park that doesn’t include Bar Harbor, which makes it the perfect uncrowded, relaxing escape for a summer lake house. Echo Lake and Long Pond Lake are the two staples for outdoor recreation or leisurely sunbathing. Picture this: you’re eating breakfast on your private patio looking out over the vast clear waters. The kids are readying for a day of swimming, canoeing or kayaking. Maybe even a ride on the pontoon boat. As evening falls, the family enjoys a home-cooked meal before a nightcap in the hot tub. Pure bliss. See all rentals in Mount Desert on FlipKey! This post was originally published on the TripAdvisor Rentals blog. FlipKey is a TripAdvisor company.

The post 11 Great Places To Rent A Summer Lake House (That Probably Aren’t Your First Guess) appeared first on The FlipKey Blog.

Food tour of Vietnam | Audley Travel

Food tour of Vietnam | Audley Travel


Audley Travel

Southeast Asia is home to some of the most unique and delicious food in the world. We've highlighted our favorite spots for must-try dishes in Vietnam.

The Reykjavik Food Walk – Reykjavik, Iceland

by Food Tour Finder @ Food Tour Finder

Reviewed by FoodTourFinder! See our review in the Comments section   On this tasty tour, you will enjoy 13 of our most delicious traditional cuisines and explore the highlights of Reykjavik: The free roaming Icelandic Lamb Homemade Ice Cream Seasonal Cheese tasting The famous Icelandic Hot dog Amazing seafood cuisine and so much more! Explore […]

16 of the Planet’s Prettiest Metro Stops | AFAR

by Russell Cook @ Coda Tours

Source: 16 of the Planet’s Prettiest Metro Stops | AFAR

The post 16 of the Planet’s Prettiest Metro Stops | AFAR appeared first on Coda Tours.

No Indonesia Visa Required For Citizens Of 45 Countries

by Chris Mitchell @ Travel Happy

The Indonesian Government recently announced citizens of forty five countries no longer need a tourist visa to enter Indonesia. Indonesia Immigration Stamp How Does Visa Free Entry To Indonesia Work? If you are a citizen of one of the countries listed below, arrive at one of the entry points below and proceed to Passport Control. […]

Find Out Your Zodiac Cocktail | Travel + Leisure

by Russell Cook @ Coda Tours

The Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas recently launched their Zodiac Cocktail program, and we got our hands on the recipes. Read […]

The post Find Out Your Zodiac Cocktail | Travel + Leisure appeared first on Coda Tours.

No Vietnam Visa Required For Citizens Of Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Spain

by Chris Mitchell @ Travel Happy

From July 2015, you don’t need to apply for a visa to enter Vietnam if you’re a citizen from Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Spain Vietnam Embassy, Bangkok The Vietnamese government have announced a important change for Vietnam tourist visas – if you’re from Britain, Germany, France, Italy or Spain, you no longer need to […]

Hy Vong restaurant closes in Miami’s Little Havana after 36 years

Hy Vong restaurant closes in Miami’s Little Havana after 36 years


miamiherald

Owner Kathy Manning says she hopes to reopen the landmark eatery somewhere else.

