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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)


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(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

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Dundee, OR: Country Store Feel And Overpriced Food, Visit Only During Happy Hour

Red Hills Market
155 SW 7th Street
Dundee, OR 97115
(971) 832-8414
Hours: 7:00 am - 8:00 pm 7 Days a Week
Prices: $$$$

Sitting a half block back off the main road, I would not have known it was there had our golf pro not suggested going here after an OPGA Senior Pro-Am in McMinnville, in the rain no less.

Interesting space with a country store feel, you wind your way through food and drink products before ordering at the register, protected by a plexiglass screen. They have a limited menu with breakfast ($8 - $12), appetizers ($7 - $20), soups and salads ($5 - $13), individual, handmade wood-fired pizzas ($13 - $16), sandwiches ($9 - $13), cookies ($3), and a variety of drinks, including wines and beers.

We were lucky enough to get there during Happy Hour, so I took advantage, ordering a Margherita Pizza ($10 - normally $13) - named after Queen Margherita of Napoli because it was her favorite pizza and is the color of the Italian flag, red, white and green - and a hazy IPA ($5 - normally $6). Fifteen bucks for dinner and a beer, not bad and a decent TravelValue!

The pizza was pretty good, not great, and definitely not a vero pizza napolitana (true Neapolitan pizza), coming with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese topped with fresh basil leaves and drizzled with EVO. The beer selection was not very robust and the Hazy Bubblewrap IPA, the only IPA on tap, was rather nondescript.

Cute place, decent food, and a bit pricey for non-happy hour food and drink, but worth a visit, particularly during happy hour (3-6pm Monday - Friday) because the sandwiches, which looked very good by the way, DO NOT come with a side (fries, chips, salad, etc.). 

If I were to return, highly unlikely, I might try the Rym Reuben with house smoked pastrami, sauerkraut, and gruyere cheese served on toasted rye bread along with a hot side of pickles ($12) off of the main menu and a side of the happy hour Jojos (fries - $5, normally $8, quite steep for a side of fries). Along with a beer, $22 still would not be a bad price for a decent sandwich, fries and a drink, but $20 for just a reuben and fries, no beer, is a bit absurd.

CombatCritic Gives Red Hills Market 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/'20  
  • Over 1.4 Million 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: Dundee, OR: Country Store Feel And Overpriced Food, Visit Only During Happy Hour

Key Words: Dundee, OR, country, store, happy hour, Red Hills Market, red, hills, market, pizza, sandwiches, 
CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, restaurant, menu, review, Yelp, Zomato, TripAdvisor, Google, Facebook


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

Saturday, September 5, 2020

My Titleist Golf Carry Bag Has Lasted 30 Years, This TaylorMade Carry Bag Lasted Less Than 30 Days!

I purchased a TaylorMade 2019 LiteTech 3.0 Stand Golf Bag on Amazon, having received it on July 30, 2020 and did not start using it for 2-3 days due to time constraints, likely on August 1st, 35 days ago. I paid $220 + tax ($238.47).
A week ago I noticed some fraying of the flimsy material covering the inside edge of the short club compartment where my wedges and putters rub against it while carrying, standing or laying them. 

I have been playing for 55 years, play 100+ rounds/year, am a 13 handicap, and have spent tens of thousands of dollars on golf products over the years. This is the first TaylorMade product I have ever purchased and I have to say that I am extremely disappointed. For the price I paid, the material should not be fraying after less than a month. After 6 months, the material will be gone and the sub-surface will be exposed. What a poor product design!
Additionally, the 'self-adjusting straps' constantly become entangled, requiring me to untangle them several times a round. I have had numerous carry bags over the years and rarely had this problem, so it must be another TaylorMade design flaw.
For example, I bought a Titleist carry bag while serving at Anderson AFB, Guam in 1992, 28 years ago, and my son is still using the bag! I NEVER had a problem with the shoulder straps and the design had held up for nearly 3 decades - 30 years versus 30 days, I will never buy TaylorMade products again and Titleist will most likely get my business from this point forward.
I told TaylorMade that I have photos and if they do not have a replacement product with a better design and equally light-weight design, I want a refund. We will see what happens.

CombatCritic Gives TaylorMade LiteTech 3.0 Stand Golf Bag 1 Bomb Out Of 10 And A Spot On My 'WALL OF SHAME' ... More Bombs Are Better!

One Bomb Equates To:

FUBAR

Translation for Civilians: "Fucked Up Beyond All Repair"

Read More Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp "GOLD" ELITE '14/'15/'16/'17/'18/'19/'20  
  • Over 1.4 Million 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: My Titleist Golf Carry Bag Has Lasted 30 Years, This TaylorMade Carry Bag Lasted Less Than 30 Days!

