Posts Tagged ‘USA’

Cadillac Bar and Grill, Market Square, 44 9th St, San Francisco, California, USA

I had not long arrived in San Francisco with friends when we realised we did not know of a good local restaurant to go to for dinner. So, did we google it? No, we are old school, so we asked for a recommendation from our hotel reception. It was a good one. We were recommended to the Mexican restaurant, the Cadillac Bar and Grill, Market Square, 44 9th St, San Francisco, California, USA.

cadillac outside

We arrived a bit early for dinner so atarted the evening with margaritas for the ladies and beers for the guys. We had taco chips and salsa and ordered guacamole too. Lovely!

cadillac inside

Access to the restaurant is easy for those with disabilities, although some of the tables may be too close together to get a wheelchair past. The restrooms were clean and the service was good, although the waiter did pressure us to order dinner earlier than we wanted to. We resisted the pressure.

cadillac waiter in

 

The restaurant filled up quickly so we decided to eat there and were pleased that we did. I had a vegetarian burrito. My husband had a combination platter while our friends shared a sea food sharing platter.

cadillac musicians in

The meal was delicious and very filling. Only my husband made it to desert for a chocolate brownie. We thoroughly enjoyed our meal and the atmosphere of the Cadillac Bar and Grill which included music  minstrels. I recommend it and will certainly be back.

The History

The San Francisco Cadillac Bar Restaurant is a legendary establishment. Its beginnings can be traced back to the original Mexican Cadillac Bar which opened in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico in 1926. Back in the early 80’s, several partners decided to bring this concept to San Francisco where they went to work and converted a warehouse into a restaurant in the South of Market neighborhood.  When they opened the doors in 1982, the partners made sure the restaurant had an authentic Mexican look including many features from the original Cadillac Bar such as the red painted ceilings, the high back bar, white linens on tables, and waiters and bartenders in white coats and bow ties. All these special touches were meant to make you feel like you were south of the border.  The partners ensured that the menu was authentic and house margaritas were always hand shaken. San Franciscans took notice and voted the Cadillac the best Mexican food restaurant in the city for many years. Unfortunately, in 1999 the restaurant was forced to close due to the expansion of the Moscone Convention Center. However, in 2012, one of the original founding partners decided to revive the Cadillac Bar and Grill in San Francisco with the goal of recreating that authentic Mexican restaurant with the same feel and look of its famous predecessor. 

Val Penny

Bei Hotel 50 8th St, San Francisco, California 94103, USA

bei hotel outOn a recent visit to SanFrancisco I booked to stay in the Bei Hotel at 50 8th Street, San Francisco, California, at the time of my visit there was a lot of work going on to the b uilding and I would not have booked it had I known, however, the work did not detract greatly from the enjoyment of my stay as it was carried out during the day when I was not there. The hotel will be immensely smart when the work is finished.bei hotel in

Bei Hotel is at 8th Street between Market and Mission is in a central part of the city (and near the terminal for cable cars) but there are many homeless people and drug addicts who congress around there. Going out and about alone can be unnerving.bei hotel pool

Having said that the hotel is extremely comfortable. The rooms are minimalist but spacious and comfortable. The beds are extremely comfortable. There is a pool on the roof, which I did not use. The restaurant serves breakfast, but compared to the local diners and coffee shops that is an expensive choice. The evening meals offered are varied and interesting but there are many bars and restaurants that provide interesting choices. (If you are eating out on a Saturday evening – book in advance!)bei hotel room.jpg

The staff at Bei Hotel are extremely helpful and courteous. Access for those with mobility issues is easy. I enjoyed my stay at Bei Hotel and would stay there again. It is an excellent base for visitng the fascinating city that is San Francisco.