Holiday Specials at BRIO Tuscan Grille

by Tiffany Nguyen @ Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

(Seasonal!) White Chocolate Berry Bread Pudding: vanilla bean gelato, housemade berry sauce, anglaise ($6.95) On this chilly day, I cannot stop thinking about this warm and beautiful seasonal dessert.  It was so rich and decadent, with all the right flavors. My mom and I had to wait a little bit for it because the kitchen wanted to make it hot and fresh right out of the oven for us, hence why the vanilla bean gelato was instantly trickling down from it, but it was worth the wait. ‘Tis the season at BRIO Tuscan Grille! The restaurant is offering many ways to celebrate this season, from new menu items, seasonal dishes and cocktails and special events including: Sat. Dec. 16 – Breakfast with Santa Sun. Dec. 31 – New Year’s Eve party with complimentary prosecco, party favors, balloon drop and live music. Call BRIO Tuscan Grille – Winter Park Village at (407) 622-5611 and ask for the manager, Kiki, for more information! Nationwide: – Facebook & Instagram Contest: BRIO’s “12 Days to Win!” Facebook and Instagram contest gives fans a chance to win various prizes from Monday, Dec. 4–Friday, Dec. 15. BRIO will post a different question regarding the holidays each day. Those with winning answers will receive incredible BRIO prizes such as: gift cards, brunch for six, a chef’s dinner, a Happy Hour party for 12, and BRIO for a year (a $1,200 value)! – Bonus Gift Card Offer:  From Monday, Nov. 13–Saturday, Dec. 30, BRIO guests will receive a $25 bonus card with every $100 in gift cards purchased. The bonus card is valid Monday, Jan. 1 – Thursday, March 15, 2018. BRIO gift cards can be purchased at a local BRIO restaurant or online at www.BrioItalian.com/giftcards. (NEW! ) Buffalo Chicken Nachos – Cheddar cheese sauce, creamy horseradish, Gorgonzola, green onions, celery, house-made potato chips ($5) (NEW!) Crispy Shrimp Brio – Spicy Remoulade, green onions ($6) (NEW!) Warm Margherita Dip – Four cheese blend, tomato compote, Reggiano, basil, grilled ciabatta ($5) (Seasonal!) Spicy shrimp bruschetta – Fontina, charred tomato, lobster butter ($12.50) Bulleit Nog-Chata: Bulleit Rye whiskey, RumChata, simple syrup, crème anglaise, cinnamon, nutmeg, cinnamon sugar rim ($9) Salted Caramel Martini: RumChata, Kahlua, Absolut Vanilla, caramel swirl, salted rim ($9) Two-Course Combos: your choice of soup or salad, with choice of entrée: Soups – Soup of the day, Lobster Bisque (add $1) Salads – Brio Chopped Salad, Caesar, or Wedge Surf & Turf: 14-oz. strip steak, black pepper shrimp, Yukon Gold mashed potatoes, grilled asparagus (the two-course meal is priced at $34.95 with this entrée) Grilled Chicken with Balsamic Glazed Peppers (light entrée): farro, quinoa, grape tomatoes, asparagus, capers, Marcona almonds, feta, pesto vinaigrette (the two-course meal is priced at $19.95 with this entrée) Grilled Branzino: roasted red & gold beets, farro, Marcona almonds, marinated kale, lemon vinaigrette, feta (the two-course meal is priced at $26.95 with this entrée) Caramel Mascarpone Cheesecake – Anglaise sauce, vanilla whipped cream ($4.25) Thank you Mom for being my plus 1 to a few of my foodie events!  Be sure to check out BRIO Tuscan Grille – Winter Park Village soon for the holidays! (Source credit: BRIO Tuscan Grille) BRIO Tuscan Grille 480 N Orlando Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789 (407) 622-5611 http://brioitalian.com

How Much Money Do I Need For Hong Kong?

by Guest Travel Writer @ Travel Happy

Hong Kong has it all – heavenly food, high-octane nightlife, striking architecture and top shopping all laced with heaps of culture and tradition. There are plenty of ways to spend a fortune, but Lee Cobaj explains how Hong Kong doesn’t have to be prohibitively expensive Hong Kong © barbara-pictures Compared to its SE Asian neighbours, […]

Why Your Travel To Cuba Matters Now

by Meloni @ Access TripsAccess Trips

Travel To Cuba Now It doesn’t seem all that long ago that travel to Cuba was near impossible for the average American tourist. In 2014 President Obama and Cuban leader Raul Castro took historic steps to lessen the gap between the Cuban people and Americans however, and in the last two years travel to Cuba [ ... ]

Pho 16 – Vietnamese in West Palm Beach, FL

by Ricky Ly of TastyChomps.com @ Vietnamese – Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

