FARMSHOP AND AVOCADO HUMMUS

It’s sunny and bright, hip and happening, and loaded with celebrities. We could be describing Southern California and Los Angeles in general, but instead are telescoping in on Farmshop, an artisan market and restaurant that perfectly reflects the cool vibe of Farmshop in the Brentwood Country Martboth the region and the city.
Actually, there are two Farmshop restaurants—one in L.A. and one in Marin County. The restaurants are brainchildren of Chef-Owner Jeff Cerciello of Thomas Keller Restaurant Group fame. Although both share similar DNA, like all siblings, each property claims it’s own personality.
As the L.A. Farmshop came first (in 2010), serves as flagship, and has a speciality food market attached, we’ll focus on it.
The L.A. Farmshop sits on the Westside of Los Angeles in the Brentwood Country Mart.
The Mart, itself, claims historic significance. When built in 1948, it was considered innovative, consolidating shops and useful services in one location. Compared with the mega-malls of today, the Mart feels positively intimate and super select—the perfect home for Farmshop.
Market and restaurant share the same space and are divided by function, rather than partition, into two areas that flow together.

Farmshop L.A.

The market offers a cornucopia of artisan-produced, local and regional products including cheeses, chocolates, charcuterie, coffees and wines. Talented bakers, butchers, farmers and chefs add speciality departments to the abundance. And a choice of housewares and gifts complete the bounty which is rich enough to fill a discriminating cook’s pampered pantry and a food-lover’s luxury larder.

Cheese Counter at Farmshop

Bakery at Farmshop

Take Out at Farmshop

The restaurant space feels casual and comfortable in a super chic, Southern California kind of a way.
Design elements include white-tile walls, a busy see-into kitchen, abundant windows for natural lighting and a large farm-scene photo mural covering the back wall. 

Farmshop Restaurant Los Angeles

Table at Farmshop

 Counter service and some long tables for communal dining reinforce the laid-back atmosphere as does the informal bar and friendly knowledgeable staff.

Bar at Farmshop

In the kitchen, talented staff.

In the kitchen, talented staff.

 But design and fellowship take one so far—-it’s the food, served with fabulous flair, that brings the most accolades and repeat guests. 

Soup to Nuts at Farmshop

Soup to nuts—dishes delight.

Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (when the lighting changes and becomes more mellow and romantic), Farmshop produces menus that change according to not only the meal and time of day, but also the day of week and the season.

Table Setting. Notice the linen napkins. They are for sale, four for $112.

Table Setting. Notice the linen napkins. They are for sale, four for $112.

Chef Brian Reimer

Chef Brian Reimer

Many dishes on assorted menus receive raves, but non are more popular than the Avocado Hummus with Pistachio Salsa Verde & Nigella Seeds. No ordinary hummus, the dish enjoys iconic status, and guess what. We scored the recipe for you! (Thank you Chef Brian Reimer.)

Farmshop serves the hummus with an assortment of colorful vegetables, but it is also luscious scooped onto crackers, a spoon or even a finger.

FARMSHOP AVOCADO HUMMUS WITH PISTACHIO SALSA VERDE & NIGELLA SEEDS

Yield: About 3-1/2 cups. Avocado Hummus with Pistachio Salsa Verde & Nigella Seeds
1 pound (about 3 cups) cooked chickpeas (see NOTE)
A little crushed ice
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 ripe Haas avocados, peeled and seeded
Salt
1 recipe Pistachio Salsa Verde (Recipe follows)
Nigella seeds
Assorted cut vegetables
Pulse the cooked chickpeas with a little bit of crushed ice in a food processor until a smooth paste is formed. (The ice will facilitate the blending and produce a smooth texture.) Add tahini and pulse until smooth, then add the lemon juice. Continue pulsing, adding olive oil until texture is very smooth.
Peel and seed the avocados, then add to the processor, continuing to pulse to a smooth paste. Add salt to taste.
Put hummus in a serving bowl. Distribute Pistachio Salsa Verde over top. Sprinkle with Nigella seeds. Serve with assorted vegetables.

PISTACHIO SALSA VERDE Avocado Hummus Farmshop
About 1/3 cup pistachios
1 lemon (zest only)
3 tablespoons sliced chives
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
Fleur de sel to taste
Olive oil
Spread the pistachios on a baking sheet and put them in a preheated 325°F oven until very lightly toasted. Remove pistachios from the oven and while they are still warm, put them on a cutting board and lightly chop.
Use a micro plane (very fine hole grater) to zest the lemon and add to the warm pistachios along with the chives and parsley. Mix well and season to taste with salt. Add just enough olive oil to make pistachios glisten. Toss well.

NOTE–TO COOK CHICKPEAS: Put good-quality, small dried chickpeas in a large strainer and wash under cold running water, removing any foreign matter or damaged chickpeas. Transfer chickpeas to a large bowl or pot, cover well with cold water, add a pinch of baking soda and let soak overnight.
Drain chickpeas from soaking liquid and, again, wash well under cold running water.
Put chickpeas in a large pot and generously cover with water. Add another pinch of baking soda. Set pot over moderate heat and bring water to a low boil. Skim any foam and/or skins from top of water. Boil until chickpeas are very soft and can be easily smashed when pressed between two fingers, 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Drain chickpeas and use as desired.
One pound dried chickpeas will yield about 2 pounds 4 ounces cooked.

 

 

 

EUROPEAN BARGE CRUISING

Ellen Sack: The Barge Lady

Ellen Sack: The Barge Lady

As a native of landlocked Chicago, Ellen Sack developed wanderlust early in life. She started traveling to Europe at 19 and has been at it happily every after, developing a love for Europe, particularly Europe by barge.
She took her first barge cruise in 1984, and shortly thereafter decided she wanted to help others discover the pleasures of barge travel, opening her travel agency, Barge Lady Cruises in 1985. 
Ellen’s reputation makes her a leading expert in European canal barge cruises.

Stephanie Sack

Stephanie Sack

Today she represents over 50 different barges, and employees a small staff that include her daughters Caroline Sack Klein and Stephanie Sack. Between Ellen and her entourage, Barge Lady Cruises visits each and every one of the barges she represents before she recommends them.

To help understand why barge cruising  captivates Ellen (and countless others), daughter Stephanie describes  some of the pleasures for Sweet Leisure:

 

Welcome Aboard! Barge Cruising in Europe

By Stephanie Sack

A vast network of preserved waterways wind through the heartland of Europe, navigated by a fabulous fleet of floating house parties, ranging from the leisurely low-key to the over-the-top opulent. Welcome to the world of barge cruising, where happy travelers aboard these marvelous vessels enjoy a prime perch for ogling old-world wonders, visiting vineyard-strewn valleys in the unspoiled countryside, and attending bustling markets in charming villages.

