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By C.T. Sorrentino “His Holiness”. I first saw him on TV, a documentary, 60 Minutes, I forget exactly where or when, but he i...

Monday, December 10, 2057

Countries Visited ... So Far ... 41 And Counting!

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 List (Alphabetical)

 Bahrain – Kingdom of Bahrain
 Belgium – Kingdom of Belgium
 Bosnia and Herzegovina
 Bulgaria – Republic of Bulgaria
 Canada
 Croatia – Republic of Croatia
 Czech Republic
 Greenland (Kalaallit Nunaat/Grønland)
 France – French Republic
 Germany – Federal Republic of Germany
 Greece – Hellenic Republic
 Holy See
 Hungary
 India – Republic of India
 Ireland
 Israel
 Italy – Italian Republic
 Jamaica
 Japan
 Korea, South – Republic of Korea
 Luxembourg – Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
 Macedonia – Republic of Macedonia
 Malta – Republic of Malta
 Mexico – United Mexican States
 Micronesia – Federated States of Micronesia
 Monaco – Principality of Monaco
 Montenegro
 Netherlands
 Palau – Republic of Palau
 Palestine - State of Palestine
 Portugal – Portuguese Republic
 San Marino – Republic of San Marino
 Saudi Arabia – Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
 Slovenia – Republic of Slovenia
 Spain – Kingdom of Spain
 Switzerland – Swiss Confederation
 Tunisia – Republic of Tunisia
 Turkey – Republic of Turkey
 United Arab Emirates
 United Kingdom – United Kingdom of Great Britain    and Northern Ireland
 United States – United States of America
 - Guam
 - Puerto Rico

Read Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp - "GOLD" Elite '14/'15/'16/'17/'18/'19 650,000+ Views A Year

Tabelog - Official Judge (Silver)


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View my food journey on Zomato!





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


View my food journey on Zomato!

Title: Countries Visited ... So Far ... 41 And Counting!

Key Words: countries, country, nation, capitol, Google Maps, Google, map, maps, city, state, world, earth, visit, visited, traveler, 44, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, Yelp

Sunday, December 10, 2056

Why Should You Read My Reviews And Subscribe To TravelValue?



I served my country in the United States Air Force for over 20 years and have visited 44 countries over the last 35 years, all without spending over $75 per night for a nice hotel room and dining in excellent restaurants for well under $25 per person. How do I do it? Through diligent research, exploration, trial and error, and tapping local knowledge.
Would you like to stay in a central, 3-star hotel in a major city for under $20 per night? How about a room with a balcony and view of the Himalayas while attending teachings with the Dalai Lama for just $5 per night? Or a beachfront hotel for $13 per night? Maybe a meal prepared by a 5-star chef for less than $20? Well, you have come to the right place ...


Having several popular travel blogs CombatCritic.com and received numerous accolades from several of the top travel and restaurant websites/apps (Yelp, TripAvisor, Zomato, Tabelog, Booking.com), you can trust my opinions. 

Unlike many reviewers who are either afraid to tell the truth or have personal relationship with businesses and biased views, I reserve 5-stars (10 Bombs on my blog) for only the most flawless restaurants, accommodations, businesses, attractions and destinations, those where you absolutely and without a doubt get the most “bang-for-the-buck”. 
CombatCritic.com

I try to remain as objective as possible in all of my reviews, providing the pros and cons as I see them and a rating based on the overall “value” as compared to similar entities in similar locations. I accept no "freebies" and only identify myself as a critic after having been a customer and paid the bill, so you can trust my reviews.

Here is a breakdown of my ratings both on my blogs (where I use a ten point scale) and on travel and dining websites (that all use 5 point Likert-type scales) ...

If I hate a place, they get 1-2 Bombs (1-star)

If so-so with numerous”issues", they get 3-4 Bombs (2-stars)

If average (the vast majority of businesses fall into this category if you look at the distribution of my ratings), they get 5-6 Bombs (3-stars)

If above average, they get 7-8 Bombs (4-stars)

If they are one of the very rare “best of the best” values in my experience, they get 9-10 Bombs (5-stars – I always round up from bombs to stars because I use a 10 point Likert-type scale in order to be more discernible). 

