Friday, August 12, 2016

Woodford Bourbon Distillery Tour

If you are ever driving through Kentucky, take the time to visit the Woodford Reserve distillery for a walk back in time and some delicious smells and tastes.

Their casks are stored in original stone buildings - a cool and pleasant walk during a hot summer tour!

The tour concludes with a delicious sampling of their different aged bourbons paired with some wonderful chocolate!  Definitely worth the price of admission.  Plus you get a real bourbon education here.

The entrance hall/gift shop area is a lovely structure with fireplaces, luxurious seating areas and many visual treats.

Bourbon flight post tour with chocolates

Woodford Reserve

casks stored in historic stone building

Friday, May 1, 2015

Red Pepper in Buffalo NY - Chinese Vietnamese cuisine

Spring rolls
A friend of mine recommended this Asian fusion restaurant -Red Pepper on Maple Rd in Buffalo.

We were in the mood for a quick but tasty lunch to celebrate the last day of class in the spring semester so we stopped in.

Front of this restaurant is a bit tired and shabby - but that describes most of Buffalo - so I let that go.

I don't often eat Chinese American food and I don't usually find satisfaction in the little inexpensive Chinese restaurants that are on every corner through out America - you know the places where you stop in for a quick fix of Sweet and Sour Chicken with a side of fried rice.

Fried wontons at Red Pepper
But Chinese Vietnamese interested me -so I tried it - I liked the spring rolls.  Fried wontons were a bit greasy - but they are fried!

We split the Vietnamese pancake with shrimp, pork and bean sprouts.  We liked it - was a bit bland and we splashed it with soy sauce.

I will probably stop in again at Red Pepper - I want to try their pho!

Living Buffchic Style Buffalo restaurants
Red Pepper Chinese-
Vietnamese on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Window Boxes without Really Trying

Window Boxes that aren't Window Boxes

I want flowers everywhere!  And since this isn't always possible--
I've found ways to have window box flowers without the expense and difficulty of making window boxes.

Impatiens and ivy in wooly pocket.

These wooly pockets make quick & easy window boxes.

They are easy to hang and plant which I like because I'm all about instant gratification in the yard.

The pockets come in various colors & sizes - I like a contrasting color to show off the foliage and flowers.

I plant this one year round.  And the picture above shows some mushrooms popping up in the impatiens.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Doctor Shopping


I was recently shopping in a local jewelry store doing a quick preview of the merchandise to help select an appropriate birthday gift for my husband to give me.  (I do this because I am just give, give, give and I always put his concerns first and I would hate for him to make a bad birthday gift choice - like the time he gave me a book on the architecture of Buffalo.  That will NOT be happening again!)

Selfie of me and Dave when we got engaged.

The saleslady and owner both knew me well.  This is where we had my engagement ring custom designed and again the place where many birthday, anniversary and, of course, Bastille Day gifts come from.



Then it happened--

a doctor in scrubs walked through the door and the owner of the store flew to him like a moth to a flame.  

The saleswoman who had been showing me diamond studs was so taken by the blinding light of this doc's scrubs that she could barely look at me or complete a sentence in response to a question.  Then I had to wait to see the earrings I was interested until after my doctor friend finished with them.


 Hmmmm.  So I went over to a fine art gallery in town where I was really enjoying looking at some paintings.  The lively gallery assistant was showing me lots of beautiful abstracts and describing the techniques the artists used.  They were pulling pieces out of the back to show me and even offered to come to my home to do a trial installation of any art piece I desired.

A favorite Marc Chagall knock off.

when it happened -- AGAIN!

a doctor in scrubs walked through the door.  And I got handed off to another person who had been shuffling through items in the back of the gallery.

What's up with this!?  

Moral of the story:  Next time I decide to go shopping, I will wear green scrubs and tuck a pager onto my waistband for better service.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Chicken Vindaloo at Sitar Indian Cuisine

Sitar Indian Cuisine in Birmingham, AL

I didn't expect much when we stopped at Sitar Indian Cuisine in Birmingham.  But I figured almost any Indian food is better than no Indian food, thought we would give it a shot.

Extra napkins, please!

But, WOW, was I surprised -- the food here was excellent.  We ordered  Chicken Vindaloo that just about knocked our socks off.  It was spicy and fabulous.  The garlic naan was to die for.  Get extra napkins!  You will need them to mop up the delicious buttery naan and to dry the tears from your eyes if you order it "Indian hot" like I did.


