Friday, October 26, 2012

Market Grille

 Restaurant Review

Market Grille
110 Buckland Hills Drive, Manchester CT 06042

Someone has finally taken advantage of that great location with the spectacular view that used to be home to Hops.  With views that extend out past Avon, Market Grille, part of the Mill Restaurant Group moved in last month and brought with it a fantastic American menu.  And when I say American I mean it, if it is not raised, grown or produced in this country they don’t have it.  No Australian lamb or Polish vodka here.  It may have foreigner flair, but it was born here.

A wonderful three meat pasta!!
The entrance has been moved to the far side of the building and they have added on a massive patio with its own bar and a fire place.  This will be a summer destination hang out for sure.  The décor is warm and rich you enter to reception where they talk walk-ins or reservations.  The spacious bar with a cow print fabrics is off to the left, there are side seating rooms capable of holding special events as well as table and booth seating.

But really, let’s talk about the food. They have a little bit of everything, a great array of raw bar choices and unique Small Plates.  The Chipotle Cheddar popcorn and the Pumpkin Feta Quesadilla both sound great.  We skipped the small bites and went right into dinner.  A great selection of seafood, beef, pasta, burgers and salads.  I had the Garlic-Lemon brined Chicken with mashed potatoes with a demi-glaze.  Very tasty.  Our table also had the fish and chips and an a amazing ribbon pasta and a three meat ragout.  With more than half a dozen dessert options it has had to choose, but we tried the cookie sampler, 6 fresh baked cookies and a glass of milk. 

Fish and Chips
Cookies and Milk
My next visit will include trying the cheese assortment with options from all over the country and a gourmet burger, or should it be a dinner salad.  Too many good choices.

All and all the service was great, the location is fantastic and I think that they have brought a great new option to the Buckland neighborhood.  Don't forget to check out their seasonal menu's.  Right now it's Oktoberfest.

Friday, October 19, 2012

A touch of Vages right in CT

Hotel Review

MGM Grand at Foxwoods

Last week my office mate and I got to spend the night at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods as part of our yearly trip to the trade show for WB Mason. As "VIP guests" they put us up for the night, took care of all our meals and presented a great office supply trade show. So this week, I thought I would share with you all my review of the HOTEL part of MGM. The newest of the three casinos in the area and part of the MGM franchise, it worth checking in.

The room looks exactly like the pics on the web site!
When you arrive at the MGM you can utilize the valet parking for free (not counting tip), where they help you unload and move your luggage around if needed then put your car safely underground for your stay. The check in area is just beautiful, lots of open space and great bold colors and a wall of water behind the reservation desk. We were asked if we wanted a low, medium or high room and we opted for the 24th floor. The elevators are a bit of a ways away, past Junior's bakery and along the gaming area.

This was my second stay at this property and I find it to be very quiet once you get off the elevators. Our room, 24105, a deluxe double had two luxurious double beds with super soft bedding and pillows. A desk with an office chair and a spacious dresser with a 32" flat screen on top. You will be charged a resort fee (I'm not sure how much) when you check in, this covers your access to the fitness center, the pool which look gorgeous, 2 mini bottles of water in your room and a coffee / tea maker located in your spacious bathroom. You also get a hairdryer (Not attached to the wall, thank you) an iron (which wasn't great) with a board and thier own G-spa show amenities.

Open the glass shower door and there is
a built in tiled bench for sitting.  Very nice.
Not much of a view from our 24th floor if you looked down, it was mostly parking garage, but straight out it was an amazing array of fall colors through the valley. Well worth being up high.

Love the bathroom in this place, a double wide pocket door brings you into the vanity / shower area. The shower is enclosed with a wall of glass and wonderful tiles. The water pressure was great as was the towels in the room, nice and fluffy. The toilet is in the same space but behind a wall, which is nice, but it doesn't have a door to it, so if you want to pee in private while your roommate is putting on make-up, it doesn't work.

