Category Archives: Location

The Most Brewtiful Cafes II

More places to add to my growing list of where I would like to one day visit.

Cafe Book Bean

lookbookThere were already so many stunning cafes in Part: I and yet
you will find in Part II that this world has many more incredibly
beautiful and interesting cafes.

Here is part II of The Most Brewtiful Cafes:

Bar Topolski (London)

Topolski gallery-bar-café-venue is a unique London space set in the railway arches near Waterloo Station, in the former studio of artist and illustrator Feliks Topolski RA (1907 – 1989).

Knoll Ridge Cafe (Mt. Ruapehu, New Zealand)

Knoll Ridge Cafe is the highest cafe in New Zealand and has incredible views over the upper slopes. Serving a wide array of meals, including a fresh salad bar, hot dishes from around the world, café style snacks and espresso coffees.

Cafe Central (Vienna, Austria)

The café was opened in 1876, and in the late 19th century it became a key meeting place of the Viennese intellectual scene. Until 1938 the café was called…

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The Most Brewtiful Cafes I

Looks like some really nice cafes to visit. I have certainly add them all to my ‘wish list’ of places to visit.

Cafe Book Bean

lookbookPart I of my little guide to some beautiful and unique cafes/coffee houses from all around the world:

The Grounds (Alexandria, Australia)

Located in a former industrial precinct from the 1920s, The Grounds of Alexandria is a landmark coffee roastery, café and sustainable organic garden known for its abundance of fresh produce and hands-on experiences.

Caffè Greco (Rome, Italy)

This café has a rich history; it has been around since 1760 and was a known meeting place of artists, poets, and writers of all countries. Byron, Shelley, Goethe, Keats, Thackeray, Thorwaldsen, Mark Twain, Canova, Gounod, Bizet, Berlioz, Gogol, Wagner, King Ludwig of Bavaria and many other world celebrities having been regular patron of the Caffè Greco.

Mirrors Cafe (Gifu, Japan)

Covered in beautifully polished mirrored surfaces this building reflects the landscape surroundings. A row of cherry trees is planted at an embankment at its basin. The best time to visit is during the cherry…

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USA, Texas, Round Rock – Lamppost Coffee


Lamppost Coffee is a local, neighborhood coffee shop. Located a 1205 Round Rock Ave Ste 129 (Lake Creek Dr), Round Rock, TX  across the street from Round Rock High School, Lamppost Coffee has been open since December of 2014. I had been in a few months ago to
pick up a to-go cup of coffee. This morning, since I was out of my supply of coffee beans to grind, I decided to give Lamppost a try.

In addition to coffee drinks, they serve breakfast items which was perfect for my 0700 visit. Conveniently it opens at 6AM weekdays and 7AM weekends. It stays open till 9PM except for Friday and Saturday when it is open until 10PM.

This morning I tried one of their bacon, cheese and onion omelettes and while it was simple, it was good. So was their untained (i.e. black) medium roast coffee. The atmosphere was casual with several tables for dining and sofas for more relaxed chatting with friends. The price was reasonable at about $14 including breakfast, coffee and tip. An added benefit was the ability to use Apple Pay through my Apple Watch.

I am glad that I stopped in and plan to go back occasionally. I would recommend it for coffee or a quick, simple breakfast if you are on the west side of Round Rock.

See my other Food and Locations articles

Book Towns: Part II

More book towns to add to my list.

Cafe Book Bean

images (2)
Here is the second part to an already awesome list of Book Towns. I hope you enjoy these ones as much as
Book Towns: Part I

Here are 6 more stunning little Book Towns:

St_Martins_NBSt. Martins, New Brunswick
A beautiful Canadian village 40 km east of Saint John, it is situated on the Bay of Fundy. The village was founded by a Loyalists in 1783, and was originally known as Quaco. St. Martins has a population of approx. 304 (2006.) In 2007, the St. Martins Book town Initiative was formed.
Soon after that the New Brunswick Legislative Assembly officially proclaimed St. Martins as New Brunswick’s official Book town. There are now nearly a dozen booksellers located in the village.

1072030036_f6e2d988c3Wigtown, Scotland
Wigtown was officially designated as Scotland’s National Book Town in 1998 and is now home to over 20 book-related businesses.

A book lovers haven; it has over a

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Book Towns: Part I

Very interesting. I had not heard of “book towns” before. This post gives me a few more entries to add to my list of places to visit.

Cafe Book Bean

A Book Town is a trend that began in the 1960’s and refers to a town or village with a large number of used book or antiquarian book stores.
Along with their unique and plentiful bookstores they also host wonderful literary festivals

These book festivals attract book lovers and bibliophiles from all over the world. A number of towns are also members of the International Organisation of Book Towns.

Check out these first 6 awesome, yet quaint little book towns:

240-Montolieu-village-du-livre-Aude_focus_eventsMontolieu, France
Sometimes referred to as the “Village of Books.” Montolieu was the town that first introduced me to the concept of “Book Towns.” With a population of roughly only 747 people Montolieu contains fifteen bookshops, mostly specializing in second-hand and
16540322265_089531e1a8_zantiquarian books.
Every year the town offers many workshops such as: Used and antiquarian bookshops, Working craftspeople of books and art, The Arts and Crafts of the Book Museum, Bibliophilia…

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USA, Texas, Waller – Buc-ee’s


We all have stopped a the gas station/convenience store as we drive America’s interstate highways. Buc-ee’s takes that concept to an entirely new level! (You might want to check out this article published in July of 2018 –  We visited a convenience-store chain with a Texas cult following, and we were amazed by what we found)

For instance, the Buc-ee’s in New Braunfels, Texas is a little bigger than the run of the mill gas stop with 120 gas pumps. The 68,000 square foot store has over 80 toilets! And every time I have stopped at a Buc-ee’s the restrooms are always very clean.

