Category Archives: food

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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~ 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

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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.

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Chocola Tree (Sedona, Arizona)

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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

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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

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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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Leopald’s Ice Cream Parlor (Savannah, Georgia)

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Leopold’s Ice Cream Parlor
* 212 E Broughton St * Savannah, GA 31401 * (912) 234-4442 * http://www.leopoldsicecream.com/ *

As we were exploring the streets of Savannah on a hot spring day, we spied an ice cream shop around the corner with a long long line wrapping about its front. This was Leopolds VeriBest ice cream that is billed to be absolutely a one-of-a-kind. They make all the flavors right in the shop, one batch at a time, using top-secret family recipes handed down from the original Leopold brothers. This Ice Cream dates to 1919 when three Greek immigrant brothers came to America. Peter, George, and Basil Leopold learned the art of candy and dessert making from their uncle, perfected the formulas and created this world famous brand. They set up shop in Savannah Georgia on the corner of Gwinnett and Habersham, making them one of Savannah’s most famous hot spots. The original parlor closed in 1969 and the original fixtures were stored by Peter’s child Stratton who was pursuing a Hollywood career. Then in 2004, Stratton and his wife Mary reopened the shop on Broughton street which was designed by Academy Award nominated set designer Dan Lomino. The shop holds set props, posters, the original fixtures, a black marble soda fountain and a wooden interior phone booth.

040613-022

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The Diner (Columbia, South Carolina)

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The Diner
* 4405 Fort Jackson Blvd * Columbia, SC 29209 * (803) 661-7676 * http://www.thedinercolumbia.com/ * http://www.facebook.com/TheDinerColumbiaSC *

Just off the beaten path outside Gate 1 of Fort Jackson is a nice friendly little artsy diner plainly labelled after its namesake. They are after the classic American diner experience and image, open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. So far, we’ve only experienced their fantastic breakfast setting. Family owned and operated, they have an assortment of deals, specials, and offers from burgers to pancakes, fish to apple pie. They also cater. They are very kid friendly – so much that kids eat free on mondays. Military and senior citizen discounts apply as well. We’ve tried the pancakes, eggs, and french toast – all of which we were very pleased with. If you’re travelling through Columbia, this hot spot is just off the Interstate, and a great place to take a road break. Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.

022313-002

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022313-003

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Little Ass Burrito (Dublin, Ireland)

Little Ass Burrito, Rathgar, Dublin, Ireland
Little Ass Burrito, Rathgar, Dublin, Ireland

Little Ass Burrito
* 32-A Dawson Street (formerly: 1 Upper Rathmines Rd * Dublin, Ireland * 6 * (01) 4062614 * www.littleass.ie * Mon-Thu, Sun 11:00 – 22:00 * Fri-Sat 11:00 – 4:00 *

Billing themselves as “tex mex” this fine restaurant has never disappointed. As I’m more the fan of Mexican fare than “Tex Mex” this fusion stand is one of Dublin’s finest Burrito bars. However, my favorite little burrito stand has moved down to Dawson street, which is sad that its less convenient for me and more convenient for the rest of Dublin. It is also a much smaller and uncomfortable space as it was in Rathmines. (Formerly: (1 Upper Rathmines Rd * Dublin, Ireland * 6) Good thing I do my (c)office often at the Dawson street Starbucks so I could frequent them more often. Same owners, staff, and creative whizzes – the food hasn’t changed if not gotten better. Always a special treat when in Dublin. A place to go out of your way for. Which we did again on December 8th, 2013 while traveling through Dublin. In the former location at 1 Upper Rathmines Road you’d find Little Ass Burrito as A great little hole-in-the-wall, just down the street from the Swan Center and around the corner from Tesco this litte Mexican-fusion Burrito bar. A popular joint amongst the Rathgarians and the Rathminers … it was a great spot to grab a bit especially after pub-crawling, clubbing, or city exploits. Even more so now that it is off Dawson street. In Rathmines, it stood to be a little stand with an eating bar with stools, and a large backroom that wasn’t used. Today its an even smaller hole-in-the-wall, much more like a kiosk – with a couple stools to sit inside, and two tables out front. As a widely expert connoisseur of Mexican fare … its the closest you’ll get to true Mexican taste so far what I’ve found in my exploits of Ireland so far … fusion aside. The Super Batata (Roasted sweet potatoes, pinto beans, jack cheese, sour cream, rice, and coriander) with the Mango salsa is not only to “die for” but extremely addicting. In addition, they support local markets and sources for their ingredients so definitely a plus for this crew. Coffee and beer also readily available. Top 5 stars out of 5. [rating:5] ~ Reviewed Leaf McGowan 3/14/12; 12/8/13

