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Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

March 27th, 2019

United By Blue, Coffee Shop, Retail Store, Accessories, Apparel, Camping, Online Shopping, Old City, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,


A coffee shop experience is different for most everyone. I remember when I used to be petrified of going into Starbucks. How in the world do you order? I learned quickly…..A Venti, Cafe Mocha, Extra Hot, No Whip. That is my standard.

People watching is a must. Some are relaxing checking their texts. Others are rushing by.

When I was young I remember my grandmother always had coffee in the balcony in Puerto Rico, accompanied by the neighbors. It was a time to relax and talk. Really talk! You had to. There were no portable phones yet. Not even in the imagination of us mortals.

I was in Philadelphia last month and this city is perfect for foodies. It is also a paradise for good coffee shops. Are you a coffee snub? Then you are in the right city.

United By Blue started in Philadelphia in 2013. My son told me he was taking me to a very interesting coffee shop. Indeed it was! It is located at 205 Race St., Old City, Philadelphia 19106. Tel. 267-457-3114. Website? https://www.unitedbyblue.com/pages/flagship

United By Blue is local, so you probably won’t see too many tourists yet. Another location on Walnut Street.


Their coffee was excellent. You can do a little online shopping if you want to try something delicious.

A Breakfast sandwhich with home fries. The menu is online, as well. It was perfect for a cool morning in the City of Brotherly Love.

We all call our planet home and United By Blue is doing its part to help keep it clean. Their Mission? “For every product sold, United By Blue removes one pound of trash from our World’s ocean and waterways.” To find out why please log onto the website above referenced.

Besides being a coffee shop, it is also a retail store. Apparel for men, women, including shoes. Camping gear too.

In the store there is copperwear to buy. I particularly liked the straws. I think you can see them in the following photo, inside the mugs.

Very interesting indeed. Read about them, join a cleanup and check past cleanups as well.

In the meantime, if you are in Philly and want to really be a neighborhood local, by all means stop by. Remember this company offers coffee, food, retail shopping but in their hearts it is an “enviornmental conservation organization”.

Follow them on Instagram ubb_phila and on FB as United By Blue.

Have a great day.

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February 21st, 2019

Stir, Restaurant, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Phiadelphia, Pennsylvania, Lunch, Brunch

On my previous post I mentioned that day tripping to Philadelphia is an easy one from the Delaware Beaches. It only takes a few hours and if you casually plan it well, you will have a fun day. A change of scenery, as well.

The Philadelphia Museum of art is located at 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia. Our quest was to make it to the Fabulous Fashion: From Dior’s New Look to Now exhibit. It is there until March 3rd. You can check the museum’s website by visiting https://philamuseum.org.

I was trying to see what dining experience we could have at the museum. In order not to be rushed it would be perfect to eat there. I found out that a new restaurant called Stir had opened in October, 2018. There is the restaurant and there is also a Cafe. My interest was Stir, the restaurant.

Stir was designed by Frank Owen Gehry. His is considered to be one of the most well known architects in the world. Some of his buildings, including his home in Los Angeles have become world-renowned attractions.

The day it opened Metro wrote an article about Stir and Mr. Gehry. Very interesting. Please check https://www.metro.us/things-to-do/philadelphia/philadelphia-museum-of-art-new-restaurant-Stir

We, actually, made a reservation through Open Table. The restaurant’s ceiling looks like it is floating. The chairs were so comfortable and the lighting was perfect. The Executive Chef is Mark Tropea who is a Philly-born guy with 20 years of experience.

Stir is managed by the Philadelphia’s Constellation Culinary Group which was known as the STARR Catering Group.

The moment I saw the Roasted Duck on the menu, I knew that would be my choice. Served with Vadouvan carrots, wheat berries, sour cherry and port reduction. Vadouvan is a French Masala Curry Powder with a little kick. The blending of classic curry spices with aromatic onion, garlic, and shallot. It is ground to fine powder. Medium rare and chrispy on top is how it was presented. So delicious, I want to go back.

