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Monday, December 10, 2057

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

Static
(The Big Picture)


Interactive
(See More Detail)

 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)


Zomato - #1 Ranked "Verified" Foodie - Over  1,890,733 Review And Photo Views

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, January 20, 2020

Gresham, Oregon: Not A Lot Of Luck, But A Decent Meal At La Herradura

La Herradura Mexican Restaurant
90 NE Division Street
Gresham, OR 97030
Phone number: (503) 491-1650
Prices: $$$$

My buddy took me to La Herradura (the horseshoe) and it was pretty good, but I have had better and less expensive Mexican meals at many other restaurants in this and numerous other cities. Portland Mexican restaurants, like their Italian brethren, are, unfortunately, mediocre at best and this horseshoe was not exactly what I would call lucky.

First off, we had to pay for chips and salsa ($2.50), which were OK, coming with a small cup of mild green salsa and a similar size cup of bean dip. For the price ($4.95), the equally small cup of guacamole we ordered was not particularly a bargain, but it was decent. So far, so average.
My Tacos - Excuse The Crappy Photos, But My Samsung S7 Went Tits-Up
I had recently been through a rather traumatic experience and the purpose of our lunch was to talk about what had been going on and how I was doing. The place was relatively empty, but the server kept coming to our table, asking me if I was ready to order every 3-4 minutes, interrupting our rather sensitive conversation on each occasion. She eventually tried to sway me toward the lunch specials, which I had seen on the way in and was not particularly thrilled about. Finally, I had to quickly peruse the menu and out of frustration, went with my mainstays, two Carne Asada Street Tacos ($1.60 ea) and two Cheese and Onion Enchiladas (ala carte - $2.50 ea). Each taco came on two tiny little corn tortillas with a small amount of chopped, grilled steak, along with some diced white onion and cilantro. They were adequate, but I get much more meat on two larger corn tortillas at my local taqueria for just $1.50 a piece. The enchiladas were pretty good with lots of cheese and red chili sauce, but the onions were inexplicably missing.
Enchiladas - My Samsung S7 Went Tits-Up, So I Bought A Cheap Replacement Until The 5G Phones Come Out Later This Year
My high school pal had a better experience, having ordered the Chili Relleno Lunch Special ($8.95), which looked delicious and, according to him, it was. The chili was massive, stuffed with gooey cheese and surrounded by a fluffy egg omelette, coming with rice and beans and not a bad deal. 

All in all, not bad and not great, but lunch for $30, including tip, with only water to drink seems a bit pricey for the meal we had. The service was efficient and friendly enough, but the nearly constant interruptions and the pressure to order our meals was a bit disconcerting. 

CombatCritic Gives La Herradura 5 Bombs Out Of 10 ... More Bombs Are Better!

Five Bombs Equates To:


Translation for Civilians: "Continue Mission"

Read More Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp "GOLD" ELITE '14/'15/'16/'17/'18/'19 
  • Over 1.4 Million Views A Year
Read Chris S.'s review of La Herradura Mexican 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: Gresham, Oregon: Not A Lot Of Luck, But A Decent Meal At La Herradura

Key Words: Gresham, Oregon, luck, La Herradura, la, herradura, horseshoe, mexican, taco, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, restaurant, menu, review, Yelp, Zomato, TripAdvisor, Google, Facebook


Copyright 2020 - 3rd Wave Media Group And CombatCritic ™ - All Rights Reserved

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Phoenix, AZ: Case Of The Missing Sandwich Solved, But Where's The Meat?

Barro's Pizza
2750 W Dove Valley Road, Ste 140
Phoenix, AZ 85085
(623) 215-4141
barrospizza.com
Prices: $$$$

I grew up with Barro's in SoCal, so I figured I could have a decent meal there. I ordered a simple sandwich mid-afternoon on a Sunday, so the place was virtually empty, and was told "that will be ready in 15-20 minutes". Wow, 15-20 minutes to make a sandwich? Had I known, I would have gone somewhere else.
EMPTY
Well, 15-20 minutes went by, people came and went with their orders, but still no sandwich, so I asked when it would be ready. "What sandwich?" I was asked as they searched orders on the computer. "The one I paid for 20 minutes ago", I said, "do you want to see my receipt?". Then they lied to me: "oh, it's in the oven and will be out in just a minute". A few minutes later I saw a guy in the back put my sandwich in the oven and another five minutes later, I finally had my mediocre sandwich.
The sandwich was so-so with four slices of processed ham and eight small slices of salami and a little lettuce and tomato on a 12 inch roll, but was relatively cheap (less than $7 for a 12 inch sub and a bag o' chips) and filled the void in my gut or they would have received my lowest score. Forgetting my order was bad enough, but letting me leave without some sort of compensation (free slice, coupon, etc.) and a heartfelt apology was unforgivable.

CombatCritic Gives Barro's Pizza 2 Bombs Out Of 10 ... More Bombs Are Better!

Two Bombs Equates To:

Translation for Civilians: "Tits Up" 

Read More Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp "GOLD" ELITE '14/'15/'16/'17/'18/'19 
  • Over 1.4 Million Views A Year
Read Chris S.'s review of Barro's Pizza on Yelp

Barro's Pizza 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: Phoenix, AZ: Case Of The Missing Sandwich Solved, But Where's The Meat?

