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erinvp's Profile

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Tapas in Sedona?...and other ideas

Hi- Hoping Sedona is discussed on this board. Doing a girlfriends getaway there this weekend. I'm the local in charge of edibles. We have our own favorites, but can't recall any place in particular doing tapas well. Possibly Elote?
Also-am thinking the burgers at Oak Creek Brewery (if you haven't had them, they are AWESOME, char broiled yum). Maybe Dahl & Deluca (?), their location in Oak Creek, Red Planet diner for a quick lunch. Any other recent developments not to be missed?
Thanks!

Jul 29, 2014
erinvp in Southwest

Fresh Clams/Oysters?

Hi. Looking for really great clams or oysters on the half shell near Newport Beach, or up to about an hour's drive north of there. Doesn't need to be fancy....just "the bomb" for that kind of stuff : )

Also...any "not to be missed" places in/around Newport (again, up to an hour north or south). Not overly expensive, but good atmosphere/interesting food? We're pretty familiar w/the area, but haven't been since last September. Thanks!!

Jul 17, 2014
erinvp in Los Angeles Area

St. Pat's recommendations, and...?

Hey chowhounds,
I posted a few weeks ago about my family and I spending a few weeks in NB while working. Great replies, thank you!
Well, we're here now. Loving it...of course! Would like to know a good place to go on St. Pat's that's...Irish, but not crazy bar-scene. (we'll have our daughter and my parents w/us. Dad's from Ireland ; )
Also--we're on the peninsula. Good Thai nearby? Really good recommendation for anything here, really close by? Thanks!!
Erin VP

Mar 09, 2013
erinvp in Los Angeles Area

Dinner with entertainment near cruise ship port in Oahu?

thanks--yes, I imagine we can take a taxi or something to get to Waikiki if there are better options there.

Jan 31, 2013
erinvp in Hawaii

Dinner with entertainment near cruise ship port in Oahu?

Doing a cruise, and in the morning of our day in Oahu, we'll be going to the USS Arizona tour. But we will have the rest of the day, free.
Is there someplace to eat, with some kind of view, or entertainment, that we can get to easily?
Kind of mid-range in price would be good.

thanks!!

Jan 30, 2013
erinvp in Hawaii

Practical ideas around Newport Beach?

Hi-
My family and I will be living/working in Newport Beach for three weeks in March. Although I'll be cooking at home mostly, we'll be eating out now and then too.
I know it can be an expensive area, but we don't have that kind of budget!
We do, however, appreciate good atmosphere, and we're foodies...I'm not looking for the nearest Denny's!! : ) Nice meals, nice prices, little-known places maybe, good vibe?
So...any ideas for breakfast, lunch, dinner, coffee, etc?

Thanks (in advance...I'm NEVER disappointed when I "chowhound" : )

Jan 15, 2013
erinvp in Los Angeles Area

Is Laughlin foodie hell? Or is there hope?

Help! Just arrived for a multi family boating trip. We all have coolers full for breakfast in the room and lunches at the lake...but dinner is to be had the next two nights. With what we've seen tonight I'm fearful for my taste buds! Any suggestions???

Jul 10, 2012
erinvp in Las Vegas

Good non-touristy eats near Balboa Park?

Hey hounds,
Other than Cucina Urbana, are there any good places to grab a nice lunch in that area? Nothing fancy, just good, fresh food. We are going to check out the SPanish Village artist thing--which I know is touristy in and of itself. But still... Don't like our food to be!

Jun 12, 2012
erinvp in San Diego

How to start it off right in Solana Beach?

Hey Hounds-
Heading out to SD (from AZ) for our beach fix (oh! how I wish it wasn't so few and far between!)
Starting our trip with the afternoon in Solana before heading down to SD.

Looking for great eats around there--we'll be hitting the Farmer's Market and putting our toes in the sand.
We're not picky and somewhat adventurous--spices, flavors, sushi, etc. are all good.

That being said, I would love great seafood and a beer with a put-your-feet-up kind of vibe and a view!

thanks!!

Jun 09, 2012
erinvp in San Diego

follow up to March Philly visit

Hey there-
Just wanted to say "thanks!!". I had asked for good eats around Rittenhouse for a quick girls weekend.
As usual, I was not disappointed by the advice...

