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The Crépe Connection Café, Paris in West Kendall by Ray Raposo

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Our most recent visit on a Friday night
The Crépe Connection Café is a delicious little piece of Paris, France on the Tamiami Trail in West Kendall. Once you walk inside, the warm decor filled with items and photos of iconic Parisian scenes and the wonderful aroma will magically transport you to Paris. There’s an eclectic mix of tables and decorations which add not just charm, but you’ll realize you’re not in some typical chain restaurant.
From their dinner crepes to their dessert crepes, all are created with a variety of savory fillings and an assortment of sweet toppings. All dishes are made right there in their open kitchen. They consistently provide delicious handmade crepes cooked individually on traditional french crepe irons. They also feature salads and sandwiches, and the most imaginative homemade soups you’ll ever taste. All their ingredients are high quality using only organic produce, fresh beef and free range chicken. They offer all kinds of coffees, expressos and different flavored syrups to add to any drink. There are also teas, beer as well as a variety of unusual wines and mixed drinks. My wife and friends enjoy an occasional Cosmo, although the cappuccinos are our favorite anywhere.
One of my favorite dinner crepes is the Tropical Chicken with pineapple chunks and diced ham with sautéed onions and mushrooms. Another is the grilled Teriyaki Steak crepe, also with sautéed onions, peppers and mushrooms. Or the Chicken a la Fromage which is topped with cheese, mojito and a vidalia onion sauce. You can custom order any of the dishes to suit your particular tastes in ingredients. When in the mood for a sweet dessert crepe, the Dirty Monkey, filled with sliced bananas, chocolate or caramel and topped with powdered sugar and whipped cream, is one of my favorites. Several other crepes featuring strawberries are also excellent. For a flaming show you can order the Suzette Flaméed, where the crepe is submerged in fresh orange and lemon juice, topped with Grand Mariner, cinnamon and sugar and set a flame. My mouth is watering just thinking about these incredible treats. And trust me all these outstanding meals will give you the French-Paris taste experience, at a much more affordable price! They also offer a Two for $25 Tuesday: Two eat for $25. which includes two side salads, two entrées and one dessert with ice cream to share.

 

Owner and chef Gleny Saavedra has been making these delicious meals here since they opened their doors in September 2006. Adding to the warm, home like atmosphere, has been getting to know Gleny, her tech-wiz husband Juan (Johnny), their two studious daughters and her Mom. All of them have helped out around the cafe in one way or another over all these years.

Owner and chef Gleny Saavedra at work
You can bring your laptop or use one of their computer stations as they offer free internet access through a secure wireless/wired broadband connection. It’s a great safe place to surf the internet, catch up on news or get some work done while enjoying a tasty drink. They also have a large book collection you can browse while you wait for your meal while listening to music. They also offer a Kid’s Menu as well as Take-Out if you can’t stay and enjoy the wonderful cafe ambiance.
We’ve been enjoying The Crépe Connection Café for 12 years now, we often bring family members and friends, most of whom end up going back on their own after discovering this wonderful place where you’ll be transported to a quaint Paris bistro every time.
My photo of Paris’ Eiffel Tower.

One of my all time favorite photographs I’ve taken hangs on their wall, it’s a night shot of Paris’ iconic Eiffel Tower from the Trocadero… Visiting The Crépe Connection Café always takes me back to Paris, France, my favorite city to visit. Don’t miss it.

The Crépe Connection Café is located at 14264 SW 8th Street, Miami, FL
For small parties you don’t need reservations, for Private Events, hours and other information call 305-485-0085.
You can check out their website for a complete menu at www.crepeconnectioncafe.com

Visiting Athens Greece and the Greek Islands by Ray Raposo

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Writer Ray by the Parthenon a former temple on the Athenian Acropolis dedicated to the goddess Athena

Greece has been a country I’ve wanted to visit since studying Greek art history in college. Having had to cancel a previous scheduled trip back in 2001, it was extra special when we finally made this recent visit a reality. We enjoyed stops in Athens, Mykonos, Santorini and Rhodes.

In the distance, Athens’ Acropolis with ancient temples

Athens, the capital of Greece is one of the world’s oldest cities. It is also one of the biggest economic centers of southeastern Europe and its port of Piraeus the largest in Europe and second largest in the world. Athens boast some marvelous museums including the National Archaeological Museum, the Acropolis Museum, the Museum of Cycladic Art and the Byzantine and Christian Museum. Athens hosted the first modern day Olympic Games in 1896 and later in 2004. Greek History and Mythology are some of the most studied in all civilization. From the Goddess of Wisdom Athena, to Poseidon, the God of the Seas, to Zeus, the king of the Greek Gods who lived on Mount Olympus.

Hadrian’s Gate and the Temple of Zeus in Athens

Arriving by ship to Piraeus, driving past the coastline towards Athens there’s a great sense of traveling back in time to ancient Greece. Once you get to Athens, one of your first stops has to be the historic center, much of it a pedestrian zone. You can start at the Acropolis, a huge rock mound that dominates the cityscape. As you climb and reach the top of the Acropolis and look out across Athens, history stands still. From here you can see the city in all directions as far as the horizon. Ancient temples punctuate the landscape like the Temple of Hephaestus. On one side you can look down on two ancient open amphitheaters, the Odeon of Herodes Atticus and the Theatre of Dionysus. The largest marble structure on the Acropolis is the Parthenon which is being restored. This landmark temple ruins with iconic Doric columns dates from 447 BC. In the shadows of the Parthenon’s mighty 2,400-year-old columns, the sound you hear as you walk is the ancient gravel beneath your feet. Also on this large rock are the temple of Athene Nike, the Propylaea and the Erechtheion featuring the Porch of the Caryatids on its south side and the Propylaea, the principal entryway to the Acropolis. The Acropolis Museum with 4,000 priceless historic pieces is a modern structure, sits just south of the large mound.

