How to Dine Like a Professional Foodie (and Not Spend a Fortune!)

We offer tips to help informed foodies stretch their dining budget. Eat smart, eat well!

We offer tips to help informed foodies stretch their dining budget. Eat smart, eat well!

Ahoy to all you local-source-loving, sustainable-seeking, dedicated foodie enthusiasts!

As you well know, the ship has sailed on boring dining. A resurgence in the experience of eating well is waiting to be found in great restaurants across the nation – likely in your city!

When your cravings dictate a trip outside your apartment kitchen, you know you’re going to spend some dough, however.

If you’re going to splurge on cuisine, how can you ensure you’ll enjoy a worthwhile meal? We’ll help you make the most of your on-the-town budget with these considerations and tips.

Good eating to you!

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Best Vegetarian Restaurants in California

vegetarian restaurants in california

These vegetarian restaurants in California are so good, you’ll never miss the meat.

California’s healthy, eco-friendly mentality is so prevalent that it spreads to practically every aspect of the lives of its residents, so it’s no surprise that some of the best vegetarian restaurants in the country can be found in this sunny state.

If you want your plate to be filled with healthy, meat-free options, check out these vegetarian restaurants in California.

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Sample Local Beers at These Brewpubs in Portland

brewpubs in portland

Check out these stellar watering holes in Portland, OR.

Oregon is a state that loves its beer. In fact, there are currently 120 brewing companies operating 153 brewing facilities throughout the state, and beer connoisseurs from across the world pay homage to this magical brew at the Oregon Brewers Festival, the largest collective of independent craft brewers in the United States.

Portland has more breweries than any other city in the world, at 51, and countless brew pubs where you can sample the region’s finest. We’ve rounded up our favorite brew pubs in the City of Roses, so pull up a well-worn bar stool and wash down great grub with the best local brews at these establishments.

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Grab a Brew at One of These Sacramento Breweries

Whether you fancy yourself a beer connoisseur or you’re just an occasional beer drinker, Sacramento has several breweries in town to test out new beers. These breweries typically include a well-planned menu and a staff that can explain beer pairings. And the beers are carefully and expertly brewed to be the best around. So, treat yourself and head out to one of these Sacramento breweries for a great meal and a smooth ale.

Track 7 Brewing Co.
Named for its proximity to the old Western Pacific railroad tracks, Track 7 was created as a creative outlet for unique and artisanal beers. The brewers experiment with all varieties of beer, and it extends further than just American beers to Belgian, English and German inspiration. If you’re looking for something different to do on the weekend, visit the tap room with your friends and overlook the Track 7 brewery. For an added bonus, the tap room is dog friendly. Sit down, relax and try an Alkali Wit, a Belgian-style wit bier, or a Big 4 Strong Ale, an American strong ale.
Where: 3747 W. Pacific Ave., Sacramento, CA 95820

Hoppy Brewing Company
Head to this neighborhood brewpub for unique ales and food that goes above and beyond traditional bar fare. For the food, try the Hoppy Chop Salad with basil vinaigrette or the Fish and Chips. If you’re headed there with a group, share an order of the house made kettle chips or the Hoppy Fries, which are tossed in garlic and Parmesan cheese  – need we say more? Head to Hoppy for happy hour, and you’ll hit great specials, like $12 pitchers and $3.50 pints. Wash down the Hoppy Fries with a cold, fresh-brewed Total Eclipse, a porter-like brew that features chocolate and black malts. If you’re looking for a lighter beer, try the Liquid Sunshine Blonde Ale, which has a grapefruit-like flavor and aroma.
Where: 6300 Folsom Blvd., Sacramento, CA 95819

Rubicon Brewing
Not only do they have great beer and good food, but the service and overall ambiance of Rubicon Brewing is enough of an excuse to skip out of work a little early and meet up with friends for a relaxing night. This is Midtown’s original restaurant brewery, and since the late ‘80s, it has yet to disappoint the residents of this neighborhood. Check their website for their daily specials, which include $2.50 pints, all-you-can-eat fish and chips and $2 tacos. And for the beer, Rubicon has something for everyone. If you’re looking for a cider, try the Blood Orange cider, if available. For pale ale drinkers, order the Monkey Knife Fight, known for its perfect balance of hops.
Where: 2004 Capitol Ave., Sacramento, CA 95811

River City Brewing Company
Whether it’s been a rough week in the office or you’re just looking for a relaxing place to hang out with friends, the fun atmosphere at River City Brewing is your answer. Located in the heart of downtown Sacramento, River City Brewing Company offers up a spacious venue with extraordinary food and great craft beers. Share the Crispy Eggplant Napoleon appetizer, which is eggplant served with goat cheese, basil pesto and sun dried tomato tapenade. But what goes better with beer than pizza? River City offers up several wood-fired pizza options, including BBQ chicken, a Brewmaster’s specialty and rosemary-garlic marinated portobello mushroom. And for the beer, River City brews up 22 different beers throughout the year. Some of the favorites include K Street Kolsch, IPA and Woodenhead Ale.
Where: 545 Downtown Plaza, Suite 1115, Sacramento, CA 9

Photo Credit: iStockphoto/Gizmo

Best Green Establishments in Portland

best green establishments in portland

The Heathman Hotel is one of Portland’s greenest establishments, thanks to its sustainability practices.

Portland, Oregon, is nicknamed the “Rose City” because of its ideal climate and lush, green beauty. Portland is also known as one of the most environmentally friendly, green cities in the world because of its extensive public transportation networks, efficient use of land and businesses committed to sustainable practices.

