Newport, RI Quicknotes

Perfect for a weekend getaway. Weather can be a bummer if you go during the wrong time of the year but it’s a very nice place regardless.

Potential Great Stops if Driving up from NY:

White Manna | Hackensack NJ – one of my favorite burger places out there right now. They have ‘sliders’ but they’re really great. Double Cheeseburger for like $3. Reminds me a bit of Shake Shack but better.

Walters Hot dogs | New York – Since 1913. This place is a gem. I don’t like mustard but the mustard here is actually very good, not too tart. Also, the potato puffs were strange, I don’t think I’d get those again.

Grace Farms | Connecticut – Really cool farmspace in CT. Loved the architecture and community feel to it. Nicely designed and there is even an open basketball gym there!

Lobster Landing | Connecticut – Talk about hole in the wall. This place is basically a tent next to the ocean. Small portion for the amount you pay. $17 for my lobster roll but it was really simple and fresh, slightly citrus on a glorified hot dog bun, charred on the tops. Enjoyed it while sitting along the water.

Gilette State Castle | Connecticut – Cool stuff if you’re into history. It’s basically just an old stone castle with a big view of the water below. Great stop but slightly out of the way (probably a 30 minute detour). Near this is also a historic fairy which has been taking people around since the turn of the century. Thought that was cool to see too.

NEWPORT:

Mansions: The Breakers. Of course, it’s a beautiful big mansion right along the water but is it worth the $25 to see it? In my opinion, no. I walked through it in about 15 minutes and although there were some areas of beauty that I found inspiration from, it was mostly just a bunch of big rooms. The other mansions, I imagine were very similar so I decided to not see any others.

Cliff Walk: I thought this was a great concept but I got a bit bored towards the end. Also, after the Marble House, there really isn’t a whole lot more to see. I think it would save a lot of time to just walk from the Breakers to the Marble House and back. It’s a beautiful walk but I was definitely turned off by the municipal gates everywhere. At least it’s free.

Mission: Really tasty burger, I enjoyed the herbs in there instead of the usual lettuce, and the sauce inside was really great too. The fries were also really good. Thick cut steak fries made perfectly.

Anthony’s Seafood in Middletown: The soup here is really amazing and priced so well. I had a bowl of the Portuguese Fish Soup and a juice for $6. Amazing!

Champlins: I went here just to grab a snack so I can’t say if the lobster rolls, etc are good. I got the clear clam chowder (which is apparently rhode island style), and I didn’t really enjoy it as much as I usually enjoy New England clam chow. However! The clam fried balls are really good. I would dip them into the broth and it was amazing. 1/2 dozen for $6 is pretty good because these are big too (they’re basically clam hush puppies).

Thames Street: Cute street with a lot of stuff, Would have liked to spend a bit more time here but the weather was not very good.

International Tennis HOF: So with Bank of America, they offer free museum admission to certain places in the USA. This is one of them. Awesome, otherwise it would be $25, and that would not have been worth it. It is a cool museum though, especially if you’re into tennis (I am minimally a fan). Cool relics, very historic. Would have loved to see the “court tennis” courts but they were closed. Still a cool experience.

 

Extra: Providence is home to one of the best pizzas I’ve ever had (And I live in NY). This is about 40-45 minutes driving from Newport. The wait here is ridiculous but you can maybe cut your wait time slightly by trying to snag a bar seat (2 bars, 1 upstairs, 1 downstairs). Note, there is also a parking lot specifically for Al Forno. So I only was able to have the margherita pizza but I would love to go back and try other things. The dirty steak looked delicious, the apple tart looked amazing but it takes 45 minutes for them to make. The pizza though. was amazing.

Advertisements

San Francisco Notes

Via Kim M

Anthony’s Cookies | Mission
“Paul and Colin keep raving about this place. Maybe we should go here.” –Kimberly Mar
Samovar |  Mission
“I went on date here once. It was awkward, but the tea was good.” –Kimberly Mar

Neighbor Bakehouse | Potrero Hill
“I like carbs, haven’t tried these ones yet.” –Kimberly Mar

Reveille Coffee | Castro
“Haven’t been here yet, looks super hip.” –Kimberly Mar

Coffee Bar | Mission
“Wow this place looks hip.”– Kimberly Mar

Thorough Bread & Pastry | Mission
“Someone told me they like this place.” –Kimberly Mar

Brunch
Stable Café | Mission
“I think this place is next to Everlane.” –Kimberly Mar
Mymy | Nob Hill
“I haven’t been here but my friends like it.” –Kimberly Mar

