Reviews Are Relatives

“Hey! This restaurant has great reviews, it has all five stars. I think we should go and try this one out.”

 

When we travel we like to try new things (related to food). A coffee shop, a restaurant, an

ice-cream place, anything that give us a new perspective of things and new flavors. Even close to home I am always in the look out for a new place to go and try something new. For this I love to use Groupon ( I had talk about this before) and also I consult Yelp.

Usually the process starts searching the area where we are at a given moment. For that I used my great friend “Yelp”. After looking, I select the ones that look more appealing for my needs at the moment and then I check the reviews.

Jorge and I try to look for those places that have more than two or three reviews. We look at the dates that the reviews were written and we read the comments. At least we scan the reviews to see if is worth to read. Then we look for pictures and see if the pics call us by our names.

Well…after doing so much investigation we make a decision hoping that our experience is going to be as good or better. Then sometimes our expectation could go a little higher than it supposed to.

 

This past Monday, after a great wedding weekend in Brooklyn we were going back home but first we wanted to have breakfast in a local, small coffee place. We went through the process like I described it above and Jorge read the word CREPE. That was enough to narrow down our options. It was fine with me, I like crepes!

We found this little place were the reviews were pretty good between 4 and 5 stars most of them. To make the story short we walk around 10 minutes with all our stuff (luggage) with us, we were hungry and excited to sit and enjoy some good coffee and breakfast before heading to the city.

The place was small, cute and cozy. At the moment we got in, there wasn’t anybody at the little restaurant. We were putting our stuff away when the owner told us that they were close, that they haven’t open it yet. My face change colors. A thousand disappointment expressions came across my face also. But then he start laughing and acknowledge me about my face. He told us it was a joke and we laugh with him. We order coffee, some crepes with eggs and everything else, I added two cheeses, mozzarella and goat.

The coffee was good, we got that first. I was trying to hold my coffee as much as I could, because I like to eat and drink coffee at the same time. The crepes… Let me put it this way, they were AWFUL! The funny thing is that we were the only ones in this tiny place with the owner. There was no way that we could run away from this place without the owner knowing that we totally dislike the food. Believe me! I want it to run away so bad. I looked at Jorge, Jorge looked at me and between facial expressions and no words we communicate our frustration.

I am not a rude person, I didn’t want to make the owner feel bad, Jorge neither. So, believe it or not we ate almost the whole thing. Now I know the feeling of eating just for survival and not for pleasure.

Our conclusion, the reviews are relative. This is the second time that I go through this situation of reading good reviews and then my experience is completely different. I went back to Yelp and read more carefully the reviews, definitely people like this place. Is either that we did a poor choice from the menu or our taste is not built for that place.

I will not share the name of the coffee shop because I choose not to put down the place, when there are so many people who like it. I just wanted to reflect on the fact that a review will not always give you the answer, sometimes you have to check places no matter what other people think. We had the experience before to go and enjoy a place very much and then when we check out how people rate it is less than we think.

 

Each experience is different, and we all are different, what is good for me, may no be for you or vice versa.

Until then,

xamlinnette 🙂

 

 

For Coffee Lovers

For those coffee lovers that happened to be in Santa Fe, New Mexico!!

 

If you go, let me know how it is! I haven’t had the chance to try the coffee here, but my Jorge has, and he like it very much. He is picky with his coffee, so I believe that is pretty good. Trip Advisor honor it with certificate of Excellence 2014 and has 5 stars rating with them, also with Urbanspoon and almost 5 with Yelp. If your curious here is their website, there your find the address and working hours. Holy Spirit Espresso

Until then…

xamlinnette 🙂

 

Leviathans in Paradise

20130915-204639.jpg

On our way to our last getaway by ourselves (no kids), the GPS and Siri were leading the way. I heard many times about the little paradise “close to home” but never had the chance to experience it. Less than a week away of our last days alone, we wanted to have some relaxing, laid-back mini vacation. Beach, flip-flops, drinks, nice simple restaurants, and few books, that’s all we wanted. Because of lack of planning and a quick destination decision, I did not researched much about it. We made our conclusions base on what we heard before. Thinking that Anna Maria Island was one whole beach we thought that our resort was just in front of Anna Maria Island beach. Later on, and learning my lesson for not investigating before going, we learned that the 7 mile island is divided in 3 cities; the north part is Anna Maria, the middle is Holmes Beach where we stayed at the Longboat Key, in the Silver Sands Gulf Beach Resort and the south of the island is Bradenton Beach. Nevertheless it was a great location with a private beach. Even the beach chairs, umbrellas and towels were included. We didn’t have to go anywhere for hours. Just what we wanted, books, cooler, sun… delightful.

