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Freakin’ Weekend Roundup

15 Nov

Soooo I got into quite a few things this weekend – some of which I would recommend to you, my dear friends, others which I will warn you to stay clear of.  So let’s get right to it…

Home on 8th – In the wasteland that is the area surrounding Madison Square Garden, this modest BYOB Thai/Chinese fusion resto on 8th Ave (btwn 29th/30th) is a great spot for a quick pre-concert dinner where you can get a little buzz on for cheap!  Must Try: Peanut Butter Lovers steamed veggie/tofu dish. YUM.

VAMOS! –Let me translate for you: GO!  This Mexican eatery on 1st Ave (btwn 20th/21st) has brunch menu items in the $10 mark and for just $6 you get unlimited frozen margaritas.  The Huevos Rancheros were a fiesta in my mouth and my dining companion (and brother) Ian had a Michelado (Bloody Mary Mix + Corona) that wasn’t included in the special but was so good that it had him at “HOLA”.

Idle Hands – This new Rock’n’Roll bar (on Avenue B btwn 2nd/3rd Sts) fell short of my hopes and expectations.  I guess I was thinking it would be more of a “Pour Some Sugar On Me” spot than a “Freak On A Leash” type joint… the music was rough.  The fact that bartenders could only pour your drinks and then the waitresses had to come over and hand them to you was as WEAK as the drinks.  Say it with me: “liquor licenses first, open the bar second”.  It made no sense but LUCKILY the fabulous Billy Hurricane’s Bar was just a few steps upstairs and that place was SO MUCH FUN.  I’ve never had as many friends walk away from a party having left their credit cards at the bar – you wouldn’t think it, but this was the indication of a GREAT time.

That’s all for now folks… enjoy the rest of your Monday, take two advil and call me in the morning!

Road Trip: Saratoga Springs!

3 Nov

After September choked out its last summer-like day, I realized I was going to need a weekend out of the city to keep my sanity.  My fix?  A long weekend road trip to Saratoga Springs!

Cheers to FREE Beers!

The ‘toga is just over 3 hours north of NYC and it’s one hell of a city that’s perfect if you’re looking for a cheap, easy, FUN getaway.

I stayed at the Courtyard by Marriott which is actually a really nice property that’s walking distance to all the best stores, restaurants and most importantly, the Olde Saratoga Brewing Company (more on that to come later)!!!  It has a small pool, hot tub, a cute bar/lounge with a fire place, plus it’s really affordable.

Depending on what time of year you’re planning to go, here are a few “to-dos” I strongly suggest:

1)  Olde Saratoga Brewing Company – The Tasting Room is open every Mon-Friday (5-10pm) and Saturday (12-10pm).  Free is good.  Tasting FREE, unlimited beer is GREAT.  I’m serious, 100% free, as much beer as you want to taste, all day long.  GO THERE.

2)  Concert @ Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) – SPAC is the ultimate outdoor concert venue – tailgating, picnic-blanket-friendly, and ticketed seats if that’s what floats your boat.  I’ve done the DMB road “trip” and it’s an awesome concert experience. Check the website for upcoming shows.

"Feed me, Seymour!"

3)  Schuyler Farms – Sure it may sound effing lame a bit corny, but you’re taking a road trip – go to a farm!  Play mini golf, feed some overly aggressive animals, be a dork – you’ll be glad you went.

Other highlights include Compton’s Restaurant where you can get a solid breakfast for $5, Wheatfield’s where the lunch was so good that it temporarily distracted me from their claim to have the best Gluten-Free menu around (…gluten free at WHEATfield’s – scratchin your heads with me here, people?) and the Olde Bryan Inn which was so pushed on us by the hotel that we thought it would have to be horrible but ended up being a really cozy joint with great food!

Finally, after your weekend of fun and adventure in Saratoga Springs, and after you’re done pondering, “why ARE there so many businesses there with ‘Olde’ in the title?”, do yourselves a favor and stop off at Woodbury Commons Oulet Mall – it’s an exit on the way back to home sweet NYC.  You’ll shop at ridiculously low prices and be so overwhelmed with families swarming aimlessly that the streets of NY will be a piece of cake upon your return.

Ps… Before you leave Saratoga, don’t forget to grab some groceries at Price Choppers, they have the best breastesses (sorry, that’s an inside joke that really has no place here).

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