Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Free Kentucky Fried Cruelty

I happened upon this link to a site that helps shed some light on Yo Soy!'s comments to the previous post regarding KFC's animal practices.

Again, I strongly encourage you, if you go to KFC, only go for the free food, and even then, only eat the biscuit. Some of the things they are doing remind me of The Jungle.

Read more here...

Free Kentucky Grilled Chicken from KFC

Free Chicken at KFC. They have a great marketing strategy to get people to try their new Grilled Chicken. Go on the oprah show, and give it away. Thanks to my mom and Joe for sending me the links.
Free Chicken as seen on Oprah!
But you have to download it by tonight, limit 4 per ip address.


Monday, May 4, 2009

Guest Blogger: Ramble Writer, Virigina

Continuing on the trip, Nick and Rochelle of headed north through Virginia. Here is their post on Charlottesville, Virginia and surrounding areas. Enjoy.

-The Food Monster


Charlottesville, Virginia, and Surrounding Areas

On our way to Charlottesville, from Abingdon, we stopped at Rockbridge Vineyard, which is a little over an hour outside of Charlottesville. We tried a variety of wines in their tasting room, which is free to the public. I especially appreciated this wine tasting because most of the wines were dry. In fact, nine of the 11 wines that Rockbridge currently offers are dry. I am acquiring a larger palate for dry wines, and have grown to enjoy a full-bodied, dry red to accompany a meal. We bought the Tuscarora Red, which is only $10. The Tuscarora Red compliments a wide range of meals, especially Mediterranean food. It offers berry flavors and is medium-bodied.

I recommend that you stop at Rockbridge for a wine tasting, buy a bottle or two, and walk around the vineyard. The farm and vineyard are on a renovated 1800’s dairy, and the view of the rolling hills is beautiful.

Rockbridge Vineyard |
35 Hill View Lane, Raphine, Virginia
| 1-888-511-WINE

I had no idea that Virginia was not only a beautiful state to drive through, but has over 140 wineries. Thomas Jefferson even attempted to grow European grapes at Monticello from 1774 to 1816, but it wasn’t until the 1970’s did Virginian winemakers succeed with grape variety experimentation.

For information about Virginia wine and wine trails, visit
When in Charlottesville, it is helpful to be acquainted with the town’s “districts”: the Downtown Mall, The Corner, Belmont, & The University of Virginia campus.

Here are a few stops we made while rambling through Charlottesville:

Blue Mountain Brewery and Hop Farm

9519 Critzers Shop Road, Afton, Virigina

If you haven’t noticed by now, Nick and I love to drink. Not just to drink, but to drink great beer, wines, and liquors of different varieties and from interesting places. Fortunately, our host in Charlottesville, Sean, had the foresight to take us to Blue Mountain Brewery and Hop Farm, located in Afton, Virginia (about 20 minutes outside of Charlottesville).

We each ordered the Sampler, Blue Mountain’s flight of all 6 drafts for $5. We all were not enthusiastic about the lighter beers in the flight, but the darker beers offered a few unique twists. I enjoyed the experience of Blue Mountain Brewery, which offers a view of the farm and a pleasant atmosphere, but I was a bit disappointed with the beer.

Of the flight, my favorite was #6, the Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout. I don’t think I would particularly enjoy a full pint of this beer (due to it’s sweet and strong flavor), but I do appreciate it’s taste. “It smacked me upside the head,” Sean said. This beer is aged in oak bourbon barrels from the Wild Turkey distillery in Kentucky, which explains my reaction to the initial sip. I immediately thought, “This tastes like liquor,” but I could not pinpoint the specific liquor. I liked the unique taste of this beer - what a great idea to utilize the flavors trapped in the oak barrels!

Para Coffee | in The Corner
A colorful little coffee shop that offers decent espresso (which is hard to find), and friendly baristas behind the counter. I recommend getting the bran-raisin muffin, which is the best I have had in quite a while (great muffin top, moist inside, and filled with carrot and raisins!). Serves Shenandoah Joe coffee and has free wi-fi.

Miller’s | in the downtown Mall
Stop by Miller’s to people-watch outside while sipping on a $2 PBR draft.

Beer Run | Belmont (above)
Since Beer Run lacks the yuppies and undergrads of typical Charlottesville bar clientele, this is Sean’s favorite bar. Beer Run is the best of many worlds; it is a beer store, a coffee shop, a restaurant, and a bar. The beer store has so many different beers that you are sure to find something new, and the bar is a great hang out spot. I especially liked our bartender, who poured me a Guiness with a giant D in the head to represent Durham.

South Street Brewery | downtown
South Street is a bit more upscale, with a selection of microbrews to accompany their meals.


Since Sean has lived in Charlottesville for a few years now and I trust his judgment, I took note of his top picks for Charlottesville that we were unable to see:

The best area to hang around is Belmont, which is about a mile from downtown. Stop in at La Taza for coffee, go to Mas for tapas or Bel Rio for American fare. Afterward, grab a drink at The Local. “If I am going to put my nice shirt on,” Sean said, “I go to Ten.” Ten is a posh sushi restaurant which just happens to a favorite of Dave Matthews, a UVA alum.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Guest Blogger: Ramble Writer, Back in Asheville

Finally, another Ramble Writer post. They are finding gem after gem, and I haven't been able to keep up with their posts. They are well past Texas and I've only left Pisgah, North Carolina. Here is their last stop in NC, back to Asheville, where they list off a whole lot of great places. Definitely, a post to read before you visit the land of the skies.

