Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Seinfeld's Soupman Reinforces NYC Roots Delighting Locals, Travelers & Soup-Lovers Nationwide

Ever since the phrase “No Soup For You!” was coined on the NBC sitcom “Seinfeld” back in the mid 90’s, The Original Soupman has endured not only as a cultural icon, but a culinary one as well. Over two decades later, this New York City-born food brand has again turned its attentions to capturing the hearts, minds and palates of soup aficionados in the Big Apple and beyond—reviving the legendary brand by realizing several notable milestones.

First, this past December The Original Soupman debuted an exclusive, seasonal 44th Street Kiosk allowing its fresh, authentic, local, artisanal soups to “return with a vengeance back to their rightful place as a heritage-driven NYC brand” as the company emphatically asserts. This is the first of other such kiosks the company plans to roll out, and is additional to The Original Soupman’s other retail foodservice endeavors—four franchise locations, one each in Albany (NY), Astoria (NY), Atlantic City (NJ) and Uncasville (CT) (noting the original 55th street location is no longer Original Soupman).

In a clear-cut strategic effort to proliferate The Original Soupman food service in NYC and bolster their overarching national franchise business, the new kiosk will operate in the heart of the Times Square hub through April 2019. It will avail four varieties of the company’s internationally-celebrated savory, artisanal soups to the throngs of passersby—to the delight of both locals and tourists alike. Reportedly delivered fresh from the Bronx every morning, the soups are crafted with locally-sourced ingredients from Hunts Point, ostensibly the largest produce market in the world.

We have one story, the NYC story,” said Emmy-nominated Larry Thomas, the Original Soupman who brought this soup to life on Seinfeld in 1995. What would make you stand in line, even risk ridicule? The best damn soup in the world. We are SOUP. Premium, fresh, and redefining our NYC roots.”

As if the Times Square kiosk was not exciting enough, The Original Soupman has further entrenched itself within the NYC community by helping school children eat healthier. Pursuant to a successful pilot partnership with NYC Public Schools on their K-12 menu initiative (designed to promote healthfulness by switching Mondays to an all-vegetarian menu), The Original Soupman has created a specialty bean recipe now featured as the main ingredient in a popular veggie taco” lunch program menu item for select schools in the region. Company materials report The Original Soupman implemented its special Mexicali Bean and Stewed Pinto bean recipes, which are authentic, fresh, preservative-free and also locally produced, making them a great addition to the offerings at the public institutions. It seems there may be a larger school cafeteria effort brewing beyond New York’s borders, with Thomas declaring, The kids love it and parents approve! We look forward to expanding this initiative to improve the health and taste profile of school menus for students nationwide.”

Speaking of national endeavors, you notably don’t have to step foot in NYC to partake in The Original Soupman’s divine artisanal offerings. In another key company development, those hungering to savor the brand for themselves can now find a selection of Original Soupman varieties in Tetra Pak cartons (helping preserve the soup’s nutritional value and taste) both in supermarkets across the country and online at www.originalsoupman.com . This includes its Legendary Lobster Bisque and Chicken Noodle, as well as the soon-to-be-announced special edition flavors like Chicken Tortilla.

Those opting to visit the web site will find soup club memberships, innovative recipes and seasonal flash sales, and can buy socially-minded soups whereby a portion of each sale supports veterans via the Soups for Troops” nonprofit organization.

It’s heartwarming to see The Original Soupman not only reviving itself in the city where it all started, but also embarking on a national retail renaissance. Amid the tremendous opportunity knocking on The Original Soupman’s door, the sentiment has seemingly fortuitously shifted from “No Soup For You,” to “Soup For Everyone!”
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Tuesday, January 8, 2019

