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London for 8-9 days mid July

Just want to thank everyone for your great tips and advice.

We leave on Saturday and I'll will report back. Not sure I'm bringing my laptop or not but will try to keep notes either way. Maybe a sort of live trip report as I go. ;)

We are going partly for business and I'm being informed that several people are planning meals with us, so given that information I haven't made any specific plans.

Again, thanks so much.

Jul 10, 2013
RedBeans04 in U.K./Ireland

LONDON: Ginger Pig Butchery Classes

Yes, that was my point. If you are taking home £80 piece of meat that definitely takes the sting out of the £135 price tag. Being tourists who fly home a few days later...that £80 piece of meat would be given to someone else. Not to mention there are two of us who would do it.

I'm going to look and see if we have anything local that does that. If not...maybe we have a new business!

Jul 02, 2013
RedBeans04 in U.K./Ireland

London for 8-9 days mid July

Brokentelephone you are absolutely right! Sorry. I mean tikka masala! I do love panang but love the tikki masala too, as well as other dishes. When reading menus I just didn't see anything familiar that I could recognize.

Re Mamuska, I looked up polish restaurants trying to find pierogis and this place looked good. Nervous about the area now, as I'll most likely be going for lunch by myself. Is it ok during the day?

As far as Cafe East and Deptford go, I will also probably be doing this by myself. Seems like the trip to Deptford is actually quicker than Cafe East. We're staying in the financial district? The City. Oddly enough, here in New Orleans we have good Vietnamese food so I can skip this if I have to. I just really enjoy a good bowl of pho so thought that would be a good lunch without my spouse one day.

Thanks for the tip re sim card. Hubs is trying to get his new phone unlocked which they are giving him a had time about. We've been with the same company for years and years and never asked for a phone to be unlocked and now that he's requesting it, they are giving him a hard time. If his works then I'll upgrade as well but if not then I'll just swap the micro sim in my 3G iPad which is already unlocked.

Jul 02, 2013
RedBeans04 in U.K./Ireland

London for 8-9 days mid July

Ha! You made me laugh. I don't know why Tiroler Hut. Seemed fun and we generally like German and/or Austrian food.

Basically my way of visiting another city is to do research here on Chowhound as well as Yelp and put the interesting places on a google map. Once I think I've exhausted my research (or I run out of time) I go back through and try to put days with meals and then drop everything else. So I put Tiroler Hut on there for fun, though it is an outlier away from where we are staying so I'm thinking it might get dropped.

I've added more to my map:

Cafe East
Savoir Faire
Le Mercury

I seem to be missing Indian. I've read pages and pages here on Chowhound and it seems I can't decide on a place. The menu's all look different than what I'm used to so I think that's why. I love curry, specifically panang is a favorite but I don't see that on the menus.

Leaving in less than two weeks...I gotta get back to reading!

Jul 01, 2013
RedBeans04 in U.K./Ireland

London for 8-9 days mid July

Thanks DavidT.

I was several pages in when I started this thread. ;) From what I was reading, though admittedly not searched for) not as many people stay near to where we are staying who post here. I'm going to search for our area once I ask our contact what that area is! Downtown? The City? Financial District?

I didn't realize that Borough Market was only fully open those three days. Thanks.

We've eaten at Harrod's and I put Rules and J. Sheekey on my google map. Generally I wouldn't have looked at that because being from New Orleans, we have some of the best seafood anywhere. Sometimes I need to make myself see how others do it.

Thanks for the suggestions and as soon as I find out what our part of the city is called I'll search for it.

Jun 30, 2013
RedBeans04 in U.K./Ireland

LONDON: Ginger Pig Butchery Classes

This looks like so much fun! Alas we will be tourists and will have nothing to do with meat to take home.

£135 seems a little pricey to me but it looks like a great time!

Jun 30, 2013
RedBeans04 in U.K./Ireland

London for 8-9 days mid July

Hi all. I have read through many of the posts and have noted down some restaurants that keep being recommended. I can only find half my list at this moment.