While often confused with river cruises, which typically traverse several hundred miles on Europe’s major rivers on large ships carrying over 125 passengers, barges are handsome vessels converted from reclaimed cargo boats into luxurious floating hotels, carrying four to 22 passengers which cruise through European canals, primarily in France. Barge cruising’s intimate ambiance and leisurely pace appeals to a sophisticated traveler with culinary and cultural leanings. 

Barge

 

Barge on a French Canal

 DSC_1748

While a dedicated crew cooks, cleans, pilots the barge, and gives chauffeured tours of local attractions, guests go on daily excursions, bicycle along the towpath, enjoy the scenery, mingle with other guests, and read and relax on the deck. And, best of all,  barges surround all activities with fabulous food and wine. Gastronomes, food tourists, and bon vivants thrill to barging’s focus on chef-prepared, gourmet meals served with the region’s best wines. (See NOTE below.)

Dining Table

Choosing a barge cruise perfect for a dream European vacation depends on your group, your travel preferences, and your budget.  Although there is no official rating system for barge travel, The Barge Lady created her own system, classifying barge cruises into four categories: Boutique, First Class, Deluxe, and Ultra Deluxe.

Barge Dock in Burgundy These classes are determined by a handful of factors, primarily the size of the cabins, on-board amenities such as decor, deck space, and number of crew members. Ratings are affected by the number of guests; for example, an eight-passenger boat can earn a higher rating than a 22-passenger boat. All barges at all ratings are available for chartered groups. 

The Barge Lady especially likes to recommend Boutique Class vessels for smaller parties more interested in authentic experiences than in on-barge amenities. This curated collection of barges are operated with two in crew and offers the opportunity to take some meals onshore at local restaurants and auberges, all organized and selected by the captain. From $3,500 per person, they are the perfect barge cruise for those who wish to spare the expense, not the experience!

Barge cruising is all about the pleasures of food, travel, and the good life—the perfect vacation for indulging in “sweet leisure.”

 

Cruising Through Serenity

 The barge cruise season runs from mid-April through the end of October, taking advantage of Europe’s mild spring, summer sunshine, and temperate autumn. Although barges fill quickly, dates are still available for some vessels in 2015 and 2016 already beckons, so call The Barge Lady (800-880-0071) and we’ll help you the perfect barge cruise to meet your needs.

Salade Reine Pedauque

 

NOTE: For a peek at the wonderful food served on barge cruises, have  a look at the Pear and Roquefort Quiche recipe from the Horizon II barge and the beautiful Salade Reine Pedauque served on the Reine Pedauque. 

 

 

 

MABEL DODGE LUHAN HOUSE

There is a spirit that hovers over the Mabel Dodge Luhan House in Taos, New Mexico. It’s the spirit of Taos itself, of the mountains and air and light and magic that inspired Native Americans as well as artists, writers, poets and rich socialites from near and far to settle and thrive.

Taos Landscape by Susan Manin Katzman

Mabel Dodge Luhan

Mabel Dodge Luhan

Mabel Dodge Luhan—or more precisely the multi-married Mabel Gans0n Evans Dodge Sterne Luhan falls into the socialite, art-patroness category, a pigeonhole she never fully escaped despite her considerable gifts for writing and her stack of published columns and memoirs.

Mabel made it to Taos at age 37. She had just married her third husband, the artist Maurice Sterne, and sent him, without her, to honeymoon in Santa Fe. Upon joining the honeymoon, Mabel so disliked Santa Fe that she refused to stay and moved to Taos where she fell in love not only with the remote village but also with

Tony Luhan

Tony Luhan

Tony Lujan, a married Native American from the Taos Pueblo.  

With Tony’s help, Mabel purchased 12 acres of meadow adjacent to Taos Pueblo land and built a sprawling Pueblo Revival style home.

Mabel Dodge Luhan House

She also divorced Sterne, married Tony, and invited the cream of the cultural crop of intellectuals, artists, writers, dancers—or in Mabel’s own words, the “great souls” of the creative world to visit Taos and stay with her. Famous houseguests included Georgia O’Keeffe, Willa Cather, Aldous Huxley, Ansel Adams and Martha Graham, but none were as important to Mabel as as D.H. Lawrence, who arrived in 1922 with his wife Freida.

A legacy from the first Lawrence visit remains in, of all places, Mabel’s bathroom. D. H. painted the bathroom windows. 

D.H. Lawrence Painted Windows in the Mabel Dodge Luhan House

Sign in Mabel Dodge Luhan HouseDespite the fact that D.H. wrote about Mabel and Mabel wrote about D. H. and others wrote about both personalities, no one knows the reasons for the painted windows. Speculation suggests that the renowned writer, who broke sexual barriers and was even labeled a pornographer by some, could not bare (in truest sense of the word) using the bathroom without curtains to protect him from bystanders (of course the bathroom overlooked wilderness; so the eyes were only those of lizards and the like).

Then it could have been that he painted the windows to protect him from Mabel, who in a rather intense but fruitless effort to seduce him, would shed her clothes and stretch out on the balcony outside the windows to sunbathe.

Sunbathing Ledge

Sunbathing Ledge

Mabel Dodge Luhan GravestoneMabel died in1962. Her home was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1991.

Although the property has gone through several owners, including movie star Dennis Hopper, it still functions as a guesthouse.

Today, the B & B-type historic inn features nine rooms in Mabel’s original house, eight rooms in the Juniper House, a Southwestern-style lodge, built in 1980 as a conference center and workshop facility, and two rooms each in two separate cottages.

Bedrooms in Mabel Dodge Luhan House
Present day visitors can easily recall ghosts of the guests past as much remains the same as when Mabel reigned.
The property’s setting, bordered on three sides by sagebrush filled desert with the sacred Taos Mountain in the background, maintains the peaceful, retreat-like ambiance.

Window at Mabel Dodge Luhan House by Susan Manlin Katzman

And just as in Mabel’s day, the rooms lack TVs and Wifi, guests enjoy meals in the communal dining room, and the D. H. Lawrence painted bathroom windows protect inhabitants from prying eyes.

The major change is that today the inn is open to the public. Guests come for the history, for the workshops, for the tranquility and/or for the bountiful buffet breakfasts.Breakfast at Mabel Dodge Luthan House

Mabel Dodge Luhan House is reputed to serve one of the best B & B breakfasts in all of New Mexico.

Part of the credit goes to Pamela Martinez, from the Taos Pueblo, one of the cooks who has made breakfast for guests on and off for the past 17 years. She say’s this is her favorite breakfast muffin recipe:

BERRY CREAM CHEESE MUFFINS

Yield: 12 muffins.