I traveled to my hometown on a recent weekend. My family usually cooks dinner and Vietnamese food so it’s rare for us to go out, especially to a Vietnamese restaurant in West Palm Beach. Some family came into town to visit and we decided it’d just be easier to head out to Pho 16, a new Vietnamese restaurant that we all wanted to try. We all know how parents can get, especially Asian parents, when it comes to judging and critiquing others, so I was well prepared to hear about all the little dislikes about this place or how it’s just not good as home made. Located in a little plaza off of Military Trail and Community Dr, slightly hidden, Pho 16 would be easy to miss. Inside, the place reminds me of a cafeteria restaurant that you could find off the roads in Vietnam. The menu is simple, full of noodle soups, noodle bowls, and rice platters that those of us in Orlando have become familiar with. For starters, we order the cha gio, or fried spring rolls. Stuffed with pork, wood eared mushrooms, and served with a fish sauce dipping sauce, the cha gio is pretty good and tastes like it was home made. We also ordered the bo la lot, grilled beef wrapped in wild betel leaves. Betel leaves are high in antioxidants and have been used in Asia for medicinal healing, stimulants, and even breath fresheners. In Vietnamese there is a saying that “the betel begins the conversation”, referring to the practice of people chewing betel in formal occasions or “to break the ice” in awkward situations. When grilled, the leaves give a peppery, minty flavor to the beef which I thought was quite nice. My order was the bun thit nuong cha gio, rice noodles with grilled pork and egg rolls in one of the largest bowls I’ve ever had. It was very filling and very satisfying, and overall a great value for the quantity of food. Bun thit nuong cha gio, rice noodles with grilled pork and egg rolls My sister ordered the banh canh, a kind of Vietnamese thick noodle similar to Japanese udon, in a seafood broth base, that sadly was a bit bland. “Nothing like mama’s banh canh,” she muttered underneath her breath. Banh Canh Hu Tieu Most of the table ordered the signature pho, which I had a taste of and thought, not as good as home made but pretty good for Vietnamese restaurant pho…definitely as good as some found here in Orlando, that’s for sure. Overall, a very satisfying place to get your Vietnamese fix on while in West Palm Beach. The prices are decent and the quality is not bad…will definitely return.

West Palm Beach Food Tours: Downtown Tour – West Palm Beach, Florida

by Food Tour Finder @ Food Tour Finder

~~Save $10 with discount code: FoodTourFinder~~ Put on your walking shoes and bring your appetite for a fun, entertaining and delicious way to learn about West Palm Beach. Sip, sample and savor the flavor of South Florida with 12 generous tastings from the best locally owned restaurants. Of course, we’ll sprinkle in a bit of […]

UnTour Food Tours Eats Beijing Chestnuts with CBS Sunday Morning

by jamie @ UnTour Food Tours

UnTour Beijing City Manager and tour guide extraordinaire Chang Qian joined Ben Tracy of CBS Sunday Morning’s Postcard from China to explore one of our all-time favorite winter snacks: chestnuts! On this special chestnut food tour, Chang took the CBS crew to one of Beijing’s most famous chestnut stops. Daily queues are long, but it’s

The post UnTour Food Tours Eats Beijing Chestnuts with CBS Sunday Morning appeared first on UnTour Food Tours.

First Watch rolls out new single-origin coffee nationwide, supporting women growers in Colombia

by Ricky Ly of TastyChomps.com @ Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

Florida-based breakfast, brunch, and lunch restaurant chain First Watch has recently unrolled a new coffee program, called Project Sunrise, using a new single-origin coffee sourced from women coffee growers in Huila, Colombia. The coffee program helps support a women-led growers organization called Mujeres en Café in Huila, Colombia. Traditionally, the coffee growing industry in Colombia has been male-dominated. Due to the country’s decades-long civil conflict, many women in Huila lost their husbands, brothers and sons and have now taken over the family business. Together, they formed Mujeres en Café and embarked on a mission to create sustainable businesses that elevate the lives of their families and improve conditions in their rural communities. “During our visit to Huila, we met groups of women in several villages who have dedicated their lives to producing great coffee. They are proud of their work and were eager to welcome us into their homes, walk us through their farms and share their stories,” Shane Schaibly, corporate chef and VP of culinary strategy for First Watch, said in an announcement of the new coffee program. “Each year, we serve more than 8 million cups of coffee in our restaurants. Through Project Sunrise, that gives us 8 million incredible opportunities to support these hard-working women and their families in Huila in 2018.” The high-quality beans these women grow and harvest in Huila are exported to the U.S. and roasted by the experts at Royal Cup Coffee in Birmingham, Alabama, exclusively for First Watch. The restaurant company pays a premium for these single-origin beans, which will be relayed back to the women farmers in Huila to help improve their quality of life and help facilitate their operations. Schaibly spent months working with coffee growers and roasters to develop a coffee that would complement the complex dishes, flavors and textures found on the First Watch menu. First Watch’s new Project Sunrise coffee fits the bill – it features a medium body, with hints of cherry, orange, toasted nuts, honey, milk chocolate and caramel, which makes for an ideal complement to First Watch’s variety of fresh breakfast, brunch and lunch dishes. For more information on First Watch’s Project Sunrise, visit blog.firstwatch.com. We were recently invite to try some of the new coffee at First Watch as well as sample some seasonal dishes like the millionaire’s bacon, four slices of hardwood smoked bacon baked with brown sugar, black pepper, cayenne and a maple syrup drizzle, and the cinnamon chip panacake. I enjoyed their new coffee, particularly the rich depth of flavor that complimented the dishes well.

