Bites from the Road

/Bites from the Road

Our favorite bites from the Road

Billy Joe’s Ribworks, Newburgh, Hudson Valley

When visiting a friend near the Hudson Valley, we chose BBQ for lunch and headed to Billy Joe's Ribworks in Newburgh. We started with their hearty portion of nachos. The enthusiastic manager shared that the cheese they use drizzled over the nachos is a blend of many types. That dish ($13.99) had a pile of tortillas topped with smoky beans, shredded lettuce, onions, jalapeño peppers, pulled pork, sour cream and the cheese blend. Silly us, not realizing how huge the starter was we ordered Backyard BBQ ($16.99) better known as The Legend -- a burger topped with smoked brisket, pulled pork, smoked andouille, Cheddar cheese, coleslaw and crisp onion rings [...]

By | February 3rd, 2018|USA, USA Restaurants|0 Comments

Les Chouettes, Paris, France

Earlier this year when I was in Paris, I stopped at Les Chouettes in the Marais area as it was recommended by a friend.  The restaurant is quite bright as the main dining area is under a high glass ceiling. The friendly wait staff is quite helpful and did speak more English than I spoke French. I ordered the reasonably priced menu (24 €) and a glass of rosè (7 €). The waiter places a basket of irresistible fresh bread — the kind with the chewy crust with a slightly sour chewy inside. Although I did my best to resist, I had a couple slices. My waiter placed a bowl [...]

By | December 2nd, 2017|World, World Restaurants|0 Comments

Marius a la Plage, at the beach of Gigaro, La Croix Valmer, France

In a small corner of paradise at the beach of Gigaro in La Croix Valmer, we stopped in at Marius a la Plage for lunch earlier this fall. I hadn't yet had the classic fish soup with a side of garlic rouille on this trip to France, and so I ordered that (14 €) plus an octopus salad (15€) that came with fingerling potatoes. The thin fish soup was too fishy for me, while the octopus salad was perfectly cooked resulting in tender chunks of my favorite cephalopod served with arugula, shredded carrots atop potato slices. My friend's Thai Filet de loup (fillet of seabass) came over long shreds of [...]

By | December 1st, 2017|World, World Restaurants, World Travel|0 Comments

Powder, Waldorf Astoria, Park City Utah: A Children’s Tasting Menu

We stopped into Powder, the restaurant at the Waldorf Astoria in Park City (UT), for dinner on my last night visiting. Our meal started with an amuse bouche of a tartlet filled with goat cheese and herbed brie for the adults, and ants on a log (celery filled with peanut butter and topped with Craisins) for my 2-year-old grandson who was dining with us. Two of us ordered the tasting menu. Me ($40/person) and my grandson, as Powder has an amazing children's tasting menu ($21) with a choice for the main course choice of fried chicken or Tasmanian salmon.   For the table, we shared the wood-grilled cauliflower accompanied by [...]

By | November 27th, 2017|Bites from the Road, USA Restaurants|0 Comments

Grizzli Cafe, Paris, France

My kids moved into The Marais area in Paris a couple days before I arrived, so they were not yet familiar with the restaurants nearby.  We chose one with spacious outdoor seating so that we had room for my granddaughters stroller. As always, we selected a few dishes to share and told our waiter to bring them in no particular order whenever ready. The free-form ravioli had some prawns between two large square pasta pieces with a bland tomato sauce (9€). The three chicken spring rolls were a bit better with a sweet-spicy Thai dipping sauce (8€). Although the gnocchi looked good, they were chewy and tough even with the [...]

By | November 25th, 2017|World, World Restaurants|0 Comments

L’Eden Plage, at the beach at Ramatuelle, France

On our first drive to the beaches in the St. Tropez (France) area we ended up L'Eden Plage, at the beach at Ramatuelle. My friend ordered the scallops Saint Jacques (36 €); the flavor was fine but the scallops were neither seared well or cooked through, resulting in a lackluster dish. My selections were much better, including a fresh green salad (6 €) lightly dressed garnished with cheese pieces and a creamy risotto (31€) with lots of truffles in and around the rim. We washing that down with a glass of vin au verre rosè (8 €).     L'Eden Plage Boulevard Des Tamaris 83350 Ramatuelle France 412 047 094 [...]

By | November 21st, 2017|World, World Restaurants, World Travel|0 Comments


A unique mixture of sweet and savory made everything we ate in Morocco delightful. Most dishes are spiced with cinnamon, ginger, cumin, paprika and saffron. The combination was one I had not tried anywhere else, and it made my pallet rejoice! Our Moroccan Foodie Guide shares all of our favorite Moroccan treats!  Andrea Josefina Leblang click here to read the complete guide.

