Amateur Traveler / North America

Dining at the James Beard House, New York City-A Culinary Travelers Dream

When you are a guest in someone’s home, you try to be respectful. When you’re in the distinguished James Beard’s House, you are very respectful. It was nearly 7 p.m. and we were led into a plain brownstone with a simple plaque at the entrance stating it was the James Beard House. James Beard was...

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Latest entries
Celebrating our Mom's in San Diego

Celebrating our Mom’s in San Diego

No matter your age, on a hot summer day Dairy Queen is the place to be. The DQ in Lakeside was the first one in the county opening in 1958 and Chris’ mom Norma has been coming here for 60 years! Grandson Brian remembers after school treats and together they saluted ice cream and sweet...
Vietnamese and Mexican bakeries on El Cajon Blvd

Vietnamese and Mexican bakeries on El Cajon Blvd

Tucked away in a small center near Hoover High School on El Cajon Blvd is Paris Bakery. It’s not full of fancy eclairs or madeleines, but what they do have is freshly baked baguettes, raisin sweet rolls and croissants. Hong Nguyen and daughter Khanh Le open the shop at 5am and early risers buy croissants...
Pasta made fresh and ready to go, except...

Pasta made fresh and ready to go, except…

Note- After my visit, Mamma Lina’s closed because Chick retired. It saddens me when old time businesses close and time marches on, but it’s still a story worth sharing. I’m not sure which I loved more, meeting Mamma Lina’s 92 year old owner Checchino or eating my meatball sandwich and watching pasta being made! Chick...
French Food In Style For San Diego

French Food In Style For San Diego

French food popularity comes and goes.  I’m pleased to say two pillars of French cuisine were dining delights when I visited, each serving in their own time honored style.  The first one is nice for dinner or weekend brunch and the second place is good for quick breakfast and lunch. Et Voila! French Bistro on...
Always Hamburger time in San Diego

Always Hamburger time in San Diego

I’m happy to say The Hamburger Factory in Poway is still serving delicious Patty Melts, Reubens and salads after many years of being located in Old Poway Park.  A noticeable step back into the old west is the feeling while looking at all the memorabilia throughout the restaurant. The menu is full of American food...

Listen to my Big Blend Radio Interview on page 71

Celebrate Bastille Day with Macarons at Savannah's Café M French Cafe

Celebrate Bastille Day with Macarons at Savannah’s Café M French Cafe

Aromas of warm butter and standing tall baguettes greeted me as I entered the river front French bistro Café M in Savannah.  In this southern town known for its hospitality and low country cooking, the café combines the charming qualities of the South in a French manner. Located over a foot bridge and with an...
Southern Biscuits are Irresistible

Southern Biscuits are Irresistible

On my Charleston food list was Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit shop for southern biscuits. I found the charming shop on Upper King St and was lured in by the aromas of butter and temptations from the oven.  I noticed an employee was making biscuits by rolling the rectangular shaped dough with a rolling pin and...
Gooey Butter Cake is the Sweet Signature of St. Louis

Gooey Butter Cake is the Sweet Signature of St. Louis

Baseball, beer and the 600 ft arch are a few of the famous things St. Louis is known for.  And barbeque ribs, too.  But how about Gooey Butter Cake?  Yes, it’s a St. Louis tradition with deep roots in this midwestern town. Legend has it, around the year 1930, a German baker added too much...
Peanuts and Sweet Tea on the Back Roads of South Carolina

Peanuts and Sweet Tea on the Back Roads of South Carolina

Our drive from Savannah to Charleston became a time of fun explorations rather than zipping along the fast Interstate from point A to B.  The rambling country roads were full of picturesque scenery with lazy green meadows which seemed endless. Coming from dry California, the grass seemed very green and inviting to us. We made...
Key Lime Pie is Famous in Florida

Key Lime Pie is Famous in Florida

Welcome to Florida where key lime pie is a must!  Sweet and tart with a graham cracker crust is what you’ll find all over the state. I swung by Donut Hole Café in Destin, Florida which offers more than donut holes. It was a Sunday morning and people were lined up for breakfast. I found...
National Donut Day and Mary's Donuts is ready for the crowd

National Donut Day and Mary’s Donuts is ready for the crowd

It’s tomorrow but I got a jump on it before the lines get too long. National Donut Day is June 1 and Mary’s Donuts in Santee and Lakeside are gearing up for the big day. Mary’s has a loyal following because they make donuts by hand and sure to be fresh.  The dough is raised...