The Super Batata

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The Shamrock 99

Ah, the wonderful world of Dairy 99. I was introduced to this wonderful frozen treat by my friend Vanessa when we were hiking across the Yorkshire Dales. Ever since I’ve been addicted and converted. I don’t know if it is the pure rich fresh dairy cream taste that the UK, Ireland, and Scotland is so well known for, or if its that iconic delicious Cadbury chocolate flake sticking out of it. As an American, I was addicted to the Dairy Queen chocolate dipped soft serve so sought after in the States on a hot summer’s date. But there really is no comparison. I was taught the “99” specifically was a special British treat … but since that date have found the custom and dessert abundant in Ireland as well as Scotland. Generally “99” is code word for a soft-serve ice cream cone with a Cadbury flake of chocolate. Its origins are not really known for the utilization of “99” but apparently that number sequence is a proprietary name in the United Kingdom. So while its a popular term for the treat, just as “Coke” is often for “soda”, it is a specific type of ice cream treat. The Original ice cream contained Cadbury’s “99 flake” (which was produced specially by Cadbury for the ice cream market). Some say, the “99” is an allusion to an elite guard of 99 soldiers in the service of the King of Italy. But I don’t know how that urban myth has anything to do with the UK? Nonetheless, the term is very common in Ireland as well as the UK, and the Irish take a different twist on it, especially during St. Patrick’s Day festivities, as with everything, they add a bit of green to the cone and the cream. Rating: 5 stars out of 5. [Rating:5] ~ Leaf McGowan.

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Burritos & Blues (Dublin)

Burritos and Blues
* 2 Wexford street * 2 Dublin, Ireland * http://burritos.ie/ * http://www.facebook.com/pages/Burritos-and-Blues/ * Phone +353 14254022 *

As a recent transplant to Dublin, Ireland from America’s Southwest, one of the culinary facets i miss the most from the move is the lack of good Mexican food. But through my wanderings I’ve stumbled upon the trendy explosion of “Burrito bars” in Dublin. Stumbling upon my currently favorite … Little Ass Burrito in Rathgar, we decided to wander about and explore some of the other bars. Next stop was “Burritos & Blues” which was quite tasty, affordable, and entertaining. They indeed had a version of my current favorite addiction of a sweet potato vegetarian burrito that has me quite fixated with Little Ass Burrito. Though so far, Burritos & Blues would be my 2nd favorite burrito bar in the city sofar and their sweet potato burrito is quite tasty. Burritos and Blues has a bit more seating and restaurant flavor, but a “Subway-like” presentation of “fixing your own burrito” as you stand in line and tell them what ingredients and fixin’s you want in your tortilla wrap of goodness. Music is quite good and bouncy, Blues obviously the predominant flavor available, and a wall of posters of events around town to give the nightlife seeker some ideas of where to go. The spicy sauce however is a wallup … best for the Mexican hot conneuseur. Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5. [rating:4.5] ~ Reviewed by Leaf McGowan

Photos are copyrighted and cannot be reproduced without permission of authors Tom Baurley or Leaf McGowan. Photos can be purchased via Technogypsie.com at Technogypsie Photography Services for nominal use fees. Restaurants, Businesses, Bands, Performances, Venues, and Reviews can request a re-review if they do not like the current review or would like to have a another review done. If you are a business, performer, musician, band, venue, or entity that would like to be reviewed, you can also request one (however, travel costs, cost of service (i.e. meal or event ticket) and lodging may be required if area is out of reviewer’s base location at time of request).

These reviews are done by the writer at no payment unless it is a requested review and the costs for travel, service, and lodging was covered – in which case, expenditure reimbursement will not affect review rating or content. If you enjoy this review and want to see more, why not buy our reviewer a drink to motivate them to write more? or help cover the costs they went through to do this review?






