El Hoze

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About El Hoze

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  • Location
    Bal Harbour, FL
  • Interests
    Cigars, saltwater fishing, food/cooking, wine, rum/tequila/scotch, ice cold beer, cars, anything to do with water, watches, and music.

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756 profile views
  1. Last year I boarded a domestic flight in the US about 150 times, which is fairly typical for me. I never check luggage and I always travel with a Bic-type lighter and a pair of plastic frame cutters (as well as about a dozen cigars, just in case). The only time I was ever asked was three years ago at MIA while (in a rare one-off) trying to take a Cartier lighter (soft flame, a gift for my father in law) through TSA and once they saw it was soft they let it pass. Never had a problem with a plastic frame cutter or a plastic lighter, though, and I always keep one right in the top pocket of my bag. I'd say bring a pair of plastic frame cheapo cutters and a Bic and if it gets taken it gets taken. I'd use a fingernail and matches if I needed but I have never had a problem w a plastic cutter and soft plastic lighter so might as well bring it. As mentioned, international...all bets are off!
  2. That appears to be potentially Garzon or one of the Francis Mallman places. KIller! Not a typical steak joint!
  3. Ah, Argentina! I'll never forget how disappointed I was on my first trip to Argentina. Now, they have fantastic food in Argentina, some of which is beef-driven...and it is a country with more going for it than most. Love Argentina. But the steaks there (like a plain old steak you'd order medium rare and cut w a knife) I find subpar. Some of it they set themselves up for, when you go into a restaurant and they have pictures of their prized cows on the wall my expectations go up! And alot of it has to do w grass feeding, which is healthier, but I don't eat steak for health reasons. It's a flavor thing. I have a very good Argentine friend who played soccer (as we call it) down there actually for the Boca Juniors club for a few, and I assume has had his fair share of good lomos. I've even gotten him to admit that beef in Argentina is as much about tradition than anything. Whenever I have him over for dinner we cook steak, a little bit as a sign of respect and a little bit me wanting to show him what a good steak is!
  4. Ha, yes! Japanese beef (like many Japanese products) is in another category. I have had comparable type of beef here in the US at very high end sushi restaurants where it's typically served nigiri-style on a bed of rice like sushi, and torched. It's astronomically expensive. I also at dinner at a steakhouse in Tokyo one time that I had to do the Yen/USD conversion about 5X because I thought I must have misplaced the decimal point somehow. A bit apples to oranges versus the beef I eat with salad and some potatoes, but certainly Japanese beef is good. And I'd argue the American view/version of beef is somewhat biased/skewed which was my real point! Plenty of good beef other places.
  5. Definitely agree with that! I fancy myself a pretty good cook, we have a sous vide machine, all that stuff, and we actually like taking cooking classes in Italy because they're fairly simple. In Spain I'd be way out of my league and level of attention span/detail. I make a tomato bruschetta at home that people can't believe. Pretty simple once you know a few tricks. On the other hand, we had a few dishes in Spain (including the blood sausage and a tomato that had been injected with salt water, lightly cooked, peeled, and served almost frozen). She looked at me and said "we need to try this at home" and I laughed and said "we'll stick to bruschetta"!
  6. The Mrs is Dominican, an Island which despite very limited means somehow manages to serve the coldest beer in the world, to my knowledge. At home we serve beers like Stella Artois literally ice cold. Sometimes, if you take the first swill without enough care the liquid beer will crystallize as it pours into your mouth, so you need to be careful and let it warm up a degree or two. I love it this way. The only downside is that I drink about 2X as much beer this way on a given Sunday watching football because they go down so easy, especially on a warm day, and about 1/3 days I wake up with a frozen beer in my freezer. However, I also will drink cask ales (warm) happily. Wouldn't want one on the beach in Miami or DR, but on a cool day in London absolutely. I like to keep as many alcohol-related options open as possible!
  7. I in many ways probably agree with you actually. A few thing I'd say. 1. Going solely by food, I wouldn't give Italy the clear nod by any means over France, or even Greece, and certainly not Spain. Spain actually wins in my book. But I have had many many memorable meals in Italy ranging from steak (and I'm an American who swears by US beef), to pasta, seafood dishes, crudo type of stuff. Some of which are no doubt heightened by the locale. To the American palate most Italian food will be virtually unsalted. Salt it up a little if you need to. 2. I don't know of anywhere in Italy where the food is universally good and you can wander into a place off the street and be assured of having a great meal. I'd say that about places like the Basque country in Spain but not even the Emilia Romagna area Parma/Bologna/Modena (where we have spent a lot of time as I happen to have a car buying issue in addition to a cigar buying issue). We spent a few days recently wandering through San Sebastian and Logrona and Burgos (Basque area) recently and the food quite literally everywhere is very very good, and the places we sought out in many cases were mindblowing (and not just high end stuff, the best thing we ate all trip was a blood sausage in a pintxo bar in San Sebastian that was just incredible, and this dish isn't on any food tour menus). 3. Italian food is overrated I'd argue, certainly by Americans. I am always amused walking through a town like Florence and watching the American tourists eating mass-produced gelato and ooh'ing and aahing. I am sorry but most of that stuff is no better than what I buy in my supermarket in Miami. Now, there is a gelato place in Parma called Cremeria Emilia that we randomly wandered into one day on a bike ride that was so good I got the owners email and told them if they ever wanted to open a store in the US and needed investors I'd be happy to sign up! They laughingly told me they weren't interested. Too difficult to reproduce even in Rome, much less the US. So a little bit of time, luck, and research will yield some real winners. In the meantime, the other stuff there more than makes up for it.
  8. Italy. We talk about this in a similar way all of the time. Mrs and I travel a lot, and even within the US split our time between Miami, NYC, and San Francisco. We're all over the place for my work. We generally do one two week vacation a year. Because of my work, I can't be totally off the grid, so certain places are difficult. We just got back from two weeks in Northern Spain, an area we know well (and love): we were in Barcelona, flew to San Sebastian, drove through the Rioja area Longrono/Burgos, and flew out of Madrid. Had a good time and somehow I gained 13 pounds in two weeks, even running 6 miles a day and walking everywhere. That's when you know you had a good trip! What we generally do is alternate: one year we do two weeks in Italy, the next year we do two weeks somewhere else/new. We always go back to Italy being the benchmark. You just can't beat it. The natural scenery (and varied scenery), food (and varied foods), wines (again varied wines), music, arts (nothing about art), fashion, cars, these people really know their stuff....it really is a tough place to beat. For us Italy is like our favorite restaurant, or your favorite cigar, or wine. When you live in NYC you can't just eat at the same places. You only live once. But often times we think "this is great, but tomorrow night we're going back to ________ ." When it comes to my standby country, next year night we're going to Italy!
  9. seemed OK while I was there. had a great time! though I have spent the last two weeks standing in crowded pincho bars around the Basque country so it might just be growing on me!
  10. great coincidence as I am an American in Madrid and have been seeing alot of "old-band" 46s around, such a good cigar. Smoked one last night that was great before a few sherries at La Venencia . Went back and got a great 15 pac it was so good. Unfortunately (probably fortunately truth be told) I am not a gin guy but always love the reviews/insight.
  11. FOH'ers Daily Smoke

    Duaso is the spot!
  12. FOH'ers Daily Smoke

    Indeed, this one was a BYO but picked up a killer box of 2001 CE in Barcelona. Great trip!
  13. FOH'ers Daily Smoke

    Not impressed, or surprised. Was curious though!
  14. FOH'ers Daily Smoke

    Corona Especiales in San Sebastian on a chilly afternoon. Great cigar! Everything tastes better in San Sebastian!

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