Prices were student friendly - that is to say - CHEAP!  Would love to pass back through Birmingham and eat here again.

Sitar Indian Cuisine in Birmingham is located next to UAB's medical school campus.  Wish I could transfer to their PA school!  I would eat here every day.

Sitar Indian Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Crave on Hertel Ave: re-styled but searching for an identity.

New decor at Crav(ing) on Hertel Ave. in Buffalo, NY

  Crave:  Eclectic or Pub Grub?

Crave, or Crav(ing) as the logo on the window says, is a new kid on the block on the new hip Hertel Ave in Buffalo.  Here's hoping this will be a welcome addition to the neighborhood after La Dolce Vita.  

Though I was expecting a little healthier more new age, fresh menu, I am very willing to give them a try.  

I liked their decor and color scheme.  Chocolate browns, rich orange and "go BIG or go home" art work make for a splashy contemporary feel (except for the cluster of smalls I photographed above).  The small dining room feels warm and inviting with a comfortable but stylish chocolate faux (?) leather banquette, though the back of the narrow dining room may need more light in the evenings, especially as summer turns to fall and winter in cloudy Buffalo.

Crave is still waiting on their liquor license, but I like the look of their bar with two over sized oil paintings flanking the mirror so I am hoping they secure it soon.
Takeaway message:  I like the decor and if they can match it with a fun ambiance, a mean Martini and a good wine list, I will be back. 
Chopped salad

Chopped salad and Greek wrap 

I had the chopped salad, which though tasty and large, was really an unimaginative mix of half-way chopped romaine lettuce, grape tomatoes, chick peas, some red onion, blue cheese crumbles and a few kalamata olives.  Something tells me that they could really claim ownership of their menu by making their salads more distinctive and including some locally grown fresh produce.  
Takeaway message:  Kostas Greek restaurant is practically across the streetDon't offer a boring chopped salad or half hearted Greek salad when the neighborhood knows where to get a nice basic Greek salad already! 
(Plus I could dash to Dash and pick up an equivalent basic salad to go.)

We also had the Jenny Greek Wrap today.  This was a whole wheat wrap around a weak Greek salad (see comments above) and some grilled chicken.  Again, adequate and palatable but mostly lettuce and nothing exciting.
Takeaway message:  See above!

Make a decision: crave it or lose it!

It seems that they are trying to satisfy a traditional Buffalo desire for a heavy, hearty sandwich, with offerings such as their Fried Chicken Sandwich while still offering a quasi-eclectic selection of salads and Asian or Korean interpretations on a standard sandwich.  Frankly, not sure how this will work out.  I think they need to throw their hat over the wall in one direction or the other.   
Takeaway message: Crave it or lose it!
Crave on Urbanspoon

Monday, April 29, 2013

20s Glamour in Buffalo

Parkside Candy 1927 interior

Parkside Candy on Main St. in Buffalo, NY

Meatball Sandwich lunch at Parkside
I drive up and down Buffalo's Main St. twice a day.  Parkside Candy catches my eye as a place that time has passed by.

Faded facade hides historic beauty:

The outside is rundown and in sad need of maintenance.  The wooden sign is weather worn, decayed and hanging by a nail.  The awning is tattered beyond existence.  And the brick and concrete of the entrance is crumbling.  The store displays are 4th of July, Christmas and graduation all at once in late April.  I thought Parkside Candy was out of business decades ago as their facade suggests.
(Plus the apparent abortion clinic on the second floor does not fit with the falsely 1950s cheery attempts of Parkside Candy's window displays.)

But my Buffalonian friends told me that Parkside Candy is a historic Buffalo landmark that is well worth a visit.

So finally I stopped in for lunch today.  And my friendly Buffalistas were right!

The inside is a tribute to 1927 with original floors, booths and woodwork.  There were few customers but the lunch was fun if a little white bread traditional.  The ice cream sundae was old fashioned and deluxe.

It really is the decor and beaux arts design here that is the story.  The oval room with the frieze work ceiling in plaster and the original mirrored oval wooden doors are outstanding.  You can easily imagine yourself as a patron from a past decade at Parkside Candy.

I cannot understand why the building is not maintained.  I understand preserving the beauty of its past and not marring the historic design.  But crumbling superstructure, a tattered awning and the weathered sign all give me the signal that the owners are not concerned with preserving the appearance or reputation of this long standing Buffalo tradition.

There is much here that is worth preserving and restoring.  The broken neon sign that fronts Main St. alone is worthy of a Buffalonion restoration.