The Grilled Venison Loin also caused a “Stir” because just like the duck it was perfectly cooked, as well. A currant and pink peppercorn gastrique, castle valley grits, and brased rainbow chard complemented the venison.

We did not have dessert. But, we did have wine. Our server was friendly and his suggestions were on point.

But we had a tour to catch. Isn’t it great when a restaurant delivers such a good experience?

Anyway, remember that there is an AboutMyBeaches FaceBook page and if you like it will be much appreciated.

Until then…..Spring is around the corner.


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February 7th, 2019

Mary’s Touch, Moving, Packing, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, Delaware Beaches, Southern Delaware, Sussex County

A few months ago I needed a mover. As it is usually the case a friend gave me the name of Mary Nicholson who is the owner of Mary’s Touch. Her company, Mary’s Touch Moving & Packing, LLC specializes in new homes, storage and retirement homes. Tel. 302-745-1272.

Word of mouth is the best advertising you can get. You are happy with the work, you will definitely, pass the word around. I have been meaning to write a post on Mary because they were true professionals. At some point or another everyone needs a mover that will pack and move your treasures to either another home or to a storage unit.

Totally recommend this company. Please give Mary a call.


Remember to check AboutMyBeaches FaceBook Page!!

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September 25th, 2018

Semra’s Mediterranean Grill, Restaurant, Take Out, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, Review, Lunch, Dinner, The Beach Eats, Casual, Homemade Food, Aromatic Spices, Southern Delaware

Crushed red pepper directly from Turkey.  Semra’s family sends her this sweet pepper.  It does not look sweet but it is.  Very good.  Semra’s has it on all tables.  I had a craving for Moussaka from Semra’s.  In Turkey, which is where Semra is from, the Moussaka has a different appearance.  I always thought Moussaka looked like and eggplant lasagna.  At Semra’s it is prepared Turkish style.  It is so aromatic and flavorful.

The Kofte I had for lunch today.  The patties are char-grilled, again, seasoned with those delicious Turkish herbs and spices.  It was served with rice, yogurt sauce and pita bread.

Semra’s is located at 19 Rehoboth Avenue on the ocean block.  You can find them on Facebook.  Their website is http://www.semras.com.

Semra’s also has take out and catering.  During the winter they have belly dancing evenings, a complete fun show.  It is very well attended.  You can check their Facebook page or visit the above mentioned website.

It is interesting to find out other restauranteurs visiting their favorite restaurants in Rehoboth Beach.

Semra and her husband, John, are always at the restaurant.  They are so friendly.  Very nice couple.  Their food is cooked inhouse and they consider themselves foodies.  That is why their food taste so good.  Their cooking reflect the love of delicious homemade food, beautifully spiced.

Until next time!!

 

 

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September 20th, 2018

The Harbor of Refuge Lighthouse, Lewes, Delaware, Tours, Delaware River & Bay Lighthouse Foundation, Delaware Breakwater, Walk in The Steps of The Lightkeeper, Delaware Beaches, Delaware Bay, Southern Delaware

In June of 2013 I got curious about the 2 lighthouses located between Lewes, Delaware and Cape May, New Jersey.  Writing a blog about the Delaware Beaches and beyond gives me so much information.  Information that I can pass on to you.  The Delaware Beaches are year round resorts and there is plenty to do if you choose to do so, or nothing at all if you just want to relax.  I went on a tour this summer with the Delaware River & Bay Lighthouse Foundation.  This organization is dedicated to the preservation of the Harbor of Refuge Lighthouse.  When I first visited you could not step out off the boat and go inside the lighthouse.  We actually then went inside the East End Lightouse. More about that one in another post. Since then there has been a lot of restoration to the Harbor of Refuge, and this summer they opened it for tours.

The Delaware River & Bay Lighthouse Foundation can be contacted by calling 302-644-7046.  The website is http://www.delawarebaylights.org/

My friend, Sharon, who is a true local, and very proud of it, had never visited the lighthouses but always wanted to.  We arrived at the Cape-May Lewes Ferry Terminal in Lewes.  That’s is where we would be picked up.  Arriving a little early we decided to have something to eat at the outdoor bar/restaurant called On the Rocks.  Best view and great burgers, as well.