In Search of New Orleans' Vietnamese Soul

In Search of New Orleans' Vietnamese Soul


Eater

On a recent Thursday morning, I walked into Magasin Kitchen, a two-month-old restaurant in New Orleans' Central Business District. It was ten minutes before noon, but even so, each of the 39 seats...

West Palm Beach Food Tours: Downtown Tour - West Palm Beach, Florida

West Palm Beach Food Tours: Downtown Tour - West Palm Beach, Florida


Food Tour Finder

~~Save $10 with discount code: FoodTourFinder~~ Put on your walking shoes and bring your appetite for a fun, entertaining and delicious way to learn about West Palm Beach. Sip, sample and savor the...

Best Winter Vacations In America To Experience The Season’s Magic

by Meg Bernazzani @ The FlipKey Blog

Don’t let winter’s chilly grasp keep you from exploring! With so many U.S. cities at their prettiest under a fresh blanket of snow and enchanting festivals taking place all season long, we’ve highlighted the best winter vacations to satisfy your wanderlust. Top Winter Vacation Ideas Across America While everyone else is fleeing frosty temperatures in search of warmer weather, we’re highlighting seven of the most magical winter getaways right here in America. Each place features a one-of-a-kind winter festival and countless attractions, heartwarming for all. Whether you prefer slopeside entertainment or exhilarating outdoor adventures in the snow, our list covers it all. When you’re visiting one of these idyllic winter escapes, book a vacation home on FlipKey to enjoy all of the comforts of home, plus extras like luxurious hot tubs, gear rooms, and more. From cabin hideaways tucked away in the mountains to modern apartments in the center of the city, FlipKey has more than 300,000 rentals to choose from for the perfect stay. Check out our best winter vacations and start planning your trip! Saint Paul, Minnesota | Saint Paul Winter Carnival Searching for winter vacation ideas that will please the entire family? Then consider Saint Paul! With its vibrant energy, cosmopolitan culture, and kid-friendly Winter Carnival, it’s the perfect winter escape. The Winter Carnival runs for two weeks each season and features more than four dozen events and attractions. From outdoor ice skating to sledding down the hills of Saint Paul, this is one of those rare winter getaways that will keep everyone amused. Book an apartment downtown and enjoy all of the festivities at your fingertips. Festival Details: Saint Paul Winter Carnival See all Saint Paul rentals on FlipKey! Breckenridge, Colorado | International Snow Sculpture Championship Not only is Breckenridge considered one of the best winter vacations in America for its world-class skiing, this down-to-earth city is also home to the enchanting International Snow Sculpture Championship. Visit in January for the event, and fill your days strolling around watching as snow sculpture artists transform colossal blocks of ice into incredible masterpieces. In the evening, strip off your layers and soak in the hot tub, taking in views of the surrounding Rockies from your mountain hideaway. Breckenridge is also a great home base if you’re looking to explore Colorado’s surrounding mountain towns—both Denver and Vail are just a short car ride away. Festival Details: International Snow Sculpture Championship See all Breckenridge rentals on FlipKey! Anchorage, Alaska | Fur Rondy No matter how cozy you are in your Anchorage rental, you can’t miss the Fur Rendezvous (Fur Rondy to the locals), the ultimate celebration of winter in Alaska. The decades-old tradition features events like snowshoe softball, the running of the reindeer, and the legendary World Championship Sled Dog Race. Whether you participate in all 10 days of Fur Rondy merriment or take some time to explore the Last Frontier’s natural beauty, your winter getaway in Anchorage is sure to bring endless adventure. Festival Details: Fur Rondy See all Anchorage rentals on FlipKey! Saranac Lake, New York | Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Although the streets of Saranac Lake might be covered in snow, don’t let that keep you indoors! The town’s annual Saranac Lake Winter Carnival takes place every February and is the ideal way to embrace this magical time of year. It’s the oldest of its kind in the eastern U.S. (it began in the 1800s) and features daily events, unique competitions, and a massive ice palace made from chunks of ice from the lake. Warm yourself up between events at home in a charming waterfront cottage. Festival Details: Saranac Lake Winter Carnival See all Saranac Lake rentals on FlipKey! Sun Valley, Idaho | Winter Wonderland Sun Valley comes alive every winter when fresh snow carpets the ground and avid skiers and snowboarders flock to this vibrant resort town. Shred some powder on the slopes, soothe sore muscles at the spa, or sit by a roaring fire at home in your Sun Valley chalet. What else makes Sun Valley one of the best winter vacations in America? Its annual Winter Wonderland festival celebrates the magic of the holiday season for nearly a month straight! From caroling to shopping at open-air markets, this charming event is a can’t-miss in December. Festival Details: Winter Wonderland See all Sun Valley rentals on FlipKey! Tahoe City, California | North Lake Tahoe Snowfest Winter days in Tahoe City are defined by ski runs at Squaw Valley, snowshoeing in the Lake Tahoe basin, and, if you visit in March, attending North Lake Tahoe Snowfest. The boisterous 10-day festival boasts events like beach parades and polar bear swims with fun for all ages, both on and off the mountain. Away from the festivities, take advantage of the area’s epic snowfall at nearby resorts, such as Alpine Meadows and Heavenly Mountain. Admire the surrounding majestic scenery during a sledding adventure or experience the area’s glitzy nightlife at a nearby casino—there’s no shortage of winter fun in Tahoe City. Festival Details: North Lake Tahoe Snowfest See all Lake Tahoe rentals on FlipKey! Baltimore, Maryland | MSP Polar Bear Plunge Often overlooked as one of the best winter vacations, Baltimore is just the place for vacationers who want to explore, without the arctic cold of more northern cities. Milder winters allow for scenic walks along the harbor and strolls through Fells Point, the oldest neighborhood in Baltimore. Feeling brave? Take a dip in the Atlantic Ocean during the MSP Polar Bear Plunge—Maryland’s “coolest” tradition. The event benefits Special Olympics Maryland and attracts more than 10,000 courageous plungers each year. Just make sure you have someone on the shore ready to wrap you up in a towel! Festival Details: MSP Polar Bear Plunge See all Baltimore rentals on FlipKey! Best Winter Vacations In The U.S. Saint Paul, Minnesota Breckenridge, Colorado Anchorage, Alaska Saranac Lake, New York Sun Valley, Idaho Lake Tahoe, Nevada Baltimore, Maryland