Key Words: Phoenix, AZ, sandwich, Barro's Pizza, Barro's, Barro, pizza, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, restaurant, menu, review, Yelp, Zomato, TripAdvisor, Google, Facebook


Copyright 2019/2020 - 3rd Wave Media Group And CombatCritic ™ - All Rights Reserved

Thursday, January 9, 2020

: TravelValue: If You Want More Bang-for-the-Buck, Virgin River Is The Place To Stay

Virgin River Hotel and Casino
100 E. Pioneer Blvd
Mesquite, NV 89027
Website: virginriver.com
Phone: (702) 346-7777
Prices: $$$$

If bang-for-the-buck is what you are looking for, this is the hotel and casino for you.
PROS: For around $30 a day, the inexpensive room had everything I needed except a microwave and coffeemaker. The casino nextdoor has a coffee shop with good food and low prices as well as an all-you-can-eat buffet. The casino's blackjack tables have $5 minimums which was right up my alley. Which reminds me, they also have a huge bowling alley, laundry room, pool and hot tub, Starbucks, sports book, and bingo parlor.
CONS: A coffee maker in the room would have been nice, so I went to WalMart and bought a $10 coffee maker rather than hike over to Starbucks every morning or to their coffee shop for a $3 cup of substandard to-go coffee. Their so called "loyalty" card was useless at the tables, so it seems as though they cater only to slot players.

CombatCritic Gives Virgin River Hotel and Casino 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 
  • Over 1.4 Million Views A Year
Read Chris S.'s review of Virgin River Hotel Casino Bingo Bowling 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: : TravelValue: If You Want More Bang-for-the-Buck, Virgin River Is The Place To Stay

Key Words: Virgin River Hotel and Casino, virgin river, virgin, river, hotel, casino, Mesquite, Nevada, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, restaurant, menu, hotel, accommodation, review, Yelp, Google, Facebook


Copyright 2020 - 3rd Wave Media Group And CombatCritic ™ - All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Sedona, AZ: Sandwiches of Fire And Enchiladas Of Ice, I Stuffed My Pie-Hole On Christmas Day In Any Event

Tortas De Fuego
1630 W Hwy 89A
Sedona, AZ 86336
(928) 282-0226
tortasdefuegosedona.com
Prices: $$$$

Finding a place to eat on Christmas day in beautiful Sedona is tough enough, but as I walked through the door at Tortas de Fuego, there was only a single table, a two-top, right in front of the door available. The place was packed and now I know why. The good news, just after I sat down, droves of people from all over the world (India and France to name two) came through the door. The bad news, it was 37 degrees Fahrenheit outside and every time they opened it, the cold air rushed in to embrace me.

I kept it simple, ordering Chips and Salsa ($1.99), a 2 ounce side of Guacamole ($1.99), one Regular Carne Asada Taco ($2.99), one Regular Al Pastor Taco ($2.79), and a Cheese and Onion Enchilada with Red Sauce ($2.50), all ala carte.
The chips were not the best I have had, likely out of a bag and barely warm, but their salsa bar was the BOMB. They had one red salsa that was very spicy and two green salsas, one medium on the hot scale and the other, which was almost yellow, the mildest. The bar also had pico de gallo, pickled veggies, cilantro, radishes, and lime wedges. I found the yellow sauce to be the best, it was delish, but a combo of the yellow (mild) salsa and the red (spicy) one tasted the best to me.
The (regular) tacos were bigger than standard street tacos and filled with a generous portion of meat along with the usual diced white onions and cilantro, but I added the pico de gallo, my combo salsa, and half of the small cup of guacamole on each. The tacos were wonderful, but they each came with just one thin, corn tortilla, making them a bit messy to eat during the last few bites. Two tortillas would have been perfect. The guacamole was more like an avocado salsa with more tomatoes, diced onion, and other stuff then avocado and I do not think they were Hass.
The cheese enchilada was small, but tasty, and the red sauce quite good, but it was served in the more traditional way where the only heat applied comes from the hot tortilla and the lukewarm chile sauce, so it was not very warm. The queso fresco that they put on top hardly melted. Nevertheless, it was quite good.
I was tired of the cold air billowing through the door and the people standing at the door in front of me watching me eat, so I left post haste. The bill came to around $13, quite a bargain, and the service was wonderful, even though they were overwhelmed with customers, so I gave them a double sawbuck ($20), wished them Felice Navidad, and told the large party of Frogs, I mean French, au revoir!

CombatCritic Gives Tortas de Fuego 7 Bombs Out Of 10 ... More Bombs Are Better!
Seven Bombs Equates To:

Translation for Civilians: "Shits & Grins"

MENU



Read More Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp "GOLD" ELITE '14/'15/'16/'17/'18/'19 
  • Over 1.4 Million Views A Year
Read Chris S.'s review of Tortas De Fuego on Yelp

Tortas de Fuego 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: Sedona, AZ: Sandwiches of Fire And Enchiladas Of Ice, I Stuffed My Pie-Hole On Christmas Day In Any Event

Key Words: Sedona, AZ, Tortas de Fuego, tortas, de, fuego, fire, tacos, taco, Mexican, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, restaurant, menu, review, Yelp, Zomato, Google


Copyright 2019/2020 - 3rd Wave Media Group And CombatCritic ™ - All Rights Reserved

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