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Gilligan’s Seafood Restaurant (Mt. Pleasant, SC)

Gilligan's Seafood Restaurant

Gilligan’s Seafood Restaurant

* 1475 Long Grove Drive Mount Pleasant, SC 29464 * 843-849-2244 * http://www.gilligans.net/ *

My mom’s favorite seafood restaurant in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina has become my choice of seafood dining as well. Introduced to me as her “country club”, I found a very friendly, hospitable restaurant with fabulous service. Now on my third visit to this great place within the last 4 months, I’ve come to be a great fan of their “All you can eat Oyster clusters” dish. I have yet to try the “All you can eat Shrimp” but I imagine it’s just as grand. I’ve had the crab legs and sampled my mom’s seafood platter. Everything was scrumptuous. The free hushpuppies they serve when you sit down are to die for. Overlooking the “seaside park” and man-made lake, nestled into a shopping village, this is a great relaxing spot for dining. While menu prices are higher end, the amount of food you get for the price makes up for it. In addition to “fine” or “messy” seafood dining, Gilligan’s is also committed to local Shrimpers by serving 100% domestic wild-caught shrimp, focusing on freshness, and never serving imports. They are also a Platinum Partner for seafood sustainability with their products – by only serving sustainable seafoods deemed as such from the South Carolina Aquarium. They’ve agreen not to serve or sell Chilean sea bass, orange roughy or imported shark, and only buy sustainable preferably local. Their first choice is “Lowcountry Local” as based from the organization to support independent, locally owned businesses in the Lowcountry while assisting to educate the public on the importance of supporting our local economy, environmental sustainability, and social responsibility. In addition, they participate in Oyster shell recycling, teaming up with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources with a goal to conserve South Carolina’s oyster beds with an integrated oyster shell recycling program in all of their restaurants to help sustain the growth and propogation of local oysters. Every shell from the winter is replanted by the DNR back into the estuarine environment. Most excellent restaurant. Rating: 5 stars out of 5. ~ Thomas Baurley

All you can eat Oysters

Photos are copyrighted and cannot be reproduced without permission of authors Tom Baurley or Leaf McGowan. Photos can be purchased via Technogypsie.com at Technogypsie Photography Services for nominal use fees. Restaurants, Businesses, Bands, Performances, Venues, and Reviews can request a re-review if they do not like the current review or would like to have a another review done. If you are a business, performer, musician, band, venue, or entity that would like to be reviewed, you can also request one (however, travel costs, cost of service (i.e. meal or event ticket) and lodging may be required if area is out of reviewer’s base location at time of request).

These reviews are done by the writer at no payment unless it is a requested review and the costs for travel, service, and lodging was covered – in which case, expenditure reimbursement will not affect review rating or content. If you enjoy this review and want to see more, why not buy our reviewer a drink to motivate them to write more? or help cover the costs they went through to do this review?






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Kas Bah, Dusseldorf, Germany


Kas Bah


Kas Bah * Rheinort 2 * 40213 Dsseldorf, DE * Telefon: 0211 / 8693888 * .ffnungszeiten: Mo – Do, 12:00 – 01:00 Uhr; Fr – Sa, 12:00 – open end; So, 12:00 – 01:00 Uhr; .Happy Hour: Mo – So: 17:00 – 20:00 Uhr *

http://www.bartime.de/location.kasbah.9.456.html

A great little Morroccon cafe in the heart of old town Dusseldorf. My visit to this decent-sized place was with some local friends I was visited as we were looking for a quiet place to chat and catch up before making a night out on the town. Some of the cities finest cocktails, desserts, and bar-time snacks can be found here. An incredible ambience, hospitable staff, and a great place to hang out while visiting this famous city. A must visit location. While I can’t comment on the food as the only item I personally ordered was the hot chocolate with a shot a bailey’s Irish cream, I’ve been told the menu items here are fabulous. Rating: 4 stars out of 5.

Photos are copyrighted and cannot be reproduced without permission of authors Tom Baurley or Leaf McGowan. Photos can be purchased via Technogypsie.com at Technogypsie Photography Services for nominal use fees. Restaurants, Businesses, Bands, Performances, Venues, and Reviews can request a re-review if they do not like the current review or would like to have a another review done. If you are a business, performer, musician, band, venue, or entity that would like to be reviewed, you can also request one (however, travel costs, cost of service (i.e. meal or event ticket) and lodging may be required if area is out of reviewer’s base location at time of request).

