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Sunday, July 24, 2016

Waldport, OR: Decent Little Wednesday Market, Moderate Prices

 Waldport Wednesday Market

116-182 Alder Street
Waldport, OR 97394
Prices: $$$$

A decent little market about 3 blocks east of Hwy 101 in downtown Waldport, Oregon with about 20-25 vendors. There is a guy selling 8" wood-fired pizzas in the $7-$11 range, lots of tie die and homemade jewelry, one fruit and vegetable stand, and a few selling sweets (fudge, caramel corn, etc).
Not a great variety and not anything I could do without EXCEPT the lady selling stuff that keeps mirrors, windshields, eye/sunglasses, and other things glass from fogging up. The sign said 1 for $7 and 4 for $20, but she offered me 1 for $5 and 3 for $10, so I got 3. It will be worth it if I can keep my sunglasses from fogging up while pl;aying golf in the humid Midwest heat!
CombatCritic Gives The Waldport Wednesday Market 5 Bombs Out Of 10 ... More Bombs Are Better!

Five Bombs Equates To:


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Title: Waldport, OR: Decent Little Wednesday Market, Moderate Prices

Key Words: Waldport, OR, Oregon, little, Wednesday, market, flea, farmer, farmer's, moderate, prices CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, service, review, Yelp, Zomato, Tabelog

Translation for Civilians: Charlie-Mike = "Continue Mission"

Editorial: Airbnb Condones Unprofessional Behavior And Discrimination By Its Hosts

Airbnb
San Francisco, California

I have noticed a recent trend on Airbnb, in Eureka, California at least, where hosts have either canceled after having made a "confirmed" Instant Booking or ignored my requests to reserve a room posted as "available" on their calendar during the applicable dates.

I requested a reservation on two different occasions at Jennifer's Garden View Room for a upcoming trip to Eureka, changing the dates due to unforeseen circumstances, but never getting a response despite promises to get back to me the "in next day or so". Here is the transcript of messages:
July 6, 2016
Hi Jennifer! 
I'm thinking of coming to Eureka for at least a week. Your calendar looks clear and I'm finalizing the rest of the details, but want to make sure your place is available and for how long before I make reservations in other towns. 
Look forward to hearing from you soon.
Thanks!
Chris
--------
July 6, 2016 
Hi Chris! 
Nice to hear from you. I will have to check with a couple of possible renters and get back to you in the next day or so. 
Thanks! 
Jennifer 
 ----------
July 9, 2016 
Change of plans out of my control ... Please let me know if your place is available (during these dates) or know (of) another option. Not much available in my price range in town during that period. 
Thanks! 
Chris
------- 
July 9, 2016 
Hi Chris. Good to hear from you. I need to check my calendar tomorrow and get back to you. 
Jennifer
------ 
Not one, but six days later and no response from Jennifer, I sent he another message: 
July 15, 2016 
I'll take the silence as a no. Not having much luck with Eureka hosts. Thanks anyway! 
Chris 
------ 
July 16, 2016
Sorry Chris, I haven't been able to check my phone or work on your questions. But I think I'll pass on this one. 
Extremely unprofessional behavior and bordering on discriminatory, considering the fact that the room is posted as available, but she refuses to accept my reservation. Maybe I should change my profile:
About Me 
School: Los Altos High School (Hacienda Heights, California); California State University, Los Angeles, California 
Work: Retired Air Force Officer, Licensed Professional Counselor specializing in the treatment of PTSD with military and Veterans 
Languages: English, Italiano

After being ignored, then refused, by Jennifer, I checked Airbnb for other options in Eureka during those dates and, oddly enough, Jennifer's Blue Room - Arcata, CA, United States was still available for the exact dates I was requesting. It seemed obvious that Jennifer did not want me staying with her for some reason. Maybe she does not like Veterans because that was all she knew about me based on what is in my profile, that and the countless positive reviews from hosts we have stayed with.
As I mentioned earlier, I made an "Instant Book" reservation (for the very first time) at Terri's "Serene Views", a different private room in Eureka, California. Instant Book is a feature that allows you to enter your dates of travel and if a listing's calendar has no occupancy during that time, you can get an instant "confirmed" reservation instead of waiting for the owner to get back to you. Sometimes it takes days to get a confirmed reservation from some of these ding-a-lings, so when I saw what looked like a nice place at a good price, I cancelled a reservation I had made on another site in the interim and booked with Eureka Terri ... BIG MISTAKE!

