Thursday, June 17, 2021

New Mail Subscription Service

Good Morning all....so the previously used auto email service for new blog posts is being discontinued as of July 2021. I was alerted to this back in April....I was a bit busy with school, scouts, pack out prep, someone's birthday (still need to do that post), moving, etc....all that fun. So I let other bloggers do the research as to what services work best. So I'm trying out a new follow us/email subscription service (trying out MailChimp...the free version - as this is an ad-free blog that we aren't making money on...don't want to pay for something). 

In all this I discovered, a whole slew of bots had subscribed to our blog....so weird.....so I did a bit of housekeeping. If I recognized your email address, them I moved it over to our new email subscription list and you shouldn't have to do anything...easy peasy. If I got over zealous in my deleting of the 'bot subscribers' then my apologies and scroll down to side under the maps and please resubscribe.


For fun, I've included a photo of Richard between the Qatari and Georgian flags....we went up to the Lulu Hypermarket/Ooredoo to turn off our cell phones/internet on our last day in Doha. What should we happen upon??? Lulu's was having their Georgian days (as in fun foods and such from our first post Tbilisi and the surroundings) as we depart our third post....small world!

Dining Delights of Doha...

As our time in Doha wrapped up, I thought I would write a quick post to highlight a few of our favorite places to eat.

For the best shawarma in town, we go to a hole in the wall place over in the fabric souq. The coordinates are 25°17'19.0"N 51°32'19.1"E. It is located on Al Tarbiya Street. Of course right now, there is a bit ton of construction.


So it is a bit trickier to navigate getting there (and every time is a little different...lol). Once you are up close, you will see the Turkish flag in the window - so you know it will be good! I guess they also have coffee...lol. Yamal Al Sham Restaurant is open 10 am to 11 pm, 7 days.


I can only vouch for the falafel wrap and Richard likes the shawarma....both are delicious! (Richard gets sad if I mention I was down in the fabric souq and didn't bring him back shawarma). Pre-Covid times there is a small bar where a few people can sit and eat (most take it to go). I partook while waiting for our Uber to arrive....thumbs up...even when it's a 109! Depending on where you are, you can order from them via Talabat also (more on that later).


Next up are two places in Souq Waqif (pronounce 'wog-if'). We have been to both places multiple times. The first is Damascus One. It is located in the heart of the souq at (25°17'13.0"N 51°31'59.3"E) and has the most delicious Syrian food. If you are local and get the Entertainer app - they will have 2 for 1 entree specials (buy 1 get 1 free essentially).


You can check out their website or just google them to see pictures of their menu. We've taken out of town family there (pre-pandemic) and enjoyed the music and entertainment indoors.



Depending on the weather they have a great balcony with outdoor seating.


As pandemic restrictions have been lifted and dining was allowed again we've gone back for more. We opted to sit upstairs on the patio. Apparently, I was thrilled...(actually, now I think about it, I was worried about having salad in my teeth...lol).


Closer towards the center plaza of Souq Waqif (where the canon is fired during Ramadan) is Parisa. Parisa is located at (25°17'16.2"N 51°32'00.1"E) and you can check out their website. They serve authentic Persian food. We've gone twice....both times we've commented how fresh everything has tasted! The servings were huge and we had plenty to eat. Googling their name will also bring up photos of their menu.


Besides the delicious food, there are two floors of extravagant ambiance. So much sparkle and shine! 


If you are a girl who dreams of owning your own palace one day...it's a wonderful dining experience! We passed a coworker on our way bringing their daughter for dinner also. 


If you go explore the souq after dinner (and save a little space)...you can stop at one of the several Turkish ice cream stands. They move locations so I can't give you an exact location....but there’s always a crowd - partly due to the ice cream guy. Here's a video of Clarissa getting her ice cream cone!


Finally venturing away from the souq area, another place we have gone to many times is Ipanema, a Brazilian steakhouse. Located inside the Marriott Marquis City Center Doha Hotel. It is on the what we would call the third floor in the US...but it is the second floor here. 


Why yes, I am still a vegetarian (aren't you saying why would I go to a steakhouse??)....they do offer a vegetarian meal and the grilled pineapple is TO-DIE-FOR!! The meat eaters like it too.


Also, if you are a member of the American Women's Association here in Doha, you get a discount off your check...don't forget your membership card!


For all those nights (especially during the pandemic when nothing was open) and you just don't want to cook dinner....the two delivery apps we used most were Talabat & Carriage. Both apps offer most every restaurant you can think of with all types of food. For some new New York Style pizza (and occasionally a side of Frickles....fried pickles - use Carriage for ordering Pizza Box). 


The apps are both available from the app store and relatively easy to use. They both have lots of drivers zipping around town (I also see several other delivery services we haven't used on motorbikes with their little insulated food boxes on back). 


The biggest limitations to the apps are your location and how busy they are. For location, we've seen a restaurant not be in our delivery zone, then only be deliverable to work (5 minutes away), then deliverable to our house, then be out of our delivery zone, then reappear again....yeah...don't understand that one. For the busy one, I think it's a limitation of number of drivers and restaurants capacity to provide. I've been unable order something off one app due to the restaurant showing busy and then been able to order from the same restaurant on the other app. So who knows....but it beats taking off the yoga pants and looking presentable to pick up lunch for the kids somedays...lol.....there are sometimes minor hiccups....





Saturday, June 5, 2021

Self Care in Doha

So I like to follow all the experts advice and do some self care..."me time is essential" they say (it helps that our insurance covers massage as well). I do have a lot of low back pain (thanks kids....did you really need me to pick you up all those times?). So I tried out a few places around town until I found my favorite place to get a massage. Kozma & Kozma Spa and Beauty Salon (formerly called Glow Spa). 

Of course, I have to give a shout out to my favorite masseuse - Rosemarie - or as my friend and I call her, our little Ninja! She uses the perfect amount of pressure, finds all the sore spots you didn't know you had, and makes you feel like jello when you are all done....

Of course....part of what makes time at the spa is this special sign! 

No - sorry kids you can't come.... Sorry honey....I have to go alone...ME ME ME time...lol.....

In addition to massages, I have gotten mani/pedi, eyebrows, and several haircuts done there as well. That's just the tip of the iceberg to all the services they offer.

They have several locations around town (Rosemarie has switched between them a couple of them...I switched which location I went to just to have her as my masseuse! The new location is in a part of town that has stone walls around every building. The walls have a pattern imprinted into the wall. Kozma & Kozma have painted their pattern...how can this place not make you happy (that is if you are a woman)....