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ok i have 3 or 4 days to go someplace

as a single parent i rarely have a few days in row to indulge myself.

but miracle of miracle his mom will actually take him from april 30 until may 4 or 5.

so i have a few days to go someplace, eat, chill, eat, hangout and eat.

i live in NYC - any ideas where i might go for a good few days of chow by myself (unless the right CH wants to join me,,,;) )\\

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  1. If I had a few days without the kids (mine are 7, 4 and 2), and a plane ticket I'd go to NYC. But then it's all relative... I don't live there. Have you been to Montreal? Loads of places to chill (albeit still a little bit chilly early May) and eat 24/7, and not so far away that you can't make a 3-4 day trip of it.

    recent top eats thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/583413

    1. I took my son to Montreal for 4 days last winter and we had a very nice, chow-ish experience. It is an easy drive from NY (straight up the Thruway) and there are some nice, inexpensive hotels you can stay at (we rely on tripadvisor.com). We had some great meals, most notably at Le Pied du Couchon (my French is terrible, but it doesn't matter in Montreal). There was also an article in this week's NY Times travel section about the Cabane Sucre, which we managed to visit for a verrry heavy, but fun meal. They are everywhere around Montreal.

      1. I live in NYC as well and I'm heading to Memphis for 3 days. Cozy Corner, Gus's, Arcade, Central, Payne's, possibly Dyers so far for food. As far as bars I'm looking forward to Ernestine and Hazel's, Lamplighter and Buccaneer. Ticket was under $250.

        1. Vegas, baby, Vegas. You don't even need a car once you get there and there is no lack of good food. I, for one, have had enough of the winter we're having and am guessing in NYC, you could stand some sunshine and warmer weather, too. And of course, what happens in Vegas...

          1 Reply
          1. re: kattyeyes

            ADDENDUM (with additional detail on chow)
            Here are a few specific food-related reasons to choose Vegas for a brief getaway in late April/early May--not to mention all the eating you desire can be accomplished either by walking or taking the monorail + add sunshine + it's like DisneyWorld for adults, fergodssakes. There are far too many great places to eat in Vegas to name, but here are three that come to mind from my past two trips:

            Burger Bar at Mandalay Bay

            Diego at MGM

            Ethel M Chocolates (for the lemon satin cremes alone

            And nowhere else in the world can you see any of six different Cirque du Soleil shows in one city on top of more dining options--fast food to buffet to fine dining--than one person could possibly detail. Lots of hotels with great pools so you can veg in the sun between meals. Eat and walk and eat and walk some more. Plenty to do and see regardless of whether you gamble. Nuff said. Hope you have a nice break wherever you go.

          2. go to new orleans. be a tourist. bring a jacket and tie. i understand the food, drinks and music there are pretty good.

            here's a link.


            1. You don't mention budget, travel time, maximum distance from home, or climate, so assuming no limits, consider these four (in alphabetical order):

              -Buenos Aires
              -Las Vegas

              1. How about San Francisco? There are frequently good fares and I know of a super cheap hotel near Union Square --- if you don't mind going down the hall to the bathroom.

                3 Replies
                1. re: c oliver

                  San Fran is in their "off season" right now...right? I was just there but was able to stay at my son's....car rental ran me about $300 for a full week and we only used it for food shopping and some sight-seeing...parking is a BITCH in SF as with most big cities (I rented tiny Kia with workplace discount from Enterprise, son does not own a car and it was great fun jumping on the Muni to go all over the place) ...I'm tempted to advise New Orleans BUT they're in their "high season" now so hotel rates might be high, I believe...jeez! Tough decision...San Fran or New Orleans...I'd see which one would afford the best airfare/hotel rates and then go for it. THEW, if you've never been to New Orleans, go there!!!!

                  1. re: Val

                    He's talking late April, early May. I don't know that SF even has seasons any more. It's always busy. And, yes, parking is atrocious. But I wouldn't consider driving there. There's no reason to and that saves $300. There are many affordable hotels in central locations. SF is great for walking and great public transpo. And such a diversity. 'Course, if I were he, I'd probably stayin NYC. That's food heaven for ME.

