Altamonte Springs Restaurant Review: Maison & Jardin Restaurant and Lounge

 Let’s forget for a moment that we are in Florida. Maison & Jardin will take you to an enchanted place of neoclassical architecture and European cuisine. The ambience is only surpassed by their food. They have been in business since 1958 and offer appetizers, soups, desserts and entrees.

Maison & Jardin offers a selection of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. They have a full wine list. They also specialize in desserts to include cheesecake and ice cream. As for their entrees, they have beef, prime rib, seafood, chicken and pork loin. My favorite is their seafood dish. Obviously they have something for almost every taste.

Maison & Jardin is perfect for corporate functions or holiday parties. There is plenty of room to seat groups of many sizes. Even wedding receptions have been held there. They offer online reservations which makes coordinating these functions a breeze.

The staff is friendly and fast. We never had a problem with our drinks running low or our needs not being met. They were very courteous and treated us with care. It is obvious that the staff is well trained in what they do.

One drawback is the price. It is a bit pricey. However, the food and service doesn’t disappoint and it is realistically what you would expect to pay for such quality. I also believe that for as long as they have been in business they are definitely doing something right and it shows.

If you are in the mood to dress to impress then this is the place you want to take your date. Beautiful decor, great food and an attentive staff. A first date or an anniversary dinner, Maison & Jardin will not disappoint.

Maison & Jardin Restaurant and Lounge

430 Wymore Rd

Altamonte Springs, FL 32714

(407) 862-4410

Great Local Coffee Shops in Ridgway Colorado

Coffee shops are a great way to meet people and unwind and in Ridgway, Colorado you can do just that at any of the local coffee shops. Ridgway has three coffee shops and each is unique compared to the hustle and bustle of big city coffee shops.

Locals take pride in having independent coffee shops owned and operated by its residents. Each coffee shop is very different offering local coffees and teas. You won’t find Starbuck’s or Dunkin’ Donuts coffee offered by any of the coffee shops Ridgway, Colorado.

At any of these local coffee shops, you might be asked where you come from or where you’re going to. Ridgway is a small town of 700 residents and many tourists visit here or pass through. The locals will meet and greet you as well as help you with directions, or tell you about a favorite hiking trail. Whatever business or pleasure brings you to Ridgway, Colorado make sure you stop into one of the coffee shops to relax and get some local information.

Cimarron Books and CoffeeHouse

A nice congenial atmosphere awaits those who enter this coffee shop. It’s a small shop owned by a local resident named Priscilla and it’s quite homey. The smell of freshly brewed coffee will greet you as you open the door. As you enter the coffee bar will be in front of you where you can order coffee, tea, or a latté. Some pastries are served here but this coffee shop is more about the coffee and less about what goes with coffee, except books.

In an adjoining room is a small book shop where you can sit in a chair or on the one couch in the room and enjoy your freshly brewed cup of coffee or tea. Cimarron Books caters to local authors and you can leisurely peruse some of southern Colorado’s talents. You might even find yourself sitting next to Willa, the coffee shop’s resident cat. She may look up at you, but don’t worry, she’s friendly and not a lap cat.

Cimarron Books and CoffeeHouse is located on the main street in Ridgway which is called Sherman Street. It’s also route 62. They are open seven days a week from 7am – 6 pm.

Cups

Cups is the newest coffee shop in Ridgway and it’s owned by a husband-wife team. They not only have coffee and tea, but they also serve wine, beer, mojitos, smoothies, breakfast burritos, sandwiches, soups, and wraps. Cups has lots of different flavored teas kept in tins on shelves and catagorized by black teas, green teas, red teas, and decaf teas (herbal teas). If you’re a tea drinker, this is the coffee shop to visit.

Cups has a small retail area where they sell coffee pots and teapots along with matching cups and saucers. Locally handmade soaps are also featured here. On the walls, Cups has paintings from a featured local artist which changes monthly. With all the beautiful scenery here in Ridgway, there’s a lot for an artist to paint.

