Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Nancy's Pizza - Atlanta (Buckhead), Georgia

My dining companion is a fan of Chicago deep dish pizza. I like it too but I prefer Sicilian style pizza. Neither style is easy to find. Many places will say that they make one style of pizza or the other but most of the time the claims are unfounded. So it was with a healthy dose of skepticism that we headed to Nancy's Pizza recently. There are two locations in Atlanta, the only outposts of this chain located outside of Illinois. That in itself seemed promising.

Nancy's keeps track of the time locally and in its home base of Chicago

Nancy's is located in a strip mall in the Buckhead area of Atlanta. The space is pleasant enough. Several tables fill a space that is dominated on one side by a large projection TV screen and a bar on the other.

Orders are placed at the counter and brought to your table by a server, typical fast casual dining. We each ordered a personal sized pizza, about 6",  grabbed our table marker and headed off to wait for our pizza. And wait we did, which to me, in this case, means that the pizza was being baked to order and not just warmed up in an oven. I took this as a good sign.

The pizza was well worth the wait. The crust was crisp and flavorful, stuffed full of delicious ingredients and authentic to the Chicago style.

Having been disappointed by what was passed off as Chicago deep dish pizza in the past, it was a treat to be served the real deal. If Chicago style deep dish pizza is your thing and you find yourself in the Atlanta area, pay a visit to Nancy's Pizza. It's good pizza and represents this Chicago mainstay in fine fashion.

Happy travels!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

La Gloria at The Pearl Brewery - San Antonio, TX

 As some of you may recall we took a water taxi ride on our most recent visit to San Antonio. That trip brought us to the site of the old Pearl Brewery.

The Pearl Brewery is now a dining and entertainment complex located along the expanded River North area of the River Walk. There are several restaurants, a cooking school and retail shops located in the complex. While we were there we had lunch at La Gloria.

La Gloria specializes in Mexican street food. The interior is a nice bright open space that can be opened to the outdoors with several overhead doors. The menu features the foods you would expect, tacos, tortas, tamales. We ended up ordering the tacos al pastor, the tamale of the day, which was pork, and something called a panuchos. The panuchos is very similar to a gordita.

Cochinita Pibil Panuchos (marinated pork)

Tacos Al Pastor

Marinated Pork Tamale

To finish everything off we had a big slice of Tres Leches cake. Truly one of my very favorite cakes ever.

Tres Leches Cake

We spent a little time walking around the grounds of the brewery. This artwork is located near the entrance to La Gloria.

 We enjoyed our lunch at La Gloria. The tres leches cake was the clear winner for me. There was plenty at the Pearl Brewery complex to bring me back for a return visit. But let's face it, the chance to take the ride through the lock and dam again is the real reason I'll be back.

Happy Travels!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

San Antonio River Walk Museum Reach

An artful bower along the quieter part of the river

In 2009 a new section of the San Antonio River Walk opened. The new section is called the Museum Reach and it acts to connect the existing section of the River Walk with the San Antonio Museum of Art and the Pearl Brewery complex.

One of the best parts of the new section, as far as I'm concerned at least, is the lock and dam on the river. In order to connect the existing sections of the River Walk with the new section a nine (9) foot elevation change had to be overcome. Voila! Lock and dam.

I can't tell you how excited I was when, out walking one day, we came across the lock and dam. I immediately made a plan to figure out a way to get a ride through the lock. Immediately changed to a few years later, but, this most recent visit I finally got my wish. Has it turns out getting a ride through the lock was pretty easy and can be had for the price of a water taxi ride. Yes!

We purchased a day long fare for the water taxi service and headed out for our ride. Just an aside here, there are river tours boats and water taxis, of the two only the water taxis make the trip through the lock. The tour boats are a good way to learn about the river and local color (Sandra Bullock filmed a movie right there!) but the water taxi is the only way to get through the lock and further on to the San Antonio Museum of Art and the Pearl Brewery via the river.

OK, where were we, oh yeah, the water taxi takes you from the more developed parts of the River Walk through a quieter less developed part. As you cruise along the river towards the Pearl Brewery overpasses crisscross the river. Under most of these are some type of public art installation. There is paint that gathers light all day and glows warmly at night, there are "sound sculptures" that use the corridors under the streets to create waves of sound that bounce around you as the boat passes, and, most well known, a school of giant sunfish.

 And then of course there is the lock and dam. The water taxi floats into the lock and you raise or lower the nine feet required to regain the river. I loved it! While not as much of a thrill as the Saint Anthony Falls lock and dam, it was still fun and exciting. I love stuff like that.

The lock at night
 Once I found out that the art in some of the displays lights up at night we just had to make a trip out that way after dark. It was worth it. Between the holiday lights and the lit up public art displays the trip was wonderful.

Sadly this picture doesn't do any justice to the display but you get the idea

One of the River Tour boats all lit up
  If you're like me and you geek out about public art and things like locks and dams then this trip will be well worth your time. Fun, entertaining and while it's not a tour per se the water taxi captains are knowledgeable about the river, the lock and dam and the local art work.

Quick note, we did make it to the Pearl Brewery (upcoming post) but not the San Antonio Museum of Art. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Schilo's Deli - San Antonio, Texas

Schilo's Deli has long been a San Antonio institution. We've eaten there many times over the years. This year I decided to try and capture some of the feeling of the place.

Schilo's is a German deli and has been serving San Antonio authentic German food since 1917.

As you walk in there is a long deli case along one side of the room.

 Schilo's is a popular lunch spot and serves sandwiches and salads along with that wonderful pea soup.

The interior seemingly hasn't changed in years. Note the old phone booth and the pew style booths. 

The whole thing is topped off with a tin ceiling.

We were at Schilo's for breakfast but got lucky and their wonderful Pea Soup was ready to go. I got a cup of it to go with my breakfast of potato pancakes and applesauce.

Potato pancakes with applesauce. (There's sour cream too) So good!

Pea Soup

More traditional breakfast are also on the menu. Get the rye toast, it's great.

Schilo's is located away from the River Walk but is well worth the short walk to get there. When you find yourself in San Antonio, and you should because it's awesome, make your way to Schilo's. Take a seat, order whatever strikes your fancy but whatever you do, have the pea soup, you'll thank me.

Happy travels!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Happy New Year everyone! My wish for you all is a healthy, happy and prosperous 2013! Be safe and have a wonderful evening... (Next week we'll return to our regularly scheduled programing)