Dessert at Julia Mia

Earlier this year I wrote about having dinner at Julia Mia Cancún which is an upscale authentic restaurant loved by locals. In the article I mentioned dessert but recently found this image of the table-side preparation. Can’t wait to revisit this place when we travel to Mexico next year.

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Dessert at Julia Mia

Boppard Hamm Rhineland

The Boppard Hamm wine region is one of the largest in Europe. It lies between Boppard and Spay in the Upper Middle Rhine Valley in Germany. This section of the Rhine River is known as The Rhine Gorge and has been a World Cultural Heritage of UNESCO since 2002.

The river does a bend here and shields the damp west wind creating a great climate for growing grapes. As our ship cruises though the river bends you can see miles of fields like this and people picking grapes by hand.

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Boppard Hamm Rhineland

Julia Mia Cancún

Some friends of mine are visiting Cancún and I was excited to recommend a restaurant to them. I then realized that I have never written about this experience and it is truly one of the best places I have ever dined. Cancún has many great restaurants. Restaurante La Habichuela has wonderful and authentic Mexican cuisine. Trattoria Limoncello is a wonderful Italian restaurant overlooking the bay with great sunset views.

I asked our hotel concierge where to get the best authentic regional cuisine and he said you have to go downtown where the locals dine. He arranged for a free ride to and from the restaurant which is great because it is easy to get lost in downtown Cancún and hard to find parking. I believe we were the only Americans in the place but it didn’t matter. Everyone spoke flawless English. The facility was beautiful and elegant. Our waiter suggested we try either the meat or seafood sampling menu which featured seven signature dishes from the restaurant. This was the way to go because the menu was large and each dish sounded better than the next.

From the special cocktail made from mescal and papaya. Next they presented an edible version of the menu and then one amazing dish after another. The service was friendly and evenly paced from the first dish to the table side cherries jubilee at the end. The total cost was about $65 per person plus tip and after two hours of dining we were happy and enjoyed our chauffeured ride back to our beach hotel.

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The Barrel Room at Marksburg Castle

Wine was really important in the 15th Century. Fresh water supply was not always available and this was especially true if a castle was under siege. Each castle we visited had a large wine cellar. At Marksburg Castle it was on the ground floor near the stable. While these barrels are huge they aret not as large as the one in Heidelberg Castle which is thought to be the largest wine barrel in the world and almost impossible to photograph.

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The Barrel Room at Marksburg Castle

The Barrel Room at Marksburg Castle

Welcoming 2017

Social media is on fire with what a fucked up year 2016 was. We are coming to grips with the fact that not only has Facebook become the new obituary page of the cyber newspaper but that any time some one dies hundreds of people feel a need to eulogize. It seems like thousands of people died this year from Bowie to Debbie Reynolds, each week brings a new shock of loss.

Not only that but we elected a fascist as President and hate and racism seem to be driving society all over the world. Great Britain left Europe and the USA seems to want to join Russia and Korea as the new axis of evil. Yes 2016 was fucked but how did it treat your personally?

Not a bad year for us. We settled in to our new home in Pittsburgh and our daughter bought her first house outside Chicago. We made new friends and got reacquainted with old friends. We spent a month at the beach and a another month touring Europe and thank God we have our health. In any case I am sure 2017 will also be full of surprises. May you all stay healthy and happy and join me in a toast, fuck off 2016, thank God for another chance.

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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Honey Can You Pick Up Some Cana?

I love going shopping in supermarkets in Mexico. It’s so similar and yet so different. You see different cuts of meat and different types of produce. Even the groceries are different and I have never seen so many different types of yogurt. I have never seen sugar cane available in a US Market, even in Florida. Maybe I just wasn’t looking.

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Cana

Cana

Yes Chicago Does Have a Chinatown!

We were in Berwyn Illinois this weekend to visit my daughter over Father’s Day weekend. They all decided to take me out for Father’s Day Dim Sum at a place called MingHin Cusine. I have enjoyed Dim Sum in many places including New York’s ChinaTown, Los Angeles,San Francisco but this place WAS the best.

The reason was they didn’t have the silly carts where the food is sometimes not real fresh. You order from a menu and they bring out each dish as it is done. Our local Pittsburgh restaurant, Sun Penang also does this but MingHin has a much bigger selection.. If you go, make a reservation like my brilliant daughter did,the wait was at least one hour.

I was also quite surprised at the size of the Chicago Chinatown which is easily as big as New York’s but not as grand as San Francisco. Here are some snaps from the area, I was too hungry to take food photos.

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Chicago's Chinatown

Chicago’s Chinatown