Friday, November 30, 2012

Good Eats: Andina, Portland, Oregon

Andina  1314 NW Glisan St., (503) 228-9535.  L-D daily; $$$.  Reservations advised.  Specializing in contemporary Peruvian cuisine, this popular and sophisticated spot features a menu with shared plates in three sizes.  The servers are adept in advising how much food is enough for your party, and the more the merrier because you get to try more items.  Among the dishes my quartet liked best were the complimentary trio of dipping sauces served with the bread, a Spanish-style potato frittata with aioli, the flaky-crusted beef empanadas, and a super-tasty green mango-and-poached prawns cebiche. Oh, yeah, we also adored the Pisco Sour and Majito cocktails!

Andina on Urbanspoon

More things to do in Portland.

More things to do in Oregon.    

Travel articles to inspire and help you plan some spectacular local and foreign getaways.
 image c2012 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Sights to See: Museo Nacional de Antropologia, Polanco, Mexico City, Mexico


Museo Nacional de Antropologia  Paseo de la Reforma y Calzada Gandhi s/n, in Polanco, 55/5553-6266.  Regarded as one of the top museums in the world, this anthropology museum offers an excellent introduction to the culture of Mexico.  It has 23 exhibit halls and displays an impressive collection of Maya and Aztec artifacts.  The well-designed ground-floor rooms are the most popular and include dioramas depicting Mexico City when the Spaniards arrived, a reproduction of part of a pyramid at Teotihuacán, and the round Aztec calendar Sun Stone.  Don’t miss the Teotihuacan (#5), Aztec (#7), or Maya (#10) rooms.  Upstairs you’ll see the Mexico of today through music, crafts, and clothing.  An enormous central courtyard, anchored by a pond populated with turtles and koi, makes a choice resting spot, and indigenous Totonac people “fly” from a high pole in that area several times each day.  A pleasant, well-priced restaurant provides some outdoor seating.

More things to do in Polanco. 

More things to do in Mexico City. 

More things to do in Mexico.

Travel articles to inspire and help you plan some spectacular local and foreign getaways.    

 
images c2012 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Monday, November 26, 2012

Things to Do: Fashion Island, Newport Beach, California

Fashion Island  401 Newport Center Dr., betw. MacArthur Blvd. & Jamboree Rd., across from the Marriott and Four Seasons hotels, (800) 495-4753, (949) 721-2000.  This immense outdoor shopping center is not a true island but is encircled by towering palms.  Beautifully landscaped, with fountains and koi ponds and plenty of benches, it hosts branches of many of Southern California’s most exclusive stores and the big four department stores hold down each corner--Bloomingdale’s, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Macy’s.  Restaurants are distributed throughout, and a variety of entertainment and a 13-screen luxury movie theater round things out. 

image c2012 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Good Eats: Bunk Sandwiches, Portland, Oregon

Bunk Sandwiches  621 SE Morrison, (503) 477-9515.  Daily 8-3; $.  Simple-but-tasty sandwiches are served here with no fanfare on lunchroom-style trays.  Among the best are a fatty pork belly Cubano with ham, Swiss, pickles, and mustard; a pulled pork with apple cabbage slaw, pickles, and mustard; and a meatball parmigiano hero.  Housemade kettle chips are included. 

Bunk Sandwiches on Urbanspoon

More things to do in Portland.

More things to do in Oregon.    

Travel articles to inspire and help you plan some spectacular local and foreign getaways.  
image c2012 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Monday, November 19, 2012

Good Eats: Sarabeth's, NYC

Sarabeth’s  339 Greenwich St./Jay, (212) 966-0421.  This is the newest location for this popular breakfast and lunch spot.  Pastries galore are among the delicious choices.  My personal favorites are the hot chocolate (it is more of a milk chocolate), the eggs Benedict (though I thought the sky-high housemade English muffin was a tad dry), and the four flowers juice—a mixture of orange, fresh pineapple, banana and pomegranate juice.

Sarabeth's Tribeca on Urbanspoon

More things to do in NYC.  

More travel articles to inspire you and help you plan some spectacular getaways.

image c2012 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Things to Do + Good Eats: Brentwood Country Mart + Frida Tacos + Roberta Roller Rabbit, Brentwood + Santa Monica, California

Brentwood Country Mart  225 26th St./San Vicente Blvd., in Santa Monica (but most people think it is in Brentwood), (310) 395-6714.  M-Sat 11-7.  Opened in 1948, this red barn of a building was designed to evoke early American and English country marketplaces--with shops and stalls arranged around a central courtyard.  It houses a variety of shops and restaurants and is a pleasant spot to shop and lunch under sheltering umbrellas.  On cool days you can warm up in front of an outdoor fire pit, and preschoolers can indulge in several kiddie rides nearby.  My personal favorite stops include:
Roberta Roller Rabbit 
Frida Tacos  (310) 395-9666.  Step up to the window to place your order for delicious Mexican fast food.  The sope--my favorite--is large and topped with plenty of lettuce.  Tortilla soup, tacos galore, and huge burritos are also available.  Fillings include a tasty cochinita pibil (slow-roasted pork marinated in citrus juice), beef asada, fish, and chicken.