                    1. re: c oliver

                      LOL, c oliver...^5 on "stay right in NYC"...I would, too! New Orleans is just so funky...and distinctive because of their own cuisine; you cannot find real Cajun/Creole cooking in many cities in the US but you can find real Asian/Italian/fill-in-the-blank cuisines in most large cities and he's in NYC, so I'll stand with New Orleans....SF has diversity, yes--but is their cuisine very distinctive? And New Orleans has the MUSIC...now, here, I'm putting in my own preferences...Thew will have to weigh all options...he certainly has a plethora of choices at his own backdoor as somone pointed out in the Chesapeake Bay area...even Savannah would be nice at that time of year.

                2. Iceland.

                  Put your free time to good use and indulge on some ... reindeer!


                  2 Replies
                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    Helsinki! http://travel.nytimes.com/2008/12/14/...

                    Or a day's drive: Quebec City, prehaps the most beautiful small city in North America. "Like driving to France." Or Portland and the coast of Maine. Sante Fe (Another beautiful small city) & Taos. The other beautiful small American cities w/ great food: Charleston & Savannah.
                    Have fun & good luck

                    1. re: ipsedixit

                      i definitely had some of the best, freshest seafood of my life in reykjavik. and that was when it was pricey to visit there!!! it's seriously worth looking into; flights are cheap. four days is plenty, too: it's a small island. grab a couple great meals, hit the spas, do some hiking, more great meals. i dream of that cod!

                    2. Its a VERY nice time of the year in Honolulu. Check out the Elsewhere In America Board.
                      (ok, it is a long flight for 4 or 5 days)

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: KaimukiMan

                        Is there a "bad time of the year" in Honolulu? :-)

                        1. re: ipsedixit

                          Nope, no bad times, but some are even greater than others. Late April/early May being among those. Late September through most of November is another. The weather is even more stellar than usual, there are not as many tourists to compete with and you are not paying peak season rates.

                      2. Puebla, San Francisco, Portland, Vancouver, or Toronto.

                        1. I'd go to New Orleans/Southern Louisiana. It's a short flight, and it will be perfect weather (not too hot and humid quite yet) for walking and eating. Plus, it's the height of crawfish season and the tail end of strawberries. The only drawback is that Jazz Fest will be going on, which will make for large crowds, but if you love music and culture, it's the place to be.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: RosemaryHoney

                            I have to agree...the "music" factor is what really clinches it, PLUS the Cajun/Creole cuisine...(for ME, but this isn't about me, it's about OP Thew...) you can walk down so many streets in the 'Quarter and wander into a place with a flat-out killer blues band and sit there all afternoon...it's amazing!

                          2. If you didn't want to go too far and wanted to keep it on the cheap, I'd drive down to DC. I used to live there and there are a lot of great restaurants, especially ethnic places (Ethiopian)... plus the city is totally alive these days. Check out Georgetown (there is a great BBQ place there), Alexandria, etc... plus you can also stop and hit up Maryland for some delicious crab. And it will be a hell of a lot warmer there in May than it will be in NYC. Trust me I live in Boston now and I miss the early spring the most

                            1. Considering you only have 3 or 4 days, I'd probably limit it to shorter trips (eg. no Asia). And I would definitely go someplace where they have warmer weather than NYC. I'm already getting sick and tired of the cold.

                              I think San Francisco is really a great city. Wonderful food, easy to get around, lots of sights to see. I'm also a fan of New Orleans as well. Did a short weekend trip a few months ago and had a blast. And while the chow isn't as great as SF or New Orleans, if you want to get in some beach time, there's Miami. Just a three-hour flight from NYC, and flights tend to be really cheap. Tons of inexpensive and expensive hotel options in South Beach. And there's some eye candy there.

                              1. If it's just 3-4 days I, myself, would not want to spend a significant fraction of that traveling so I would think closer to home. How about a road trip up the Hudson River Valley. I understand there are a lot of chowish things happening up there with local producers and restaurateurs.

                                1. Folks, if you've got suggestions for thew, could you include some the chow reasons why he should visit those places? General reasons for visiting are off topic, so we'd like to focus on the chow.

                                  1. I'm all for spending the least amount of time traveling, so I recommend either Boston or Chicago. You don't need a car in either city and there are amazing restaurants in both places. Weather that time of year could be beautiful or could still be pretty chilly but who cares if you are spending all your time eating anyway.