These reviews are done by the writer at no payment unless it is a requested review and the costs for travel, service, and lodging was covered – in which case, expenditure reimbursement will not affect review rating or content. If you enjoy this review and want to see more, why not buy our reviewer a drink to motivate them to write more? or help cover the costs they went through to do this review?






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Tayto

Tayto Crisps
Tayto Crisps

Tayto Crisps

I find the whole British (count that Irish, Welsh, and Scottish) use of the term “Crisps” for “Chips” pretty humorous, but that’s probably because I’m American where crisps are called “chips”. You know, those “deeply fried” light slivers of potatoes we add to our calorie-infested food type called “junk food”. We serve them as a snack, appetizer, or side dish. They are cooked, salted, and “enhanced” with herbs, spices, chemicals, and artificial additives. Ok, and seasonings. The Americans, Australians, New Zealander’s, Canadians, Singapore, South African, and Jamaican English call them “potato chips” or “chips”, the British and Hiberno English call them “crisps”, and Indian English call them “chips” or “wafers”. But the terminology is not as funny to me as much as the iconography and slogans I’ve seen on Irish crisps. The first time I experienced Irish crisps was with the Hunky Dorys Crisps during my first trip to Ireland in 2010.

So upon my newly acquired Irish friendship circle, every one of them raved about “Taytos”. “Have you had Taytos?” they would say. I’d reply … “No I haven’t.” That was changed one day by my Irish fiancee who broadened my horizons on this dastardly deadly snack. I have to say, they are quite yummy, though high calorie and not good for you in any regard (as with all other “potato chips” … excuse me “crisps”.) The “Taytos” are considered a cultural phenomena of Ireland, so much that many Irish call these “chips” or “crisps” simply “taytos”.

These “Tayto” crisps are made in Ulster at the 500 year old infamous Tayto Castle where the mighty O’Hanlon clan once resided. After much turmoil, battles, siezes, and a very interesting history, the castle was bought in 1955 by Irish businessman Thomas Hutchinson. The following year, he decided to make a new potato product called “crisps” and began manufacturing them right there in that very castle. By 1964, Tayto created various different flavored crisps such as “Smoky Bacon” and “Prawn Cocktail” which became their most popular. To promote the crisps was invented the comical potato-head called “Mr. Tayto” who has become a well loved face across Northern Ireland (and the Republic of Ireland as well). If you ask me, seems to be a rip-off of Mr. Potatohead which was developed in 1949 and popularized by 1952. The mascot “Mr. Tayto” was used in numerous advertising campaigns, even up to this date. In 2007 during the Irish General Election, they ran a advertising campaign with Mr. Tayto as a fake election candidate and even claimed some really did vote for him, causing spoiled votes in the Carlow-Kilkenny constituency. This led to Tayto getting fined during the campaign for littering due to their fake election posters posted in public places. In 2009 Tayto Ltd. published the book “The Man Inside the Jacket” as a fictional autobiography of “Mr. Tayto”.

The company is split between a Northern Ireland plant and a Republic of Ireland plant. Both companies operate entirely separately even though they have a similar range of products. The Northern Ireland manufacturer is called “Tayto” Limited based out of Tandragee in County Armagh and was formed in 1956. They employ over 300 at their plant in the Tandragee Castle representing the largest and most popular “crisp” brand in Northern Ireland and the third largest in the United Kingdom. They licensed the name and recipes of “Tayto” in the Republic of Ireland. In 2006, the Northern Ireland Tayto acquired Corby and Scunthorpe sites of the former Golden Wonder business producing mini Pringles for Proctor and Gamble. By 2007 they acquired Sirhowy Valley Foods Ltd who make “Real Crisps” products. In 2008 they acquired Red Mill Snack foods pushing them to become the 3rd largest crisp manufacturer in the United Kindgom. In 2009 they acquired Jonathan Crisp, the trading name of Natural Crisps Ltd. They produce their signature brand of “Cheese and Onion” flavored crisps like their counterpart in Ireland. They also offer “beef & onion”, “ready salted”, “smoky bacon”, “salt & vinegar”, “worcester sauce”, “prawn cocktail”, “spring onion”, “roast chicken”, and “pickled onion” flavored crisps. The Republic of Ireland plant claims it was founded by Joe Murphy in 1954. This company was owned by Cantrell & Cochrane (based in Coolock County Dublin) then outsourced by Largo Foods in 2005 until they were purchased by Largo Foods in 2006 for 62.3 million euro. They too, offer the Tayto crisps in various flavors, as “Cheese & Onion”, “Salt & Vinegar”, “Smokey Bacon”, “Ready Salted”, “Prawn Cocktail”, and the limited edition “Tex Mex”. By the 2000’s they attempted to target the health food market with low fat and salt crisps they originally branded as “Honest” and currently refer to these as the “Happy and Healthy range”. In this range they also sell “Nuts and Popcorn Range”, “Popcorn Pleasure”, “Salted Peanuts”, “Dry roasted Peanuts”, “Bacon Fries”, “Snacks Range”, “Snax”, “Mighty Munch”, “Chipsticks”, “Ketchips”, “Waffles”, “Wheelies”, “Jonny Onion Rings”, “Snaps”, “Happy and Healthy Range”, “Treble Crunch Farmhouse Cheddar & Spring Onion”, “Treble Crunch Sour Cream & Onion”, “Velvet Crunch”, “Sharing Range”, “Bistro Cheese & Onion”, “Bistro Caribbean Chutney”, “Occasions Thai Sweet Chilli”, “Occasions Mature Cheddar Cheese and Red Onion”, “Occasions Tortillas Nacho Cheese”, and “Occasions Tortilla Original Cool”. They opened a theme park called “Tayto Park” in Ashbourne, County Meath.