Staying in the Financial District but willing to take public transport. Will have most lunch meals by myself with spouse in for dinner.

So far on my list are:

Borough Market (how much time / days should I set aside to meander through this market?)
Tirolar Hut
Texture (champagne bar)
Salt yard

We like ethnic foods especially Vietnamese, Thai, Indian and Greek. Not crazy about Italian and haven't had much Korean to say one way or another. Typical English also doesn't overly appeal. (Sorry) We also like Tapas.

I'm looking for delicious places but not necessarily expensive. I don't mind expensive but being there for 8 days we want to experience more delicious food vs expensive food. I'd rather have a memorable meal in a whole in the wall than a forgetful meal in a 5*. (Hope I explained that right) Not against fine dining at all but we've come to realize that the places we remember the most weren't the $500 meals.

One of these days will be my birthday so something special this day / night might be good.

Also, looking for suggestions of things to do. We've been before and have done most of the touristy things (jewels, tower, Harrods etc)

What does London have to offer that is uniquely London? Any special places to shop? How is Chinatown? I'm a Harry Potter fan, so I will probably do the walking tour and possibly also the studios tour since I'll be on my own a lot of the time.

I looked for a gin tasting/tour but didn't come up with anything. Looking up wine I came up with Vinopolis and Bedales. Anything in this vain that can be recommended?

Would love to take a day trip but not sure where togo. The historical Dockyard is on the list for sure. Wouldn't mind touring a castle while there.

Thank you in advance for any recommendations and/or tips.

OH p.s.- How does the 50% off via toptable work? Does it just auto apply the discount to the bill if the reservation is made via toptable?

Jun 30, 2013
RedBeans04 in U.K./Ireland

Ideas for adventurous 13 YO that won't break the bank

Just wanted to update everyone as we just got back. We ate at:

Mon Ami Gabi
Strip Steak (appetizers)
Hash House A Go Go
Wicked Spoon
Sushi Roku
American Fish (appetizers)
The Buffet @ Aria
In N Out

Everything was very good. Sushi Roku was the only let down. So pricey for what you get. I believe her favorite was Wicked Spoon because she had bone marrow and scored a pig ear.

When we checked out we were told that we had a $100 credit to The Buffet so we went there and it was surprisingly good and had a lot to offer. Duck fat fries were also a big hit.

Lotus of Siam is on our list for next trip. We just didn't make it this time. So many restaurants so little time. :) Thanks everyone for the ideas and suggestions. Also Bobby Flay's restaurant at Caesars looks delicious and that is on our list as well. We were looking at the photos on the signage while eating at sushi roku.

May 30, 2013
RedBeans04 in Las Vegas

The Strip: A Steakhouse, A Buffet, and A Reasonably priced restaurant

I'm so bummed that we had such a bad experience! I'd say we should try it again based on all the good reviews but I'd hate to waste another meal there.

Maybe their regular lunch and regular dinner is better than the 3 course special?

May 10, 2013
RedBeans04 in Las Vegas

Ideas for adventurous 13 YO that won't break the bank

We like In N Out and she's heard us talk about them so it is on her list.

What site did you get a rental car for $56? I've just started looking at them. My least favorite thing about travelling is to book a rental car.

Since this is her first time I can see her wanting to do more of the walking around and just looking around vs travelling, but I'm not against a rental car. Ideally I'd like to pick it up at the Aria though, since that is where we are staying.

I've seen LeThai mentioned several times and I'll have to look it up.


May 08, 2013
RedBeans04 in Las Vegas

Ideas for adventurous 13 YO that won't break the bank

Thank you! These are great ideas. I didn't even know Ice Pan existed and I forgot all about Holsteins!

Do you by any chance know where I could find the $19.99 Comme Ca lunch menu? I've googled and don't see it on their site. I found an old one from 2012. Says $17.50 so I'm guessing it is different now.

Spouse and I have done the Milos lunch and I think we're the only people who hated it. Our whole meal was awful. The lobster I had a hard time cutting with a serrated knife! Didn't even finish it it was so tough.