Dinner at 20 Manning:
Really liked the atmosphere. Split fried calamari with friends--a little overdone and a little too spicy. Of all of us, the butternut squash ravioli special was the hit. Overall, atmosphere was better than the food, but the strong Mojito's helped a bunch ; )

Dinner at Oyster House:
Somehow got a table immediately, even tho the place was packed. All I can say is-- I am STILL daydreaming about the mussels I had! A huge dish of steamed mussels in a light broth with fennel, coriander, garlic and God knows what else, because it was absolutely heavenly! It's on the "small plate" menu, and I had it with a side of sauteed winter greens. Plus...half a dozen clams on the half shell that were like the ocean itself! Mind you, I live in the desert, so I hadn't had them in years...but WOW!

And...must also mention a delightful stop in DiBruno's on Chestnut. I did this without my non-foodie girlfriends so I could really take it all in without boring them. The cheese guy and I had quite a nice interlude after I challenged him to give me a sample of something really interesting (he did) and then I told him to give me something that he always wants people to try and they never will (I'm not afraid of any cheese!). He gave me a bit of bleu cheese that looked like it'd been under a rock for 8 years...it was yum! Great fun!

May 10, 2012
erinvp in Philadelphia

what's new and exciting?

thanks to you all...I fell in love with Cucina Urbana last year. it's time again--and not a moment too soon!!--for me to leave the desert for my annual ocean fix! (each year I scheme and plan and finagle my way into as much time as possible in SD : )

We are staying in the Shelter Island area, anywhere downtown or not too far up past La Jolla is fine.

So tell me, what are you excited about??

May 10, 2012
erinvp in San Diego

Tea room in Center City?

Does anyone know of a nice tea room? Not necessarily fancy "high tea", although that would be good to know also. But even little places that do a nice tea and sandwiches thing....

thanks!

Mar 08, 2012
erinvp in Philadelphia

Possible to find good, reasonably-priced eats near Rittenhouse?

Thanks to all so far for the suggestions! I'm really looking forward to the weekend.

I would say for dinner, we're looking for entrees between $20 and $30. A BYOB is fine--I know there's lots of them around. How about one that you all would say has very interesting, creative food?

Feb 10, 2012
erinvp in Philadelphia

Possible to find good, reasonably-priced eats near Rittenhouse?

Hello hounds--
I'm tasked with making sure we eat well during a quick girls weekend in Philly next month. A job I thoroughly enjoy, btw! ; )

We'll be staying at the Rittenhouse hotel and I'd like to keep it all within walking distance so we don't have to deal with driving/parking since it's a pretty quick trip--I suppose a bus to get us somewhere truly great wouldn't be a problem, though.

The Rittenhouse is reasonable because we're splitting the room between us, but other than that, we can't afford very expensive meals. On the other hand, I'm a self-admitted 'food snob' and I can't bear to pay for bad food in a crappy atmosphere! No one is particularly picky, we like a drink if we can get it or we can bring a bottle of wine (also appreciated---where to pick up a bottle of wine in the city? Last time I was there it was harder to find than we thought and ended up in a strange little deli-type place)

Thanks!

Feb 09, 2012
erinvp in Philadelphia

Urgent! Good BBQ near Prescott AZ?

Hubby loves BBQ. It's his B'day. Got life and soccer game this afternoon--

Just looking for the best in the area to get him some good eatin'!

thanks chowhounds!

Sep 10, 2011
erinvp in Southwest

lunch in SD or Coronado?

thank you! I didn't know there was a market in Little Italy on Sat. We were planning on checking out the Sicilian Festival the Sunday we are in town. But...I'm more into it on a quieter day so maybe we'll do the market thing.

Apr 28, 2011
erinvp in San Diego

lunch in SD or Coronado?

This is always the first place I start whenever I'm headed somewhere--you all never steer me wrong!

Doing an anniversary trip w/hubby next month. Got some good dinner ideas, but looking for either great lunch spots (sit down, nice atmosphere or patio or view--not "upscale" just interesting) OR markets where we could pick up some good stuff to picnic it somewhere.

Thanks!

Apr 27, 2011
erinvp in San Diego

Looking for a quiet, not too expensive restaurant close to Walnut Street Theater

Is 16th and Spruce too far away for you? If not, we just ate at La Viola Oeste, and it was cozy, excellent--and very reasonable. Homemade pasta, very nice. it's BYOB, and cash only.

Jan 27, 2011
erinvp in Philadelphia

A winner, once again!

Just wanted to post some feedback about La Viola Oeste in Philly. I never enter a new town without consulting chowhound first and once again--it paid off!

I had asked for a reasonably priced restaurant, near Rittenhouse square, that could be kind of family-friendly. It was myself, my husband, and our 8 yr. old daughter--who is quite tired of kiddie menus and the typically boring fried food they offer! She's got a decent palate already...

