So there are a few reasons that Canadians in particular don’t want to travel to Mexico at the present time. Be it swine flu, increase in crime on Canadian travelers or the earthquakes, Mexico is a hot spot to avoid… or so many think. Sure if you go to the popular places like Cancun or Mexico city, but why not try some where a little less populated and a little more hospitable. Cozumel is the answer. This island, just off of Playa Del Carmen in the east of Mexico is a great little spot to delve in to the culture, the hospitality and the ocean.
Picturesque beaches and quaint strips will be all you need. The great thing about this part of Mexico is that it isn’t overrun by partying teens and college students, nor is it the center for the elderly. It is just a nice little island that caters to the average humans needs. Great little restaurants (many styles other then just Mexican) Nightclubs that look like they are out of the movies and even a town center shopping bazaar. Here you can get everything from a great new pair of cowboy boots to a scuba tank.
With a few hotels and one true resort to stay in you will find that making acquaintances is easy. The people are friendly, helpful and would love to sit back, relax and have a drink with you. It’s a good time to go also, with airfare being so low to Mexico. Check it out, who knows, you might just be able to chill out and have some fun.
Ever notice when we get one nice day of weather in Toronto we all forget how depressing the winter is and remember the great places we have in this city? Well I do, and I found myself remembering some of the really great places I can go to indulge in tasty treats.
The first one is an amazing local burger place called Craft Burger. There are a few around the city but the one I like to frequent is on King just west of Spadina. Craft Burger was started by a Torontonian and holds some of the freshest and most tasty hand-crafted burgers in the city. My personal favorite is the classic chesses burger with fries. Simple, but oh-so-good.
Another of my favorite places is a great little French bistro called Fare. Located on Queen Street East in Leslieville, this place is a hidden but amazing gem. Pretty much anything on their menu is to die for, but I personally recommend the Steak and Frites. Top it off with a friendly and knowledgeable staff, this restaurant is low key, charming and within a price range that wont break the bank. If you are going in the summer months, be sure to check out their back patio.
Now, after you have filled up on a burger or steak frites, you will need dessert. This brings us to my favorite place in the city to get hot chocolate. Now I know what you’re saying: “summer is on the way. Why would I want hot chocolate when I want to cool down?” But trust me, once you taste Soma chocolate you wont care if you are in the middle of the Sahara desert and are parched for water. Made from scratch, completely in-store, all the chocolate at Soma is rich, sweet and unique. Situated in the Distillery district, Soma can be quite a popular place during the summer time but I assure you it’s quite worth the crowds. With many flavors and types of chocolate items to choose from, you won’t be bored. My top choice here is the Mayan hot chocolate; a rich medium chocolate blend with a little bit of spice added for extra bite.
So the next time you get that Toronto bug, take a moment to think about how truly lucky we are to have such great chow right at our fingertips. How can we not be lucky when we have hand-crafted burgers, the best Steak Frites this side of France, or chocolate with an extra kick? Try it out and let me know.
Number one on my list of places to visit is a lot closer to home (Toronto) than most others. WYOMING in the summer!!! Grand Teton National Park, USA to be exact. I think the landscape of the American west is some of the most amazing in the world, and for outdoor enthusiasts like myself, this looks like paradise. Hiking, Rock Climbing, Horseback Riding, Camping, Canoeing, White Water River Rafting, etc… the list is endless. On the lighter side, kick back at some of America’s best lodges and immerse yourself in the history of mid-west. Whatever your pleasure may be, there’s no doubt in my mind that Wyoming during the summer months would definitely be a trip for the books.
I am obsessed with eating competitions. I don’t know why but it fascinates me to see a grown man or woman stuffing their faces all in the name of competition. Hot dogs, hamburgers, wings, crab cakes, it’s all good!
My first introduction into the world of competitive eating took place last summer at Dunn Tire Park lin Buffalo NY during the annual Wing Festival- Yes there is a two day festival dedicated to the almighty wing and it is very popular with ‘meatatarians’ everywhere.
By the way check out our coverage of the Buffalo Wing Festival on this site. It was there that I met Sonya “the black widow” Thomas; She’s Korean, weighs slightly over 100 pounds and she is an eating machine! In fact she slayed the competition. It’s worth noting that the competition was on average 4 times her size. Anyway, if you haven’t seen Sonya in action- do so now, she is amazing!!!
I saw a Sean Penn’s ‘Into the Wild’ a few nights ago and it’s one of those films where I find myself still thinking about it days after the fact. For those who have yet to see it, here’s a quick synopsis….
“After graduating from Emory University, top student and athlete Christopher McCandless abandoned his possessions, gave his entire $24,000 savings account to charity and hitchhiked to Alaska to live in the wilderness. Along the way, Christopher encounters a series of characters who shape his life.”
