serves the best Reuben sandwich in these parts! Their other
food is very good and reasonably priced as well. As a local
I can tell you that it's a place where all the other ‘locals’
eat. Address: 530 E Benson Blvd Ste 3, tel: 907.274.0074
Homer, Alaska, USA...
250 miles south of Anchorage, lies the small town of Homer
Alaska. A fishing and arts village, Homer is on Beautiful
Kachemack Bay, as far south as the state highway goes. Listed
in John Villani's book 'The 100 Best Small ART TOWNS in
America” Homer is known as Alaska’s Art Capital.
Galleries abound here, as do restaurants, many of them very
good. My favorite is the Cosmic
Kitchen. Small and unpretentious, the Cosmic
Kitchen serves mostly Mexican food. But it is healthy and
tasty and often has some of our local seafood in it. Also
on the menu are specialty sandwiches, my favorite which
is Tikka Leah – spicy chicken with vegetables and
yogurt sauce in a flatbread, topped with a dab of chutney.
An amazing blend of flavors in every bite! So if you are
traveling the Kenai Peninsula, continue to the end of the
road and see Homer. And the Cosmic Kitchen. Tel: (907) 235-6355
Address: 510 E Pioneer Ave.
Lois from Ketchican,
I live and work as a tour guide in Ketchican. Here's my
favorite lunch spot, a very small, informal place owned
and run by a woman. From downtown Ketchican, walk through
the tunnel and you'll see the Burger
Queen at 518 Water Street. In addition to
Ketchikan's best burgers, you can get fish and chips or
a halibut sandwich made with fresh, not frozen, halibut.
Sit on the deck at the Arctic
Bar (also owned by a woman) across the street
and sip a libation and wait for your food to be delivered
there. Or, take it yourself to the charming waterfront park
close to the Arctic and watch the local boat traffic, or
just simply enjoy it at the Burger Queen. Tel: 907.225.6060
Scottsdale, Arizona, USA...
If you can't make it all the way to Mexico, then stop by
Mezcal in North Scottsdale.
The Oaxacan-style food is as authentic as it gets using
fresh ingredients, rich flavors and enough spice to keep
you on your toes. They have several specialty dishes with
mole (a sweet, but spicy sauce). And for desert, you've
got to try the Banana-Pepitas, which comes with a toasted
coconut sauce. Travelling with a partner? After dinner,
be sure to take a trip upstairs to the Cobalt Bar for a
sultry evening of live music and margaritas.
Claudia from Los
Angeles, California, USA...
For Journeywomen traveling West to Los Angeles let it be
known there is a great neighborhood restaurant in Hollywood
where travelers will find moderately priced food, a friendly
bar, and even an occasional star sighting. Located at 5925
Franklin Ave. (between Tamarind & Bronson), Birds
is nestled in the Hollywood Hills on a block filled with
fun shops and other interesting restaurants. I go there
often to meet friends and to enjoy a laid back atmosphere
where a pint of Guinness and chicken strips with artichoke
garlic dip makes me smile. The main fare is chicken (the
chicken dishes are the most inexpensive items) but you can
also find N.Y steak, ribs, veggie burgers and roast turkey
sandwiches on the menu. The side dishes are wonderful and
include garlic mashed potatos, rainbow rice, and homemade
colesaw. A favorite of many are the roll up sandwhiches
(made in Mediterranean Lavash bread and served with one
side dish) that are creative and tasty. The Mexican Shrimp
Roll Up has chicken, oretega chilies, jalapeno jack cheese,
lettuce, cilantro, tomato, smoked jalapeno sauce AND Cajun
shrimp. The kitchen opens for lunch at 11:45am daily and
stays open to 11pm. The bar remains open until 2am. There
are street side tables (remember there is NO Smoking in
restuarants or bars in California) and tables and booths
inside. You may also eat at the bar. After 8pm reservations
might be needed because the place really starts to hop with
young industry folks and if you look closely under the All
American baseball cap you might see a face you recognize
from television or the big screen. Parking is lacking so
if you drive either spend the money and use the valet or
park over by the Mayfair market and walk. 323-465-0175 One
last note: two blocks away is a safe, clean and inexpensive
Best Western that I have all my friends stay at when in
town. Best Western Hollywood Hills, 6141 Franklin Ave. 323-464-5181.