Cups coffee shop is located across from the park in the center of town. The park is on Sherman Street which is the main street in town. Cups is open Tuesday-Friday, 7:30 am – 5 pm, and Satuday 9-5. Cups is closed Sunday & Monday right now, but will be open 7 days a week after Memorial Day.

The Galloping Goose

This is the biggest coffee shop in Ridgway, Colorado and serves freshly brewed coffee along with lattés and a limited choice of tea. Fresh pastries are baked each morning at this coffee shop and they serve home-style breakfasts and lunch seven days a week. This coffee shop is a favorite among the locals.

The Galloping Goose coffee shop is named for the railroad train that used to come through here. Trains no longer run through Ridgway and the owners wanted to remember the Galloping Goose train by naming their coffee shop after it.

The Galloping Goose coffee shop is located on route 550 and is a favorite stop for travelers. Good prices, large servings, fresh pastries, and friendliness are the attractions here. This coffee shop is open seven days a week from 8 am – 2 pm.

Favorite Dining and Shopping in Downtown New Albany, Indiana

The downtown area of New Albany, Indiana, is located on the Ohio River front and has many historic attributes. This area of the city, once having its streets lined with empty store fronts and vacant lots, has been revitalized in the last few years with new restaurants and stores for locals and visitors to enjoy. The establishments mentioned in this article are some of my favorites, so there are many other wonderful places to enjoy in downtown New Albany. This southern Indiana city is also just a short drive across the bridge from Louisville, Kentucky.

Restaurants
Havana Blues is a Cuban restaurant which serves tapas style meals from a vast menu selection. The food is amazing, the service relaxed and personal within the warm décor of the restaurant. La Bocca is an Italian restaurant with its own wonderful menu, wine list, and made from scratch entrees. Pizza dough is made and tossed in the air by an experienced chef, which can be viewed through a street window by passersby. Looking for a small café with big servings? Go to Patticakes & Pies Café just around the corner from the previous two restaurants. This popular café is a favorite of locals who know the sandwiches, salads, desserts and everything else will fill your appetite. There is a big chance guests will likely leave with a cake, brownie or pie to go.

Shopping

Mariposa Fine Consignments, located in the White House Center on Pearl Street, has its windows wonderfully decorated with seasonal dresses and fashions, making it irresistible to pass by. The store is filled with girls and ladies fashions from name brand labels, handbags, shoes, and accessories. There are wedding, prom and formal gowns to shop for as well, all in wonderful condition, at amazing prices.

The Gallery on Pearl is just a few steps away from Mariposa in the White House Center which features a variety of art creations by local artisans. Jewelry, pottery, stained glass works, sculptures, and paintings are showcased in the gallery with other fine works as well.

Antique stores are abundant in New Albany and the antique stores in downtown New Albany have a myriad of treasures to enjoy. A few favorites are Aunt Arties Antique Mall (128 W. Main St.) and Antiques Attic (145 E. Market St.).

New Albany Farmer’s Market
During warmer months, be sure to visit the Farmer’s Market on the corner of Bank and Market Streets in downtown New Albany. Every Wednesday from 4-7 pm local growers will have a variety of produce and goods for sale. This is a wonderful farmer’s market to experience, with fresh, homegrown goodness at reasonable prices.

These are just a handful of the places to experience in the revitalized area of downtown New Albany, Indiana. Each establishment makes a visit worthwhile, and many folks will return to enjoy them again and again.