Shortening to grease muffin cupsStrawberry and Cream Muffins by Susan Manlin Katzman
1-3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup fresh blueberries or diced fresh strawberries (or other berries)
6 to 8 ounces cream cheese, divided into 12 pieces
Grease 12 muffin cups and set pan aside. Heat oven to 350°F.
Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a medium-size mixing bowl. Put buttermilk, oil, eggs, vanilla and sugar in another bowl and beat just until well blended.Combine flour mixture with buttermilk mixture and beat until blended. Slowly stir in fruit.
Spoon equal amounts of batter into each muffin cup. Gently press a piece of cream cheese into the center of batter in each cup, smoothing batter back over top of cheese.
Place muffin pan in the center of a preheated 350°F oven and bake until muffins are pale golden brown and cooked through,15 to 20 minutes.
Serve warm or at room temperature.

For more about Taos, click HERE.

 

 

 

SECRETS AND COCKTAILS AT CHATEAU MARMONT

CM_Exterior1_Nikolas Koenig_hires-2Those who say money can’t buy happiness have never had cocktails at Chateau Marmont.
This iconic Los Angeles hotel sits overlooking the Sunset Strip like a beacon luring Hollywood stars and other A-listers connected with show-biz fame and fortune.
First built as an apartment building resembling a French Chateau, the property converted to a hotel in the 1930s, making apartments into large suites, some with kitchens and private entrances. The size of the suites and privacy no doubt contributed to the hotel’s draw and helped earn it a reputation for supplying extravagant accommodations as well as accommodating the extravagant.
As to the latter, it is rumored that the founder of Columbia Pictures told his young randy stars, William Holden and Glenn Ford, “If you must get in trouble, do it at the Chateau Marmont.” and they did.
Jean Harlow and Clark Gable were said to have utilized (if you get my drift) the hotel while she was honeymooning with her third husband. And Johnny Depp claimed that he and Kate Moss made love in just about every room in the hotel.
(Chateau Marmont has 63 rooms.) And then there was the elevator story of Scarlett Johansson and Benicio Del Toro, the melt-down antics of Britney Spears, and drug related incidents of…well…too many to mention.
Table at Chateau MarmontSome stars head to the Chateau Marmont to hid (Greta Garbo—Howard Hughes—Lindsay Lohan among them), some to misbehave and everyone else goes to see and be seen.
As we said, money can’t buy happiness, but $18 can buy a specialty cocktail in the restaurant courtyard where you can sit back and star gaze.
As to the specific cocktail, we suggest the Bungalow Two.
Maybe the drink is named for the hotel’s two bedroom, two bath bungalows costing from $2200 per night. More likely it’s named for the hotel’s Bungalow Two, where director Nicholas Ray (age 44) stayed and “entertained” Natalie Wood (age 16) while casting Rebel Without a Cause. Seems that, during a reading of the script at the bungalow, James Dean crashed through a window to audition for a part—and the rest is history.

CHATEAU MARMONT’S BUNGALOW TWO

Yield: one serving.Bungalow Two Cocktail

2 ounces Herradura Silver tequila
3/4 ounce lime juice
3/4 ounce agave nectar
1/2 ounce Campari
1/2 ounce grapefruit juice
Wedge of lime, for garnish.
Shake well and serve in a rocks glass. Garnish with lime wedge.
Chateau Marmont adds a black straw and plastic Pan swizzle stick.

If you remember, Pan is the lecherous half man/half beast Greek god, chaser of nymphs, symbol of lust and sexuality.

Pan Swizzle Stick

 

 

 

BEST RESTAURANTS IN BERLIN

Dirk Engelhardt

Dirk Engelhardt

Although born in Göttingen, Germany, in 1967, Dirk Engelhardt moved to Berlin to study at the University of Berlin and stayed. He worked as a freelance journalist, contributing food, travel, and life-style material to a variety of prestigious publications, before moving to Barcelona, in 2008. While in Spain, Dirk set up Tapas Tours Barcelona, taking visitors on a guided walking food tours through the city.                                                                            Dirk and his clients so enjoyed the tours, that upon returning to Berlin in 2013, he founded two walking food tours as adjunct to his writing.

Dirk guides The German Food Tour on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays evenings taking participants to four privately owned restaurants in Berlin’s nicest neighborhood. Each of the restaurants offers a sample of one of Germany’s regional specialities along with wine and beer.  The Berlin Food Tour runs Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and includes a market tour, tasting of Berlin specialities in a typical wirtshaus (restaurant, tavern and beer garden), and coffee and cake in a café. Dirk includes no more than 12 participants in each tour, speaking English, German or Spanish—whatever the group desires.  

In addition to eating and drinking, tour participants gain Dirk’s insider account of German foods and beverages as well as tips as where to find the best restaurants in Berlin. As to the latter, we jumped to the chase and asked Dirk to list his ten favorite places to go in Berlin for different type food experiences.  He sent the following. Thank you Dirk.

FAVORITE PLACES TO EAT IN BERLIN

By Dirk Engelhardt

 

1. Traditional German

MAX UND MORITZ

Oranienstrasse 162                                                                               www.maxundmoritzberlin.de

Max and MoritzMax und Moritz, the two boys from the famous book of Wilhelm Busch, have their
own restaurant. Wooden floor, wooden chairs, wooden bar, wooden tables, and everything has been in place for 113 years. Berlin only has 10 German restaurants that still survived from olden times.
Be prepared to receive huge plates that will leave you full to the top. No need for dessert! The biggest meat dish is the Schlachteplatte with everything the butcher just killed (13,5 Euro).
Max und Moritz serves several German beers, the best is the Kreuzberger Molle
brewed by a small brewery in the neighborhood (0,5 Liter = 3,2 Euro).

 

2. Modern German

ESSZIMMER

Scharnhorststrasse 28                                                                                              www.esszimmer-berlin.de

EsszimmerEsszimmer in German means “eating room.” Every house in Germany has an eating room next to the kitchen. This restaurant is situated in an old storage building and the interior is in the old Berlin style with high ceilings and tables covered with white linens.

Chef Thorsten Warnke cooks ”refined German,” as he calls it. The menu changes according to the season and features such dishes as carrot-orange soup with ginger and crabs, salmon with fennel and pasta, and the famous Rinderroulade with red cabbage and knödel.
The restaurant gets its fish from the German North Sea and wines from both Germany and France.

 

3. Best Brunch

RUBENS COFFEE LOUNGE

thumb_600Mehringdamm 65
www.rubens-coffeelounge.de

I go there at least once a month on Sunday morning for the best brunch in town.
Not only is the food great, but also the restaurant employs the prettiest (Turkish) waitresses, who are charming to every guest and always smile. 
The brunch is a mix of Turkish and German specialities, and includes olives, fried mozzarella sticks, salmon and horseradish, fried eggplant, humus, eggs and sausage, lasagne, potato gratin and much more. All you can eat for 10,5 Euro!