The post Best Winter Vacations In America To Experience The Season’s Magic appeared first on The FlipKey Blog.

Top 10 Food Tours In Hanoi, Vietnam

Top 10 Food Tours In Hanoi, Vietnam


Trip101

Dine your way through the capitol of Vietnam with these best food tours.

Classic Champagne Cocktail Recipe with a Tropical (Dragon) Fruit Twist

by Lara Dunston @ Grantourismo Travels

This classic Champagne cocktail recipe with a tropical fruit twist is a recipe for fun. Serve this exuberant champagne cocktail at the beginning of a meal or social gathering over the holiday season and I guarantee you’ll kick-start the revelry. Champagne is a drink for...

The post Classic Champagne Cocktail Recipe with a Tropical (Dragon) Fruit Twist appeared first on Grantourismo Travels.

Check Out This Old Australian Safari Packing List | AFAR

by Russell Cook @ Coda Tours

Source: Check Out This Old Australian Safari Packing List | AFAR

The post Check Out This Old Australian Safari Packing List | AFAR appeared first on Coda Tours.

Essential Books for Cocktail Enthusiasts – From Spirited Histories to Recipe Books

by Lara Dunston @ Grantourismo Travels

These essential books for cocktail enthusiasts make fab gifts for the concoctors of cocktails and drinks mixers in your life if you’re still stuck for last minute gift ideas. Most of these recommendations have come from professional mixologists and bar owners we’ve meet and are...

The post Essential Books for Cocktail Enthusiasts – From Spirited Histories to Recipe Books appeared first on Grantourismo Travels.

You Need to Eat All of New Orleans' 48 Most Iconic Foods

You Need to Eat All of New Orleans' 48 Most Iconic Foods


Thrillist

Just don’t try to eat ‘em all at once...

25 Fun and Interesting Facts about Borneo that will inspire you to go

by Maeve Nolan @ Backyard Travel

Borneo. You probably know it for its rainforests, orangutans and world-class scuba diving. But there’s a lot more to this lush tropical island. Did you know that its jungles provide a rich habitat for rare creatures? It’s also home to the world’s largest (and most pungent) flower, its richest monarch and the highest peak in

Read 25 Fun and Interesting Facts about Borneo that will inspire you to go on Backyard Travel.