                                    1. hanging out in new orleans is pretty cool.
                                      put on a jacket and tie and eat at galatoire's. it's old school and the food is wonderful. chat, downstairs only, to your waiter and let him/her call your dinner/drink shots.
                                      spending a day on the river is very cool in my book. pick up a half muff' at the central grocery before steaming up the river. plenty of beer on board so not to worry.
                                      acme has very good oysters. sit at the bar. ignore the rest.
                                      visit swamp country on a tour. bring your own beer. the waterways are special.
                                      nobody talks about the rib room at the royal orleans but i like it.
                                      everyone knows about brigtsen's, cochon, stella and bayona. maybe visit another old-timer like casamento's and get your fill of oysters and fried stuff.
                                      music? yes, there is music. you'll figure it out.

                                      1. It depends. Do you want to get away from the city? I recommend Asheville, NC. I had great food at Salsa and Tupelo Honey. The city is tucked in the mountains..art deco..I'm a hiker. What more can you ask for with good hiking and good food?

                                        New Orleans, having family there, is near and dear to my heart. Herbsaint..Galatoires...drool. Oh crayfish season...and the music..Check with HungryCeleste on that board.

                                        Then there is Boston, Philadelphia(Reading Terminal Market DiNics), Here in DC..

                                        1. updating and bumping -

                                          i think i might be able to swing a week, but its a month earlier than originally posted (something like mar 27 - apr 4, give or take a day on either end)

                                          so i have a bit more time to play with. I would prefer to leave the USA, and probably go someplace i've never been - but i'm not going to burden you with a list of places i've been to (it's long) and while i'd like to cross a new country off my list, a new city/place in a country i've been to would be ok too......

                                          someplace chill, maybe romantic, good food....

                                          10 Replies
                                          1. re: thew

                                            You're going to be romantic.....with/by yourself?


                                            1. re: fourunder

                                              while i do love myself - even romantically, i don;t plan on going alone. but then my idea of romantic might not be what others think - not white table cloths and violins - i've always been a traveler not a tourist

                                              1. re: fourunder

                                                What is that Woody Allen line about "at least I'm doing it with someone I love?" :) Sorry, thew, couldn't resist.

                                                Help us help you...somewhere warm? What are you looking for?

                                                1. re: kattyeyes

                                                  warm is good, but not needed - as long as it isnt wintery. good food

                                                  right now im leaning towards san sebastian in spain, and sicily - been to spain and italy, but not to either of those. was thinking peru, but a week cant be enough for peru. maybe greece. i dunno. if i did we wouldnt be having this conversation.

                                                  1. re: thew

                                                    I think Greece is too far to travel for just for a week...but how can you go wrong with Sicily or Spain? I would add extra days on if you can. A week doesn't seem like nearly enough time.

                                                    1. re: thew

                                                      San Sebastian is fantastic, but it's going to be dead in late March and early April. I don't necessarily mean that as a negative, since that's a matter of preference.
                                                      As San Sebastian is something of a resort town, however, I'd recommend Bilbao instead. There is more to do to fill a week, and you're close enough to San Sebastian to go there as well. Bibao's location is more accessible to the rest of Basque country, if you want to head up into the mountains or out to farms or vineyards. I'd also say there's better eating, but you can't go wrong with either.
                                                      If you haven't been, Valencia is the place I always recommend most highly in Spain. The weather is fantastic there in the early spring. From Valencia, it's fairly easy to take a trip out to the Baleares for a couple days.
                                                      A week isn't enough for Greece as a whole, but it is enough for Crete and the Dodecanese Islands, also beautiful in early Spring.

                                                      1. re: thew

                                                        I have been to San Sebastian and I have to tell you that after a day I was bored to death. The food was nothing special and absolutely nothing is open from 3pm to 9pm when the restaurants re-open for dinner.

                                                        How about Barcelona - beautiful marina packed with local fish restaurants, not to mention art, museums and football. Tapas bars everywhere, great coffee. HOwever, end of March is not that warm yet.
                                                        Greece is a maybe, but do check British schools holidays because Europe is full of Brits on vacation that time of year so all the prices go up. Greece over Easter might be ok but again weather is iffy.

                                                        1. re: smartie

                                                          Eastern and Western Easter are the same date in 2010 (April 4), and the whole country pretty much shuts down from Lazarus Saturday to Bright Monday. Definitely not a good week to go, unless you're really, really in to liturgical services.

                                                  2. re: thew

                                                    it's apparently a month earlier AND a year later (?) than originally posted, too.

                                                    how about barcelona? GREAT food all around. i'd suggest the 'dam, but you've been.

                                                    1. re: thew

                                                      Hi thew,

                                                      Deb and I always take an apartment in Rome during March. Check the interwebs and see what works for you.