I L-O-V-E the tone on tone circular design on the sheets, looks just the pattern in the carpet but white. I tried to see if I could buy a set of the sheets the last time I was there, but they are a hotel and they do not use fitted sheets, flats only, so they do not sell them.

Over all it is a great hotel to stay at, especially if you can get it at a comped rate, rack rate ranges from $199-$249, but the more you game the more deals they will send you. If you can get it for less the $100 I would recommend jumping on it, it is a beautiful, clean and comfortable property.



Friday, October 12, 2012

More than Slot Machines


Top 10 OTHER things to do
At Mohegan Sun Casino
1.)        Food:  man does this place have food… 4 fine dining, 15 casual dining, 1 buffet and a food court.

2.)        Hotel stay:  with 1,200 rooms on 34 floors this luxury hotel is a must.  Frequent the casino and they will send you reduced room rates, usually mid week.  Ask for a river view!

3.)        The Spa:  22,000 square feet of pampering.  From massages and facials to a fitness center and pool, and don’t forget the salon. 

4.)        Shopping:  Upscale or down to earth, jewelry, chocolate, knickknacks, clothing.  There is something for everyone.

5.)        Concerts / Comedy:  In the Arena you can see top name tours or sporting events (Home of the CT Sun womens basketball team) and there is comedy in the Cabaret.

6.)        Free stuff:  There is a free concert in the Wolf Den almost every night!  Or swipe your players club card for giveaways. 

7.)        Night Life:  Romantic dinners, dancing, fireworks a few times a year.

8.)        Mohegan Sun Country Club at Pautipaug, about 15 minutes away you can play 9 or 18 holes at a premier course.

9.)        Celebrity sitings:  You can see music groups being inducted into Mohegan’s walk of fame, see what celeb is hosting this week’s summer pool party Vegas style or check out who is signing autographs and taking pics. 

10.)      People Watching:  Wanna just sit back and watch the world go by.  I recommend these viewing points:  the martini bar under the planetarium stars, the bar by the waterfall (in front of the Dale Chihulli glass sculpture) or just outside of Michael Jordan’s on the upper level over the gaming floor.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Seasoned Pretzels… YUMMY!!

My first recipe

Damn these are good!!

So I have been playing with my latest obsession… Pinterest.  If you are not familiar, it is a social networking page that lets you browse pictures posted by your “friends”, and best of all, the pics link to the page where they originated.  So if you found a picture of sexy looking pretzels and want the recipe, click the pic and you will most likely find it.

That is where I found this recipe, posted from a blog , and it looked to good and easy not to try. 

You take one bag of pretzel sticks and spread them in a 13x9 pan. (easy)

In a bowl you mix 1 cup of canola or vegetable oil (sounds like a lot but it soaks into the WHOLE bag of sticks.)  Add a packet of Hidden Valley Ranch dry seasoning mix and 1 tsp garlic powder.  Now, she recommended 1.5 tsp cayenne as well, but for the price I skipped it.

Pour the mix over the sticks and mix it well.  Then put it in a 225 degree oven for 2 hours, mixing the sticks every half hour.

I have to say, I tasted them every half hour when I mixed it and the flavor just got better and better as it cooked.  This is a great party snack that is easy to make and very addicting.  ENJOY!!

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The TSA Grope and Shuffle, Or....

Did you know??

Got time to get where you are going?

Ride the rails....
... Skip the Scan
If you are not in a rush to get where you need to be and you don't want to start vacation with a search and body scan after waiting in line for far too long... try taking a train to your destination.  No TSA screening, but the view is better and there is plenty of leg room.

This country was built of the rails and the charm of taking the train is not yet over.  Amtrak offers comfy seating, dining cars with pretty good food, sleeper cars, space to play board games, convenient outlets for your electronics (that they won't tell you to shut off, so as to not crash the plane), roomy bathrooms and even double deckers in some areas.