Eat Worm Cakes (& Other Vietnamese Street Food) in Hanoi

Eat Worm Cakes (& Other Vietnamese Street Food) in Hanoi


Bucket List Journey | Travel + Lifestyle Blog

Hanoi was known for it's plethora of Vietnamese street food and I wanted to try it all. Everything from worm cakes to frog legs to delicious banh mi.

Butterflied Roast Turkey with Stuffing Recipe by Chef Neil Perry and Christmas Tips

by Lara Dunston @ Grantourismo Travels

This butterflied roast turkey with stuffing recipe comes from another of Australia’s best chefs Neil Perry, who helms the Rockpool group of restaurants, which have long been some of our favourites. Here Neil shares his recipe for Butterflied Roast Turkey with Chestnut, Herb and Bread...

The post Butterflied Roast Turkey with Stuffing Recipe by Chef Neil Perry and Christmas Tips appeared first on Grantourismo Travels.

#VeteranOfTheDay Army Veteran Henry Filipowicz

by Lyly Luhachack @ VAntage Point

Henry Filipowicz was fluent in Russian, Polish and Turkish, which he used in his role as an interpreter, translator and interrogator for the Army.

The post #VeteranOfTheDay Army Veteran Henry Filipowicz appeared first on VAntage Point.

Turkey Avocado Club Sandwich with Sriracha Mayo – How to Use Xmas Leftovers

by Lara Dunston @ Grantourismo Travels

This turkey avocado club sandwich with Sriracha mayonnaise is a twist on the classic Club Sandwich. Over the festive season it’s an excellent way to use those Christmas turkey leftovers you have in the fridge but the rest of the year you can use chicken....

The post Turkey Avocado Club Sandwich with Sriracha Mayo – How to Use Xmas Leftovers appeared first on Grantourismo Travels.

Pit Stop – First Episode – Claypot Asian Street Food (CHEESE KOTHU) | Ginger & Garlic

by Admin @ Travel Meets Munchies

2nd annual Epcot International Festival of the Arts at Walt Disney World

by Tiffany Nguyen @ Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

We were invited to a media preview of the 2nd annual Epcot International Festival of the Arts at Walt Disney World.  The month-long festival runs from January 12 – February 19, 2018 and includes an art walk, photo ops, chalk art, culinary offerings, live music, stage performances, art seminars, activities designed with families in mind and so much more.  They’ve rolled everything you love about the arts into one spectacular salute. Official Festival of the Arts merchandise These four pins are redemption prizes for the scavenger hunt Design your own screen printed t-shirt with Enemy Ink Masterpiece Kitchen Smoked Salmon Tartare, Caviar, Crisp Lavash and Traditional Accompaniments (delicious!) Painter’s Palate (Odyssey, Festival Center) Trio of Savory Croissant Doughnuts: Whipped Boursin Garlic and Fine Herbs Cheese with Fresh Herbs (V), Chicken Salad with Shaved Fennel and Fresh Herbs, Spicy Tuna with Wasabi and Seaweed Salad (really enjoyed biting into these cronut pairings!) Gallery Bites: A Trio of Hors d’Oeuvres: Chilled Shrimp with Cucumber Cream Cheese on a Crostini, Traditional Deviled Egg with Candied Bacon, Crispy Truffled Risotto Ball with Truffle Aioli Festival of the Arts White Chocolate Painting with Chocolate Easel (GF)(V) Festival of the Arts White Chocolate Painting with Chocolate Easel (GF)(V) Decadent Delights (Promenade) S’mores Tart: House-smoked Buttermilk Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Mousse, Toasted Marshmallow Meringue, Graham Cracker Dust and Malted Milk Chocolate Sauce The Destructed Dish Deconstructed Strawberry Cheesecake: Whipped, New York Style Cheesecake with Fresh Florida Strawberries and Sugar Cookies with Micro-basil (great dessert dish!) Deconstructed Breakfast: Twinings® Spiced Apple Chai Tea Shake with Maple Syrup, a Waffle Crisp and Candied Bacon (non-alcoholic) (caution: this is a sweet one!) The Artist’s Table Roasted Pork Roulade with Butternut Squash Purée, Marble Potatoes and Baby Carrots with a Red Wine Sauce featuring Melissa’s Produce Cuisine Classique Seared Corvina with braised Ratatouille and Lemon-Thyme Beurre Blanc (GF) Pop Eats Sous Vide Poulet Rouge Chicken Roulade with Apples and Sage served with Warm Brie Fondue, Blueberry and Beet Gel and garnished with Apple and Beet Chips (GF) Pop’t Art: Modern-design Sugar Cookie with Strawberry Filling (V) Sous Chef Daniel Contreras Disney on Broadway Concert Series preview with Jenn Gambatese and Kevin Massey Jim, a long-time Disney pianist Trailblazing Ladies of Disney Animation, Presented by Mindy Johnson, Author of Ink & Paint – The Women of Walt Disney’s Animation They gifted all of us a copy of Mindy Johnson’s book (retails for $60) Be sure to check out Epcot International Festival of the Arts soon before it ends on February 19.  You will love it! (Source credit: Walt Disney World) Epcot 200 Epcot Center Dr, Orlando, FL 32821 (407) 939-5277 disneyworld.disney.go.com/events-tours/epcot/epcot-international-festival-of-the-arts/