Bibliography/Recommended reading:


  • Baurley, Thomas; McGowan, Leaf; et al. “Hunky Dorys Crisps” 2010: Technogypsie.com Productions; Colorado Springs, Colorado. www.technogypsie.com.
  • Tayto. Website referenced January 2012. http://www.tayto.com/.
  • Tayto Crisps. Website referrenced January 2012. http://www.taytocrisps.ie/.

  • Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia ~ “Tayto”. Web site referenced January 2012. en.wikipedia.org. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tayto_(Republic_of_Ireland) & http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tayto_(Northern_Ireland)/


Photos are copyrighted and cannot be reproduced without permission of authors Tom Baurley or Leaf McGowan. Photos can be purchased via Technogypsie.com at Technogypsie Photography Services for nominal use fees. Restaurants, Businesses, Bands, Performances, Venues, and Reviews can request a re-review if they do not like the current review or would like to have a another review done. If you are a business, performer, musician, band, venue, or entity that would like to be reviewed, you can also request one (however, travel costs, cost of service (i.e. meal or event ticket) and lodging may be required if area is out of reviewer’s base location at time of request).

These reviews are done by the writer at no payment unless it is a requested review and the costs for travel, service, and lodging was covered – in which case, expenditure reimbursement will not affect review rating or content. If you enjoy this review and want to see more, why not buy our reviewer a drink to motivate them to write more? or help cover the costs they went through to do this review?






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Sushi Kim’s (Brisbane, Australia)

Sushi Kim’s
* 388 Queen St. (Wharf St.), Brisbane, Queensland, Australia 4000 *

Just as you’re walking down Queen Street from the Queen Street Mall as it turns to Wharf Street, enroute to Eagle Pier, on the left hand side is a small little tiny sushi mart that has incredibly affordable, delecious, and fresh sushi and rolls (made every two hours) (cheap as $2 per foll) that are also very volumptuous. Its mainly a takeaway for the local business and workers crowd. Not only is it fast to get but friendly staff and owner. Rating: [rating:4] (four stars out of 5) ~ Thomas Baurley, 4/28/11.

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Starbucks


Starbucks, Brisbane, Australia

Starbucks
* International ~ (NASDAQ: SBUX) ~ Starbucks.com *

While a mega-international coffeehouse chain, with its own brand of coffee, and clearly with much consumer conspiracy and debatable controversies especially towards small business, I’d have to say, still to this day, Starbucks is my most favorite (and used) coffee shop in the world. That mere statement gets me a face back-slap from many of my activist anti-corporation friends every time I say I’m at a Starbucks, but they have yet proved to me anything wrong with this giant other than being a giant that pushes out small cafes. But do they really? Are they really that bad? Certainly, they are over-priced. A smaller coffee shop will get me a latte for a cheaper price. (though that usually involves less liquid than I’d get from Starbucks) When I think of reliability, a place while traveling where I can lounge out for hours (and not buy anything if I choose), get online for free, and know the place will most likely be open (at least daytime hours) … Starbucks I can rely on worldwide. (I’m even at one in Ireland as I type this)

