Le Charm French Bistro in San Francisco

by Mark Graham on July 26, 2014

dining2 (2)One of our favorite dining spots in the City is Le Charm, a small neighborhood bistro that serves up some scrumptious French dishes. Lena manages the restaurant and she has a top notch team that provide excellent friendly service.  There is usually live jazz on Thursday nights which makes for a fun evening.  We went this past week and started our dinner with two Kirk Royale, then partook of the prix fixe menu.  I had the goat cheese salad to start, Derek had the saluted chicken liver salad.  For the main I had the special fish, which was a petrol sole in a lovely sauce with a very tasty crispy potato.  Derek had the Risotto with mixed mushrooms, parmesan cheese and truffle oil.  Both were delicious!  The prix fixed includes dessert so we had to take part – I had the chocolate cake and Derek had the tarte tatin.  An awesome deal for $35 each.  Our server suggested a very nice bottle of Marsanny Louis La Tour 2009 which was a great value at $45.


Happy Independence Day!

by MPI Traveler on July 3, 2014


fourth of july 2014


  “Democracy is the government of the people, by the people, for the people”

                                                                                              Abraham Lincoln


Bay to Breakers in San Francisco!

by Mark Graham on May 18, 2014

Bay to Breakers, the always fun and crazy San Francisco tradition takes place today.  Tens of thousands of runners and revelers took to the streets in usual form. We have run this race many times – a nice 12K that goes from the bay to the ocean and has one killer hill in it.  It is as much fun to watch as it to run!  More info is available here.


If you haven’t experienced it yet, consider a weekend in San Francisco that centers around this fun event.



Bite City Grill – Fort Worth

by Mark Graham on May 5, 2014

We had a very nice lunch today at Bite City Grill at Montgomery Plaza in the ever growing Fort Worth 7th Street Corridor. This is a relatively new restaurant and fortunately for us the lunch crowd wasn’t so bad.  They have some very interesting offerings such as Charred Octopus, Lemongrass Coconut Clams and Shishito Peppers.  They also have options for the not so adventurous like a Big Bite Burger or the Greek Salad.

Check them out – you won’t be disappointed.


Mangia Lasagne

by Mark Graham on April 28, 2014

If you are in Midtown or Chelsea and looking for good solid Italian food at a reasonable price check out Ristorante Lasagne.  We picked the one closest to our hotel, at 2nd Ave and 50th St.  They bake to order 17 lasagnes and have what they call ‘Pastas of Many Nations”…basically they have a lot of choices without being overwhelming.

Lasagna EastSideWe started our dining experience with two glasses of Prosecco, followed by a nice fried calamari starter which we shared.  Good thing, too.  the main courses were huge.  I had the ground sirloin lasagne, Derek had the prosciutto lasagne.  Both were well made and quite tasty!  We shared a bottle of Montepulciano that went very nicely with the lasagne.  There was way too much lasagne though…we each carried half of ours back to the hotel and ate it the next day for snacks.

Service was attentive and friendly and not rushed.  All of the food was quite nice, flavorful with just the right amount of spice and tastiness.  The ambiance was very “Italian” and the noise level was moderate.  It was a nice experience that we will do again, but next time we may get individual starters and share the main course!

Nice bonus:  our bill was less than $100 not counting the tip!  Nice.

Be sure to make reservations on Open Table!


Eolo Sicilian Kitchen and Wines

by Mark Graham on April 21, 2014

After a morning of walking around NYC and touring the Empire State Building we were quite hungry and looking for a restaurant that would be casual, simple, inexpensive and have good wine. We found Bar Eolo while wandering down 7th Avenue in Chelsea (190 7th Ave at 21st Street to be exact!). There were several restaurants on this block, but this one just struck us as the right choice. They serve Sicilian-inspired contemporary fare and they have an award-winning selection of Sicilian wines.

They offer a very nice 3 course Prix Fixe lunch menu for $19 which offers a nice selection of appetizers, plates and desert or coffee.  If the Prix Fixe doesn’t appeal to you, they also offer a nice a la carte lunch menu.  All of the pasta dishes can be ordered full or half size, which is a also nice option.  I had the short rib panini, Derek had the chicken salad panini.  We shared a bottle of Le Rosé Regaleali – 2012, Tasca D’Almerita (a blend of Nero D’Avola & Syrah) which was quite nice.  As they say at Bar Eolo:  “Bonu vinu fa bonu sangu” – …Good wine makes good blood” – a Sicilian Proverb.

Wrapped lunch up with a nice espresso and were ready to take on more of this amazing city.

Enjoy a meal at Bar Eolo and experience chef Melissa’s love letter to the region of Sicily!



Mustangs and Express Passes make NYC Rock!

April 14, 2014

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the introduction of the Ford Mustang at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York Ford is repeating the amazing stunt of hoisting a brand new 2015 Mustang to the 86th floor observation deck of the Empire State Building. Read about it by clicking here! We visited the impressive building  […]

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200th Anniversary of the Battle of Montmirail-Marchese Reenactment

April 9, 2014

200 Years After Napoleon’s French Campaign, An Epic Battle Reenactment by Mary Winston Nicklin April 9, 2014 Two hundred years ago, Emperor Napoleon won a short-lived victory over the Prussians and Russians at the Battle of Montmirail-Marchais. To mark the bicentenary of the French Campaign, the town of Montmirail– smack dab in the heart of […]

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Eastertime in France

April 2, 2014

Eastertime in France by Sarah Dunn April 1, 2014  ‘Tis the season. The dazzling vitrines of France’s chocolatiers are a sign that Easter is right around the corner. Almost too pretty to eat, the carved creations– chocolate fish, chickens, eggs– are filled with even more delightful bonbons. Easter treats at La Manufacture de Chocolat by […]

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Fredericksburg’s Exciting News!

March 24, 2014

Did you know that Fredericksburg, Texas has really moved up on many “Best Of” and “Desirable Location” lists?  Take a look at these: “Movoto Real Estate”  recently named Fredericksburg the   #1 Best Place to live in Texas!    If you are not familiar with Movoto Real Estate, this is an online licensed brokerage service representing […]

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