Finally, the boat arrived and Sharon and I were ready.

The Cape-May Lewes Ferry was just coming in but our main goal was to get to the historic and iconic Harbor of Refuge.

It was one of those beautiful days in Delmarva and Cape Henlopen looked awesome.

The keeper of this lonely offshore lighthouse.  It was hard work.  Storms were relentless and waves would reach all the way up the lighthouse.  We first passed the East End Lighthouse.  But, we had to continue to our destination.

 

The Delaware Breakwater along with the lighthouses are engineer marvels of the 19th century.  They were the first strucures of the kind built in the Western Hemisphere.  In 1976, the Delaware Breakwater, the East End Lighthouse and the Harbor of Refuge Light Station were inducted into the National Register of Historic Places as the Nation’s first offshore Historic District.

The imposing Harbor of Refuge was in front of us.  We got off the boat and climbed the stairs to the different levels where the Keeper lived.  Docents are able to give you all the information you need.  The most important thing is the feeling you get of what would be like to “walk in the steps of the Lightkeeper”.

The Harbor of Refuge’s dock has been restored.  So much work in raising funds to maintain this historic lighthouse.  The dock has been dedicated to Red Moulinier, President of the Delaware River & Bay Lighthouse Foundation for his time and efforts.  The lighthouse still has more renovations on the way along with maintenance.  It has been painted and it looks beautiful.

From the top of the lighthouse the views are unbelievable as you can imagine.  At times, dolphins and mantas pass by.

By visiting the website above mentioned you will be able to see what tours they will have next year. Also check the sunset tours. You will not go inside the lighthouses but will circle around them for those Kodak moments.  Tours book quickly and, of course, it also depends on the weather.  This weekend they have tours on Saturday, but they are already sold out.  For more info. you may call Red at 302-226-3866.  There is also a button on the website for donations.  Every little bit helps.

If you would like to see my other posts on these lighthouses, with photos, please visit my website at http://www.aboutmybeaches.com.

Have a great time this weekend.  The beginning of Fall!!

By the way, lots of locals on this tour.  We had fun!!

 

 

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July 23rd, 2018

Friendships, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, Restaurants, The Back Porch, a(Muse), Downtown Rehoboth Beach, Summer 2018, Chicken Wings, Delaware Beaches, Southern Delaware, SODE, Sussex County

Many years ago when I first came to the Delaware Beaches, Bethany Beach became my home for a long time.  My first friendships were made there.  Over the years life happens.  Happyness, marriages, children, grandchildren, divorces, and yes, even death have impacted our lives.  New friends have been made but you always remember those first ones.  We were so young then.

Deveraux is one of those friends that then moved out of town.  We still text or call during our birthdays in March, but we have not been together much.  This week-end she came to Rehoboth Beach.  Oh yes, this rainy weekend, so no beach time for us but plenty of activity, eating and catching up did happen.

Friday was going to be the best day so she arrived by lunch time.  Arriving in Downtown Rehoboth Beach, we were hungry.  Something light is what we wanted.  We decided on The Back Porch.  This restaurant is one of the oldest restaurants in Downtown Rehoboth Beach.  Liked by many and in competition with plenty of other restaurants in town.  I had not been there in quite a few years.

Deveraux had the Seared Day Scallops, Thai Red Curry, and Sesame Noodles.  She loved this dish.

I had the Burrata Salad, which was light and very good.  Would have loved to have had it topped with scallops or something else but there were no changes to be made at The Back Porch.  I can see if the restaurant was crowded but with only a couple of people having lunch at 2 p.m. what would have been the big deal?  Go figure.

Happy Hour at my house with Annie visiting from Bethany Beach.  Deveraux had made marinated Chicken Wings…Gluten Free.  Easy fixing.  First cook the wings in oil in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. Then make a marinade of Whiskey, brown sugar and mustard.  You can mix different kinds of mustards.  Then marinade for at least 24 hours.  Put them in the oven at 400 degrees for about half hour or so.  Check them and if you like them well done then you know what you need to do.

