Category Archives: food

Quiznos

Quiznos Sandwich Shop
~ WORLDWIDE ~

A step up from Subway, Quiznos is a fancy sub-shop chain that you can find throughout North America. It is the second largest submarine shop chain in North America, just behind Subway. It is a franchise that is based in Denver, Colorado and specializes in toasted submarine sandwiches. It was founded by Jimmy Lambatos in 1981 and now has over 5,000 restaurants throughout North America. Today it has over 1,500 domestic locations and approximately 600 international sites. (2018)

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

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Piccino Wood Oven Pizza (Littleton)

Piccino Wood Oven Pizza
~ 5350 S Santa Fe Dr, Littleton: Denver, Colorado 80120 ~ piccinopizza.com ~ (303) 794-2100 ~

This restaurant has not yet been reviewed. I have done a few deliveries for the establishment, and customers seem dedicated, enthusiastic, and happy with the service. Piccino’s is a wood over pizzeria as well as a contemporary chain for order-at-the-counter pizza and pasta shop with some tap beers and wine available.

Review: ___ stars out of 5. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

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Baker Street Pub and Grill


~ 8101 E Belleview Ave, Denver, Colorado 80237 ~ (303) 577-2790 ~
~ places.singleplatform.com ~

This restaurant has not been reviewed. I have done a few deliveries for the establishment and it seems popular, busy, and smells delicious. Located in a shopping plaza near Denver Tech Center, this Pub is a British-themed chain offering pub grub and draft brews, live music, and has a beautiful patio.

Rated: ___ of 5 stars. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

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Five Guys

Five Guys
~ Worldwide ~

On the way to Burning Man, passing through Fort Collins, Colorado – my travel mate introduced me to this fine Burger Joint. Freshly cooked and prepared, there is a bit of a wait, so not your atypical fast food chain – but higher quality and creation. They are a fast growing chain, casual diner style with that 60’s-80’s decor. Free peanuts to snack on while you wait. Originally was called “Five Guys Burgers and Fries” it has been shortened to “Five Guys”. They focus on hamburgers, hot dogs, and fries. Their headquarters is located in Lorton, Virginia and opened their first location in 1986 (Virginia). Today they have over a thousand locations within the United States and Canada. (2018)

I’ve had the pleasure of dining in and take out, as well as delivering for them. The burgers and fries are great. I have yet to try the hot dogs.

Rated: 4 stars out of 5. (Overall Worldwide) ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

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Subway Sandwiches

Subway Sandwiches
(Worldwide)
~ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subway_(restaurant) ~

Subway Sandwiches is a world-wide chain restaurant offering deli sandwich selections and specialties. They can be found all over the globe. The review here only covers my experiences with several dozen I’ve frequented around the world. Subway has always been a quick healthy stop off for breakfast, lunch, or dinner when I’m on the run and busy with work. They hands-down beats the other fast-food competitors. I’m a little disappointed that they discontinued the seafood salad sandwich but understand where they are coming from. Otherwise, my favorites is the cranberry turkey subs and the meatball sandwiches as second and third place. Never had a sandwich here I didn’t like.

An American fast food franchise, Subway serves sub sandwiches, salads, cookies, soups, and other culinary delights. The company is one of the fastest growing franchises in the world with over 45,000 stores located in over 100 countries (2018). They are based in Milford, Connecticut with regional offices in Amsterdam, Brisbane, Beirut, Singapore, and Miami.

Overall Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5 ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

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Fractured Prune Donuts (Denver)

Fractured Prune Donuts
~ 9696 E Arapahoe Rd, Greenwood Village, CO 80112 (Denver, Colorado) ~ (303) 759-0635 ~ https://fracturedprune.com/ ~

A great little hole-in-the-wall donut shop located in a Greenwood Village strip mall off Arapahoe. I discovered it whilst doing food deliveries for a company I contract with. After making several deliveries of the unique pastries, I decided I had to try them for myself. I went back the evening of March 31st, 2018 and ordered a half a dozen. They were hot, delicious, and tantalizing. This counter-serve pit stop for hand-made, freshly created donuts where you decide the toppings you want. They also have coffee, juice, and drinks available. You can watch the process from a window into their donut machine, and watch the donut specialist make the donuts for you. Delicious and well worth the price as well as experience.

Rated: 5 stars out of 5. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

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IHOP Southgate (Colorado Springs, Colorado)

IHOP – Southgate
~ 2290 Southgate Rd, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80906 ~ (719) 635-0777 ~

Out of the Colorado Springs locations, this International House of Pancakes is one of the best. Who doesn’t enjoy IHOP? Its a pancake house worth the wait that you’ll often be greeted with upon entering as IHOP has that reputation. Wide variety of pancakes and all-day breakfast selections, fresh fruit, and delicous fried goods. 24 hours of availability, it will satiate your appetite. Delivery is also fast and efficient. Friendly staff and good food.

Rating: 4 out of 5 ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

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La Baguette (Colorado Springs, Colorado)

La Baguette – Old Colorado City
~ 2417 W Colorado Ave, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80904 ~ labaguette-co.com ~

A great little taste of France right in the heart of Old Colorado City. La Baguette bakery has fine sandwiches, soups, and baked goods – fresh, aromatic, and divine. Place gets a bit busy which slows down dining time, but worth the wait. Its a local charm. Always enjoyed my dining there – food is grand, service is friendly, and experience perfect.

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5 ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

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Pho Brothers (Colorado Springs, Colorado)

Pho Brothers
~ 1107 S Nevada Ave, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80903 – (719) 445-0760 ~

Just off Nevada Avenue, Pho Brothers is a small Vietnamese restaurant located within a mini strip mall. When you walk through their doors you escape the grime of the neighborhood, into a bustling fun ambiance with large screen entertainment. The staff is friendly and helpful. The food is divine. If you’re a fan of Pho, this is the place to go in Colorado Springs. I got the seafood pho and a thai tea bubble drink. It was delicious.

Rating: 5 stars out of 5 ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

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Trader Joes

The Trader Joe’s Chain
~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions as a 5 stars out of 5 ~

Manifested and created by the German grocery store chain Aldi – Trader Joe’s is the Americanized version of Aldi Markt or Aldi North. They tapped the American kitch and spirit of what middle class America wants with an affordable price that catches the budget. But it is different and quite unique, as it is driven by American culture, philosophy, and business practices.

I was first introduced to the shop when living in California the wee stages of Y2K. (year 2000 for the Generation X crowd) Back then, there wasn’t many stores around America. When I moved to Colorado in 2005, i was saddened there were none. It was at that time my favorite grocery store and I really appreciated the food quality, the pricing, and their business model. I can’t say I fully feel the same way today now that Trader Joe’s is in pretty much every state with locations everywhere. By 2015 they became a major grocery store competitor. By the beginning of 2018 they have over 480 stores in America expanding 43 states as well as the District of Columbia. With the growth comes sub-standard practices. They have become a bit more generic and similar to practices that regular grocery chains use. Their prices have increased substantially. Food quality is not so great and they over-use plastic and packaging contributing to the great trash problem on the planet.

