Category Archives: Restaurants

Enrico’s Pizza, A Whole Lot More Than Pie

American Press Travel News-Sept 28th, Islamorada, FL Keys–Bob n Barb “On the Road Again” Enrico’s New York Style Pizzeria. Growing up in Brooklyn, many of my memories I recall today were the great Kosher Pickles, corned beef sandwiches, hot dogs and sauerkraut, and great garlic pizza dripping with olive oil and chewy, gooey mozzarella. With a Root beer float, I always was delighted and happiest in my Williamsburg apartment near the Brooklyn Bridge. So fast forward several decades later, here I am in Islamorada, and up pops Enrico’s Pizza at MM 88.8. After meeting and getting to know Laurenzo (Larry) Calvano, owner/operator and Master Pizziolo of Enrico’s, and Dominic Congeni, Chef, I felt right at home and knew Italian fare here was going to be great. I/we were not disappointed. My son Dave, Director of Emergency Management at Homestead Air Force Base decided to join us. He now can tell his associates where they can get a good meal down in the Keys near his home in Islamorada.  Out came the pizza, out came the clams oreganato with linguine, the shrimp risotto too! I asked Larry about his experiences so far, since Enrico’s just opened in the past two week. Larry told me that “we wanted to be that neighborhood place and feel, and we are being slammed as a Keys great local Pizzeria. The whole vibe is fabulous, and its all about family, Italian food is all about family mangia, together with love and happiness.” We felt it! We’ll be back! Give a call, say hello, and be prepared to be very happy at Enrico’s New York Style Pizzeria with Italian dish specialties, everyone loves if they are authentic. This place is authentic!! Give a call or just stop in. 305-852-2200 

Columbia TN. A Real City, With a Smalltown, More Cozy Vibe. Part 1: Blythewood Inn Our Host B & B

American Press Travel News–July 19th–Columbia, TN.–Bob and Barb-“On the Road Again”–“Stopping to Smell the Roses” at the Blythewood Inn Historic Bed & Breakfast. Probably in all our visitations and stayovers (more than 150 at last count) none were more historic and relaxing than the Blythewood Inn. This was truly an antebellum mansion, upgraded to modernity, but decorated and outfitted in furnishings and decor of a period now viewed in pastel colors and thoughts. Another time period when things were so much less complicated and stressful.  Barb and I love visiting all manner of new areas in America, and this time our choice was a visit to Columbia, TN. The Innkeeper, Dinah Vire moved to Columbia, TN. in 1989 with her family. She and her husband Gordon purchased the house in 1994 to be used as a medical office. Gordon Vires practice was in the house until 2007, when Gordon became ill. After his passing, Dinah and the family decided to transform the building back to a home, and open Blythewood Inn Bed & Breakfast.  Go: www.BlythewoodinnBB.com      This is part 1 of 2 parts—- just wait until you see the amazing dishes you can enjoy in the great restaurants of Columbia!!

Barb entering the magnificent Blythewood Inn Historic Bed & Breakfast.
Innkeeper,Dinah Vire was an amazing lady. She loves the history of her Inn and is truly a lady that goes all out for her guests who come as customers and leave as welcomed friends.
Spoiler alert! Our room during our stay at the Blythewood Inn. It was like living in the lap of luxury, surrounded by the flavor of the past!
Probably the most spectacular B&B dining room ever!! Old world charm, with AC too!!
Barb admiring a display of James K. Polk, reproduction White House China dishes.
Stairway to our suite!! Feels great stepping back and up in time from those antebellum days of the south.

 

Linden, TN. Between 2-Great Rivers! Part 2 of 3-Articles

Fishing in jet propelled shallow water river boats with the Mayor Wess Ward, and Sheriff Nick Weems of Linden, and Perry County, two men that knew where the lum-lunkers lurked, was a blast!!
Perry County Sheriff Nick Weems, took time to show me the action on the Buffalo River!!

American Press Travel News-July 4th, Eastern, TN.– “Bob and Barb On the Road Again.” Part 2 of our adventure in Linden, TN.–when we met Michael Dumont and his wife, Kathy, we knew were in a special place. Not to over dramatize our visit, but we felt more confident that in Linden, we could relax and experience a bit of the historical aspects of this region, east of Memphis and about two hours west of Nashville.

Michael took us for a tour of Perry County area. A fabulous rural area, rife with fabulous water, valley and mountain vistas as well as all manner of wildlife! We visited and drove along the Tennessee River, to the Mousetail Landing state Park, with RV facilities including 5 different levels of fitness trails, and views that are sensational. We toured the Lindens riverside nature of the Buffalo River, and Michael introduced us to a new Bed and Breakfast, he had completely rehabbed close to the TN. River, in a nearby, small hamlet of Clifton, “Tennessee’s best preserved river landing town.”

Yours truly, enjoyed the bassin’ on the Buffalo River.

In Clifton, we visited the T.S. Stribling Home & Museum. Thomas Sigismund Stribling was the first Pulitzer prize winning author of 14-novels, plays  and short stories in Tennessee. A great stopover and visit during our stay, and well worth visiting. The museum is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Go: www.cityofclifton.com or call (931) 676-3370 for tours information. Lots to marvel at.

 

 

 

Great country cooking in Linden! Real Southern cooking at 1991 prices.
The Commodore Hotel is framed from the past into the future!
Next door to the Hotel Commodore, you can find Buffalo River Artisans. Mellissa Goodwin teaches Barb how to create a neat piece of art. Great hands-on for young and old!!!

