Tagged urban

Hello Betty Fish House Celebrates a Great Year of Amazing Food

By Andrea Verdin

I love birthday parties. There’s something great about celebrating achievements that have occurred throughout the year, and the Hello Betty Fish House celebrated all of its accomplishments at its birthday in style: Beats ~ Boards ~ Bites ~ Brews.

As a part of the beautiful Oceanside landscape, Hello Betty Fish House is more than just an adorable restaurant — some serious eats can be had here.

While the downstairs restaurant features more formal dining options, such as whole fried fish, Betty linguine, and a whole seafood boil, I was instantly drawn to the upstairs patio. This patio has a great view of the Oceanside Pier, and guests can sit back in the open air deck, grab a drink, eat some tacos, and watch the sun set.

Mexican Brownie
Fabulous crab cake sliders
Caramel Panna Cotta
Smoked Octopus
Chips and smoky salsa served in campechanas
Oyster shucking presentation
Oysters freshly shucked by Executive Chef Nick Schultz
Shrimp skewers
The Open Air Deck of Hello Betty Fish House
The set is gorgeous

If you ever get a chance to head to Hello Betty Fish House after work, I highly recommend coming on an empty stomach and gorge on tacos. eat the calamari, eat avocados, and devour the mahi mahi.

For more information on Hello Betty Fish House, head to their website.

New Orleans Tennessee Williams Literary Festival Brings Food, Fun and Artistic Whimsy to the Big Easy

written by Andrea Verdin

As if we needed another reason to visit New Orleans — all those who have a penchant for art, literature, music and culinary bliss can flock to the historic French Quarter for the 29th annual Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival, March 25-29, 2015.  Known for A Streetcar Named Desire, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Glass Menagerie, Hard Candy and more, Williams lived in the city of New Orleans, revolutionizing the way people saw plays, literature and the world.

The event takes place at 16 French Quarter venues in New Orleans over the span of five days, allowing for visitors to truly immerse themselves in the splendor of the Big Easy, just as Tennessee would have wanted it.

“Tennessee Williams is universally loved,” said festival representative Ellen Johnson. “We celebrate Tennessee because when he was living here, he was only Tom. He became Tennessee here.”

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New Orleans Hotel Omni Royal Ranks as a Top 10 Brunch Hotel in US

Is there anything better than exploring a new city until the wee hours of the morning, then sleeping in until noon before heading over to the brunch table? I think not, unless you can say for certain that the restaurant you’re eating at has been selected as one of Gayot’s 2014 list of “Top 10 Brunch Hotels in the U.S.”

With an omelette like this, you almost don’t need to sleep in. Almost.

The Omni Royal Orleans, based in the heart of the Big Easy, is featured for its lavish Sunday Jazz Brunch. There are a few breakfast choices that you would anticipate from a New Orleans hotel, such as Eggs Benedict and House Smoked Salmon. However, there are a few surprises awaiting you. Guests can sip on turtle soup, dine on pan-fried chicken livers with Creole cream cheese grits, Pontchartrain blue crab and grilled redfish with Andouille sweet potato hash and Croque Royal, made with prime rib debris, goat cheese Béchamel and a pan-fried egg.

This smoked salmon from the Rib Room is beautiful to the eyes and stomach

Talk about elegance to the highest level.

If you sleep in past the brunch hour, don’t fear; the Zagat-award winning Rib Room restaurant is known for its beef specialties, fowl and seafood prepared on giant French rotisseries and mesquite grills.

The Rib Room is overseen by Chef Michael Gottleib, who said he is inspired daily by the culture and vibrancy of New Orleans.”


The Omni Royal Hotel

“It’s rewarding to deliver that in the food and experience we offer our guests,” said Gottleib.

“It is an honor to be recognized on a list with such highly-esteemed hotels throughout the nation,” said General Manager Dennis Pearse. “The Rib Room truly offers a brunch unique to the city, and we encourage visitors and locals alike to pay the restaurant a visit whether staying at the Omni or elsewhere.”

The Rib Room boasts beautiful brunches

If you want to see other Top 10 Brunch spots around the country, the list highlights other distinguished hotel brunches such as The Queen Mary in Long Beach, Calif., Four Seasons Hotel Miami in Miami, Fla. and The Jefferson in Richmond, Va.

The Omni Royal Orleans is a 345-room hotel in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana. Located on St. Louis at Royal, this New Orleans hotel has received the four-diamond luxury award for the past 31 years. With a $15 million renovation in March 2013, the hotel welcomed modernized guest rooms, 24 new iconic wrought iron balconies and refreshed public spaces. Additional features include a rooftop fitness center, on-site barbershop, rooftop outdoor heated pool and an observation deck with picturesque views of the French Quarter and Mississippi River.

The Omni Royal Orleans is described by the respected restaurant, hotel and travel guide as standing apart from average regional cuisine with its focus on prime rib, adding, “In fact, it’s a true local, from its location on Royal Street in the French Quarter to its Sunday Jazz Brunch featuring Sugar Bear and the Jazz Cats.”

To get additional information or book accommodations, visit omnihotels.com or call 1-800-The-Omni.

Another great day with Turista Libre – TJ baseball games are rowdy, yet delicious

At Estadio Gasmart for the Tijuana Toros game with Turista Libre

Written by and photos by Nadia Ibanez

It never ceases to amaze me that we are less than an hour from Mexico. While the majority of the population is still terrified to enter into these international waters, my recent trips to Ensenada and Tijuana have been nothing short of exhilarating and exciting. We recently visited Tijuana with our good friend, Turista Libre, for an evening of baseball, mechanical bull rides, vuvuzuelas, tacos, TJ hotdogs, and so much more.

