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Visiting an Organic Winery

November 30th, 2011 • by Sandy Zimmerman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 (Photos by Sandy Zimmerman)

Whenever you are near Northern California’s wine country it is time to visit one of the 350 wineries!

I stayed at the Farmhouse Inn, in Forestville, a great location for a quick 15- minute drive to the Michel-Schlumberger Benchland Wine Estate close to Sonoma.  Michel-Schlumberger is an organic winery with an entirely different approach to growing grapes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jim Morris, Vice President of Marketing and Direct Consumer Sales, walked with me on a tour of the vineyards. “In organic farming everything is about building soil health and building nutrients in the soil naturally. Instead of using pesticides or herbicides, our winery uses nature in planting, farming and a lot of different ways.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  


A Tasting Party at the ARIA Resort’s UNION Restaurant

May 29th, 2011 • by Sandy Zimmerman

KOBE BEEF SLIDERS

(Photos by Sandy Zimmerman)

The beautiful new ARIA Resort has been known for their creativity and the uniqueness of their designs, I can say each time I have attended an event here everything was perfect.

An invitation to taste the UNION Restaurant’s new seasonal menu is very special because it means a delicious array of one- of- a- kind creations! I am always amazed when the top chefs get together and the results are like magic!

Thinking about tasting the UNION Restaurant’s new menu and with hints of a Chef’s Interactive Table, I was happy to attend. The party was held at the top tier of the restaurant with views of the other levels and casino.

A special table was arranged for the guest’s interactive tasting experience. Some of the ARIA Hotel’s top chefs were preparing the “feast of all feasts” for us to taste and savor. There were ingredients which we seldom see mixed together yet after tasting each dish, I felt they belonged together.  This was a rare opportunity for the guests to speak to the chefs, ask questions, and watch how they create their signature dishes.

The chefs call their cuisine, “A unique international twist on classic comfort food with Mediterranean, Spanish, Italian, and Asian twist.”

The chefs cooked lamb on a small wood grill, topped it with Yogurt Tzatziki sauce, and placed the lamb kabobs on small homemade petas. This was a clever way to present the lamb kabobs and they looked as great as they tasted.  The lamb was very tender with tastes of the delicate flavors of the marinade.

Another chef prepared the Yellowtail Crunch and a touch of spicy masago caviar with the crunch of crispy wonton.

I have seen sliders around Las Vegas but not as big as these and the serving includes three sliders each filled with three-ounces of Kobe Beef, aged Cheddar cheese, grilled onions, tomatoes, secret sauce, and a side of spiced fries.

TERIYAKI CHICKEN DRUMSTICKS

Guests couldn’t miss seeing the extra- large Teriyaki Chicken Drumsticks on the platter but after the first taste, the Korean Sweet & Spicy Teriyaki sauce was tantalizingly addictive.  


Gourmet Meals can be Reasonable

April 17th, 2011 • by Sandy Zimmerman

(Photos: Sandy Zimmerman)

There is a place where you can relax, take a break, and recharge

yourself.

The Hammer Bar and Grill offers the perfect down-to-earth

setting.

As the co-owner and Executive Chef, Chris Sarret explained, “We

do not have a theme.

There are no palm trees or anything like that.

I wanted to create an atmosphere where people could come in

and not feel they have to dress and just have a good time for a

minimal amount of money.  This is one of Las Vegas’ reasonable

restaurants.

This is a friendly bar with great food, what more could you want?

And you can win money too.

There is nothing wrong with that, two of my favorite things.

My partner and I try to create an atmosphere that is fun for

everybody.”

You would not expect a gourmet restaurant in a cocktail lounge,

but Chris takes a lot of pride in their food.

He is the man who prepares all of the great food himself and it

really is great.

He graduated from the famous Le Cordon Bleu School so you

have a first class chef here.

I should describe my “tasting” as dining. The shrimp were

crusted with garlic while being toasted on the grill for a crispy

taste.

The Remoulade dipping sauce and cheesy garlic bread were

perfect complement to the dish.

After eating Hammer’s shrimp, I would say, “Their food is

reasonable and WORTH EVERY BITE!

Another great reason to come to the Hammer, you can probably

find almost any game from Keno, poker, slots, Black Jack,

including 10-15 different games on every slot machine.

Change your luck by changing games with their big selection of

games from .05 cents to $5.



Thai Cuisine from 4 Regions

February 19th, 2011 • by Sandy Zimmerman

“Thai Cuisine from 4 Regions”

By Sandy Zimmerman

(Photos by Sandy Zimmerman)

Crying Tiger

You have the opportunity to taste some of the finest Thai cuisine from four different regions-

North, Northeast, Central, and Southern Thailand.

