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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...

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

White Salmon, WA: Affordable Whitewater Rafting Just An Hour From Portland

River Drifters
856 Hwy 141
White Salmon, WA 98672
Phone number: (800) 972-0430
Prices: $$$$

Whether you are visiting the greater Portland area or live here full-time, some decent whitewater rafting is just an hour to an hour-and-a-half up the Columbia River Gorge on a tributary originating from the glaciers of Mount Adams and better known as the White Salmon River. 

The price ($60 weekday/$65 weekend) seemed fair enough for a 3.5 hour whitewater rafting trip, but the first hour plus was consumed by a safety briefing, putting on a wetsuit, booties, helmet, and life vest, then driving seven miles upstream to begin our trip. We finished about 30 minutes early, so you can plan on having less than 2 hours on the river itself.

The staff were all a bunch of "gnarly dudes", reminding me of Ridgemont High's Jeff Spicoli ("People on 'ludes should not drive") and equally suited for shredding waves as they are for whitewater rafting guides. There were four or five on the ancient Blue Bird bus, all making goofy jokes along the seven mile journey to start our trip.

Once we finally got on the river, there was a succession of rapids that were fun and exciting. However, after the first few Class III and IV rapids, there was not much excitement. We floated for what seemed like the last half of the trip with nary a thrill. The canyon was spectacular and quite beautiful, so it was not a total waste, but I would have preferred a few more thrills spread out over the entire trip. 

The highlight of the trip was the jump into the river after portage around a waterfall midway downstream. The canyon was narrow, so we had to jump into the middle of the river 20 feet below in order to miss the submerged ledge, plunging into the 41 degree Fahrenheit glacial runoff from nearby Mount Adams ... BRRRRRRRRR!

I told the guides about being a disabled veteran with knee, back and shoulder issues, but I was made to feel like a burden, a PITA, and was not allowed to go over the falls with my son and teammates at the end of the trip. I was not given an option by the guide and felt ripped off.

Lesson Learned: Don't put people with mobility/knee problems in the front of the raft. I nearly fell out of the raft three times sitting front-left because I couldn't get a decent foothold and the guide took several drops with my side facing downhill, causing me to lose my balance. Once he put me in the back row, I was able to anchor my feet under the seat in front of me and had no further issues.

Not a bad deal in retrospect, but the trip would have been much more fun for me had they put me in the rear of the raft from the beginning and allowed me to participate in the grand finale with my son and three other teammates.

CombatCritic Gives River Drifters 6 Bombs Out Of 10 ... More Bombs Are Better!
Six Bombs Equates To:


Translation for Civilians: "Good To Go"

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 River Drifters 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: White Salmon, WA: Affordable Whitewater Rafting Just An Hour From Portland

Key Words: White Salmon, WA, affordable, whitewater, rafting, river, Portland, OR, River Drifters, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, service, business, review, Yelp, Zomato, Google, Facebook

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

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Stevenson, WA: I Am Not Bluffing, This Place Is A Definite TravelValue

Red Bluff Taphouse
256 2nd Street
Stevenson, WA 98648
Phone number: (509) 427-4979
Website: redblufftaphouse.com
Prices: $$$$

After a day of exhilarating whitewater rafting on the White Salmon River, we were parched, famished, and hankerin' for some decent chow. Stevenson was right on our way home, so we checked out the menus of some of the local eateries and Red Bluff Taphouse took the cake.



