Thursday, November 11, 2010


Like most well-seasoned travelers I know, when traveling for personal purposes, I always find myself staying at the hotels I frequent for business purposes, in order to best utilize my points!  Usually, that keeps us road warriors in the big-names like Hilton, Starwood, or Marriott.  We are chained to these brands and the benefits they provide us, which is actually quite smart on their part!  But the world of the big brands is about to be shaken...

Stash Boutique Hotel Rewards Points has launched!  It's a new program started by a former Expedia executive, who had the balls (excuse me) to bring the boutiques and small hotels together to form a union, of sorts.  Most of the hotels signing up are chic, or historic, all of them providing a much more unique experience.  The program is simple and rewarding.  You earn one free night per five stays and there are no blackout dates!

Want more details? Check out the link below. And if I can lend any well-seasoned advice, hurry up and sign up for it - you could win 100,000 points just for joining!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Dining for Kings and Queens... Or Goddesses!

There is no doubt when it comes to my love for food.  I live for it, pay a lot for it, and, travel for it.  Whenever I go to a new place, I always spend an hour or two researching the restaurants in the area.  On my Halloween trip to New Orleans, I did the same, and found a few recommendations that I thought sounded like a sweet treat.  But thank goodness I had the tact to listen to my best friend and our guide, the artistic and kind hearted Jamie Jo Frederick, or I would have never discovered the Green Goddess.

The Green Goddess provided me with one of the most unique and enjoyable dining experiences I have ever had.  From the moment we sat outside in the cool air, and the chef in his purple t-shirt, ruffled hair, and pajama pants introduced us to the menu, I knew this would be more interesting than a usual dinner with friends.  We decided on the tasting menu, a thankful choice, and the dishes kept coming, one after the other, each truly innovative and delicious. Some of my favorites included:

1. Banh Xao.  The perfect combination of sweet crabmeat texture, with fresh avacados and a sprinkling of local sprouts, and a spicy chili Vietnamese sauce.  Each ingredient offered the perfect amount of flavor and I couldn't help but be more and more surprised at how much I liked it, after each bite.  Was definitely the favorite amongst our group.

2. Blue Corn Crepes.  I am not a big mushroom or fungus kind of girl, and at first bite, I thought that this crepe with it's corn fungus and mushroom taste might be too much for me. But as I took more of the crepe with each bite, I began to love the dish. Just the right amount of musty flavor with the light sweetness of the crepe.  Like nothing I have ever tried.

3. Pumpkin risotto.  A perfect comfort dish for fall.  The pumpkin was not overpowered by the butternut squash, but it was cooked perfectly and warmed my taste buds.  Delectable.

I must also confessed that, as a Midwest, meat and potatoes girl, I loved the soup (cream of garlic, celery root, parsnips, and arugula), even though the combination of vegetables is not something I would usually dare to try.  And the coffee was outstanding.  What kind of magic do you put in the coffee?!

The Green Goddess is the perfect combination of relaxing atmosphere, good people passionate about their creations, delicious food, innovation, and reasonable prices.  Skip the high-class, famous seafood restaurants in the Quarter and try something truly unique, if you can find it down the small alley where it resides...

In their own terms, "To some people our menu probably reads like a fever dream: loaded with exotic terms and unfamiliar foods from almost every corner of the planet.  Even classic ingredients from Louisiana meet unusual flourishes, as when our crawfish cakes hook up with Spanish romesco sauce, crushed avocado and wasabi tobikko caviar.  To us in the kitchen of The Green Goddess, we simply want you to come along for the ride.  We’ve spent years exploring how to make everything under the stars, and we can hardly wait to share our favorites with our guests."

I could not agree more!