It is like a culinary trip through Thailand but it is right here in Las Vegas at the Thai Grill.

I toured Thailand twice and found all of the different styles of cuisine intriguing.

Their spices really bring out the sauces and add zest to the dishes.

It was great being able to review the Thai Grill’s tasty food bringing memories of

the exciting restaurants in Thailand.

After dining in Thailand, I know the real Thai cuisine and can honestly say,

This is really authentic!”

The owners of the

Thai Grill,

Wayne and Nattanuch

Prasertong

were both

born in

Thailand.

Wayne is from Bangkok

and

Nattanuch from the north, in Chiang Mai.

Chef Nattanuch has created some of the most delicious dishes with the magic touch

of a woman who loves to cook.

She learned from her mother, a famous chef and restaurant owner in Chaing Mai,

Thailand, bringing all of the secret recipes to Las Vegas.

With a seven page menu, Wayne says, “If you come into our restaurant and pick a

different item on the menu every day, you would probably finish in EIGHT

MONTHS!

Hot Pot to Share

When I was ready to review the restaurant’ food, Chef Nattanuch said, “Tell me what you

prefer and I will do it any way you want.”

This was not just for me but for every guest who enters their restaurant!

Depending on your health or diet, she prepares everything herself.

I decided to try the Crying Tiger steak and was thrilled with my choice.

Her Crying Tiger appetizer is an ancient Thai dish of sirloin steak grilled with

Thai spices and only an unbelievable $6.99!

Chef Nattanuch marinates the meat overnight and allows it to soak through.

The sirloin steak was grilled with mild spices but I did not have the hot chile sauce.

She added thick slices of steak on top of a salad with an interesting twist of sliced

apples, lemon grass, and mango.


Yassou!

February 8th, 2011 • by Sandy Zimmerman

“Yassou”

By Sandy Zimmerman

(Photos by Sandy Zimmerman)

Everything about the Yassou Greek Grill Café is really Greek.

The owner, Peter Papas, was born in Cyprus and came to the United States with his entire family

when he was only 5 years old.

When I entered the Yassou Greek Grill Café, I wanted to start dancing!

The Greek music and the atmosphere brought back memories of Greek cafés when I was in Athens

and the Greek Islands.

Each dish I tasted at

Yassou’s Greek Grill Café

surprised me with flavorful bites

that stood out from

the usual Greek cuisine.

Chicken is more than

just chicken at Yassou.

As Peter explained,

“We spent a lot of time and money

into our special marinades.

Vegetable oil was added to olive oil to break it down because olive oil could be very strong if you use it

by itself.

We found the right formula of garlic, oregano, pepper, and a little parsley  mixed together with some

secrets for a creamy texture which holds up well when put into our food.”

Besides being a tender piece of meat, I felt their steak’s marinade created a special taste all of its own.

Peter continued, “A good product turns out to be a great product after we prepare it.

We always buy quality calamari, filet mignon, cheese from Greece, and other ingredients.

All of the meat is cut and marinated for 48 hours.

Everything that is served is really, really prime quality.

The owner Peter Papas explains,

“This is the Greek experience.

There are many nice restaurants

in Las Vegas which call themselves

Greek, but they serve Middle

Eastern cuisine.

When you taste our food,

you will taste the difference.

The value is outrageous, the quality

is amazing, and our service impeccable.”

Why did he call their restaurant Yassou?

Yassou has many meanings- welcome, to your health, good appetite, and hello.

It was his wife Rita’s idea.

Peter is always looking for something new in these challenging times he tries to be creative.

For example, a mini-combo does not cost as much as a regular combo because there is five ounce

skewer of chicken and a five ounce skewer of steak at $3.50 including rice and salad for the plate.

If the person does not have a big appetite he/she could taste both the steak and chicken without

being overly filled and still save money.

“We are finding ways for guests to save money and still have the Greek experience.

The open kitchen allows people to see us, and we can watch to make sure the guests are treated well

and are happy.

Customers can talk to us in the open kitchen.

We wanted to be part of the experience, to be able to see the people who come in, and not miss

anything.


Do You Want Red or Green Chilies?

December 25th, 2010 • by Sandy Zimmerman

Do you Want Red or Green Chilies?

By Sandy Zimmerman

(Photos by Sandy Zimmerman)

The name Carlitos Burritos is whimsical because it rhymes!

Everything about this restaurant is different.