An hour-and-a-half later, I got a message from Terri:
"Looking forward to meeting you!"
BUT ... nearly four hours later, as I was prepping for my trip, I received this surprising, inadequate and unprofessional excuse from Terri:
"My family requests a visit during this time. Hope you find a suitable replacement. Thank you."
Here is Airbnb's CONFIRMATION OF MY CANCELLATION:
UNSAT ... FUBAR ... My week in Eureka was now Tango-Uniform  and I scrambled to find a place to stay in my price range ... thanks, for nothing Jennifer, Terri and Airbnb!

I had to pay hundreds of dollars more because a couple of Airbnb Airheads, an unprofessional newbie and a tree hugging liberal, could either not keep their calendars up-to-date or simply discriminate against guests based on the information in our "verified" profiles. It makes Airbnb look bad because they condone this unprofessional behavior and it should not have been allowed. 

What is the purpose of Instant Book if your confirmed reservation can simply be cancelled on a whim by the host? Useless ... both Instant Book and Airbnb's response to the situation ... because when I sent them a message communicating my dismay, all I got was an automated response telling me, to paraphrase: "we're too busy and important to respond to every customer ... sorry, you are on your own bub!"

Here is the message I sent to Airbnb, telling them about the discriminatory behavior by their hosts:
I requested a room for these exact dates on two occasions with Jennifer and she told me there was no availability (just yesterday), yet this room in her home is advertised as available during that period. She told me twice that she'd "get back to me" the next day, but failed to contact me after more than 5 days both times, leaving me hanging without a reservation. 
She is the second inconsiderate host in Eureka, having Instant Booked a room at another house (with Terri), only to have (her) cancel four hours later.
Airbnb should police their hosts a little better to prevent unprofessional behavior and/or outright discrimination against Veterans (and many others according to the NY Times and numerous lawsuits). It's obvious that these "liberal" hosts don't want a male, conservative, retired, military officer staying with them and that is not just wrong, it's illegal.
If you don't do something about it, I will. 
Thanks!
Chris S
I have yet to receive a response from Airbnb, hence, I am writing this editorial. If you would like to read the New York Times article on Airbnb's condoning of discriminatory behavior by their hosts, you can read more here: New York Times: Discrimination by Airbnb Hosts Is Widespread, Report Says

CombatCritic Gives Discriminatory Jennifer, Cancellation Terri And Airbnb 1 Bomb Out Of 10 And A Spot On MY WALL OF SHAME ... More Bombs Are Better!
 One Bomb Equates To:

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Yelp - Elite '14/'15/'16

Tabelog - Official Judge (Bronze)

Zomato - #1 Ranked Foodie

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Tabelog Reviewer CombatCriticView my food journey on Zomato!



Title: Editorial: Airbnb Condones Unprofessional Behavior And Discrimination By Its HostsTitle: 

Key Words: Airbnb, room, apartment, stay, Jennifer, Terri, Eureka, Arcata, CA, California, accomodation, hotel, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, service, review, Yelp, Zomato, Tabelog, airbnb.com

Translation for Civilians: FUBAR = "Fucked Up Beyond All Repair"

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Portland, OR: Do Not Miss This Swiss Delight In The Quaint Northeast Alberta Neighborhhod

Swiss Hibiscus

4950 NE 14th Avenue
Portland, OR 97211
Northeast Portland, King
Phone: (503) 477-9224
Website: swisshibiscus.com
Prices: $$$$


Located in the up-and-coming, trendy Alberta neighborhood of Northeast Portland, I was surprised by Swiss Hibiscus' appearance, expecting an older chalet-style building adorned with flower boxes and Swiss flags, but it is housed in a small modern, multi-purpose building a half block off of the main Alberta Street drag on 14th. The restaurant is small with only six or so tables inside (seating around 25) and another three or four outside (if the Portland weather cooperates), bringing the maximum seating to around 40 diners. A reservation is a must during prime hours and can be made by calling the number above.