Friday really was a perfect day.  Our next stop was going to be a(Muse), located on Baltimore Ave. in Downtown Rehoboth Beach.  This restaurant is great for foodies.  If you are one of those people that want quantity vs. quality, then this might not be an eatery for you.  All we wanted was to graze.  A little bit of this or a little bit of that.

Two different types of Rose for us.  One dryer than the other.  Perfect.

People stuff squash blossoms.  This is what they would look like.

We share the Smoked Salmon Squash Blossoms.  Dill, croutons, and heirloom tomatoes.  Love, Love!

We also ordered a salad of Baby Kale, boquerones, pine nuts, golden raisins, lemon vinaigrette dressing and parmesan cheese.  Boquerones are originally from Spain.  I think they are delicious. They are fresh anchovies, marinated in vinegar.

Our next shareable was the Middleneck Clams…they had country ham, tomatillo, and green tomato.  I had a problem with this dish.  It look so beautiful and appetizing.  But, it really was too spicy and you could not taste the steamed clams.  And yes, we did tell our server.  Usually you would have liked to dip bread in this sauce, but not this time.  Honestly said, hopefully they took the hint.

The pasta with Maryland Crab, heirloom tomato, celery and fennel was a dish we really ennjoyed and wished we would have ordered the whole portion instead of the half.  You could have this with a salad and be pretty content.

Our sweet ending of 3 scoops of our choice of ice cream was truly excellent.  Made in house.  They were delicious.  One was a Brie Ice Cream, a Vanilla, and I cannot remember the other.

We took off for the Bandstand to listen to the last of the music.

And last but not least…..Funland to play Whack a Mole.  This is a tradition and a must.  Sorry Deveraux, but I had to put you on the blog.

And so our weekend did continue.  Sometimes there is no friend like an old friend.  These types of friendships are the comfort food of our relationships.

Talk to you later.

 

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June 2nd, 2018

Fenwick Island Eats, Our Harvest, Delaware, Small Plates, Shareables, Large Plates, Bar, Gluten Free, Vegan, Southern Delaware, Restaurant, Review, Relaxed Dining, Casual Atmosphere, Delaware Beaches, Good Food? Will Travel!!

 

When we share a meal with friends, it is so much more than food (really?)…and, when we share it with girlfriends, and for purposes of this post, like the Swirl Girls, then it is really priceless.  Some of us have known each other for years while others, are getting to know each other very fast.  Here we were trying to figure out which table would be the best one.  Right after Memorial week-end we had the place to ourselves since we arrived early.  We did not want a big table.  We like to be cozy in order to get that conversation going.  The group had just gone to watch the Book Club, if you get my drift.

The majority of us had not yet dined at Our Harvest.  This restaurant located at 1106 Coastal Hwy., Fenwick Island, DE 19944, opened last year.  Every day, at 5:00 p.m., you can come in and experience a way of eating that has become so popular in the U. S.  Telephone is 302-581-0377.  No reservations are accepted.  The website is http://www.ourharvestde.com.

As the season progresses please have in mind when you would like to eat.  You have to have a plan because it gets crowded at the Delaware Beaches.  If you arrive and there is a wait, you could have cocktails, relaxing in their bar or in any of the very comfortable leather sofas.

There is an open concept kitchen.  You really can see how the kitchen is running.  I have to tell you that I probably should have come to try Our Harvest last year.  I love their sister restaurant, Liquid Assets, in Ocean City, MD, and I did not want to like this one more.  Guess what?  They are completely different.

The menu was presented and our server knew the menu well.  She explained the concept of eating small plates and shareables.  At that moment all we wanted was some wine.  Having watched the Book Club, wine was very much consumed by the characters.  It was time to relax.  The wine that you see at the table was from South Africa.  A full bodied Merlot called Immortal Hero.

At first you are a bit overwhelmed because you, actually, do not know how much to order for the table.  And, we all have our likes and dislikes.  We managed to do a good job and we were all very pleased with how the evening was progressing.  Could not believe Jane Fonda looks that good at 81… I know, I know.