For the backpacker, world traveler, telecommuter, and techno-Gypsy … Starbucks is a God(dess)-send. I mean that from the bottom of my heart. I don’t know how many smaller cafes I’ve been to that I’ve felt ripped, rushed, given sloppy service, and/or couldn’t get online reliably. For a traveler, that is a must. For a budget traveler, a Starbucks can be not only a relief, but a place of security. It is a home far from home, and an office away from your office. The company is based from one of my old hometown’s … Seattle, Washington – and wasn’t a giant back in the day. It too, had its days as a small coffee shop. So do we stop frequenting a business because it becomes world famous and humongous (currently largest coffeehouse in the world)? I think not. Deeper, we need to really look at if the company keeps its ideals or has evolved into “Big Bad Business”. In my experience, I’ve never seen anything bad come from Starbucks. Can someone enlighten me otherwise with facts and figures? Until then – I’d say Starbucks is high on my praise list. Obviously world populations agree as they are bustling across the planet with over 17,000 stores internationally in 55+ countries, 11,000 of which are in their home nation of the U.S.A.

Some would claim the big draw to Starbucks is their own brand of unique coffee. I personally can’t comment on that as I don’t do coffee – hate it with a passion … think it smells nasty and tastes like burnt charcoal wood. I’m a tea person myself, so personally I can say Starbucks has amongst the best chai options in the world, and while not always easy to find in some countries, 90% of the time always has it. Perhaps that’s a big draw for me as a tea person and not a coffee person traveling world-wide in finding a good cup-o-different than a cup-o-Joe. Though my coffee connoisseur friends claim Starbucks internationally is amongst the best. They sell drip brewed coffee, espresso-based hot drinks, hot chocolate, teas, smoothies, and other cold drinks, offer sandwiches (hot or cold) and panini, pastries, muffins, doughnuts, salads, snacks, and an area of gift shopping from cds, mugs, tumblers, coffee beans, teas, and branded- gifts. Their coffee is so popular, you can find their ice cream and coffee in many grocery stores around the world. I’m not a coffee drinker so I’m a Starbucks lover for their Chai, most notably their Chai Crme Frappuccino. Don’t forget about the Starbucks Secret Menu as well.

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Transit Bar, Canberra, Australia

Transit Bar
* 7 AKUNA ST *
Canberra, Australia Capital Territory, Australia * P 02 6162 0899 * http://transitbar.com.au/ * ?

A great little hole-in-the-wall bar down below the Canberra YHA Hostel on Akuna street. Delving into a mix of indie, rock n’ roll, and general alternative nights and gigs, the Transit Bar provides a good heap of fun for the alternative crowd in Canberra. Restless from the Bush, this is a fun place to be when seeking some upbeat fun in the Australian Capital Territory. I had the pleasure of visiting the club/bar a couple of times during my visit, one for the Indie rock band “The Holidays” and another night for the Electro Gothy night called “Chrome”. Good drink prices and a great place to party with the international backpacking crowd. Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5. ~ Leaf McGowan, April 23-25, 2011.

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Hasmis Kebabs and Turkish Kitchen (Canberra, Australia)

Hasmis Kebabs Turkish Kitchen
* 11-13 East Row * Canberra, Australia Capital Territory, Australia * 2601 * 02 6249 7783 *

We popped into this hole-in-the-wall quick Turkish cuisine spot near the Phoenix for some lunch fare. While the service was average, the food wasn’t anything to write home about. All three of us felt the fare was unsatisfactory. The restaurant and take-away offers pizza, turkish cuisine, and indian fare. They are open late at night, often serving the bar crowds. They have outdoor dining and free wi-fi. Family owned, Ridvan Sadil and his family took over the business early in 2010. Not so hot. Rating: 2 stars out of 5. Visited 4/24/11 – review by Leaf McGowan.

