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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

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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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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

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Bilbao, Spain: I Propose A Toast To A Little Bit Of Bavaria In Central Bilbao ... SKOAL!

Ein Prosit (German)
Plaza del Ensanche 7
48009 Bilbao Spain
+34 944 24 13 11
Website
Prices: €€€€
I decided to try something a little different after having tasted numerous pintxos the two evenings prior, so I went with something difficult to find in Portugal where I live. German food .... HOOAH!
Ein Prosit looked to be the more authentic of the three I could find and I planned on being in that area around lunchtime anyway, so I stepped through the doors of what reminded me somewhat of places I have been in Germany. Quite a few folks were enjoying authentic German beers and I settled on a tasty, very dark dopplebock (€5.50 for a large glass).
A large, warm, crusty and yummy bread roll came along with my beer, but, alas, there was not a pat of butter in sight, much to my chagrin.

I had not had a decent schnitzel in quite a while, so I ordered the Jägerschnitzel (€11.90 - Schnitzel with Mushroom Gravy). I was pleasantly surprised when it arrived with a creamy sauce instead of the usual brown gravy, being more reminiscent of a Rahmschnitzel than a Jägerschnitzel.
The schnitzel was good size and the pork was very tender, but I could have used a bit more sauce and fried potatoes or spätzle than french fries. The small salad also on the plate was very fresh and tasty.
My meal was a good value overall, coming in at €17.20, including the beer and schnitzel plate. The staff were also very friendly and efficient, so I can highly recommend Ein Prosit for a change of pace when visiting downtown Bilbao.

CombatCritic Gives Ein Prosit 7 Bombs Out Of 10 ... More Bombs Are Better!
Seven Bombs Equates To
Translation for Civilians: "Shits & Grins"

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Tabelog - Official Judge - "Silver"

Booking.com - Frequent Traveler "Genius"


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

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Title: Bilbao, Spain: I Propose A Toast To A Little Bit Of Bavaria In Central Bilbao ... SKOAL!

Key Words: 
Bilbao, Spain, German, Bavaria, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, restaurant, menu, review, Yelp, Zomato, TripAdvisor, Google, Facebook

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Read Chris S.'s review of Ein Prosit on Yelp

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Bilbao, Spain: NAP? ... EVO? ... VPN? ... That's A Negative Colonel!

NAP Pizzeria
Ramón Basterra Kalea, 1
48011 Bilbo, Bizkaia, Spain
+34946614362
Prices: €€€€
They (NAP) call it 'verace pizza napoletana' (VPN - true Neapolitan pizza), but this place would never make it in Naples, Italy. I lived in Naples for three years while assigned to NATO's Southern region Headquarters and where I met my wife, so we visit Napoli often. My dad's side of the family is from a small mountain town about 100 clicks in the mountains east of Napoli and where they also know how to make a great pizza. I also received my certification in a veraci pizza napoletana pizzeria in Napoli on my birthday in 2017 so I know my shit Bozo.
My pizza Salsiccia e Friarielli (€11.90 - sausage, broccoli rabe, mozzarella, and EVO) was a rare find, something you usually only find in Naples and my very favorite pizza. 
It came very quickly like a true neapolitan pizza should, 90 seconds at 600 degrees Celsius, and was about the right size (35cm). The dough (pasta) was about the right thickness as well, but, unfortunately, had far too much olive oil and it did not look like the advertised EVO, much lighter in color. Therefore, the extremely thin dough was soggy instead of being just thick enough and cooked well enough to be able to fold and pick up in your hand, as a true neapolitan pizza is customarily eaten. 
They had olio piccante on-hand, a bottle of EVO containing hot peppers, Calabrian chiles to be exact and considered the classic Italian pepper, so I was somewhat impressed. However, I could barely taste it because there were not enough chilis inside and the watery 'EVO' drowned out any flavor there might have been. Bummer.
I had two glasses of their house red wine (€4 each), so I satiated myself before the James Taylor concert for just under €20 plus tip.

It was a decent attempt, but flawfully executed, much to my dismay. No HOOAH here comrades.

CombatCritic Gives NAP 4 Bombs Out Of 10 ... More Bombs Are Better!

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

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Booking.com - Frequent Traveler "Genius"


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Title: Bilbao, Spain: NAP? ... EVO? ... VPN? ... That's A Negative Colonel!

Key Words: 
CombatCritic, TravelValue, Bilbao, Spain, NAP, EVO, VPN, colonel, pizza, pizzeria, Napoli, Naples, travel, value, restaurant, menu, review, Yelp, Zomato, TripAdvisor, Google, Facebook

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Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Bilbao, Spain: I Got Guggenheimed And Was Not A Happy Camper

Guggenheim
Abandoibarra Etorb., 2
48009 Bilbao, Bizkaia, Spain
Phone: +34944359080
Prices: €€€€
A massive, beautiful building next to the river with hardly any art, very disappointing!


A gargantuan hall on the ground floor is dedicated to just a few massive cement 'art' structures that lead you on a long maze-like walk inside only to find nothing at the end. What a waste of space.

Half of the museum was closed and the other half had very few objects of art on the walls, unless the white walls are considered art of course. The sole highlight was a huge Andy Warhol with dozens of Warhol's iconic Marilyn Monroe image, each with various colorings integrated into a continuous whole across the entire piece.

Otherwise, it was a lot of walking and big letdown, do not waste your money.

CombatCritic Gives Museo Guggenheim Bilbao 3 Bombs Out Of 10 ... More Bombs Are Better!

Three Bombs Equates To:
Translation for Civilians: "Situation Normal, All Fucked Up"

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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!

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View my food journey on Zomato!

View my food journey on Zomato!

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Title: Bilbao, Spain: I Got Guggenheimed And Was Not A Happy Camper

Key Words: CombatCritic, Bilbao, Spain, Guggenheim, museum, art, modern, artist, TravelValue, travel, value, review, Yelp, Zomato, TripAdvisor, Google, Facebook

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Bilbao, Spain: A Dearth Of Bellas Artes Or Artists ... Mehhhhhh!

Museum of Fine Arts of Bilbao
Museo Plaza, 2
48009 Bilbao Spain
Phone: +34944396060
Website: 
Prices: €€€€

A bit better than my Guggenheim experience, I was also disappointed here.
A dearth of well known art or artists, some El Greco, a few Degas and Gauguin pieces, and a very nice Mary Cassatt, but not a single Renoir, Monet, Lautrec, Van Gogh, or Manet in sight. I love the impressionists and neo-impressionists as well as Rembrandt and a few others, so I was quite bored.

The map they gave me had little information and was totally useless, so I had to explore on my own and it is possible that I missed some rooms or artworks. I hope so.

Not a big museum, it will take an hour or two at most, even if you like the collection they have on-hand.


CombatCritic Gives Museo Bellas Artes de Bilbao 5 Bombs Out Of 10 ... More Bombs Are Better!

Five Bombs Equates To:


Translation for Civilians: "Continue Mission"

Read More Reviews By CombatCritic:

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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: Bilbao, Spain: A Dearth Of Bellas Artes Or Artists ... Mehhhhhh!

Key Words: Bilbao, Spain, Museo Bellas Artes de Bilbao, museum, fine, arts, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, review, Yelp, Zomato, TripAdvisor, Google, Facebook

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