foodie

Gratuitous Food and Cocktail Pictures/Descriptions From Recent Trips( and local)

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Just for fun and something different, I thought I’d do a food/travel piece like that. A tiny description/thoughts on a place with a couple of food/drink/ambience pics. Let’s face it, you come here to read my goofy statements and see some pictures!  I’ll never win any awards for this but you guys just keep showing up lol! Let’s do this.
     First Nobu at Caesars in Las Vegas. As with every in Caesar’s, it’s great. Cool look with open modern area and skirted off private booths. Sushi,sushi,sushi! 
 

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    Murphy’s Pub on the UIUC campus in chambana. A classic bar with great burgers. A nice dive that isn’t a dive.

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Mama Sherry’s in Destin Florida. Pizza, wings and other great things. Great food at great prices in an area where food isn’t always cheap. Beer and wine specials, just an overall vibe that feels like vacation.

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Jean Georges in Aria, Las Vegas. Beautiful, world class Steak house. Stunning selection of meat and seafood with great servers. The wine list and staff Aline make it worth a visit. Expensive but worth it. One of my favorites.

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Black dog Smoke and Ale House in Champaign. Great BBQ in a cool old railyard building. Listed as one if the BBQ places in America. Great sides and a fantastic bar list. The ambience is with the trip alone.

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Costa Di Mare in Wynn Las Vegas. One of the most knowledgeable staffs I’ve ever been around. I got a lesson in fish, and sourcing it from unusual places. Prep and cooking. Wine etc. It was amazing. Truly like nowhere else I’ve ever been. Like everything at Wynn, it is first class, and expensive.

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      Look for more in depth reviews of some these at another time. Just wanted to whet your appetite a bit, and entertain you. Yes a bit all over the page but so am I !  Burgers to sushi from a guy who likes to fight and write.
     If you want to be featured or just get an inexpensive link here email me. Lots of plans and prices. Email tompkinscontent@gmail.com and follow @combatsportlife on Twitter
    Today’s link
https://m.facebook.com/Murphys-Pub-116375968386068/

Random Walk And Pictures In Destin Florida ( plus thoughts on the area)

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For those who follow me you already know why I do these pieces. New people? It’s all about learning what an area is like when you go there. Not the glitzy fake shots but what it looks and feels like. Yes I get paid to Promote some places, but I always tell you what it is like. Really Iike!  While I have been all over and treated to an incredible life, I’m a normal guy.  I grew up throwing hay and hunting.  These posts are how I show my kind of people what they should look for.
So in the continuing series of this kind of post please enjoy my thoughts, opinions and pictures on the area. Before I start the pictures which I will kind of put into areas and ideas ( I’m an old fighter not a journalist!!) Let me say that I LOVE!!!! Destin!!!  The water is as gorgeous as anywhere I’ve been in the world. Great restaurants from gourmet to bar food ( my fave). Sugar sand beaches and great shopping. Above all, it has these things in a relaxed southern environment!!!! So let’s get ready to see what it looks like.

I’m going to wander a bit in these pics with a short description overall. First up some random beach shots, mostly down near embassy & the beach hut but a few other shore shots. The water here is gorgeous and some of the cleanest softest sand I’ve been on.

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There are many great restaurants and bars in the area from casual Beach places to chef driven Culinary masterpiece spots. Take a look at some food and spots.

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There are some very cool shopping spots from tourist kitsch stores along the beach drive (Alvin’s island) to the awesome Destin Commons.

