Eating Out: Austria – Passport Magazine

Author: , September 10th, 2018

Austria - Pixabay

I ask an American what is considered quintessential Austrian cuisine, and you’re likely to get a furrowed brow. At roughly 32,000 square miles (think South Carolina, but landlocked), the country shares borders and cultural influences with the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Liechtenstein, and Slovakia. In its heyday, the Austrian Empire was one of the most powerful in Europe, ruled by the Habsburgs for nearly six centuries. The declared war against Serbia marked the beginning of World War I, and by 1918 the dynasty was history. Nazi invasion followed and an eventual restoration of autonomy with the help of the Allied Forces.

Sitting at the epicenter of Europe’s evershifting alliances has tested Austria’s resiliency, but it has also laid the groundwork for culinary inspiration drawn from historical trade routes and centuries-old farming and agriculture industries. I recently visited the land of Wiener schnitzel and pumpkinseed oil in search of Austria’s best bites, and to taste how the country is keeping pace with 21stcentury gastronomy trends, while still maintaining its authentic traditions.

Vienna is Europe’s unsung hero for stunning Gothic, baroque, and modern architecture. It also boasts the Ringstrasse, a three-mile circular road where you can find the Vienna State Opera, the Museum of Fine Arts, and other Insta-worthy landmarks. Commissioned by Emperor Franz Joseph in 1857, it is the symbol of the city’s penchant for the finer things in life and still serves as an anchor for Vienna’s bustling and sophisticated lifestyle.

I begin my edible excursion by checking into the Grand Ferdinand (Schubertring 10-12. Tel: +43-1-91880., hotelier Florian Weitzer’s opulent reimagining of several adjacent 1950’s office buildings. Its showcase restaurant, Meissl & Schadn (, pays homage to the legendary namesake hotel and restaurant that opened in Vienna in 1896 but didn’t survive the city’s World War II bombing. History is reborn with classic recipes served in a dramatic setting featuring wicker chairs, tiled pillars, low-hanging chandeliers, and crisp white linens.

But it’s the sound of veal cutlets pounded into plate-size portions in the salon kitchen that gives Meissl & Schaden its signature Viennese flair. Dipped in free-range eggs then coated in breadcrumbs, the Wiener schnitzel sizzles away (in your choice of clarified butter, lard, or neutral vegetable oil) until crispy. Finished with a hearty squeeze of lemon, it embodies the essence of classic Austrian cuisine.

By Matthew Wexler – Full Story at Passport Magazine

LOCATION Gay Travel Resources

Carlos Melia: Private Sailing Along the Seine

Author: , July 26th, 2015

Carlos Melia - Seine River Cruise

One of the experiences that I curated and hosted for my recent VIP Group to Paris for the Roland Garros French Open event, was a private sunset sailing along the Seine River, which included an outdoor cocktail, followed by a 3-Courses Gourmet dinner by Lenotre.

We were picked up at our hotels Le Bristol, and driven for 10 minutes to their Terminal/Lounge to board our private boat, the ACTE III. Not much more to say, so I will let you enjoy the photos and judge by them.

All I can add, is that our sailing was supposed to end by 10PM, and guests were enjoying their time so much, that we decided to extend for another 2 hours to see the Eiffel Tower sparkle right from the heart of the Seine River. This was not my first time doing a Private Sailing in Paris along the Seine River.

I have done it a few times before, but on a smaller scale and more private. See my post on Private Champagne Sunset RIVA Sailing along the Seine River. BTW Post today July 14th 2015 in honor of Bastille Day. HAPPY Bastille Day.

By Carlos Melia – Full Story at the Carlos Melia Blog | Paris Gay Travel Resources

Puerto Vallarta Mexico for foodies!

Author: , March 29th, 2015

DSC03124 Yogen Fruz

Looking to experience a fantastic gay friendly culinary destination? Check out Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The very successful, multi-million dollar “Live It To Believe It” campaign launched by Mexico’s tourism department (SECTUR) for 2014 has an exciting, second phase for 2015. Unveiled November 2014 in London at the World Travel Market, the new promotion showcases Puerto Vallarta as an exciting, modern, and sophisticated gay friendly culinary destination.

