Casa de Tepa, Astorga, Spain

Casa de Tepa is the type of unique accommodation that I enjoy most. It has the unique taste and style of the owners as well as plenty of history. Tucked behind a wall, you’ll find this place complete with a lovely courtyard which is perfect for relaxing after a long day of business or touring.


As for rooms, there are plenty to choose from. Here’s a large one in which I stayed.

DSC_2765And the view from the other side:

DSC_2766And here’s a view of the spacious bathroom:

DSC_2767Plenty of space with all the fine toiletries you would expect. Then there are the common areas:

DSC_2771There are several:

DSC_2769Plus, a charming staff, delicious breakfast? What more could you want. If you’re in the Astorga area, I can highly recommend this place.

The Apple Pan

Big cities always have their quaint and cool joints. In Los Angeles, I found The Apple Pan, which is no secret. Still, having a burger at a joint that is throwback to maybe 50 years ago was fun and tasty.


The place is easy to find on Pico Blvd, with a few parking spots behind and more on the street. Inside you’ll find a counter staff by friendly guys who sling burgers, fries, and slices of dessert with amazing speed. I went with the hickory burger and fries. Check them out:


Kind of cool the way the burger comes in that paper wrap. Keeps the mess off your shirt, too. By the way, those fries are very tasty. Great potato flavor! Will be back here to try some more items. Enjoy every meal.

Shoco Snack, Aruba

You’ll find Shoco Snack on Schotlandstraat between Ling’s Grocery and the Sasaki Texaco.

Shoco Snack, Aruba.

Shoco Snack, Aruba.

This is a local joint, mostly take-away, but there are a few seats at the counter where you can enjoy your snack and read Diario, the local newspaper.

The counter at Shoco Snack, Aruba.

The counter at Shoco Snack, Aruba.

The food here is local, simple, hearty fare. The prices are reasonable, meaning currently you’ll spend about 20 florins or less for a platter like you see below.

Roast chicken platter take away from Shoco Snack, Aruba.

Roast chicken platter take away from Shoco Snack, Aruba.

Of course, each day they have a few specials. I recommend going early for lunch to get your selection. Below is the grilled chicken platter.

Grilled chicken platter take away from Shoco Snack, Aruba.

Grilled chicken platter take away from Shoco Snack, Aruba.

There’s plenty of food there, enough rice for 3 people underneath the chicken. This might be an easy alternative for a quick meal during your stay. Bon dia.

Aruba Snack, Part 1

There are literally hundreds of tiny snack shops scattered about the island of Aruba. For a guy who loves road food (actually all kinds of food except for seafood), this is good and bad. It’s good because whenever or wherever you have an urge to boost the cholesterol level you’re free to pull in and load up. It’s bad because the cholesterol level pegs in the red zone and the belt continues to get shorter. (Wish I had one of those extensions like they have on airplanes.)

┬áThe Sabor “snack shack” is only a few minutes drive from my house. It happens to be on the main road which has me passing it most every time I head out. It also happens to be located immediately adjacent to a nice guy who does some fine aluminum gates and fences if you happen to need that kind of thing at your own place. Anyway, I wheel in here from time to time for the local cuisine which they call “criollo” but I’m not sure that it is anything like “creole.” They sell “pastechi” which are sort of like giant empanadas, little sandwiches made to order, and cold drinks. The lady working here has a smile for all of us, including this unshaven, sloppy-looking writer who speaks some modicum of Spanish and Papiamento.

You didn’t think I was going to skip a chance to enjoy an ICE-COLD Coca-Cola did you? Of course not! Feeling refreshed, I’m ready to head back to the pens and paper and crank out another couple or three thousand words on the current novel, Under A Blue Flag.

You may have noticed the title of this post involved the term, “Part 1.” Slow by slow, I’ll put up some more of my favorite joints like this. I have to warn you. They’re not for the culinarily timid. The food is hearty even if it is not good for your heart. Don’t forget: Prepay the cardiologist and SAVE BIG TIME!

And I just remembered the rum shops. I have to get those posts up, too.