Category Archives: Location

USA, Utah, St. George – Black Bear Diner

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(See my other Food posts) – We went this morning to the Black Bear Diner in St. George, Utah for breakfast. This location is only one of the 124 diners that the chain has across 12 states. The first location opened in 1995 in Mount Shasta, California. The diner location we visited is at 1245 S Main St., St. George, UT 84770.

Even though there are over 100 locations, I had never heard of this diner chain before. I checked the location list and found that there are three in Texas, but sadly all are in the Houston area. With their expansion program hopefully, there will be one in the Austin area before too long.

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As you can see (pardon the poor photography) from the sign outside, one of the themes that run through the restaurant is bears.

The four of us had a variety of items for breakfast and we enjoyed them all. TripAdvisor gives the Diner a 4/5 rating, Yelp a 3.5/5,  and Zomato a 3.6/5.

One of the features of this chain is “all day breakfast”. They have a pretty extensive breakfast menu as well as a full list of items for lunch and dinner. A nice selection of dessert items is also available. I would certainly stop at one of these diners again.


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USA, Utah, St. George – Chuck-a-Rama

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(See my other Food posts) – We have been in St. George, Utah for a couple of days.

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Yesterday for a late lunch/early dinner we went to the Chuck-a-Rama location here. It is located at 127 Red Cliffs Dr, St. George, UT 84790-8631. The Chuck-a-Rama is an all-you-can-eat buffet restaurant.

Chuck-a-Rama is a small (12 location) chain of restaurants across Utah and Idaho. The first location opened in Salt Lake City, Utah on September 6, 1966.

Their menu varies a bit from day to day, but they consistently have a salad bar, baked goods, a selection of meat items, side dishes, and desserts every day. Their full menu is available online.

I have eaten there a few times now and have found the food good. Certainly, I have never walked away hungry. You won’t find 5-star Michelin cuisine, but the food is reasonably good and plentiful. On TripAdvisor Chuck-a-Rama has a 4/5 rating while on YelpYelp it has a 3.5/5 rating and on Zomato it has a 3.4/5 rating.


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USA, Utah, St. George – Paúla’s Cazuela

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Food – We went to Paúla’s Cazuela Mexican restaurant last night for dinner. This restaurant had been around St. George, Utah for at least 20 years. The restaurant is located at 745 Ridgeview Dr, St. George, UT 84770-2679.

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This is your ‘typical’ Mexican food restaurant. Some of the family have been eating and enjoying Paúla’s for nearly 20 years.

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My wife and I shared mixed chicken and beef fajitas. We really enjoyed them. They came with plenty of grilled onions, bell pepper, and red peppers.

One of the draws to Paúla’s is the view. Those shots above were taken from the parking lot, but it is also visible from their patio. If you are looking for some good Mexican food and are in St. George, UT then you may want to give this a try. Paúla’s has a 3/5 rating on Tripadvisor and 3.2/5 on Zomato.


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Singapore, Singapore – Soufflé Restaurant

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(See my other Food posts) – A couple of weeks ago we went to a French restaurant here in Singapore, Soufflé. The restaurant is located at 5 Duxton Hill, Singapore 089591.

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Soufflé is not a very large place and as you would expect from the name, it specializes in preparing a variety of soufflés. I had an order of Soupe à l’Oignon (Classic French onion soup with grantinated cheese toasts) then a Roquefort Cheese (Freshly baked soufflé – with a hearty portion of Roquefort cheese) and a Mixed green salad lightly dressed with French vinaigrette as my dinner. I liked all of those choices. The others in our party tried a wide variety of items and they enjoyed them all. You can look over their full menu if you like. 

Then came the dessert soufflés. There are eight different “Sweet Soufflés” on the menu:

  1. Grand Marnier et Oranges Confites (Freshly baked soufflé with a generous dousing of Grand Marnier and candied orange Additional shot of Grand Marnier)
  2. A la Chartreuse (Freshly baked souffé with a generous dousing of Chartreuse; the popular French digestif made with over 100 plants and flowers)
  3. Valrhona Chocolat Noir et Glace Vanille (Freshly baked soufflé with Valrhona dark chocolate and vanilla ice cream)
  4. Framboises et Glace Vanille (Freshly baked soft soufflé with raspberries and vanilla ice cream)
  5. Caramel Beurre Salé, Glace Caramel (Freshly baked soufflé with salted caramel and salted caramel ice cream)
  6. Speculoos, Crème Speculoos (Freshly baked soufflé with speculoos spiced shortcrust biscuits accompanied by a speculoos cream)
  7. Soufflé Glacé Citron Vert (A tall fluffy zesty lime iced soufflé)
  8. Soufflé Glacé Fruits Confits (A tall fluffy iced soufflé laced with colorful candied fruit

 

There were six of us in the dinner party, so being the ‘crazy Americans’ that we are we ordered two of each! Well, actually three of the chocolate soufflé.