bei hotel bathroom

Val Penny

Il Radicchio Ristorante, 1801 Clarendon Blvd, Arlington, Virginia, USA

arlington.jpgI have always enjoyed my visits to Arlington, Virginia, USA. I first visited the State many years ago when my friend Connie was my hostess. It was then I also met our friend Denise. Good times. However, on my most recent visit to Virginia, my husband and I went with our friends Lisa and Bill. We visited their niece, Nika and her beau, Hani and they hosted a pre-dinner drinks party for us. It was such fun. After this we all made our way to Il Radiccho Ristorante, Nika and Hani’s favourite restaurant. They have good taste!radiccio-menu

il-radiccio

Il Radicchio is quite a small, family run, Italian restaurant. It has a fun atmosphere and friendly service. There is easy disabled access to Il Radicchio Ristorante and there are lots of choices of food available for vegetarians as well as omnivores. We had delicious plates of bruschetta for the table as a starter. It was fun and delicious. The boys chose beer to drink, except for Hani as the poor guy had a late meeting to attend that evening and needed a clear head. The girls shared a bottle of red wine. The breads and salads on offer were lovely too.

rad-inside

For our main courses we mainly chose a variety of risotto, pizza and pasta dishes. My husband chose the spahetti bolognese and spicy sausage. He has a big appetite and the portion was ample for him. I chose the spaghetti with pureed basil, garlic, pine nuts, parmesan and olive oil. It was delicious, but I could not finish my meal! Nevetheless, we all made room for coffee and deserts. My husband had an americano coffee to wash down his chocolate cake while I enjoyed a latte with my icecream sundae. rad-cake

We very much enjoyed the embiance and the food at Il Radicchio Ristorante. Next time you are in Arlington, I highly recommend this restaurant.

 Valerie Penny

 

Double Tree by Hilton, 1515 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, DC 20005, USA

My husband and I recently had a wonderful vacation in Washinton DC, USA. We met up with friends who live in a different part of the country and we all met up in Washington DC and stayed at the Double Tree by Hilton, 1515 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, DC 20005, USA. The hotel is nice and central. It is situated equi-distant between Du Pont Circle and Macpherson Square metro centres.dc-coffee-table

This Double Tree by Hilton is adjacent to Scott Circle Park. My husband and I took a junior suite on the 7th floor. It was to the front of the hotel, so it was a little noisy, especially at the wekends, however, the room had pretty views over the park. This was clearly, once, an upscale hotel in downtown D.C. and is near the White House. However, the Hotel would now benefit from investment.

The carpets are a bit worn, the colour schemes are dated and the furnishings have seen better days. However, our suite offered really good value for money and our friends, who took a standard room, were also satisfied. The rooms all have large, flat-screen TVs and WiFi (for which there is a small fee if you are not a Hilton Honours member) The beds are large and comfortable. All suites add separate kitchen and living areas and ours also had a granite wet bar and a large bathroom.dc-bed

The bistro is disappointing. It serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, but it is dark, dull, dated and understaffed. It offers contemporary American cuisine which is tasty, but the menu never changed the whole period we were there. There is a bar which has a “Happy Hour” lasting around 4 hours! It serves signature drinks and is busy and clearly popular. Unfortunately, it too suffers from dated furnishings and understaffing.  The amenities of the hotel also include a fitness center, valet parking (for which there is a fee) and a business centre. The rooms are clean and the bathrooms spotless. I did like the big, fluffy bath towels.dc-tv

Having said all that, this Double Tree by Hilton benefits from the most charming, helpful and dedicated staff. The majority of them could not do enough for us. Only one or two seemed to be going through the motions. The staff of the Double Tree by Hilton, 1515 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, DC is a great asset. We were all made to feel welcome and valued. At present this is a good hotel in a great situation with great staff. With some investment and modernising it would be a great hotel too. I will use it again, and recommend it.

Valerie Penny

Peet’s Coffee & Tea 1156 15th St NW, Washington DC, USA

On a recent visit to the nation’s capital, I discovered the delight that is Peet’s Coffee & Tea 1156, 15th St NW, Washington DC, USA.  Although founded in 1966, I had never been into a Peet’s Coffee & Tea. They had a counter that sold good quality coffees and teas. The smell when you walk into the shop is delicious.peets-outside

A variety of savoury and sweet choices are available for eats. I particularly enjoyed the coffee cake, while my husband chose the bacon, egg and cheese sandwich. There are a few vegetarian choices, but I did find that the staff understanding of vegetarianism is poor. The sandwiches arrive in the shop premade and when no vegetarian sandwich was available, I was offered a bacon egg and cheese sandwich with the bacon removed. Of course, the bacon fat would remain and I would have been ill as a result of eating that. The offer was kindly meant, but declined.