Now that you understand my philosophy and ratings, on to my reviews …

CombatCritic

The Leader In Getting Travelers The Most "Bang-for-the-Buck"

"Follow Me To TraveValue"
CombatCritic's "TravelValue" Channel




Read More Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp - "Gold" Elite '14/'15/'16 /'17 / '18

Tabelog - Official Judge (Silver)

Zomato - #1 Ranked "Verified" 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: Why Should You Read My Reviews And Subscribe To My Blog?

Key Words: combatcritic, travelvalue, travel, value, combat, critic, review, reviews, objective, restaurant, hotel, attraction, destination, Italy, USA, India, Asia, Europe

Monday, November 25, 2019

Honolulu, HI: One Sun Of A Beach, If You Can Gain Access

Hickam Beach and Picnic Area
Hickam Air Force Base
Hickam AFB, HI 96853
Prices: FREE

We flew space-available (Space-A) on a US Air Force aircraft to and from Honolulu, Hawaii this past February on a C-17 and KC-135 tanker. Because I am retired military, my wife and I can fly for free and have access to US military installations around the world ... HOOAH!



Adjacent to the popular Lanai at Mamala Bay on the Hickam Air Force Base side of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, with its' spectacular views, this sandy beach is long and semi-narrow with a southern exposure looking out over the blue Pacific.
The two times we were at Hickam Beach this past February, the water was clear and calm with hardly a wave. The beach faces open sea, but is protected by a peninsula created by the runways at Honolulu International Airport and Hickam AFB, a similar exposure as Waikiki which is almost always very calm. There seems to be a very gentle slope once in the water, so I think it would be a great place for families to enjoy themselves.
A great place to spend the day or evening, unfortunately, you must have a military ID to access the base and beach, so civilians will need to buddy-up with an ID holder to visit the beach and Lanai at Mamala Bay.

CombatCritic Gives Hickam Beach 9 Bombs Out Of 10 ... More Bombs Are Better!
Nine Bombs Equates To:

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

Read More Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp "GOLD" ELITE '14/'15/'16/'17/'18/'19 
  • 650,000+ Views A Year
Read Chris S.'s review of Hickam Beach and Picnic Area on Yelp

Tabelog - Official Judge - "Silver"

Zomato - #1 Ranked "VERIFIED" CONNOISSEUR (13) - Over  4 Million Review And Photo Views ... And Counting #1 Reviewer in Portland, Oregon!
Booking.com - Frequent Traveler "Genius"

Google Maps - "Top Photographer" With Over 3 Million Views!

View my food journey on Zomato!

View my food journey on Zomato!

View my food journey on Zomato!

... And Don't Forget To Subscribe To TravelValue TV on YouTube and our sister channel, CombatCounselor Chronicleswith Over 1,250 Subscribers and 1,000,000 Video Views ... HOOAH!

Title: Honolulu, HI: One Sun Of A Beach, If You Can Gain Access

Key Words: Hickam Beach, Hickam, AFB, air, force, base, beach, sand, picnic, Lanai at Mamala Bay, lanai, mamala, bay, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, destination, review, Yelp


Copyright 2019 - 3rd Wave Media Group And CombatCritic ™ - All Rights Reserved

Aloha (Portland), OR: Just Like My Nonna (Grandma) Used To Make ... Almost

Nonna Emilia Ristorante Italiano
17210 SW Shaw Street
Aloha, OR 97007
Phone number: (503) 649-2232
Website: nonnaemilia.com
Prices: $$$$

I do not make it over this way often, but when I do, I always stop by Nonna Emilia for some of their Veal Parmigiana ($24.95 - breaded milk-fed veal cutlets baked with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese), but on this occasion I decided to try their Veal Manzo ($25.95 - milk-fed veal medallions in a rich gravy with fresh mushrooms and white wine) instead. Good chow, great decision! The veal was tender and the sauce wonderful, coming with a plethora of fresh mushrooms ... HOOAH!