Top 3 Places for Dating in New York CIty

New York City is the ideal place for dating. With endless possibilities on where to go, it’s hard to choose just three locations:

When I first met my husband (we met at work), he wasn’t quite sure how to ask me out so he kept talking about how he always wanted to visit Madame Tussuad’s Wax Museum in Times Square, but did not want to go alone. Madame Tussuad’s was somewhere that I had always wanted to visit, but would never go by myself. I decided to take a shot and go. Although a pricey first date (Tickets were $30+ dollars each), if you look around you can often find b1g1 deal coupons at several other locations throughout the city. One would be at the McDonald’s near the Museum. Also, upon leaving Madame Tussuad’s you are given a coupon by the staff for which to use on your next visit. Throughout the museum pictures are taken of you which can also lead to additional expenses so be sure to bring extra money with you. It’s not mandatory that you buy the photos but most people would like to have a memory of their special day. There is also a rather large gift shop. The highlight of the date for me was the American Idol stage where you can “Karaoke” sing your heart out. I’ll never forget the tears in my future husband’s eyes that day as I belted out “On My Own” from Les Miserables (luckily I know how to sing).

Our second date was just as exciting as the first. The Museum of Natural History which I think is the 2nd best place for a date in NYC. Though the train ride was long, and the butterfly exhibit I had originally wanted to see cost extra money (doesn’t everything in NY cost extra?), it was worth it in the end. Going to a Museum is definitely an ice breaker for a 2nd date. There are tons of interesting things around you to talk about so there is never a dull moment. Our favorite part had to be the under the sea room where you really feel like you are under water. We never made it to the Planetarium that day, but we have always vowed to make the trip back.

The 3rd and final location I would like to tell you about, may sound corny to some, but I would say that Toys R Us Times Square is a wonderful place for a date. Though we visited it many times throughout the course of our dating (we still go there on occasion) it brings out the inner child in the best possible way. With something for everyone, I guarantee you will not leave without at least purchasing one trinket while visiting. The life-size Barbie doll house was the best part for me. The giant lifelike moving Tyrannosaurus Rex was the highlight for him. There are always employees throughout the store demonstrating the latest gadgets. There is even a giant Ferris Wheel which you can ride on, inside the store. What better place to go for that first smooch then atop one of the cars of the Ferris Wheel? The candy bar is sure to bring out that sweet tooth in anyone.

So you see, it doesn’t really matter how much money you spend on the date, it’s the location that makes the date.

Best Sushi Restaurants in New York City

If you are traveling to the New York City area and would like to check out some sushi restaurants, you might want to visit one of the three sushi restaurants listed below. Here you will find interesting facts about each restaurant, menu items, and a short review of the establishment

Nobu New York

Nobu New York is a fabulous Japanese sushi restaurant to offers an innovative menu from the master chef Matsuhisa and is locate at 105 Hudson Street in New York City. Upon entering the restaurant, you will see the architecture that creates a great ambiance, and a spectacular atmosphere for lunch, dinner, and private parties. There are so many lunch and dinner menu items to choose from that you are going to come back often to try each plate. Try a miso soup, a shitake salad, and sashimi with spicy bigeye tuna and shrimp tempura hand roll. You can also try a seafood udon, served hot or cold. Make a reservation using their online reserve a table or visit Nobu’s website at noburestaurants.com to view their full menu.

Private Parties are welcome, but need a five week in advance notice. Your party can use the Back Room or the entire restaurant. The Back Room can fit up to 50 people standing and 40 sitting, and the entire restaurant can house up to 220 people and seat approximately 140. Appetizers and cocktails will be passed throughout the party, and your drinks will be served by a wait staff. Nobu has received excellent reviews from The New York Times, Gourmet, and Restaurants and Institutions, which makes this sushi restaurant my number one choice.

Blue RibbonSushi
Blue Ribbon Sushi is located at 119 Sullivan St in New York City. This restaurant is a spin off of the Blue Ribbon down the street, but is dedicated to provided it’s patrons with fabulous sushi. This restaurant has been open since 1995, and is open 7 days per week from 12pm to 2am. They serve sushi dishes from the Pacific to the Atlantic and even have sushi shipped from the Sea of Japan.

At Blue Ribbon Sushi, patrons have the option of sitting at the sushi bar, or at a private table, where you will be served the finest sushi in the city. Order a maki roll, or a dragon roll, and feel the flavor just melt into your mouth. Visit their website at www.blueribbonrestaurants.com to see their full menu items.

