I’m cheap. I don’t like to spend a lot of money dining out. It infuriates me when I order steak and pay the hefty price tag only for it to arrive burnt or over cooked. I’m not a food connoisseur and I couldn’t tell you the first thing about cooking, but I do know my medium-rare Filet Mignon. I also know good service and if I’m at a high end restaurant, I expect it. It should be the standard but it’s not. I visited Flagler Steakhouse at The Breakers tonight and I had heard fantastic reviews. From the moment I walked in the door until I left, it lived up to the hype. My Filet Mignon was worth every penny, the service was the best I’d received in years and the setting was picturesque. I’m booked for The Italian Restaurant (the actual name) tomorrow night but I might change my reservation to Flagler Steakhouse again just to have the perfectly prepared Filet Mignon or to chat with Christine the waitress; the way she interacted with Athena was like she knew her for years. I always find something to say that a restaurant just isn’t worth the cost, but Flager actually is worth every finger-licking cent. Continue reading
I’m no stranger to massages. I’ve had more than a handful in the last two years. Normally, I lay on the table wondering if I should have established a safe word. The answer is usually “yes.” No need this time; she knew exactly the way I like it… maybe even a little too much. Admittedly, I was turned on by the female masseuse at ESPA, Riga. I left thinking if this is what massages are suppose to feel like, Darren is not allowed to go anymore. Continue reading
My favorite part of dining out is ordering dessert but by the time I try a few things on the menu, I never have enough room to finish it. Vessel Restaurant at Kona Kai Resort & Marina is known for its regional, coastal fare and unique cocktails but since I wasn’t ordering any of their signature dishes, I decided to start with the dessert, assuring I had room for my favorite part and then going back to the beginning with appetizers and a main course. Why not start with the dessert first when it’s my favorite part? Besides, I was on vacation and I was there to relax. I was going to make it all about my favorite things. Continue reading
Hilton Waikoloa Village introduced us to the flavors and tastes of Hawaii. We enjoyed a Kona Lobster Burger from Lagoon Grill, island fish at KPC, and an expansive Luau buffet at the Legends of Hawaii Luau. From fine dining to relaxed outdoor settings, we explored the local food creations of Hawaii. Continue reading
Beaver Creek Lodge, despite its name, is anything but an ordinary mountain lodge. Located at the base of Beaver Creek Mountain in Colorado’s Vail Valley, this sprawling, 72-one-bedroom-suite property is known for its contemporary take on a traditional mountain resort. With endless amenities and a central location in the Beaver Creek Village, staying at Beaver Creek Lodge is not exactly roughing it. After only three days at the resort, I feel in love. I actually discuss the possibility of living in Colorado in the near future with my family because it has so much to offer.
We like to dine out. With a 9 month old and work and laundry and cleaning and getting ready for a new house and life, we like to dine out. It’s easy to say, “Darren I’ve been home all day. Let’s go out for something to eat.” But going out for dinner every other night of the week can be costly so we usually end up at fast food restaurants and eating unhealthy food, continuing the cycle of bland dining experiences. A chef recently said to me, “You can waste your money eating out regularly to fill the void or you can dine out once-and-awhile and make it an occasion. A celebration of food and life.” I liked that philosophy and I’ve been trying to incorporate it into our lives ever since. This past weekend we celebrated dining at Print Works Bistro. We ordered appetizers, entrees, and dessert; we had extraordinary flavors in a vibrant surrounding, making dining a true celebration. Continue reading
Pulled pork, BBQs, slow-cookers, mac n cheese, beans, smokers, and Brunswick stew are all North Carolina staples that I’d been dreaming about experiencing. Since moving here 6 months ago, I was on the hunt for the best southern comfort food that North Carolina has to offer. I tried everything from expensive, uptown restaurants to cheap dives in sketchy neighborhoods, but I still felt like I was missing the authentic experience. When I heard about Mac’s Speed Shop, part biker bar, part barbecue joint, filled with tables, chairs, and picnic tables out front, I didn’t expect to find “the spot”. From the time our appetizers arrived until the last bite of dessert, my taste buds were elated with the unique flavor-filled experience of true North Carolina cooking. Continue reading