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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:

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Tabelog - Official Judge (Silver)


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View my food journey on Zomato!





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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"

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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

Friday, January 21, 2022

Lisbon (Lisboa), Portugal: Ay Caramba, Great Mexican Food In Portugal!

El Cabron Tacos and Tequilas
Largo Santos 5 
1200-808 Lisbon, Portugal
Phone: 966 785 574
Prices: €€€€
Born in SoCal, LA to be precise, and a Texas resident for 20+ years, I know my Mexican food and this place is the real deal.
My wife and I attempted to eat here on our first visit to Lisbon in 2019, but they were closed, so we ate at a Capo Verde restaurant nearby, which was also good. Having brought my youngest son to Lisbon this time, we both had a hankerin' for Mexican food, so I relocated El Cabron and the rest is herstory (am I 'woke' ... NAHHH!).

We started with two 'House' Margaritas (€6 each - 2 liters for €35 was more than we could drink) and an order of Chips and Guacamole (€6 - full menu below).

The guac came with a smattering of chips, could have been more, and a small cup of some pretty decent guacamole, not as good as mine, but better than most.
We also asked for some red salsa and the server asked 'Habeñero?', to which I replied 'yes'. My butt will not like me tomorrow, but it was awesome.

The margaritas were not huge, maybe 10 ounces, but they were strong and some of the best I have had, in the States or anywhere else for that matter, for a long time. Maybe we should have gone for the two liters (€35)? No, that would have been too much (alcohol and money) for just two people.  A one liter option for €18 to €20 would have been nice, but we were told 'not gonna happen, wouldn't be prudent'.
I ordered the 'Fajitas' tacos (4 for €10), roasted pork, red onion, cilantro and guacamole, and my son had the "Crispy Chicken Burrito" (€9). Neither came with rice or beans, but the burrito came with some more chips and a little pico de gallo and a swirl of sour cream on top.
My four tacos came on "street taco' size corn tortillas with plenty o' pork and at least €6 worth of guacamole combined as well as some diced red onion, cilantro and sliced lime on the side. They were DELICIOUS!

I did not try my son's burrito, but he was very happy, so I took his word for it.
All in all, this was definitely the best, most authentic Mexican food I have had in Europe and was better than most 'average' Mexican restaurants in the US of A. The only drawbacks were 1) the skimpy number of chips that came with the guacamole; 2) the teeny, tiny thimble full of salsa we received; and 3) the lack of a one liter margarita option, bringing the price down to under €5 a glass.

CombatCritic Gives El Cabron 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/'20/'21 
  • Over 1.4 Million Views A Year
Read Chris S.'s review of El Cabron on Yelp

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El Cabron • Tacos y Tequilla Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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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!

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Title: Lisbon (Lisboa), Portugal: Ay Caramba, Great Mexican Food In Portugal!

Key Words: 
Lisbon, Lisboa, Portugal, Mexican Mexico, tacos, El Cabron, el, cabron, tequilla, Santos, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, restaurant, menu, business, review, Yelp, Zomato, TripAdvisor, Google, Facebook

Copyright 2022 - 3rd Wave Media Group And CombatCritic ™ - All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Hilo, Hawaii: Hawaiian Ukulele & Guitar & Ripoff Shop

Hawaiian Ukulele & Guitar
308 Kamehameha Avenue, Suite 105
Hilo, HI 96720, USA
(808) 315-2919
Prices: $$$$
When we visited Hilo in February of 2019, my initial impression of Robert Yates and Hawaiian Ukulele & Guitar was positive, so I took his advice this past January and ordered a handmade, solid mango baritone ukulele ($599) to be shipped to our home in Portugal ($802.27 including ukulele, bag, tax and shipping). I also wanted a pickup installed so I could eventually perform with the instrument, assuming that the electronic device would be of a similar quality to the ukulele. Having also assumed that for the $99 shipping charge, Robert would ship via Fedex, UPS or DHL, I figured that my new ukulele would arrive post haste.

I waited and waited and waited, but no ukulele had arrived almost a month later. Finally, I got an email from Portuguese Customs in Lisbon telling me that it had been sent through the US Post Office and they wanted another $300 in customs taxes and fees before it could be delivered in the end of March, more than two months after I ordered it. So, in the end, I paid $1,100 for a $600 ukulele. Would it be worth it?
I bought a small amplifier and cord from Amazon while waiting for my uke to arrive, but when I hooked it up to my brand new ukulele, there was nary an electronic sound that came out of it. I took a photo of the pickup and found it online, being sold for just $11, figuring out that it needed a battery that Yates did not bother telling me about. There were no instructions in the shipment and no humidifier, as Robert had promised he would include, so I was on my own. OK, battery installed, cord plugged in, amplifier on and ... all I got was static!

I noticed that the female input for the cord on the ukulele was loose, so I tried to tighten it, but still nothing. I adjusted the small dial on the tiny, cheap, plastic pickup and, still, nothing, so I wrote to Robert for help. 

I told him what the problem was and asked him what he could do to help me, but I was ignored. Here it is a year later and not a word from Robert. The 'nice guy' who took time to educate me in his shop dropped me like a hot potato once I figured out that my new acoustic/electric ukulele was not electric after all. He got his $800, so I was on my own and $1,100 poorer thanks to the crook Yates!

