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Dinning out…why and what do I like to eat?

Posted in Recommendations
by Tammi Ramsey

Good Morning!

When I was a kid my grandparents would take us to dinner for our birthday. They always took us to the Red Lion Hotel in Muncie, IN. It was fine dinning. We had to dress up and they had a band on the weekends. I remember they always knew my grandfather. He was a businessman and he took clients their all the time. It was a steak place. It was decorated in rich red velvet walls and leather chairs. I remember the servers always made up Roy Rogers (7up with grenadine). They would put a cherry in and it looked like a cocktail. The chef would always come out and wish me a happy birthday and if I wanted to see the kitchen he would take me in the back and let me see the birthday cake he made for me. I felt like a princess.

The rest of my childhood we mostly ate at home. Once in a great while we would load up and head to Ponderosa steak house. I am sure back then it would cost my folks a few bucks, I had 2 brothers. I liked going out to eat because I did not have to do the dishes. My parents were never drinkers, to this day my mama might have a glass of wine or two when she is with me, but they never ordered wine or cocktails. My image of going out to eat was being wealthy and I thought you had to be super rich to afford the Red Lion.

Today, I love to go out to eat. I love taco trucks, street food, I always print out the top places to eat in the bay every year and try to hit all the spots. I also watch Food TV and when I see a place in a city I travel to I make a point to try the places I have seen. I have had some great experiences from it and tried food I would not normally thought about.

Some blog in the near future I will make a list of my favorite wine bars in the US….but today I just wanted to share some special places I have tried while traveling that you might want to try!

These places made me again feel like I was special and the food was great! Most of these places are not expensive and causal, so try these is you can.

1. Red Iguana, Salt Lake City, UT, get a margarita and the enchilada with green sauce.

2. Jake’s Portland, OR, go to the bar during happy hour and all the specials are served on small plates so you can order a couple and their wine list is impressive.

3. Oceanaire, Indianapolis, IN, go to the bar and order Rose’ sparkling and get the seafood tower. Pure luxury!

4. The Purple Cafe, Seattle, WA, grab the Sommelier, and order the cheese platter. They might be some of the most educated wine folks I have ever met.

5. Pizza King, Muncie, IN….Royal Feast with BBQ sauce…I got hooked on this pizza as a kid, when my Aunt Stinky worked there in high school.

6. Aureole, Las Vegas, NV, Pure visual and sensual dinning experience, bring your wallet

7. Slanted Door, San Francisco, CA, Get reservations if not sit at the bar. It is loud and fantastic energy pumping through the place. The Shakin’ Beef is really awesome.

8. Zola, Washington, DC, I could hardly eat while I was there, so many people I recognized from TV. Supreme Court justices, senators etc. On Thursday nights, they have dinning specials and the value of this very high end meal, the affordable wines and the stellar service, really awesome night!

9. Denver Chop House, Denver, CO, this was a true steakhouse experience, big red wines, hearty steaks, wait staff never lets a glass go empty.

10. Red Hawk Brewing, Ann Arbor, MI, I love the craft brewed beers and pub food and the tap room atmosphere. Located in the heart of the U of M campus, great energy and vibe.

11. Recess, Indianapolis, IN, I love this place, the menu changes daily and the wine pairings are amazing. Small place, have reservations it is worth effort.

12. Puerto Allegra, San Francisco, CA, This is the best way to experience the Mission district. Order a pitcher of Margarita from Norma, all the food is authentic and the place is so eclectic and pure San Francisco.

13. Bangs, Denver, CO, This place is a HUGE surprise. The food was that of 4 star dinning, only 10-12 tables, nightly specials and the wine list was filled with everything! It is hard to find in a little neighborhood, but if you find a wineshop called Mondo Vino, you are across the street!

14. Taylor’s Refresher, St Helena, CA, James Beard award winning food served in a place where you stand in line and then eat on picnic tables. The ahi tuna burger with sweet potato fries and a bottle of Merryvale wine….No better way to spend the day!

15. What the Pho?, Bellevue, WA, The name grabbed my attention, but the food had brought me back there everytime I am in the PacNorthwest. Fresh, fun and very affordable. They always have the game on too!

I have millions more, but these are the first to come to mind. I will write more about them in the future.

Much LOVE and Cheers!


La Gloria in San Antonio, Texas

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