Established in 2016, the place has not been there very long, but it is very welcoming with lots of wood and light from the large windows facing the street. The dining room is not huge, but they have a separate bar area and a small terrace overlooking their neighbors and the mighty Columbia River just a few blocks away. Unfortunately, there was no room on the terrace, so we took a booth in the front near the street.
I ordered the Fortside Newest IPA (Vancouver, WA - 6.8 ABV, 61 IBU) and my son got the Buoy Beer Cream Ale (Astoria, OR - 5.7% ABV, 19 IBU). My IPA was smooth and hoppy, but not the best I have had by far. I tasted my son's cream ale and it was also quite tasty. At $5.75 a pop, beer is not a huge bargain here by Pacific NW standards, but I have seen much worse.
Fortside Newest IPA $5.75
We both chose a burger for our meal, one Shoulda, Gouda, Woulda ($15) with bacon (+$1.50) for me and the Tap House Burger ($14) for my son. The burgers were thick and large, obviously handmade, and cooked to perfection, coming on a large, toasted potato bun. Mine came with Gouda cheese and their signature bacon jam along with the fresh lettuce and tomato as well as a massive portion of crispy, homemade, hand-cut fries ... HOOAH!
Shoulda, Gouda, Woulda $15

Shoulda, Gouda, Woulda $15

Tap House Burger $14

The service was friendly and efficient even though our server never bothered telling us her name. The food was delicious, fresh, not frozen, and filling for the price. At $55 for dinner for two and two pints of craft beer, including tip, I have to say that we made a good choice.
CombatCritic Gives Red Bluff Taphouse 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 Red Bluff Taphouse on Yelp

Tabelog - Official Judge - "Silver"

Red Bluff Taphouse 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!


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: Stevenson, WA: I Am Not Bluffing, This Place Is A Definite TravelValue

Key Words: Stevenson, WA, Red Bluff Taphouse, red, bluff, taphouse, tap, house, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, restaurant, menu, review, Yelp, Zomato, TripAdvisor, Google, Facebook


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

Friday, July 19, 2019

London, England: British Airways Dropped The Ball And Could Care Less

British Airways
Waterside
Speedbird Way
Harmondsworth
West Drayton (Heathrow) UB7 0GA
United Kingdom
Phone number: +44 844 493 0787
Prices: $$$$

British Airways used to be a top-notch airline, but that has obviously changed. Their handling of our reservation, ticketing, delays, and lost luggage during our trip this past winter was atrocious. We were diverted from our original itinerary after weather problems in Seattle, then we were stuck in Boston for 13 hours after no sleep and missing our flight to London Heathrow even though we arrived just in time to board because we were not issued boarding passes in Seattle.

Once we finally arrived in London, almost 2 days late, our luggage was nowhere to be found and BA could not even locate our bags in their system. Their lost baggage office in London was unfriendly and unhelpful. We finally received our bags after 4 days, just in time to depart the following day for Paris, and we were not compensated for the immense inconvenience of having to wear the same clothes for 4+ days and having none of the personal and hygienic items we had packed.

Fortunately, I brought my medications in my carry-on, so I did not have to try to replace them abroad, a great lesson learned, so it was not a total loss.  

BA used to be a great airline, but these days they gouge you for every little thing after buying your tickets and their legendary British customer service has deteriorated, making us feel unwelcome and unappreciated. We will stick with United or Lufthansa for our twice annual European flights from now on and I doubt BA cares in the least ... ADIOS YOU TOSSERS!

CombatCritic Gives British Airways 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 
  • 650,000+ Views A Year
Read Chris S.'s review of British Airways 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: London, England: British Airways Dropped The Ball And Could Care Less

Key Words: London, England, British Airways British, delay, cancellation. lost, luggage, baggage, airways, airplane, airline, England, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, business, review, Yelp, Zomato, Google, Facebook

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

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Washougal, WA: Post Script - The 2 Rivers Bar And Grill Attack And Debacle

2 Rivers Bar and Grill
1700 Main Street, Suite 110
Washougal, WA 98671
Phone number (360) 210-7987
Website: 2riversbar.com
Prices: $$$$

I deleted my original review after consulting with Yelp and the Washington State Attorney General about the slanderous public reply the owner of 2 Rivers Bar And Grill published on Yelp, calling me a "transient" (vagrant) and "creepy" (pervert) in order to try to cover up for their crappy, overpriced, frozen food and highly unprofessional behavior. Rather than apologize for my horrid experience, I was attacked with lies by the restaurant's owner. Let me briefly explain.