Hooray for Hollywood!
Maureen from Monterey,
For great seafood in a charming small town visit Passionfish
in Pacific Grove (right next to Monterey), just blocks to
the beach. I believe it may just be open for dinner. Address:
701 Lighthouse Avenue. Phone: 831-655-3311
Enjoy good coffee in a renovated home -- you can also sit
outside on the wooden bench at an interesting spot in Pacific
Grove called Wildberries.
Try Taste for wonderful
red oak leaf salad with glazed walnuts and goat cheese --
perfect food for lunch or dinner. Located on Forest Avenue
For breakfast (large portions) I suggest the Old
Monterey Cafe located at 489 Alvarado Street.
Pie 'n Burger
is a fixture in my hometown, Pasadena, California. It's
on California Street just one door east of Lake Avenue.
This burger cannot be beaten anywhere! After one of these
treats it's hard to have room for the pie but even if you
just have room for one bite you must try the strawberry
pie. According to their website: 'Michael Osborn is the
current owner of Pie 'n Burger. He began eating there as
a 9-year-old kid soon after it opened in 1963. His family
lived in Arizona, but his grandmother, whom he visited each
summer, lived in Arcadia and worked at the old Bullocks
Pasadena around the corner from the diner. He loved the
burgers. He loved the strawberry pie. As a USC student,
he started working at Pie 'N Burger in 1972 and has been
there ever since'. Address: 913 E California Blvd, tel:
626.795.1123. Website: www.pienburger.com
||Linda for San
Diego, California, USA...
One of our favourite places to eat was the Beach
City Market on the ground level of Horton
Plaza (around the corner from Norstroms). It is open early
in the morning and makes breakfast and other great meals from
scratch. Very affordable.
In the Hillcrest District make sure you don't miss Bread
& Cie (350 University Avenue) This is
a bakery/cafe that is absolutely wonderful. A big favourite
with the locals.
- we took the bus to La Jolla Shores for the day and were
very lucky to buy burgers at Jeff's Burgers (on the main
street heading down to the water). His veggie burger is
fabulous. Extremely popular take-out.
Susan from San Francisco,
My favorite sushi place in San Francisco is Kabuto,
a little neighborhood place mostly staffed by family. The
sushi chef here is classically trained in Tokyo and yet
still very creative. A snippet from a local SF Chronicle
review says, "Kojima makes ceviche sushi, in which he spoons
a dollop of raw marinated halibut in a deep-fried seaweed
"taco" and seasons the mixture with lime and sea salt to
create a cacophony of flavors and textures in one bite."
Address: 5121 Geary Blvd. (near 16th Avenue), tel: (415)
752-5652. Reservations necessary. Other good and popular
sushi spots are Ebisu (1283
Ninth Ave. between Lincoln and Irving) and also, Blowfish,
a college vibe "party" place (2170 Bryant St). During crab
season (the famous West Coast Dungeness - November to May)
Vietnamese baked garlic crab, eaten with garlic noodles
is a real highlight. Its so good, I practically swoon. The
original "source" of this dish was the An family's Crustacean
restaurant (1475 Polk St. at California), but many say that
PDQ Crab House (2332 Clement
St. (at 25th Avenue) is just as good for much less money
(although not as fancy as Crustacean, which is upscale and
has a no jeans and tennis shoe policy). Make a reservation
at both these places or you'll have a very long wait. Bon
Jackie from San
Francisco, California, USA...
My hometown is San Francisco which has an embarrassment
of riches when it comes to restaurants. Check out one block
on Steiner Street in the Marina District, between Lombard
and Chestnut. In this one block are restaurants for every
taste and budget, all of them good: Tichada
(Thai), Three Seasons
(Italian), Bistro Aix
(French bistro), Marinette
(French cafe), Barney's
(gourmet hamburgers), plus a sushi place and a steak house.