We started with the Swiss Fondue ($24) shared among three of us and there was plenty to go around. A blend of Swiss cheeses, white wine, and kirschwasser (a clear German cherry brandy), heated in a traditional fondue pot and served with plenty of chunky French bread pieces. It was a bit pricey, but delicious and as good as any fondue I have had.
For entrees, my friend's wife had the Emince Zurichoise ($14.50), thin slices of pork sautéed in a mushroom cream sauce reminiscent of Zurich and accompanied by handmade spätzle. Each entree was preceded by a cup of soup de jour (a creamy potato leek) or house salad with their signature dressing and their crusty, piping hot French bread.


My friend Mike ordered the special of the day, Chicken Valaisanne ($17.50), two chicken breast halves smothered with sauteed tomatoes and onions and melted raclette cheese perched atop a bed of spinach and accompanies by their famous rösti, crispy Swiss hash browns infused with bacon and onions ... YUM!
I had the traditional Wienerschnitzel ($14.50), breaded pork cutlets sautéed in and topped with browned butter. I ordered a side of the Zurichoise mushroom cream sauce ($2) for my schnitzel and rösti, a wise choice because it made for a perfect combination similar to the Rahmschnitzel sauce I have enjoyed in Germany on many occasions. The cutlets were smaller and thinner than most I have had, but after the fondue and soup, I was quite glad that they were not of the traditional behemoth variety and was able to finish my plate.
Schnitzel Sans Gravy

Schnitzel With Gravy
A delightful and fortunate find on Yelp, we enjoyed our meal immensely, the service was friendly and efficient, and the prices very fair for the quality of the menu offerings. The only drawbacks were the smallish size of the restaurant and the somewhat limited menu.

CombatCritic Gives Swiss Hibiscus A Nearly Perfect 9 Bombs Out Of 10 ... More Bombs Are Better
Nine Bombs Equates To:

"U.S. Marine Response To A Verbal Greeting Or As An Expression Of Enthusiasm"

Read Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp - Elite '14/'15/'16

Tabelog - Official Judge (Bronze)

Zomato - #1 Ranked Foodie

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Swiss Hisbiscus Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Swiss HibiscusSwiss Hibiscus


Tabelog Reviewer CombatCriticView my food journey on Zomato!





Title: Portland, OR: Do Not Miss This Swiss Delight In The Quaint Northeast Alberta Neighborhhod

Key Words: Swiss Hibiscus, Swiss, hibiscus, Switzerland, German, French, Austrian, Alberta, Portland, Oregon, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, restaurant, menu, review, Yelp, Zomato, Tabelog

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Fairview, OR: Good Food, Small Portions, And Moderate Prices Left Me Fendering For More

Bumpers Grill and Bar

21935 NE Halsey Street, Suite 100
Fairview, OR 97024
Phone: (503) 618-1855
Website: bumpersgrill.com
Prices: $$$$

Stopped for lunch with some friends because they had their cute little doggie with them and Bumpers has a patio where our furry little companion was welcome.
The patio was nice on that sunny Portland day with little wind and our server was friendly and efficient. I had the French Dip ($12.99), my friend had the Baja Tacos ($13.99), and his better half had a Classic Caesar Salad ($10.99) and the Parmesan Encrusted Chicken Medallions ($9.99) appetizer.
The food was good, but I was not overly impressed with the quality to portion to price ratio. The roll my French dip came on was rather small, one of the smallest sandwich rolls I have seen, especially for a $13 French dip, and the crinkle cut fries were sparse and a tad greasy. My friend's Baja tacos looked good, but for $14 all he got were two flour tortillas with some small battered cod pieces, a slew of cole slaw, some pico de gallo, and a couple avocado slices with some tortilla chips and a thimble of salsa. His wife's Caesar salad was not impressive at all for the $11 price and the $10 chicken was tasty, but there were only four small medallions, a few carrot sticks and some ranch dressing.
Don't get me wrong, what food we got was pretty good, but there was not all that much bang for the buck and at $60 for lunch for three with only ice tea and water to drink, it was not an exceedingly great value.
CombatCritic Gives Bumpers Bar And Grill A Very Average 5 Bombs Out Of 10 ... More Bombs Are Better!

