Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.




Hip Hop Cognac, part 2

on September 02nd, 2010
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  • pinitbutton Hip Hop Cognac, part 2
hip hop cognac ti part 2 300x213 Hip Hop Cognac, part 2

T.I. in Takers

by Jeff Hoyt

Was it just last week that I questioned the judgment of Remy Martin Cognac for naming rapper T.I. Global Creative Consultant after his last stint in prison for felony weapons charges? Seems the rapper may have decided to celebrate his latest movie “Takers” opening #1 at the box office with something stronger than cognac, as his newlywed wife Tameka “Tiny” Cottle and the musician-actor-producer-troublemaker were busted last night in Los Angeles for felony possession of a controlled substance. That could result in a probation violation, landing him back behind bars, but rapper and noted legal advisor 50 Cent tweeted the following plan: “Man TI and tiny done got picked up agin for methamphetmines and ecstacy dam man,” 50 tweeted. “Tiny gotta take that charge. Say it was yours, Baby.” That’s heroic! If she does take the rap for the rapper, may I suggest he thank her with a trip to one of our World’s Top 10 Honeymoon Hotels? Don’t worry, T.I.; there are a few domestic choices if you’re not allowed to leave the country. Continue reading “Hip Hop Cognac, part 2” »




  • pinitbutton Celebrate Charleston Restaurant Week
charleston restaurant week 300x226 Celebrate Charleston Restaurant Week

Blu Restaurant & Bar in Charleston, SC

by Jeff Hoyt

Special discounted menus will be at your favorite Charleston area restaurants from September 8 through 19. Some will prepare three-course meals for $30, including Blu Restaurant & Bar and Cypress: A Lowcountry Grille, while others such as Social Restaurant + Wine Bar will offer even more savings, with three-course meals for only $20. At the latter, diners can enjoy heirloom tomatoes with fennel panzanella, pan seared scallops with melted leek wonton and roasted oyster mushrooms, and end their meal with a triple chocolate mousse with peanut brittle for a measly double sawbuck.

For a list of participating restaurants, visit If you miss this, there will be another money-saving Charleston Restaurant Week from January 10th-22nd, 2011. Check out for Charleston-area restaurants reviews and ratings. Visitors should consult our Weekend Vacation Guide to Charleston.

  • pinitbutton Baby Brain? Nanny Caddy to the Rescue!
nanny caddy vending machine 179x300 Baby Brain? Nanny Caddy to the Rescue!

The Nanny Caddy vending machine

by Jeff Hoyt

The next time my family visits LEGOLAND, there will be a new addition that will thrill parents. No, I’m not referring to the new water park, which is sure to please the kids. I mean the three Nanny Caddy vending machines strategically placed throughout the attractions that sell items that are easy to forget, misplace or use up, but can make the difference between a delightful vacation and disaster.

A Nanny Caddy, which is making its California debut at the park this week, carries items that parents rely on: diapers, wipes, formula, bottles, and even pacifiers, which could replace one dropped overboard by an excited child during a water ride. Infants wear different sunscreens than their thicker-skinned parents, so that’s available as well, along with Tylenol, which presumably can be used to treat an adult headache as well as a child’s. But headaches should be reduced due to these devices, which also carry hand sanitizer, diaper cream, and disposable cameras.

Hip Hop Cognac

on August 26th, 2010
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  • pinitbutton Hip Hop Cognac
t.i. remymartin 197x300 Hip Hop Cognac

Rapper T.I. has been named Global Creative Consultant to Rémy Martin Cognac

by Jeff Hoyt

A few years ago, General Motors hired rapper T.I. to promote their line of cars, but they dropped the deal when the Grammy-award-winner pled guilty to felony charges after trying to buy guns and silencers from an informant. If you think his days of big endorsements are over, think again. After serving nearly six months in prison and a stint in a halfway house on federal weapons charges, he has been named Global Creative Consultant to Rémy Martin Cognac.


  • pinitbutton Beat the Heat During San Antonio Restaurant Week
san antonio restaurantweek 200x300 Beat the Heat During San Antonio Restaurant Week

Biga on the Banks in San Antonio, TX

by Jeff Hoyt

Temperatures are up in San Antonio this week, but prices at restaurants are way down. Beat the 100-degree heat by keeping your stove off and dining out. This is Culinaria Restaurant Week in San Antonio, which lasts until Saturday, August 28. Enjoy prix-fixe lunches at just $15 and dinners at $35 at top local area restaurants including Biga on the Banks, The Lodge Restaurant of Castle Hills, and Bin 555. You can find the complete list of participating San Antonio restaurants and the restaurant’s menus here.

Keep up with the local dining scene with San Antonio Restaurant Reviews, News, and Culinary Events.