Buc-ee’s do not allow 18 wheelers. The stores carry a large selection of fresh jerky, and there are a variety of fresh sandwiches and packaged food items. Made to order sandwiches and tacos can be ordered from their large deli. Of course, coffee, fountain drinks and a large cooler with bottled and canned beverages are also available.


Beyond the food items, the stores carry a wide variety of Texas-themed products. They also have items for travelers and sportsmen. One of our favorite purchases is “Beaver Nuggets”. These are caramel and butter-glazed corn puffs.


While I have stopped at the New Braunfels location, the first large Buc-ee’s I visited was in Waller. I had never seen a convenience store so large. I have also visited the Temple location which is not quite so large but has nearly everything.

All the Buc-ee’s locations are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. They are not everywhere yet but the chain is spreading. Certainly, every road trip I take now means at least one stop at a Buc-ee’s. If we are traveling with kids, they almost always want to get their picture taken with the large Buc-ee statue out front.

If you are traveling the highways of Texas and see a Buc-ee’s I suggest taking the time to stop. You always need gas and facilities and food. In my opinion, there is no better location for that than Buc-ee’s.

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USA, Texas, Frisco – Babe’s Chicken Dinner House

 I visited Babe’s at the Frisco location (6475 Page Street, Frisco, Texas) the first time in 2014. We were in Arlington, Texas where the 13-14 year old girls NFL Flag Football team my wife and I work with played in Cowboy Stadium for the National Championship (we came in second that year). Our team and parents had lunch at Babe’s one day. Babe’s Chicken Dinner House serves up southern, home style quisine.

My wife and I visited the Babe’s in Carrolton a couple of weeks ago when we took a grand daughter to a dance convention in Dallas. It was every bit as good as what we remembered of the Frisco experience. We both had the fried chicken tenders. They were crispy and free of the grease that so often comes with fried food. Between the tenders and the sides we were stuffed and had a few leftovers.

Babe’s has been around since 1993 when the first restaurant was opened in Roanoke, Texas. Now there are Babe’s in nine cities in the DFW area. All locations are family friendly with a casual atmosphere. The main dishes are fried chicken, chicken fried steaks, fried chicken tenders, smoked chicken and pot roast. All orders come with mashed potatoes with cream gravy, green beans, salad, cream corn and homemade biscuits – all served family style. The menu varies slightly between locations, but all have their great chicken.

Meals are a little on the high side at around $15, but you certainly will not leave hungry.

If you are in the DFW are and in the mood for a enjoyable, home style dining experience, Babe’s is a great choice.

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USA, Texas, Round Rock – La Margarita restaurant

I have been visiting the La Margarita restaurant since if first opened in 1988. My son
and I went there again this week for lunch and it was every bit as good as I remembered. It is located at 1530 on the west frontage road of Interstate 35 just north of Round Rock. The restaurant has had more than one location over the years, but they have been in their current location since 2002.

There is nothing special about La Margarita. But it does have consistently good food at reasonable prices. It has a family atmosphere and is a great place to go for dinner or lunch. The restaurant is open daily from 7AM until 10PM, 11PM on Friday and Saturday nights. On Tuesdays, kids eat free after 3PM with the purchase of an adult entree. They also host a Happy Hour M-F 2PM until 7PM if your are interested in ‘adult beverages’.

If you are in the Round Rock area and are feeling like Tex-Mex cuisine, La Margarita is a good choice.

See my other Food and Location articles

USA, Texas, Cedar Park – Texas Museum of Science and Technology


The Texas Museum of Science and Technology (TxMOST) is located in Cedar Park north of Austin. The museum, currently housed in 30,000 sq. ft. of leased space, has been open since March 20, 2015. The museum evolved from the Austin Planetarium organization. The new TxMOST targets to fill the long existing need of a science museum in Austin. Austin was the largest metropolitan area in the US without a multidisciplinary science museum.

Currently the museum has few static exhibits, but is hosting the Body Worlds & The Cycle of Life traveling exhibit. A full planetarium is planned to be added in the fall. The site has plenty of space to allow for future expansion. The museum is located at 1220 Toro
Grande Boulevard, Cedar Park, Tx 78613

This isn’t equivalent to Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry . . . . yet. It is a first step that I hope many will support.

USA, Texas, Austin – The Thinkery


The Thinkery is a location in Austin that is designed to appeal to younger children (Elementary school age for the most part), presenting them with fun and innovative learning experiences. It is definitely a place where the kids can mix fun with STEM related experiences. I visited The Thinkery a short time ago with my 4th grade age granddaughter. The place was full of kids that were engaged with fun activities and learning a little science along the way.

The Thinkery is located at 1830 Simond Ave., Austin, TX 78723 in the old Mueller Airport development. It evolved from the older Austin Children’s Museum, which was founded in 1983. The Thinkery has been a part of the Mueller development since late 2013. There is plenty of free, covered parking nearby and there is even a nice park across the street so that kids can let off some steam with a little physical activity.

If you have younger children or grandchildren and are looking for a
place to escape the central Texas summer heat, The Thinkery is a
great place.

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