Out of this delicious list, I liked the chocolate, caramel, and lime soufflés the best. I got too involved in the enjoying the soufflés so I did not get photos of them all. As you can see though, they all look good.

I have to say that I much prefer eating at a restaurant with a good steak. This was an interesting dinner though and it was great to sample all of their dessert soufflés. If you like French cooking or soufflés, then you will enjoy this restaurant.


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Singapore, Singapore – Civilian War Memorial

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When I went out for a walk around Singapore the other day I passed by the Civilian War Memorial. The memorial was built in memory of the civilians killed on Singapore during the Japanese occupation of the island during World War II.

Work began on the memorial in 1963, but the 230 foot (70 meters) high quad pillars were not completed until early 1967. It was formally dedicated on February 15, 1967. The four identical pillars of the memorial represent the shared war experiences of the Chinese, Eurasian, Indian and Malay residents who suffered through the occupation together.

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An inscription is on the base of the memorial in the four major languages of Singapore – English, Malay, Chinese, and Tamil. It reads: “Memorial to the civilian victims of the Japanese occupation 1942-1945”.

 

 

 

IMG_0620The memorial sets in a 4.5 acre War Memorial Park located near City Hall in the central business district.  Most of the civilians who died were of Chinese heritage during the Sook Ching massacre. How many actually died is still a matter of debate. Japanese reported that 6,000 died, but official estimates range between 25,000 and 50,000.

 


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If you are interested in the WWII era of history, you may find these two pages of mine of interest. 

The  World War II Sources” page is a collection of more than 210 links to museums, websites, Facebook pages, and Twitter feeds with information on the World War II era in history.

The “World War II Timeline” page shows events leading up to WWII, as well as during the war. Events are broken down into the Pacific and European Theaters by date.

Singapore, Singapore – Getting a Haircut

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Singapore – I have been back in Singapore now for almost two weeks and I very much needed a haircut. I walked over to the nearby Plaza Singapura as I knew there was a barbershop there.  This shop is just outside the Cold Storage grocery store we frequent there in the mall.

They advertise (see the sign at the bottom of the window) a ‘Korean Style’ haircut in 10 minutes for $10 SD. At the time I am writing this that is equivalent to about $7.34 USD. Far less than I am used to paying back in the States.

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The process to get a haircut here is different from at home. The first thing you do when you enter the shop is to go to the automated teller machine shown above, put in your money, and get a ticket. Once you have given one of the barbers your ticket they seat you for the haircut.

There was a bit of a language barrier but after a little pointing, pantomime, and broken English the barber finished the haircut. The outcome was not bad. Perhaps a little longer in the front than I would have liked, but I won’t hesitate to go back to that shop the next time I need a trim.

Last year I had a haircut in a shop in the Dhoby Ghaut MRT (subway) station adjacent to Plaza Singapura. They too had a machine issuing tickets. Their cost was $12 SD. The only real difference was the numbered seats for those waiting on a haircut. You took a seat in the available spot with the lowest number. As the barbers took a customer waiting to get their haircut from the #1 seat, those that remained would each scoot over to take a seat in the next lower numbered seat. An effective but different style of waiting in line.

Central Texas IEEE Life Members Visit ATX Hackerspace

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IEEELocations – The Austin chapter of the IEEE (The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers) Central Texas Section Life Members group (IEEE members who are at least 65 years old and who have been an active member of IEEE for at least 35 years) met last night at the ATX Hackerspace.

What is ATX Hackerspace? Per their website they are:

We are a collaborative industrial workshop full of people who love to learn and make things! ATX Hackerspace can be found at 9701 Dessau Road, Building 3, Suite 304, Austin TX 78754

We have over 8,000 square feet of space that is perfect for artists, designers, engineers, makers and hackers, fabbers, scientists, musicians, seminars and workshops, co-working, and a ton of other stuff. We’re the perfect place for any project that needs space, involves loud or messy equipment (woodworking, soldering, welding, painting), power (we have 120V, 240V, and 3-phase power), tools that are too expensive or large for your own workshop ( see our laser cutters, CNC mills, and 3D printers ) or meeting with collaborators.

More importantly, we are an established and ever-growing community. Imagine what we can do when we combine our skills, knowledge, ideas, tools, and materials… or see for yourself at our next Open House, every Tuesday evening from 6-10pm.

We’re hackers (thoroughly defined here), which means we create things and we put things together in new and innovative ways. ATX Hackerspace is dedicated to encouraging and promoting technical, scientific, and artistic skills through projects, collaboration, and education by all legal means.

After a brief meeting, we were led on a tour of the ATX Hackerspace facility.