I was thinking of secret pizza but having been in the Cosmo I'm not sure it is a great place for people watching with my 13 year old. Of course I could turn it into a "what not to wear/do/act like" lesson. ;)

May 08, 2013
RedBeans04 in Las Vegas

Ideas for adventurous 13 YO that won't break the bank

Hi all. I'm wondering if you can give me some good ideas for restaurants on the strip (not renting a car) that our 13 year old would enjoy that won't break the bank.

Staying at Aria.

She pretty much eats anything with sushi and Thai being her favorites. Spicy is the only thing I can think of that she doesn't like. Would prefer not to break the bank feeding her but want to show her what Las Vegas has to offer food wise. Also, she's a fan of a lot of the cooking shows so a celebrity chef restaurant might be cool.

I was thinking of Lemongrass. She can order the Tom Ka soup which is a large portion and delicious, as long as they'll make it non-spicy.

Also thinking HHAGG.

We'll probably meander down to Mandalay and have apps at Strip Steak so she can try the duck fat fries.

Spouse and I did happy hour at the bar at American Fish in Jan and that might be a pretty good way to do a celebrity chef restaurant, though I'm not sure Michael Mina is known to her. (he was sitting behind us when we ate there in Jan)

For a buffet we were thinking Wicked Spoon.

Jaleo is delicious and should could try various items but I'm thinking it may just be too pricey.

In N Out Burger. She's never had one.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

May 07, 2013
RedBeans04 in Las Vegas

The Strip: A Steakhouse, A Buffet, and A Reasonably priced restaurant

We went this past Jan and I was very much looking forward to Estiarorio Milos and we were very disappointed. I hate t contradict the positive reviews here but thought I'd throw in my $0.02.

Here is my review from yelp:

"We went for the price fixe lunch. Don't bother. Go somewhere else. It isn't worth the $20.13.

Service wasn't attentive (had to repeatedly ask for more water or another beverage). I had the lobster and I could barely cut it with a knife! Was so chewy that I didn't even finish it.

The dessert was not edible. Tasted like soap."

May 06, 2013
RedBeans04 in Las Vegas

e Question

Hi all. Heading back to LV after being away for two years!

Scored a reservation at e. Do they serve the same thing each night or does it vary?


Jan 12, 2013
RedBeans04 in Las Vegas

Disney chow for foodies

I agree with the Contemporary suggestion, but I think the Jiko isn't a good one in this case. I suggested those earlier in the thread, but with no car, and little kids at the end of the day, I don't think Jiko is the best option because of the bus ride.

Kokomos is the name of the sushi place in the Swan and it is very good.

Feb 17, 2012
RedBeans04 in Florida

Visiting SF in a month, need good places to eat!

You can walk to the Ferry Market Building and pretty much anywhere in between. Get the pass for the busses and cable cars as they are very handy. BART is also very handy.

Disney chow for foodies

I think it had dropped off for a while but we went in Feb 2011 and it was very good. I think the atmosphere isn't what it used to be since the implementation of the disney dining plan but the food is still good. It has always been a rather loud restaurant.

We hadn't been in years because the last time we went it was subpar but this last trip we decided to try it again and sure enough, it was good. :)

Aug 01, 2011
RedBeans04 in Florida

Any "must eats" in the Destin / 30A area?

Thanks beachmouse!

Jul 26, 2011
RedBeans04 in Florida

Girls Weekend in Napa - need help with restaurant and winery list

We just got back from Napa.

I would ask what wineries you'll be visiting on that Sat so that any recommendations don't have you driving too much.

I have to 2nd the Morimoto suggestion and also would add in ZUZU which is down the street from Morimoto and tasty. It is Tapas so you could all order and share and taste.


610 Main Street, Napa, CA

Any "must eats" in the Destin / 30A area?

We are heading to Destin tomorrow for a few days and I wondered if there were any "must eats" in the area? We generally hit Vintij while we are in town.

How about any ethnic type food? Any Vietnamese?