Chestnut Street also has lots of coffee houses, and restaurants,
including Andale (Mexican),
and Meze (Greek). You
are only a stroll away from the Palace of Fine Arts, the
Marina Green, and the gateway to the Presidio, one of the
most beautiful urban parks in the world. Just remember that
San Francisco's best weather is in spring and fall. Summers
can be cold and foggy. Bon appetit!
Diane from San Francisco,
Visitors to San Francisco for business or pleasure will
enjoy the Cha Am Thai Restaurant,
located at 701 Folsom Street, at Third Street. Cha Am has
a wonderful location: just behind the Moscone Convention
Center for those attending a convention, and a block from
the Museum of Modern Art and Yerba Buena Center for those
exploring the SOMA neighborhood. Three blocks south of Market
Cha Am is a friendly place with great Thai food where women
travelers either solo or in a group will feel welcome. I
live in the building above the restaurant and have been
eating there for six years. My recommendations include satays
and golden triangles (vegetables in puff pastry) as appetizers
and Pad Thai, curries, or Thai-style barbecue ribs or chicken
as entrees. Get a Thai ice tea (with evaporated milk) or
a Thai beer to accompany your choice. Reasonably priced.
San Francisco, USA...
for years has served the finest dim sum! Two generations
of Chinese American women has formed this restaurant's menu,
with steamed dumplings at their finest. Steamed snow pea
sprout dumplings have tender and lightly seasoned, and still
bright green filling. Lobster dumplings are generously stuffed.
Other favorites are shrimp dumplings and spinach dumplings.
Yank Sing is famous for its soup dumplings, in which the
filling actually contains soup as well as meat. Peking duck
is terrific, as is chicken lettuce leaf. Service is friendly
and extremely efficient. Top the dim sum lunch off with
home made sweet tofu. Yank Sing is a must stop for San Francisco!
San Francisco writes...
There are so many wonderful places to eat in San Francisco.
I think one could eat out every meal every day and not manage
to get to all of the good places. That said, I love to go
to Ton Kiang
on Geary between 22nd and 23rd Avenues for dim sum. Tartine,
on Guerrero at 18th Street, is an extremely popular place
for breakfast and light lunches. They serve a delicious
Croque Monsieur and the pastries are fabulous. Lines go
out the door and finding a place to sit down and eat can
be a challenge, but worth it. I haven't tried the Slanted
Door for Vietnamese cuisine; I understand it's quite expensive,
but it has great buzz. I like a little Vietnamese restaurant
called La Vie,
also on Geary between 22nd and 23rd. It's different from
the usual Vietnamese noodle joint, with candles, white tablecloths
and very efficient waiters, good food and very reasonably
priced. Now I'm making myself hungry!
San Francisco, California, USA writes...
I think one of the hottest neighborhoods in San Francisco
is the Mission District. Take the BART train and get off
at the 24Th Street stop. You'll find the best Mexican and
Central American food and bakeries (try La
Victoria, 2937 24th Street for their wonderful
pastry selection), artisan coffee shops, Dynamo
Donuts (2760 24th Street) and the incredible
ice cream parlour (2790 Harrison St) known for its wild
flavors like 'Secret Breakfast' (bourbon and corn flakes
flavour). You can also walk over to Mission Street where
you'll see many more excellent and reasonable restaurants
and cafes. At 2990 Mission Street there is a wonderful store
called, Samiramis Imports.
They carry a huge selection of Middle Eastern products,
bulk middle Eastern spices, several kinds of Halvah, and
fresh Pita bread. Have fun, everybody!
The Big Cheese,
a hangout near the University of Miami is a favorite of
students and local families, who appreciate the casual atmosphere
and Italian-American cuisine. Decor is casual with lots
of sports memorabilia. The menu features a wide array of
pizza, pastas, subs, salads, fried calamari and buffalo
wings. Portions here are made to feed at least two, so if
you're vying for dinner and dessert, order one entree to
share or expect to take some to go. 8080 SW 67th Ave, Phone:
(305) 662-6855. Website: http://www.bigcheesemiami.com
Ellen in Winter
I'd like to suggest The Briar
Patch, a favorite locals' lunch spot across
from The Morse Museum. Try their pear and gorgonzola omelet.