20130915-205040.jpg

After arrival, we went straight to the beach. We met my best friend Debbie and her boyfriend. They stopped by on their way back to Orlando from Naples and visit us for a few hours. The afternoon, was sunny and breezy, the ocean wasn’t calm, but it wasn’t fiery either. The waves crashed constantly but with no particular rhythm, still was a pleasant, soothing sound. Jorge and me stayed on the beach until the sun left us alone, and our stomach demanded more things than snacks.


Ready to go and with no particular destination on mind, “Yelp” helped us find St. Armand’s Circle, south of the Island more in the Sarasota area. St. Armand’s Circle has restaurants, boutiques, galleries, shops and more. At the time that we got there, we just wanted to eat, it was late anyways, most of the shops were close. We eat pizza at Venecia… with outdoor eating! I love to sit outside, specially when the weather is good. It was warm and comfortable enough that I was able to wear a strapless summer dress and flip-flops. We had a pleasant night but after eating and walking a little bit to see the area we call the night out. Leaving our Saturday behind and getting ready to a fresh start on Sunday.
My favorite meal of the day is breakfast! I was looking forward to try something new, but this time we wanted a place on the little island. “Yelp” did it again! We found this peculiar local place, Ginny’s & Jane E’s Bakery Cafe. Jorge and me love coffee. Is important for us having a good coffee to start our day; it’s almost like a “spiritual ritual” where we enjoy every sip that we take. So this peculiar place… I wasn’t sure if it was a souvenir store or a bakery. But as we walked in, we saw a line of people ordering, so we were in the right place. I looked around, and Yes! it was also a souvenir store with the most bizarre display of things. They had things hanging from the ceiling, and other things where randomly around the little place. Even though some of those items looks like junk yard “stuff’ they also had nice little gifts souvenirs; some made of shells, and so on. There were so many things that it was hard to look at something in particular. The tables and chairs where people sit were like a collage of different dining table sets, where nothing match with each other. Definitely this little treasure box is full of interesting things but what really, really blew my mind was the Creme Brûlée French Toast; it was extremely delicious and sweet, very filling too. Yummy! I almost forgot to tell you that the coffee was pretty good too.

20130915-205623.jpg

After eating we head back to our hidden place at Silver Sand where we spent the whole day, between books, conversations, drinks, Facebook the day went by. Hiding from the giant heater under our umbrellas all day, still we were melting away by the heat. I couldn’t take it anymore, so I ran to the water like it was an oasis in the middle of the desert. Jorge was studying for a test and didn’t want to come at beginning, but when the puddle of sweat was bigger than his test, he jumped to the water too. Now is when it got interesting!
The water was so refreshing and clear, almost no waves at all.

20130915-210041.jpg

20130915-210233.jpg

We swam, played, talked, and sometimes just silence was enough for us to enjoy the moment. When out of the sudden, Jorge jumps and starts running/swimming out of the water saying that something bit him. When I saw him so hysterical, I also headed out of the water. We sat at the shore and he started explaining that “some monster bit him on his foot” and so on. I wanted to see his foot, to see if it was ok or had any injuries. Guess what? There was nothing, a little tiny of nothing!!
I start laughing so hard, probably was a tiny crab, but the way he described it, it sounded like it was something out of this world, like the marine Leviathans monsters from the book of Job. Oh men’s… so dramatics.

20130915-210423.jpg
Well, no matter what it was, it took us out of the water!

Next day we ended up our little getaway visiting Siesta Key Beach, rate it as #1 beach of the nation on 2012. It was nice, but too crowded for me. After being two days on a private lonely beach, beside the “Leviathans on the water”, I preferred the quiet sounds of the waves.

20130915-210816.jpg

xamlinnette<