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Destin is gorgeous and relaxing with world class food and shopping. I had a great time here and look forward to sharing more about it with you. A couple more random shots just for fun

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If you would like to have us visit your hotel, restaurant or other business to do a piece about it or represent you through our marketing channels email today. From full featured posts about you to ad campaigns or just very inexpensive links. Get involved in our conversational marketing programs. tompkinscontent@gmail.com & follow @combatsportlife on twitter.
Today’s links
http://www.destincommons.com/
http://www.embassydestin.com/
http://www.harryts.com/

Quick Review of A Great Meal @ The Bread Company In Urbana ( lots of pics)

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Let me start with a couple of short statements. I’ve been going to this place with my wife since she was my girlfriend ( A loooong dang time! ). We don’t get there as much because of my travel schedule but this meal reminded me I need to change that! Awesome!!  Second, at some point I’ll do a full review and the inside pics. We ate al fresco and it’s true Street side cafe experience. Love it, but the inside is so very cool that I feel almost criminal not showing you. I’ll have to make that happen. So now on to the thoughts on food and the pictures!
The place is known for its bread obviously, and rightfully so. If you love the classic euro/Swiss feel and food this place is truly a destination for you. They are also known for fondue and it is wonderful. This time we changed gears and tried things there we had not before. As is normal for us, we just kind of ordered several things and ate whatever. And fed each other lol. Almost 50 and together for over three decades and still like young daters lol.
Besides all the bread they brought us first, we had the crab cakes ( my wife’s true love! ). Served on a bed of greens they were outstanding. Obvious use of proper breading made in house. We also ordered a pizza margherita. Let met say I am not a crispy crust guy. This was great. It had that just scorched edge to it. We both loved it.
We also had the fried goat cheese. Again an obvious perfect use of bread crumbs that just happened to be available in a place famous for bread. Perfectly crisp with creamy melting goat cheese inside. Served with a plated bed of honey and strawberry. Simple yet perfect.
Beverages you say??!!  Why yes we might have. They carry a few JT Walkers beers and that makes me happy. JT’s is literally walking distance ( done it!! ) from my house. Maybe a mile. I love the Hail To The Chief IPA. It’s one of my go to beers when I’m around here. So of course that’s what I had. Fabulous as usual. My wife had the sangria. She is a sangria snob. Orders it often. Rarely impressed lol. She liked this one!!  I have to guess that’s a good sign. Take a look at my usual random picture set and we will talk location ( and advertising/sponsorship). Take a look at things we love as well Things we love

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The restaurant is located in what we use to call the Tbird plaza. Why, because it used to house the third movie theater and tbird pizza. The theater is now the famous canopy club!  This is all on the UIUC campus on the Urbana side. Right near Krannert Center. I know we are rural farm folk ( which I love ) but I’ve traveled the globe for fighting and marketing work. This area is truly world class. Take a trip and enjoy it. If you’re from the Chambana area and haven’t been here, I’ll be coming for you!!  Seriously though go enjoy this place and this area.
If you want us to come eat,drink and review your place then contact us today. Beyond that if you want great promo/pics and chatter about yourself, hit us up. From social ads to full campaign work. Plus you can get a globe hopping beat up retired fighter as your spokesperson!!!!  I might limp but I photograph well!  Seriously, work with us. Worried about money? We can work something out. Email tompkinscontent@gmail.com today. Also follow @combatsportlife and @tompkinscontent on Twitter
Check today’s links and sponsors.
http://www.thebreadcompanyurbana.com/

Front Page

http://krannertcenter.com/

https://www.amazon.com/shop/combatsportlife

A Quick Review Of Island Wing Co In Destin Florida

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I usually stick to local dives and hang outs when on a beach vacation, but sometimes something catches my attention. I love wings!  My daughter loves wings even more than I do. Driving along 98 in Destin headed to another area, she spotted Island Wing in a strip mall type area. Not always a bad thing but on beach vacation not always my usual haunt at the beach. It’s a chain but only a few of them and all at Beach locations.
  

