Sunday, September 18, 2016

Nuremberg Sausages!

First trip to Nuremberg.  Got there during noontime.  Our tour guide said that people often bought three small bratwurst sausages in one sandwich and ate them as they walked about the town and shopped.

We had to try it ourselves, especially since the Nuremberg Sausage has been made famous by Trader Joe’s “Bavarian Bratwurst” advertised as a  “Traditional Nuremberg

Sausage”.  Where better to try this than at the Bratwursthausle in the center of Nuremberg in Bavaria?

We asked about ordering three sausages and were led by our waiter back into the kitchen and an inside dining room that is probably the place to be in the winter. Here we exchanged our order for three sausages in a bread pocket.  We paid and wandered out on the streets of Nuremberg, munching our three sausage  sandwichs, and shopping through impressive farmer’s markets spread out under tent covers in the town square.  

Delicious?  Ahhh – fanTAStic!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Shea's on Lansdowne Street in Naples, Florida features Irish music on Tuesday evenings beginning at 5:00 p.m.  The music is very Irish and you will have a hard time sitting still when they are playing.  We went there Tuesday evening on 13 September, 2016.  Got there about 5:30 and  were spellbound by the music.  We enjoyed a draft beer, then ordered another to go with our meal of the evening.  I had a “Yawkey Way”, with pastrami, swiss cheese, deli mustard on marble rye and some cole slaw to kill for!  My wife had  “El Tiante”, and she thought it was all very good, and she said the Baked Beans were fabulous!

We left Shea’s about 8:00 p.m. and am not really sure that the Irish music ever stopped!  The orchestra certainly seemed to be having a blast!  

And by the way, don’t leave Shea’s without making a trip to the restroom.  Easy to find, just past the old Boston telephone booth.  It may take you back to the MTA, and just for a moment you can “ride forever ‘neath the streets of Boston”, but then you have to return.  

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Owl Cafe, Apalachacola, Florida

The cafe is on the second floor, up a long flight of stairs BUT, there is an elevator that will whisk you right up there. Good service, good food.  Nice – although small – selection of wines and craft beers.  Cocktail sauce and vinigarette  sauce were homemade, and were excellent!  The French fries were unusually good for anywhere in America.  We had a couple of small children with us and the place seemed kid-friendly.  Black-and-white photographs from Apalachicola’s Richard Bickel fit nicely on the walls and help accent the atmosphere.  Service was excellent, our server was Christopher “R”.   There is a nice bar on the bottom floor, called the Tap Room, and also on the bottom floor is the “Stuffed Owl” which is filled with ANYthing you might need for your own kitchen.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Flying Biscuit Cafe, Charlotte, NC

Creamy, dreamy grits eh?  Well we’ll see!  After all, I was bred ‘n born in the South, and I had my first grits back in the 1930s, and I’ve eaten them ever since, and I know what REAL grits are like.  So I tried that fluffy stuff Flying Biscuits called grits and was blown away by the best grits I have ever eaten in my life!  Those things were so good that if we had had them back during the unpleasantness, we would have won The War.  After one taste of grits like these, those Yamn Dankies would have just given up and turned dreamy and creamy and settled down in their new home.  The rest of the meal was good too.  I don’t care for sausage made out of anything but pork, but their chicken/turkey things were OK.  Eggs were good and the coffee was pretty good for American coffee.  
Piedmont Omelet
The venue is nice, with compartmentalized dining areas inside and beautiful patios outside.  They serve breakfast all day from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., also appetizers, salads, sandwiches, suppers and more.  You can find them at 7930 Rea Rd Ste A, Charlotte, NC.
High Flyer
I had the Piedmont Omelet and wife did the High Flyer.   More than we could eat.  And we did our best.  Service was great, and the Apple Butter was VERY good, full of flavor and bright highlights.  Biscuits?  Well, let me tell you about the biscuits my Aunt Lucille used to make way back . . . 

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Impressions of Italy

On the Eighth Day God obviously had to create some kind of a bulldozer to scrape all the crap and detritus left over from his masterpiece in northern Italy down to the south.  Especially some of the people.  Particularly those humanoid creatures we might call teenagers elsewhere, but who run and shove there, and kick and hit.  Their targets are mostly themselves, but passersby and tourists get a lick now and then too.  I brought bruises with me out of Naples and will only go back with an army platoon and then only to get even.  The south is messy and garbagy and it stinks, and its only redeeming features are covered with heavy cigarette gasses and shouting, gesticulating and angry people.
By the Ninth Day, God must have settled down.  He probably came back to his favorite place on this whole planet and I’m not talking about Rome.  God can’t go there anymore.  That’s where the Pope hangs out and HE won’t let God come inside the place.   So if God does show up in Rome, He has to hide and sneak around kind of incognito, perhaps in a robe and sandals and a beard, so you would have to really look for Him.  All the trumpets here are for the Pope.  
Venice is amazingly impressive and sad at the same time.  One cannot help but think of the tomb of Lenin, where that thing which used to be a human body, lay for many years adorned in colorful uniform surrounded with fine lighting, and incredulously adoring passers-by.  And like Lenin, Venice too once ruled vast portions of our planet, and now it lies with its colorful uniform adjusted and polished and gently placed and pulled, and just as ghastly too, if you look around its edges.
Tuscany is obviously where God came back and settled down.  Now it is the place where artists hang out.  Small wonder about that, and the food here is on a different scale too, wonderful, marvelous, delectable, incredible . . .  but it’s Italian food.  The Italians seem to know how to screw anything up and they do it with their food too.  You go into a restaurant and they bring you wonderful bread, magnificent olive oil and incredible vinegar.  Then they take your order and bring your wine along with your appetizer,  and then two minutes later your salad comes, two minutes later here is your anti-pasta then your pasta and in two minutes more comes your entrée, all in a matter of about six minutes.  And – the bread and pasta will all be white – tasty but full of glycemes and not thoroughly digestible.  
Then, there is Florence.  Art comes shouting down out of that place screaming at you, it charges you and grabs you and shakes you and it won’t let you go,  You become giddy with art.  You stagger around with your mouth open and your gaze eventually unfocusable.  That’s Florence.  And that is the heart of Italy.
So,  if you ever think you really need to go to Italy, just book a reservation for Florence.  Go there, chew off as much art and food as you can.  Digest what your system can handle, and then come home to tell your own tales of wonder.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


It’s a rough place unless you are escorted by rich guides.  If you keep your eyes open you may be sorry you did, but if you don’t, you may lose more than you brought with you.  

