Feb 28 2024

Plaza Mexico Sun City

724 Cypress Village Blvd
Sun City Center, FL 33573

Probably will return.

… more pix on Google Maps, Yelp.

Colorful light shades. Although it saturated the small space, with the high back chairs, but the foods are decent.

The freshly made guacamole by the table side, is bit salty but yummy. The chips are fresh. The rest is a blur -:) I only got a few photos.

They’re re-roofing or something, wires are everywhere.

Feb 28 2024

Brick’s Smoked Meats

Love the tiles: the top L was in my home, the top R in Shanghai, both were made by Chee Hsin  

1528 State St.
Sarasota, FL 34236

… more pix on Google Maps, Yelp & TA

Another restaurant with ‘Brick’ in its name – hopefully this owner/manager isn’t going to be nasty as Hales Blackbricks, can take genuine and constructive critics.

Probably won’t return.

Love their decor – high ceiling, industrial. The last booth by the bathroom is angled. I don’t know they did that to shield the bathroom entrance or needed to be. In any case, it looks good. Two big open windows connect their outdoor area. The length of the bar looks out to a garage.

I particularly enjoyed their tiled tables: the patterns are familiar to Chee Hsin’s, which I’ve a book on it, self published on Amazon.

The service is good. The pretty young girl has red and purple nail polish – maybe I should go for the purple, to match my hair.

The food is a little trying. The bacon burnt end is on the sweet side but is tender. The brisket is thick and dry. With the butter knife, cutting became a chore. The ribs is a little softer than the brisket, but have it better many other places.

The young girl, the maitre d’ and a lady in black pants came over, asking how’s everything – they certainly care.

Feb 23 2024

Oak and Ola

1910 N Ola Ave
Tampa, FL 33602

… more pix n videos on Google Maps, Yelp & TA

Definitely will return.

We stopped here before the concert. It’s very similar with Ulele @ Armature Works: high ceiling, industrial, exposed brick walls, open kitchen; good service and pretty good food.

Location: by the water
Seatings: indoor and out
Food: very good
Service: very good, well trained

We went at 5 when they just opened. When we left at 7, it was packed. We stayed a bit longer bec it was raining, and our concert didn’t start till 8. We could have another toffee cake – it’s that good. But didn’t bec people are waiting.


– charred sour dough bread – good
– crab salad: wonderful
– meat charcuterie – fine
– special – fish amandine – good
– special mezzaluna pasta – great
– Spanish autopsy – yummy
– warm toffee cake – to die for
– chocolate tart – average

Our server said his name is MJ. A handsome kid, better looking than Michael Jordan … still love you Mike

We shared a bottle of Meleto BTL Chianti. Nice stems. They left the cork on the table – Should they put it on a small plate?
Big spoon for desserts
Ok I’m a dinosaur

They’re on RESY, may charge $25 for no show. No place for handbags.

Feb 13 2024

Amex @ GIG: Plaza Premium Lounge

Third floor at T2 @ RIOgaleão – Tom Jobim
Rio de Janeiro

… more pix at Google Maps

This airport lounge is pretty good, especially when our British Air flight is delayed.

The cream of wheat is wonderful. The coffee barista is efficient.

However, they don’t have bottled water, from the tapes only.

Feb 12 2024

Chon Kou 中国餐馆

Av. Atlântica, 3880 – Copacabana
Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 22070-002, Brazil

Will return.

… more pix on Google Maps, Yelp & TA

How did we end up here: we planed to have lunch at Emile. Google shows it opens 24/7 but when we got there at 2:50 – spent too much time at the top. They said come back at 7.

So we walked toward south and saw a Spanish and Chinese restaurants. We picked the Spanish, oh how I would love to have paella. But the young maid said to in low voice: “just you know this is a Spanish, the Chinese is next door.”
So here we’re, the unwanted guests -:)

The location is excellent, on the second floor, looking out to the Copacabana Beach. A silver of Hotel Emile can be spotted from the windows.
The decor is 1972, the year they started in business.
The service is good, other than messed up order. We’ve pickled cucumbers, mapo tofu 麻婆豆腐and eggs with tomato 番茄炒鸡蛋. They totally forgot the cucumber and eggs tomatoes became eggs and ham. Their food is so much better than Canton. And this is the only meal that we finished everything, a small feast.
They’re kind enough to charge our phone – thank you.