We all decided to have a small plate to start our dining experience.  Every time I see the offering of a Grilled Caesar Salad, I order it.  Years ago I had it at a restaurant in Hagerstown, Maryland.  Since then, a few have gotten close at how good that one tasted so I wanted to see how this one would be, more so because it had Boquerones which are white anchovies.  They are very mild and usually they are marinated in vinegar.  It gives the salad a kick.  I will have to say that this Caesar was excellent.

Others ordered the Salt Roasted Beets & Two Cheeses.  Served on a wooden plank it had whipped ricotta, Stracciatella, local greens, black pepper and beet vinaigrette. Stracciatella cheese is produced from Italian buffalo milk in the southern Italian region of Apulia.  They use a stretching and shredding technique.  This particular small plate could have been shared by two people.

We ordered the Spring Harvest Flatbread.  A crispy crust filled with local peas, ramps, morel mushrooms, local asparagus, ricotta, gruyere mornay, green garlic pesto and crispy capers.  Ramps are a special type of wild onion, found in eastern Canada and U.S.  And a Gruyere mornay is a bechamel sauce that has Gruyere cheese added to it.  It was delicious but to tell you the truth we probably ordered too much.  Not that we did not eat it, by the way.

“Friendship is a delicious meal to be shared off one large plate.”  So, we decided to order our large plates.  This particular dish I truly loved.  It was called the Vegan Feast.  It was a whole wood fire roasted head of cauliflower, benne cashew crumb, and a lemon garlic vegan aioli.  At first we thought it was cheese but it was the benne cashew crumb. Cashews are lower in fat than other nuts. You can find online a lot of recipes for this vegan seed.

A very popular dish at Our Harvest is a whole Amish air chilled chicken…Arnold Palmer brine, (sweet tea and lemonade brine chicken, I believe), wood fired with lemon and rosemary.  Liquid Assets has an amazing chicken, as well.  Both chickens are completely different and delicious in more ways than one. We ordered TWO.

Needless to say, no need for dessert.  We decided that definitely we would be back.  Thanks to our server and also to the hostess that so graciously explained to me how the restaurant worked.

And so I end my post with this quote from John Lanchester….”Hospitality is central to the restaurant business, yet it’s a hard idea to define precisely.  Most, it involves being nice to people and making them feel welcome.  You notice it when it’s there, and you particularly notice it when it isn’t.  A single significant lapse in this area can be your dominant impression of an entire meal.”

Until next time….

Comments Off on Fenwick Island Eats, Our Harvest, Delaware, Small Plates, Shareables, Large Plates, Bar, Gluten Free, Vegan, Southern Delaware, Restaurant, Review, Relaxed Dining, Casual Atmosphere, Delaware Beaches, Good Food? Will Travel!!

March 8th, 2018

Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, Orchid Extravaganza until March 25h, Events, Flowers, Gardens, Day Tripping

Finally the sun has come out.  Buds are on the trees, weeping willows are getting greener.  Some signs and hints that Spring is around the corner.  Well, you know, we had a few nor’easters to take care of but, hopefully, we should almost be finished with winter.

My young second cousin, Natalia, stayed with me for some time after the devastation of two hurricanes in Puerto Rico.  Right before she lef Southern Delaware the weather in Southern Delaware was gray and miserable, so I took her to Longwood Gardens.  Their Orchid Extravaganza is going on and it is gorgeous.  If you get a chance, it is there until March 25th.  The address is 1001 Longwood Rd., Kennett Square, PAQ 19348.

When you think about it, it is very accessible, only a couple of hours away.  You can spend the day.  The area offers so much, plus a little bit of a change of scenery.

Flowers have a positive effect on humans.  I try to fill my vases with flowers as much as I can.  When I see them I have a different disposition altogether.  Longwood Gardens open year round.  Please check their website, https://www.longwoodgardens.org

It is that time of the year, so if you are ready to get into the spirit of Easter, make a visit to these beautiful gardens.

Discover your own backyard.  Have a great day!

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