Anyway-La Viola did the trick. The service was super-attentive and didn't miss a beat, even if we did have three or four different guys come to the table throughout the meal. In concert, they were great. The food was excellent: my daughter had the Basil and Mozzeralla gnocchi--homemade and wonderful. My husband had Chicken Saltimbocca, which came with some roasted potatoes that we were all fighting over! And I had the special that night: Saffron Fettucine with fresh Clams & Shrimp. (I had to share mine quite a bit, too!!). Not much of a saffron feel to the dish, but again, the homemade pasta was a delight and the clams were melt-in-your-mouth tender.

And, as promised--the prices were fantastic--the most expensive dish was my special--loaded with clams and shrimp, at $19.95.

The decor leaves you kind of flat--it's very bland and a little cold-feeling. So much more could be done with the inside of a brownstone! But overall, I definitely recommend it.

Thanks again, chowhounders!

Jan 27, 2011
erinvp in Philadelphia

One night, good family meal

First time on the Philly board...it's cracking me up that the post w/the most replies is the one about Pat's or Geno's for cheesesteaks : )

My awesome hubby and I met in art school (Art Institute) and dated while living in Center City about 23 years ago. In January, we'll have the pleasure of flying into Phila. and staying one night--with our 8 yr. old daughter!--before we drive up the the Water Gap area to visit family.

We'll probably be staying up somewhere around Rittenhouse Sq and would like someplace walk-able for dinner. Now...I remember the Irish Pub on Walnut, but I don't remember the quality of the food 'cuz I was mostly there for beer! And I don't even know if it's still there!

Any other suggestions in that area for dinner?

thanks!

Nov 26, 2010
erinvp in Philadelphia

Sharing recent experience...you CAN do 'reasonably priced' and good!!

Redchicky-
Sorry I am just getting back to you--I hope you weren't asking for an upcoming trip!! No, you definitely want to drive to Firefly (I'm talking about the one on Paradise Rd.) It's a mile or two and it's kind of dark--not a walking area. However you get there, though--GET THERE! I still catch myself thinking about that yummy experience a month later! : )

Nov 10, 2010
erinvp in Las Vegas

Sharing recent experience...you CAN do 'reasonably priced' and good!!

Hey fellow hounds--
Just wanted to share some info from my recent "girls" weekend. I had been on here asking about reasonably priced meals, etc. Thanks for all the great info. Each of us had our area of research---one did hotels, one did travel, I did food! They were very willing to go with whatever recommendations I had. Glad to say it all worked out GREAT!

--Lunch at Mon Ami Gabi (at Paris hotel). Amazingly, walked right in an got a fantastic patio table! I think the key was we happened to hit it right after the b'fast crowd, but before the lunch crowd. Wonderful atmosphere, excellent service. And we loved the food. We purposely ordered four different things so we could swap and share and taste them all. Crepes filled with Apples and Brie were very nice. I had the French Onion soup along with the Warm Olive Jar appetizer. Very, very good--although it was quite a lot of olives! The quiche one of us ordered was just average, but the Open faced crab sandwich special was really delicious. And the prices were definitely reasonable. I could see how this would be very romantic at night, with it being just across from the Bellagio fountain.
--Dinner at the Wynn buffet. Great variety--all kinds of entrees. Some things were excellent--in particular the Mussels in Saffron Cream sauce--we went back for seconds and thirds on those! I haven't been to another buffet in Vegas, and given that I'm not even a fan of buffets in general, it was good. But lots of things had the potential to be great, but fell short. And the desserts was a big dissapointment.
--Lunch at Nine Fine Irishmen (at NY, NY). YUMMY, YUMMY, YUMMY! We loved it--of course the Guinness I had with my lunch sure helped ; ) Again, we ordered stuff we all wanted to taste. The Colcannon soup was delicious, the Shepards Pie was so flavorful--made w/ground beef instead of stew meat, which I think helped to ensure that the meat was tender. The Bangers and Mash were awesome, too, and I don't even like sausage usually. And a nice Irish Soda bread w/your meal. Not as good as mine, mind you, but very good ; ) (for the record, the rest of the hotel was dissapointing---being from the NY area originally, it just didn't capture any of the mood at all)
--AND...oh, my. Firefly for tapas (the one on Paradise Rd.) Oh my--did I say that already??? Started w/a pitcher of Sangria--very nice. Everything was delicious. The butter they serve w/the nice crusty bread is made w/cayenne pepper and honey--YUM! The dates wrapped in bacon are just sinfully good (we ordered them twice). All things were fabulous: Eggplant Canneloni, Tune Pepperdew (although I thought they'd be better if the tuna was raw), Cheese Fondue w/Chorizo, Shrimp Ceviche, Crispy Duck Rolls (nice spicy heat to these)...and even the Fish Sticks, which my very basic friend ordered, were nicely done. We had excellent service from Carlos, our server ("hi, Carlos!!) AND, here' s the kicker--it was, by far, the most affordable dinner we had and we had an absolute ball there! For 10 different tapas dishes that we all shared, along w the complimentary bread...the bill was about $60 total!! The sangria pitcher was $26, but we got a lot of glasses out of it! HIGHLY recommend this place!!
--Our last dinner was just average, unfortately. Not bad, just average--and it was not on any recommedation, just convenient location. La Provencal at Paris. Not great service and adequate, but average Linguine Portofino.

