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His Holiness and I

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...

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Washougal, WA: SOLID - Shelby's Rivals KC Barbecue, Some Of The Best You Can Get

Shelby's Grille
419 E Street
Washougal, WA 98671
Phone number: (360) 835-1103
Prices: $$$$

SOLID. No BS here like I had at a place in downtown Washougal recently, Shelby's has fresh, hot food (not frozen); excellent and friendly service; and fair prices. What more can you ask for?



It was chow time, so we headed to Shelby's for the first time and I am not quite sure why we waited so long because I had heard good things about them. The decor is simple and nostalgic with tasteful maple wainscoting and knick-knacks adorning the walls. Best of all, it was very clean! We were met with a smile and a welcome, then taken immediately to a booth in the main dining room (the pub-style lounge was also an option).

I asked about happy hour and was told that it was from 2-5pm daily in the lounge, so we were a bit late anyway. Their happy hour food menu looked appealing with a few real bargains like a hamburger or BBQ sandwich for $7 or street tacos for $3 a piece. I was a bit dismayed by their happy hour drink discounts with just 50¢ off of wells ($8-$11), wine ($9), and beer ($6). Their drinks are not particularly cheap, so a food deal is definitely in order.
My wife got the Mushroom and Havarti Burger ($13) with grilled mushrooms, caramelized onions, lettuce, tomato and garlic mayo, coming with a large side o' fries, a relative bargain in this town ... HOOAH! Her meal was hot, obviously freshly made, and very tasty. The meat looked fresh and the Havarti was real cheese, not the processed cheese-like squares some places serve their customers.

I had a hankerin' for some BBQ, so I asked for the Brisket Plate ($14.50) with 6 ounces of brisket so tender and juicy that you could cut it with a fork, choice of two sides (fries, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, hush puppies, brussel sprouts and bacon, etc. - I had the fries and hush puppies), choice of BBQ sauce, and cornbread and butter. The brisket was scrummy, perfectly cooked and seasoned, and the fries were cut in house and hot and crispy, just like I like them. The brisket rivaled some of the best BBQ I had during our 11 years living in Kansas City, a city where you can find some of the best BBQ in the world. The hush puppies were also very good, crispy outside and soft and moist inside although I could taste neither the bacon nor the jalapeños purportedly contained therein. 

The only negatives were minor ones: the temperature inside (could have been 4-5 degrees cooler); the minuscule happy hour drink discount; and the honey for the cornbread we were promised, but which never quite materialized. Those minor infractions were the only things separating this review from a perfect rating, a rating I do not routinely hand out as readily as many other reviewers do. So there ya have it ... good grub!

CombatCritic Gives Shelby's Grille 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 Shelby's Grille on Yelp

Shelby's Bar & Grill 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: SOLID - Shelby's Rivals KC Barbecue, Some Of The Best You Can Get

Key Words: Washougal, WA, Shelby's Grille, Shelby's, grille, grill, brisket, KC, Kansas City, barbecue, BBQ, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, restaurant, menu, review, Yelp, Zomato


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

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Ridgefield, WA: Yelp Elites Treated Like Kings And Queens By "His Airness"

Elite Event: High Steaks Gambling @ Michael Jordan Steakhouse
1 Cowlitz Way
Ridgefield, WA 98642
Prices: $$$$

Being Elite is pretty awesome, especially when we get pampered like we did at Yelp"s High Steaks Elite Event at Michael Jordan Steakhouse at the Ilani Casino.
Met at the entrance of the restaurant with a large glass of Cherry-Raspberry Sangria, we were escorted to a private room in the back and a private terrace with several large Adirondack chairs around a large gas fire pit as well as a couple of high tops and chairs. We were warmly welcomed by the manager and chef as platters full of appetizers arrived, Steak House Bruschetta (shaved USDA prime steak and chimichurri bleu cheese) and Ahi Tuna Poke Bites (Ahi tuna, avocado, sweet onion, and wonton crisp). I am not a raw fish or poke fan, but the steak house bruschetta was delicious. 




We were then given a tour of the restaurant, including the restaurant's wine cellar and kitchen, before heading back to our private room for a family-style feast. There were two tables with 7-8 of us at each and each table received platters full of starters, including Garlic Bread topped with a hot bleu cheese fondue, Double Smoked Bacon in a black maple pepper sauce, and New Orleans Style Barbecue Shrimp. I did not get to taste the bacon, but the shrimp were scrumptious and the garlic bread sublime. More drinks accompanied the starters, for me a tasty Old Fashioned made by muddling sugar with bitters, then adding whiskey and a twist of citrus rind.











Next came two massive wood platters full of 40 ounces of sliced USDA steak, a ribeye, a New York strip, and a Delmonico (a thick ribeye made popular by New York City's Delmonico's restaurant) all served medium-rare. Accompanying the steaks were a number of side dishes scattered about, including a zesty corn off the cob, fried brussel sprouts, mashed potatoes, and mac and cheese. The steaks were perfectly seasoned, juicy and tender, so tender that it nearly melted in my mouth, and the sides were all delicious in their own right. This course was accompanied by a glass of wine, a smooth, blend of Pacific Northwest reds.
The grand finale consisted of two massive slices of 21 Layer Chocolate Cake and two large bowl full of Warm Peach Cobbler at each table to be shared and savored by all ... WOW!

I was extremely impressed with the location, environment, drinks, service and food. The staff's hospitality was superb the entire evening and they even took the time to line-up to bid us farewell as we departed this incredible event ... HOOAH!

CombatCritic Gives Elite Event: High Steaks Gambling @ Michael Jordan Steakhouse 10 Bombs Out Of 10 And A Spot On My "WALL OF FAME" ... More Bombs Are Better!

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 
  • 650,000+ Views A Year
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: Ridgefield, WA: Yelp Elites Treated Like Kings And Queens By "His Airness"

Key Words: Ridgefield, WA, Ilani, casino, Yelp, Elite, Michael Jordan, Michael, Jordan, steak, house His Airness, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, restaurant, menu, review, Yelp, Facebook, Portland, 

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

Monday, August 5, 2019

White Salmon, WA: Affordable White Water Rafting Not Far From Portland, Oregon

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 White Water Rafting Not Far From Portland, Oregon

Key Words: White Salmon, WA, affordable, white water rafting, white, water rafting, Portland, Oregon, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, destination, service, business, review, Yelp, Zomato, Google, Facebook


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

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