My wife had Portabella Mushroom Ravioli (in a Marsala cream sauce - $18.95) although the cream in the sauce was not very evident. The ravioli were cooked perfectly  and the sauce was tasty although there could have been a little more of it because they were a little dry by the time they reached our table.
My son got the Ravioli al Formaggio ($18.95), a four cheese blend of ravioli in a parmesan cream sauce topped with a dab of marinara. He had hoped for a bit more marinara on top, but was very happy with the dish overall.
My son's lady friend ordered the Veggie Calzone ($17.95 fresh mushrooms, olives, green peppers, onions, blend of cheeses, and marinara sauce) minus the cheeses because she is vegan. However, when it arrived at the table, it had melted cheese sprinkled on top. The server caught the error right away, taking it back for the vegan version which took another 20 minutes. Our server was kind enough to remove the calzone from the bill due to the faux pas.

As usual, the massive meals come with a small antipasto, soup or salad, and garlic bread, so we all ended up taking half of our meals home with us for lunch the next day. Hey, two meals for the price of one brought the value of the $104 bill, including tip, down to just $52 ($12.50 per meal) ... KA-CHING!

Combat Critic Gives Nonna Emilia 8 Bombs Out Of 10 ... More Bombs Are Better!
Eight Bombs Equates To:

Translation for Civilians: "What-The-Fuck ... Over!"

Read More Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp "GOLD" ELITE '14/'15/'16/'17/'18/'19 
  • 650,000+ Views A Year
Read Chris S.'s review of Nonna Emilia Ristorante Italiano on Yelp

Nonna Emilia Ristorante Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Zomato - #1 Ranked "VERIFIED" CONNOISSEUR (13) - Over  4 Million Review And Photo Views ... And Counting #1 Reviewer in Portland, Oregon!
Tabelog - Official Judge - "Silver"

Booking.com - Frequent Traveler "Genius"

Google Maps - "Top Photographer" With Over 3 Million Views!

View my food journey on Zomato!

View my food journey on Zomato!

View my food journey on Zomato!

... And Don't Forget To Subscribe To TravelValue TV on YouTube and our sister channel, CombatCounselor Chronicleswith Over 1,250 Subscribers and 1,000,000 Video Views ... HOOAH!

Title: Aloha (Portland), OR: Just Like My Nonna (Grandma) Used To Make ... Almost

Key Words: Aloha, Portland, OR, Nonna Emilia, nonna, Emilia, grandma, Italian, Italy, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, restaurant, menu, review, Yelp, Zomato, Google, Facebook


Copyright 2019 - 3rd Wave Media Group And CombatCritic ™ - All Rights Reserved

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Washougal, WA: Peggy's Place Revisited - Lessons Learned? Nope!

Peggy's Place
3010 Evergreen Highway
Washougal, WA 98671
Phone: (360) 210-5500
Website: NONE
Prices: $$$$

I guess Peggy did not appreciate my previous 4-star (8 out of 10 bombs) Yelp review this past Easter - that review was selected, by the way, as Yelp Portland's Review of the Day, aka ROTD, on 6/23/19 - after having sent her the link via Messenger where we had been talking based on her interest in my assistance as a new restaurant owner. However, I never even got a thank you, FU, or anything else for that matter. Having managed large military organizations in my 20-year career and several successful businesses since, I foolishly thought that my 10+ years of experience could help a local business owner get on her feet as quickly as possible. Because I am a firm believer in supporting local businesses, I had offered my assistance last March and Peggy initially seemed very receptive, but when I returned with my wife, son and his girlfriend for breakfast last weekend to see what had changed, I was quite discouraged by what I saw.

The first thing I noticed was the chalkboard behind the cash register advertising Key Lime Pie for $25 (whole pie) or $6 for a slice as well as Cheesecake going for $45 per pie and $8 a slice. I had assumed that customers might get 1/6 of a pie for the quoted prices, but right beside the register is their dessert display case with rather small slices of key lime pie and cheesecake, likely 1/8 of a pie in size. Do the math. Apparently, she decided to blow off my suggestions as well as my concerns about her $8 biscuits and gravy in my first review.


