Restaurant: Midtown Cafe, Nashville TN

Restaurant: Midtown Cafe
Web Site: http://www.midtowncafe.com/
Address: 102 19th Ave., South, Nashville, TN 37203
Phone: 615-320-7176

A business dinner in a well established downtown restaurant.  What I liked most was the old school, professional service.  A menu item I remember was a french toast looking thing that was polenta done in the style of fried mozzarella sticks.  Really a great taste.

Nothing to dislike.  The menu was a good collection of different dishes, everyone seemed to enjoy their meal.  Not a real large place, but it was a nice place to sit and talk.  Would recommend it to others.

Yelp Link

 

Restaurant: Harbor Seafood & Steak Company

Restaurant: Harbor Seafood & Steak Company
Web Site: http://www.harborslc.com/
Address: 2302 S Parleys Way, Salt Lake City, UT 84109
Phone: 801-466-9827

Met a friend for dinner, it was a Thursday evening and I’m guessing a little slow.  Several empty tables.

Service staff were great; very helpful explaining the menu, not too disruptive when we were trying to talk, etc.  Good at helping us navigate the menu; neither of us had been there before.

Menu is pretty standard for s steakhouse, everything is a la cart and some of the steak cuts broke the 40$ mark.  Yikes!

Had a salad which was fantastic, fresh, and very attractively presented.  Entree was “fish and chips” which was of course more elegant than typical for this English take out food.  But, perfect pieces of fish and perfectly cooked.

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Restaurant: GR Kitchen, Midvale, UT

Restaurant: GR Kitchen
Web Site: http://eatgrkitchen.com
Address: 702 Union Park Ave, Midvale, UT
Phone: 801-352-7406

Chipotle concept with greek food. Bowl or pita, pick a protein, pick toppings, etc. But, its greek food not fake Mexican, and the quality was very high. Server steered me toward a kale salad which was awesome. Went there on business based on Yelp reviews, and were disappointed that its really a fast food atmosphere, but the the food was very good and it ended up being OK because it wasn’t crowded. It was a very good value/quality point, would eat there again if I didn’t need table service.

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Restaurant: Bohemian Brewery, Midvale UT

Restaurant: Bohemian Brewery and Grill
Web Site: http://www.bohemianbrewery.com
Address: 94 E 7200, Midvale, Utah, 84047
Phone: (801) 566-5474

There with colleagues. The place feels more casual dining than “sports bar” like many beer making establishments seem to be. And, all oriented out of an central Europe style of brewing with the ownership being from Czech Republish. The menu items and beer choices were all oriented around this.

The food is all pub style and I don’t think anything was really going for healthiness; I’m pretty sure the only vegetable on my plate was sauerkraut. But, the food was all fresh and delicious. Everything seemed to be real comfort food, which worked out fine on a snowy day with cold weather. The beer was really well crafted and went well with the food I have.

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Restaurant: Aqua, Duck, NC

Restaurant: Aqua, Duck, North Carolina
Web Site: http://restaurantsouterbanks.com/
Address: 1174 Duck Road, Duck, NC 27949
Phone: 252.261.9700

Well recommended, and the recommendations were spot on. Sound-side waterfront restaurant with fine dining, very nice wine list, and extremely good service staff. We were there in the off season, and the place was very empty (we ended up closing it down), but there was never any hint they were trying to rush us out and shortening the quality of the food or service. The place has plenty of outdoor seating (too cold this time of year), nice decor and is right in the heart of the Duck commercial area.

Salads and soup were very high quality and well presented. Wild salmon and rockfish were perfectly cooked and well presented. The in-house dessert was creative and delicious.

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Restaurant: Black Pelican, Kitty Hawk, NC

Restaurant: Black Pelican
Web Site: http://blackpelican.com/cms/
Address: Kitty Hawk, North Carolina
Phone: (252) 261-3171

Selected from Yelp as we were driving down the road looking for something open in the off-season. The Outer Banks has lots of great dining, but it has an overwhelming amount of deep fried bar food and in the off-season a lot of places are closed or closed Monday through Wednesday. Yelp and on-line menus seemed to indicate we would like this place, but we had no reference from anyone.

We were very happy with the choice. While Black Pelican had menu items catering to the sports bar crowd, they had a very large and varied menu including pizzas and lots of seafood offerings. Its located in an old (very old) building that was a lifesaving station and sits right on the beach in Kitty Hawk. I’m sure in the summer its a great place for lunch or casual eating where you can watch the ocean. We were there in the middle of November at night, so we’ll take it on faith. The sound of the surf right over the dunes from the parking lot is noticeable.

Food was really good, and at a good price point. The staff were more than friendly, accommodating, and helpful, which has been a universal observation while visiting the outer banks. A good, more casual dinner choice while visiting.

