Bacon Cheeseburger in Paradise

It’s a cool night on the patio at Tam’s Pub and Surf Shop in Da Nang, Vietnam. Tam (the restaurant’s namesake) is seated at my table. I’m her only guest right now, and as I eat the monster of a bacon cheeseburger she has skillfully crafted for me (complete with freshly-cut home fries), she provides the dinner conversation.

Tam’s life story deserves to be on the New York Times bestseller list.  From the countless occasions where she eluded death during the war, to getting to know and befriend US soldiers (she has a special place in her heart for them), to what life was like working to not only raise her own son but a number of babies whose parents died in the conflict, Tam’s tales leaves you hanging on every word.  She has mastered the art of storytelling.  So much so, this is my second visit to her pub during my stay in Da Nang (and I’d go one more time before leaving for Hanoi).

Read more

Tokyo’s Canadian Wine Store – Heavenly Vines

When you talk to people in Japan about Canada, you typically get asked about mountains, moose and maple syrup – not merlot.  But the reality is Canada is producing some world-class, award-winning wine with small, artesian wineries painstakingly crafting amazing products in many parts of the country.

One Tokyo shop owner wants to change the conversation with those in Japan who don’t realize Canada has a lot to offer their wine racks.

Read more