Pizza To-Go…. Far!

on August 20th, 2010
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  • pinitbutton Pizza To Go…. Far!
537590 pizza Pizza To Go…. Far!

Check out's list of the Top 10 Pizza Restaurants in the U.S.

by Jeff Hoyt

Ending a vacation and saying goodbye to your family is always sad, but this last airport experience was particularly stressful. The terminal was closed when I arrived at JFK due to “too many people.” Then, the baggage handler forgot to give me my second boarding pass. My flight was delayed a few times, forcing me to scramble between gates until I finally was able to squeeze into a window seat on a plane headed for LAX. (My luggage was headed for Detroit, but that’s another story.)

The man in the aisle seat and I were hoping that our middle seat would remain empty, but these days, few flights seem to have empty seats. It was filled by a young man carrying not one, but two pizzas. Hot pizzas, in bulky boxes that brushed against my side, as their aroma made my stomach wake up and take notice.

Continue reading “Pizza To-Go…. Far!” »

Tightening Our Belts

on August 10th, 2010
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  • pinitbutton Tightening Our Belts
harris poll Tightening Our Belts

A recent nationwide survey showed that consumers are still cutting back

by Jeff Hoyt

Is the economy getting better? Consumers are still cutting back, according to a recent Harris poll. The nationwide survey, conducted in June, found that 48 percent of the 2,227 adult respondents said they are brown-bagging lunch instead of purchasing a meal. That’s an increase from the 45 percent of respondents polled in February. If you’re tired of takeout or delivery at the office, try some of our recipes to save some hard-earned cash.

For beverages, 22 percent said they have stopped buying their early morning coffee in order to save money. 39 percent of those polled, or nearly two in five, said they were using refillable water bottles instead of purchasing bottled water, compared with 34 percent who responded that way in February.

For ways to save money dining out, consult the Gayot Economic Stimulus Plan.

  • pinitbutton Ice Cream Memories Not Melting Away
mr softee ice cream 218x300 Ice Cream Memories Not Melting Away

Mister Softee Ice Cream

by Jeff Hoyt

While some kids marked the start of summer by the last day of school, my friends and I knew the season was here when we heard the familiar jingle-jangle of the ice cream truck as it started winding its way through our neighborhood. In suburban New York, we actually enjoyed two trucks: the Good Humor man made his rounds during the day, while my favorite, Mister Softee, showed up at dusk to provide a sweet end to our dinnertime. I’ll never forget when my older brother got his own ice cream truck route as a summer job, and I was the envy of the neighborhood as I rode shotgun.

Today, dessert food trucks offer a lot more varied fare, but Mister Softee still peddles his soft serve sweets. Good Humor sold off their truck fleet in 1976, but the 90-year-old company continues to sell their Chocolate Éclair Crunch and Toasted Almond bars at grocery stores and snack shacks. Continue reading “Ice Cream Memories Not Melting Away” »



  • pinitbutton In N Out and Cabernet Sauvignon?
turning leaf takeout 167x300 In N Out and Cabernet Sauvignon?

Turning Leaf Cabernet Sauvignon

 by Jeff Hoyt 

A chocolate shake makes a wonderful complement to a fast-food burger, but I’m really enjoying this Turning Leaf Cabernet Sauvignon with my In-N-Out burger. “Wine doesn’t need to be reserved for fine dining,” says Turning Leaf winemaker Nicole Hitchcock, who also suggests pairing the Cab with pizza and a meatball hero. She hopes that more people will pair her very inexpensive line of wines with takeout food, and has even conducted a survey of America’s takeout habits, with some surprising results.

Have you ever pretended that takeout food was something you actually made? 34%, more than 1 in 3, pled guilty. I’ve never done that, but I do admit sneaking a bite of food before bringing it home, along with 61% of the respondents. Continue reading “In-N-Out and Cabernet Sauvignon?” »



  • pinitbutton NYC Restaurant Week to Continue
nyc restaurant weekd ext 300x131 NYC Restaurant Week to Continue

Aquavit restaurant in New York City

by Jeff Hoyt

People in NYC, rejoice! You’ll still be able to enjoy inexpensive lunch and dinners at more than 170 restaurants until Labor Day. NY Restaurant Week has been extended through the end of July, and the entire month of August! In fact, this money-saving “week” won’t end until September 6.

That means residents and visitors can enjoy inexpensive summer meals at top restaurants. The prices—$24.07 for three-course prix-fixe lunches and $35 for three-course prix-fixe dinners—haven’t increased in the past five years.

Visit on Monday, July 26, to view the complete list of NYC Restaurant Week Summer 2010 extension participants and make a reservation online. And keep coming back to for the latest NYC restaurant reviews!

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