 

4. Good Deli

MOGG & MELZER

m &mAuguststrasse 11
www.moggandmelzer.com

Situated in the most fashionable street in Berlin Mitte, where you find a gallery in every
second house, Mogg & Melzer is the best place to taste Jewish food. In fact the deli sits in a building which was the home of the Jüdische Mädchenschule (Jewish girls school) in the beginning of the 20 century.
Owners, Oskar Melzer and Paul Mogg, both DJs, have travelled the world and bring the best food to their menu. The menu, by the way, is only available in English, to the anger of some German guests, although some dishes, such as Matzo ball soup, shashuka, pastrami sandwiches and cheesecake don’t need translating.

 

5. Breakfast PlaceGaststatte St. Oberholz

GASTSTÄTTE ST. OBERHOLZ

Rosenthaler Str. 72a
www.sanktoberholz.de

In this place you can have your breakfast until 5 p.m. They have a good choice of bagels, focaccias, sandwiches, toast and cake, and good coffee.
The main reason to come here though, is the excellent and free Wi-Fi. You will
see nearly every customer with a MacBook; many have chosen this cafe as
their office space, and some startups started here.

 

 

 

6. Vegetarian

OHLALA

La LaVegan and gluten-free food
Mainzer Strasse 18
www.my-ohlala.com

A French couple recently opened this place. It is small, but very personal offering a small number of freshly made dishes. The food is mouth watering, and even meat eaters will like the salads, pastries, soups and quiches. Best gluten-free cakes in the city! On Sunday there is an all you can eat brunch for 13 Euro.

 

7. Chocolate Cafeberliner_kaffeeroesterei

BERLINER KAFFEERÖSTEREI

Uhlandstrasse 173
www.berliner-kaffeeroesterei.de

Go only for the smell of coffee and chocolate, and you will be happy. The place offers more than 100 different house-roasted coffees. You even can choose which brewing method you want: french press, hand filtered or with a Kona coffee pot. They also have homemade cakes and an extensive choice of rare chocolates, such as Gianduiotti, Bonnat, Amatller, Blanxart, Zotter and Valrhona.

 

Konopkes Imbiss8. Currywurst

KONOPKES IMBISS

Schönhauser Allee 44b
Unter der U-Bahn
www.konnopke-imbiss.de

Of course currywurst is THE special dish amongst all Berlin fast food dishes, the big rival of Döner Kebab. The recipe is very simple: take a fried wurst (pork), cut it into pieces, pour a lot of Ketchup over it and add some curry powder. Currywurst by Susan Manlin KatzmanKonnopke claims to have invented the currywurst in the year 1930, and since the place is mentioned in every travel guide about Berlin, it is always crowded.
Currywurst also made its way to the expensive West End of Berlin. At a stand on Kurfürstendamm, currywurst is served with a glass of Champagne for less than 10 Euro.

 

9. Star Place

TIM RAUE

Tim Raue

Chef Tim Raue

Rudi-Dutschke-Strasse 26
www.tim-raue.com
With two Michelin stars, Tim Raue is one of the best restaurants in the city. Chef Tim Raue also owns the Sra Bua in the Adlon Hotel and La Soupe Populaire. He plans to open a fourth place soon, although he spends most of his time at Tim Raue in Kreuzberg. Every dish he serves is unique in character and aroma. Every guest leaves the place with a smile. Price is high even for Berlin; the Unique Menu is 168 Euro without drinks—and without the Peking duck, which you can add for 24 Euro extra. 

 

10. Unique Food Experience
For a food experience, available only in summer, head to the THAI PARK in Preußenpark in Wilmersdorf, next to U Bahnhof Fehrbelliner Platz, where every Sunday between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., around 40 Thai people cook really authentic Thai dishes. Among the offerings you will find salad of papaya, grilled skewers of pork with peanut butter sauce, fried spring rolls, and seafood soup. Every Thai lady has her own specialities.
They don’t speak much German or English normally, but you can see what you buy.
The average price for one dish is 4 or 5 Euro.
There is also Thai beer and freshly mixed Thai shakes with fresh fruit. You only have to bring your picnic blanket and a great Sunday afternoon on the green lawn is guaranteed!

Thai Park

 

Read more about Berlin HERE

 

 

GLUTEN-FREE CHOCOLATE CHIP PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES & LIVING ROOM

IMG_0017The cafe is all for the good.
Good deeds. Good coffee. Good treats. Good place to be.
According to head baker Nate Larson, the cafe’s backstory involves his dad, Barry Larson—the founder of Bridges, an organization providing support services to people with physical and cognitive disabilities. Seems Barry bought a used coffee roaster for a lark, started roasting coffee as a hobby, and saw a way coffee and service could couple. In 2009 he opened Arthouse Coffees,  a wholesale, small-batch coffee roasting company that hired those “with barriers to traditional employment.” And in December, 2014, he brewed up the Living Room, blending Arthouse Coffees with a small, high-quality coffee cafe.

Menu Living RoomLocated in Maplewood, Missouri, in the space of a former theatre, Living Room features a clean-cut contemporary decor with exposed brick wall, floor to ceiling windows, and mellow-wood display cases. All is kept to the sophisticated simple. Baristas hand-craft each cup of coffee, using beans freshly roasted in house. Menus feature uncomplicated, flavor-filled items, such as a breakfast sandwich, great granola with yogurt and fruit and assorted baked goods, with everything made from scratch on a daily basis. Specials include “bento-boxes,” (bread, meat, cheeese, nuts and fruit) and weekend offerings of quiches and country-style galettes.”
As to good deeds, the Living Room creates “job opportunities for people with unrecognized potential,” as well as donates all baked goods left at end of day to a homeless shelter.

Nate Larson

Nate Larson

With a motto that states, “The folks at Living Room welcome and cherish all people.,” Living room creates good will all around and works to the good of coffee lovers, the disability community, and the St. Louis public who get to sample the goods.

When asked for a recipe, Nate said “ Sure. A recipe is for everyone to copy and build upon. Sharing is caring.”

Good spirit. Good karma. Good recipe. Great cookie.

 

GLUTEN-FREE CHOCOLATE CHIP PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES

Yield: 6 jumbo cookies.

2 tablespoons granulated sugar for topping
Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies1/8 teaspoon kosher salt for topping
1 cup crunchy peanut butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg
1-1/2s teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. Put sugar and salt for topping in a small bowl and mix well; set aside.
Put all remaining ingredients except chocolate chips in a large bowl and beat with electric beaters until mixture is well blended and holds together.
Divide dough into six portions. Roll each portion into a ball. Roll balls in sugar/salt topping and place on the paper-covered baking sheet. With the palm of your hand, flatten each dough ball into a 1/3- to 1/2-inch round, keeping edges in a circle shape.
Bake in a preheated 375°F oven until large cracks form on top and cookies just barely begin to brown, 8 to 12 minutes. Remove baking sheet from oven and set on a rack to cool.
Let cookies cool completely before removing from baking sheet.