Although birthed as its manifestation today being a branch of Aldi Markt (Aldi North) from Germany it was originally founded by Joseph “Joe” Coulombe in 1958 as the Pronto Market convenience store which mimicked 7-11 style and operation located in Los Angeles. He weaved the idea of the Trader Joe’s South Seas motif after vacationing in the Caribbean borrowing its Tiki kitch style as it was very popular motif in the 50’s and 60’s. It wasn’t until 1967 when it was called “Trader Joe’s” and appeared as such with one store on the Arroyo Parkway in Pasadena, California. He leased out space with local butchers to provide fresh meat, operated a sandwich shop within, offered fresh cut cheese and squeezed orange juice.

Trader Joes really didn’t become the genius idea it is today until being owned in 1979 by German entrepreneur Theo Albrecht who purchased the store from Joe as a personal investment for his family. By 1987 Joe was succeeded by John Shields as CEO who expanded the market into Arizona in 1993 and the Pacific Northwest by 1995. By 1996 they opened stores in the Boston area opening the East Coast market. By 2001 Dan Bane took over being CEO expanding to 156 stores within 15 American states. Theo died in 2010 passing the Trader Joe’s business on to his family becoming even more so the Americanized Aldi Markt.

The Good
Trader Joe’s has unique items, still good pricing, and matches the populous generation’s budgets. It is still one of the best stores in America. In 2016 Trader Joes made a goal to have all the eggs they sell in Western STates to come from cage-free suppliers by 2020, and all eggs nationally to be cage-free by 2025.

The Bad
With its growth has come sub-standard quality and practices, pushing out local markets and chains. While this is normal for any major growth of a company, their practices are beyond secretive. Reports have claimed at the majority of Trader Joe’s products are made on equipment that doesn’t separate out production for those of philosophical or health-concerned needs. The equipment is exposed to dairy, nuts, meat, and non-kosher foods. In 2017 they claimed to have invented the “puff dog” – a roll of spiced sausage meat wrapped in a puff pastry, but British and Commonwealth Media challenged their claim by stating this was already a traditional British savoury snack.

The Ugly
Trader Joes uses too much packaging causing it to be a plague on the environment. This has caused Trader Joes to rank low on Greenpeace’s sustainable seafood report card stating they have excessive packaging with even produce sealed in plastic and utilizing a business mode that forces consumers to buy large enough quantities to encourage waste. They have been known for their lack of transparency about their sources of their products.

Stores reviewed:

Products reviewed:

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Jack Quinn’s Irish Pub (Colorado Springs, Colorado)

Jack Quinn’s Irish Pub
~ 21 S Tejon St, Colorado Springs, CO 80903 ~ (719) 385-0766 ~ https://jackquinnspub.com/ ~

Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

One of Colorado Springs’ landmark Irish pub locations with a very comfortable relaxed environment full of songs, traditional cuisine, dancing, and jigs. It is the central location where the local Irish meet, greet, and sing. Outside of being too crowded and not finding a seat, the establishment has never let me down for fun, frolick, and good times. Perfect place to meet friends and have fun. Great service, friendly staff, and all out great business. Rated: 5 stars out of 5 Visited 2/25/11.

If you would like to contact the author about this review, need a re-review, would like to advertise on this page, or have information to add, please contact us at technogypsie@gmail.com.

Birthday Celebration at Jack Quinn’s (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=36255) with the family: The Great Walkabout: http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?page_id=114. From Colorado Springs to Australia, Europe, and back. Photos taken February 25, 2011. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=17409. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2011 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.

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Pulcinella Pizzeria (Denver, Colorado)

Pullcinella Pizzeria
~ 1400 E Hampden Ave, Englewood, CO 80113-3116 ~ http://www.pulcinellapizeria.com/ ~

Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

A fabulous little pizzeria with great slices, wonderful hospitality, and perfect service. I was introduced to this charm from a friend and has been a favorite pizza parlor ever since. It has been suggested that this Denver location is no longer and that the pizzeria is now in Fort Collins. For this visit, 2/24/11, it was a 5 stars out of 5 experience.

If you would like to contact the author about this review, need a re-review, would like to advertise on this page, or have information to add, please contact us at technogypsie@gmail.com.

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EBT/SNAP – Not just food stamps

Electronic Benefit Cards (EBT)

Historically known as “Food Stamps”, EBT or the “Electronic Benefits Card” is a state operated program to assist no or low income families with monthly food expenses. There are however much more benefits to the cards than just monthly food allowance. The card can get you discounts and admissions to family museums and/or events. Just because poverty has given you a hard time recently, doesn’t mean your children have to suffer and not experience educational programs, museums, and ability to play with other children.

This article is centered around Colorado as that is my home state, however, many of these benefits extend to other states and other state recipients can benefit on these when coming to Colorado.

The Food selection of the EBT card in Colorado can be used for food and grocery purchases, food deliveries from Schwans, Pizza from Papa Murphy’s (and other take-n-bake outlets some of which will cook the pizza for you for an addition $1-2), Energy Drinks (has to have a food nutrition label on it), Fresh Produce at Farmer’s Markets, Starbucks in Grocery Stores, Seeds/Plants that grow food, live lobsters/shellfish, birthday cakes, special event cakes (unless decoration makes up more than 50% of cake), non-ornamental pumpkins, and gift baskets for the holidays (as long as all contents are edible and don’t contain prohibited items). Showing your EBT Card in Denver can get you and your family in for $1 each admission to the Denver Children’s Museum and the Denver Museum of Natural History.

ALL STATES

  • Look up your state here: https://lowincomerelief.com/ebt/

    COLORADO

    Double Up Food Bucks – Colorado

    Denver, Colorado:


    • Children’s Museum – $1 admission ticket for each family member.
    • Denver Museum of Natural History – $1 admission per person up to 10 in party.

      Lafayette, Colorado

    • WOW Children’s Museum – $10 per family per year.

