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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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(The Big Picture)


Interactive
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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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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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Read More Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp - "Gold" Elite '14/'15/'16 /'17 / '18

Tabelog - Official Judge (Silver)

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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

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Vancouver, WA: DOGgone It, Hire Husky Fence For Your Next Fence Project

Husky Fence 
1604 NE 49th Street
Vancouver, WA 98663
Phone number: (360) 882-3801
Website: Huskyfence.com
Prices: $$$$

Phil, owner of Husky Fence, talks the talk and walks the walk, following through as promised every step of the way. His bid for a six foot ornamental iron fence with gate was not the lowest, but it was a third of the price of the highest bid we received, a relative bargain.

Before

Before

Before
The turnaround time from giving him the go-ahead to completion was less than a week and Husky had the fencing in stock, so there was no need to special order. I got a ridiculously high bid from a massive fence company in Portland and the soonest the said they could install it would be "in 12 weeks", so we got a beautiful fence for a very fair price.
After

After

After
I was not at home when Husky Fence completed the install, so there were a couple of minor things that I thought needed to be addressed. Phil was here the very next day with his entire crew to resolve my concerns. Now that's customer service!

There are not many businesses these days that make customer service a priority, a core value, so it is refreshing to work with a company that shares three of my seven values: service, integrity, and excellence. So, if you need a fence installed, I can highly recommend Husky Fence, a veteran-owned small business ... HOOAH!

CombatCritic Gives Husky Fence 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
Read Chris S.'s review of Husky Fence 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: Vancouver, WA: DOGgone It, Hire Husky Fence For Your Next Fence Project

Key Words: Vancouver, WA, Husky Fence, fence, husky, fencing, Portland, OR, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, service, business, review, Yelp, Zomato, TripAdvisor, Google, Facebook

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

Portland, OR: Decent Thai, But Where's The Beef?

Cha Ba Thai
3024 NE Alberta Street
Portland, OR 97211
Cuisine: Thai (Obviously)
Phone number: (503) 719-6917
Website: chabathaipdx.com
Prices: $$$$

The Alberta Arts District is one of my favorite neighborhoods in Portland due to its' eclectic, Bohemian feel, great restaurants, and art/music/theatre scene. We deployed to the area of operations to see a Little Shop of Horrors charity extravaganza at the Alberta Rose Theatre just a couple of doors west of Cha Ba Thai.


Not surprisingly, the large dining room was virtually empty at 5pm when we arrived, so we were guided to a four-top next to the window. The room is simple and tastefully decorated with a full bar on one side and tables on the other. There is also a large outdoor seating area with several picnic tables, so feel free to enjoy your meal al fresco if you so desire. We were promptly greeted when we entered and, after being seated, our drink/appetizer orders were promptly taken.






I ordered a Ninkasa IPA ($5.50) for me and the Chicken Satay ($9.50) and Egg Rolls ($6) for the both of us to share. Each of the four satay sticks had a large serving of grilled chicken served with a tasty peanut sauce, my favorite, and some chunks of onion and cucumber in a mildly sweet sauce. The satay was very good, but I am not sure it was worth the extra $3 or $4 when compared to satay prices at most Thai restaurants I have been to. The egg rolls were small and somewhat bland, also being a buck or two more expensive to similar dishes elsewhere.


My wife decided on the Pad See Ew (Tofu - $11.50), wide noodles and broccoli florets stir fried in a mild, slightly sweet soy sauce. She was very happy with the dish although I found it somewhat tasteless as well. I tend to favor the spicier and more savory Thai curry dishes, so I went with the Massaman Curry w/ Jasmine Rice ($13). The curry sauce was delicious, but not quite as thick as many I have had and the vegetables (carrot, potato, and onion) fresh, but there was a paltry amount of sliced beef on top when it arrived. Again, the prices for our entrees were each a few bucks too high in my opinion.



The service was excellent, fast, friendly and efficient, and the food came out post haste. Overall, we were well satiated and happy with our meal, but the prices were a tad high in comparison to other Thai restaurants we have visited and the less than abundant beef content of my curry was disappointing, so "where's the beef?"

CombatCritic Gives Cha Ba Thai 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 Cha Ba Thai on Yelp

Cha'Ba Thai 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: Portland, OR: Decent Thai, But Where's The Beef?

