Saturday, December 29, 2012

Cafe Rio Daily Specials

UPDATE (31 December 2012): Two days after posting the post below, I had lunch at the Cafe Rio in Grand Junction and found out that they have changed their daily specials. The daily specials web page still does not have the new daily specials listed as of this update, but I show a photograph of how they were posted at this Grand Junction location here.

The updated daily specials list now (31 December 2012) appears to be:

  • Monday: Maria's Enchiladas
  • Tuesday: Pork, Beef, or Chicken Tacos
  • Wednesday: Chicken Tostada Salad
  • Thursday: Yolanda's Tamales
  • Friday: Fire-Grilled Salmon Tacos
  • Saturday: Fried Shrimp Tacos
  • Sunday: Fideo Mexican Pasta

I'm going to miss some of the specials that are no longer offered, especially the rellenos.

Cafe Rio offers a different daily special each day and I have often wondered what was offered on days of the week that I did not eat at a Cafe Rio. The photograph shown next was taken at a Cafe Rio and indicates the list of daily specials.

As the photograph indicates, the daily specials are, as of this writing (29 December 2012), as follows:

  • Monday: Chili Rellenos
  • Tuesday: Coconut Shrimp Tacos
  • Wednesday: Shredded Chicken Tostada
  • Thursday: Pork or Chicken Tamales
  • Friday: Steak or Chicken Fideo
  • Saturday: Fresh Fish Tacos

The "official" source of this information is a web page devoted to the Cafe Rio Daily Specials.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Dinners in San Francisco (JavaOne 2012)

One of thing things I enjoy about visiting San Francisco for JavaOne is the dining. I was in San Francisco last week for JavaOne 2012. As typical when visiting San Francisco for JavaOne, I ate breakfast multiple times at Honey Honey Cafe and Crepery. I also had breakfast at another JavaOne regular, Pinecrest Diner.

As much as I enjoy the San Francisco breakfasts, the dinners are even more memorable. The remainder of this blog posts highlights the restaurants I visited during JavaOne 2012 with a brief description of each.

Mango's Taqueria & Cantina

Located at San Francisco's tourist-famous Pier 39 at Fisherman's Wharf, Mango's Taqueria & Cantina stays true to its name and includes mangoes in many of its dishes. I'm a big fan of mangoes mixed with other spices, herbs, and peppers associated with Mexican food, so I really enjoyed this. We ate outside and had a nice view of the bay as well.

Crab House at Pier 39

The Crab House at Pier 39 is also located at Fisherman's Wharf's Pier 39. Their web site calls the food "addictive" and states, "We buy only Dungeness crab that weighs at least two plus pounds (for those meaty legs) and is harvested from the nearby Pacific Ocean. The whole crab is roasted and drizzled with our crab butter sauce." I agree with this; the buttery meaty crab legs were excellent. We also ordered the tasty mixed vegetables in addition to the "lotsa crab."

Izakaya Ninja

Izakaya Ninja provided our least expensive dinner, but we were very happy with our dinner at this "modern Japanese cuisine" restaurant "located in the San Francisco neighborhood of Nob Hill."

Tonga Room

We stated at the Fairmont San Francisco Hotel for JavaOne 2012, so it was very convenient to eat dinner at Tonga Room, which is housed within the Fairmont Hotel. Although this was our least favorite meal of the trip, it had its highlights (Szechwan Green Beans were fabulous as were all the fruits and vegetables we had) and the non-food advantages (atmosphere, "raining" in the central pool, and the surprisingly talented singer and bad) make it a unique San Francisco place to visit. We were probably most disappointed with the Chow Chow, which was mostly noodles with very little vegetables or "added" chicken. We were much happier with the Afi Chicken. The wait service was excellent.