By | October 14th, 2017|World, World Restaurants, World Travel|0 Comments

Zaytinya, Washington, D.C.

After spending a fun, informative morning at the Newseum, I headed to José Andrés Zaytinya Mediterranean small plates restaurant to meet a friend for lunch. That interactive museum promotes free expression and our five freedoms — religion, speech, press, assembly and petition — given us by our First Amendment. Each morning, the museum posts that day's front pages from our 50 states and from around the world. I stopped by to see that each day I was there. We each ordered the lunch special — a choice from one of three section ($25), which was a bit too much food. To start, we shared the puree of chickpeas and tahini ("hommus') and [...]

By | August 6th, 2017|USA Restaurants|0 Comments

Taqueria del Barrio, Petworth, Washington, DC

Taqueria del Barrio, a modern Mexican eatery, opened the Petworth area of DC in late March after a successful run as both a DC food truck and stall at Union Market. On a recent trip to the city, I was invited to sample its Latin American fare. The menu offers flavors from Mexico and chef-owner Anna Bran-Leis’s native Guatemala. I wished I had I tripped over Tom Sietsema's lackluster review of all the food other than the empanadas before dining, as oddly neither the publicist who set up my tasting nor our server suggested the filled pastry turnovers he was enthused about. What I'd rave about is Taqueria del Barrio's [...]

By | August 1st, 2017|USA Restaurants|0 Comments

Páteo at Bairro do Avillez, Chiado, Lisbon

While visiting in Lisbon, I was delightfully invited as their guest to Jose Avillez more casual patio part (The Páteo) of Bairro do Avillez in Chiado where fish and seafood are said to be king. Their bread service (~$4 per person), not to be missed, of crisp olive bread, corn bread and the chewy-crusted Alentejo region bread comes with marinated Galician olives plus both Azorean and smoked butter. With that, we ordered a selection of three cheese that they picked for us (~$11.25), one cow, one goat and the other sheep. Do not miss the giant coal-grilled tiger prawn with a Bairro's special pepper-spiced butter sauce ($17.50). I also liked [...]

Pinóquito Restaurant, Lisbon, Portugal

On my recent visit to Lisbon, my son Bryan wanted me to try the beef "picapau" at Pinóquito in the heart of Praça dos Restauradores. We stopped in one night at this bustling restaurant where seafood is purportedly king. The beef is better! We were able to get our drinks, some olives and bread service fairly quickly. But other than that be prepared to wait as service is quite slow. The bife de lombo "picapau" ($24.60) was amazing — so flavorful and tender I could almost cut it with a fork. The garlic shrimp (~$17) was fine,  but couldn't rival the garlicky prawns I served atop homemade risotto the night before. [...]

By | July 25th, 2017|World Restaurants, World Travel|0 Comments

Sixth Engine, Mount Vernon Triangle, Washington, DC

The American bistro Sixth Engine occupies the space of the Engine Co. No. 6, which I was told is the oldest firehouse in the District. The owners kept much of the feel of the original firehouse with brick walls, high ceiling and a bank of windows. Before heading to sample their brunch (served weekends from 11 am til 3 pm), I learned from the publicist that Sixth Engine was nominated in the Best Causal Brunch category for the RAMMY Awards Gala. That's a DC group celebrating restaurant excellence in Metropolitan Washington. We began with their bottomless ($15 for up to 2 hours) Bloody Mary's made with Sixth Engine's own spicy [...]

By | July 13th, 2017|USA Restaurants, xyz misc|0 Comments

Roofers Union, Adams Morgan, Washington, DC

Roofers Union in the heart of DC’s Adams Morgan neighborhood offers classic American fare with great friendly service. I stopped into their main dining room (up one level from the street) during a visit to DC, as their guest. Conversation is easy at this spacious, comfortable place with high ceilings and one wall of glass windows. We started by selecting the beers for our flight of four ($12). We each tried four different ones from their extensive menus of beers on tap. My favorites were from the "malty to dark to brooding" section of the ever-changing beer menu — the rich barrel-aged (in bourbon casks) barleywine "st. seditious" first and [...]