The most lasting impression I took away from my trip to Nassau in early April of 2011 was of a stunning gap between some of the richest people in the world and people who just don’t matter.  The term “Income gap”, doesn’t hack it.  There is desolation and despair where the poorest of the poor steal from each other.  Then there is extravagant disregard for money, a wasteful disdain for the damn stuff by the white visitors who apparently love nothing more than to throw it away, the more the better and the faster better yet.  Third world?  No.  Nassau is not there, maybe they passed through it on the way down, but it didn’t stick.

There is a real sense of danger.  You get an uneasy feeling  from the looks of natives when you venture away from downtown, and the street signs that have been stolen tell you that you are not where you thought you were. You know you need to turn around – carefully, casually – and hope you can still leave.  Trash lies in alleys where it has not been stirred for a long time.  Now it is covered by litter and dead things.  Deterioration seems the only constant here, there is no sign of repair or maintenance anywhere.  We heard of groups of tourists of eight people being held up at gunpoint,  on at least two occasions.  The local newspaper on a day I was there had a headline reading:  “Nine-year-olds ‘Carrying Guns’”.  The article continued:  "happens everyday", "they gang you and rob you".  These are words of a native of Nassau.

Nassau is not a city.  It is a great throat that opens when the big cruise ships come in, all the shops and restaurants pop open like little birds in their nest when mama flies in, and the place closes up when the ships leave.  Wednesday, March 13, 2011, we were downtown Nassau looking for a place to eat supper at 6:00 p.m.  Everything was closed.  All the restaurants were closed because the cruise ships had left for the evening. The big square downtown, Rawson Square, was filled with local people shouting back "Amen, brother!" at a preacher who was shouting on highly amplified loudspeakers at them, telling them “the devil is here!  He’s among you right NOW!”  They would sway and clap and call back "Amen, amen!" We could hear that sound for at least five blocks in every direction, and the “safe” part of the town is not much bigger than that.

I was reminded of an animal hit by a passing car, now maimed and dying and becoming more desperate with each passing Rolls-Royce, Lamborghini and Ferrari – yet you dare not approach it.  Litter in alleyways and elsewhere, strangely taking on a  form of  collected treasure like a mother finding and retaining memories of a lost child.  Nowhere did I see the signs of government:  no long range planning, no organization seemed to be in place.  There was some sporadic sweeping of dirt which was then put next to where it had been swept from.  Aimless, pointless, slow action pausing to move away from the path of the endlessly passing limousines. 

Otherwise, there is “Cable Beach” which appears to be a strip of hotels and casinos.   You can stay there.  Or you can stay at “Atlantis” which is far bigger than life.  We stayed at the Comfort Suites on Paradise Island, next to “Atlantis”.  Nice, but expensive.  Meals will probably run between $40 and $80 if you are careful.  We went to Harbor Island and ate at Dunmire Deli for lunch. Had two sandwiches $24, two beers $8, water $5, Tax and gratuity $6.  Total cost for lunch:  $43. Back on Paradise Island, “Cabbage Beach” is near Atlantis and probably as safe as it gets around here.

Atlantis has a huge casino.  Maybe several of them.  Most of the dealers and operators are black.  Most, all? of the “players” are white.  It also has a first-class aquarium, as good as I have seen anywhere, based on the concept of the lost city of Atlantis.  So the fish swim down “streets” and past “buildings”.  Much of the  aquarium is open to the sky too.  Great corporations have special events at Atlantis, and bring their “best producers” here for a great party.  

So if you come on a giant cruise ship for an hour or so, or to Atlantis as a "best producer" for an evening to two, then you will have a blast.  But if you come as a tourist, be very careful.  Don't expect much, be prepared to drop a LOT of money and hope that that is the the worst thing that happens to you.  Better yet, go someplace else.

I feel sorry for some of the people I talked with there.  They are serious about trying to make a good place for people to visit.  But they are ordinary people, looking for other ordinary people to come visit them, and Nassau is not that kind of place.  It really is a bomb whose fuse has burned out and it didn't explode.  What will happen next?


Wednesday, March 02, 2011


On this August day the streets of Fairbanks
are filled with the current symbols of Alaska,
far more totem than the old time poles
ever were,  as they crawl down the narrow streets.
Badly beaten up things they are, dirty and rusted
and noisy, with spare tires tied on their sides and
their front and their rear, and most of them sport 
an antler-spread of gasoline cans that are fixed to a rack
up on their roof.

Outside of town it's quiet, except for the wind which is trying to
tell us something that we can’t get.  But it’s not good.
There is a slit-eyed endurance here that goes far
beyond the touristial glance, as the face of Alaska slowly
emerges to remind us that there is no Middle here.
This is a land of rocks and weeds, of endless light
and endless dark, and people are not necessary. 
So if your life is not measured in either weeks or eons, 
you need to move on. 

Fairbanks, August 2, 1968