      WASHINGTON STATE

      Bellevue, WA

    • KidsQuest Children’s Museum – $3 admission

      Everett, WA

    • Imagine Children’s Museum – $3 admission

      Olympia, WA

    • Hand’s On Children’s Museum – Free admission

      Seattle, WA

    • Living Computers: Museum + Labs – $1 daily admission OR $10 Family Memberships
    • Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) – $2 per person
    • Pacific Science Center – Family Memberships for $19/YEAR
    • Seattle Children’s Museum – $1 per person with EBT or ProviderOne Card

      Tacoma, WA

    • The History Museum – $1 for an individual OR $2 for the whole family
    • The Tacoma Art Museum – $1 for an individual OR $2 for the whole family
    • The Museum of Glass – $1 for an individual OR $2 for the whole family
    • Tacoma Children’s Museum – Donations Only
    • My kiddos at Tacoma Children’s Museum

      General Services and Purchases:

    • AMAZON PRIME $5.99/month : https://www.amazon.com/l/16256994011
    • Amazon Prime for $5.99/month
    • Bertoglio’s Pizza
    • Community-supported agriculture programs including organic delivery services sometimes accept EBT.
    • Farmer’s Markets (not all, but most – and some will double your money value – i.e. $20 worth of produce for $10)
    • Fast Food Restaurants (certain ones in certain states): https://lowincomerelief.com/fast-food-restaurants-ebt/
    • Food and groceries from most chain grocery stores like Albertsons, King Soopers, Safeway, Trader Joes, Costco, Walmart, City Market, Fred Meyers, Cheapies, etc. SNAP EBT Locator
    • Hot and Ready Pizzas at 7/11 (buy frozen with EBT and they’ll cook it afterwards on site)
    • Internet (Free and discounte): https://lowincomerelief.com/how-to-get-free-internet-almost/
    • Internet Essentials and Low Cost Laptops
    • Leonardi’s Pizza (inside Winco) ($1 cash per pizza to get it cooked)
    • Papa Murphy’s
    • Schwan’s Food Delivery Trucks (does not cover delivery charge)
    • Starbucks within Grocery Stores that accept EBT
    • Subway Sandwiches (inside gas stations)

    Recommended Reading:

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    China Doll (Colorado Springs, Colorado)

    China Doll Restaurant
    ~ 3629 Star Ranch Rd, Colorado Springs, CO 80906 ~ (719) 579-8822 ~ doordash.com ~

    Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

    One of my favorite quick Chinese buffets in Colorado Springs, China Doll has a small buffet lunch-time weekdays with some of my favorite dishes. The price is right, the service is fabulous and friendly, and the food is good. What more could you ask? While a medium sized restaurant nestled in a strip mall, on the southwest side of town, it caters to the Army and Air Force the most, it is never too crowded or busy because of its remoteness – so guaranteed seating and not having to wait. I have yet to partake of the menu ordering experience but the buffet is great. Rating: 4 stars out of 5 (visited 1/29/18)

    If you would like to contact the author about this review, need a re-review, would like to advertise on this page, or have information to add, please contact us at technogypsie@gmail.com.

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    Wild Ginger Restaurant (Colorado Springs, Colorado)

    Wild Ginger Thai Restaurant
    ~ 2628 W Colorado Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80904 ~ (719) 634-5025 ~

    Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions Visited 2/14/2011 ~

    One of my favorite Thai restaurants in Colorado Springs and Old Colorado City. Nestled just near the border of Old Colorado City and Manitou Springs off West Colorado Avenue is a decent-sized family restaurant called “Wild Ginger”. The service is great, the ambiance golden, and the dishes remarkable. The spice is quite right when you ask for Thai spice, the authentic cuisine is a delicacy in the heart of the wild West. Back in 2010-2011 I would frequent this lovely establishment monthly and sometimes weekly. Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5 (Visited for review 2/14/11)

    If you would like to contact the author about this review, need a re-review, would like to advertise on this page, or have information to add, please contact us at technogypsie@gmail.com.

    Wild Ginger (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=36099) – 02.14.11 : A Thai Valentines. The Great Walkabout: http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?page_id=114. From Colorado Springs to Australia, Europe, and back. Photos taken February 14, 2011. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=17409. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2011 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=34457

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    The Zombie Frappacino

    Zombie Frappacino

    Starbucks Zombie Frappacino
    ~

    Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~
    https://www.starbucks.com/menu/drinks/frappuccino-blended-beverages/zombie-frappuccino- ~

    As usual, Starbucks is always on top of getting in chime with current fads, whims, and trends. Of course, “Zombies” are a year-round trend, they are just more popular in October. So to get with the spirit, Starbucks has created the “Zombie Frappacino” – a tasty an colorful blended iced drink with delicious apple and caramel flavors. Not caffeinated either, so it won’t turn you into a running zombie. A nice treat in the month of October. Limited run and selection offering. Rating: 4 stars out of 5

    Ingredients: Ice, Milk, Crème Frappuccino Syrup [Water, Sugar, Salt, Natural And Artificial Flavor, Xanthan Gum, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid], Zombie Mocha Drizzle [Mocha Sauce (Water, Sugar, Cocoa Processed With Alkali, Vanillin), Pink Powder (Dextrose, Fruit And Vegetable Color [Apple, Cherry, Radish, Sweet Potato])], Green Caramel Apple Powder [Dextrose, Fruit And Vegetable Color (Spirulina, Turmeric), Natural Flavors, Citric Acid].

    If you would like to contact the author about this review, need a re-review, would like to advertise on this page, or have information to add, please contact us at technogypsie@gmail.com.

    Zombie Frappacino (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=33965) – Starbucks Kiosk, Shopping at King Sooper’s, Uintah Street, Colorado Springs, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken October 25, 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography

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    Spirits and Entities, spirituality of Alcohol

    Spirits and Entities of Alcohol
    by Thomas Baurley, Leaf McGowan, Technogypsie Productions

    It always amazes me how the world really doesn’t understand the “root” of all things, nor pay attention to the “history” of various items or substances that they use occasionally or daily in life. I strongly believe it is very important to know the “root” and “makeup” of anything one puts in their bodies. Regardless of whether one is religious, spiritual, or scientific – the role of religion and spirituality in all aspects of life has some intriguing elements that should not be ignored. The proverb “You are what you eat”; has a lot of elements of truth in that saying because what you put in your body affects it chemically, physically, mentally, emotionally, and yes, spiritually. I won’t debate between science and religion in this article and for those readers that are atheist and don’t believe in spirituality – while reading this – simply ignore the spiritual overtones of this article and focus on the chemical aspect of what is being put in your body and understanding the elements you allow into your temple. For those readers that are avid drinkers – think about the drink you are putting in your body and go for higher quality substances as one really should consider changing to “organic” and “triple distilled” spirits instead, and for the spiritual user – know the entity or “spirit” you are inviting into your being.

    This is not a negative article on drugs, substances, or alcohol, but rather a spiritual understanding of why we use them, the benefits and the dangers associated with them. Alcohol use needs to be practiced responsibly, for abusing it can lead to serious consequences. There really is more to “being under the influence” than you can rationally understand. Historically and spiritually, in all world cultures and religions, in folklore and mythology, every substance, every herb, every mineral, and every plant has a “spirit” or “entity” or “deity” assigned or associated with it. Drugs – Alcohol, barbiturates, hallucinogens, chemicals, or what-not are made of compositions of plants, herbs, minerals, and living matter. Drugs are medicines as well as poisons, with positive and negative effects on a living host that ingest them. Side effects from these drugs create various moods, effects on the body, mind, spirit, and persona. Many of these effects are utilized for spiritual visions, trances, omens, oracles, prophecies, messages, or communication with the beyond in the realms of religion. When abused, they often consume the body and the soul and will create a degradation of a being. Regardless of the substance : alcohol, marijuana, psilocybin, LSD, mDMA, barbiturates, etc. – Each substance has its own entity or spirit that culture attributes certain persona and effects to. It is pretty important to understand what entities you are dealing with, and how to gain advantage from a temporary relationship with them, and how to avoid them taking advantage of you.