Fifth Annual Callanwolde Arts Festival in Atlanta

by Autumn Murray @ Simply Amazing Living

Two-Day Indoor Arts Festival on Saturday and Sunday Features 80+ Artists, Food, Demonstrations, Live Music, Dance Performances and More! Choose Love Attention Atlanta area art lovers! The Atlanta Foundation for Public Spaces (AFFPS) celebrates the fifth annual Callanwolde Arts Festival this Saturday, January 20 and Sunday, January 21, 2018.  This award-winning, two-day indoor festival is located in one of...

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The post Fifth Annual Callanwolde Arts Festival in Atlanta appeared first on Simply Amazing Living.

Pet-Friendly Florida: I Stayed at a Red Roof PLUS+ Hotel and Cannot Believe the Experience I Had

by Solo Travel Girl @ Solo Travel Girl

Recently, I stayed at a Red Roof PLUS+ hotel and cannot believe the experience I had with my dog. Yes, I admit I am a bit jaded when it comes to hotels. When I was younger, I stayed in ratty roadside motels that were a little suspect. As I grew in my career and travel blogging, I have since stayed in a range of accommodations that can be described as simple to stately and plain to posh. 

Protecting Legal Fraud in Florida

Protecting Legal Fraud in Florida


WSJ

Republicans in the state Senate try to block insurance reform.

Tijuana Flats reveals items from their Secret Menu

by Tiffany Nguyen @ Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

Tijuana Flats was was founded in Winter Park, FL in 1995 by University of Central Florida graduate Brian Wheeler with $20,000 in loans.  Tijuana Flats now has 136 locations in 6 states. The Tijuana Flats Manifesto is their Declaration of Independence, their Dead Sea Scrolls.   It’s everything they believe in expressed in a single stream of madcap consciousness.  You’ll find it displayed in every Tijuana Flats location. Tijuana Flats’ regional manger, Joey.  He has been with the company for 19 years.  He is super nice.  To the right is our wonderful host, Sarah. The store manager for their Millenia location, Mike.  He is a super cool guy! The talented kitchen staff!  They did a great job with everyone’s food! Chips & Dip – A basket of warm chips, with a side of handmade salsa, queso or guacamole. *Secret Menu Item* The Mexican Pizza – A fried flour tortilla is topped with your choice of protein, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, tomato sauce, jalapeño and a drizzle of sour cream. *Secret Menu Item* The Double Stack tacos is available in chicken or steak.  Queso is spread across a soft flour tortilla then wrapped around a hard-shell taco – filled with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, jalapeño and sour cream. *Secret Menu Item* The Bangin Chicken Tostadas – crispy fried chicken cubes tossed in a buffalo sauce with refried beans, tomatoes, cheese, and a drizzle of ranch.  Served with a side of salsa. Cookie Dough Flauntas – Chocolate chip cookie dough loaded into a flour tortilla, lightly fried & topped with powdered sugar.  Served with a side of chocolate syrup. I won a free bottle of sweet chili hot sauce during trivia! Founder Brian Wheeler created his own line of hot sauces.  The “Smack My Ass & Call Me Sally” brand includes some of the hottest sauces in the world. (Source credit: Tijuana Flats) Tijuana Flats 94693 Gardens Park Blvd., Orlando, FL 32839 (407) 965-5090 https://tijuanaflats.com

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