Rue Lepic

Our favorite meal during this trip was dinner at Rue Lepic, which was located very close to the Fairmont San Francisco Hotel. We had seen this relatively small restaurant (described in many reviews as "cozy") restaurant fairly busy, but we had the good fortune of having the restaurant to ourselves when we arrived there at opening time (5:30 pm) on a Thursday evening. We sat in the corner where the glass walls met at the corner of Pine Street and Mason Street. The service was outstanding and the food matched the service.

We had the Chef's Menu option in which an entree could be chosen to go along with other pre-selected courses. We expected the "pasta" course to be a cheap pasta, but it was an excellent seafood-laden pasta. The soup of the day was a very tasty pea soup (and I'm not a big soup fan). The garden salad had a great dressing on it and the Les Fruits Desaison sur Unlit de Creme Anglaise ("Fresh seasoned fruits and berries with crème anglaise") and La Ganache au Chocolat Nappee d’une Creme Anglaise Parfumee aux Fraises et Kiwis ("Chocolate mousse with crème anglaise and served with a strawberry and kiwi sauce") were decadently delicious desserts. For the entrees, we chose and were very happy wit the filet mignon and salmon. The service was exceptional, the atmosphere was cozy, the people-watching on that corner was fascinating, and the several courses of food were all excellent.


Our favorite San Francisco dining surprise from last year (JavaOne 2011) was Colibri Mexican Bistro. We liked it so much, in fact, that we broke our "rule" of only trying new restaurants for dinner in San Francisco and returned this year. We were glad we did as the food and service were as excellent as we remembered. As with last year, it was busy, but we were able to get in without reservation due to our early arrival and willingness to sit (both times) in the same two-person table at the very back of the restaurant. We love their Tacos de Pescado as an appetizer and their Pechuga Rellena de Huitlacoche as an entree.


San Francisco has much to offer and dining is certainly on that list. The variety of types of cuisines and flavors is broad and deep.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Sweet Basilico (Estes Park)

One of my favorite places is Estes Park and one of my favorite restaurants in Estes Park is Sweet Basilico. The restaurant is conveniently located just outside (southwest) of the busy downtown section of Estes Park and has its own parking lot (which can be welcome during the busy summer season).

The food and service at Sweet Basilico are both excellent. There are too many tasty options available at Sweet Basilico to list here. Some of my favorite are Focaccia con Sweet Basil (appetizer), Chicken Pomadore (dinner entree), and the Triple Chocolate Mousse (dessert).

At the time of this writing, reservations are accepted and recommended. The restaurant fills up fast (even with large patio space) at dinner time, which is more evidence of this restaurant's popularity with visitors, tourists, campers, and locals alike.

Sweet Basilico is located at 430 Prospect Village Dr. in Estes Park and their telephone number is 970-586-3899. There are several restaurants I enjoy in Estes Park, but Sweet Basilico may be my favorite dinner spot.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Google Search Engine's Calculator

As Justin Pot writes in How To Use Google As A Calculator, the Google Search Calculator associated with the Google search engine is particularly helpful because that search page is often already up on most peoples' web browsers. This makes it easy to perform different calculations without having to bring up different, separate tools.

I include several screen snapshots in this post to illustrate different mathematical computations that can be performed using the calculator built into the Google search engine. The first examples show basic arithmetic (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division) and use of parentheses.

The calculator built into the Google search engine can do more than basic arithmetic. The next examples demonstrate use of exponents.

The next screen snapshots demonstrate Google search calculator's support of the keyword "Pi", square root functionality, and imaginary numbers.

The Google search calculator also supports trigonometric functions such as sine, cosine, tangent, and the inverse/arc versions of each of these. Radians are assumed unless degrees are explicitly specified. The following screen snapshots demonstrate these concepts.

The Google search engine's built-in calculation capabilities go beyond the simple mathematics shown above. The post Google Is Now a Graphing Calculator discusses this more and provides an example that can be pasted into the Google search engine.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Blue Willow (Tucson)

As I blogged on previously, I like to stay at the Westin La Paloma when I'm in Tucson. One of my favorite places to eat breakfast while in Tucson is Blue Willow.

