Tag Archives: Coffee

Las Vegas: Off The Strip

I’ve been going to Las Vegas on a regular basis for almost 30 years. Up until the last few years, I spent nearly all of my time on The Strip. There is so much to do on that stretch of road that you can easily overlook the fact that Las Vegas is a major metropolitan area with over 2 million residents. Considering this reality, I figured there had to be plenty of things to do that were not on The Strip. I was certain that those who make their home in Vegas don’t spend all their time under the lights and at the tables.

The Bellagio and Caesar's Palace on The Strip in Las Vegas

So over the last few years, I’ve researched and explored food, coffee, and recreation options that aren’t on Las Vegas Boulevard. As of 2023, here’s a collection of some of the best places I’ve found that are worth the trip off The Strip.

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Where it all began – The Caramel Brulée Latte

2021 Starbucks Holiday Cup

Earlier this month, Starbucks sent me a notification for my free birthday drink. It had been a while since I was there. So long, that I couldn’t remember the last time I went. Well, I’m sure I could find out by looking at the purchase history in their app, but you get my point. I don’t spend a lot of time at Starbucks. But since they were offering, who am I to pass up a free drink?

For nostalgic purposes, I treated myself to a Caramel Brulée Latte. Why a Caramel Brulée Latte you ask? Good question, and one that doesn’t have a simple answer.

What follows is the story of my relationship with the Starbucks Caramel Brulée Latte, and how it led me into drinking and making my own coffee.

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San Francisco: Coffee

Inevitably, whether for business or pleasure, I end up visiting the city of San Francisco at least 2-3 times a year. While I’m not the biggest fan of Northern California, I love the city. The sites, the history, the restaurants, the hiking – it has it all.

Like most big cities, San Franciscans take their coffee seriously, which I appreciate and enjoy. I’m always adding a place or two to my rotation of favorite coffee shops when I’m in town.

This past visit was no exception. I found two more places that are sure to be regulars in my San Francisco coffee rotation.

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Where to Get Coffee in Las Vegas

Image of Bellagio and Caesers Palace bathed in the morning lightI get out to Las Vegas a couple of times every year. Usually, I’m there without a car, and my coffee options are limited to what’s available on The Strip. Unless you’re drinking the coffee from one of the restaurants, about the only place you can get a cup is by venturing into one of the stores with the big green logo.

Since I’m not a big fan of their coffee, and I had access to a car on my recent trip to Vegas, I decided it was time to venture off The Strip to see what Las Vegas had to offer in the way of coffee. Given the population density, I figured there must be at least a couple of worthy options if I was up for doing some exploring. Without giving too much away, let’s just say my hunch was correct.

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Seattle: Exploring the food scene

Seattle - Kerry ParkThose who know me know that I like Seattle. I had wanted to go there for the longest time, and my first visit a couple of years ago exceeded my expectations. So when my daughter Courtney landed an internship in the city for the summer, I immediately knew what I would be doing – visiting her!

I’ve made a couple of trips there recently, and it gets better each time. I’ve had more time to explore and search out those places that are hidden gems. Just like my first visit, I haven’t been disappointed in what I’ve found.

As luck would have it, I discovered over the last year that I’m a “foodie”. Don’t ask how. That’s a post for a different time. But being a foodie means I can get picky about where and what I eat. Fortunately, Seattle does not lack for good places. As part of my exploring, I’ve discovered that Seattle takes two particular food items very seriously – ice cream and coffee, which is fine by me. It just so happens these are two of my favorite indulgences. Give me good ice cream and good coffee, and I’m a happy camper. Give me both, and I’m in heaven.

If you’re heading to Seattle, here’s my go-to list of places to try out. If you live in the area, I’d love to hear your opinion and any recommendations you might have for my next visit.

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The transformation is complete

District Coffee House, Boise IDOn a recent business trip, I arrived in Boise on Monday close to midnight.  After a short shuttle trip to my hotel, I figured I should check out my breakfast options before getting into bed. Given my newly formed dependency on coffee, the usual routine would send me to Google Maps to find the nearest Starbucks where I could work while enjoying a cup of coffee and oatmeal. This time around, I wanted to do something different. I decided to try a local coffee shop in the city.

A Google search for “best coffee in Boise” turned up a few places which led to checking out reviews on Yelp. I settled on District Coffee House. It had a few things going for it – It was less than 15 minutes by foot from my hotel, had Wi-fi, plenty of seating, and their online presence exuded a good vibe. I figured it was worth a shot.

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