Ich bin Scopen aus Orlando. Ich bin Qyper seit dem 02.11.2007
"my two cents (and sometimes three)"
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Virginia Drive 516, Orlando
Many times have I brought friends and family to the Hideaway to prove that Orlando is not all Mickey Mouse and chain restarants. On the contrary--hidden gems are just waiting to be discovered, and The Hideaway Bar and Grille is one of the best.
Upon introducing said friends, never have these lucky ducks failed to express enthusiastic enjoyment for this quaint little dive. The Hideaway has been in the same location for over 60 years, and one could imagine the same characters sitting in the same stools every day since then. Even so, this is NOT an old man pub. Its trademark seems to be that every type of person--from younglings to old war vets to hipsters to bikers--simply everyone fits in and finds something to love at the Hideaway.
I heartily recommend lounging on the patio and burying your face in the humungous hand-shaped burgers, but only if you love a big juicy burger that drips down your arms and makes you moan. Personally, I go for the Hideaway Special--the combination of crispy bacon and A1 sauce just hits that YUMMM burger spot. You know the one I mean. Other food is good too--big and meaty hot wings, silly-big quesadillas, and a cheesesteak sub that is too good for words.
Not to be overlooked, The Hideaway has been voted CHEAPEST BEER IN ORLANDO by Calendar magazine. The cheapness is not outdone by the selection, which is impressive for such a tiny sports-pub establishment. The bar service is efficient as well--often the affable owner, Chip, will wait on you himself and always makes pleasant conversation.
Go there. Do it. You’ll love it. I brought my rugby team in for one social event and now they won’t leave (as Shannon, the ever-smiling barmaid informs me). The reasons for such loyalty will become obvious after one visit. Have I perhaps gone overboard with praise? Well, so be it. After living in Orlando my whole life, I can easily say this bar is my favorite. Whether you’re looking for a casual spot that’s good for lazy afternoon rendezvous or beer-fueled late-night dancing on the pool table, The Hideaway just can’t be beat.
121 Hanover Street, Edinburgh, Scotland EH2 1DJ
07.11.2007 (aktualisiert am 14.11.2007)
If you are young, hip, and enjoy good food, you probably already live at Urban Angel. Even if you are old, cantankerous, and despise trendy eateries, you will be glad you visited UA. The food is that good. Oh! AAND they are fair trade friendly, O do-gooders!
I am a big fan of homemade soups, and UA feeds my need by offering a wide variety of steaming concoctions, changing seasonally with available produce. The corn fritters are also very very good. I am also particularly fond of the tomato and mushroom aloo tikki. Ooh! And the fried halloumi!
For the quality of food on offer and the upscale ambiance, prices are what you'd expect, with starters between 4-8 pounds, and mains from 7-14. My fellow diners complained about the portion sizes for the price, but in the end no one left hungry. As UA is located at the top of Hanover Street, shoppers or afternoon strollers can enjoy a steaming cup of expertly prepared coffee, sit in the sun (when it’s feeling social), watch the world roll by, and eat, eat, eat and be merry. : )
47-49 Deanhaugh St, Edinburgh, Scotland EH4 1LR
08.11.2007 (aktualisiert am 10.11.2007)
Located at the top of charming Raeburn Street, Hector’s is perhaps the nicest bar in Stockbridge. Offering a great wine list, a stellar beer selection, and hearty portions of well-prepared, though somewhat unimaginative, food. Try the eggs Benedict with salmon for breakfast, or discover that mash, gravy, and veggie sausages can actually be very very tasty. Personally, I prefer to just sink down a nice pinot and eat an embarrassing amount of bread and olives. Prices are a bit higher than the average pub, but not absurdly so.
Perhaps the best thing about Hectors has to do with beauty. Eh? You see, the décor is super-elegant and contemporary, with candlelit tables and a cozy fire that combine to make Hector’s very pleasing to the eye. Moreover, Hector’s seems to be a gathering place of Edinburgh’s young and trendy upper-middle class professionals (a.k.a., Manson’s the Beautiful People). I am not saying that this bar is snooty, but arrive looking smart, ‘cause all the cool kids are doin’ it.
203 Pleasance, Edinburgh, Scotland EH8 9RU
08.11.2007 (aktualisiert am 10.11.2007)
This odd little shop is a wonderland for those trying to score an outlandish or memorable costume for fancy dress parties, Halloween, or any event requiring imaginative dress.
The owner/manager is pleasant (though a bit strange in her manner) and she is knowlegable about her stock, which is mostly of hand-made, professional stage quality.
Prices are also very reasonable--I once hired a Georgian-era ball gown, complete with an underdress and hoopskirt, kept it for one week, and paid only 20 pounds with a 20 pound deposit. I looked faaaaanntastic.
Hours seem to be a bit arbitrary--best to call and request a time to stop by. Great service, good fun. : )
Somerled Square, Portree, Highlands and Islands IV51 9EH
There are no words to express how happy this bakery makes me. Even the thought of MacKenzie’s makes me smile. Don’t let the absurdly long queues put you off—those people are willing to queue for a reason: MacKenzie’s is God’s gift to the people of and visitors to Portree (right after He gave them beautiful surroundings, that is--MacKenzie’s was second).