The Blue Willow includes a gift shop that you walk through to enter and leave the restaurant, but it's the food and atmosphere of the restaurant that I truly enjoy. I especially enjoy breakfast (such as Fresh Fruit Crepe and Blue Willow Special) at the Blue Willow, but they also serve lunch and dinner.

There is both indoor and outdoor seating available at the Blue Willow. Even on warm days, the heavily shaded patio is comfortable. The Blue Willow is located at 2616 North Campbell Ave in Tucson and having breakfast at the Blue Willow is a great way to start off a day in Tucson.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Westin La Paloma (Tucson)

I don't travel to Tucson, Arizona, very often, but when I do, I like to stay at the Westin La Paloma. There are numerous accommodations closer to the Tucson International Airport, but I think it's worth the approximately 40 minute drive to stay at the Westin La Paloma.

My favorite thing about the Westin La Paloma in Tucson is the landscaping around the buildings. There are numerous species of cacti and other desert-friendly vegetation. These plants attract numerous birds and wildlife, making even a simple walk to one's room an opportunity to experience nature. This resort has numerous other activities as well, but my favorite part is the beauty of the landscaping and the surrounding area in that part of Tucson.

The rooms themselves are fairly basic but comfortable and clean. The resort has a long list of things on hand in case you forget small items and toiletries. The exterior, especially in the front, is also attractive and the very large swimming pool is nice. The main lobby area is very nice and is spacious. They also have conference rooms.

When I do get that rare opportunity to travel to Tucson, staying at the Westin La Paloma is one of the highlights of the trip that I look most forward to. I really enjoy seeing the the lush desert landscape and the associated wildlife that seems to like it as well as I.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012 and Discover Card Free 1-Day Shipping

Through 31 March 2012 ("or while promotional funds last"), Discover Card is offering free 1-day shipping on "select items" purchased at Details are currently available online at and that page lists the details and provides access to some of the items eligible for this promotion. The Promo Code to use is DSCVRSHP. The instructions to follow for taking advantage of this offer are all listed at the top of the page at

Monday, January 23, 2012

Jesse Stone Television Movies

I don't watch a lot of television, but I have seen one or two episodes of the made-for-television Jesse Stone movies on CBS. I recently started taking advantage of DVD rentals from NetFlix to watch these in order. When I say "in order," I mean generally in the order they were released with the exception of watching the later-released prequel first.

As far as I can tell, the order of when each movie's story is to have taken place is as follows:

Television Movie Title Year Released Order-Implying Plot Themes
Night Passage 2006 Recognized "prequel to Stone Cold" in which Jesse Stone leaves L.A. for the town of Paradise, Massachusetts.
Stone Cold 2005 Introduces Reggie and depicts later events related to Abby Taylor who met Jesse in the later-released "prequel" Night Passage.
Death in Paradise 2006 Events related to Luther 'Suitcase' Simpson in this episode tie it to preceding 'Sea Change'.
Sea Change 2007 Beginning ties to ending of 'Death in Paradise' and Molly Crane is away from the Paradise PD. This episode explains what happened to Hasty after his actions in 'Night Passage'.
Thin Ice 2009 Molly is not in this episode at all and Jesse's job in on "thin ice."
No Remorse 2010 Jesse is suspended from Paradise Police Department.
Innocents Lost 2011 Jesse has been involuntarily retired and the new Chief of the Paradise Police Department is related to one of the town's council.
Benefit of the Doubt 2012 Jesse becomes Paradise Police Chief again when the person who replaced him is killed in an explosion.

I have found the Jesse Stone movies to be well worth the time to watch. They are unlike most crime or mystery television shows and focus more on characters than many of these types of shows. These are characters that are easy to care about, but at the same time they can be frustrating in their human weaknesses. The length of the episodes is also a positive.

I won't spend more time now on why I like these movies because the reviews of the above movies do a thorough job of these movies' positive features. However, I will state that for a person who typically prefers movies over television, these made-for-television movies bring substance back to reality-era television.