Sunday, 9 June 2013

some touristic articles

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Sunday, 23 December 2012

Netherlands - Amsterdam Coffee Shop

Amsterdam Coffee Shop
If you love Amsterdam, then you will love this!! Filmed by Dutch television, this is a short insight into having fun and smoking weed. Ten English friends in Amsterdam for a day, all payed for by BNN. Coffee shops, drinking, chilling, going to bars, laughing and talking about it as we go. Enjoy.

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Monday, 13 August 2012

Unlikely, yet FANTASTIC- The Wedge

I have gone to The Wedge on several occasions, but my trip to this restaurant two weeks ago took me by surprise…in a great way. The Wedge specializes in hand-tossed, fire baked pizzas. They attempt to utilize as many local, fresh ingredients as possible, and bake all their made-to-order pizzas fresh. It is a very casual atmosphere that is far from overdone. 

On this occasion, we visited the location on Western with my mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and two children (under the age of two). We were immediately seated when we arrived, and were instantly greeted by a friendly, personable waitress. After quickly bringing our drink order, she brought a DELICIOUS amuse-bouche of warm cinnamon rolls for everyone at the table, followed by a plate of dough for the older of the two children to play with. 

It was a nice touch, given that this is not a place one would expect to be necessarily “kid-friendly.” We ordered a plate of the flatbread with marinara sauce to share. It was brought hot from the oven,  at just the right temperature. The flatbread was followed by two build-your-own pizzas with cheese, garlic, and marinara, and again we were quite pleased. When the meal came to an end, the waitress packaged our left-over’s for us, and quickly brought out the check. 

My Recommendation: A great place to go as a family, with a fun, casual atmosphere. If you go, expect to spend $12-$15 for a pizza that easily feeds three adults (A very reasonable price, for such great service). They have both indoor, outdoor, and covered patio seating, and also have a location in Deep Deuce downtown (although I have not had as great of luck with the service at that location).

Overall Rating: 8.5

Disappointment Prevails-Paseo Grill

My husband, mom, and I visited Paseo Grill for my birthday dinner at the beginning of April, and were ultimately disappointed in the service and quality. 

Despite being right on time for our reservation, and the fact that they had numerous open tables, we had to wait nearly 15 minutes to be seated at our table. Once we were seated by a less than friendly hostess, the night seemed to be taking a turn for the better. The table was very private with a romantic curtain partition between the table and the rest of the restaurant, and the room was dimly lit with candles everywhere. It was a very warm, romantic, and inviting atmosphere that definitely said “upscale.”  We were immediately greeted by our server, who was both personable and timely. 

We ordered Southwest crab Spinach Dip for our appetizer, and when it arrived, we were not disappointed. The dip was extremely appetizing, with large chunks of crab meat and a wonderful kick of southwest flavor. Unfortunately, soon after the spinach dip arrived, our waiter was seated with another table, and the service took a turn for the worse. Our drinks remained unfilled, as we waited a slightly too long for our food to arrive. Given the prices and reviews, I expected excellent food and service, but was immensely disappointed. My husband’s creaser salad was nothing special and gave no value to its $10 price tag. My mother’s crab and avocado salad took on a similar role; nothing special, but overpriced. 

Yours truly ordered the Fresco Chicken Farfalle (a pasta dish), but was highly disappointed to find that it had what appeared to be canned artichokes within the pasta, which gave it a very odd taste and texture indeed. I had nothing to wash this nearly inedible dish down, because I did not get a refill on my drink until half-way through my meal. At the conclusion of our meal, we were brought a parfait (something they were giving out to every table), which was a nice touch…a little too late. Overall, I have had worse, but I have also had way better for way less.
My Recommendation: If you go, expect to spend around $30 per plate for food (unless you order a small salad) and service that is far less than extraordinary.  This is also not a great place to take kids, although has a great romantic atmosphere for a date. 

Overall rating: 4

Book Vs. Movie: Something Borrowed

Emily Giffin has a series of books including the novel,“Something Borrowed." I have read her series of books several times, and it has now become familiar and comfortable in a way that makes it ideal reading on vacation or a rainy day. Emily Giffin has an easy writing style, and plot lines that engage without requiring too much thought. Her series of books are, essentially, perfect “read for pleasure” novels. Giffin utilizes many of the same characters throughout her books, which allows her to continue plot lines throughout her series. 