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The first stop was the room with their 3D printers. Unfortunately, some of the folks taking the tour blocked the larger printer in this photo. It is located against the back wall to the right. Smaller printers are on the table to my right out of the photo.

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In addition to the 3D printers, they have a small electronics lab space.

They have two relatively large laser cutters.

Their largest ‘maker space’ is their wood shop. Not shown is their welding area and car shop. The auto area is near the yellow box in the larger of the images above. The welding area is behind the red-curtained portion of the space.

ATX Hackerspace has a number of tools available. You can see the complete list of their tools-resources.

For a $75 fee with 24/7 access to the building, this looks like an inexpensive and well-tooled facility to take your projects from design to reality.


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Las Vegas, Nevada – Texas de Brazil Steakhouse

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Food – A few nights ago we went with family to the Texas de Brazil Steakhouse in Las Vegas. This location is at 6533 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas, NV 89119. This is only one of the many locations of this restaurant. Sadly, there is no location in Austin, Texas or Singapore . . . yet.

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First, there is a huge salad bar. This contains salad items and some hot side dishes. You can opt to just eat off of the salad bar ($19.99 for lunch, $29.99 for dinner). Easily I could eat my fill just at the salad bar and never have more than one serving of any item. The challenge is not eating too much from the salad bar before you are served the meats.

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The real attraction to this restaurant is the variety of meats that are brought to your table. The full experience is $32.99 for lunch and $51.99 for dinner and well worth it. Waiters bring skewers of meat by your table (examples shown in the photo above – NOTE all photos in this post from Google image search). You can pick and choose what to have added to your plate. They keep coming by until you are stuffed! The meats include Herb-Marinated Pork Loin, Picanha, Brazilian Sausage, Leg of Lamb, Chicken Breast Wrapped in Bacon, Alcatra, Lamb Chops, Filet Mignon Wrapped in Bacon, Parmesan-Crusted Pork Loin, Garlic Picanha, Braised Beef Ribs, Barbecued Pork Ribs, and Parmesan Drumettes. It was all wonderful!

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The service was excellent. The food was plentiful and delicious. We are already talking about returning the next time we are in Las Vegas with family. This is a great experience, though a little on the pricey side. Just make sure you prepare yourself before going and fast all day!


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Singapore, Singapore – Black Tap

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Food – A good friend here in Singapore recommended the Black Tap restaurant. We have now been there twice and have really enjoyed it. The Black Tap is located in the Marina Bay Sands Mall. Officially the address is 2 BAYFRONT AVE, SINGAPORE 018972. I didn’t realize it when I was there that the Black Tap is a chain of restaurants out of New York City.

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The Marina Bay Sands hotel and casino are shown above, with the Mall spread out at its base. The Black Tap is actually located at the near end of the Mall (building with the curved roof) shown in the photo above.

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It is one of the many shops and restaurants in the Mall. Notice at the bottom of the photo above you can see the ‘canal’ that goes through the center of this section of the Mall. It is complete with gondolas that you can purchase rides on.

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Exploring the Mall alone is worth a trip to the Marina Bay Sands.

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But we had come to the Mall specifically to dine. I chose the Steak Au Poivre Burger (a Blue Cheese Burger) with fries. It was very good.

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My wife had the Baja Grilled Chicken Sandwich with fries, which she enjoyed. While these, and the other items on the menu, were good, they were not why we visited the Black Tap.

The Black Tap also specializes in Crazyshake Milkshakes. If memory serves me, we ordered the Cookies ‘N Cream Supreme Oreo Shake (vanilla frosted rim with crushed Oreos topped with a ‘cookies ’n cream’ sandwich, crumbled oreo, whipped cream & chocolate drizzle) and the Sweet N’ Salty Peanut Butter Shake (chocolate frosted rim with chocolate gems & PB cups topped with a sugar daddy, pretzel rods, chocolate covered pretzel, whipped cream & chocolate drizzle). These are just two of the eight shake masterpieces that are available.

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We were lucky to have a seat where we could look over to where the shakes were being made. What better entertainment! Dining at the Black Tap is an experience I am sure I will repeat and I recommend it to anyone.


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Singapore, Singapore – Hard Rock Cafe

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Food – A few days back I took the two-mile walk to one of the local Hard Rock Cafe‘s here in Singapore. This one is located at 50 Cuscaden Road, #02-01, HPL House, Singapore 249724. There is nothing really unique about this location, but I find visiting a Hard Rock Cafe while traveling is like taking a little step back home to the States. Sometimes it is comforting to see food just the way you are used to seeing it.

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This location is pretty large and is set up for live music.

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It even has an upstairs with more room for seating. I visited in the early afternoon, so there were not many other customers. I suspect that the place is much more crowded in the evenings and especially on weekend evenings.

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While they have a nice menu, I kept my order simple opting for the cheeseburger and fries. It was a very good lunch!


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