Follow all of their travels in real time at
Discoveries in Asheville is the original post.

-The Food Monster


Discoveries in Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville is a wonderful city. It is laid back, is full of great restaurants, has a creative flair, and offers picturesque mountain views. I enjoy simply walking around downtown Asheville, and over the past week Nick and I have visited quite a few restaurants and shops. Below is a quick list of every place - click on a business name to visit their website.

Jack of the Wood :: 95 Patton Avenue
Their Green Man microbrews hit the spot, there is live music playing every week, and bar food to fill your belly. The bar is smoke-free, by the way, which is a bonus in my book.

Zambra Spanish Wine and Tapas :: 85 W Walnut Street
This restaurant is a bit pricier than our trip budget allows, but fortunately Matt, a friend who happens to work at Zambra, took us out. I was excited to have a tasting of various menu items. We sat in the back, where luscious pillows cushioned us as we laid back while enjoying our meal. It was great. I do remember coming to Zambra years ago with my family. The night we visited, belly dancers danced throughout the restaurant. If you visit Asheville, make sure to stop in for at least a couple tapas and a drink.

12 Bones Smokehouse :: 5 Riverside Drive
If you visit Asheville, at least three or four people will tell you that 12 Bones needs to be a stop on your trip. Nick and I split a barbecue plate with cornbread, collard greens, baked beans, and cole slaw. I love the atmosphere - sit down to a picnic table of your choice (each with it’s own napkin dispenser), and chow down on your meal, which is served on a round aluminum tray.

One Love II Jamaican Restaurant :: 42 S Market Street
Great Jamaican food. Nick and I split the jerk chicken large plate (around $11) accompanied with collard greens, rice, and cornbread. I was too chicken to try the oxtail stew, but the option is there, along with curried goat.

The Noodle Shop :: 3 SW Pack Square
It was so cold at the beginning of the week, and a steaming hot noodle bowl was exactly what I needed. Nick and I split a bowl of noodles (around $6.50), and it was served split for us. The meal was wonderful.

Early Girl Eatery :: 8 Wall Street
This is a well-known restaurant famous for it’s brunch. Early Girl Eatery serves local meats and other eats, offering a homey ambiance perfect for a weekend meal. I have heard that Sunny Point Cafe is even better than Early Girl Eatery, so I plan to scope out the competition for breakfast. Check out the comments for my verdict.
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Pisgah Brewing Company :: 150 Eastside Drive, Black Mountain, NC
Check out Nick’s post: Pisgah Brewing Co. Brewery, Black Mountain N.C. He gives this beer rave reviews!

The Thirsty Monk :: 92 Patton Avenue
The Thirsty Monk offers a great selection of Belgian (and other) beers on tap. I especially appreciated their menu. Its detailed beer descriptions helped me in my decision, and the half-pint option for each beer are convenient for us light-weight customers! Get the spicy nuts to share to accompany your beer. And for you mommies and daddies, head to The Thirsty Monk on Tuesdays, 4pm-7pm, for Babies ‘n’ Beer night. It may sound like an odd combination, but I think it is a great idea.
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Chocolate Fetish :: 36 Haywood St
Need I say more? Ok, I will then - dark chocolate covered caramels (and I’m talking about a chewy caramel… not some liquid excuse for caramel).

French Broad Chocolate Lounge :: 10 South Lexington Avenue
I hung out at FB Chocolate for a few hours this week, sipping on my lavender and honey “Liquid Truffle” while using their free wi-fi. For those of you who have had European hot chocolate, this is what to expect at FB Chocolate - thick and rich (yet with a few flavor twists).
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Frugal Backpacker :: 2621 Hendersonville Rd
After walking in a snowy city, I started to realize that my cold toes needed wool socks. So we headed to the Frugal Backpacker. The Frugal Backpacker offers outdoor gear at discounted prices - don’t expect SUPER discounts (I think I am an even more frugal backpacker), but you will definitely save a little extra cash.

Curtis Wright Outfitters :: 5 All Souls Crescent
Nick bought these awesome gloves at Curtis Wright Outfitters in Biltmore Village. Its a fly shop (or you could even call it a boutique), but also carries useful items for a trip such as ours. Nick’s gloves, made by Choti, are mittens that fold over to allow you to use your fingers. Not only are your fingers available, but the thumb piece is foldable as well. AND… they’re windproof.

Three Dog Bakery :: 21 Battery Park
I just browsed this store, but I couldn’t resist writing about it. Look at these “pastries” - these are dog treats! The “chocolate” you see is carob, and they are all sugar free.

Amazing Savings :: 3018 Us 70 Hwy, Black Mountain, NC
It’s amaaaaazzzing! A great place to stock up on discounted health-food, but make sure to check the expiration dates before making your purchases. Nick and I plan to buy some staple items here before leaving Asheville.

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