       "Something Borrowed" is Emily Giffin’s first book, and by far my favorite of the series. The story line is predictable, but tried and true: an average girl falls in love with her beautiful best friend’s fiancé.  Giffin finds a way, however, to integrate new freshness into a tired plot line. Her characters are relatable, and the situations are believable. The plot is set in Manhattan, and warning…you WILL want to visit and/or live in NYC after reading this book.

Given the book’s success as a New York Times Best Seller, it was no surprise to me when I learned nearly a year ago that they planned to make this book into a movie. "Something Borrowed," the movie, was released this weekend, and it has once again brought me to question why Hollywood insists on making best sellers into movies. Newsflash: Just because it is a great book, does NOT mean it will translate well onto the big screen. To say the producers took liberties with the plot would be an understatement. There were whole characters missing, and they completely glossed over subtle nuances and details in Giffin’s book. They did get a few things right: For example, their choice of actors/actresses for the characters of Dexter and Ethan were perfect, as was the overall “look” of the settings. However, for the most part, the movie was really nothing like the book. 

The movie was not only predictable, but tired and overdone. The acting was atrocious, and the whole movie really resembled a Lifetime movie. 
My recommendation: I highly recommend the book if you like light-hearted, love story novels, but save your money on the movie. If you read the book, do it over a vacation or long weekend…you won’t want to put it down.

Overall Book Rating: 9

Overall Movie Rating: 3

Upscale Lunch: Museum Café

I recently had jury duty in the downtown OKC area, and ate in the museum café in the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. If any of you have been in the area, you have probably noticed that the selection of sit-down restaurants within a walking distance is few and far between. By default, the jury group and I selected the Museum Café, due to its close proximity to the court house. 

The museum café carries the beautiful art of the Oklahoma City Museum of Art onto your plate, with divine creations that look good enough to eat. Their lunch menu is reasonably priced for an upscale restaurant, with choices ranging from $6 to $15. The restaurant is simple and elegant with linens and fresh flowers. Their service was superb…my drink was never empty, nor was it taken from me to refill; the waiter actually brought a single serving glass pitcher to refill my glass. I ordered the salad and soup lunch special with the creaser salad and lobster bisque. The soup was artfully prepared with a pinch of caviar (although the soup itself could have used a few more whisks to properly get the butter or oil to completely reduce into the rest of the soup.) Overall it was a wonderful presentation of fine lunch menu dining that would be perfect for an upscale ladies lunch or business meeting. 

My Recommendation: Go, and while you are there check out the Museum of Art (their blown glass exhibit is simply amazing). I have also heard that they have a wonderful Sunday brunch that you may want to check out on your visit. If you go, plan to spend a little, and remember to dress business casual. 

Overall Rating: 9


Consistently Impressive: Ted’s Café Escondido

My family recently visited Ted’s Café Escondido for mother’s day, and as usual, it was a portrait of good service. For those of you who don’t know, Ted’s is a casual Tex-Mex restaurant with several locations around OKC and Tulsa. I always enjoy visiting Ted’s…in fact, you could say it is one my favorites. I have visited the Norman, Edmond, and Broken Arrow locations, but this was my first trip to the location on May & NW 68th in Oklahoma City. 

The May location is quite a bit smaller than the other locations, but was incredibly noisy inside. In addition, presumably to make up for their lack of space, they have squeezed tables into every last inch of the restaurant, so that there is limited space to scoot your chair back. The noise and space issues are the only negative comments I can say about Ted’s, which seem to be confined to the May location, as the other locations I have visited have a much better ambiance. The service at Ted’s is impeccable and unparalleled. Warning: I have never been to Ted’s and not had to wait at least 20 minutes for a table, however, I have never been sorry I waited.  You will never have to wait on your waiter/waitress to refill your drink at Ted’s. As soon as you are sat at your table, you will be immediately greeted by someone who will fill your table with delicious salsa, chips, and queso. Your server will not be far behind to take drink orders, specialty salsa and condiment orders, and bring fresh house-made tortillas. The food at Ted’s Café is always top-notch and timely. Their menu is expansive, but I usually share a Special Mexican Dinner with my husband, which ends up being more than enough food for two. Dinner is always followed by complimentary sopapillas.

My Recommendation: If Tex-Mex is your bag, then Ted’s Café is a must! They have lite portions available on nearly all meals on their menu, and prices range from $6-$15 per plate (although most of the higher priced plates will feed two people). They have several locations, so there is probably one near you. Go hungry, but plan to wait 20-45 minutes for a table (It’s worth it).