    For this article, I’m focusing on “spirits” or “alcohol”, as it is the most common grouping of entities that the mass population deals with. Why is “Alcohol” given the name “spirits” in the annals of history? The words “alembic” and “alcohol” are metaphors for “aqua vitae” (Life Water) and “Spirit”, often refer to a distilled liquid that came from magical explorations in Middle Eastern alchemy. “Alcohol” comes from the Arabic “al-kuhl” or “al-ku??l”, which means “Body Eating Spirit”, and gives the root origin to the English term for “ghoul”. In Middle Eastern Folklore, a “ghoul” is a “evil demon thought to eat human bodies”, either as stolen corpses or as children.

    Since the root of the name “alcohol” is related to the concept of “body eating spirit”, this is also one of the early roots to traditional taboos on imbibing alcohol in the beginnings of Islam and similar prohibition faiths. In Islam, consumption of any alcohol is punishable with 80 lashes. To many “Pagan” or “Heathen” faiths, the imbibing of spirits and the temporary relationship with these entities gives definition to the “aqua vita” beliefs or “life water” or “connection / communication with spirits” that can be quite beneficial. In fact, faiths that had its roots in Paganism, such as Christianity and Islam, have carried over beneficial beliefs about the consumption or imbibation of alcohol.


    As Middle Eastern alchemists ingested alcohol they reported that their senses deadened and this is why they saw the elixirs produced as possessing “body taking” qualities. This is where the Europeans are believed to have derived the use of “spirits” for “alcohol”. What is ingested affects a living body spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically. Some believe it will affect the soul as well and that it is all about relationships. Some faiths and cultures have credible valid positive reasons to abstain from drugs and alcohol, while others have equal reasons to promote them. Many cultures see drugs and alcohol as negative, but if one looks into the history of these elementals, there exists many positive elements in their usage, especially when balanced with spirituality and religion. Many cultures and faiths traditionally ingest something in order to commune with the Divine, God/desses, and/or spirits. Whether the wine and bread of Catholic Mass, or the trance induction of peyote with South American Shamans, the use of these substances have a honored tradition throughout history. Shamanic use of trance-inducing drugs are not considered destructive, but rather gifts of the Gods that allow the body and spirit to commune with higher planes of existence. Peyote, ayahuasca, salvia divinorum, absinthe, psilocybin, and other substances are assigned to induce spirit communication, clairvoyance, and the ability to heal. Most forms of Christianity consume alcohol as part of everyday life and nearly always use “wine” (fermented grape juice) in their central rite with the Eucharist or “Lord’s Supper”. The beliefs surrounding this practice state that Christian Tradition and/or the Bible teaches that “alcohol” is a “gift from God that makes life more joyous, but that overindulgence leading to drunkenness is a sin”. The key of Christianity is “moderation”. 19th century Protestants attempted to move from this earlier position of thought and pursuing “abstention” or “prohibition” of alcohol believing its use to be a “sin” even to the extreme of a sip (i.e. Mormonism). The Bible repeatedly refers to alcohol in use and poetic expression, and while mainly ambivalent to it, still states them to be both a “blessing from God that brings merriment” and a “potential danger that can be unwisely and sinfully abused”. “Wine” is often portrayed in daily life as a symbol of abundance and physical blessing, and negatively as a “mocker” with beer being a “brawler”, and drinking a cup of strong wine to the dregs and getting drunk can be presented as a symbol of God’s judgement and wrath. As puritans often spoke in their sermons that “Drink is in itself a good creature of God, and to be received with thankfulness, but the abuse of drink is from Satan; the wine is from God, but the drunkard is from the Devil”. Bible warns that alcohol can hinder moral discretion, and that alcohol can be corrupting of the body and a substance that will impair judgement and distract one from God’s will of life.

    While the Ancient Egyptians promoted beer and wine, they did warn of taverns and excessive drinking. However the Greek Dionysus cult promoted intoxication as a means to get closer to their Deity. Macedonians viewed intemperance as a sign for masculinity and were well known for their drunkenness. Alexander the Great was a proponent to the Cult of Dionysus and known for his inebriation. Ancient and Modern Roman celebrations on March 15th of Anna Parenna celebrates the Goddess of the Returning Year by crossing the Tiber River and “go abroad” into Etruria and picnic in flimsy huts made of branches, drink as much alcohol as they could, as it was thought that one would live for as many years as cups of alcohol one could drink on this date. Once finished they would return to their homes in Rome. Most Pagan religions encourage alcohol use and some pursue intoxication promoted as a means of fostering fertility. To Pagan faiths it is believed to increase sexual desire and to make it easier to approach another person for sex. Norse paganism considered alcohol to be the sap of Yggdrasil and drunkenness as an important fertility rite in this religion. Alcohol was also used for medicinal purposes in biblical times as an oral anesthetic, topical cleanser, soother, and digestive aid. Problems associated with industrialization and rapid urbanization were also attributed and blamed on alcohol including urban crime, poverty, high infant mortalities, though its likely that gross overcrowding and unemployment was the actual root cause. The modern world then started blaming personal, social, religious, and moral problems on alcohol. This led to modern movements of prohibitionism. A typical Buddhist view on Alcohol use is as a shortcut for the pursuit of happiness as it produces a short term euphoria or happiness and this is the reason millions of people drink it repeatedly every day. Buddha teaches alcohol as well as all drugs, lead to mis judgement, blocks rational thinking, and therefore preached against amongst its disciples even though in some Buddhist disciplines it is used as offerings to Deity and spirits. Islam, Jainism, the Bahai’ Faith, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Seventh-day Adventist Church, the Church of Christ, Scientist, the United Pentecostal Church International, Theravada, most Mahayana schools of Buddhism, some Protestant denominations of Christianity, and some sects of Hinduism – forbid, discourage, or restrict the drinking of alcoholic beverages for various reasons.

    Science tells us alcohol releases dopamine into the brain, stimulating the pleasure sensation. There are a lot of “expectations” with alcohol, and many of these will still operate in the absence of actual consumption of alcohol, when the individual believes they are consuming alcohol. Research in North America shows that men tend to become more sexually aroused when they think they have been drinking alcohol, even when they have not been drinking it. Women report feeling more sexually aroused when they falsely believe the beverages they have been drinking contained alcohol. Men have show to become more aggressive in laboratory studies when they are drinking only tonic water but believe it contains alcohol, they also become less aggressive when they believe they are drinking only tonic water, but are actually drinking tonic water that contains alcohol.