It's a place my friends and I enjoy. Other Winter Park area
restaurants of note include: Park
Plaza Gardens at 319 S. Park Avenue (for
a more substantial lunch on the garden patio in old restored
hotel), French fare at Chez
Vincent (533 W. New England Avenue as well
as Italian goodies at Lemoncello
(702 Orange Avenue). P.S. Need to work off calories after
your lunch? Ask the locals to direct you to the best shopping
Fayetteville, Georgia, USA ...
I highly recommend the moderately-priced Village
Cafe. The chef is from France and he and
his wife both run the restaurant. Our favorite entrees are
prime rib ($13.95) and braised lamb shanks ($16.95). They
serve many pasta dishes (excellent Fettuccine Carbonara)
and fresh fish and seafood (chargrilled salmon) is one of
my favorite dishes. Desserts range from Bread Pudding of
the Day to Mocha Almond Ice Cream Pie. Dress is casual to
moderately dressy in the evening and most suitable for a
solo traveller. Address: N. Glynn Street. Tel: 770-460-9449.
Liz from Chicago,
Like lots of veggies? Try the salad bar with-a-difference
located in the English Pub in Marshall
Fields department store. This low key eatery
attracts budget conscious Chicagoans in the downtown core.
Simply join the cue and pick up a salad selection sheet
and a pencil. From mashed tuna to shredded carrots to baby
spinach leaves, tick off as many choices as you like. Step
up to the window and hand the salad chef your list. Voila
-- a nutritious veggie platter made to order. Cost? Under
$8.00 bread or rolls included (corner of State and Washington)
Tel: 312 781.3733
I live in Chicago and my recommendation for where the locals
dine is the Casbah Cafe
on Broadway. I've dined here several times and it is one
of my favorite places. It's a small storefront, but the
food and service and atmosphere is first class. I've never
had a bad meal there nor a bad experience. The cuisine is
from everywhere on the southern shore of the Mediterranean
Sea. Expect alafel, kibbeh, kebabs, hummus, couscous, curries,
dolmeh and, in a nod to Chicago's Northern Shore, pasta.
Address: 3151 N. Broadway Tel: 773-935-3339.
Here's a restaurant to add to your collection -- Zephyr
Ice Cream. It's definitely women-friendly
because they have an ENTIRE menu devoted to just ice cream.
I'm not talking your usual five or six item dessert menu...
think four or five PAGES long!! My favorite is Frankenstein's
Monster (amazing banana split), but if you're with a group,
why not try the War of the Worlds, a 10-scoop sundae, your
choice of 5 ice cream flavors and whatever toppings you
want. Oh... and they also have regular food, too. Address:
1777 W Wilson Ave
Barb from Bloomington,
In Bloomington, Indiana, I suggest anything on 4th Street
(great food in quaint old houses, mostly ethnic eateries,
most with outdoor seating on a shady-tree street), but you
MUST try the Katenya appetizers at The
Red Sea on 4th street, an Eritrean restaurant.
Also, The Bakehouse
on the square... fantastic deli sandwiches and soups in
a light, sunny atmosphere, with great tabouli and wonderful
marinated fresh mozzarella sandwiches on home baked foccacia
bread. For funky, go to Laughing
Planet between Kirkwood and 4th street.
Great vegan burritos in a colorful and funky atmosphere
-- get the green salsa, it's one-of-a-kind! And... try to
get to Bloomington in the Fall during the Lotus World Music
Festival. This is a weekend filled with dozens of live music
concerts from bands brought in from literally around the
We love ethnic restaurants. Here are some of our favorites.
At El Morocco
(1260 W. 86th St.) you will dine seated on pillows. Chef
El Bekhty serves up delicious cuisine. Try Machu
Picchu for authentic Peruvian food, the
owner is from Lima and he tries hard to please (5356 W.