David Samuels, the owner, explained, “Our cuisine is not Mexican

but New Mexican from the state of New Mexico.

In New Mexico, the food revolves around red and green chilies

grown in the state.

A lot of people have heard of Hatch Green Chile from a village in

the Hatch Valley known as the Chile Capitol of the World.

The red chilies

are a

riper version

of the

green chile

ranging

from WOW,

spicy, to mild.

Depending

upon the

amount of water

used while growing chile,

the less water the hotter it will be.

Red and green chilies are two of the main staples in New Mexican

cooking.

When you dine in a New Mexican restaurant, the server usually

asks, ‘Do you want red or green’, “referring to the chilies.

That’s the official New Mexican state question as well.

Or someone might order Christmas which means mixed red and

green chilies.”


I always thought

people should drink

plenty of water or

beer with their chilies

but David disagrees,

“If you ever eat

something too

spicy do not drink water

that will

make it worse.

Drink milk or eat ice cream to sooth the spice’s effect.”

The restaurant is decorated with chilies hanging from the walls

like a tribute to New Mexico’s chilies.

The New Mexican green chilies are historically said to be an

influence of the early Spanish and Native Americans.

Monday night Sliders, $1 Santa Fe Sliders, from 4-9 pm;

Tuesday nights are “Taco Tuesdays” with their $1 beef tacos

available from 4-9 pm.

They are so popular

David sold 400 tacos in

a few hours last

week.

The price is so

reasonable who

wouldn’t want one?


Wednesday is “Hump Day”, the middle of the week, a time to eat

half price breakfast burritos from their regular price of $3.95

(meat, chicken, shrimp add .25 cents), until 11 am;


Dining for Your Health

December 22nd, 2010 • by Sandy Zimmerman

Dining for Your Health

By Sandy Zimmerman

(Photos:   Maharishi Ayurveda Health Center)

Food is very important when you are on vacation especially at a

health center.

The Maharishi Ayurveda Health Center coordinates all of the

meals with their guest’s health in mind.

Everything is prepared fresh, never reheated or precooked.

They strive for delicious, healthy organic vegetarian food that

stimulates and satisfies all the senses.

And I really enjoyed the difference!

The tantalizing aromas, the wide variety of selections, and

surprising flavorful tastes made each meal an experience.

Chef Mosa is specially trained in the Ayurvedic- style of cooking.

Usually when we are invited to a cooking class at other

restaurants or hotels, there are just one or two dishes to prepare.

Tonight we

watched

Chef Mosa cook

the entire dinner

for all of the guests

in the health center.

While she was busy cooking, cutting, or mashing all of the

ingredients for each dish,

Chef Mosa discussed her recipes and instructions for preparing

Ayurvedic meals.

She explained, “We believe the food you eat reflects in your

health and our food is part of the treatment.”

Some guests were taking the Ayurvedic program under the

supervision of the Vaidya while others had the option of deciding

for themselves.

Cooking is an art and Chef Mosa creates a healthy menu with just

the right mix of spices that taste good!

Chef Mosa recommended, “We wanted to give our guests the

opportunity to cook this food at their home because it is not

difficult.

You can still have great taste bringing healthy food into your

life!”

Their meals consisted of grains (wheat products), pastas, soup,

nuts (except peanuts), seeds (in small amounts), spices, fruits,

vegetables, legumes, and more.

They do not use onions and garlic but leaks instead.

Some types of cheese are better for digestion and health.

Since cooked food is easier to digest, most of the fruit and

vegetables are cooked in different ways.

The guests took notes about Mosa’s cooking techniques and

received the recipes.

They had previewed the cooking process and finally everyone

walked to the dining room curious about tasting the meal she

had just prepared.


LUXOR-TENDER: The Steak you’ve been dreaming about!

July 21st, 2010 • by Sandy Zimmerman

Bone-in Ribeye Steak-(Photo by LUXOR)

RESTAURANT REVIEW-

“This is the Steak you have been

dreaming about!”

By Sandy Zimmerman

(Photos by Sandy Zimmerman unless otherwise indicated.)

Have you been searching for a steak beyond the ordinary,a steak that delights you with every bite?


Read the rest of this entry »



The James Bond Wine Table

May 15th, 2010 • by admin
When you visit Del Friscos, do not miss seeing the most amazing $1.2 million dollar James Bond table. Looking like a normal table at first, Jacque touched her remote control pad and the table suddenly opened to present the James Bond OO7 Films Wine Collection. Eighteen magnums of Cabernet wine from Napa Valley wineries each represent different Bond films. These one- of-a kind bottles are each laser-edged.

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