The Waterfront Beach Resort, a Hilton Hotel, Announces Drift Spa

The Waterfront Beach Resort, a Hilton Hotel, announces the opening of Drift Spa, the latest addition to the renovated oceanfront resort and newest spa in world-famous Surf City. Drift is an 8,000 sq. foot full-service coastal spa that features an exclusive sensory experience designed to leave guests feeling calm and carefree.
In addition to boasting nine spa treatment rooms and an extensive treatment menu that proudly offers organic and natural products, Drift features separate lounge and spa facilities for men and women that features spacious locker rooms, luxurious whirlpools, and eucalyptus and lavender infused steam rooms. Other lavish amenities include a vitality bar with tea elixirs, a delicious juice bar, and an enchanting spa garden with an outdoor fireplace and seasonal herb wall. Every element of Drift was thoughtfully designed to create a coastal sanctuary that engages all five senses for the ultimate spa experience.
“Drift offers guests a next-level spa experience, blending all natural elements that will elevate your senses and encourage deep relaxation,” said Jennifer Reich, Spa Director. “Every step of your journey with us – from the pre-treatment seashell release that carries your worries out to sea to the healing Himalayan Salt Stone Sauna – takes you one step closer to calming the mind, body and soul.”
Signature treatments at the new Drift Spa include the Drift for Two couples massage with a Coastal Foot Bath, Himalayan Salt Stone Massage and the Vitamin Sea Brightening Facial. Professional treatment lines used at the spa include Naturopathica, Elemis, emerginC Scientific Organics, and Spa Ritual.
“Whether you’re planning a family getaway or craving a little rest and relaxation, there is truly something for everyone here,” said Paulette Fischer, General Manager at The Waterfront Beach Resort. “And now with the opening of Drift, resort guests and Huntington Beach locals alike can unwind and refresh at our peaceful coastal oasis.”
Drift is the latest addition at the resort, which opened the brand-new, nine-story Twin Dolphin Tower earlier this year. The “suite centric” tower features luxurious appointments, private furnished balconies with gorgeous ocean views, Hilton’s exclusive Serenity Bedding Collection, and pet-friendly rooms and amenities. The new Twin Dolphin Tower connects the current 285-room Huntington Tower, further solidifying the resort’s place as an iconic oceanfront fixture in Huntington Beach.
“We are proud to see a vision 25 years in the making finally come to life,” said RJ Mayer, Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Officer of Irvine-based Robert Mayer Corp., that owns the hotel. “The resort expansion offers visitors and beach city residents a quintessential Southern California lifestyle experience, and we are thrilled to contribute to tourism in world-famous Surf City.”

In addition to the Twin Dolphin Tower, the lobby/check-in area, fitness center, and all public spaces underwent a full makeover. The new pool area, known as Driftwood Beach Club, is a family-friendly oasis that features waterslides, private cabanas and fire pits. Finally, The Boardwalk, a new casual three-meal restaurant was added where guests can enjoy full ocean views as well as The Dock Bar - a great place to grab a cocktail or relaxing meal after a day at the beach.

For more information on The Waterfront Beach Resort, visit http://www.waterfrontresort.com.
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Friday, January 4, 2019

Discover Diverse, Thriving Food Scene at Taste of Alhambra Restaurant Week 2019

The Downtown Alhambra Business Association (DABA) is pleased announce the return of “Taste of Alhambra Restaurant Week,” from Jan. 27- Feb. 2, 2019, as part of “Visit California Restaurant Month.”

This foodie-favorite week is the perfect time to take a global culinary tour throughout the diverse and thriving food culture of Alhambra. Diners can experience tasty food and prices that promise to delight the palate and wallet thanks to specials and prix-fixe menus from participating eateries.

Restaurants are offering 2-3 course menus priced anywhere from $15 -$30 for lunch, and $20 – $50 for dinner. Diners simply need to call and make reservations, or visit the restaurants and ask for their “Taste of Alhambra” prix-fixe menus.

The week-long promotion spotlights the multi-cultural cuisines of Downtown Alhambra’s restaurant scene, with many options: American Continental, Asian Fusion, Irish, Italian, Peruvian, Indian and more. In its second year, Taste of Alhambra Restaurant Week (TARW) has 13 restaurants on its roster, including: Limerick’s Tavern, Panasia Sweet and Savory, Mancora Peruvian Cuisine, Charlie’s Trio Café, Vinos at Trios, 38 Degrees Ale House & Grill, Diner on Main, Big Catch Seafood House, Bon Appetea Café, Dickey’s BBQ Pit Alhambra, Phoenix Inn Chinese Cuisine, Alondra’s Hot Wings, and Mahan Indian Restaurant.