 

 

 

FORT LAUDERDALE, LOBSTER OMELET, RUM RUNNER COCKTAIL

Remember the Fort Lauderdale of spring break madness—-with paradise lost to swarms of college students hoarding the town? Well hallelujah, today the spring-break kids go elsewhere, leaving Fort Lauderdale’s delights to locals and tourists wanting a comfortable, non-crowded, spring, winter, or anytime warm-weather break.

What does the Greater Fort Lauderdale area offer visitors? Easy answer:

SUNSHINE, SAND AND SEA

Florida Beach by Susan Manlin Katzman

WATER WATER EVERYWHERE

Water Water Everywhere Collage

Water Water Everywhere College by Susan Manlin Katzman

GREAT PLACES TO EAT AND DRINK

Inside Johnny V outside Anglins Beach Cafe

Inside Johnny V and Outside Anglins Beach Cafe

From trendy places on Las Olas Boulevard to little-known, water-side favorites, the restaurant scene rocks!
Click HERE for suggestions.

HISTORY

The Bonnet House Museum & Gardens
Originally built in 1920 by artist Frederic Clay Bartlett and his second wife, composer/poet Helen Birch—and later embellished by Bartlett’s third wife, Evelyn Lilly—the 35-acre Bonnet Estate is now on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places and open to the public. Guided tours take visitors to see Bartlett’s studio and home, both filled with art and whimsy. The Bonnet House captivates those interested in history, South Florida’s flora and fauna, and the lifestyle of early Fort Lauderdale’s rich and elite.

Bonnet House and Garden College by Susan Manlin Katzman

 

Cap’s Place
In 1928, when prohibition prevailed, “Cap” Knight, a well-known rumrunner, opened a restaurant/speakeasy on an island accessible only by boat. Ever popular, Cap’s Place served celebrities, presidents, gangsters and most of the famous and infamous who landed in South Florida. (Guests included such diverse personalities as Al Capone, Winston Churchill, Walt Disney, Barbara Stanwyck, Joe DiMaggio, Mariah Carey and John F. Kennedy.) Now on the National Register of Historic places, Cap’s Place still serves good food garnished with history to guests who still must take a water shuttle to the restaurant. Specialities include local seafood, hearts of palm salad, and, of course, a rum runner cocktail.

Fort Lauderdale Cap's Place Dining Room and Bar

 

Rum Runner Cocktail from Cap's Place  by Susan Manlin Katzman

 

CAP’S PLACE RUM RUNNER COCKTAIL

Combine 3/4 ounce each: Bacardi rum, Myers’s dark rum, blackberry brandy, crème de banane, Rose’s lime juice and Rose’s grenadine. Add 4 ounces Franco’s Lemon Mix (or sweet lemonade). Serve on the rocks garnished with a slice lemon and maraschino cherry.

 

CULTURE

Fort Lauderdale is both a casual beach/boat community and a cosmopolitan city containing a variety of impor cultural institutions.
Venues to enrich the spirit include:

The Museum of Art with rotating shows, small cafe, and gift shop,

Museum Of Art Fort Lauderdale by Susan Manlin Katzman

and the Broward Center for the Performing Arts with rotating shows and restaurants.

Broward Center for the Performing Arts

 

A PLETHORA OF GOOD HOTELS

Exterior of The Atlantic Hotel & Spa in Fort LauderdaleOur choice: The Atlantic Hotel & Spa, a beach-facing, AAA Four Diamond property. The hotel’s spacious suites include a large bedroom, big bathroom, and substantial living room holding a mini kitchen and balcony overlooking either the beach or town. Gracious lobby, lovely pool, tranquil spa, and friendly staff help guests feel pampered.

 For an unbeatable breakfast, sit overlooking the sea, on the terrace of the hotel’s Beauty and the Feast restaurant and order the signature Lobster Omelet. Sigh! A perfect way to start a sunshine day.

Breakfast on the Terrace of Beauty and the Feast Fort Lauderdale

 

THE ATLANTIC’S LOBSTER OMELET

Yield: 1 serving.Lobster Omelet from The Atlantic Hotel Fort Lauderdale by Susan Manlin Katzman

3 free range eggs
1 tablespoon butter
3 ounces chopped cooked lobster meat
1 tablespoon Boursin cheese
2 two-inch long strips of fresh chives (for garnish)
Additional lobster meat (for garnish)

Crack eggs into mixing bowl and whisk vigorously until well blended and fluffy.
Melt butter in an 8-inch non-stick pan over medium heat. Add lobster meat and sauté until meat is warm, about 1 minute. Again, beat eggs vigorously. Add eggs to pan with lobster. Using a rubber spatula, push eggs from bottom of pan to top until eggs are barely cooked through. Crumble the Boursin into the omelet and allow to heat for 30 seconds. Fold the omelet onto a plate. Garnish with chives and lobster meat. Serve immediately.

 

 

 

WHERE TO EAT IN GREATER FORT LAUDERDALE

It’s only natural that Sweet Leisure asked Deborah Hartz-Seeley to suggest places tourists would like to eat when visiting Greater Fort Lauderdale. Debby knows all about South Florida’s unique cuisine. After all, she spent over 20 years as the prize-winning food Deborah Hartz-Seeleyeditor for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. That’s a Tribune Co. newspaper serving the greater Fort Lauderdale area and beyond.
Debby’s food experience began early. She worked in a pizza kitchen and a steakhouse to put herself through school, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin and a Master’s of Science in food journalism from the University of Wisconsin. 
Although Debby retired from the newspaper, she still lives and dines in the area. And she still writes about food for publications including The Coastal Star and The Miami Herald.
To answer Sweet Leisures request, Debby generously sent the following list of her favorite Fort Lauderdale area restaurants along with a caveat:  “I have a lot of experience in the food world. And I’ve found as I’ve gotten older I don’t take a lot of joy in going to hip and trendy spots. They tend to be noisy, expensive and more hype than anything else. I prefer relatively inexpensive local places that are casual but offer reliably good food.”
Casual, inexpensive, good—thank you, Debby.

 
FAVORITE PLACES TO EAT IN GREATER FORT LAUDERDALE

by Deborah Hartz-Seeley

IMG_0075_2NY Deli

3916 N. Ocean Dr., Fort Lauderdale, 954-566-2616                                                                                                                         Kosher-style delis are a dying breed in South Florida. So thank goodness for this newly opened family-owned business that is our go-to place for a late Sunday breakfast or midweek lunch.The women behind the counter are the owner’s wife, mother-in-law and often young daughters. On Sundays a cousin pours coffee. Here you can order lox (salt preserved salmon) as well as nova (smoked salmon) to put on an authentic bagel that’s boiled not steamed. Kippers are a taste of the old country. Fresh salads and big deli sandwiches are here too. There’s also a whole menu of other breakfast and lunch favorites including hearty soups, burgers and just about anything else you want.The atmosphere will have you thinking of Manhattan replete with subway signs, black-and-white photographs and the NY Post available for reading. The deli is open daily for breakfast and lunch; dinner is served Tuesday through Saturday until 7:30 p.m., when the regular menu plus specials such as brisket, meatloaf and stuffed cabbage are available.