If you’re planning a trip to the Pacific Northwest or if you already live in this gem in a city, read on to the best green establishments in Portland.

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Top 10 Reasons to Move to Arizona

reasons to move to arizona

The beautiful scenery is just one reason to move to Arizona.

Are you ready to ditch the cramped quarters of city living? Longing for wide-open spaces or a new environment to expand your mind and excite your senses? Find all of these, and perhaps yourself, in Arizona.

With hundreds of thousands of breathtaking acres to explore, Arizona also offers renowned restaurants, shopping, abundant wildlife, centuries-old archaeological sites and a variety of sports to welcome new residents.

Check out these reasons to save your pennies and move to the Copper State!

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Best Seafood in Long Island, NY

Long Island visitors and residents can get their seafood fix year-round at a number of markets and restaurants.

Long Island, N.Y. is a great place to nosh on fresh seafood, as it’s practically jutting out into the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. In addition to the delicacies you can enjoy every August at the Long Island Maritime Museum’s Seafood Festival, Long Island visitors and residents can get their fix year-round at the following seafood markets and restaurants.

Cor-J Seafood Corp.

Being at Cor-J Seafood Corp. is kind of like stepping into a traditional open air food market, with customers milling about asking about the goods and proud vendors displaying their catch of the day. Those who are squeamish might want to avoid this seafood market, as it’s not uncommon to see whole fish being brought through the back door, then washed, sliced and filleted right there in front of the customers. But if you’re looking for the freshest seafood in Long Island, this is the place to go.

Where: 36 Lighthouse Road, Hampton Bays, NY 11946

Atlantic Seafood Fish Market

After a fun day at the beach, Atlantic Seafood Fish Market is the perfect place to unwind with good food and good company. As youwalk infrom the parking lot, you might think this unassuming place is just a seafood market, but it’s also a restaurant serving up cheap and fresh seafood. Make sure to bring cash for the tip – they don’t allow gratuity on credit cards. For something a little different, try the lobster pizza, or stick with the traditional steamed seafood platter. Either way, you won’t be disappointed.

Where: 125 Main St., Center Moriches, NY 11934

PJ Lobster House

As the name implies, lobster is king at PJ Lobster House, and this casual and comfortable restaurant specializes in live lobsters and stock sizes up to three pounds. Their fresh fish market receives deliveries seven times a week to ensure high quality and freshness in each meal. The restaurant often offers daily specials, including an all you can eat lobster buffet on holidays and an all-inclusive prix fixe special on Sundays.

Where: 1 N. Country Road, Port Jefferson, NY 11777

B & B Fish & Clam Co.

This quaint mom and pop seafood shack is as unpretentious as it gets, but the place is always packed. You won’t find linen tablecloths and finechina. Instead, their signature dishes are served on plastic plates, and the décor is decidedly minimalistic. It’s clearly all about the food at B & B Fish & ClamCo., and favorites include the thick and hearty clam chowder, perfectly shucked oysters and the mussels cooked in white wine sauce.

Where: 179 Merrick Road, Amityville, NY 11701

South Bay Seafood Co.

It may take you a while to find this seafood shanty, as it’s tucked off a back road next to a car wash with not a lot of distinguishing signage, but once you do, you’ll be glad you went to the trouble. While South Bay SeafoodCo. is certainly not a dine-in place (the only seating is outside), it is great for those wanting fresh seafood to bring home and cook as well as those looking for a freshly prepared meal to take out.

Where: 683 S. Country Road, East Patchogue, NY 11772

Photo credit: iStockphoto/LanceB

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth at the Best Doughnut Places Nationwide

best doughnut places

Mmmmm … doughnuts. Which of these divine doughnut stops have you tried?

A culinary medium lending itself to unique combinations, outrageous toppings and crazy shapes, the doughnut is one of the most versatile foods around. The Dutch are largely credited with inventing doughnuts in the 19th century, but you don’t have to travel to Europe to try this treat, as some of the best fried rings can be found stateside (and no, we’re not talking about Krispy Kreme).

Since the month of October is National Doughnut Month, you’ll want to go ahead and start planning ahead with our list of the best doughnut places nationwide. After all, who can resist the siren call of a hot, freshly made doughnut glistening with glaze?

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Most Unique Neighborhoods in Atlanta

unique neighborhoods in atlanta

Home to the High Museum of Art and the Woodruff Arts Center, Midtown is one of Atlanta’s most attractive neighborhoods.

As the capital of the southern state of Georgia and the ninth largest metropolitan area in the United States, Atlanta is a vibrant and diverse city, booming with commerce, a strong economy, arts and cultural activities and world class dining and shopping destinations. Most Atlanta residents know that it’s really a city comprised of many different neighborhoods, each with its own distinct flavor and personality.

With nearly 250 neighborhoods officially defined by the city, it would be impossible to describe each and every one in detail, but needless to say there are several in the city worth noting. Here is our list of the most interesting neighborhoods in Atlanta that every visitor or resident should check out at some point.

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Best Vegetarian Restaurants in Austin

vegetarian restaurants in austin

Texas is known for its barbecue, but there are plenty of vegetarian options in Austin.

The concept of eating vegetarian in Austin might be a foreign one to you. After all, this city is known for its big, beefy Tex-Mex cuisine like tacos, burritos and enchiladas, as well as its down-home barbecue joints serving up signature Texas beef brisket and pulled pork.

Having said that, it may surprise you to know that Austin is chock full of vegan and vegetarian restaurants for the meat-averse, or anyone who’s looking to nosh on something healthier than rib tips and beef nachos. Read on to find our favorite vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Austin.

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