With a growing diversity of culinary talent, Alhambra has been steadily carving out its own niche in dining excellence within the larger Los Angeles market. The late and beloved food critic, Jonathon Gold, often uncovered “hidden gems” in this enclave of the San Gabriel Valley.

Mancora Peruvian Cuisine, one of Downtown Alhambra’s hidden gems located in a strip mall, promises another inspired, five-course menu of flavorful, seafood-based items like Ceviché, Luscious Pulpo al Olivo, and Arroz con Mariscos, for just under $50. Deals like this give budget-minded diners a chance to sample offerings that would normally be priced higher.

TARW also gives restaurants the opportunity to either showcase popular items already on their menu, or test out new dishes. Last year, 38 Degrees Ale House & Grill successfully launched their “smoked hickory and mesquite barbecue trays,” and they are now part of their regular menu year-round. Looking forward to this year, Limerick’s Tavern (not the typical Irish gastro pub and known for their gourmet-level food) is excited to spotlight their scratch kitchen’s evolving creations, which can include signature items like Chixcharrones, Braised Short Ribs and Scottish Salmon.

With a collective of promising restaurants, the city has high hopes for the second TARW. Current DABA president, Liza Rodriguez commented, “Our first Taste of Alhambra Restaurant Week was overall a positive success that brought a lot of needed energy into Downtown Alhambra. And we are thrilled to hold our second restaurant week to continue showing off our city’s bustling food scene!”
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Friday, December 28, 2018

Explore Monterey County

Outdoor adventures. Diverse dining. Rich cultural history. Monterey County is home to all of these unforgettable experiences — and you can discover these in the towns of Marina, Salinas and Seaside along California's Central Coast. Though these three towns occasionally stand in the shadow of their more popular neighbors like Carmel, Monterey and Big Sur, they're still can't-miss hubs for outdoor enthusiasts, foodies and history buffs alike. Explore these undiscovered gems for a unique experience you'll remember for years to come.

Marina: The Height of Beachside Tranquility

Do you enjoy a nice day (... or two or three) on the beach? Then you must visit Marina, located right on the water in Monterey County. Marina State Beach offers plenty of great waves for avid surfers, as well as sand dunes that provide a home for all sorts of exotic birds and animals. The well-marked Dune Nature Trail gives you a full rundown of the creatures located among the dunes, making this a truly unique beach experience.

And after a long day on the beach, Marina offers plenty of intriguing dining options. Head to English Ales Brewery for locally brewed beer paired with a comprehensive menu of pub grub. Or if you're looking to try one of Monterey County's newest and most buzzed-about restaurants, Salt Wood Kitchen & Oysterette offers delicious raw, cured or wood-fired takes on your favorite dishes.

Salinas: A Unique Combination of Culture and Agriculture

Salinas isn't just the home of Nobel Prize laureate John Steinbeck. It's also a notable agricultural hub, lovingly called "America's Salad Bowl" as a nod to the many crops grown in the Salinas Valley. You can learn more about the farming techniques being put to work in Salinas at Ag Venture Tours, which gives you a full sensory experience of the many greens grown in this region. But that's not the only sensory experience in the area. The River Road Wine Trail offers wine lovers the chance to trek along River Road and visit nearly a dozen award-winning wineries.

After exploring all that grows in Salinas, learn more about the favorite son of Salinas, John Steinbeck, at the National Steinbeck Center. Full of interactive exhibits and fascinating artifacts from his life, this museum gives you a personal, one-of-a-kind look at the life of a great American. Then, if you are hungry for more, stop by The Steinbeck House to see his childhood home and enjoy a delicious lunch. Once you've had your fill of all things Steinbeck, get your fill of locally grown cuisine at 201 Main in Oldtown Salinas. With an extensive wine list and an eclectic menu of fresh food, 201 Main has something for everyone.