IMG_0082

 

Greek Islands Taverna  

3300 N. Ocean Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, 954-565-5505
Down the street you will find a traditional taste of the Mediterranean a block off the Atlantic Ocean. You can sit indoors at this taverna with its checked tablecloths. It is always bustling.
If you prefer you can sit on an outdoor patio that the owners have done what they can to camouflage from the major street that passes out front.
Partial to eating light, we select a few meze including scordalia, melitanosalata and taramosalata. And we follow that with a horiatiki salad made the right way without lettuce. For those with heartier appetites there’s plenty of well-prepared lamb, seafood, chicken and pork dishes. My granddaughter ate her first roasted squab here and has been a fan ever since. You won’t go wrong.

Mai Kai  

3599 N. Federal Hwy, Fort Lauderdale, 954-563-3272
Sven Kirsten 2010 018For a quintessential Fort Lauderdale experience, drive over the plank bridge at the entrance of this Polynesian pleasure dome called the Mai Kai. Anyone into tiki culture will know the place with its islander revue of dancers, drummers, musicians and fire eaters.
It’s filled with authentic finds such as spirit filled wooden gods, carefully turned sailor’s knots and skillfully woven grass. You can almost believe you’ve been transported to the islands. The Molokai Bar is designed to resemble the lower deck of a ship or perhaps the captain’s quarters. Out back a waterfall is the centerpiece of a tropical garden.
Enjoy a Cantonese-inspired meal or just pick out a rum-laden cocktail from the oversized libations menu. This is a true touch of Old Florida.

Il MulinoIl Mulino

1800 E. Sunrise Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, 954-524-1800
The dependably good Italian food served by a professional staff has been drawing crowds to this family-owned restaurant for many years (at least the 25 I’ve lived here).
We go for hearty bowls of pasta e fagioli served with the crusty house rolls. I like mine without garlic; my husband likes his heady with the stuff. This is also one of the few places you can find a meaty Bolognese sauce. And it was one of the first places in town to serve burrata cheese.
They go a little trendier in nightly specials. But here you can’t go wrong if you stick with tradition.

conch salad at Calypso RestaurantCalypso Restaurant Raw Bar and Restaurant

460 S. Cypress Road, Pompano Beach, 954-942-1633
In an unassuming strip mall you’ll find this touch of island life. The couple that owns it knows the regulars and will make you feel welcome.
The place can be noisy as people tuck into conch fritters, beans and rice, Jamaican fish cakes called Stamp and Go, cutters (sandwiches) and a variety of fresh catches served fried or grilled. There’s also jerked chicken, pepper pot soup, island curries and grilled (not fried) conch. Check out the blackboard to see what’s freshest and best.

 Les Amis

Interior of Les Amis by Susan  Manlin Katzman626 S. Federal Hwy., Deerfield Beach, 954-480-6464
Head a little farther north to find two French women serving classic bistro fare. The world has become so hip and trendy it’s difficult to find these old favorites including vichyssoise, duckling a l’orange, filet of sole Meniere and frogs legs Provençale.
You can order complete meals (includes dessert and coffee or tea) or a la carte. When snowbirds descend, this place is popular with French Canadians. My husband is partial to the beef bourguignon; I like the pan-seared salmon with dill sauce. Many entrees come with two vegetables (purees are popular) and potato (often mashed).
The room itself isn’t fancy but is nice enough that you feel like you’ve been out to dinner. And the owners, who serve as wait staff, are happy to chat. That brings up another plus: the place is quiet enough for conversation.

Casa MayaCasa Maya

301 S.E. 15 Terrace, Deerfield Beach, 954-570-6101
In a large shopping center called The Cove, you’ll find Casa Maya tucked among the shops. This restaurant was started by a young couple in 2008 and has since become a neighborhood favorite.
Booths and tables fill the small interior decorated with items that owner Emilio Dominguez has brought back from Mexico with him. When it comes to food, don’t think plates groaning under oversized burritos smothered in cheese. And flabby refried beans.
The food here is much more refined featuring many of the dishes and sauces that Dominguez learned to prepare from his grandmother growing up in the Yucatan area of Mexico.
A favorite is achiote-marinated pork, slowly roasted and served with pickled red onions. Here burritos can come filled with lean white meat chicken topped with a pumpkin seed and cilantro sauce. The chile rellenos is filled with seafood and baked not fried. Or try the fajitas of sour orange marinated pork loin.
They don’t have a liquor license so margaritas are made with wine not tequila. So go ahead and have two with or without salt.

Nauti Dawg Marina Cafe  

2841 Marina Circle, Lighthouse Point, 954-941-0246
You can’t come to Fort Lauderdale without eating some place with a water view. Our choice for a casual meal is the Nauti Dawg set Nauti Dawg Marina Cafein a marina on a canal just off the Intracoastal Waterway.
You may have trouble winding your way through Lighthouse Point to find this spot. But it’s worth searching out. Forget about sitting indoors; be sure to wait for a spot on the wooden deck.
There’s often live Caribbean music and, after dark, the kids will enjoy watching fish swim by where the water is lighted.
Come for breakfast if you are up early enough and you’ll choose from omelets, breakfast sandwiches and an assortment of other eye openers including coconut French toast.
At lunch or dinner there’s a nicely filled lobster roll (yes, they use Maine lobster) or you can have the lobster served as a salad. Fresh fish is always available as are hearty burgers, salads, pasta dishes and more. Nightly specials are listed on a blackboard by the front door and these items tend to be trendier.

IMG_0319El Tamarindo Café

3100 N. Federal Hwy., Lighthouse Point, 954-532-7773
Part of a family-owned group of local restaurants, this eatery features Mediterranean, Cuban, Mexican, Peruvian, Argentinean, and Asian dishes including sushi.
This mix offers something for everyone.
And what it offers is good food at reasonable prices in a surprisingly upscale atmosphere. Even the service overseen by the wife/owner is professional.
I go for the pollo a la plancha that is a pounded and grilled chicken breast with sautéed onions. It covers the plate. My husband likes the churrasco, grilled skirt steak with chimichurri. I’m also partial to the aquadito soup that’s cilantro-based and studded with seafood.
There are other outlets in Fort Lauderdale (233 Florida 84, 954-467-5114) and Deerfield Beach (614 E. 10th St., 954-480-9919). I’ve heard good things about the Fort Lauderdale location but this Lighthouse Point location is the newest and our favorite.

 

 

 

 

PARADISE COVE MALIBU CALIFORNIA

Nice is a word that applies. Easy-going too, and comfortably uncrowded (except on gorgeous-weather weekends and holidays). In fact, Paradise Cove on the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, just might be the best-kept-secret sunshine place for L.A. families and friends to enjoy a beach/cafe experience without the razzle, dazzle hoopla of Hollywood or a touristy overload.

