Thursday, September 26, 2013

Trolley Dances & the New Downtown Library kick off the weekend!

If you're looking for something fun to do, head Downtown. The weather will be nice and there's plenty of fun stuff happening!  

This weekend, two great events kick off - the New Library Opens in The East Village and our favorite Jean Isaacs' Trolley Dances Event will also make the scene. The super creative outdoor Trolley Dances takes place the next 2 weekends -  Sept 28th & 29th and Oct 5th and 6th.

Trolley Dances is one of those events we look forward to. Every year, it's held in a different location but when it's in OR near downtown, we really enjoy it, as we love the whole urban scene. Each year, Jean Isaacs and the Metropolitan Transit System choose a different stretch of the trolley line. Isaacs and guest choreographers create six brief dances to take place at OR near stops along that line. 

Our tip? Show up at the starting point for a tour. You buy your ticket and receive a badge that gives you a day pass on the trolley.  A tour guide leads your group to each performance site, taking you on and off the trolley for the trips in between. When your group arrives at a performance site, the dance begins. The performances make good use of the existing environment. Sometimes, the dancers will perform near unique public artworks or unusual buildings. One time, the performers danced in a swimming pool. (and they were fully clothed - it was awesome!)  The entire tour, including travel time, seeing the performances and returning to Downtown takes about two to 
two-and-a-half hours. 

This year's stops will include the new San Diego Central Library and the newly opened Monarch School for students impacted by homelessness. 

The adventure starts at the Northgate Market Plaza on 1950 Main Street, San Diego, Ca. 92113.  For more information, visit  
You won't be disappointed!

Happy travels everyone,

Marc & Darlynne Menkin
Where You Want To Be Tours, Inc.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Fogo de Chão - A dining experience that's out of this world!

It's no secret that being a travel writer has many perks. Every week, there's always something going on whether it's attending a swanky new hotel opening, checking out an amusement park or riding the waves on the latest speed boat thrill ride.Yes, it's a tough job but someone's got to do it.

Just a few days ago, we got to check out a new Brazilian restaurant in the Gaslamp Quarter.
Fogo de Chão on 6th Avenue was so much more than we expected.  As a matter of fact, we never experienced anything like it.  One word of warning: Arrive hungry.  If you're not a big eater, Fogo de Chão probably isn't for you.

Our journey started the moment we set foot inside the restaurant. The last time we were inside this building, it was Borders Bookstore - a place we visited often since we like to read. As we stepped inside, friendly looking waiters greeted us with champagne.  After we checked in, we were escorted to the bar where we quickly found ourselves sipping on their signature Brazilian caipirinha... a cool, refreshing drink perfect for a warm summer evening. It was the Grand Opening night so the place was crowded but the mood was happy and festive. Our waiter Reza Toliati asked if we had ever been to their restaurant and when we said no, he took us under his wing.  He explained how Fogo de Chão features continuous tableside service of fifteen signature cuts of beef, pork, lamb and chicken.  He also encouraged us to visit their gourmet salad and sides bar which had everything from rare and exotic vegetables to imported cheeses and fresh fruit.  Sidebar - if you're not a meat eater, you can easily fill up on their salad bar. It's quite extensive and it's good.

He then explained the importance of a small green and red-sided chip that was sitting on our table.  Reza said the chip was crucial because that's how guests control their service. He said if the green side was facing up, the Gaucho chefs would keep coming to your table with their skewers of sizzling meats.  If the red side was facing up, they knew to stop serving.  If at any point, you decided to resume service, all you had to do was flip the chip back to green.  It all sounded pretty simple but when the service actually began, it was a whole other game.  First of all, we were amazed how quickly the Gaucho chefs reacted.  The moment you flipped your chip to the green side, they were all over your table. At one point, we had two chefs circling our table, with their delicious looking skewers of meat. Talk about getting the full on royal service. 

As we sampled each meat, we couldn't decide which one was our favorite. From the tender filets to the pork loin and robust pork sausages, they were all outstanding.  The meals were complemented by traditional Brazilian side dishes like garlic mashed potatoes, caramelized bananas and their specialty cheese bread.  Tip: You'll be tempted to fill up on the bread - yes, it's THAT good but don't overdo it.

Fogo de Chão is also known for its killer desserts. Some of the dessert choices include South American Flan, Turtle Cheesecake and Molten Chocolate Cake.  We absolutely LOVE dessert but believe it or not, we didn't try any. Not that we didn't want to... we were too full from the delicious dinner.  But our friends gave the dessert menu a big thumbs up so we'll be back.  You can count on it.

Happy Travels everyone,

Marc & Darlynne Menkin
Where You Want To Be Tours, Inc.