Seaside: Monterey's Coastal Neighbor

Located just to the north of Monterey, Seaside is sometimes overlooked by visitors who tend to head toward its more popular neighbor. In Seaside, you can fill your day with a diverse range of outdoor activities and delicious dining options. Seaside is home to Fort Ord National Monument, a beautiful stretch of rolling hills and over 83 miles of trails. It's a favorite for mountain bikers, but it's also perfect for a relaxing stroll.

For a full day of outdoor fun, hit the links at Bayonet and Black Horse, two challenging golf courses that offer stunning bay views. Ready for a relaxing meal after a day outdoors? Then get ready for a big authentic Italian meal at Gusto, some of the most delicious Italian food on the peninsula.

While in Seaside, make sure to explore recently revitalized Broadway Avenue. The downtown artery was updated with expanded sidewalks, newly planted trees and designated bike lanes. On Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the street plays host to a year-round certified farmers market with a bounty of local produce and products.

The fact that Monterey County's lesser-known towns are so packed with culture and activities proves something the locals know to be true: Monterey County has endless activities to explore and places to discover. It's a place to go on adventures, enjoy delicious food and learn about California history. Plan your trip and find out more today at SeeMonterey.com.
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Friday, November 16, 2018

Kissimmee’s Newly Refurbished ‘Old Town’ Announces its Grand Re-Opening in April 2019

The Travel Corporation (TTC) is thrilled to announce that after two years of renovation and expansion, Old Town, Kissimmee’s beloved family fun destination, is having its grand re-opening on April 6, 2019.

For more than 30 years Old Town has charmed visitors with its collection of over 70 one-of-a-kind shops, themed restaurants, rides, musical acts, games and weekly car cruises. Recreating the historical architecture and distinctive storefronts of a classic small Florida town, this walkable 18-acre property lets visitors step back into a time when things were easier and simpler, and the pace a little slower.

With the multi-million-dollar renovation and expansion, Old Town is bigger and better while proudly offering a more authentic, all-American experience than ever before, reflecting The Travel Corporation’s core philosophy of “making travel matter.”

“This refurbishment has solidified Old Town’s reputation as one of central Florida’s most popular ‘must-visit’ attractions,” said Brett Tollman, chief executive of TTC. "We are excited that Old Town has embarked on a new era in its history and welcome both locals and tourists to rediscover its simple pleasures and classic American fun.”

12,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space have been added to the property, including a range of new shops and three new dining options. The original area of the complex has also been completely refreshed and renovated, with a new 86-foot Ferris wheel imported from Italy as the centerpiece, while Old Town’s musical acts and live entertainment options have been upgraded and expanded.

Old Town’s perennially popular car show and car cruises will continue as usual every Friday and Saturday night. During these events, pre-1975 hot rods, street rods, and antique vehicles parade down the brick-paved streets of Old Town. The Saturday Nite Classic Car Show & Cruise, the longest-running weekly car show and cruise in America, celebrates 28 years in 2018.

“TTC’s commitment to restoring this iconic Orlando-area attraction is reinventing the Kissimmee landscape,” said Thearon Scurlock, vice president and general manager of Old Town. “We are dedicated to preserving and restoring a classic venue while giving locals and visitors an entirely new experience built on years of tradition.”
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Thursday, November 15, 2018

Downtown Chicago’s Hotel EMC2 Celebrates The Holiday Shopping Season With “The Art Of Shopping” Package

An unforgettable shopping experience this holiday season. Hotel EMC2, Autograph Collection, 228 E. Ontario, a boutique hotel celebrating the convergence of art and science, conveniently located in the heart of downtown Chicago’s premier shopping, dining, and attractions, is elated to offer the The Art of Shopping package. Guests seeking the ultimate holiday getaway will enjoy the hotel’s proximity to the Magnificent Mile, a $50 Visa gift card, Grab and Go Breakfast, and a customized portrait from the hotel’s resident artist Jonathan Plotkin.