Beach at Paradise Cove by Susan Manlin Katzman

Perhaps the quiet is due to the property being privately owned and charging $40 per day for parking.
But not to worry! The public is welcome and insiders know that parking charges drop to $3 for four hours by spending $30 at Bob Morris’ Paradise Cove Beach Cafe (which is easy to do and very much part of the experience).

Paradise Cove Beach Cafe
The cafe is open seven days a week and serves breakfast, lunch, snacks, dinner, drinks and food to go.

So here’s how regulars approach the $3 four hour parking:
Pull into the parking lot at 28128 Pacific Coast Highway and pick up a parking ticket to be validated later. Walk through the cafe to the beach, stopping on the way to reserve an outside table which is set directly in the sand under a canopy to shade the sun. (Indoor seating is also available.)

Outdoor seating at Paradise Cove Cafe

 

Enjoy the beach while you wait for a table—or eat first and beach later.

Enjoy Beach at Paradise Cove

The cafe provides Adirondack chairs for free and beach beds and private cabanas for a fee.

At Paradise Cove

 

Beds at Paradise Cove

Tropical drinks sold at the bar, must be consumed in the restaurant, but beer, wine and Champagne are allowed on the beach.

Paradise Cove Drinks

So what to order in the cafe?
The most popular items on the lunch/dinner menu are large enough for sharing and include:

Crispy Calamari at Paradise Cove

Crispy Calamari ($17.95)

 

Sampler Platter at Paradise Cove/Susan Manlin Katzman

The Hot Combo Sampler with macadamia coconut shrimp, BBQ baby back ribs, BBQ shrimp, fried fish strips, beer battered chicken tenders, fried calamari, and French fries ($26.95)

 

Cobb Salad at Paradise Cove/Susan Manlin Katzman

Classic Cobb Salad ($15.95)

 

All three dishes can be ordered with the cafe’s house-made (house-named) 1003 Island Dressing, for which Paradise Cove’s owner, Kerry Morris, shared her recipe:

PARADISE COVE’S

1003 ISLAND DRESSING

Paradise Cove 1003 Island Dressing by Susan Manlin KatzmanYield: about 2 cups.

1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup Heinz ketchup
1/4 cup sweet pickle relish
3 tablespoons shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Salt to taste
Ground Pepper to taste
Granulated garlic to taste
Combine all ingredients and refrigerate until ready to serve. 
 

 

 

Surf Boards Paradise Cove

 

 

 

 

 

WORLD’S BEST BEER BARS BY BILL YENNE

Bill Yenne Bill Yenne has been writing about beer for a quarter century and is among the world’s leading authorities on beer and brewing history. Then again, he’s an authority on many topics, having contributed to encyclopedias of both world wars as well as having authored more than three dozen non-fiction books with topics ranging from aviation to biography (Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great, Sitting Bull). 
He has traversed the globe collecting material for his books and has appeared in several documentaries broadcast on the History Channel, the National Geographic Channel and ARD German Television. Condé Nast Portfolio Magazine listed his recent history of Guinness among the top business books of the year, and as its top pick for “Cocktail Conversation.”Beer The Ultimate World Tour Cover (hi-res)

Today Bill lives in San Francisco with his wife, Carol, and uses his background in history and travel to delight the reading public.

His latest book, “BEER: The Ultimate World Tour” offers a “global survey and a global celebration of beer” that brews excitement on many levels. 

Bill takes both beer travelers and armchair beer lovers on a journey through 288 pages, detailing not only the beer brewing regions of the world and their bests beers, but also the history of beer and overviews of beer styles and glasses.
As Bill has experienced the best, Sweet Leisure asked him to pick his personal five favorite places to drink beer around the world. He generously sent us the following:

 

MY FAVORITE BEER BARS

by Bill Yenne

Narrowing a list of favorite places to drink beer to a mere five is an impossible fool’s errand, but when the word “impossible” comes up, I regard it, not as an end game, but merely as a challenge.
The criteria in this list include a geographic range of places (in many a town, I could name five within an easy pub crawl of one another), and that intangible feeling one gets of having arrived within a unique and singularly remarkable setting. There are certain places from which one takes stories that will be elements of one’s own special folklore forever. Going without saying among criteria is an assurance of beer that is sublimely gratifying both to the palate and to the mood.
Finally, there are the intangible criteria of this being a place that speaks of ease and comfort, a place filled with memories of good friends and good times, a place where I would go this afternoon if I could.

Hofbräuhaus München

HofbräuhausPlatzl 9, Munich, Germany

You should, at least once in your life, visit the cathedral of beer. To enter it for the first time is breathtaking. Like a great Gothic cathedral it is so vast that one is dwarfed by the scale, filled with awe and left speechless. Most who write of it use the word “cavernous.” Most who go there, use the word “fun.” Like a great Gothic cathedral it is filled with music, a live band or two thundering with German traditional Bavarian drinking songs.
Those who write about it remind you that it was founded in 1589 by Wilhelm, Duke of Bavaria, as the royal brewery, and that both Mozart and Lenin drank here – a lot. But these things are easily forgotten when you are surrounded by a swirling mass of humanity, each man or woman hoisting a full-liter maßkrug, and your immediate goal is to get one of those in your hand. If you come in the warmer months, there is an equally enormous beer garden just outside the beer hall. Come for the maßkrug, and stay for the plates, overflowing with wurst and schnitzel. The variety of beer styles is limited, mainly to helles and dunkel, but Hofbräuhaus also brews (now at an offsite production brewery) Delictor doppelbock, Münchner Weisse hefeweizen and Festbier Märzen for Oktoberfest, among others.

Staminee De Garre

Staminee De Garre

De Garre 1, Brugge, Belgium

In a tiny country that calls itself “Beer Paradise” without hyperbole, where you could drink in a different world class beer bar every night for a year or two, this is the one where I would go if I could go to only one. You should too. I insist. But first, you have to find it. It is located in the heart of Belgium’s most picturesque city (alas more touristy now than when I first started going). Brugge is a Medieval time capsule that is a feast for the walker as Staminee De Garre is for the beer lover. On your first pass, you’ll probably miss De Garre, the tiny pedestrian alley that leads to the front door.
When you find the alley and find the door, you’ll probably ask your companions whether this can really be the right place, but as you step inside, you’ll know that you have arrived, and that you have arrived in a place where you can relax in the rich, intimate, understated atmosphere with the three things that make such an experience sublime – extraordinary beer, a bite to eat, and good friends. You supply the latter and your hosts will supply the rest. There are “only” around 130 beers on the menu, but they are carefully selected from throughout Belgium. You’ll see old favorites and usual suspects, but best of all, you and your friends will meet new friends among the selections that are offered. You’ll find yourself thinking that it gets no better than this.