Key Words: Titleist, golf, carry bag, TaylorMade, Amazon, amazon.com, 2019, LiteTech, 3.0 stand, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, product, business, review, Google, Facebook


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

Friday, August 21, 2020

Bandon Dunes, Oregon: Helen's Place (Airbnb) - A Bit Pricey, But A Good Place To Stay Very Close To Bandon Dunes

Airbnb Helen's Place

Entire Cottage - 1BR / 1 BA, Pull-Out Sofa, Kitchen
5 Minute Drive from Bandon Dunes Golf Resort
Price: $$$$

The cottage was rustic, but very nice and the proximity to Bandon Dunes was a big plus, just a five minute drive from the main clubhouse. The king size bed was very comfy and the kitchen/bathroom were well equipped for a short stay. The highlight of our stay was Peanut, the host’s sweet kitty who greeted us on arrival and stopped by to say hi throughout our stay.
It's the little things that make a host a Super Host, so here are some of the constructive suggestions I offered our hosts ...
Travelers assign 5-star ratings far too easily and do a disservice to subsequent travelers by not being honest. I have a popular travel website and owe it to my 80,000 readers each and every year to be completely honest, otherwise they would not return. Honesty and integrity are my top two core values, so I have to be truthful no matter what.
I travel all over the world and have stayed in many Airbnb's. Helen’s partner, Eddy, gave us a nice welcome, but Helen never introduced herself, even when I went to the door to find out where the sheets for the fold-out couch were. 

Many hosts leave a personal welcome note and something that shows that they are glad we are staying with them such as a bottle of inexpensive wine, homemade cookies, chocolates, coffee/creamers/Keurig/sweeteners and the like. Our welcome was just a single coffee filter and a bag of coffee beans (no grinder), so we had to go out and buy 200 filters and a bag of ground coffee. 
Finally, one or both of them could have come out on the morning we were leaving to say goodbye and thank us for staying with them, and paying $315 for 2 nights, but that did not happen.
As I said, I don't bring these things up to be mean or to insult the hosts, I'm hoping to help them become better hosts by offering some small suggestions to make future guests feel more welcome and appreciated, therefore enhancing the value of their accommodation.
We rarely pay more than $75 per night on Airbnb's and I'm talking about nice, private apartments in central London, Paris, Lyon, Lisbon, and Tel Aviv, just to name a few. At over $150 per night, I was not overly impressed by the cottage, but I think Bandon locals are taking advantage of tourists/golfers in general because this was actually one of the cheaper places in the area. 

CombatCritic Gives Helen's Place A Very Respectable 6 Out Of 10 Bombs, Leaving Room For Improvement ... More Bombs Are Better!

Read More Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp "GOLD" ELITE '14/'15/'16/'17/'18/'19/'20  
  • Over 1.4 Million 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: Bandon Dunes, Oregon: Helen's Place (Airbnb) - A Bit Pricey, But A Good Place To Stay Very Close To Bandon Dunes

Key Words: Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, Helen, Airbnb, golf, course, Bandon, Pacific, dunes, OldMacDonald, sheep, ranch, resort, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, hotel, accommodation, review, Yelp, Google, Facebook

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

Friday, August 14, 2020

Coos Bay, Oregon: A Delicious Taste of Germany in Coos Bay

Blue Heron Bistro
100 Commercial Avenue
Coos Bay, OR 97420
German, Seafood
Phone number: (541) 267-3933
Prices: $$$$
Hours on Yelp are wrong, they are open from 4pm to 8pm daily. Therefore, it is difficult to make a reservation, handy during COVID distancing requirements, because they only answer the phone during business hours.

It's a cute little place on a corner right on the main drag going south in Coos Bay. It has a Bavarian look inside and out, reminiscent of many a gästhaus I have been to in Germany. They even have a small biergarten out back with three large picnic tables.
They have a nice selection of traditional German favorites at reasonable prices. I had the Jägerschnitzel ($22), coming with a cup of goulash soup, a small salad, and bread before the main course arrives. The schnitzel was huge with a wonderful crispy batter that was light, not greasy and topped with a tasty mushroom gravy, accompanied by hot, crispy and light french fries. I normally like the more traditional fried potatoes with my schnitzel, but the fries were yummy and plentiful.

My only negative and a personal pet peeve of mine was that our entrees came out way too soon. We were not even halfway through our soup and salad when the owner arrived with our dinners. I have spent many years in the restaurant business and there is no reason the next course should arrive before the last course is finished and cleared from the table. They probably would have gotten my highest rating had they not screwed this one up.

The meal was a very good value, considering that we paid nearly the same amount we had at Foley's Pub in Bandon the night before, getting three times as much food and a much higher quality meal ... ACHTUNG!

CombatCritic Gives Blue Heron Bistro 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/'20  
  • Over 1.4 Million Views A Year
Read Chris S.'s review of Blue Heron Bistro on Yelp

Blue Heron Bistro 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: Coos Bay, Oregon: A Delicious Taste of Germany in Coos Bay 

Key Words: Coos Bay, Oregon, Blue Heron Bistro, blue, heron, bistro, German, Germany, schnitzel, Jägerschnitzel, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, restaurant, menu, hotel, accommodation, destination, product, service, business, review, Yelp, Zomato, Google, Facebook


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

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