Just one of the many food and drink vendors hawking their wares.

As Tijuana Toros first timers, we were prepped completely. Proper baseball stadium food, cheeky cheerleaders, silly monkey and chicken mascots, and an excitable crowd. And let me just say that Mexican baseball games are 100% times better than anything you’ll see in the MLB.

(Check out our previous trips with Turista Libre to El Vergel waterpark and the Lucha Libre battles.)

Here are some photos from our recent trip with Turista Libre. A very special thank you to Derrik, Pilar and the entire Turista Libre familia for always showing us a great time.

Turista Libre stepping up his on-bus libations game with Micheladas
Somos Toros!


Take your pick: Cigarillos, blow pops, cacahuetes Japonesas, chicle…

When it doubt, use duct tape.

Always order your beer with a rim of Chamoy

While it may look like a bloody mess, Mexican beer is SO much better with a rim of Chamoy. Try it and I guarantee you’ll love it.

Street tacos with all of the fixings

Estadio Gasmart has every typical baseball food you could every imagine, and more! Take your pick between street tacos, tortas, TJ hot dogs, fried chicken, caramel apples, cream-filled churros, and the like.

Definitely not your typical condiment stand.

Why settle for ketchup, mustard and relish when you can opt for bundles of radishes or grilled green onions and green peppers?

Stacks and stacks of bacon-wrapped TJ hot dogs.

Just some of the sights and sounds from the Tijuana Toros game.

Tj Baseball game with Turista Libre from nadia ibanez on Vimeo.

Check out www.turistalibre.com for more information — he’s got some really awesome trips lined up for the summer!


Ruschmeyer’s in Montauk, NY opens for its third season

Writte by Nadia Ibanez, Photos courtesy of Joe Termini

As a child of the west coast, I never got to experience summer or sleep-away camp. I remember watching movies or TV shows as a child and wondering why my parents never sent me away to spend weeks on a river or in a forest, sleeping in bug-ridden cabins, and having meals in a chow hall.

Inside the lobby at Ruschmeyer’s

Lucky for me, I can still experience a summer-camp atmosphere as an adult at the likes of Ruschmeyer’s in Montauk, NY. Entering into their third season, the summer cabin-inspired Ruschmeyer’s opened its doors on May 22nd, just in time for Memorial Day.

Each guestroom pays homage to summer camps found in the area and come equipped with a hammock in each room, wicker headboards, Moroccan rugs, flat screen TVs, rad lifestyle magazines and local reads, John Masters Organics bathroom amenities, vegan soaps, and Frette linens, among others. (If you’ve ever slept in Frette sheets, you know how vital this amenity truly is.)

If you are staying at Ruschmeyer’s with friends, go for the Lucky 13 suite features a full bedroom, adjoining full bathroom and living room with convertible daybed, and an outdoor charcoal grill.

Take a ride on one of the Ruschmeyer’s beach cruisers
Play cowboys and Indians, or stargaze from the teepees in the Magic Garden at Ruschmeyer’s

Spanning three acres, the recently-renovated hotel features cabin-inspired guestrooms that encircle the central lawn known as The Magic Garden. There you’ll find ping-pong tables, BBQ grills, and teepees. (How cool is that?!) Need to get some energy out? Rent a bike, go paddleboarding, get your yoga on, or try your luck during Bingo Thursdays. (Seriously, sign me up already.) The hotel also features a rotating series of musicians, theater troupes and artists in residence.

Battle it out on Ruschmeyer’s Ping-Pong tables

Need to sweat off those extra calories? Starting mid-June, Celebrity Fitness Trainer, Adam Rosante, will offer The People’s Bootcamp every Saturday morning. The 45-minute, high intensity workout is a great way to sweat, get some sun, and check out your fellow hotel goers in short shorts and tank tops. No ellipticals or free weights necessary; this workout only uses your body weight as resistance. Don’t forget to drop by the breakfast nook for a fresh-pressed juice or snack to finish out your morning.

Inside Ruschmeyer’s Restaurant and Bar

The hotel has just announced that they are teaming up with Matt Kliegman, Carlos Quirarte and Melia Marden of the The Smile in Manhattan to run Ruschmeyer’s on site restaurant with current Executive Chef, Brian Loiacono. The new menu will feature fresh and local seafood and produce, which will perfectly pair with the restaurant’s handcrafted cocktails and  comprehensive, sustainable and organic wine list. Grab a seat at the mid-century modern restaurant or belly up to the breakfast nook for a communal snack to start the day.

Ruschmeyer’s isn’t like your average summer destination hotel. Reggae Sundays is new this season and kicked off with a charity function on May 26th with Beastie Boys’ Mike D and Creative Director, Robert McKinley, to raise funds for Waves for Water and The Rockaway Plate Lunch Truck. Find yourself spending a Monday at Ruschmeyer’s? Starting June 17, guests can enjoy the evening in the Magic Garden with popcorn and a classic Montauk-centric film during Movie Mondays.

Need some comedic relief throughout the summer? A Night of Comedy with Seth Herzog will take place July 3rd, 17th, 31st and August 14th in the Electric Eel, the hotel’s must-see place for dancing and cocktails.

Ruschmeyer’s 19 guestrooms are filling up quickly and just like traditional summer camp for kids, the season closes out at the end of this August — make your reservation ASAP. For more information, check out their website here.