Jul 26, 2011
RedBeans04 in Florida

Disney chow for foodies

Depends on the age of the kids. Victoria & Albert's is a great dining experience but not worth it for young kids who won't eat much. I think there is a minimum age.

You specifically asked for "in the resorts" so I'll answer that:

One of our favorite places to eat is Animal Kingdom Lodge. In the main building (Jambo House) we like Jiko and the the buffet there is Boma which is really good if you are adventurous eaters. They have regular stuff like a meat station, but they also have neat African dishes you could try. In the Kidani building is Sanaa which is also good with more of an Indian influence I'd say.

In the Grand Floridian, I like Citricos. You can't beat the view from California Grill at the top of the Contemporary.

One other favorite is Yachtsmans' Steakhouse at the yacht Club.

My husband's favorite is Flying Fish Cafe which is at the Boardwalk.


California Grill
Disneys Contemporary Resort, Orlando, FL 32830

Flying Fish
Disneys Boardwalk Resort, Orlando, FL 32830

Jul 26, 2011
RedBeans04 in Florida

Visiting SF in a month, need good places to eat!

There are smaller markets at the Ferry Building on Tues and Thurs. We were in town from Wed Fri (Leaving early on Sat) so we did the Thursday one. Very fun to walk around and look at what all the little shops had and the food was inside and outside.

Visiting SF in a month, need good places to eat!

CupKate's truck. :) I rarely eat dessert but got a red velvet cupcake and it was just so good.

We only tried about 5 or 6 trucks. Hubby really liked the pig truck. (can't remember the name)

SF / Napa 40th Birthday Trip Advice

I want to thank everyone who helped answer questions and make suggestions for my trip. I think this might get a little long, but maybe the info will be helpful to someone else. Going to divide it into San Francisco and Napa, so two different posts. Here is a link to my photos (They mostly go in order)

We started off taking BART from SFO to Westin St. Francis. This was very easy and I’d do it again. HOWEVER our flight in Phoenix was delayed by three hours so we didn’t get to SFO until 10 or so. I think it was too late to take BART and walk down the street with luggage etc. If I was to arrive earlier I’d take BART but that late again, I’d take a cab.

I must say that I was not prepared for the scary homeless people in SF. Had I known what to expect maybe it wouldn’t have bothered me so much. During the ride and walk to our hotel from BART station, I constantly had the feeling I was being followed. I’ve been in large cities at night and live in New Orleans but for some reason SF bothered me. We were standing on the corner of Powell and Market one day just trying to figure out what we wanted to do next. There were so many homeless people harassing us that I couldn’t even think! We weren’t trying to figure out how to get anywhere…just standing there talking. It was crazy. Overall I enjoyed SF and might even return for a few days coming or going to Napa but I don’t think I’d go to SF just to go to SF because of that. Maybe it would be different since I’d know what to expect next time.

We got to the hotel around 11:30 I guess and brought our luggage up and then tried to find something to eat. We ended up at Ryoko’s. This was a fun late night spot and the sushi was really good. Service was good too. Just watching the wait staff run back and forth was making me tired. The lady who owns or runs the place was very nice and personable. Thanked us for waiting etc.

On Thursday we went down to the Ferry Market Building for their lunch. I had the fried chicken ramen from Happa Ramen. I didn’t find anything special about the broth and noodles but man o man was the chicken in this dish good!

We then we ended up at Samovar Tea House. Wow, is this a beautiful spot. I think it is more about the view and the beautiful building than the actual tea. ;


Next up was True Sake, which we ended up WALKING TO from Powell and Market. The lady that runs this store is very knowledgeable and very nice. Lots of nice sake’s and we’ve been very happy with our choices. Highly suggest this store if you are a sake lover.

Took the bus back to the Westin to drop our sake loot off and then hopped a street car to Fisherman’s Warf for dinner at Ana Mandara. My goodness this place is good. I had the Dungeness Crab Soup and the Grilled Prawns with Garlic Noodles. I can’t say enough about these two dishes. So much flavor and yet so simple. Would definitely go back!