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Restaurant: Lifesaving Station, Duck, NC

Restaurant: Lifesaving Station (No. 5)
Web Site: http://www.sanderling-resort.com/dining-lifesaving-station.php
Address: Duck, North Carolina
Phone: (855) 412-7866

Restaurant attached to the Sanderling Resort. The menu is not extensive, but that is typical for most places on the outer banks. They focus on doing a few things well, and that focus is pretty sharp on a seafood/southern things. Shrimp and Grits is common, etc.

We’ve only visited in the off season. There are admittedly few options, particularly early in the week, and the menus are pared down a bit which makes sense given the smaller crowds. Lifesaving Station has great service, and nice (while not large) wine list that goes well with their food, and if you are lucky with the weather (and table) a great view of the sunset.

Food is super. The scollops dish is a favorite, and their salads are consistently fresh and very attractively presented.

Pretty far up the outer banks, but worth the drive.

Link to My Review on Yelp

Link to Yelp

Hotel: Fairfield Inn, Murray UT

City: Murray, UT
Chain: Fairfield Inn, South Salt Lake City (hotel link)
Address: 594 West 4500 South Salt Lake City Utah 84123 USA
Phone Number: 801-265-9600

Check Out: January, 2013

A lower end Marriott property, the sign outside said recently renovated and no reason to disbelieve the sign. Despite the snowy, salty, dirty muck everywhere outside, the hotel was clean, well lit, and comfortable. Fairfield Inn’s seem to have a funky design approach. The rooms and amenities track Courtyard properties closely, but the furniture, colors, feel is a little odd to me. But, clean, the people working there were super nice and helpful, and room and bed were comfortable. I could have used an air conditioner that made a little less noise, you had to turn the TV up a bit to hear it over the racket under the window. There must be some super cheap reason to put in those room units because so many hotels use them, and its a lot of noise have a compressor run a few feet from your bed.

Exercise room was very small and almost useless. Couldn’t put more than 3 people in there at a time, it was only really available late at night. The hotel is also in a fairly dreary part of Salt Lake City; all flat, warehouses, next to the interstate. Very convenient location, but not really a place to walk around.

Hotel: Embassy Suites Louisville KY

Embassy Suite Atrium at Night

City: Louisville, KY
Chain: Hilton, Embassy Suites (hotel link)
Address: 9940 Corporate Campus Drive,Louisville, KY, 40223
Phone Number: 502-426-9191

Check Out: August, 2015

Classic Embassy Suite hotel, large 5 or 6 story atrium holding lounge and dining, two room suites overlooking the inner atrium.  Staff was extremely friendly and nice, check in was speedy, free breakfast in the morning.  And, the breakfast was not a Hampton Inn breakfast but a real breakfast with eggs made to order and a variety of other things.  Very nice and reasonable room rate.

Common areas were very nice, room was showing some age and wear, particularly the bathroom.  Had to fix the shower to make it usable, weird panel door was all marked up on the inside.  The room was handicap accessible, so that might have been part of the problem.

Thanks to a Fellow Traveler

I flew back from Salt Lake City last night and was having trouble with the iOS Delta app on check in.  I thought I moved my seat to an exit row, but the boarding pass didn’t indicate so when I was finished.  So after getting through security (always go through security first and work it out at the gate) I went to the gate agent to make sure everything was OK.  He was super cool, and verified the change, but then had me move to a different exit row seat since the one I picked didn’t recline.  While I almost never recline my seat (seems unfair to the person behind me), I appreciated how nice he was to do this, and he pointed out the seat next to me was unoccupied.  I think of this as “low budget first class”; lots of leg room, no one next to you to spread out.

After sitting down and when the door to the plane was closing there was some commotion as the person with the exit seat was in the wrong row and I got up to let people move about.  As I was going to sit down another passenger asked if I wouldn’t mind taking his first class seat so he could sit with his son.  Not quite sure what the story was – maybe he already had the first class seat and grabbed a seat for his son at the last minute, or maybe he was hoping to upgrade two seats and only one was available.  But, he clearly knew his way around traveling and was working a deal to get the exit row to himself and his son, and who was I to not take the first class seat and ruin his plans.

The earlier flight out was unpleasant; the window seat in the very last row on a slightly turbulent flight with a fully packed cabin.  I felt like the universe was balancing out karma for the day with this good fortune.

I felt like waiting around to thank him, but I was in a hurry to get going and for all I know I was doing him more of a favor than he was doing me.  But, I do appreciate the offer and feel like I had some good luck at the end of a very long day.

Thank you fellow traveler, and may all your future travels have the fortune that I had yesterday.