Feb 12 2024

Café 18 do Forte

6:02pm, Feb 12, 2024
Copacabana Fort – Praça Cel. Eugênio Franco, 1 – Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 22070-020, Brazil

One of two cafes inside the Fort. We’ve lunch at Colombo, and chose to have drinks here.

… more pix on Google Maps

It was sunset time. The copacabana Beach looks much calmer. We didn’t stay long because I wanted to do the paddle boarding – which I did.

The red wine came with corks and they poured me another glass. They were also very kind to lent me the charging box to refuel my phone.


Feb 11 2024

Bota Restaurante

Av. Infante Dom Henrique – Glória
Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 20020-140

… more pix on Google Maps

Three restaurants (Kitchen, a fusion and an Argentina Corrientes 348) on this marina and non of them are on the water. Maybe their sensibility is different from ours.

They’ve indoor and outdoor seatings.

We got there at 5:48 and no they don’t have tables on the water. So we chose to seat inside. It was quite hot out there. By 6:12, they offered us to sit on the upper deck which is looking over the water. By 6:21, the loud music begins to blast – good it was only testing; it didn’t come on again till 7pm when we were done with our dinner.

The floor of the upper deck isn’t the most stable. Most people there were drinking. Guess they eat late.

We’ve octopus and steak. Octopus is gigantic. They cared to know if my food was ok, I told them the truth – just tooooo big of a portion. The steak is more like breakfast steak.

They sell cigars too. Oh well.

Feb 11 2024

Cantón – Peruvian & Chinese

R. Rodolfo Dantas, 26; Copacabana,
Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 22020-040

… more pix on Google Maps, Yelp & TA.

So will not return.

Location: cross street from Copacabana Palace hotel, and half block from the famous prestige beach. However, the neighborhood feels crappy, like New York 23rd street.
Air conditioning: lacking
Decor: a little overdone but tolerable
Service: ok
Food: subpar
Tableware: plastic and some are chipped
Utensils: fast food or school cafeteria

They opened late on this Sunday. One waitress serving the small room, who looks shaky when serving the wine. They don’t have tea, the hot steaming yummy tea.

Food: we’ve wanton, mapo tofu and garlic charsui (pork).
Fried Wanton: so so. Only because I wanted dumplings during the Chinese lunar new year. The filling isn’t too bad
Mapo tofu 麻婆豆腐: is 家常豆腐. No spicy at all. I asked for some spicy sauce, it came sweet.
Garlic charsiu: what’s the hell is this one? Where is my garlic?!? Both tofu and this one use the same dark sauce, which is, so $5.99 Flushing.

Bathroom has no ac, on a 92 degrees day.

Feb 10 2024

Quiosque Chopp Brahma

R. Visconde do Rio Branco 360 qd 138 lj 1 pav 1, Niterói Rio de Janeiro – RJ 24020-000, Brazil

… more pix on Google Maps; Yelp.

A bar on the Copacabana Beach -:) couldn’t have been more convenient.

At 11am, they only have 600 ml Stella Artois beer. I’ve two coconuts, and we shared fried cheese. Just perfect for a stop.

They take credit cards.

Their straw reminds me of my childhood days in Beijing, in the 60s – my grandma Nainai always had to cut the top bec after a few sips, the paper (??) just gave away.

Feb 10 2024

Confeitaria Colombo

… behind my left shoulder is their shanty town  
Praça Coronel Eugênio Franco, 01,
Rio de Janeiro – RJ 22070-020, Brazil

Def will return.

… more pix on Google Maps, Yelp, TA

It’s inside of the Fort Copacabana, with both indoor and outdoor seatings, looking out to the famous beach. It’s a 93 degrees day and we’re very comfortable by the water, with a strong Atlantic Ocean breeze.

The Fort charges a nominal fee to get in and they don’t take credit card. When we asked if USD would do, the guard kindly let us in. Thank you.

(Again, we’re going to survive on credit card here.)

Service is really good but slow, which is fine. The food, oh my, Huge portion and they taste good. We’ve Salmon and pasta salad – look at the size! The green rice is well cooked and yummy (a little saggy tho).

I also tried their yogurt, which is yummy too.