Archive for the ‘US’ Category

Salsa Picante


I was in Fremont, CA, recently and needed a quick lunch.  I drove past this taqueria that looked like the real deal.  I chose three tacos (two beef and one chicken), with chips & salsa included.  There’s seating for about 16 inside, and probably another 20 outside.   I enjoyed sitting inside, where I could watch them cooking.  The tacos looked a bit small for $1.50, but the quality was excellent.  Well worth the cash.  The chips were obviously fresh, but cut a bit ticker than I prefer.  The red salsa was GREAT, and the green was fine.

Lunch = 3 tacos + chips & salsa + Coke

I was glad to see chicken that was carefully pulled, and the beef was chopped rather than ground.  Somehow I think this translates to higher quality.  The tacos are served with only cilantro and onions.  No lettuce or cheese, like you get at Taco Bell.  :)  I’m a big fan of cheese, but tacos are great this way.  The tacos were made of two soft corn tortillas, which I prefer to the standard flour tortillas.

chicken and beef

I had long heard rumors that Coke in Mexico is still made with real sugar, like Coke used to be in America…before the New Coke debacle and subsequent Coca-Cola Classic.  I’m in the camp that says the DISGUSTING “New Coke” was just a ploy to flush the shelves of the original Coke and start using high fructose corn syrup in a “classic” product.  Regardless, this Coke was great.  It tastes a bit less sweet than the Coke you normally get here.  It was $1.95 for a 12 oz bottle, which seemed steep to me…but it was good nonetheless.  I thought it was interesting that the bottle didn’t have nutrition information (sic) on it, so in order to sell the bottle here they had to stick on this label.

Mexican Coke

If you find yourself hungry in Fremont, I highly recommend Salsa Picante!

Level 107 Lounge


I was looking for a place to get a good view of the strip, and the Stratosphere is an obvious choice.  It towers above the strip from the north end.  There are other choices (like Mix Lounge @ Mandalay Bay), but this seemed the best choice for me.  It was great!  If you want to go to the observation platform, they charge you $16.  But going to Level 107 is free, with a one drink minimum.  We went on Thursday night, when cocktails were 50% off for ladies.  So for $15 (with tip), we had a beer, a cocktail, live music, and a great view.  Score!!!

View Larger Map

Level 107 (Stratosphere) on Urbanspoon

Best Burger In Vegas


On our way to see the dolphins at Siegfried & Roy’s Secret garden, we stopped for lunch at BLT Burger in the Mirage.   We had decided we’d just see what was inside the casino and stop at whatever looked good.  While the decor of the restaurant is cool (open kitchen, cool wood ceiling, etc), it was the SMELL that drew us in.   Whoa!


Jersey Shore


I took a trip up to NJ last week, and had a few minutes after work one day to hit the beach.  I’ve spent a lot of time on southeastern beaches and have been to the coast of Maine, but had never been to the mid-Atlantic.  While I didn’t have a whole lot of time to hang-out, the time I had was PERFECT!  Nearing sunset, temps in the low 70’s, and the beach was completely empty.  Nice.  :)



Sunny San Diego


I had an OUTSTANDING trip to San Diego recently.  My company has had a unique and brilliant plan for this trip for several years, and it worked perfectly again this year.  Renting space on the show floor is expensive, it’s inside, and you have to deal with lots of walk-by traffic (students, competitors, etc.).  Rather than deal with that, we save money by chartering a boat out on the bay.  Our customers come out to the dock, we meet in the boat’s salon, then if time permits, we head out for a cruise around the bay.  We keep the boat well stocked with food and drinks, so customers actually call US to schedule meetings.  Perfect!

We went out on the bay eleven times in four days.  Many were just 30-minute quickies.  But we got in a few good long rides.  We got to see the dolphin training area, sea lions hanging-out on the bait docks, a submarine in dry-dock.  Here are but a few of the photos of the week.


California Here I Come


I’m headed out for a trade show in San Diego through Thursday.  Should be a good trip.  Lots of customer meetings setup, and we’re meeting…are you ready?…on a boat.  :)  Rather than get a boring booth on the show floor, we’re renting a 42-foot boat.  We’ll have our “formal” meetings in the cabin, then cruise around the San Diego Bay for a while.  The boat has a nice deck out back where we’ll have food and drinks, you can get up on the bridge for a great view, and there’s plenty of room out on the bow.  We’ll get to see the Navy’s Pacific Fleet (hoping a carrier will be in town), sea lions, etc.  This is the trip that makes-up for all the red-eye flights & cheap hotels!


Free Inflight Wifi


You know, it’s the simple things in life…  I’m on my way home from NJ, and I hopped on Delta’s GoGo internet service just to check the status of our flight.  They give you free access to and I was curious what gate we were schedule to end-up at.  As it turns out, they were unable to process payments, so internet access is free on this flight.  Sweet!  So I thought I’d say hello from 34,000 feet over Wilkesboro, NC.   :)

Geek Finds Skylark Diner


My geek side has really benefited my foodie side lately!  I’ve always known I could store a “favorite” on my GPS, and I frequently created those “favorites” on my PC and saved them to the GPS so that I’d know where to find places that I’d never actually been to before.  Alice’s Restaurant is a prime example.  It has been marked on my map for probably 9 years, but I only got there last week.

What I just discovered, though, is a site called POI Factory.  A “POI” is a “Point Of Interest”.  POIs are how your GPS stores all the gas stations, restaurants, parks, etc.  They’re very similar to “Favorites”, but not quite.  In any case, POI Factory is a user driven site where people share locations that they’ve already marked.  What I stumbled into was a file with the locations of all the restaurants featured on the Food Network show Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.  I’ll admit to only being a casual fan of the show, but having all these spots on a map seemed like a fun way to explore good new restaurants.

Last night I saw that I was relatively close to the Skylark Diner and decided to give it a shot.  Whoa!  This is not your everyday diner!  It’s a “fine diner” (their term).  The food and decor were both very upscale for a diner.  They have a full bar, with an extensive wine list.  Yea, quite different.   They had recently added a fresh cavatelli dish, so I decided to give it a try.  Cavatelli is a type of rolled pasta, and this was made fresh (not dried).  You can really taste the difference.  They topped the pasta with chopped hot Italian sausage, escarole, roasted red peppers, shaved garlic, and olive oil.  It was absolutely delicious!  I was stuffed from dinner, but had to take a cannoli back to the hotel for desert.  It was good, but but award winning.  I’ll certainly go back to visit the Skylark.  Check-out the link a above for photos, menu, etc.  Well worth a visit if you’re anywhere close.

Skylark Diner - main dining room

Service Makes The Difference


The flight this morning was great, and it was the cabin service that made it so.


Headed For Good Italian Food


I’m making a trip up to New Jersey this week.  Going to brave another winter storm to visit the home office and a customer.  I’ll also get to visit my favorite restaurant, Cafe Picasso.  I’m up early Tuesday morning, and back late Friday evening.  I had two upgrade certificates that were going to expire, so I burned them for this trip.  It’s a shame to “waste” such a valuable instrument on a 745 mile flight.  This same certificate would upgrade me all the way to Asia in business class, but at least I won’t have to wonder about an upgrade.