I had a horrendous experience here on Father's Day. When I first entered for dinner immediately after a round of golf at the local country club, it was not clear where to go based on the odd layout, so I stood in front of the bar while the bartender, who turned out to be the owner, Derik, stared at me for a few uncomfortable moments, then said "Can I help you?" Of course you can help me you jerk, do people come in to your restaurant to sit down and eat or go shopping? I replied with the obvious, "Yes, I would like to sit down and eat some food please" if it were not obvious enough for him. He also insulted me in front of fellow patrons, hollering out across the bar, "Should I take it outside so you can get a better picture?", as I took photos of my substandard hamburger, drink and the surrounding dining room as I always do when eating somewhere for the first time.

He later claimed in his blasphemous public reply to my review on Yelp that he mistook me for a transient who came in the week before, making excuses for my poor treatment when I first entered, even though I was wearing golf attire appropriate for a day on the links at the country club. Would a transient be wearing golf shorts, a new Under Armor golf shirt, Nike Air sneakers, and $200 Oakley sunglasses? He also claimed that I was secretly taking photos of the waitress, his wife apparently, who had her huge, fake boobs popping out of her tight, very low-cut blouse while I was simply taking a few photos during my experience to publish with my review. This guy and his wife are not just sick, they are compulsive liars.

I had contacted Derik last November, right after they opened, to see if they wanted to be included in my annual Veteran's Day list of local restaurants offering free or discounted meals to veterans and to be published on my popular food and travel blog. Free advertising, basically, as my blog gets over 60,000 visitors a year. Being a retired Air Force officer and disabled combat veteran, I try to do as much as I can for fellow vets because I am one and have worked extensively with active duty and Iraq/Afghanistan veterans as a licensed psychotherapist. Derik refused to acknowledge my offer even though he "claims" to be a veteran himself. 

So, when he attacked me publicly and defamed my character, even though he knew I was a veteran and food/travel writer, the gloves came off. You can read about their frozen food, terrible service, and unprofessional behavior in many other Yelp reviews, so I will not detail my experience any further here because it is now about more than that. Can you say defamation of character? This place will be closed soon enough because they are obviously struggling and with frozen food, even worse customer service, and unprofessional attacks against those who offer them constructive criticism, I predict they will not make it through another Pacific NW winter.
I support local businesses 100%, as I did with 2 Rivers Bar and Grill by offering them free advertising on my blog and keeping an open mind during my first visit (despite all of the negative comments about them on Yelp and other social media platforms - see below), so the last thing I want is for someone to fail. However, when I see someone like Derik, with ZERO experience in the highly competitive restaurant business and who attacks customers whom say anything negative, the writing is, unfortunately, on the wall for this sorry businessman.
Businesses that offer quality products, outstanding customer service, fair prices, and always act in a professional manner and with integrity have a much higher probability of succeeding in the extremely competitive hospitality industry. 2 Rivers Bar and Grill gets an "F" in all those categories to go along with their current "D+" rating by the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Nuff said.
In his reply full of lies, fake news, Derik lashed out with defamatory remarks about me, a highly decorated, disabled, combat veteran and retired U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel, but he neither addressed nor denied my review comments about his highly unprofessional behavior and extremely low-quality frozen foods, so my assessment must have been spot-on. What kind of lies will he make up when I publish this review I wonder? We will have to wait and see how low this turd of a human being will stoop in his treatment of a fellow veteran.

CombatCritic Gives 2 Rivers Bar And Grill An All-Time Low Rating ... 0 Bombs Out Of 10 And A Spot On My "WALL OF SHAME" ... More Bombs Are Better!
Translation for Civilians: "Fucked Up Beyond All Repair"


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 2 Rivers Bar and Grill 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: Washougal, WA: Post Script - The 2 Rivers Bar And Grill Attack And Debacle

Key Words:2 Rivers Bar and Grill, 2, rivers, bar, grill, Main,, Washougal, WA, 98671, 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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