38th St.). One of my favorite restaurants is The
Bosphorus for inexpensive Turkish food (
935 S. East St.). Owner Tayfun Isik, also, has lots of Turkish
reading materials for you to enjoy while you wait for your
dinner. My husband and I like the Russia
House for Valentine's Day because of all
of the red decor, the Russians owners hid this restaurant
behind a corner at 1475 W. 86th St. For expensive, delicious
French cuisine try Chanteclair.
(4709 N. Shadeland Ave.), a tiny cafe whose chef Unita Kehrer
cooks German style has good beers. Tosa
Euro Cafe at 6524 Cornell St. serves very
health-conscious food. Finally, because I like rose water
recipes, one of my absolute favorites is Kabul
(8553 Ditch Rd.) for Afghan food. Try their combination
plates with Afghan tea & warm nan, Yummy!
Barb from Louisville,
In Louisville, Kentucky, I suggest The
City Cafe on Baxter Avenue, right next door
to the Baxter Avenue theaters, which plays foreign films
and artistic flicks. It's a great place to catch a bite
before a film (my favorite is the portabello mushroom sandwich
or one of the very economical and always yummy daily special
soups, pasta salads, or entree). Or... catch a film first
and then stop at the City Cafe for a dessert and a glass
of wine. Great trendy food at low prices.
Anna from St.
My dear sushi place in Boston (Back Bay area) is known as
both Snappy Sushi and Shino Express. For some reason my
boyfriend and I would end up there on rainy days at around
4 or 5 o'clock looking for a light snack and end up staying
at least three hours, taking a leisurely "nosh"
style dinner (this is actually the perfect way to do it
since you miss the 6:00 hurryhurryhurry dinner crowd crunch).
Their green tea is authentic, warm, free and invigorating.
It's the perfect place for inexpensive, simple, healthy
(all the rice they use is brown) and tasty meals. Appetizers
range from smoked squid salad to miso soup to edamame. Simple
rolls are about $2.95-$3.95, and cover all the traditional
basics. The atmosphere is laid back, not showy. It's a small,
cozy little place with enough bar space for about 12 and
a table for two. Cute as a button and a friendly staff to
match. Address: 144 Newbury St. Closest subway stops are
Copley (Green) and Back Bay (Orange).
from Boston, Mass, USA...
I believe that the ultimate pizza is found
at Pizzeria Regina
on Thatcher Street in the North End of Boston. You can sit
at the bar, eat, drink, and watch the action. Their wooden
booths will take you right back to the 40's and 50's.
||Jackie from Boston,
My favorite restaurant in Boston, MA, is the Border
Cafe. It is a small chain of Mexican restaurants,
my favorite location being Cambridge, MA. The chips are baked
right there on the premises and are always warm and delicious.
The salsa is fantastic! The best appetizer is the cajun shrimp
- spicy popcorn shrimp that are so addictive. And the fajitas
can't be beat. They also make a mean margarita! The atmosphere
is casual and fun. They never disappoint. The fact that they
are always busy can attest to that. Check their website for
location details. http://www.bordercafe.com
from Boston, Mass, USA...
If you are heading to Boston for a few
days don't miss the Italian North
End. As soon as you round the corner entering this
neighborhood, the fine aromas of Italian cooking will get
your appetite in gear. If you have a sweet tooth, Mike's
Pastry is the place for your Italian cookies,
pastries and calzones that are all out of this world. It's
busy, busy, busy here any time of the night or day. They're
located at 300 Hannover Street (Tel: 617-742-3050).
||Janine from St. Paul
Minnesota, USA writes..
Have I got a bistro for you. Muffuletta
is Located on Como Avenue in St. Paul, MN. We've been avid
customers for years and have never walked away dissatisfied.
Quaint antique shops surround this lovely home style neighborhood
bistro. Known for their terrifically prepared wood mesquite
grilled items and lovely prepared fish, you can (weather permitting)
enjoy the daily specials on their beautiful deck. Treat yourself
to flavorful soups and pastas with the freshest seasonal ingredients.
The chef really knows what he's doing with food combinations,
herbs and tasty sauces. Enjoy a wide selection of reasonably
priced and fine wines. Oh, I haven't even gotten to the fanciful
desserts. Heaven help us! Plain yummy!
More great eats in the USA...