Friday started off with a bus ride to Little Saigon for some Chicken Pho at Turtle Tower. This tasted more like chicken noodle soup than the pho I’m used to but I think I was supposed to add things from the condiment cart on the table. Either way is was very very good.

There was a knit shop I wanted to visit (Artfibers which I loved!) further toward the financial district so we headed that way and meandered through town enjoying the sights. We were heading back to our hotel to drop off the yarn I bought and passed right by Chinatown!

Chinatown was way more touristy than I expected. Vital Tea Leaf was on my list and we actually went in by accident! Royal was the person who was pouring tea and chatting with us. We literally could have spent all day in this place. Loved it! We tried probably at least 10 different teas and of course brought home a few. Highly recommend Vital Tea Leaf for tea tasting!

It was getting late so we headed back to our hotel to drop off the tea and other souvenirs we had picked up along the way so we could get to Off The Grid early. This plan didn’t work out so well (cable cars were full, bus stops were crowded, we got off too early and had to walk up Fort Mason etc), but we ended up there eventually and still a little on the early side. I can’t even remember exactly everything we ate but if you like street food I do highly recommend this place. I do remember the cupcakes from CupKate were probably the best cupcakes I’ve ever had. And I had some fish tacos from The Taco Guys that were really good. I had the shrimp too and didn’t enjoy those as much because the shrimp tasted funny (it is a preservative that I don't care for). I also had the Garlic Noodles form the Vietnamese food truck and they were good but not as good as the ones from Ana Mandara. Hubby had the Notorious P.I.G. and thought it was delicious. My husband got a t-shirt and wore it the next day and several people commented on it and said how much they enjoyed OTG themselves.

To sum up our San Francisco portion:

Things we thought were just ok: Hapa Ramen, Samovar Tea House

Things we really enjoyed: Ferry Market Building, Ana Mandara, Artfibers, Turtle Tower, Vital Tea Leaf and Off The Grid.

Thanks all for the recommendations and I will post my Napa Review later.

Turtle Tower Restaurant
631 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94109

True Sake
560 Hayes St, San Francisco, CA 94102

Ana Mandara Restaurant
891 Beach St., San Francisco, CA 94109

Vital Tea Leaf
1044 Grant Ave, San Francisco, CA

Ryoko Restaurant & Bar
619 Taylor St, San Francisco, CA 94102

Hapa Ramen
ferry building, San Francisco, CA

Visiting SF in a month, need good places to eat!

We just got back and we really enjoyed Ana Mandara. I'm putting together all my info so I'll post it soon. Service was good, atmosphere interesting and food was great. There is a little wine bar in the same complex that we enjoyed too.

I'd also suggest Off The Grid if truck food is your thing. We enjoyed the variety and the atmosphere. Get there as early as you can.


Ana Mandara Restaurant
891 Beach St., San Francisco, CA 94109

SF / Napa 40th Birthday Trip Advice

Just wanted to say that we are almost finished our vacation and had some great advice from everyone here. I plan to do quick reviews when I have more time at home on things we did, places we ate and wineries we toured. I'm sure I won't have anything new to say that hasn't already been said, but maybe a few quick notes will help others when they are searching for the same information.

Shishito Peppers in SF?

Thanks everyone for all the replies. We'll definitely try to find some while we are visiting. :)

Shishito Peppers in SF?

Fresh to take home and grill. Maybe secure a source for shipping if anyone does that. We've looked everywhere locally and they just are not found here (New Orleans area).

Shishito Peppers in SF?

We are coming to your lovely town (San Francisco and Napa) this week and I wondered if any of you know if I could fine shishito peppers anywhere locally?

I believe it is a Japanese pepper.

Thanks in advance.

SF / Napa 40th Birthday Trip Advice

The problem is that I had it planned out by where the places were geographically BEFORE I looked into open hours. We really like Tapas so I want to do ZUZU but they are not open on Sunday for lunch according to their website. So I had to move it to Monday. What if I switch Duckhorn and Paraduxx?

Trip is next week so we should be ok for LoKal.