This building has changed over the years. As a bar or restaurant it started as The Blind Pig about 25 years ago. A small little quirky club. The owner went on to open a very cool brew pub in town and sold this place. After a couple of different things, The Cowboy Monkey moved in. It is so cool and much larger now ( heck I remember when this space was the kitchen for a big Chinese restaurant). Inside it is both early 20th century retro and hip modern at the same time. Outside is even cooler. A large beer garden type area that is open with people walking back and forth to other bars surrounding it and often live music in the streets. Downtown Champaign has a very cool and lively atmosphere and yet not rowdy.
The menu is hip as well. Its jazzed up tex/mex with a touch of baja and carribean. Served in an always visually appealing way and it is delicious! The whole place just gives you a relaxed vibe but also a visual experence that always kind of refreshes me. A great beer list. A fantastic cocktail list with lots of new hip twists on classics. For this meal i went with the great Dogfish Head 90 minute IPA. A good crisp beer with the hoppiness i like but not taking away from the food. My wife had a pomegranite margarita. Gorgeous looking and she said it was great.
Im going to mostly let pictures do the talking here, especially abut how gorgeous the food is. First the food. I had the capistrano tacos. Three corn tortillas with spicy chicken,cheddar cheese with salsa and guacamole. It also comes with a dish of pickled red cabbage. Just finishes it perfectly. Truly a great dish. Sandy had the baja steak tacos. All the same except with great steak and chihuahua cheese, roastec red pepper/cilantro. Also fantastic. Check out the pictures and we will talk after the jump.
I travel all over and eat all over. Im blessed to do so but this place in my backyard is way up on the list. Cool, fun and delicious. Come check it out.
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The awesome Cowboy Monkey
The coolest western lifestyle store out there
Yes I’m a guy ( a hairy beast of a washed up fighter guy at that!) yet I still shop! Especially in cool locations when I travel. OK so mostly my wife, Sensei Sandy shops and I get coffee or a cocktail and people watch. Same thing right??!! A cool set of shops in an interesting place actually gets my interest. Remember I run media/marketing firm and did 20 years on Wall Street, any commerce gets my interest!
Harbor Walk Village is flat cool. From great restaurants and bars sitting right on the water to interesting shops. Yes there are normal places you would know, but there are many Beach/harbor vibe cool places. Nice to just wander around.
Several things that are different make it extra cool. A little area of food trucks that are awesome, including an airstream trailer. Gives the place a great harbor vibe. It is also the home to the Destin fishing fleet, the largest charter fleet in America. You will see Massive fish being brought in. Soooo cool!! You can go on a dolphin cruise starting here. We did that and I’ll be doing an article/review of it before too long. You can also book a pirate cruise here, looked cool if you had young children.
Since most of you are looking this to see pictures and not my incredible writing lol, I’ll start posting them. Catch you after the pic and video jump to talk a bit more about the area. The even more pics and video!!
So you can see it is a very cool area no matter what you like. We are at Harry Ts Lighthouse and Margaritaville there and I’ll do reviews of both in coming weeks. There are a ton of places to eat and sooo many looked great. I’m ready to book my return and just hang out here!! It’s a mix of cool upscale with relaxed old fishing village. Kinda dig it.
It is built with the Emerald Grande complex, condo residence and vacation rentals. Great looking place. I did not stay there but I’m looking into it for the next trip. Their website will tell you about both the complex and the village. Very informative.
Give this place a look. It was fun and relaxing, coming from a guy who is always amped up! I’ll be looking into Emerald Grande next trip( if you are their marketing rep, let’s get together!!) And you should look at all your options there. If you’d like to be included in our reviews or need promotion, email firstname.lastname@example.org today. Follow @combatsportlife & @tompkinscontent on twitter
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I’ve been fortunate to travel quite often and all over. From fights in my younger years and training and coaching now. Plus my time in trading as well as current promotional work. These things have allowed me to stay in all sorts of places. Rural to urban. Super cheap to very expensive. I enjoy it all. That said, I love the Wynn. Love it! I love Vegas, and I’m not really a gambler. I enjoy casino resorts in general as they are usually well run and often quite beautiful. In the case of Vegas you can find world class food, shopping and people watching! What little time I did gamble, I liked the casino in the Wynn and the accompanying Encore next door. Cool energy and view without the excess noise.
The Wynn is elegant and hip at the same time. Not Palace of Versailles type elegant just a more modern elegance. I like both of those, but this was nice. Spending my days working with fighters and nights going to eat and sight seeing with my wife, the quiet elegance of the place was nice. Vegas energy but nice and not over the top. One of the things I loved was all the artwork. I am a huge art and architecture fan. I’m not overly knowledgeable about either, but enjoy both immensely. Maybe it soothes getting hit in the head often! As you will see when you get to the pictures, the Wynn has great art pieces throughout the resort, and the Esplanade shops that are attached. When I was writing bits for promo pieces while I was there I could always find a nice area to sit with a coffee or cocktail in a secluded area. Beautiful art in an elegant space helps my creativity. Surprisingly for a casino resort, the Wynn had a great number of places just like this. I loved it.
I am going to drop some random pictures of the resort here. Read on after you look at the as I’ll hit on the restaurants and amenities a bit after that. I know I’m random, but I’m a blessed travelling fighter, not a robotic travel writer lol.
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Before putting up a few more pictures, let’s talk about restaurants and amenities. The resort has a ton of food choices. From casual to elegant. Pizza to incredible seafood and steak. From Zoo Crackers deli to SW Steakhouse and of course a buffet. A great experience we had one night was at Costa di Mare in the attached Esplanade shops. The service was phenomenal and the place was beautiful. It was an unusual experience, the explanation of how the cooked and presented your dish was like going to a museum. Not cheap but an experience you can have in very few places. The next set of pictures has a bit of our destroyed plates lol (sadly missed a shot of the salt encrusted whole fish!)
The pool area is stunning. Multiple connected pools. An Italianate look for the cabanas and nice bar. Relaxing and beautiful. Yes there are even a few gaming tables by the bar. I actually enjoyed being out there in the morning. Sitting by the pool doing ad work and writing before heading out to work with fighters. Peaceful and beautiful. Take a look at My Personal Picks
While I was often headed out to different facilities to work out with fighters, I did check out the fitness center in the resort and used it. As someone who sweats for a living, it’s a good one for a hotel! Great staff as well. That is one thing I forgot to mention. The staff at the Wynn is world class. I really mean that. In decades of travel it is truly one of the best overall crews I’ve seen.
One last set of pictures starts with the Lake of Dreams. One of the coolest things I’ve seen. Multiple different shows each night, all through the evening. Between watching it from my room and the show terrace, I was amazed. One evening late after dinner, my wife and I went out on the show terrace and watched. Nice small bar cart there, the wind coming in as a storm moved in. Beautiful and romantic. I know, I’m a fighter so what do I know about romantic? A lot! It’s how I got my wife! Enjoy the random pictures of this place and a few others. Back with a few words after the jump.
Again, after being fortunate enough to stay all over the world, Wynn is high on my list. This whole trip was great, as you will see in future pieces. If you get a chance, stay at the Wynn. Not cheap, but awesome. The only real complaint I had was that the coffee was not at the level that the rest of the resort was. Small complaint ! If you want to know and see more go to the website http://www.wynnlasvegas.com/ or contact me at email@example.com and I’ll help you.
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