gabriela’s downtown- austin, texas

Gabriela’s Downtown

It’s a dump.  And there are lots of flies.  And the service is marginal.  The parking is a nightmare.  But the food, OH MY!  And if you are downtown Austin or need to be downtown and would like some real deal Mexican food, you can and should go to Gabriela’s.  Sit outside if it’s cool enough and watch the light change over downtown.  Drink a Mojito or Margarita, or two.  Stuff yourself with the best Salsas and Queso Flameado EVER.

second bar & kitchen, archer hotel- austin, texas

Second Bar & Kitchen

In the trendy Domain Northside, inside the Archer Hotel find Second Bar & Kitchen.  Simple yet cozy chic.  Excellent happy hour with top notch service. Worth the visit just for their Baked Brie and Truffle Fries.  Check out the butterfly lemon on the French 76!  Lots of lovely little extra touches make this a must go.

 

9 style sushi- san clemente, california

9 Style Sushi

Teeny tiny and tucked on a side street on the way to the beach, 9 Style Sushi, a little piece of fresh sushi heaven.  Worth the wait, the walk, the noise and the crowd to be part of the neighborhood vibe and pretend to be a beach local.  Simply amazing food and a great sake and beer selection.  They said it first- ‘happiness is a sushi date at 9 style sushi’!

camelback inn and spa-scottsdale, arizona

Camelback Inn and Spa

Yes, what a stunningly beautiful and peaceful place.  Quail, hummingbirds, rabbits, colorful little birds, flowering cactus and Happy Hour in the R Bar every day with lovely live entertainment, great wine and fabulous appetizers.  Brunch in Rita’s works, dinner in Lincoln overrated except for the Lobster Escargot, spa treatments worth every penny and more.  (ask for Kristine-you’ll be glad you did)

And, thank goodness, there is one of these:

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bay cafe- fort walton beach, florida

Bay Cafe

Right on the water, under the Brooks Bridge, Bay Cafe.  Impeccable service, freshest of seafood, homemade desserts (French Silk Pie-Oh My!) and mouthwatering nightly specials.  The appetizer Crab Cakes and Sea Bass Picatta on this visit were beyond compare.  Superior wine choices.  Inside or outside on the water.  Divine.