Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Emporio Brazilian Cafe - Houston, Texas

After almost two months spent hanging out at home the Dining Companion and I were finally able to get out a little bit recently. One of the places we visited was a Brazilian restaurant, Emporio Brazilian Cafe.

The restaurant is located in a small shopping center. The interior is nice and there is a full bar.

 That brings me to our other Brazilian favorite, the Caipirinha. A great warm weather drink made with limes, sugar and cachaca. Just delicious and hands down one of my favorite drinks.

I've mentioned before that both of us really like a traditional Brazilian black bean stew called feijoada and we were happy to see it on Emporio's menu.

While we decided on dinner we were served a basket of traditional Brazilian cheese bread. Typical of what you see in many of the Brazilian steakhouses.

 We started off with the Coxinha de Frango. (these are little stuffed croquettes) and a sausage plate that included sauteed onions and olives.

The small dish next to the sausage holds farofa. Farofa is a toasted flour that is flavored and served alongside various dishes, including the feijoada.

One of my favorite parts of the meal was the hot sauce we were served. I never really did find out what is was, but I do intend to. It was spicy, full of heat and had a great flavor.

Another sauce on the table looked a lot like pico de gallo but was actually pickled. Not a sauce I've had before but one I enjoyed.

Finally we got to the main event. The waiter asked if he could show me how feijoada is eaten in Brazil. How could I say no.

So delicious - Feijoada

Around the plate: fried bananas, an orange slice and steamed greens
The lower photo shows the way feijoada is typically eaten. (As explained by our waiter) Any way you eat it, it's fabulous. If you can find it in your area do give it a try. I also learned to make it at home. It's surprisingly simple to do.

The Dining Companion had the stroganoff which while very tasty was not very photogenic. But in the looks or taste contest I'm glad taste won.

While we might not make Emporio Brazilian Cafe a frequent stop I'd definitely go back for the feijoada and that amazing hot sauce.

It was so nice to get out again. I'm glad that most of my recovery is now behind me.Thanks for hanging in there with me.

Happy dining and as always Happy Travels!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Not quite back in the saddle

Hello! Just stopping in to blow off some of the dust and knock down the cobwebs.

I was away for a bit, in case no one noticed. Little hospital stay and now marching resolutely down the road to recovery.

I'll have this space back up and going full tilt as soon as I can.

Summer is moving along and Fall Travel plans are on the horizon. Hope all is well and everyone is have a great summer filled with travel and fun!

Pleae check back from time to time cause as they say in the movies...I'll be back!

And as always, Happy travels.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Down on the Corner - In four places at once

I want to travel out west and stand at the Four Corners Monument. It's something that I've always wanted to see. I've been doing some research and trying to figure out the best way to accomplish this goal.
I'm thinking we would fly into Las Vegas and then drive. Maybe see the Grand Canyon and the Hoover Dam too.

I realized the other day that I have a handful of states left to visit to complete the contiguous 48. (Alaska and Hawaii are on the list too with Alaska being most likely to get visited first.) I still have Arizona, New Mexico, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Denver, Washington and Oregon. Having been all over the Northeast, the South, and the Midwest, this is whats left.

 I had the idea at one time that we would see the west by train. I still would love to do that. There's just something about train travel that lends itself to adventure. For now I think we'll stick to the fly/drive route. But I haven't counted train travel out, not at all.

I'm really looking forward to seeing the western part of the US. Is there anyone of us who hasn't dreamed of driving Route 66? I want to see Cadillac Stone Henge, the Painted Desert, Arches National Park. And Roswell! Aliens, the age old debate of green or red chilies (both please). So, so much to see and do. 

The Four Corners, the Grand Canyon and all points west. Get out your best sunsets, your tastiest food and roll out the welcome mat, cause we'll be coming for you soon.

Happy travels! 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

It's Five O'Clock Somewhere

Boys and girls, summer is on the way! It won't be long before we're all sitting outside, sipping a cold beverage and enjoying the warm weather. Maybe on a patio somewhere or poolside or in our own backyards.

It'll be time for fruity Umbrella Drinks and ice cold beers (what's better than that on a hot summer day?)

Maybe a frosty iced tea is more your style or a crisp ginger-ale with a squeeze of lime, so good.

One of my favorite warm weather refreshments is iced coffee. Nothing like a large cold press to start the day off. Frozen coffee drinks are great too and Caribou Coffee has a Northern Lite Caramel Cooler that I love.

Whatever your favorite is, summer is about to light the drinking lamp.

It'll be time to get outside, stake your claim on a lounge chair and raise a toast to warm weather, sunshine and friends.


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

American Undersea Warfare Center - Seawolf Park - Galveston Island, Texas

Several years ago the Dining Companion and I visited the U-505 submarine exhibit at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry. Not only did we have a great time touring around the sub, I also got my very first Mold-A-Rama on that visit. None of which has much to do with anything other than to say we visited another sub exhibit recently. Sadly, no Mold-A-Ramas were to be found.

The Dining Companion and I made the trip to the American Undersea Warfare Center at Seawolf Park. The exhibit is made up of the WWII Submarine the USS Cavalla and the WWII Destroyer Escort the USS Stewart. Both are open for touring. The tours are generally self-guided but there are people about that can answer some questions.

Sadly, at one time the USS Cavalla and the USS Stewart were slated to be scrapped. A concerted public effort was able to prevent that from happening and in 2006 the Cavalla Historical Foundation was able to begin the restoration project to save both vessels.

The inside of the submarine is a warren of tiny rooms and narrow corridors. It's hard to imagine men living in these spaces for weeks at a time.

Those are bunks in amongst the torpedoes!

At least there aren't any torpedoes

Fanciest digs on the boat

It was fun walking through the submarine, making our way down tiny corridors and through all of those hatches. Seeing the spaces and the size of the boat's interior makes me wonder how anyone ever served on a sub. Close quarters doesn't even come close to describing it.

Now onto the USS Stewart, a destroyer class escort ship. Another warren of rooms and corridors, if just a slight bit larger.

Two hundred sailors called this ship their home. It was fascinating to see what life aboard the ship was like.

Sleeping quarters are roomier than on the Cavalla

Large kettles for cooking everything from coffee to soup - "Coppers"

An ice cream maker!
 Of course the ship also has giant guns, depth charges and something called a "hedgehog". It wasn't called a destroyer for nothing.

This is the gunners seat

Besides the submarine and the ship, Seawolf Park also has displays of memorials and  commemorative plaques.

Seawolf Park has areas for fishing and picnicing too. It's a family destination and on the day we were there several families were enjoying the beautiful weather.

If you're interested in the history of WWII, huge ships or submarines you'll definitely enjoy Seawolf Park and the American Undersea Warfare Center. There are tons of things to do in Galveston, this one is worth taking some time out of your schedule to visit.

Happy traveling!