Frida Taqueria on Urbanspoon

More things to do in Brentwood.

More things to do in Santa Monica

Travel articles to inspire and help you plan some spectacular local and foreign getaways. 

image c2012 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Good Eats: Maison Giraud, Pacific Palisades, California


Maison Giraud  1032 Swarthmore Ave., (310) 459-7561.  Diners here are sheltered in a refined setting of cloth-covered tables.  Seating is available both indoors and out fronton a large patio.  Classic French dishes comprise the menu, and lunch includes soups, sandwiches, and salads (the celebrated traditional Nicoise is especially tasty).  Be sure to check the bakery counter inside for delicious items to take home.

Maison Giraud Restaurant and Bakery on Urbanspoon


Lavender Blue  Next door, this tiny shop is operated by the wife of the restaurant’s chef.  Lovely products from Provence include colorful tablecloths, lavender-filled sachet pillows, and even enticing clothing imports from India. 

More places to visit in Pacific Palisades.

Travel articles to inspire and help you plan some spectacular local and foreign getaways. 

images c2012 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Friday, November 9, 2012

Things to Do: National Parks, U.S.A.

This weekend you get free entry to all of America's national parks!

Travel articles to inspire you and help you plan some spectacular getaways. 



Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Good Eats: Bollywood Theater + Salt & Straw, Portland, Oregon

Bollywood Theater  2039 NE Alberta, (971) 200-4711.  Daily 11-10; $.  An homage to Indian street food, this rustically decorated little gem looks like it was slapped together from junkyard finds—rough-hewn woods, multi-colored collection of bottles catching the light through the large windows.  Customers wait at a counter to place their order from the killer menu.  My favorites include crispy julienned okra with raita dipping sauce, aloo tikki (a potato patty served with chickpea cholle and a tasty green chutney), vada pav (a spicy fried potato dumpling served on a roll with chutneys and known as “the poor man’s burger of Mumbai”), and kati roll (paratha flatbread stuffed with meat, pickled onion, and more of that tasty green chutney).  Small curry plates and expansive thali meals are also available.  All this, and cold beer, fussy cocktails, and great rock music, too!

Bollywood Theater on Urbanspoon


For dessert, we joined another line next door at Salt & Straw (2035 NE Alberta St., (503) 208-3867.) for handmade ice cream.  Quality is high, sugar is low, and butterfat is 17%, but flavors are not the usual—think strawberry-honey-balsamic with black pepper or pear with blue cheese, but also almond brittle with chocolate ganache (my delicious choice).  Only all-natural dairy and the best local, sustainable, and organic ingredients are used.

Salt & Straw on Urbanspoon

More things to do in Portland.

More things to do in Oregon.    

More ice cream.  

Travel articles to inspire and help you plan some spectacular local and foreign getaways.  
images c2012 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Monday, November 5, 2012

Things to Do: The Beatles LOVE, Las Vegas, Nevada

The Beatles LOVE  At the Mirage, (702) 792-7777.  Tickets $100+.  In this production that has won three Grammy Awards, Cirque du Soleil festively illustrates memorable Beatles songs.  I started out cranky, but the show manages to be bigger than life and grew on me as it went along.  I especially LOVEd a skateboarding sequence, and, at the end, found myself shooting the two-finger peace symbol right back at the performers.  I still have a few colorful orange and red streamers thrown from the stage that I gathered up before I left.  A merging of the mega-talents of the Cirque and The Beatles, "LOVE" was also mega-costly and mega-difficult to achieve.

The 2007 documentary "All Together Now" provides an interesting behind-the-scenes look at how this show was put together and is of interest to both those who have already seen the show and those who haven’t.

More things to do in Vegas.

image c2012 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Friday, November 2, 2012

Good Eats: Yaxche, Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya, Mexico

Yaxche (pronounced jag-shey)  On 5th Ave., 984 873 3712.  Decorated to resemble a Maya temple, this atmospheric spot serves a menu featuring traditional Maya dishes such as tamales cooked in banana leaves or corn husks, and nohuc lemon-seasoned prawns served on a bed of garlic mashed potatoes and accompanied by grilled vegetables.  The house specialty drinks--chayanada (a deep-green spinach lemonade) and cuzamil (a fresh orange-pineapple-chaya blend)--make a good accompaniment, and the flaming magic Maya Coffee (made with liquors, cinnamon, and vanilla ice cream, and prepared dramatically tableside) makes a spectacular conclusion.  If you have room for dessert, try the Sweet Virgin (frozen cookies swimming in lemon cream).

More things to do in the Riviera Maya.

More things to do in Mexico.

video c2012 Carole Terwilliger Meyers