Five Bombs Equates To:


Read Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp - Elite '14/'15/'16

Tabelog - Official Judge (Bronze)

Zomato - #1 Ranked Foodie

View my food journey on Zomato!



... And Don't Forget To Subscribe To TravelValue TV on YouTube

Bumpers Grill & Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Tabelog Reviewer CombatCriticView my food journey on Zomato!



Title: Fairview, OR: Good Food, Small Portions, And Moderate Prices Left Me Fendering For More

Key Words: Bumpers Grill and Bar, Bumpers, bar, grill, Fairview, Gresham, OR, Oregon, Halsey, 503-618-1855, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, restaurant, menu, review, Yelp, Zomato, Tabelog

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Airbnb - Eureka, CA: Terri Dropped The Ball And Airbnb Fumbled For A Safety

Serene Views (Terri)
Eureka, CA, United States

As a frequent traveler and regular Airbnb customer, I made an "Instant Book" reservation for the very first time at Terri's "Serene Views", a private room in Eureka, California with this description:
"My place is close to close to beaches, Old Town, Henderson Center, Hiking, Parks, great views, restaurants and dining. You’ll love my place because it is in a beautiful, private, quiet neighborhood overlooking the golf course, tucked into a green belt forest with a comfy bed, private bathroom, use of the kitchen and big private backyard"
It's "close to close beaches", must be pretty damn close, anyway ... Instant Book is a feature that allows you to enter your dates of travel and if a listing's calendar has no occupancy during that time, you can get an instant "confirmed" reservation instead of waiting for the owner to get back to you. Sometimes it takes days to get a confirmed reservation from some of these ding-a-lings, so when I saw what looked like a nice place at a good price, I cancelled a reservation I had made on another site and booked with Eureka Terri ... BIG MISTAKE!

Here is my confirmed Instant Book reservation:

An hour-and-a-half later, I got a message from Terri:
"Looking forward to meeting you!"
BUT ... nearly four hours later, as I was prepping for my trip, I received this surprising and inadequate message from Terri:
"My family requests a visit during this time. Hope you find a suitable replacement. Thank you."
Here was Airbnb's CONFIRMATION OF MY CANCELLATION:
UNSAT ... FUBAR ... My week in Eureka is now Tango-Uniform  and I am scrambling to find a place to stay for a week in my price range ... thanks, for nothing Terri and Airbnb!
Now I'm going to have to pay hundreds of dollars more because some Airbnb Airhead, an unprofessional newbie, could not keep her calendar up-to-date. It makes Airbnb look bad because they condone this behavior and should not have been allowed. What is the purpose of Instant Book if your confirmed reservation can simply be cancelled on a whim by the host? Useless ... both Instant Book and Airbnb's response to the situation because when I sent them a message communicating my dismay, all I got was an automated response telling me, to paraphrase: "we're too busy and important to respond to every customer ... sorry, you are on your own bub!"

CombatCritic Gives Eureka Terri And Airbnb 1 Bomb Out Of 10 And A Spot On MY WALL OF SHAME ... More Bombs Are Better!

One Bomb Equates To:

Read Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp - Elite '14/'15/'16

Tabelog - Official Judge (Bronze)

Zomato - #1 Ranked Foodie

View my food journey on Zomato!



... And Don't Forget To Subscribe To TravelValue TV on YouTube


Tabelog Reviewer CombatCriticView my food journey on Zomato!





Title: Airbnb - Eureka, CA: Terri Dropped The Ball And Airbnb Fumbled For A Safety

Key Words: Airbnb, Airbnb.com, Terri, Eureka, California, room, private, serene, view, accommodation, hotel, reservation, confirmed, cancellation, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, review, Yelp

Translation for Civilians: FUBAR = "Fucked Up Beyond All Repair"