In case you don’t know, Portree is a charming little town that lies roughly halfway up the Trotternish peninsula on the magical Isle of Skye. It serves as a trade hub for the local population, and a perfect leg-stretch pit-stop on your way around Skye. I’m not sure, but I think MacKenzie’s bakery was discovered first, and the town grew up around it. Like a baked-goods gold mine.
Okay, seriously, this bakery is amazing—you and a friend can stand at the counter, goggling the array of goodies before you, and play a long game of “I’ll have one of those, and one of those, and ooh! Three of those!...”, also grab sandwiches for a later picnic lunch, drinks, coffees, and still pay around 5 pounds for the lot. Rapture!!
The quality of the food is also great—I’m a big fan of the strawberry tarts, while my friends oohed over the variety of breads and danishes and cookies (biscuits). All this, plus service with a smile makes MacKenzie’s THE place to stop for eats in Portree.
105 High Street, Old Town, Edinburgh, Scotland EH1 1SG
Where to begin? Hmm…let’s start by saying that if there was such a thing as a backpacker cult, their temples would be MacBackpackers hostels. This company has been dominating the Scottish hostel and tour market for 7 years, and I pray that they keep on truckin’, never changin’. I have stayed at each of the 8 hostels (multiple stays at some locations) and taken 3 of their tours. I therefore proclaim myself an expert, and you, O Reader, would do well to take my opinion as gospel…
First of all, the quality of their tours and accommodations is tough to beat—expect blazing, real log fires in the lounge, with hot chocolate, tea, and coffee always on hand. Beds, bathrooms, and rooms are impeccably clean. Staff are professional, yet funky and always, always friendly. Tour guides are knowledgeable and very entertaining. The entire operation seems to be run tightly and smoothly, but with an overall sense of fun.
I HIGHLY recommend the Skye tour, and I really like the Oban and High Street hostels. So much character! SO cheap!! MacBackpackers tours often cost the same, or even less, than purchasing plain ol’ public bus fare to the same location. Unlike other tour companies I’ve traveled with, there is little sense of a strict schedule that must be adhered to: twice my MacBackpackers guides altered plans or made unscheduled stops to accommodate the interests of the passengers. As tour guide Lynn put it “Hey—it’s your vacation!” I like her thinking. Lynn, who surprised us as she passed around a full bottle of whisky and shouted “Welcome to the Highlands!” as we cruised past the border, pretty much embodies the MacBackpackers frame of mind.
Let them welcome you. Let them host you. Let them steer you—you won’t go wrong.
(Join them…join them…join them….)
72-74 Newington Road, Edinburgh, Scotland EH9 1QN
Though there is nothing tremendously outstanding about the Steamie, I recommend it as worthy of regular visits. I used to live around the corner from this sleek little bar, and I can honestly say I’ve never seen it empty.
Offering a modest selection of beers, wines, cocktails, and good pub food at reasonable prices, the Steamie caters mostly to a younger local crown. Pub quiz nights are very popular, and the Steamie barstaff is fast and friendly. I like to visit Steamie as a final place before heading home: it’s generally calm and drinkers can enjoy a conversation—something rare on Edinburgh Friday nights.
89 High Street, Edinburgh, Scotland EH1 1SG
The ladies at Tappit Hen remind me a bit of my grandmother—a bit stuffy, a bit too refined? For some reason, this is how I want a jeweler to be.
The Tappit Hen carries a range of fine gift items, from Scottish-theme silver flasks, money clips, and jewelry to pressed-heather accessories. The staff, though a bit dry, are very knowledgeable about their product lines, and are very helpful if you’re serious about buying. With a location on the High Street, I’m sure they see their share of browsing tourist hoardes, so I can forgive their seeming snootiness.
If you’re looking for a fairly priced, quality item, or what my grandma would call “nice, pretty things,” Tappit Hen will definitely be a rewarding stop.
2 Warriston's Close, High Street, Edinburgh, Scotland EH1 1PG
Okay, so this attraction is usually so full of tourists that you must book ahead, but the popularity is for good reason. Mary King’s close (one of four paved-over streets visited on the tour) provides a time capsule of Edinburgh history by allowing visitors to see ‘Auld Reekie’ as she looked in centuries past. Period-dressed guides do their professional best to combine a bevy of fascinating information with a spooky atmosphere, and a few theatrics thrown in for good fun.
Is it haunted? Yes--by me, at least, whenever I have out-of-town visitors. Seriously, they always express sincere and thorough enjoyment of their tour. I recommend this attraction to both visitors and tourists alike—it will permanently change the way you see Edinburgh. Concessions are available for seniors, students, and children, though the experience is well worth the full admission price of 9.50. Thumbs up. : )
18 Newbattle Terrace, Morningside, Edinburgh, Scotland EH10 4RT
When visiting the Dominion, I am reminded of the bit in 'Annie’ where Daddy Warbucks take wide-eyed Annie to a cinema. The Dominon, with its brass and rich red velvet décor and polished service, makes you feel as if going to the movies is really going out for a swank night on the town (or, at least, in Morningside).
The concession area offers real food, not just candy and popcorn, and a great selection of drinks, sweets, and alcohol. The theatre rooms themselves are either small and intimate, or large and decked out with sofas for cuddling. I love it.
Hey, students! Yes, you! For 4.50, you can see a movie AND have a free drink—even beer or wine! Leapin’ Lizards!!