Every September I take a week off around my birthday. Autumn and I have been doing this for years, that way we get a week off near the beginning of the summer and then the week at the end.

This year, things kinda got pushed back and I ended up with two weeks at the end of our fiscal year here at The World.

Despite having the bonus week, we really didn't have any elaborate plans like we did in April when we visited Ireland and England.

This gave us a chance to hit a few places that John and I had visited recently.

To start it off, Autumn took me to Hilltop House for my birthday. When I was interviewing Chef Joseph Zamora for a story that ran in our "Best Of" section last month, he mentioned to me that he had improved the seafood lasagna he serves. I already counted this as one of my favorite meals, so I had to try it again.

I enjoyed it just as much as I did on Mother's Day, but I couldn't make out the improvement, so I asked the chef what the change was.

"I added an extra layer," he smiled.

So seafood lovers, we get a bonus, more seafood.

Autumn had the Cajun grilled prawns and the fried mozzarella off the lounge menu. I got to try a couple of the prawns and they were really wonderful. 

On another trip out, we were driving by the intersection of Newmark and Broadway and you could smell the smoker going over at Vinny's.

I think the car pulled into the parking lot by itself.

Autumn hadn't been there yet, and I had visited earlier this summer with John.

I had already tried one of their burgers, so I scanned the menu to see what else I could find. Autumn ordered the Baby Face with the single patty, bleu cheese, carmelized onions, lettuce, tomato and pickles.

I found the brisket sandwich and was more than a little intrigued. 

One bite, and I knew I had found my newest go-to sandwich. A fabulous sauce, brisket that was so tender, cheese and a bun that is incredibly soft.

We both ordered our baskets with the Parmesan fries. I gave Autumn a taste of the brisket and she agreed that it was one fine sandwich.

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A little later in our vacation, we decided that to treat ourselves we would go to the new Bandon Brewing Company in Old Town for pizza and a beer.

A number of the pizzas stoked my curiosity when I was there with John, including the chicken bacon alfredo. It comes with chicken, bacon, mushrooms and onions. Then they top it with mixed greens (see the photo) and tomatoes.

Autumn ordered one of Red beers from BBC, and I ordered a "champagne" beer from one of their guest taps.

Autumn enjoyed the crust as much as I did.

While I liked the combo that John and I had better than this pizza this time, Autumn and I sat there looking at their "create your own" for next time.

What do you think of chicken, pesto sauce, smoked gouda along with artichoke hearts and onions?

I'm game.

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