Archive for June 2016


Fuego Latino restaurant Collage

A good restaurant that can be overlooked because of hedges in front of the strip mall but once you find it you are in for a treat!

I had been carrying a small newspaper clip rating the restaurant as one of the best for a Cuban sandwich so we decided to try it and was surprised from the minute we got there. The outside in the afternoon looks more like a takeout coffee place than the large, well appointed, comfortable restaurant inside. It was about 1:30 PM and the place was empty and stayed that way except for a guy who came in for a takeout order.

Our waiter Javier was not only new to the USA, from Cuba, but seemed new to the restaurant business though he knew/did all the correct things from suggesting a few items, showing us the  list of 8-9 different lunch specials, bringing our drink orders promptly, checking back to make sure everything was okay only making one mistake which was understandable.

I did order the Cuban sandwich ($7.99) and Diet Coke ($1.79) while Craig had the Pork Sandwich ($7.99) and diet Coke ($1.79) both coming with fries. There was some confusion when we were served because I knew what I had in front of me was not a Cuban sandwich but it was corrected when we realized that Javier just put the sandwiches down wrong and it was hard just by looking at them to tell the difference!

My sandwich was really good but I wish there had been homemade fries or the choice of another side dish but that’s minor.

Looking over their menu, divided between Mexican and Cuban dishes, all at reasonable prices, ranging from pork, chicken, seafood, steak, from fajitas to Arroz con Pollo all with appropriate side dishes.

I hope Fuego Latino makes it because it has everything going for it as far as I could see when it comes to ambiance, a good looking, eager to please staff, a lot of free parking and one of the craziest tables at the front door alone worth the trip there! I would love to see what the frosted window in front of the restaurant looks like in the evening and I am planning to have dinner there soon, probably trying the fajitas.

Oh, yes, even though we didn’t expect, or ask for it, Javier gave us separate checks which weren’t necessary as the price was the same for both $10.36, including tax. That little gesture earned him a bigger tip.

Fuego Latino 12 April 14 2016


Posted June 29, 2016 by greatmartin in RESTAURANT REVIEWS, Uncategorized

From a seed to a flower   Leave a comment

A few weeks ago I went into the Dollar Tree store to find them setting up racks of seed packet which they sell 4 for a $1 and, of course I went wild buying packets of seeds and it always amazes me to see a seed grow into a beautiful flower. Over the next year I will I have Morning Glory blooms in the morning, Geraniums all day, flowers in my living/dining room, kitchen and bathroom each seem to be greeting me. Now if I could only get the vegetables to grow!

I now have zinnias blossoming on the sill of the east window!

I usually put the empty seed packet with the plant but I didn’t with the one in the following slideshow which I have made over the past year. It is a beautiful pink blossom almost in the shape of a pitchfork. Anyone know the name??

Posted June 27, 2016 by greatmartin in MOTHER NATURE, Uncategorized


temple street eatery Collage

Craig and I were hungry so I suggested this place I had often passed and wanted to try, mainly because they were related somehow—I forget how—to one of the best Chinese restaurants in Fort Lauderdale.

Started with a dour order taker who aside from not being able to bother a new customer with a smile was tongue tied when it came to suggestions.

We both ordered the Buddha Bowl with lemongrass chicken ($11) and a soda ($2.50) plus 1 appetizer of chicken dumplings ($4). The appetizer came after we were halfway through our main course and was absolutely tasteless. Regarding the main course, was it suppose to be hot? Cold? A salad? I really don’t know as it was more or less served at room temperature with a cold fish sauce.

The bill with tax came to $32.86 At that price for the food served and lack of interaction from the staff I see no reason to go back.

One more restaurant to forget. 

Posted June 26, 2016 by greatmartin in RESTAURANTS, REVIEWS, Uncategorized


Matthew McConaughey is a powerful actor in a powerful role but “Free State of Jones” is not as powerful a screenplay, by Gary Ross, as it could have, should have been. All the elements are there from the story being based on a not too well known chapter in American history that includes the Civil War, slaves being mistreated by owners, inter-racial lovers, voting rights, KKK attacking, the poor who are fighting the war so the rich can get richer, a band of escaped slaves, a time in the future when a man is put on trial for marrying a white woman because he may be part black and just after that scene the film doesn’t go into the high you would not only expect but want.

The idea of a band of people calling a section of their State, here the Free State of Jones, and how that is done or would work is passed over just as what the slaves and poor white people have in common enough to unite and go against those in charge.

Gary Ross, who also directed the film, tries to stick to the facts of history and, in most cases, stays away from over dramatizing those scenes that might have been more moving, for instance the coupling of white, married Newton Knight (Matthew McConaughey) and black slave Rachel (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) who give birth to a son and, due to reversals in fortune, his wife (Keri Russell), along with his first son, comes to live with them.

McConaughey continues his winning streak of strong characters but here he applies the strength that is only hinted at by the director and writer, while the depth of his relationship with Rachel is helped by the subtle playing of Gugu Mbatha-Raw who, after “Belle” and “Beyond the Lights” should be a huge star. Mahershala Ali, who names himself Moses, starts with a repulsive iron necklace with spears eventually removed by McConaughey, and winds up in one of the most shocking scenes of the film.

The cast, with many speaking parts, is an honest look at all sexes, ages, social strata most of who made up the armies of the Civil War. The swamp, filmed in Louisiana, provides some breath taking scenes.