Peet’s Coffee & Tea is self service. There are two counters: one for ordering coffee, tea, cookies and cakes to take home, while the other serves those looking to enjoy the ambience of Peet’s. There is a wide variety of seating available and access is good for those with mobility issues. peets-inside

I thought Peet’s was a great find for a breakfast, a quick snack or a coffee break in the afternoon. It is not fancy, but the quality of the coffee and tea is excellent and the cakes, croissants and cookies to go with it are delicious. I highly recommend Peet’s Coffee & Tea for these.

Valerie Penny

Hyatt Regency Washington Hotel on Capitol Hill, Washington DC, USA

hyatt-regency-washington outsideI have always liked staying in the Hyatt Regency Washington Hotel when I have business in Wasginton DC. It is a high rise building in the Penn Quarter of the city. The Hyatt Regency Washington Hotel is a central, upscale, conference hotel and it only takes about 10 minutes to walk from there to the Supreme Court, the U.S. Capitol, the National Mall and Union Station. The Museum of Natural History and the Verizon Sports Centre are also close by. So the situation is perfect and I have also always found this hotel to be excellent value for money. hyatt dining

On family visits to Washington DC, the Hyatt Regency Washington Hotel is also amongst the hotels I consider, because the amenities include a hip hyatt poolbistro/bar with a fireplace and high ceilings, a cafe serving breakfast and lunch, a coffee shop and a deli. An indoor heated pool and gym are available at no additional charge right nest door and provide a great way to keep fit, or unwind, as appropriate.

I like the rooms in the Hyatt Regency Washingtonhyatt room Hotel too. The floor to ceiling windows make the rooms bright and light. Wi-fi is available for a fee and there are 42-inch flat-screen TVs with cable channels, iPod docks, coffeemakers and minifridges. It makes life easy whether business or leisure is involved in your trip. The staff are also courteous and professional and the rooms have always been spotless.

All in all, I can highly recommend the Hyatt Regency Washington Hotel. I have used it on several occassions before, and have no doubt I will stay there again.

Valerie Penny

 

 

 

Double Tree Hilton, 1 Doubletree, Rohnert Park, CA 94928, USA

Double Tree out.jpgWhen we went to visit family in Northern California there were too many of us to stay with our relatives, we were fortunate that the hotel nearest to their home was the Double Tree Hilton, 1 Doubletree, Rohnert Park, California, USA. It is a lovely hotel and reasonably priced. It is easy to get to as the Double Tree is only 2-minute drive from US Highway 101 and adjacent to two 18-hole golf courses. The hotel is in the Sonoma Wine Valley area.Double Tree room

Our room was spacious and ticked all the boxes for us. It had been freshly decorated, but was a little dated, although it did have a flat screen TV. There was wi-fi, but only available at a fee. Some rooms had a balcony, but ours did not. The en-suite facilities were spacious and everything was scrupulously clean. The staff were polite and friendly.

We enjoyed the meals we had in the hotel. The restaurant has far more space between the tables than in most dining Double tree diner 2rooms which made moving around easier and added to a sense of privacy when we were chatting. It has feature fireplaces and a patio that serves all-day meals and local wines. In addition there is a lobby bar and a Starbucks cafe.

We did not use the fitness center but we did enjoy swimming in the outdoor pool. The weather was warm enough to make it a pleasure to use. The hotel also has tennis courts within the grounds. The grounds are extensive and have lovely wooded areas.Double Tree pool

The situation of this Double Tree Hilton makes it easy to visit the surrounding area including Petaluma (‘the egg basket of the world’), Napa, Sonoma and San Raphael. I enjoyed my stay at this Double Tree Hilton and will use it again when I am in the area, if my relatives cannot put me up!

Valerie Penny