Restaurant Review: Smoke & Barrel, Washington D.C.

When I planned my trip to Washington D.C. to attend Frequent Traveler University I was excited about prospects for the weekend. Besides the opportunity to learn about all things in the points and miles universe, I’d get to walk around one of my favorite cities and I’d also have a chance to meet up with some close friends who moved to the area.

When we were making plans for the evening, I told my friends I didn’t care what we were going to do because that evening I just wanted to spend time with them catching up on the last couple of years.

As they put it, they “kidnapped” me from my hotel and asked what I wanted for dinner and they had two suggestions. The first was a pizza place near my hotel. I told them I had pizza the night before so I asked for option two. They said the second option was further away and it was a barbecue place. I did a double-take as I know my friends are vegan.

“Barbecue?” I asked, “Are you guys going to eat anything?”

“Yeah, they have some awesome vegan barbecue.”

Vegan Barbecue??

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How To Earn Points Towards Restaurant Discounts With Every Reservation

OpenTable is an online restaurant reservation service company that started in San Francisco in the late 1990s and within a few years was available across the U.S. and in several countries around the globe.

Joe and I have been members of OpenTable since 2007. Being able to make a reservation without a phone call has been lovely for this woman who doesn’t like talking on the phone ;-), but we also like it because with most reservations you get either 100 or 1000 points that can be redeemed for money off at member restaurants. OpenTable has over 40,000 restaurants to choose from in nearly a dozen countries, so it’s a nice way to build up points even when you’re traveling. It’s also a cool way to make reservations at some restaurants on Walt Disney World property, even if they have no availability on Disney’s Advance Dining Reservation software.

Here’s how it works…

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How To Snag Last-Minute Dinner Reservations at Walt Disney World (Updated 09/2018)

If you ever want to dine at a full service Walt Disney World restaurant, most Disney fans will tell you to stay at a WDW Resort Hotel and once you have your room reservation, you can go online or call, and make Advanced Dining Reservations (ADRs) 180 days prior to the first date of your visit plus up to the next 10 days into your vacation (so a total of up to 190 days). If you’re not staying on site, you can still make your ADRs 180 days in advance (but the up to 10 days into the rest of your vacation aren’t included).

But what if you decide to go to WDW on a last-minute whim because of a great airline flash sale? Or what if you’re a local and don’t plan your dinners 6 months in advance, because you may not decide to go to WDW until that morning? (True story! That is, without a doubt, Joe and I!)? Are you forever doomed to quick service restaurants, waiting long periods of time as a walk-in, or simply eating off site (which actually doesn’t suck, because there are a lot of really awesome restaurants off property – but it does interfere with park time)?


There’s a way to get last-minute reservations at a bunch of restaurants on Disney property, and all it takes is one thing…

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Getting Past TSA More Easily, Delta/American Joining Forces, Timeshares Aren’t So Bad, & More!

Woop woop, it’s the weekend! Happy Saturday, everyone! Here’s a quick recap of the posts we wrote this week:

This week Joe wrote about:

And Sharon wrote about:

Like this post? We have plenty more just like it and would love if you decided to hang around and clicked the button on the top (if you’re on your computer) or the bottom (if you’re on your phone/tablet) of this page to follow our blog and get emailed notifications of when we post (it’s usually just once or twice a day). Whether you’ve read our posts before or this is the first time you’re stopping by, we’re really glad you’re here and hope you come back to visit again!

Traveling? Live There? Check Out Restaurant Week In A City Near You!

Restaurant Week & Restaurant Month. We “discovered” this joy of the the eating world several years back, since the area where we live has been running “Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining Month” since 2005. Essentially, a variety of restaurants offer special 2, 3, 4 or sometimes even 5 course prix-fixe menus for the asking, often times at prices much better than if you purchased items a la carte.

We enjoy Restaurant Month because it gives us an opportunity to try out a sampling from restaurants we normally wouldn’t have or just haven’t yet visited and, in the process, have developed a list of favorites we sometimes wind up going to during the year, even when it’s not Restaurant Month.

Orlando isn’t the only city that hosts such an event. In fact, there are MANY cities that do – and if you happen to be any of those cities in your travels, or even if you live there and are in a rut of going to the same restaurants over and over, it might be a great time to check out a place you might never have the opportunity to try otherwise.

Here are some of the cities, counties and states with their own versions of Restaurant Week (some links only have “last year’s” options but I’m sure those pages will be updated soon! Participating restaurants should be listed when the respective pages are updated):

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