ChaiMaMa’s Noodles House, Queens NY

I liked the place  immediately because of the wooden furniture and walls (bright colored wood).  I am not about wood cabins but just this nice clean soft and bright wood.  There was a lot of sun beaming into the restaurant that day but it was shaded.  The restaurant was simple but clean.  I would say it could hold about 12-16 people.  They used real utensils–metal chopsticks.  At the end you were to clean up after yourself as they have a station, which they point out, for storing the dishes.

I had soup with noodles and then on the side, fried pork chops.  Yum but the chops were rather salty.  I was drinking up the soup to neutralize the salt.  I mentioned to the owner and he said that it was meant to be like that.   I mean the soup was rather bland.  He was nice about it and did not try to stop me from commenting as he asked several times how I thought the meal was.

Would I go back probably–I might choose a different dish but if I am in the mood for salty I could get the dish again.  It was not so bad just a little too salty.


Bazin Family Owned Restaurant VA

So recently I visited a friend  in Northern Virginia and and we visited a place called Bazin on Church for a late brunch.  We arrived around 2 ish so we were at the tail end.  There were only about 4 other people and then another person came in while we were there but for drinks.

What I observed:

nice sized plates, nice atmosphere, bar when walk in, step up–was remembering if handicapped accessible-not sure, sizable drinks


Like the appearance of two plates, the third (french toast a little messy)

comfort food for me for breakfast

We had:

Chicken & Waffles
buttermilk fried chicken breast,

Bananas Foster French Toast
maple syrup, smoked bacon

Mustard Seed Crusted
Salmon Salad
romaine lettuce, chickpeas, green beans,
carrots, ginger-mustard vinaigrette

-chicken had a little bit of a kick, was a little addictive actually along with the syrup (sweet and salt combination)

-the plates were already filled with syrup (one less thing to do)

-french toasted coated in panko and served with friend sweet plantains

-salmon over a salad that had chickpeas and maybe chopped up tiny olives and red peppersIMG_5046

Good Host–asked if we needed anything.  Also the prices were decent.  We would return.  Parking is underneath the building and a few choice spots in the back.  Hummers need not apply downstairs or in the back.

Overall I give an 8 on my 1-10 scale.

Enjoying Portugal 1

move away from the touristy things and just do the local things–that is how you get the true feeling of a place

drive to local beaches–just drive in the direction of water (Costas Caparica is nice)

little towns (stop anywhere)-make an excuse like you need a chocolate

gated communities (beach clubs–just peek)–they do not know if you are buying and if you are a foreigner so they definitely are always interested, you may be independently wealthy or you will tell your story to your friends, etc

dine on the beach (there are numerous little beach restaurants and in a row)

sleep on the beach-you can bring your own umbrella or rent one

water views-even from central Lisbon

kids fun-everyone now has bouncy houses, indoor playgrounds, water parks (like you would not believe)

small weekend markets- like the LX Factory (food, shopping, people watching, relaxing)



We have launched a website-my best bud and I.  We have begun in Portugal: we-my best bud and I -me here (US) and she there (Portugal).  It is a site for foreigners when they prepare to and move to Portugal and also for people trying to really get to the local level.  It aggregates continually, local businesses and services that are key to integrating and enjoying your stay, however long, in Portugal. The phrase “live like a local” applies here.  No longer feel on the fringes.

the living abroad guide

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We are working our plump food eating butts off to fill the site with great content so check in occasionally to see whats new.  We hope to have a decent of content within the next 6 months.  We will always be working to keep it fresh and updated.  Our goal is a few more countries so maybe one day we will have TLAG Panama, TLAG South Africa, TLAG Vietnam, or even TLAG Jordan.