Thai Paradise: Ridgway, Colorado

I stumbled across Thai Paradise in Ridgway, Colorado while en route to the Grand Junction airport after an amazing weekend spent at Telluride Blues and Brews 2010. Ridgway is tiny with just a handful of businesses, among them being an incredibly authentic Thai kitchen and a liquor store. Good enough for me. It’s an incredibly local roadside gem with an old Thai couple cooking typical Thai dishes behind the beautiful counter adorned with chopsticks and seashells and pillow-covered seating areas in the back. Colorful and friendly and delicious.

I had a traditional spicy green curried chicken dish and a lemongrass and coconut soup that they kindly and graciously served even though they’d closed just minutes before I parked under an approaching storm. Being a lover of Thai, I can make claim that this was one of the best Thai meals I’ve ever had- all tucked away off of a quiet Colorado highway. There is no website for this magical little place, but if driving between Telluride and Grand Junction, make time to stop into this charming and promising hole-in-the wall just off of Colorado Highway 62. You won’t be disappointed.


By: Ashley Halligan

Ohio Street Food

Check out
Founded by some friends of mine I grew up with in, you guessed it, Ohio, these guys are taking on the task of covering Ohio’s mobile food industry. From what we saw on a recent trip to Columbus, it looks as though street food is on the up and up there just as it is down here in ATX. They’re smart guys, smart with impressive senses of humor, smart with impressive senses of humor and fun, too. So support them. The end.


Wandering in Komissar Wallander’s footsteps

There is a little town called Ystad in the very south of Sweden right on the Baltic sea. It is best known for its most prominent (and fictitious) police officer, Kurt Wallander. He is the agent in Henning Mankell‘s crime stories that are all placed in Ystad or somewhere around here.

A lot of hotel rooms and vacation homes are equipped with maps and brochures that point out all places that play a role in the movies. You can go visit Wallander’s house in the Mariagatan, the train station that serves as his office building. Or drink coffee in the “Hotell Continental” where Wallander takes his coffee, or even go to the beaches in the “Hagestad Naturreservat” east of Ystad where Wallander retreats to to think about his current cases.

But even if everything seems to be about Swedish movies, and especially Henning Mankell’s crime stories, this region, called southern Skane, has so much more to offer. Coffee is indeed a pretty serious thing here—not only is there a cafe in almost every other house in the town but it is also very good, very strong, and very tasty.

Sweden’s most beautiful beaches (voted for by some Swedish magazine in 2009) along the Baltic sea attract thousands of visitors over the summer. In the fall, they are deserted and are an inviting place to take a walk. An important prehistoric site, alnes stener, (which translates to something like ale’s stones) is just a few miles along the coast east of Ystad. built by the Vikings some 1000-1500 years ago it is a bunch of big stones erected in the shape of a viking’s ship. It is probably comparable to Stonehenge in a way, I didn’t dare ask, though, for fear of offending Vikings.

The roaring green hills of the inland is full of old castles and big mansions that sit in the midst of rich farmland and forests. Some of them, like Marsvinsholm, allow visitors to stride through their big parks, sculpture gardens, and orchards, and they even host summer festivals and concerts. A few natural reserves close to Ystad are also worth visiting. I have never seen more wild birds of prey than here.

By: Christoph Sahle

San Jose, Costa Rica, from Above

(Trip courtesy of Marriott Costa Rica)

Ah, Latin American cities: what’s not to love? Wide boulevards, awe-inspiring palaces, gorgeous old-world-new-world architecture…packs of stray dogs, beggars, choking smog, bewildering transportation options… San José is better than most, but it can be difficult to maintain perspective while tired and footsore, your head all a-whirl from the noise and traffic and giant billboards.

Check out the view from here.

I was standing on the top of a hill overlooking San José, Costa Rica, a little travel-worn and stressed about a frank exchange of opinions (about Obama’s healthcare plan…how blasé) I’d had with another, wealthier American I had met there. It happened at Tiquicia, a nice, though tourist-focused restaurant serving traditional Costa Rican fare.

There’s a full bar, live music and dancing on weekends—but the real attraction is the view, which, as you’ve already seen, is breathtaking.

It was a foggy night that was beginning to clear as I shot the view. From there, from that distance, perspective was forced into my brain with a jolt, forcing me to recalibrate. San José had transformed from a manic whirlwind of cars and dogs to a sea of twinkling lights and orange-illuminated clouds far beneath me. And, the inevitable analogy: that even my most deeply held beliefs are, in the long run, silly preoccupations. I didn’t even care, as it turned out, about that asshole’s position on healthcare, and I can’t change his mind for him. Proselytizing is pointless. Just, focus on one point, breathe, and enjoy the view.

By: Ben Britz