The Art of Shopping package includes premier overnight accommodations in one of the hotel’s 195 beautifully designed rooms. Before starting a full day of retail therapy, guests can enjoy a complimentary Grab and Go breakfast at the property’s contemporary restaurant, the Albert featuring delicious baked pastries, fresh fruit, and a warm cup of coffee or tea. Those who book this package will receive a $50 Visa gift card upon arrival, perfect to check off those last minute gift purchases. Lastly, in conjunction with the hotel’s celebration of art, visitors can take home a customized printed portrait from the hotel’s featured local artist, Jonathan Plotkin, whose captivating artwork is displayed throughout the lobby, restaurant and guestroom floors. Rates for this package start at $219 per night. 

For more information or to make a reservation, please visit hotelemc2.com/special-offers/ or call 1-800-228-9290. Offer is valid through March 31, 2019.  
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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park Offers Guests Scrumptiously Sweet Holiday Spa Packages through February 2019

mySpa at Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park, 200 North Columbus Drive, is warming the hearts of guests and inspiring holiday cheer with new holiday packages for travelers and locals, alike. Specially-designed by skilled estheticians, guests may stop by the hotel to soak up top-of-the-line spa treatments from cinnamon vanilla brown sugar body scrubs and Tahitian vanilla body moisturizing services to cinnamon honey manicures and pedicures, featured in their extended experience, customizable and scrumptiously sweet packages available through February 28, 2019.

mySpa’s holiday spa packages include:

·         smitten for sweets – Through February 28, 2019
Unwind with spa specials perfect for winter including a 50-minute Cinnamon Vanilla Brown Sugar Body Scrub treatment starting at $125, which allows guests to embrace the scents of fall and winter with an aromatic scrub meant to deeply moisturize and exfoliate your body. Following the scrub, guests will enjoy a full body massage with a lavish Tahitian Vanilla After Bath Body Moisturizer, leaving skin feeling beautifully polished and hydrated. The seasonal myHands & Feet Cinnamon Vanilla Manicure and Pedicure introduce guests to notes of cinnamon and honey as the blend with tiny bits of brown sugar is used to enrich the skin with nutrients and hydration, followed by a classic manicure and pedicure for $110 or just the manicure for $55 and the pedicure for $75 plus tax and fees.
·         Luxury for Longer – Through December 31, 2018
To get every moment of relaxation, Illinois residents are invited to come in from the cold and choose their moment with a complimentary treatment upgrade to an 80-minute spa experience with the booking of any full-priced 50-minute service. The Luxury for Longer package may not be combined with any other offer and not applicable to groups and is subject to availability.
·         myAwakening – Through February 28, 2019
For those looking for solace from the change of seasons and often harsh Chicago climate, the myAwakening Package invites guests to customize their mySpa experience with two or three services, for $200 and $300, respectively. mySpa guests may choose from treatments in the five categories myBody, myMassage, mySkincare and myHands & Feet. Treatments include including the Rituals Seasonal Body Treatment, Tropical Refresh, Swedish Massage, Deep Tissue Massage, AromaHarmony Massage, Head, Hands and Feet Massage, Signature Facial, Rejuvenating Infusion and the Journey Manicure and Pedicure combination, giving guests the opportunity to get the most out of me time.

In addition to the holiday packages, Fairmont Chicago’s mySpa is offering 20 percent off retail items with the purchase of a $50 gift certificate, so guests can spread cheer all season long by giving the gift of indulgence and relaxation to their family or friends.

Just steps from the glittering, festive downtown nightlife, shopping and dining, mySpa, an 11,000 square foot urban sanctuary, offers personalized massage, skincare body treatments, manicure, pedicure and couples experiences, a 24-hour fitness studio and retail area featuring exclusive products from Red Flower, True and Spa Ritual. The extensive range of massage, skin care, body care and nail therapies cater to each guest’s unique needs, offering individualized solutions for a personalized spa experience.

More information on Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park or to book your treatment at mySpa, please visit https://www.fairmont.com/chicago/spa/specials/ or call (312) 946-8945.

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