Blue Ribbon also offers a Blue Ribbon Sushi and Grill, located at 308 W 58th St in New York City. At this restaurant you can be served dishes like the Sushi restaurant or dishes like the Brasserie restaurant. Here you can choose a fabulous steak dinner or a classy sushi plate. This restaurant is open for breakfast from 7am to 10:30am daily, and lunch and dinner is served from 12pm to 2am Monday through Saturday, and Sunday from 12pm to 12am.

Sushi Yasuda

Sushi Yasuda is located at 204 East 43rd St in New York City. Open Monday through Friday from 12pm to 2:15pm, and Monday through Saturday from 6pm to 10:15pm. They are closed on Sundays. Yasuda has been featured in The New York Time, Time Out New York, and several other reviews. He also brings Tokoyo history to the table when he creates his finest dishes of fish and tuna sushi. When you visit the restaurant you will be in awe over the spectacular array of bamboo that helps structure the room.

When you order your sushi plate, you will be guaranteed fresh, quality, and an artist creation. You can order slow by choosing Sashimi as your first dish, and then move on to the unique flavors of sushi. Since Yasuda is very in tune with the levels of experience for his patrons, he prepares the dishes accordingly. If you would like to see Yasuda’s full menu, go to www.sushiyasuda.com. Since he tries to create dishes on a regular basis, menu items may vary on the day you visit.

Sushi Yasuda offers gift certificates for any value, T-Shirts, Sushi Yasuda Nori, and fish paper maches. You will definitely be impressed by the uniqueness of Sushi Yasuda, and will find that you will want to keep coming back for more.

Planning A Trip To Tucson

What do scintillating sunshine, starry skies, and spiny saguaro have in common? Well, other than posing problems for people who have difficulty pronouncing sibilants, they can all be found in Tucson, Arizona, gateway to the west.

Located in Pima County, south of Phoenix and north of Nogales, Tucson is home to the US Air Force’s Davis-Monthan Air Force Base where thousands of mothballed airplanes are parked, and the University of Arizona. But, for the traveler who wants a diverse experience when traveling to the American west, Tucson is truly a gateway to both the old and new.

Tucson took a hit in January 2011 when six people were killed and nineteen injured (including US Representative Gabrielle Giffords) in a shooting at the Casas Adobes Safeway supermarket parking lot. The incident highlighted the prevalence of a gun culture in Arizona and exposed some cleavages between those who want more controls over access to guns and the diehards who cling stubbornly to the ‘right to bear arms.’

Despite this tragic incident, though, Tucson remains one of my favorite ports of call. In a state that is predominantly conservative, Tucson is an oasis of middle of the road, even liberal, culture. A mixture of the old west and modern culture, more diverse than any other place in Arizona, a city where you can chose between backpacking or off-road driving in the desert or attend an international book fair.

Getting There

Tucson’s airport, located not too far from downtown, is served by a number of airlines and has flights from the west coast, the upper northwest, and through Dallas, the east coast. There are also flights to and from Mexico and points south. Interstate 10 traverses the city, making it easy to arrive by car, and it’s only a few hours’ drive to El Paso, Texas or the west coast.

Things to Do

Whether you’re looking for a taste of the Old West, want to play golf at some world-class courses, or experience the diverse cultures of the American southwest, Tucson has something you’ll find to your liking.

Just north of Tucson is Oro Valley, a distinctive community of picture postcard views and a wide range of art and cultural offerings. A small, but diverse community of about 44,000 residents, Oro Valley has a small town feel but a big city attitude, and was named one of the top 10 places in the US in 2008. The town is famous for its public art and hosts four annual arts festivals.

Not incorporated until 1977, Marana has been in existence since the late 1800s. In 2007, this small community, with its close association with the historical traditions of the past, hosted the Accenture Match Play Championship, putting it firmly on the map of places that are ‘must’ visits.