“Free State of Jones” will show many viewers a part of American history not too well known, contains strong performances but at 140 minutes could have been tightened by eliminating the courtroom scenes that take place in the late 1940s making for a tighter, faster moving and, possibly, allowed some room to add emotional scenes as even most of the death moments offer nothing.




Movie trailer

Posted June 24, 2016 by greatmartin in MOVIE REVIEW, MOVIES, Uncategorized



In my senior years all I ask is a roof over my head, food in my belly and clothes on my back but I find myself having so much more.

The other day went to café Vico for dinner and then to see a good performance of “Beauty and the Beast”—on Friday the excellent movie “Genius” which I have written about.

Monday I took a ‘me day’ (yeah like every day isn’t a ‘me day’!) I had to go to my primary doc for blood work and will go back to go over the results today. I didn’t know how long it would take at the doc’s but I was out in 15 minutes. I checked out the paper and saw “Finding Dory” was going to be on at 2:15 so I went to the theatre getting there what I thought was 45 minutes early only to discover a show was going on in 10 minutes. The icing on the cake was that I had a free ticket with their reward system so instead of paying $11.49 ($3 higher because it was extra for 3D) I paid nothing! After that, since it was so nearby and I had fasted for the blood work and it was sort of early for dinner but late for lunch (any excuse will do) I went to Sweet Tomatoes where I had a 50% off coupon so only paid $4.

Tuesday it was off to the hand surgeon and good news there–he said that the finger looks great and is almost sure we can start talking prosthesis before the end of July. Meanwhile he said I don’t have to have it bandaged anymore but if I wasn’t ready for that (I’m not!) instead of wrapping it up all I needed was two bandages–one over the top and the other around the top–I did look at it today and didn’t faint so that’s a good sign!!! And then I had the day to go to the beach, the art museum, Los Olas Boulevard and the Riverwalk using the water taxi!

Today I have a friend coming over to clean my kitchen and I can go to Wilton Manors, after I check Allen’s place, get his mail,. etc., to see what’s new there, stop for a bite at Cheddar’s as I haven’t been there in a long, long time, and maybe check Out of the Closet for a couple of things I want plus walk around as I haven’t been in that area for awhile.

I know right around the corner something ‘bad’ is waiting to happen—at my age it is part of living—like breaking my kneecap, chopping of my finger, having a heart valve replaced—as since 1999 when I had congestive heart failure something bad has happened every year BUT right now I am living a life that couldn’t be better plus a 2016 Caddie to get around to live it!!


Spring 1 May 14 2016 (2)

Posted June 22, 2016 by greatmartin in LIFE, Uncategorized


I found one scene in “Finding Dory” to be absolutely ridiculous and while shaking my head I heard my brain saying, “What can be more ridiculous than an 80 year old man having a ball watching a cartoon about talking fish and enjoying himself, probably more than the kids in the audience?”

I don’t know which was more fun recognizing old friends like Dory, the blue tang fish who has no short term memory, or Nemo and Marlin, the clown fish or meeting new friends like a very near sighted shark, a very strange octopus who can somewhat drive a truck and a beluga fish who can see outside of his surroundings.

You are very quickly drawn into the picture as we meet Dory and her old and new friends. You not only are in their world but you believe the world exists no matter what situations they get into and out of, in the strangest ways!

We are brought up to snuff regarding “Finding Nemo” and quickly get into Dory looking for her parents. “Finding Dory” is a little heavier and sadder than the first movie.  Though Dory’s movie is only about 3 minutes longer than Nemo’s because of its heavier scenes about friends and family it seems a lot longer. A lot more characters are introduced, some quickly who come and go, others become an important part of the picture.

From the opening vignette, before the titles, up to the funny ‘bits’, mainly by Hank the octopus, under the closing credits, “Finding Dory” is a good film for the kids and the adults. Of the many films I have seen this year so far I would rate “Finding Dory” in the top 5.

Yes Ellen DeGeneres is back as Dory and Albert Brooks is Nemo’s father, while Nemo is now voiced by Hayden Rolance along with Diane Keaton and Eugene Levy as Dory’s parents, Ty Burrell as Bailey the  Beluga whale, Kaitlin Olson as Destiny the near sighted shark among many others but don’t waste time trying to figure out who is what creature as it will only drive you crazy!

I do expect a feature like “Finding Destiny and Bailey” in 2-3 years!!

By the way we adults outnumbered the kids at the matinee which might say something—or not!



Movie Trailer

Posted June 21, 2016 by greatmartin in MOVIE REVIEW, MOVIES, Uncategorized

GOODBYE SPRING–HELLO SUMMER 2016   Leave a comment


summer 1  2016 Collage

1) Dock at the 15th Street Fisheries where we celebrated Philippe’s birthday

2,3,5,6) Queen Crepe Myrtle before and after rains

4) Doctor’s office—he has some of the most interesting cactus plants

7) Lillies

8) MY green peppers—all of a sudden the seeds I planted are producing like crazy!

9,10,11,12) Around Gateway

13) Staghorn Fern outside the office at Gateway

14) At The Point—my favorite place to relax

15) Working on my collage—should get it done by 2020!

16) Allen’s car parked at the Sea Watch where we took Philippe for his birthday!

Sorry but I forgot to number the pictures!

Though summer officially starts today our temperatures have been in the 90s for a few days already and the humidity, because of the daily rains during rainy season, is high—glasses fog up when you walk outside—but I love the heat and humidity!


Posted June 20, 2016 by greatmartin in LIFE, Uncategorized

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