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Kangaroo Meat

Kangaroo Meat

During my trip to Australia, I had the unique experience of trying Kangaroo. It was interesting that Kangaroo is not commonly eaten by the white/European population as much as it is by the Australian Aborigines. I actually introduced the dish to my host at the time. The meat of the kangaroo has numerous health and environmental benefits over traditional meats and described as having a stronger wild meat flavor. The tender meat is very high in protein and low in fat (less than 2%), has a very high concentration of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) which is well known to be anti-carcinogenic and anti-diabetes, reduces obesity, and atherosclerosis. Traditionally, and currently, it is used by the Aboriginees for meat, bone, and tendons. They were once hunted by the (now extinct) thylacine, marsupial lion, Megalania, and the Wonambi. Kangaroos are not farmed for meat, but are hunted for meat, hides, sport, and to regulate grazing lands. While I’m not much of a meat-eater (as a free-rangerian most of the meat I eat is free-range, organic fed, or wild game) it is my 2nd favorite meat, next to Ostrich. Rating: 5 stars out of 5. Article/Review 11/14/2011 by Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie.com

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The Fish Shack

The Fish Shack
* 87/105 Petrie Plaza Canberra, Australia Capital Territory, Australia * 2601 * (02) 6248 5885 *

As I was on my way to see “Thor”, i was hungry for a quick and affordable dinner, so I settled for the “Fish Shack” across from the theater … and i was very impressed with the offerings. I’m a total sucker for seafood, as well as fish n’ chips. But when I saw they had soft shell crab sandwiches, or with chips, I was sold. The owner was pleasant, friendly, and a great guy. He even let me swap out the chips for sweet potatoe chips much to my ecstatic pleasure. Price of the meal was very affordable in Australian standards, and they have an extensive seafood menu. If they are busy, there is a wait, it takes time to make a good dish and they were also brand new when I hit them – so are in their learning curve with getting the food out faster. The food was delicious and I was very satisfied with my experience. Rating: 5 stars out of 5. Visited 4/23/11.

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Asian Cafe, Canberra

Asian Cafe
* Melbourne Building
32 West Row * City * Canberra, * 2601 * Australia Capital Territory, Australia * (02) 6262 6233 *

Hungry from running around between the museums and sights in Canberra, I eagerly went for some Asian cuisine at the Asian cafe in the Melbourne building just across from the Canberra Museum and Art Gallery. Very spacious, very comfortable, fast and friendly service with a good assortment of Malaysian and Chinese dishes to choose from. They only serve lunches and dinners from 11:30 am – 2:30 pm, 5 pm until 9:30 or 10:30 on the weekends. Entrees range from $-11.80, with main dishes from 12.80 to 22.80 AUD, so definitely higher priced than normal (or what I’m used to). They are BYOB (wine only) and offer a $6 corkage per bottle. Rating 3.5 stars out of 5.

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The Phoenix, Canberra

The Phoenix
* 21 East Row * Canberra, Australia Capital Territory, Australia * 2601 * (02) 6247 1606 * http://www.lovethephoenix.com/ *

Although this amazing Irish Pub is one of the few bars/pubs I visited while in Canberra, it is by far my favorite. Introduced to me by Sir Bluey, the place was like home to me when I wandered Canberra on my own, and while hanging with Bluey in downtown Canberra. The Phoenix has been serving Canberra for over 16 years and undoubtedly has the best pints in town, a great festive atmosphere, and a unique decorated environment. It has a very home-like hang-out feel and charm, with real character and art within its dark interior and welcoming couches, chairs, sofas, and tables to relax at. Unlike many Irish pubs, the Phoenix doesn’t buy into the plastic leprechauns and tacky green icons that so many do, it has its own style and decor with odd antiques, mysterious art, and historic wooden furniture. They have a wide selection of beers and ciders, from foreign to local brews, including Kilkenny, Guinness, Magners, and Murphys as well as a stocked bar. They also host quite a few bands and local entertainment. They have stand-up nights called “Bootleg Night” and on various sundays, have a arts and crafts market. What a wonderful pub! Rating: 5 stars out of 5. Visited 4/21/11, 4/22/11, 4/23/11.

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Wok in a box


Wok in a Box
* www.wokcanberra.com.au/ * 3/88-96 Bunda Street * Canberra, Australia Capital Territory, Australia * 2601 * (02) 6162 0965 *

Wok in a Box gave us a quick evening snack at affordable prices. It is located in the heart of the city center. They offer a great menu selections with a range of Authentic Asian specialties such as Gyoza Dumplings, Teriyaki Chicken Bento, Udon Noodle Soup with Katsu Chicken and much more. I had the Pad Thai which was quite tasty. Rating: 3 stars out of 5.


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