By | July 5th, 2017|USA Restaurants, xyz misc|0 Comments

Can the Can, Praça do Comércio, Lisbon, Portugal

On my way back from Time Out market, I stopped in one of the many restaurants lining Praça do Comércio for a happy hour nibble. My daughter-in-law mentioned that she had sampled many of them and preferred the food at Can the Can. That and the inviting chalk-written sign offered happy hour margaritas at 5 Euros (~$5.50) and free wifi! How could I resist? The exceptionally friendly servers helped me decide which of their food offerings to sample with my margie. As an octopus fan, I leaned toward the salad -- yet they suggested I try the croquettes.  "Octopus croquettes?" I queried. She highly recommended them, saying that they were made [...]

By | June 29th, 2017|World Restaurants|0 Comments

Lamparilla, Havana, Cuba

After our first day soaking in as much of the city as we could, we ended up at Lamparilla, a fairly new small, funky-decorated paladar in Old Havana. We were seated on the second floor teeny balcony overlooking the open dining area below with a ceiling so low our waiter needed to stoop over whenever he came upstairs. Whimsically, our table was topped with old records, the walls with ’50s memorabilia and other vintage goods. The delicious squash soup amuse surprised us all with its well-seasoned butternut flavor. Also tasty are the light crispy chicken croquettes ($3) served in a little basket and the ceviche ($4) served with plantain and [...]

By | June 13th, 2017|World Restaurants, World Travel|0 Comments

The Dubliner, Capital Hill, Washington, DC

For those coming to DC on the train and in need of a bite, head across the street over to the right to The Dubliner, the red brick building visible when you exit Union Station. It's a hospitable and lively pub serving Irish favorites with live music nightly. The Dubliner's been open since 1974. I started with an "Irish Catholic," a Moscow Mule with instead of the traditional vodka, The Dubliner Irish Whiskey, a smooth-drinking blended whiskey aged in American Oak bourbon casks. A must try ($11)! With my meal, I had their Auld Dubliner Amber Ale, a brew made exclusively for them ($7).  I'd recommend both. For apps, we [...]

By | June 6th, 2017|USA Restaurants|0 Comments

San Cristobal, Havana, Cuba

San Cristobal restaurant is the paladar where Obama ate when he was in Havana. Like La Guarida, it's one of the few Cuban places recommended with good food.  We dined at this eclectically appointed restaurant in the downstairs floor of an early 20th-century mansion for lunch midday when we had dinner at La Guarida. We had told our waiter Ray, that the three of us planned to share everything. Loved how the restaurant handled this: he placed a cucumber, tomato and herb pre-garnished plate on the table in front of each of us. Made us smile for sure in anticipation of what was to come. When the grilled lobster ($20 [...]

Cubita, Trinidad, Cuba

Do not miss a meal at La Cubita if you visit Trinidad in Cuba. It's decorated with quirky whimsical artwork and often offers music while you eat. Once we placed our order, the restaurant sent out an amuse bouche that matched each of our orders. One of our four had ordered a vegetarian entree, resulting in a squash-based starter; the rest of us received a fish-mouse atop the cucumber cup. Nice touch that we enjoyed with their refreshing signature sangria ($9). Meals in Trinidad certainly won't break the bank. Each of ours came with a flavorful soup to start, bread and butter, sauteed veggies, rice and a fresh tomato, beet, [...]

La Guarida, Havana, Cuba

Most everyone I spoke to who had been to Havana recently recommended the upscale paladar La Guarida for dinner — the place where Cuban director Tomás Gutiérrez Alea filmed Strawberry & Chocolate. It's one of the few places offering elegantly served quality food; we learned they send their chef to France to learn to cook. We walked up the crumbling grand staircase to the restaurant above and — since it was raining —  skipped the new rooftop bar. Our starters from the varied menu included thin slices of fresh snapper carpaccio with a pepper sauce and citrus vinaigrette ($8), an unusual seafood "lasagna"with "noodles" of thinly sliced papaya garnished with [...]

Rafael Restaurant, Miraflores, Lima, Peru

For our last day in Peru, we headed to Rafael Osterling's eponymous restaurant in the Miraflores section of Lima, listed on one list, as the #30 best in Latin America. We selected a local white wine to accompany our meal, the Tacama Blanc Blanc ($30). The waiter placed a basket of their homemade bread along with fresh butter topped with sea salt, "pastrami" made from pig's feet and a goat cheese cream with caramelized onions. The bread and accompaniments were so good, we had to stop ourselves from finishing it! The Emperor tacos alone were worth the visit with crisp sea grouper and prawns, shredded cabbage and radishes on small [...]