    In Magical Views, the use of alcohol, especially in ritual and rite, is a very powerful vehicle for altering states of consciousness, communicating with spirits, Deities, Ancestors, and entities. It aids in relaxation for ritual. It frees the mind of responsibility and control, and is a great aid to those very logical individuals that have to be “in control”. However it can be detrimental to those who have a lot of natural psychic or medium-ship abilities that have been raised in families or cultures that demonized or invalidated these gifts. As alcohol and drugs impair the left brain first (logical) and enhances right brain activity (where spirit communication and psychic abilities reside), thereby increasing psychic or mystical experiences while under the influence. The affects are dependent on the individual and their type, as it can be dangerous with some people – those susceptible to possession and toying by spirits, excessive drinking is similar to “throwing open the saloon door and calling out to a crowd of alcoholics – ‘Bar is open, drinks are on (in) me’”, which will attract lower astral entities to enter the body and soul to experience the alcohol vicariously through the person. It is easier for spirits to influence one when they are intoxicated, some of which are very “low life” or “demonic” entities. (Many are good and powerful, including Deities like Dionysus, Maeve, etc. but usually associate with the particular elixir being imbibed) Mixing of “Spirits” can be dangerous and very toxic on the body and spirit, as the doorway to the soul can be an orgy of spirits that the person cannot handle, often leading to alcohol poisoning, sickness, illness, and/or death.

    Historical: Ancient China had wine jars in Jiahu dating to 7,000 B.C.E. and considered a spiritual food rather than a material food with high importance in religious life. Neolithic wine making was found to date from 5400-5000 B.C.E. as archaeologists uncovered a yellowish residue at Hajji Firuz Tepe in a jar that analysis determined came from wine making. Early brewing dates in Egypt showing alcohol was presided over by the God Osiris. Chalcolithic Era Indus Valley civilizations in India date from 3000-2000 B.C.E. with Hindu Ayurvedic texts describing beneficent uses. Babylonians in 2700 B.C.E. worshiped a wine Goddess and other wine deities. Xenophon (431-351 BCE) and Plato (429-347 BCE) praised moderate use of wine as beneficial to health and happiness, but were critical of drunkenness. Hippocrates (460-370 BCE) praised it for its medicinal properties (wine). Some Native American peoples developed an alcoholic beverage called Pulque or Octli as early as 200 C.E. that was used for visions, religion, and prophecy. The first distillations of spirits came from the Medieval Period, with the School of Salerno in 12th century, and fractional distillation developed by Tadeo Alderotti in 13th century. Distillation of whiskey first performed in Scotland and Ireland for centuries, and the first written confirmation of whiskey comes from Ireland in 1405, Scotland in 1494.

    Alcoholic beverages are drinks that contain “ethanol” (a.k.a. “alcohol”). They are divided into three classes: beers, wines, and spirits. “Spirits” often related to distilled beverages low in sugars and containing a minimum of 35% alcohol by volume. These are often referred to as Gin, Vodka, and Rum. Alcohol is legally consumed in most countries, though regulated by over 100 countries in terms of production, sale, and consumption. In most countries and religions, alcohol plays a major role in social events, rituals, and traditional celebrations. Alcohol is a psychoactive drug with a depressant effect that reduces attention and slows reaction speeds. It can be addictive and those addicted are considered to be under the sickness called “alcoholism”. Science shows that alcohol is beneficial in moderate amounts, especially a glass of wine drunk daily as it aids in digestion. If food is eaten before alcohol consumption, it reduces alcohol absorption, and the rate at which alcohol is eliminated from the blood is increased. The mechanism for the faster alcohol elimination appears to be related to types of food especially those with alcohol-metabolizing enzymes and liver blood flow. Consumption of alcoholic drinks during Medieval times was a method used to avoid water-borne diseases such as cholera as alcohol kills bacteria.

    Beer:
    is the world’s oldest and most widely consumed alcoholic beverage, and the third most popular drink after water and tea. It is produced by brewing and fermenting starches derived from cereal grains – most commonly by means of malted barley, though sometimes with wheat, maize, or rice. There are two main types of beer: Lager and Ale. Ale is classified into varieties such as pale ale, stout, and brown ale. Most beer is flavored with hops adding bitterness and as a natural preservative. Beer is usually 4-6% alcohol by volume, but can be less than 1% or more than 20%. It is a stipend of the drinking culture of most nations, and has social traditions such as beer festivals, pub culture, pub crawls, and pub games. The Christian Bible refers to beer as a brawler. Medieval monks were allotted about five liters of beer per day – allowed to drink beer but not wine during fasts. Many Saints and Deities were associated with Beer, such as: St. Adrian, the patron saint of Beer; St. Amand, patron saint of brewers, barkeepers, and wine merchants; and The Ancient Egyptians believed Osiris gave their people “Beer” as he invented it and it was a necessity of life, brewed in the home on an daily basis. In Ancient Egypt, Cellars and wine presses often had a God who was associated with each of the 17 types of beer they created. These were used for pleasure, nutrition, medicine, ritual, remuneration, and funerary purposes. Babylonians often offered beer and wine to their Deities as offerings.

    Wine: Alcoholic beverages distilled after fermentation of non-cereal sources like grapes, fruits, or honey. It involves a longer complete fermentation process and a long aging process (months or years) that create an alcohol content of 9-16% by volume. Sparkling wines are made by adding a small amount of sugar before bottling, creating a secondary fermentation in the bottle. The Bible refers to wine as a symbol of abundance and physical blessing, bringer and concomitant of joy, especially with nourishment and feasting; as well negatively as a mocker. It is commonly drunk with meals, as the Old Testament prescribed it for use in sacrificial rituals and festal celebrations. Jesus’ first miracle was making copious amounts of wine at the wedding feast of Cana where he instituted the ritual of the Eucharist at the Last Supper during a Passover celebration that “wine” is a “new covenant in his blood”. Under the rule of Rome, the average adult male who was a citizen drank an estimated liter (1/4 of a gallon) of wine a day. Thomas Aquinas, a Dominican monk and the “Doctor Angelicus” of the Catholic Church said that moderation in wine is sufficient for salvation but that for certain persons perfection requires abstinence and this was dependent upon their circumstance. Wine has been associated or assigned to various Saints, Deities, and Spirits such as St. Amand, patron saint of brewers, barkeepers, and wine merchants; St. Martin, the so-called patron saint of wine; St. Vincent, and patron saint of vintners. In Ancient Egypt, Cellars and wine presses often had a God who was associated with each of the 24 varieties of wine they created. These were used for pleasure, nutrition, medicine, ritual, remuneration, and funerary purposes. Babylonians in 2700 B.C.E. worshiped a wine Goddess and other wine deities. Babylonians often offered beer and wine to their Deities as offerings. In Greece the art of wine making reached the Hellenic peninsula by 2,000 B.C.E. – the first of which was Mead, and by 1700 BCE wine making was commonplace and incorporated into religious rituals. Balche’, a Mayan Honey wine, was associated with the Mayan deity Acan.