The place is bright and clean, and we were seated right away. The menu is very much the same as last time and her prices on most items are spot-on, even lower than some other local eateries. My son ordered the classic breakfast - 2 eggs, hash browns, choice of meat, and toast for $9;  his girlfriend, who is vegan, ordered a "vegan" Breakfast Burrito ($10) with "NO MEAT, NO EGGS, AND NO CHEESE, only hash browns and veggies"; my wife had her usual, the French Toast ($9) which came with 2 slices of bacon; and, finally, I asked for a Half Order of Biscuits and Gravy ($5), making it "A Meal" for $4 more by adding 2 eggs and 2 slices of bacon, and adding a side of hash browns ($2 more for a total of $11).


My son was quite happy with his classic breakfast, but the bacon was way too dark and crispy, likely because they were about to close and decided that they had to use the rest of the food that had been sitting around for God knows how many hours. The eggs seemed to be cooked as ordered - over medium.



His girlfriend's $10 VEGAN breakfast burrito was tiny for the price and it came with a big GLOB OF SOUR CREAM just a fraction of an inch from the burrito. She thought about saying something, but decided to bite the bullet. When people identify a special diet or food allergy to a server when ordering, a restaurant MUST  ensure that the food is prepared as ordered with ZERO cross-contamination because that is what the customer wants and a simple mistake could result in death. Oops!


My wife's french toast was identical to our last visit and she liked it very much, but this time her bacon was also too burnt to eat, so she tossed the slices on my plate. Her coffee was bland and weak, a total disappointment after the Hawaiian blend they served on Easter.



When my biscuit (singular) and gravy, bacon, and eggs (over-medium) arrived in a bowl, I was a bit surprised and could not see the eggs until I realized that they were under the biscuit and gravy! Fortunately, for me and them, I like to toss my biscuit, gravy, bacon, eggs, and hash browns into a pile, cut them in to bite size chunks, and enjoy the enmeshment of flavors ... YUM! Alas, my bacon was the same as the rest, but I also do not mind crunchy on the continuum of bacon choices. My sole issue was that my over-medium eggs were served over-easy, a faux pas that a predominantly breakfast restaurant should not be making. Again, I am more flexible than many and it was not a biggy as far as I was concerned. As we say in the US Air Force: "Flexibility if the key to Air Power" ... HOOAH!


There is still no Peggy's Place website, no menu posted online (other than the one I posted last Easter and it was removed from Yelp for some unknown reason), no advertising, and zero social media presence, all things I recommended earlier this year. They have not even claimed their Yelp page and most likely have not read their negative (and positive) reviews. 


If business owners neither listen to their customers nor understand advertising in this day and age, the likelihood is, ultimately, failure. Most new restaurants close their doors within the first two years and I hope that does not happen here, so I seriously hope Peggy's Place is prospering despite my serious concerns.


CombatCritic Gives Peggy's Place A Very Generous 4 Bombs Out Of 10 - A 4 Bomb Deduction From Last Easter - More Bombs Are Better!

Four Bombs Equates To:
Translation for Civilians: "Bend Over, Here It Comes Again"

Read More Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp "GOLD" ELITE '14/'15/'16/'17/'18/'19 
  • 650,000+ Views A Year
Read Chris S.'s review of Peggy's Place on Yelp

Peggy's Place Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tabelog - Official Judge - "Silver"


Zomato - #1 Ranked "VERIFIED" CONNOISSEUR (13) - Over  4 Million Review And Photo Views ... And Counting #1 Reviewer in Portland, Oregon!
Booking.com - Frequent Traveler "Genius"

Google Maps - "Top Photographer" With Over 3 Million Views!

View my food journey on Zomato!

View my food journey on Zomato!

View my food journey on Zomato!

... And Don't Forget To Subscribe To TravelValue TV on YouTube and our sister channel, CombatCounselor Chronicleswith Over 1,250 Subscribers and 1,000,000 Video Views ... HOOAH!

Title: Washougal, WA: Peggy's Place Revisited - Lessons Learned? Nope!

Key Words: Washougal, WA: Peggy's Place, Peggy's, Peggy, place, Portland, OR, breakfast, lunch, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, restaurant, menu, review, Yelp, Zomato, Google, Facebook


Copyright 2019 - 3rd Wave Media Group And CombatCritic ™ - All Rights Reserved

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