Puerto Vallarta is on top. Six of the ten, 2014 Trip Advisor’s “Best Fine Dining Restaurants in Mexico” are located in Puerto Vallarta and all are gay-friendly: Cafe Des Artistes, Vista Grill, Ocean Grill, Bistro Teresa, Trio, and Le Kliff. Great dining is very important to the LGBT market. Like the world famous gay nightlife in Puerto Vallarta, this destination boasts hundreds of some of the best chef- inspired restaurants and culinary events in Mexico.  Barcelona Tapas, Vitae, Daiquiri Dicks, Si Senor, The Swedes, Taste and Archie’s Wok.  The list is endless. Many of these fabulous restaurants are gay-owned and operated but all are super gay friendly. Here is the list of the great restaurants in Puerto Vallarta.

Book your trip for Vallarta Gay Pride in May 2015 and take advantage of Restaurant Week 2015. It is an annual food event held the last two weeks of May. Take advantage of over 50 of the best restaurants in Puerto Vallarta some discounted 50% from the regular menu. Discover for yourself how beyond gay friendly Puerto Vallarta can be.





Featured Gay Friendly Accommodations: Paw House Inn, West Rutland, Vermont

Author: , February 14th, 2015

Paw House Inn - West Rutland, Vermont

Periodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay.

Gay Friendly Bed & Breakfast in West Rutland, Vermont – Some hotels accept dogs. Other hotels tolerate dogs. The Paw House Inn – Killington/Pico caters entirely to the unique needs of dog lovers.

See the Paw House Inn Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals in Vermont

Gay Cleveland Culture, Art and Dining

Author: , August 12th, 2014

Cleveland - Apple MapsI grew up with a chip on my shoulder about Cleveland. Tired of defending my hometown from nomenclatures such as “the mistake on the lake,” I eventually gave up and rolled my eyes as if to say ‘It’s not that bad.’ Well the underdog of the Rust Belt has reinvented itself once again, this time poised to be an international destination for culture, dining, and innovation. Watch out world, Cleveland is back on the map.

Of course, ask any Clevelander and they will probably rattle off one of the city’s various claims to fame. Perhaps it is the prized collection at the Cleveland Museum of Art, which opened in 1916, or the world-renowned Cleveland Orchestra. Maybe it is Playhouse Square, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, or the Cleveland Indians, Browns, or Cavaliers–who no matter how much they win or lose, attract record-breaking crowds to sporting events year round.

What seems to be breaking the mold is not any singular institution or event, but rather a wide-eyed revelation–by locals and visitors alike–acknowledging that there is a hell of a lot happening in this town of less than 400,000 residents. For the LGBT community, the Gay Games next year is another feather in the cap of a city whose rainbow plumage is also gaining international recognition. Bisected by the curving Cuyahoga River, central Cleveland is home to several thriving neighborhoods where a new generation is choosing to live, work, and play.

By Matthew Wexler – Full Story at Passport Magazine | Ohio Gay Travel Resources

Gourmet Dining in Mexico City

Author: , January 24th, 2013

Paxia Restaurant Mexico CityIt’s midday in Mexico City, and men and women swarm the streets for lunch. The city’s colossal main square, Zocalo, is a patchwork of excitement as workers escape for their afternoon meals and feverishly wait at the dozens of food stalls. Smoke clouds create a haze from the grilling meats and fill the air with intoxicating smells.

I inhale and float like a cartoon character toward the various stalls that dish out everything from freshly made tortillas to bowls of pozole (traditional soup), and I am quickly amazed at the care and pride that the cooks put into their creations: one woman places a small, pink flower on top of a plate of rice and beans for each customer.

Authored By Joseph Pedro – See the Full Story at Passport Magazine

Click here for gay travel resources in Mexico City.


San Francisco’s Culinary Revolution Continues

Author: , March 14th, 2012

SF Ferry BuildingSan Franciscans live with an abundance of food harvested fresh near their doorsteps year around. Nowhere is this profusion of delectable delights more visible than at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market open three days a week and situated along the Embarcadero, at the very edge of the city where the tall downtown office towers end and the sea begins.