    Spirits: Unsweetened, Distilled alcoholic beverages that have an alcohol content of at least 20% ABCV are called spirits. These are produced by the distillation of a fermented base product, which concentrates the alcohol, and eliminates some of the congeners. These can be added to wine to create fortified wines such as ports and sherries.
    These are often Vodka, Rum, Gin, Whiskey, Whisky, Tequila, and other spirits.

    Some commonly believed changes in personality with ‘types’ of alcohol:

    • Beer: Boldness, Braveness, Becoming Boisterous, Loud, Obnoxious, Lush behavior, Know-it-all attitudes, and Dumb-ness.
    • Wine: Romantic connotations, sexuality, relaxation, restfulness, tranquility, lush-ness.
    • Vodka: Bravery, Boldness, Invincibility, Strength, Attitude, Security.
    • Tequila: Boldness, wildness, sexuality, aggression, and lush behavior.
    • Absinthe: Creativity, Inspiration, Desire to do Art, Write, or Music; imaginative thought. Rumored to be psychedelic and produce hallucinations. Inspires oracles, omens, and prophetic thought.
    • Rum: Wildness, craziness, boldness, and lust.
    • Gin: Intellectual thought, healing, lethargy, and dumb-ness.
    • Whiskey: Aggression, testiness, boldness, violence, invincibility.
    • Irish Whiskey: Revitalization, Rebirth, Renewal, Invincibility, and Intellectual discussions.

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    Poor Richards (Colorado Springs, Co)

    Poor Richards

    Poor Richards
    ~ Colorado Springs, Colorado ~

    Write up coming soon ….

    Poor Richards ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=29645) – New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken December 23, 2016. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography

    Poor Richards ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=29645) – New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken December 23, 2016. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography

    Poor Richards ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=29645) – New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken December 23, 2016. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography

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    Marilyn’s Pizza Parlor

    Marilyn's Pizza (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=29417&); Explorations around Manitou Springs, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 - Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf  and Prince Cian.  Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken December 18, 2016.  To read the adventures, visit   http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965.   To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews.  All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com - by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography.  Manitou Springs: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=22613; Colorado: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=22613.
    Marilyn’s Pizza (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=29417&)

    Marilyn’s Pizza
    ~ 964 Manitou Ave, Manitou Springs, CO 80829 ~

    A great little hole-in-the-wall restaurant and pizza parlor in the heart of Manitou Springs downtown next to the former Ancient Mariner and the Mate Factory. Friendly service and timely pizza with a variety of choices. We had the basic slice and a macaroni and cheese slice. Good eats. Rating 3 stars out of 5

    Marilyn's Pizza (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=29417&); Explorations around Manitou Springs, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 - Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf  and Prince Cian.  Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken December 18, 2016.  To read the adventures, visit   http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965.   To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews.  All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com - by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography.  Manitou Springs: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=22613; Colorado: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=22613.
    Marilyn’s Pizza (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=29417&); Explorations around Manitou Springs, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken December 18, 2016. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography. Manitou Springs: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=22613; Colorado: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=22613.

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    Grand Central Cafe, Portland, Oregon

    Grand Central Cafe, Portland, Oregon:  http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=25903.  Life in the Gorge: Chronicle 22 - Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian.  The Gorge/Columbia River, Oregon-Washington. Photos taken March 27, 2016.  To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=17903.  Hood River: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=23683; The Dalles:  http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=24107; White Salmon:  http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=23677; Husum: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=25039; Portland:  http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=281.  To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews.  All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com - by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.
    Grand Central Cafe, Portland, Oregon: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=25903.

    Grand Central Bakery
    ~ 2230 SE Hawthorne Blvd Portland, OR 97214 ~ http://grandcentralbakery.com/ ~

    We stopped at this Pacific Northwest Bakery chain while waiting to meet some friends. It had some tasty chai and great cross buns for the Easter holiday season. It was originally created by Gwen Bassetti at Seattle’s historic Pioneer Square, locally owned chain dedicated to artisan baking. An assortment of breads, baked goods, sandwiches, soups, teas, coffees, and juices can be found here. Her original sandwich start started in Seattle’s newly refurbished Grand Central Hotel Building where it changed names from Gwen’s roadside farm stand on Lopez Island in the 60’s to the Grand Central Bakery in 1989. Famous for her Como loaves. Rating: 4 stars out of 5

    Grand Central Cafe, Portland, Oregon:  http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=25903.  Life in the Gorge: Chronicle 22 - Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian.  The Gorge/Columbia River, Oregon-Washington. Photos taken March 27, 2016.  To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=17903.  Hood River: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=23683; The Dalles:  http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=24107; White Salmon:  http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=23677; Husum: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=25039; Portland:  http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=281.  To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews.  All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com - by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.
    Grand Central Cafe, Portland, Oregon: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=25903. Life in the Gorge: Chronicle 22 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian. The Gorge/Columbia River, Oregon-Washington. Photos taken March 27, 2016. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=17903. Hood River: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=23683; The Dalles: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=24107; White Salmon: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=23677; Husum: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=25039; Portland: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=281. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.

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    Chai Creme Frappacino (Starbucks)

    chai-creme-frapp

    The Chai Creme Frappuccino – Blended Beverage
    * Starbucks Worldwide *

    My biggest addiction in the world is the Chai Creme Frappuccino. It’s not a Starbucks Secret Menu Item and its infamous in the United States as well as other parts of the world. Though, every now and then you’ll get a novice Starbucks employee who’ll state that “we don’t make those” or that “they can’t do that”. WRONG ANSWER. The Chai Creme Frappuccino is a core part of Starbucks culture for those of us the “don’t do coffee”. It’s in your manual and its made by intelligent baristas in every Starbucks I’ve visited around the World. Well I’ve yet to make my way around the world – but it holds true where I have been – Everyone of the 50 states that has a Starbucks, Canada, England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Holland, and Australia. Though now that American Starbucks have just come out with the ever-so delicious CHOCOLATE CHAI – it was a Starbucks in South Carolina that suggested we try the Chocolate Chai Creme Frappucino and we’d find a few Starbucks across America who didn’t think they could make them (duh! same way as a regular one, but using the chocolate chai concentrate instead of the chai concentrate – problem is the Chai Creme Frappucino is so common in the states they already have a pump-mix for making them – or so I have been informed).

    The Chai Creme Frappuccino is a Starbucks’ branded drink with spicy Tazo chai blended with soy or milk and ice. Alternatively it is topped with sweetened whipped cream. Chai is the name for spiced tea in India which is quite simply black tea infused with cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper, and other spices over a stove. This is a cold smoothie-milkshake version of it blended with creme and milk (or soy). Starbucks owns the brand name and invention of the “frappucino” which is a known mix of a “frappe” and a “cappuccino” originally a espresso coffee with frothed milk. The term “frappe” may have come from the Greek term “frapp’” for a Greek Iced coffee or the Boston term “frap” meaning “thick milkshake frappe”. The original Frappucino was created by George Howell’s Eastern Massachusetts Coffee Shop chain called “The Coffee Connection”. The Coffee Connection was bought out in 1994 by Starbucks. With the sale came the rights on the “Frappuccino” beverage. After that point an explosion of all sorts of thousands of different concoctions as “frappuccinos” became available through Starbucks. [Rating:5] * 5 stars out of 5 *

    chai-frappuccino

    To read more about the Starbucks Corporation for history, links, and resources visit here: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=2345.