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First and possibly most importantly, they have a huge and varied draft beer list. For me this is vital. I know nobody but me cares but it is a sign of a great place!  Second, it’s got a very cool island vibe to it for a place in a strip mall and its very clean.
     The menu is solid leaning obviously toward wings but also chicken sandwiches and burgers. Great sauces and condiments as well as sides. I was in the mood for a sandwich instead of wings so I had the one in the picture. Very good and just spicy enough without being crazy for a normal dinner. I’ll let you look at the menu from the link to see the sauces and make your own decisions after the picture set. I had the sweet çaribbean chicken with an add of jerk sauce. My wife had the honey bourbon wing and my daughter had the Thai chili wings. Great stuff on each. A good amount and very good quality. The price was good as well for a vacation destination in a nice building.
   The service was very good with an attentive young man taking care of us. The added sauce on my sandwich made the right combination of sweet and hot paired with a nice Kona Brewing draught. Can’t beat that. Take a look at the crestvof the pics and then hit the link after the jump.

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Twitter
f you’re in Destin Florida or in Gulf shores check this place out but was right up my alley in food and environment. Plus Draught Beer!!!!  Tell the we sent you!  Check out the link and if you want to be featured here contact us at tompkinscontent@gmail.com . Also follow @combatsportlife & @tompkinscontent on Twitter
http://www.islandwing.com/

A Quick Review Of Mama Sherry’s Pizza and Wings in Destin Florida ( great meal great price)

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   So something that has become a tradition in our family trips is finding a place for pizza and wings. We all love pizza and hit that up wherever we are, but Beach locations require a pizza and wings place. Why??  First because it’s awesome!! Second,  because we spent years travelling for fights and tournaments plus dance comps for my daughter. Now fights and rodeo with my adult children. Along the way at a dance national in Daytona, we found a great pizza and wings place after finally getting back to the beach late in the evening. After all day at the comp we just wanted to hang out. Pizza and wings ( beer and wine for mom and dad) on the beach at midnight hit the spot. The fact that it was a great deal made it better. Thus a tradition began  

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We are fortunate to travel all over and have luxurious travel experiences. Still, my favorite is find that great, quaint place with a great deal on this kind of food. Frankly, it’s how I got here. My loves won’t change!!!! So on this recent trip to Destin we found Mama Sherry’s. In between the high end strip malls with chains and along the road to the marina, this oasis of family vacation fun can be found. You have to either be a local, know it’s there ( because you subscribe to this awesome blog) or know how to search these places out. That said, it is on the main drag on 98 although easy to miss.
      I’ll make this quick and to the point, then I’ll get to the pictures( what you want!!!). We had the hand tossed pizza with pepperoni. A classic without pretense. It was great. We had an appetizer of fried pickles ( my daughter’s fave from bluegrass nationals karate tourney waaay back). Excellent!! We also had wings with a honey habanero glaze. Perfect!  This isn’t molecular gastronomy. This is classic people food. Enjoy it for what it vis. I love both, but this is my world!!!! I had a couple of Mama’s Irish Red ( a private label made by Bud, think Killian’s). Big beers and cheap!! My wife had a couple bof house red wines. Again cheap!  See a theme?? Eat well, have fun, keep some money. OK so next are the pictures. Check out the food and drinks but also the place. Fancy? Nope. Awesome? Oh yeahhhh. If you don’t like this kind of thing you probably aren’t interested in what goes on here. Lighten up, I’ve been around the world and this is great. Check the pics and see how much after the jump.

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Twitter. o all that food and alcohol that was delicious, plus old school Florida ambiance. Less than $50 with tip ( and I tip really well). It more than fed three people ( with lots of leftovers ). Easily feed a family for that or less. Finding budget eats at the beach with a family is something I will always want to show you. I’m always going to be a guy who grew up in a Midwest farm town!!!
   Enjoy. Go there and tell them we sent you. If you want your place reviewed or a link here hit us up. From social care on twitter/fb to full campaigns or just getting us to stop by we want to talk to you. Affordable for any business, email tompkinscontent@gmail.com. follow @combatsportlife and @tompkinscontent on Twitter

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Today’s link! Get yours here !
http://www.mamasherryspizzawingsandthings.com/aboutus.htm

Embassy Suites in Destin Florida ( From a Fighter Who Has Been Around The World)

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I have to say that I’ve lost count of how many times and how many places I’ve stayed in an Embassy Suites. I know the first time was in the late 80s when I was young man. I was doing a kickboxing seminar in St Louis after fighting there a few weeks before. They booked me in to an Embassy in Laclede’s Landing. I was hooked!  Yes like any hotel chain there are ups and downs but for the most part I never worry when a company or dojo book one for me.