The town of Linden in Perry County, Tennessee 1819-2019 had this nice hotel building, but according to Michael Dumont, “the town had seen better days.”  The hotel was basically shuttered and needed everything!  But getting to know him and his wife Kathy, I saw what they saw, and felt that with their drive and entrepreneurship, that they certainly made a huge difference in bringing a large spurt for economic revival  to this town and county. They went to work with enthusiastic support from several towns folk in bringing back a huge measure of curbside appeal to Linden. They pushed getting rid of all the crisscrossing powerlines, that opened up the towns look, and feel that it wasn’t a hodge-podge anymore, of neglect. Like many towns, the rural roads were once the main roads, but as in this case for Linden, when I-40, the east-west interstate cutting through the state, was completed, traffic on the once, main route, 100 decreased to mainly local traffic and businesses soon to be gone, on Main Street. So the businesses, and well-kept stately buildings became just old, non maintained, and almost all abandoned. from the car dealership, vehicle repair shops and retail stores, and the bus stations that once serviced travelers from Memphis to Nashville, virtually ended. Sufficient to say when the Dumonts came to Linden in 2007, the little town showed 14 vacant storefronts. Michael says now there are no vacant stores. Perry Chamber of Commerce lists that in 2009, unemployment was 28.9-percent. Today, its between 2-3-percent. and now Linden is not a pass-through, according to Mitchell Rhodes, Chairman of the Perry County Chamber of Commerce, Linden is a destination with a proper hotel again, restaurants and the “Bloomin Arts Festival along with music, music, music! Go: Commodorehotellinden.com  and call (931) 589-3224 for a visit.  Note* next post will detail many more amenities and businesses in and around the town of Linden!!

Linden, The Little Town that Could With Help From the Dumonts

Lunch and music at the Commodore Music Café was a treat. Few restaurants offer live music with lunch.

American Press Travel News-June 19, Linden, TN.–Bob and Barb “On The Road Again.” When we arrived in the small town of Linden, Tennessee we almost immediately felt at home. We had been invited to stay at the newly remodeled, and upgraded Commodore Hotel. We met Kathy and later Michael Dumont, and realized they were on a mission. However, they were incredibly friendly and accommodating. Michael took us on a delightful trip through the county, and also showed us his remodeled B&B outside of town, and close to the Tennessee River (we’ll be back) that has more species of fish in its depth than any other American river (according to Mr. Benson of the Chattanooga Aquarium) and I plan to get close and personal with some of them as soon as possible. The Commodore held 22-rooms at the hotel and next door annex, and all done-up first rate, but with very reasonable cost. www.commodorehotellinden.com (931) 589-3224–114 East Main St. Linden TN. 37096

We were invited to fish with the Mayor, Wess Ward, and Perry Counties Sherriff, Nick Weems, who also brought his boat, and fished with us on the Buffalo River for smallmouth and largemouth bass (more on fishing in part-2 of our Linden experience later). Travel writers do travel on their stomachs, and we knew we would be in for a treat with the live music, as we chowed on terrific fare at the corner Music Café in the hotel.

While I fished, Barb went next door on main St., and just after I arrived back at the hotel, we availed ourselves of the opportunity to do “Wave- Painting” at the Buffalo River Co-Op Craft Immersion project. Lots of fun, met great folks doing their crafts “thing” in wood and textiles. We were sent our little paintings to our home after they finally dried. We walked main street and met proprietors of Sparky and Ringos, Dimples Shop & Restaurant, Custom Creations Jewelry and also ate at Tims Video Corner Café our second evening in town. We also met Allyson Hinson Dickey, the new Chamber Director who offered us the Keys to the town (so-to-speak) for us to visit and experience. The Dumont’s invited us to have dinner with them, even though their restaurant was closed that evening. Before I forget; we also visited Mouse tail Landing State Park with Michael Dumont ,and everyone that enjoys camping would love the facilities and hiking ops.

When Michael and Kathy Dumont decided to change their life from Rhode Island to a little town between Nashville and Memphis, TN., they moved to Linden, a town that had seen better days before the Interstate way-laid most of its business and tourist traffic, as new interstates have done so, all over America (remember route 66) they chose the gorgeous rural area between Memphis and Nashville, and purchased land for their home, and acquired several building in the town of Linden. Linden has a backyard of the Buffalo River and the Tennessee River, rife with fabulous landscapes and wildlife.  * Stay tuned for part-2 our visit to Perry County, fishing, The Buffalo River Resort,  and an unusual museum on the Tennessee River.

We were strolling the neat little town of Linden!!
Larger than life, Minnie Pearl statue. A well known figure from Linden. She is in the lobby of the Commodore Hotel.
Barb heading for the hotel. The red car is a 1949 perfect condition, Dodge that belongs to the Dumont’s.

 

 

 

 

 

One of the small mouth bass while fishing with the Mayor and Sheriff of Linden and Perry County,
Newspaper article reminiscent of how folks in a small town (Similar to Mayberry RFD) takes time out for just having fun! Article was on the wall of the hotel lobby.
Sheriff of Perry County took a time-out to take me fishing!!
Mayor of Linden also took me fishing!!!
Sheriff and mayor were a “hoot” to fish with and get to know!!
While I went fishing, Barb took a class in art at the Buffalo River Artisans Cooperative, next door to the Commodore Hotel.