Military buffs, especially fans of military aircraft, will love cruising past the aircraft storage facility at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. Known as the ‘airplane bone yard,’ this facility has thousands of planes parked in row upon row that are visible from the highway, including B-52 bombers and Russian MIGs.

There’s always something interesting going on in or near Tucson. Every January, it Sis host to the New Year’s Powwow and Indian Craft Market as well as Dillinger Days, marking the capture in Tucson of John Dillinger, the FBI’s ‘Public Enemy Number 1.’ The Tucson Festival of Books, a celebration of reading and literacy, features workshops and activities for all ages at the University of Arizona, and has appearances by hundreds of world-renown authors.

This is just a tiny sampling of the many things you can find to do in Arizona’s most picturesque city. From world-class golf of the Accenture Match Play Championship to the La Fiesta de los Vaqueros Rodeo and Parade, you’ll find every day in or around Tucson packed with fun and adventure. Home to some of the most fantastic species of birds in North America, southern Arizona is a haven to bird watchers, and Tucson is a convenient base from which to stage birding expeditions.

Tucson and the communities in close proximity offer a great opportunity for acquiring southwestern arts, craft, and jewelry, and the city has an eclectic offering of cuisines from all over the world, from traditional southwestern to Mexican to European.

Where to Stay

There are a lot of choices in accommodations in Tucson, from hotels to luxury resorts to modest bed and breakfast, many of which are also tourist attractions in themselves. You can experience the Old West at an authentic western ranch or stay at a luxury golf resort with a world-class course and a fantastic view of mountains and desert. There’s something for every taste and budget.

Here are two of my favorites; the first offers accommodations at under $100 per room night, while the second starts at over $200.

Best Western Plus Innsuites Tucson Foothills Hotel & Suites

6201 N. Oracle Road

Tucson, AZ 85704

JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa

3800 W. Starr Pass Blvd.

Tucson, AZ 85745

For more information on hotels in Tucson, click on the following link:

http://www.visittucson.org/visitor/accommodations/hotelsandmotels/

Three of the Best Coffee Shops in Paradise, California

Most of us wake up with a warm cup of coffee. We enjoy drinking one to fuel us before we start our long and hectic days. We pick certain coffee shops we like, to get the best and some times, quickest coffee. I have a list here of three great coffee shops in Paradise, California

Coffees On

Hours: Monday – Friday 4:45 am to 7:00 pm
Saturday- 6:00 am to 7:30 Sunday 6:00 am to 5:30 pm

Located: On Skyway in Paradise,California

This coffee shop has the best coffees! It’s great. They have a good variety with great tastes. They have hot, blended, and iced coffees. My favorites and what ones I would recommend to try first ,are the blended White Mocha or Tuxedo Freeze. A hot coffee, that is a favorite, would be the Upside Down Carmel Latte. You can get different sizes at decent prices. They also have a variety of other drinks such as; fruit smoothies, kids cocoa, pastries, and more! There is a drive thru, lobby, and an outside area to sit. So you can enjoy your coffee in any place that you are in the mood for. Coffees On has great service!

Juice and Java , Juice and Java 2

Hours: Morning to Evening

Located: Juice and Java on Skyway
and Juice and Java 2 is on Clark Rd in Paradise California

Both of these coffee shops have drive thru’s and have great service. A friendly environment and a variety of drinks. White Mocha blends, real fruit smoothies, and more! Good prices and fast service. I enjoy going to these coffee shops mainly for the blend and yummy smoothies!

Colonial Coffee and Deli

Hours: Morning to Evening

Location: On Clark Rd. in Paradise, California

I have not been to that coffee shop much. Though everyone that has been there, says they really like it! They have good service and a warm and friendly environment.It does not have a drive thru, so I would recommend it for when you have a little more time to relax.

I hope you find this to be helpful and you consider checking them out! Coffees On would be my first choice and recommendation. Every coffee I have had has been great there.