So,...thank you for all the tips!!! I know I'm not a regular, but I couldn't help but come on and share our experience. Overall, we never felt like we paid too much for the quality and taste that we got, which was nice. It was just right!!! (and we spent the money on great shows instead! La Reve and Manilow....woo hoo! ; )

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Mon Ami Gabi
3655 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109

Bellagio
3600 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV

Nine Fine Irishmen
3790 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109

Oct 12, 2010
erinvp in Las Vegas

Overwhelmed! Need ideas for a 4 night stay

thanks for the detailed info--address/phone etc.! Someone mentioned finding places that will allow us to share a couple of entrees. There are four of us, so that would work well. Even if we had to eat in the "cafe" part of a more upscale restaurant, we'd be glad to do it to be able to try some of the food.

Any suggestions on that?

Oct 04, 2010
erinvp in Las Vegas

Looking for the middle ground

that's a great idea! thanks, we're not huge eaters anyway. Emeril's sounds good...can you suggest any others? We're fine w/ eating in the cafe part of an upscale kind of place.

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Emeril's
3799 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109

Oct 04, 2010
erinvp in Las Vegas

Looking for the middle ground

Please help! I need some "in-between" dining choices:
My longtime high school girlfriends and I are taking a much-awaited trip--us only, no kids, no hubbies!--to Vegas in early Oct. We don't have a lot of extra money to spend, but we'd like to make our time together as fun and special as possible. And I don't think 'special' has to mean 'expensive' (no $89 per person dinners for us)...but it can mean a fun atmosphere, or a great view, etc. We can probably do one nice dinner (entrees around $20-30?) and some other lower priced things for other lunches and dinners.

Advice I've gotten in the past seems to be either very pricey places on the strip, or kind of diner-y places off the strip. Is there any middle ground?

I'm probably the only foodie of the bunch, so even tho I'm asking for somewhat affordable, I really don't want to put up with fried mushroom appetizers and honey-mustard chicken dishes the ENTIRE weekend (no offense intended to those who like those things ; ) I'd really like to have some good, interesting food while I'm there. Not a big buffet fan, but if it's really good, it might be an option.

thanks!!!!! : )

Oct 01, 2010
erinvp in Las Vegas

Overwhelmed! Need ideas for a 4 night stay

hi, my trusty chowhound friends. I can always count on good info from this site. In this case--too much info! I've been checking in here for weeks and have so many suggestions I'm trying to boil down. I'd really like to get it down to three or four good places.

My longtime high school girlfriends and I are taking a much-awaited trip--us only, no kids, no hubbies!--to Vegas in early Oct. We don't have a lot of extra money to spend, but we'd like to make our time together as fun and special as possible. And I don't think 'special' has to mean 'expensive' (no $89 per person dinners for us)...but it can mean a fun atmosphere, or a great view, etc. We can probably do one nice dinner (entrees around $20-30?) and some other lower priced things for other lunches and dinners.

I'm probably the only foodie of the bunch, so even tho I'm asking for somewhat affordable, I really don't want to put up with fried mushroom appetizers and honey-mustard chicken dishes the ENTIRE weekend (no offense intended to those who like those things ; ) I'd really like to have some good, interesting food while I'm there. Not a big buffet fan, but if it's really good, it might be an option.

We are staying at the Tahiti Village and we'll have a car, if needed.

thanks!!!!! : )

Sep 28, 2010
erinvp in Las Vegas

nice seafood for b'day dinner?

planning a trip to SD next weekend. We'll be spending Friday at Seaworld. My parents will be with us (in their 70's). It's mom's b'day and I wanted to find a nice spot not too far from Seaworld for dinner, as they'll probably be kind of tired after the day. Preferably seafood, but just nice overall for a birthday. She'd really enjoy a nice setting--water view, etc.
thanks-

btw--posters here are awesome--this is my go-to site whenever we travel : )

Jul 25, 2010
erinvp in San Diego