On a recent Saturday morning the sun succeeded in burning off the fog that enshrouded the Golden Gate Bridge, and the water sparkled. Commuter boats chugged, bound for Sausalito or Tiburon. The seagulls and sea lions splashed about, competing for fishy morsels. By nine o’clock buskers and circus artists arrived to work the crowds that were otherwise preoccupied filling their grocery carts and knapsacks with collard greens, beets, leeks, Meyer lemons, and an array of baked goods.

Mingling amidst the masses are several of the city’s best-known chefs, like Hotel Nikko’s Philippe Striffeler, who frequent the market each week. In the last five or six years, these chefs have transformed the culinary scene in San Francisco into one with an artisan global reputation. The chefs shop here and then trundle off to kitchens all around town to produce hand crafted sauces, house cured meats, and colorful vegetable dishes, all of them using the produce harvested at organic farms that practice sustainable agriculture.

Full Story from Edge Boston

Click here for gay travel resources in San Francisco.


Gay Travel: Dining in San Francisco

Author: , March 8th, 2012

San Francisco DiningIt’s said that there are enough restaurants in San Francisco to eat in a different one every night for ten years. There may well be enough restaurant blogs to read a different one every day for ten years, too. The city is absolutely gluttonous.

For every stereotypical granola and sprouts fan, there’s another San Franciscan always ready to chow down on a butter-spiked multi-course feast. Strangers trade dim sum tips while waiting at the movies, and everyone waits in line at ethnic food trucks.

If you’re coming to town on vacation, the choices can be daunting. So, here’s a selection of five recently opened eateries that will satisfy a wide range of visitors’ appetites: A high-end marvel, a sleek urban crowd-pleaser, a fellow out of towner, and two modestly priced spots to stop, sip, and snack in one of America’s great walking neighborhoods.

Full Story from Passport Magazine

Click here for gay travel resources in San Francisco.


The Washington Blade’s Best of Gay DC: Dining

Author: , October 28th, 2011

Washington Blade - Best DC DiningAfter 63 years of proudly serving D.C.’s gay and lesbian community, Annie’s Paramount Steak House is still going strong (especially with a little help from a recent makeover).

When Clark Smith, late night manager at Annie’s, heard that Annie’s was again selected Best Late Night by Blade readers, his response was simple. He shouted, “Score!” Annie’s is a staple in our annual awards and is second only to JR.’s for most wins. This is Annie’s 17th win. It won in this category in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2010.

That enthusiasm explains why people keep coming back. Smith says there are three reasons for the venerable institution’s success: “Good food, good service and good friends.” Smith adds, “It’s home. People come back every week. Customers get surprised when there are staff changes and they demand to know where I was when I take a week off. There’s a lot of laughter and a lot of fun”

Full Story from The Washington Blade

Click here for gay travel resources in Washington, DC.

Gay Travel: Five Great Places to Eat on Australia’s Gold Coast

Author: , June 5th, 2011

I recently had the pleasure of embarking on a familial trip on the Gold Coast of Australia. A familial is a charmed experience in which local, expert hospitality hosts (find them on facebook/gaygoldcoast) generously guide a pack of travel journalists through a few days worth of indulgence in the finest adventures, eats, sights, sounds and scenes that their city has to offer visitors far and wide.

This particular familial packed a week chuck full of surf lessons, shopping, scenic overlooks, jet boats, rain forest explorations, wine tastings, art walks, and kangaroo and koala cuddles (a true testament to all there is to do on the eastern Queensland coast ). But even with an unyieldingly itinerant itinerary, as I sit a few weeks removed from the adventure — and noticeably a few inches removed from my former waistline — I can honestly say that I by and large ate my way through Australia’s chicest shores.

There are seemingly one gazillion places dying to wine and dine your travelers checks from out of your disposable income-packed pockets (and I think we came close at trying them all). Many ‘a delicious establishment could have made this list, but here are five definitely worth the drive once you touch down on Australia’s gorgeous Gold Coast.

Full Story from

Click here for gay travel resources in SouthEastern Queensland, Australia.