    Chai Creme Frappacino: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=15411. Swords Starbucks - http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=24187. Swords: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=24171. 4 January 2014. Clongriffin to Swords. Chronicles 3: Walking with the Ancestors -  http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=15579. Winter 2013/2014: Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Cian - the Prince of Endurance.  Photography (c) 2014, 2015: Thomas Baurley,  Leaf McGowan, Technogypsie Productions. www.technogypsie.com/photography/.  To follow the stories and tales visit http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/ and http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/.  Dublin: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=2754. Malahide: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=24123. Clongriffin: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=24119.
    Chai Creme Frappacino: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=15411. Swords Starbucks – http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=24187. Swords: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=24171. 4 January 2014. Clongriffin to Swords. Chronicles 3: Walking with the Ancestors – http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=15579. Winter 2013/2014: Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Cian – the Prince of Endurance. Photography (c) 2014, 2015: Thomas Baurley, Leaf McGowan, Technogypsie Productions. www.technogypsie.com/photography/. To follow the stories and tales visit http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/ and http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/. Dublin: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=2754. Malahide: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=24123. Clongriffin: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=24119.

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    ~ Tandoori House (Dublin, Ireland)

    Tandoori House
    * 1 All Saints Park, Raheny, Dublin, Ireland * Open 17:00 – 23:30 * http://www.tandoorihousetakeaway.com/ *

    After a long drive across Ireland, we ‘couldn’t be bothered’ about cooking up a meal, so decided to see what we could find online for delivery in our area. We found this little gem with excellent service, fast delivery, delicious food, and affordable selections. Indian food at its finest. Much enjoyed and we were quite satisfied. Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. Experienced 12/20/2013 (Yelp Review)

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    In-N-Out Burgers

    112413-003

    In-N-Out Burgers

    I was first introduced to In-and-Out when I was living in Los Angeles as a paid audience member and extra for Hollywood, needing fast food, “in” and “out”. I was introduced to their un-advertised attraction, the leaf wraps. Those were back in the days when I had no problems with fast food or the health consequences of having that kind of diet. I have since made motions to thin out (and someday totally eliminate) fast food from my diet. Me and my wife are on the gluten-free path, so the idea of a leaf wrap sandwich when there was no other open food options sounded perhaps ‘healthier’ than some of the alternatives. While ditching the gluten by skipping the bun, it still was a mild option to the the extremes that is fast food. Traveling through the American Southwest we were curious to give it a gander. Personally in terms of fast food, its not much different than the others, though the quality outside of the lettuce was good tasting but same as most fast food. We were surprised they didn’t advertise the lettuce wrap option on their menu and that its more a “word-of-mouth” item, especially since its an element that makes them stick out from the others. The In-N-Out Burger chain is regional, with locations throughout California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and Texas. It was founded by Harry and Esther Snyder in Baldwin Park, California in 1948. Their grandchild Lynsi Torres currently runs the operation. It is not franchised nor public, and has distribution centers in California; Phoenix, Arizona; Draper, Utah; and Dallas, Texas. They have not changed this practice in order to maintain quality and customer consistency. They are one of the few fast food chains in the U.S. to pay their employees higher than the state and federal mandated minimum wage guidelines. They offer three burger varieties – hamburgers, cheeseburgers, and the “Double-Double” (their trademarked double meat, double cheese). They also sell french fries, milkshakes (vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry), and typical fountain drinks. Burgers come with lettuce, tomato, optional onions, and their special sauce (like McDonald’s, a variant of thousand islands dressing). They do however have a secret menu available at most In-N-Outs. These can be found on their web site. These include a 3×3 (three patties, three slices of cheese), a 4×4 (four patties and four slices of cheese), 20×20, Neapolitan shakes, grilled cheese sandwich (no meat, two slices of melted cheese), Protein style (wrapped in lettuce – all ingredients of a burger just no buns), and Animal style (animal style: burger cooked in thin layer of mustard, lettuce, tomato, pickles, grilled onions, and extra spread – hot peppers option. Animal fries come with two slices of melted cheese, spread, and grilled onions on top). Their decor is red, white, and yellow branding – white building exterior and uniforms, red for the roof and aprons/hats, yellow for the roof’s decorative band and iconic zig-zag in the logo. They also plant palm trees often to form an “X” in front of the restaurants. One problem with In-N-Out is its secret proselytizing of Christianity. They print discreet references to Bible verses on their paper containers such as the Double-Double burger wrapper and the drink cup. These consist of the book, chapter, and number of the verse not the actual text of the passage. This came into play during the 1980’s when Rich Snyder was president, as a reflection of the Christian beliefs he held. Because of their fundamentalist Christian practices and the fact that the food is not healthy (not company specific – fast food overall), I will no longer frequent this company. For those of you desiring junk food and not minding the Christian fundamentalism, enjoy your GMO beef. Rating: 2 stars out of 5.

    112413-001

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    Chocola Tree (Sedona, Arizona)

    112413-010

    Chocola Tree Organic Eatery
    * 1595 West Hwy 89A, Sedona, Arizon 86336 *

    As I try to live the healthier lifestyle, incorporating more vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free into my diet, we were very happy to see a gluten-free vegan restaurant in Sedona. Though “Sedona” being “Sedona” amped up in price tags taking advantage of alternative travelers and tourists I met with what I expected – HIGH priced menu items for unforgivable quantity, quality, or measure. I’m not sure why these trendy spots feel they need to over-charge people who want to be healthy as it seems counter-productive to what the movement stands for in my opinion. New age is new age, and this would be one of the classic hotspots for that kind. Don’t get me wrong, the food was decent, but the manner of delivery is not. First off, everything was way over-priced – and would have been a place I normally would not even give a moment of my time. I was however with a group that wanted to try their food, so in we went. I figured I’d try to be minimalistic with price so was going to go for the coconut curry soup. But the waiter says “its cold – is that ok?” I said, “cold? can’t you heat it up?” and he said “No that’s how its served, we don’t have any way to heat it up here, we don’t use microwaves and we don’t have a stove top”. Okay, being health-conscious I get the “no microwave” but really? A restaurant without a stove top? really? In addition, the soup would not come with bread, even though the bowl of soup was in the $8-10 price range. Really? If I wanted some bread, I’d have to order it separately and it would cost $4-8. I was sickened with the concept. So I went with the Gluten-free waffles. They were good, the middle part. The edges were a bit hard. If they don’t have a stove top, I suppose it was done in a waffle maker. Anyhow – neo-hippie decor with southwestern style, staff was friendly (though full of themselves), and it was crowded. If you’ve a lot of money to toss out the window, into the New Age lifestyle, this would be the perfect place for you – I’m sure the minimalistic food would be perfect for your palate. Not mine. Will never return. They claim 100% organic and/or wild-crafted produce with a 95% seasonal menu. They state they use artesian spring fed source free of chlorine or fluoride water in their cooking and serving. Rating: 3 stars out of 5. Visited 11/24/2013.