So recently my wife, on a whim booked a week in Destin Florida at one for spring break. I was already going to be in the area for a day to do a private coaching session for a fighter, so my wife decided to make a trip of it with our youngest ( my 20 year old daughter ) as we won’t have many left with her at home. Embassy suites it was then.

I like to do my reviews of a hotel or resort as a rolling conversation, but with a core. The general, the meat and the area but mostly pictures!  It gives you an idea of what its really like and as an old fighter, it’s simple!

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So here is the general. Embassy suites is known for three things. Being all suites, having a breakfast buffet with some great cooked to order items and it’s evening happy hour. The evening reception is snacks and free drinks for two hours. Wine, beer and simple mixed drinks. It is a huge draw!  Always served in a gorgeous atrium. This one happened to be under construction during our trip. They used one of their many nice meeting rooms for it, not great but they did a good job. The work was finished our last night so we go a good look and some pics( more later).
The room was very nice. Always good space. Clean and well designed. It has a good luxury feel at a less than luxury price. I always like them, and this location was no exception. Beach locations are hard to stay ahead of cleaning and maintenance but they did well here. I’ll let some room pictures speak for me.

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It’s not in the top of luxe places we stay, but for family trips for many folks it is great. I’ve been all over and we are spoiled, yet this place didn’t disappoint us.

You get private access to strip of beach. It’s a quick walk across the street and it’s gorgeous. You have numbered access through a gate. All places along this strip are like that but keeps things quiet and subdued. Upside is its clean and no drunken stripper battles ( OK upside at my age lol). Downside is that you don’t have the cool cheap Beach food stands right there. If that’s you’re thing for Beach vacation, this isn’t your place. The beach is stunning, but I’ll cover that in other pieces.

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Location wise it’s great for some things, not others. It’s a distance from some big things, harbor walk etc and clubs. If you want to party, arrange transportation or stay elsewhere. For the most part that isn’t who would be here. Harbor walk is great ( upcoming piece) but the party part is different. We stayed here and went there several times. It is very close to Destin Commons which is a cool shopping center with great views( another coming picture review. It’s also close to Silver Sands Premium Outlets if that’s your thing. They are both on 98 and within a couple of miles. Heck I walked up by Silver Sands one night. Ok full disclosure, we all got hungry late and there had been a bit of drinking. Solution, walk to Whataburger and bring food back. Easy walk, and not a bad area. I might not be a good judge as I get hit in the head often!
You can walk along scenic gulf drive, as the hotel sits on it. From Beach rental homes, gorgeous private complete es to kitschy shops it’s a cool place to walk. I’m going to post a few of that ( expect an article just on that street) along with the atrium and other amenities. Catch the final after the jump.

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A quick summation.  If you are want to yell and party naked on the beach, this isn’t you ( I’ll probably hit you ). If you need perfect luxe this isn’t you ( been to that place but still like this). Enjoy it. Enjoy the  area. Enjoy your family.
If you want your place promoted or reviewed, contact us. Want a cheap link or ad with us? Hit us up. Full creative social campaign? Got it!  Motivation for your company?  Personal coaching or private sessions for fighting?  Email tompkinscontent@gmail.com and follow @combatsportlife & @tompkinscontent on twitter. Extremely affordable, unbelievable as to how cheap ( except the fight sessions, those are expensive ♥). If I’m a few dollars and up.
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Links and PR from today
http://embassysuites3.hilton.com/en/hotels/florida/embassy-suites-by-hilton-destin-miramar-beach-DSIESES/index.html
http://m.premiumoutlets.com/default.aspx?id=1348
http://www.destincommons.com/
http://whataburger.com/