Toronado

547 Haight Street, San Francisco, California

Inside ToronadoSan Francisco is a city with a beer scene as lively and nuanced as any in the world. This is, after all, where Fritz Maytag crafted Anchor Brewing into the first modern craft brewery, and ran it as such for more than a decade before Jack McAuliffe, Allen Paul and Buffalo Bill came along. Amid San Francisco’s constantly refreshing tapestry of microbreweries, nanobreweries and beer bars, there is one bar that is always on the list – as it has been since Dave Keene took it over a quarter century ago. To say that Toronado is the quintessential beer bar, is an understatement in the extreme. With a constantly changing selection of around four dozen handles, it is a place where even the most experienced connoisseur can always find an esoteric “something” or three that he or she has never sipped before. And speaking of handles, Keene has been collecting them for decades and has them displayed throughout the bar. I tried once, but had to stop counting at around a thousand.
Just about every beer ever brewed in the West has passed through these doors, as has just about every notable brewer. Vinnie Cilurzo from Russian River Brewing, the inventor of Pliny the Younger, a beer on most “top five in the world” lists was best man at Dave’s wedding – and yes, when Pliny makes his annual two-week appearance, they line up around the block at Toronado.

 U Fleku Pivovar

U FlekuKremencova 11, Prague, Czech Republic

How can you put a bar that serves only one kind of beer on a list of pubs that includes Staminee De Garre and Toronado? When that bar has been brewing and serving its beer ever since the third voyage of Christopher Columbus!
In business since 1499, it got its name from Jakub “Flek” Flekovsky, who bought the place in 1762. U Fleku is the world’s oldest brewpub, and their five prevent ABV Flekovsky Tmavy Lezak 13° dark lager gets a “94 outstanding” rating from RateBeer.com.
Step through the door beneath the old square clock on a cobbled street in Prague’s old town and you’ll find yourself in a jumbly-tumbly King Arthur’s castle labyrinth of rooms and hallways that lead you back into another century. One room is dark and mysterious, another bustling with music and dancing. One room is a high ceilinged beer hall, another is small and cozy. In one room they’re dining on Opékaná klobása and Flekovský guláš. In another, they are singing football songs. One moment, you discover that you’re hopelessly lost, but in the next, you realize that you don’t care. You’re at Flek’s, and they’ll take good care of you here. They’ve had half a millennium of practice.

Kauai Island Brewery

4350 Waialo Road, Port Allen, Hawaii

Kauai IslandSomeone asked me recently what beer I would take to a desert island. I asked whether I had a choice of islands. If I did, it would be Kauai, the least populated and most laid back of the main islands of the archipelago that is the fiftieth state. If I was able to pick the island, I wouldn’t take any beer. I’d just head out State Route 50, make a left on Waialo, and find myself – metaphorically as well as literally – at the “westernmost brewery in the world.”
I discovered the brewpub closest to this side of the International Dateline some time ago when they were about five miles farther west at an old coconut plantation in Waimea. A couple of years ago, Bret Larson and Dave Curry moved their operation to the present location across the road from Captain Andy, who has a tour boat operation not unlike the one that the Captain and Gilligan would’ve had if they hadn’t been – well, you know the story.
I recall with great fondness the day that Mike Bolos and I spent with Dave Curry in the cool fermenting room just before they reopened, sampling the whole lineup, and savoring especially his 3.8 percent ABV South Pacific Brown which had earned him a second place ribbon at the West Coast Brewers Festival.
In a few weeks, give or take a month or so, I expect to be laid back on Waialo Road, watching the sun crawl through the cumulous on the horizon and settle into the fiery red Pacific while I sip a 6.3.

 

 

 

 

TOP FAVORITE

PLACES TO EAT IN:

Albuquerque, New Mexico

 

Ann Arbor, Michigan

 

Bangkok, Thailand

 

 Berlin, Germany

Belin sign

 

Cody, Wyoming

Cody It's Fun by Susan Manlin Katzman 

 

Denver, Colorado

 

Dijon, France

 

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Fort Lauderdale at Night 

 

Little Rock, Arkansas

IMG_0004_4

 

Los Angeles, California

 

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

 

Nashville, Tennessee

 

New Orleans, Louisiana

New-Orleans by CHRIS GRANGER.

 

Rome, Italy

 

Seattle, Washington


Stuttgart, Germany

 

Tel Aviv, Israel

 

Tucson, Arizona

 

PLACES TO DRINK IN: 

Brussels

 

Paris

Paris at Sunset by Susan Manlin Katzman 

 

DESTINATIONS:

 Albuquerque, New Mexico

 

Apalachicola, Florida

 

Canal de Bourgogne, France

 

Door County, Wisconsin

 

Fiji

 

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Florida Beach by Susan Manlin Katzman

 

Hot Springs, Arkansas

Hot Springs National Park by Susan Manlin Katzman

 

Moss Landing, California

Moss Landing Harbor by Susan Manlin Katzman

 

Seattle, Washington

 

Taos, New Mexico

 

Tel Aviv, Israel

 

Turks and Caicos

 

PLACES TO STAY:

Adler Thermae Spa Resort, Tuscany, Italy

Adler Thermae Spa Resort

 

Arlington Resort Hotel,  Hot Springs, Arkansas

The Arlington Resort Hotel & Spa by Susan Manlin Katzman

 

Ashford Castle, Cong, County Mayo, Ireland

Ashford Castle

 

Atlantic Hotel & Spa, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Exterior of The Atlantic Hotel & Spa in Fort Lauderdale

 

Capital Hotel, Little Rock, Arkansas

Exterior of The Capital Hotel by Susan Manlin Katzman

 

Captain’s Inn, Moss Landing, California

The Captain's Inn in Moss Landing California

 

Château De Cîteaux La Cueillette, Meursault, France

Château De Cîteaux La Cueillette

 

Coombs House Inn, Apalachicola, Florida

Coombs House Inn

 

Grand Velas Riviera Maya, Mexico

Grand Velas

 

Lake Yellowstone Hotel, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Facade of Lake Yellowstone Hotel by Susan Manlin Katzman

 

Mandarin Oriential Paris, France

IMG_0084

 

Rosewood Little Dix Bay, Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

Serving Beach Drinks at Little Dix Bay

 

Saxon Hotel, Johannesburg, South Africa

Saxon Hotel

 

Tongabezi, Zambia, Africa

Tongabezi 

 

Wald & Schlosshotel Friedrichruhe, Germany

Wald & Schlosshotel Friedrichsruhe

 

TRAVEL COMPANIES and

GREAT PRODUCTS:

Rail Europe

RailEurope Train by Susan Manlin Katzman

 

La Fresh Travel Products

IMG_0002

 

St. Louis Walking Tour

STL Lost & Found

 

 

 

Copyright 2009-2013 by Susan Manlin Katzman. Author retains all electronic and publishing rights, except where express given permission has been granted. For information about utilizing any material from SweetLeisure.com please contact Susan Manlin Katzman through the contact page listed above.