Saturday, March 14, 2009

Romantic Get-A-Way

Valentines Day has come and gone but if you are a true romantic, it should by all means measurable last all year long.With that said, we have added a romantic one-day get-a-way to Ranlo, NC – Just Northwest of Charlotte – for an extended shot in the heart by Cupid. The Raffaldini Vineyards opened five years ago [2004] in Wilkes County on sprawling acres of scenic terrain near the Blue Ridge Mountains. This quaint, Italian-style vineyard opened its tasting room to a large group of thirsty guests and today has established itself as one of North Carolina’s premier wine and event destinations.

“Their goal is that when uncorked, a bottle of Raffaldini wine will evoke the Italian ideals of a slower pace of life and an emphasis on friends, family, great food and, of course, reflection,” said Barbara Raffaldini, managing partner and family member.

Although emphasizing “La Dolce Vita” with visitors, Raffaldini has worked tirelessly to enhance NC’s wine industry by experimenting with Italian grape varietals never grown before in the US, adding a state-of-the-art winery and two-story tasting room and event venue and leading the petition to form the Swan Creek AVA.

Nestled in the Yadkin Valley Region of North Carolina, family-owned Raffaldini Vineyards brings Old World charm to the Old North State. Known as “Chianti in the CarolinasRaffaldini currently produces five single varietal wines and four blends: Vermentino, Pinot Grigio, Sangiovese, Sangiovese Riserva and Montepulciano.

Click here to join us on one of our monthly romantic excursions.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Beijing Buffet

Would you believe that there are more Chinese restaurants in the United States than Burger King, McDonald's, and Wendy's combined? It is true, there are currently over 40,000 Chinese restaurants here, and I visited one of the newest ones in early February 2009.

I had been eyeing the "coming soon" sign for this new establishment for several months and often times wondered if it really was coming soon. Opening up a new business is always risky -- opening one during one of the worst economic downturns in U.S. history is risque'.

I am however compelled to believe that this newest edition to the Chinese-American repertoire of restaurants will survive and eventually thrive at its Eastway Drive location.

My visit to the semi-grand opening of the Beijing Buffet, as usual, was unannounced; and without fanfare or celebrity. I simply walked over from shopping at Food Lion next door and after realizing that the "coming soon" sign had been replaced with a "grand opening" sign.

Upon entering this new venture, I found the staff very pleasant and professional. I simply asked for the take-out buffet deal and was then directed to the cuisine trough. As with all Chinese buffets, I had a choice of a wide selection of meats, vegetables, and rice to choose from as well as dipping sauces.

I was especially impressed when one of the staff members -- who barely spoke English -- explained to me that the green items that I was staring at at the end of the buffet line were onions. Yummy! It was even more pleasing when the cashier deducted 10% from my bill just because I was a celebrity. Just kidding! Each person that dined during the Beijing Buffet's grand opening received the same discount.

All in all, my experience at the grand opening of the Beijing Buffet's restaurant was quite pleasurable and memorable; and by the way, the food delectable! I just wish that they would put more food out on the buffet line.

Click here for address and phone number.

P.S. -- I really enjoyed the 2008 Olympics!