This is based on a true story so I don’t think I’m spoiling anything when I say that Christopher dies alone in the middle of nowhere, but it does make the ending all that more heart-breaking. It’s amazing to me that someone felt so strongly about disconnecting himself from society that he decided to lose himself and live alone in the Alaskan wilderness.
Alaska has been on my list of ‘things to do’ for awhile now, seeing this film just reinforces that.
I was surfing the web and I came across some funny pictures from around the world so I thought I’d share. Speaking of which, if you have any hilarious photos from your travels, feel free to email them to us at email@example.com. Also, if you’ve missed any episodes of The Hospitality Guide go to www.thehospitalityguide.com to catch up.
Have you ever tried to read a newspaper when your nose is too close to the fine print? Everything ends up being one big blur. Well, that pretty well sums up the last few months of the Hospitality Guide.
Sometimes you need to take a step back in order to fully see the big picture.
In the last few months, I’ve shot the show in Vegas, Nova Scotia, Montreal, Sweden, San Francisco, Okanagan Valley, DisneyWorld, Quebec, Buffalo, Toronto and Ft. Lauderdale. Did I leave anything out?? One of the perks of hosting a travel show that focuses on different aspects of the hospitality industry is that you get to experience the best aspects of whatever city you happen to be in; Rafting over massive tides in the Bay of Funday, hanging out in a $9000.00 a night suite in Vegas, taking a helicopter ride over the Niagara Falls, eating ‘body-cakes’ in Sweden, go carting through the streets of San Francisco, and getting a glimpse into the wild and wacky world of competitive eating at Buffalo’s WingFest. Ahhh good times!!
If you’ve missed any of these episodes, check them out online at www.thehospitalityguide.com.
I’m happy to report that the HG team is currently working on some big things in the near future so stay tuned. The adventure continues….
It’s cold, windy and the winter jackets don’t seem to be going anywhere for a long while. Wouldn’t it be nice to just get away for a bit? With the economy heading into a downward spiral most of us are discouraging ourselves from spending money on a Timbit let alone a weeklong vacation. Surprisingly, vacation packages are also heading into that same downward spiral and good thing for us because that can only mean one thing, they’re a lot cheaper. For an average price of an airline ticket to New York and back you can get an all inclusive vacation package (all inclusive = free alcohol too).
Every winter, I spoil myself and head to a sunny destination and I was damned sure this year wasn’t going to be any different. So I checked the usual websites: itravel2000, Selloffvacations and Belairtravel. Cuba and Dominican being the more popular destinations you should expect to payless. But I wanted to go somewhere differentl this time around and I decided on Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. After all if it’s good enough for Heidi and Spencer it’s good enough for me. I finally decided on The Rui Palace Cabo in beautiful SUNNY Mexico courtesy of Sunquest Vacations. It’s a 5.5 star hotel right on the beach with an ocean front suite- what more can you ask for? Typically you would expect to pay more than $2000 but I got a deal, only $1400! But before you start planning your vacation, make sure you set a budget and stick to it! Also if your hotel is right on the beach it cuts traveling costs.
Me in T- Minus 3 weeks
Enough about me. If it’s not in your budget to go away you don’t have to - The Hospitality Guide will take you, especially to delicious eateries right here in Toronto and around the world. We will make your mouth water in San Francisco with crab legs at The Crab Shack, try some amazing coffee in Sweden and of course go to the best Hamburger joint in all of the U.S of A at Le Tub burgers. See, even the Hospitality Guide can make the winter blues disappear.
But to curve your appetites, enjoy cooking with George at the opening night gala for Toronto’s International Film Festival.
New year, new season, new adventures, new shows and a new promo for The Hospitality Guide. Two minutes. That’s all you need to know what The Hospitality Guide is all about. Find out where we’ve been and what we’ve seen as George Tsioutsioulas takes you on an adventure each and every week here on The HG. Sweden, Buffalo Wingfest, Ft. Lauderdale, Kelowna and much more. So make sure you watch and leave your thoughts, comments, suggestions and places you think we should check out!
Now on a different topic: If you like sushi, sashimi, tempura, dumplings, chicken teriyaki and let’s not forget the green tea ice cream look no further than Wasabi, a Japanese Buffet style Restaurant. For $16 (lunch buffet) you can have endless amount of delicious seafood, platters of freshly sliced fruit and rows of sushi rolls and sashimi. All you can eat. So if you’re sitting at home craving Japanese food for a great price, I highly recommend Wasabi.
Wasabi is located at 270 West Beaver Creek in Richmondhill.