Marlowe | Soma
“If we feel like being fancy.” –Kimberly Mar

Lunch
Straw | Hayes Valley
“Looks like fun, and they have a donut burger. I heard it’s got Disneyland vibes.” –Kimberly Mar

Tacolicious | Mission
“Tasty. Really good cheese dip.” –Kimberly Mar

Souvla | Mission
“They put delicious meat and fries in your salad. FRIES. Also they have some froyo that people rave about, I haven’t tried it yet but maybe we can share.” – Kimberly Mar

Serpentine | Potrero Hill
“Really good hearty kale salads, they also have fries which meh… Really good drinks though!” –Kimberly Mar

Barzotto | Mission
“Haven’t been here yet, looks rustic! Their pasta looks really good.”  –Kimberly Mar

Dinner
Delarosa | Soma
“Their small bites are sooooo good. We need to go here.” –Kimberly Mar

San Tung | Sunset
“There’s a wait but I hear it’s worth it.” –Kimberly Mar

Beretta | Mission
“I LIKE PIZZA.” – Kimberly Mar

Starbelly | Mission
“I took Remo here. I have been here three times in the past 2 months. I like their spaghetti. A lot.” – Kimberly Mar

Little Sheep Hot Pot | Union Square
“If it rains?”–Kimberly Mar

Instagram
Mr. Holmes | Mission
“People who like take photos of neon signs will love this place! I haven’t been here yet, so we can go. I am curious if whatever it is they sell here is good.” – Kimberly Mar

Tartine Manufactory/Heath Ceramics | Mission/Potrero Hill
“It’s like Kinfolk in real life! There is lots of bread, bearded men, and pregnant women here. I haven’t eaten anything amazing here but its pretty inside.” –Kimberly Mar
Home | Sunset
“I haven’t been here yet but I guess they put sprinkles in their drinks.” –Kimberly Mar

Drinks
The Interval at Long Now | Marina
“Haven’t been here yet but I saw from the outside and it looked cool.” –Kimberly Mar

Muka | Hayes Valley
“Casual place in Hayes Valley to get a drink. Good place to talk and eat cheese. The vibe is older hipster so it’s fun. Lots of cheese and meat.” – Kimberly Mar

Pacific Cocktail Heaven | Union Square
“I don’t remember bookmarking this, but I guess I want to go here.” –Kimberly Mar

Shops
Voyager Shop
“I once bought a boob pin for my cousin here. It’s really cool.” –Kimberly Mar

Needles & Pens
“It’s what our house would look like if it was filled with useless cute things.” –Kimberly Mar

 

List via Julia:

Hot Sauce & Panko

Garden Creamery

Saigon Sandwiches

The Chairman

Shabu Club

Hog Island Oyster Co

Montreal Notes

Notes from Nick D.
OLIVE & GOURMANDO is a must, also get a coffee at TOMMY a couple blocks up.

All the Old Port stuff you’re going to is awesome.
Banquise is the must for poutine.
Boustan is a classic (not fancy but delicious) Lebanese sandwich place. If you’re around McGill area in the evening PULLMAN is an awesome/chill place for wine and cheese or snacks.
Nice Restaurants:
 
classics:
 
(the resto we mentioned that Matt and Nicolle have been to)
Same owners as above but seafood
Au Pied de Cochon (traditional Quebec fair – heavy): really good, had the foie gras poutine, the pied de cochon was good but really heavy.
Buvette Chez Simone (great charcuterie and wines): http://buvettechezsimone.com/
Pullman’s (great wine bar): http://pullman-mtl.com/en/
Liverpool House
Breakfast at Le Cartet was pretty good, eggs were amazing, the other food was pretty balanced and light.
newer/hipper:
montreal plaza: https://montrealplaza.com/
Other food:
Schwartz’s Deli – A Montréal institution, famous for it’s artery clogging smoked meat sandwiches. I still think Kats’z is the best but this one was good as well. The turkey sandwich was normal and the steak tasted like a family bbq. Good!
Fairmont Bagel – bagels are so much thinner and lighter than NY. Enjoyed it, very simple and super cheap.
Patati Patata
Old port area – great for strolls and scenery
Stores:
cahier d’exercise – women’s clothing
a table – table ware
ssence – women’s clothing
Coffee:
olive and gourmando – bakery/coffee/lunch place
The Atwater market (actually a market) fun to poke around and go into some of the specialty spice stores/gourmand stores and great maple syrup!
Museums/Galeries:
Museum of Fine Arts:  https://www.mbam.qc.ca/en/
Contemporary Art Museum: http://www.macm.org/en/
Galerie LeRoyer – two locations, the old port:  http://www.galerieleroyer.com/
old port location: 60 Rue Saint Paul Ouest, Montreal, QC H2Y 1Y8

Chicago Quick Notes

One of the best cities in America/World.