    112413-007

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    Hadley’s Fish and Chips (Whitby, England)

    Hadley's Fish n' Chips
    Hadley's Fish n' Chips, Whitby, England

    Hadley’s Fish and Chips
    * 11 Bridge Street Whitby, North Yorkshire YO22 4BG, United Kingdom
    01947 604 153 *

    In the heart of the Yorkshire coast, in the little historic fishing village of Whitby, I couldn’t think of a better place where I’d crave fish n’ chips than this location. There were many places to choose from for such a scrumptuous meal … and i settled for Hadley’s Fish and Chips. I’m glad I did, as I was quite pleased. Fast service, quick turnaround, friendly staff, clean restaurant, and a delicious meal. Even came with a cup of tea and a slice of toast? Nonetheless, I was happy. Rating: 4 stars out of 5.

    Hadley's Fish and Chips[/caption]>

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    Cork Butter Museum

    Cork Butter Museum
    Cork Butter Museum

    Cork Butter Museum
    O’ Connell Square, Shandon, Cork, Ireland
    +353 (0) 21 4300600 * www.corkbutter.museum

    One of the most intriguing and interesting museums in Cork is the Butter Museum. My fiancee was quick to take me up the hill to this unsual museum that covers the history of Ireland’s most important food export and the world’s largest butter market. It’s definitely worth a gander and is enriching with the history of farming, commerce, and finance in Ireland. It doesn’t just focus on the food culture of early Ireland, but also covers the growth of Cork as a food trade center. The history of butter making is covered with a feature audio-visual presentation on Irish Butter, as well as a plethera of artifacts throughout history used in butter and food production. It can be done in about an hour, and only will cost you about 4 Euros to wander about. Rating: 3 stars out of 5.

    Butter Churn
    Butter Churn

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    Farmhouse cafe and bakery (El Prado, NM)

    Farmhouse Cafe and Bakery

    * 1405 Paseo Del Pueblo Norte, El Prado, NM 87529 * (575) 758-5683 *
    (Located outside of Taos, New Mexico)

    This cafe was a delightful gem as we pulled to the plaza in which its buried behind a few stores in as a “last chance” food stop heading from Taos towards the Rio Grande Gorge and Bridge. A snowy cold afternoon, we were surprised to find a gluten-free, free-range, organic bakery / cafe / restaurant with offerings to our required palate. I was a bit hesitant at first as the meal took a bit longer than I’m used to waiting for, but I was very pleased with the masterpiece we received. The food was delicious, wholeheartedly healthy, and satisfying. In addition we were blessed with the ability to meet the owner, and she graced us with a gift of some home-made flan since we had been waiting a bit. Definitely a location we’ll be dropping by in our future visits to Taos area. With offerings for vegans, vegetarians, free-rangarians, and the gluten-free crowd, you can’t go wrong with this farm-to-table venue. They also offer free wifi, outdoor dining, private party space, and a great cafe to read, relax, and socialize in. We were on-the-go, so were taking out so next time will definitely stay awhile.

    According to taos news in their article about this new cafe to Taos, Micah Roseberry, the owner opened on August 21st of 2013 as she had been farming in Northern New Mexico for over 25 years and wanted to bring the farm directly to the table, and therefore Farmhouse cafe was born. All of the produce comes right from the farm outside of the restaurant or from her farm up in Cerro, as are the flowers, and those that do not come from her farm are delivered via organic free-range farms from the local community. She’s into community and building a local food system as her non-GMO organic market. They serve breakfast and lunch as well as a farmer’s market where locals can sell their produce every wednesday from 3-6 pm.

    Our first visit awards this great cafe a 4 1/2 stars out of 5. 11/22/2013.

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    Dream Dinners : Quick meals for the weekender traveler

    031513-005

    Dream Dinners @ Pigly Wiggly

    * http://dreamdinners.com/ *

    We first discovered this little “making life easier” treat when my co-workers and company chipped in and got us $100 worth of “Dream Dinners” – a service we’ve never heard of before until this event. As we were in recovery mode from the birth of our baby … they generously helped out with making meals easy on us. The service is brilliant, as they make meals easy to do especially for when you don’t have much time to gather ingredients and cook. Realized quickly the meals would be grand for taking on outings, picnics, and camp-outs. The company was founded on a mission of bringing together families around the dinner table, providing everything needed to assemble great dinners to enjoy with meal preparation times under an hour. Here in Columbia, South Carolina they are based out of the Pigley Wigley grocer stores. Rating: 4 stars out of 5.

    031513-004

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    Charleston Marina Variety Store and Seafood Restaurant

    Marina Variety Store and Seafood Restaurant
    * 17 Lockwood Dr – Ste E * Charleston, SC 29401-1160 * 843-723-6325 * http://www.varietystorerestaurant.com/ *

    Mom was in the downtown Roper hospital so this was an easy to walk to location while caretaking and visiting her, but it wasn’t very quick on the service, even though decent on the wallet. Scenic views of the municipal marina, The Marina Variety store has a semi-decent variety of dishes and meals offered, and decent prices. It has been offering fine food since 1963 including breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This has been my second visit. Each time I was pleased with the food, dissatisfied by how long it took for the food to come out. The Crab cakes are delicious as are the sweet potatoe fries. Three bean salad mediocre. Overall, I had a good meal with my wife … Rating 3.5 stars out of 5.

    101212-006

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    Boiled Peanuts – a southern U.S. specialty

    050413-020

    Boiled Peanuts

    I was first initiated into this redneck snack when moving to Tallahassee, Florida for University. I was abhorred by the idea, but fighting resistance of trying things odd, I came to love them. They are very popular in any region where peanuts are found to grow. It is the practice of boiling green and raw peanuts, rather than fully mature nuts. They are not fully dried as is done with roasted peanuts or those for oil, butter, etc. They are boiled in salt or cajun flavoring, and develop a strong salty taste with a consistency that is very soft very similar to peas. You can find them being hawked on the roadside by vendors when driving down country roads in the southern United States. This became a folk food in the southern USA, and were called “goober peas” since the 19th century. Some believe they were brought by African slaves and were prepared liek a fish fry in a social gathering setting, often accompanying fried green potatoes, fried fish, okra, black eyed peas, collard greens, and barbecque or cajun food. They can also be found as street foods and snacks in Indian, Indonesia, the Phillipines, Thailand, Central and South America, Nigeria and Ghana, as well as many other parts of Africa. In China they are boiled with salt and star anise, and made into a soup in Taiwan. They are known to contain antioxidants and therefore very good for you – with over four times the antioxidants of raw or roasted peanuts.

    050413-021

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