Topic: Restaurants and Eating Establishments

Category covering Restaurant and Eating Establishment reviews

So, Let’s consider: Xmas shopping in the land of covid 0



So, Let’s consider: Xmas shopping in the land of covid

Well, it’s the first week of October! You know what that means, right? Yup, it’s time to start shopping for Christmas!

Frankly, I think all these stores bringing out all their xmas trinkets at the end of July is more than a bit overboard, overpowering, over uncalled for and in general over annoying. When I walk into a place like Walmart this morning and see rows and rows stacked full to the top with all kinds of xmas BS, I’m wondering why someone hasn’t done a terrorist act on the place for over merchandising the Winter Solstice. Frankly, it was a serious temptation.

This year brings with it the added concerns of how local, perhaps smaller, businesses are going to survive it to Thanksgiving, let alone the Winter Solstice celebration. And, I find myself asking: “What’s more important, making Jeff Bezos richer by shopping on Amazon or the Walmart family by shopping at Walmart stores…or is it more important to do what I can to help the local businesses through their covid struggles to survive?” I think the answer is simple: The locals win.

So, this year is going to be a bit different. Look to your local businesses for gift certificates. You may even have to ask for them as this may be a new product line that they’ve not thought of before. Look for your local bookstores, eating or drinking establishments, specialty stores, corner grocers, theaters, art stores, hobby and craft stores, even your local mechanic! Hey, everyone’s going to need an oil change SOMETIME next year! Get creative.

If you’re a small merchant, business, eating establishment, or whatever, be thinking about how you can market gift certificates for people to use your establishment creatively and in a means that would make for an acceptable and welcomed gift for them to give to someone else to have.

Now, I’ll also expand this to small business that may not be in your neighborhood. Personally I’ve dealt with a family owned and run bakery in Baltimore for years. Every year I call Maria Voccaro at Voccaro’s bakery for my panetone’s and cookies. They’re a family run group in Baltimore that I’ve dealt with for over 30 years and I’m not going to stop now. I use them as an example but all of us know of a small, local or not so local, that we can send our business to in this time of mutual need. We need our small businesses to survive. Small business is by far the largest portion of employment our country has. And, they need us as much as we need them.

Perhaps with our help this year, they’ll still be around next.

I’m Don Rima and that’s the view From Where I Stand.


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Vacationing Luxuriousely For Less – It CAN be done! 0






Vacationing Luxuriousely For Less – It CAN be done!
OK so you’re thinking of taking the family or perhaps your special squeeze or maybe just yourself on a much needed get the heck outta Dodge vacation. Good for you! Problem is, like many, you work for some (idiot) that doesn’t pay enough to make the bills, much less a vacation of any sort. So, how can you make this work? Well, here’s a few tips to help stretch those bucks and help you have a good time.
Plan ahead. This has to be the biggest number one tip I can give anyone. If you do your trips last minute you will pay and pay and pay. Hotels and fun places KNOW this and they hike the prices accordingly. So think and plan ahead. if ou’re a member of AAA go get their trip books, maps and talk with one of their trip advisors. This along could be worth the price of your annual membership with them. Plan what you want to do, where you want to go and when the best time to go – based on what you want to do and best prices. Also, once again, Google is your friend.
Watch for venu specials and promotions. Most of the places you want to visit know when the soft spots in their traffic flows are and they push promotions to keep the bodies flowing during those lulling times. Know this and work it to your advantage. The times I like are either just before or after a major holiday season. Between Thanksgiving and Xmas have been great times for me and the first half of January when the kids are all back in school also tends to be nice. Study the university schedules for when their breaks and major exam schedules are. Trust me kids aren’t going to be going on vacation in any large groups when they have final projects due and exams coming up…and neither are their parents. May is also a nice time for me as students are finishing up school work almost accross the board and places can be empty.
Shop your tours carefully. Tour vendors like Grayline can add alot to your trip with their local tours of major sites. Use them and other tour options strategically. Face it, you can get yourself from here to there faster and cheaper than a tour company can. So once you’re there, use them there for what they know and do best. Also you may get better deals if you book your tours for during the week versus the weekend. There’s usually less traffic and demand during the week.
Plan your meals and food wisely. Throw a small cooler in the trunk and use it for drinks, sandwiches, yogurt or whatever you like to eat. Many hotels offer breakfast as part of the deal. Personally, I really like Hampton Inn’s for this as they are totally family and business friendly. I can a few pieces of fruit, yogurt, put together a trail mix, etc., and take it with me. Finding a small grocery on your travels is usually easy to do. Use that cooler strategically for drinks, sandwich fixings, etc., and you can save a small bundle of chow expenses.
Choose where you stay carefully. You can enjoy your stay and vacation just as easily at a place that is cost effective as you can at one that is woefully over priced and under delivered. There are some chains that are clearly marketing their name and have over priced their product and deliver the same if not less than much better priced options. Personally, this is one of the reasons that I tend to avoid Marriott facilities.
Watch for resorts and venues that offer more family friendly options. Some have special kid friendly events and programs that are specifically designed for kids and the family.
One of my prefered websites after the AAA site is nps.gov. This is the page for the national Park Service. You will find an incredible wealth of information here of places to go, things to do and see that are incredibly affordable and an incredible amount of fun. If you look at the park system, also give serious consideration to the annual pass. I can save you a tidy bundle on the parks with entrance fees. Also check you state web sites and counties for their park systems as well.
Read the travel sections of your local paper with a very discerning eye. Keep in mind that most of those articles you’re reading with all those nice pictures of places to see are probably written by somebody’s public relations group and printed as if they were a feature article. They’re little less than an over written advertisement. They CAN have some really good and useful information, but read them with a big eyes wide open filter.
I hope you do your research and have a great trip.
I’m Don Rima and that’s the view From Where I Stand.


Reds – Bewitchingly good munchies in Salem MA 0






Reds – Bewitchingly good munchies in Salem MA
I just returned from a trip to Boston. While up there decided to take a side trip up to Salem and checkout all the historical witching lore and the old port there.
Frankly, I can now say, been there, done that. It’s going to be a few years before I return to play tourist in Salem. But, it may not be the last time I return to Salem for another reason.
If you’re going to be a good judge of places to eat, you need to be not only a good eater but a good cook. I’m fairly decent at both endeavors as my kitchen and scale will both testify. And, you’ll find that the biggest eating establishments don’t always make for the best eating experiences. This is why when a little hole in the wall in downtown Salem was recommended to me I as a place to meet for lunch I was curious to check it out…and oh how I wish we didn’t have to worry about things like cardiologists!
There’s a little place on the northeast corner of where Front Street meets Charter, it’s called Reds. It’s not only full of locals, but it’s also got a menu of items that will have you rolling out the door totally satisfied.
I chose the chicken piccata and a Greek salad. Based on the prices in the menu I figured a nice bowl of salad and good lunch portion of piccata… WOW! Well, they didn’t warn me that the portions there are not small. they’re HUGE. I could have made a meal from either the salad or the piccata! And delicious is an understatement…it was incredible! I’ve not had piccata that good in a very long time and unfortunately, my schedule doesn’t have me going back to Boston again for a while…but when I do, you can bet that I’ll be tying up at Reds and putting on the feed bag for another great meal.
And I’m still smacking my lips, all the way From Where I Stand.