CombatCritic Gives Hawaiian Ukulele & Guitar 1 Bomb Out of 10 And A Spot On My 'WALL OF SHAME' ... More Bombs Are Better! 
One Bomb Equates To:
Translation for Civilians: "Fucked Up Beyond All Repair"

Read More Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp "GOLD" ELITE '14/'15/'16/'17/'18/'19/'20/'21 
  • Over 1.4 Million Views A Year
Read Chris S.'s review of Hawaiian Ukulele & Guitar on Yelp

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: Hilo, Hawaii: Hawaiian Ukulele & Guitar & Ripoff Shop

Key Words: Hilo, Hawaii, Hawaiian Ukulele & Guitar, ripoff, Hawaiian, ukulele, guitar, ripoff, 
CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, destination, product, business, review, Robert Yates, Yelp, Zomato, TripAdvisor, Google, Facebook

Copyright 2022 - 3rd Wave Media Group And CombatCritic ™ - All Rights Reserved

Sunday, January 2, 2022

Coimbra, Portugal: Historic, Epic, 1580 Manor House, Superb Hospitality, and a Terrific TravelValue!

Quinta do Regalo
N111, 3025-309 
Coimbra, Portugal
Phone: +351 962 045 695
Prices: €€€€
Upon reaching the Quinta do Regalo in Coimbra, you experience the exciting sensation of traveling back in time. The stony gate opens on a charming winding path, flanked by an abundance of flowers and trees that immediately make you feel welcome and at peace.
At the end of the driveway stands the house, a villa dating back to 1580 that has kept its charm intact through the centuries. Our hosts, Vitor and  and Helena, were waiting for us and showed us to our room, giving us a little time to put the bags away and refresh ourselves. 
There was a great attention to the latest anti-Covid measures: everyone was wearing masks, there was sanitizing gel in every corner and we were also provided with shoe covers to use inside. Needless to say, everything was spotlessly clean.
We were led to the back garden, overlooking the huge swimming pool and the countryside. Under an arched porch, we sipped freshly made lemonade with mint and some homemade cookies, while our host wrote down our info and gave us some tips concerning local restaurants.
We were then given a tour of the property, that is impressive. The house, embellished on the outside by a towering bougainvillea and lovely flowerbeds, has been kept as it was with the addition of modern comforts. The walls are covered in azulejo tiles, the furniture is mostly antique, the wood floors are shining clean with beautiful, strategically placed carpets scattered about. 
Our room was a little jewel and we really felt as if we were stepping back into the 16th century. Two windows overlooked the lawn and small gifts, including the delicious cookies and cakes, water and locally grown fruit, had been left for us on the table. The bathroom was modern, with a wide, comfortable shower and a huge double sink. Local ceramic and flowers, as well as a variety of luxurious towels and bathrobes, awaited us.




Adjacent to our room was a small sitting room with a wardrobe and, on the other side of the corridor, a huge living area with an inviting fireplace, a billiard table and, last but not least, a wall sized panel of hand painted and gorgeous azulejo. The attention to every small detail was stunning! 

The rest of the property was just as charming and incredibly well kept. We visited the chapel, no more in use but still elegant and solemn, and the surrounding land, where organic fruits and vegetables, grown on the spot, then reach then the guests’ table. Vitor was a knowledgeable host, proud and passionate about his place and his activity.

Breakfast was an unforgettable experience too. We were given the choice of eating inside at the huge dining table, surrounded by antique furniture and ceramic, or outside under the porch, overlooking the countryside and Coimbra. We opted to sit outside and were welcomed the following morning by a veritable buffet. 
Coffee, tea, muffins, ham, cheese, yoghurt, cereals, fresh fruit, jam, butter, freshly made scrambles eggs, coffee and teas … you name it! But the highlight was certainly the bread, freshly baked by Helena – who also gives baking lessons, by the way. There were several different kinds of bread in the basket, warm and soft, it was impossible to eat just one roll. Helena also bakes the cookies and the cakes that tempt you wherever you walk inside the house, so be warned that you will put on a couple of kilos at least.
The property is in the countryside and is very quiet, but it is actually a few minutes away from the city of Coimbra, so you have the best of two worlds: you are surrounded by relaxing greenery, but in less than fifteen minutes you can reach museums, restaurants and shops. 
Coimbra is a beautiful city that has a lot to offer and Quinta do Regalo is an ideal place to stay: you will be in touch with nature, pampered by two very attentive and kind hosts, and, at the same time, be near all the places you want to see.

CombatCritic Gives Quinta do Regalo 10 BOMBS OUT OF 10 and a spot on my WALL OF FAME!

Ten Bombs Equates To:


Translation for Civilians: 

HOOAH!: "Phonetic spelling of the acronym HUA, which stands for 'Heard Understood Acknowledged.' Originally used by the British in the late 1800's in Afghanistan. More recently adopted by the United States Army to indicate an affirmative or a pleased response." - Urban Dictionary

"The Department of Military Science and Leadership, University of Tennessee claim HOOAH 'refers to or means anything except no' ... Regardless of its meaning ... the term is an expression of high morale, confidence, motivation and spirit." - WarChronicle.com

"The U.S. Air Force stole 'HOOAH' from the Army because we were part of the Army until 1947 and rather than waste a bunch of time coming up with something new and unique like "ROO-YAH" or "HAL-A-LOO-YAH", we said 'screw it, let's go with HOOAH' ... thanks Army ... HOOAH!" - CombatCritic
Read More Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp "GOLD" ELITE '14/'15/'16/'17/'18/'19/'20/'21 
  • Over 1.4 Million Views A Year
Read Chris S.'s review of Quinta do Regalo on Yelp

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: Coimbra, Portugal: Historic, Epic, 1580 Manor House, Superb Hospitality, and a Terrific TravelValue!

Key Words: CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, restaurant, menu, hotel, accommodation, destination, business, review, Yelp, TripAdvisor, Google, Facebook, Quinta do Regalo, N111, Coimbra, Portugal

Copyright 2022 - 3rd Wave Media Group And CombatCritic ™ - All Rights Reserved

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