Key Words: Cha Ba Thai, cha, ba, Thai, Thailand, Portland, Oregon, Alberta, arts, district, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, restaurant, menu, curry, review, Yelp, Zomato


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

Monday, September 9, 2019

Portland, OR: Holy Cow! Does Voodoo Doll Have Something In His Pocket Or Is He Just Happy To See Me?

Voodoo Doughnut
22 SW 3rd Avenue
Portland, OR 97204
Old Town
Phone number (503) 241-4704
Prices: $$$$

If you have never been to Voodoo Doughnut, give 'em a try. The original location is here in downtown Portland (Old Town), but they have shops in Eugene (OR), Denver (CO), Universal Studios Hollywood (CA) and Orlando (FL), as well as Austin (TX).



These photos are from our trip to the original shop in Old Town yesterday. As you can see, their look is quite eclectic, colorful, and retro, the menu a bit pornographic, and THE DONUTS ARE GREAT! 




Most donuts run between 75¢ (plain cake) to $3.25 with a couple in the $5 to $7.50 range. Dozens range from $14 to $18 unless you want to pick your own. They even have vegan doughnuts, although I do not know how many. You can reportedly get a coffin (photo above) full of donuts for $130.







Their menu is a tad on the perverted side, with a Cock-n-Balls going for $6.50, a Triple Chocolate Penetration is $2, a Butterfingering is $2, an Old Dirty Bastard is $3, a Portland Cream (the Official Doughnut of Portland) is $2.25, and /or, finally, a Custom Cock going for $7.50, not a bad deal considering the fact that creating a doughnut that looks like a rooster is probably a very intricate and time consuming process! C'est la vie, after all, their slogan is: "The Magic Is In The Hole".

We got a Bacon and Maple ($3.25), an Apple Fritter ($3), and a Voodoo Doll ($3.50). The bacon and maple was glazed and covered with maple icing with crisscrossed slices of fried bacon on top and it was OK, but the taste was a bit weird and not really my thing. The apple fritter was big and tasty, but it could have been much crispier in my opinion. And, last-but-not-last, the voodoo doll (see above) was also glazed, iced with chocolate, colorfully decorated to look like a perverted gingerbread man complete with a sugary confection erection (see photos). As Harry Carey would have said, "Holy cow!".
BOO!
Hey, Voodoo Doll, is that something in your pocket or are you just happy to see me? 

Yep, you're happy
The only negatives are that you should have your E ticket ready ("E" does not stand for "electronic" - SoCal natives will know what I am talking about) because there always seems to be a line outside, sometimes with several dozen people queueing up to get in. They even have a serpentine setup for their line just like the ones at the Magic Kingdom. Finally, the cashiers are never particularly friendly, not quite rude, but seemingly indifferent to customers. I presume that after their 700th customer of the day, they could get a bit cranky, but there is never an excuse for not treating customers with the utmost courtesy, friendliness, dignity and respect. They get a two BOMB deduction for the grouchy employees, otherwise, Voodoo Doughnuts would have gotten my PERFECT SCORE and a spot on CombatCritic's "WALL OF FAME".
So, march on down to a Voodoo Doughnut near you for an overload on your sensations' of sight, smell, and taste. The massive wall painting just across the street wraps this place up in a nutshell: "Keep Portland Weird". If you happen to go to the original location, tell 'em CombatCritic sent you ... HOOAH!
CombatCritic Gives The Original Voodoo Doughnuts 8 Bombs Out Of 10 ... More Bombs Are Better!
Eight Bombs Equates To:

Translation for Civilians: "What-The-Fuck ... Over!"

Oh, and keeping with the theme of this review ... BITE ME!

Read this and many other reviews from around the world on my popular blog, CombatCritic's TravelValue - www.CombatCritic.com  - 70,000+ Visitors a Year ... And Counting!


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 Voodo Doughnut - Old Town 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: Portland, OR: Holy Cow! Does Voodoo Doll Have Something In His Pocket Or Is He Just Happy To See Me?

Key Words: Portland, Oregon, OR, Voodoo Doughnut, voodoo, doughnut, donut, Old Town, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, menu, product, business, review, Yelp, Zomato, Google, Facebook, shop


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