Pizza: Piece Pizza was really good, though not your typical deep dish. Great ingredients and collab with Girl & the Goat. Home made beer too. Gino’s East: Really good and comparable to Giordanos (still my favorite). too much to eat for one person though. Lou Malnati’s was another great pizza spot. I made the mistake of going to the to-go place though so I’ll need to retry.

Italian Sandos: Al’s – Great sandwich although it’s a chain. Not my favorite but still enjoyed it. Johnnie’s Beef – man for $5 that is an amazing sandwich. Definitely the best (though it’s about an hour bus ride out of the city).

Kuma’s Corner: Death metal burger spot. Burgers were big and good but don’t think it’s necessary to go here more than once.

Crisp: Korean chicken sandwich spot. I thought it was pretty good so it was worth the trek to go here.

Au Chavel: Must go early if you plan to get a spot to sit for food. I had the bologna sandwich which was enormous and delish. Famous for it’s burgers so will have to go back for that or just get it in NY.

Sweet Mandy B’s: This place was alright. Don’t really remember a whole lot about it but don’t think I’d go back.

Mindy’s Hot Coco: The iced hot coco was pretty great. Love going through that area and finding spots like this. Would love to try the brunch here one day.

Chicago Skydeck: pricey for what you actually get here. Great views yes, but there are better things to see good views from.

The Bean: Obviously the biggest tourist thing you can do in Chi. Heavy crowds but right next to the Art Institute of Chicago museum which is great. Also close to the sports club which includes a great view.

Goose Island Brewpubs: If you’re a beer drinker, it’s fun to go. Worth stopping in and getting a real Goose Island as ownership was kept when selling the company.

Local Option Beer: Really enjoyed this spot. Great beer selection with knowledgeable staff.

Lawrence’s Shrimp on Canal: Headed all the way out to chinatown to get some shrimp, they were big and good but pretty normal to me. We also tried the frog legs which were not my cup of tea.

Wildberry: I love this breakfast place, though there are huge lines. French toast and all were amazing.

Do-Rite Donuts: Just normal donuts.

RSVP Gallery: High priced goods, they have cool things but nothing I’d really buy. Hype shit. See also: St. Alfreds for better priced goods.

Humboldt Park: This park is honestly whatever. Kind of bland and kind of a weird guy was there that creeped me out a bit but otherwise it’s a normal park with a lake.

Wrigley Field: Tradition at it’s finest. Really loved it, maybe just as much as Fenway.

Chicago Bulls stadium (United Center). Fun experience, super glad I was able to go and experience that.

 

Taipei Quicknotes

Loved Taipei, thanks to a friend who showed me around.

There were many food places I experienced but did not get to write down (beef soup, breakfast burrito type thing place, etc).

Xilin Street Market: Of course the night markets here are amazing, there is so much to do and see and eat.

Chiang Kai Shek & Sun-yat Sun memorials: Both equally huge and amazing. Both not overly crowded also.

Elephant Mountain hike: nice short hike with a great view of 101 at the top. Totally worth it no matter who you’re with.

Din Tai Fung: Had to go to the original and it did not disappoint. I enjoyed it although it was pretty standard.

Overall just a really cool place and I would love to go back.

Athens Quicknotes

Athens was jaded by food poisoning but I was still able to enjoy it. Kind of plain feeling though, normal suburbish/city type of thing.

Keramikos Cemetary: I remember walking around here one day and seeing a lot of cool things. A lot of beautiful and old things.

Agora: Pretty normal touristy thing to do.

Pandrossou Street Market: typical street market, don’t think it was really worth seeing, didn’t buy anything

Central Market: Samesies with the other street market. There are a lot of them and they are all great but didn’t buy anything. Was looking for a greek olympics basketball jersey but never found one.

Constitution Square: Passed through here during the bus tour. Was just a normal square to me.

Acropolis: Of course this is beautiful and you should see it but there are tons of tourists and they were doing some work on the buildings so yeah. The museum was less impressive than I’d hoped, though it was tainted by the stomach sickness.

Theater of Dionysus: Super legit. Loved this. Beautiful Views and really incredible to see.

Temple of Zeus: I really enjoyed seeing this, so massive and just flat right in the middle of the city. Really cool and not so many tourists. Though it was hot as balls.

Food wise: Gyros were good and cheap, everything else was alright.