Inside Athens’ incredible Acropolis Museum
The Odeon of Herodes Atticus, an ancient amphitheater by the Acropolis.
The Pinakothḗkē and Athena’s Temple on the Acropolis
Honoring Athena & Poseidon, this ancient Greek temple features a porch with 6 caryatids.

The historic center is the Plaka neighborhood by the eastern side of the Acropolis. Walking its narrow streets lined with houses, mansions and monuments will have you feeling like you’ve traveled to ancient times. Another museum I did not want to miss was the National Archaeological Museum, a neoclassical museum of Ancient Greek Art & Archaeology, featuring sculpture, metalwork, vases & jewelry.

Ray outside The National Archaeological Museum in Athens
Poseidon sculpture inside the National Archaeological Museum
Ray by some Kouros statues in the National Archaeological Museum

The Greek Archipelago takes up 4,660 miles of the country’s total 10,000 mile coastline, offering a highly diversified landscape… beaches stretching over many miles, sheltered bays and coves, sandy beaches with sand-dunes, pebble beaches, coastal caves with steep rocks and dark colored sand typical of volcanic soil and coastal wetlands. Your connection to ancient history hits home as you cruise the Aegean Sea, where each new port brings more discoveries and timeless lessons. Greek sovereign land is dotted by 6,000 islands and islets scattered in the Aegean and Ionian Seas, of which only 227 of the islands are inhabited. This is a truly unique phenomenon for the European continent.

Mykonos has many seaside restaurants
Mykonos pedestrian streets with many colorful Bougainvillea plants

Most of the islands are found in the Aegean Sea and are divided into seven groups. We toured perhaps the most well known and important of The Cyclades, a group of 56 islands. Probably the two most visited are the beautifully colorful Mykonos, closest to Athens, and the unique Santorini, about halfway to Rhodes. We also went to Rhodes, the largest island belonging to The Dodecanese group of over a dozen islands. 

Mykonos features some interesting windmills
Mykonos is a maze of small colorful alleyways and streets full of stores

Mykonos is about 33 square miles, and its namesake largest town, has a small marina and is located not far from the main port. Mykonos offers unique colored walkways in an alleyways maze of restaurants, pubs, souvenir shops, designer boutiques, most with upstairs housing. Its white walled buildings are highlighted by colorful doorways, stair railings and window frames of bright red or blue. You also find small churches and the iconic windmills near the coastline. Many other small villages feature terrific beaches and many hotels and resorts. The island is composed mostly of granite and the terrain is very rocky with many areas eroded by the strong winds. Mykonos the town located by the water is mostly flat, the rest of the large island features a slopping mount of just over 1,100 feet at its highest point.

By contrast Santorini’s main towns are located high atop its mountain cliff. You can also, visit a local winery and sample some local wines. We stopped at Santo Wines Winery, they have marvelous views from their top of the mountain location. 

Visiting Santorini’s Santo Wines Winery with marvelous views
Santorini’s blue domed churches dot the town’s architecture

Santorini’s main tourist areas are located atop a huge volcanic rock mountain and the white buildings slope down towards the sea below on the island’s western half moon side. Santorini is essentially what remains after an enormous volcanic eruption that destroyed the earliest settlements on a formerly single island, and created the current geological caldera. A giant central, rectangular lagoon, which measures about 7.5 by 4.3 miles, is surrounded by 980 feet high, steep cliffs on three sides. The island’s eastern side is more sparse, not a high and has small housing groupings sprinkled across the very dry landscape.

One of Santorini’s churches with many church bells
View on the edge of Santorini’s Thira near the cable car
One of Santorini’s many restaurants with panoramic views
Santorini’s restaurants offer good food and fantastic views

Two of the main villages in Santorini are Thira and Oia which sit atop the island cliff. Unique white walled churches, with bright blue or red colored domes, are sprinkled about. Interesting arched bell towers top other churches. The many storefronts and small hotels with their individual pools of blue water make up most of these lovely towns. Make sure you pick out a restaurant with fantastic cliff and sea views and grab a drink or a meal. Santorini does not have a large marina, so cruise ships must anchor nearby and passengers have to ferry to one of the smaller ports at the bottom of the island. A cable car now can take you up to the main streets of Thira, or down to the small port where the ferries can dock. There are also donkeys you can ride up, but it’s only for the most adventurous. 

Historically, Rhodes was famous worldwide for the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The larger island shaped like a spearhead it is the furthest from the Greek mainland and in fact very close to Turkey to its east. On the eastern tip, the Medieval Old Town of the City of Rhodes has been declared a World Heritage Site. 

Rhodes’ old town is surrounded by a wall and castle located by the sea on the east side
Ray in the Hippocrates Square in Rhodes’ old town
Peg by The Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes

The old town features an impressive medieval walled fortification located by the seaport is one of it’s gates. Inside the walls, the town is full of boutiques, selling everything from souvenirs and clothing to high-end watches and jewelry. Many restaurants like on Hippocrates Square as well as houses of worship and ancient housing fill the pedestrian only streets. The large and impressive Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes, also known as the Kastello is worth a visit. More impressive wall gates are located on the western end of the fort. The walled town is but a very small part of this much larger city that extends towards the west. The old town’s architecture is mostly a tan stone marble color just like the walled fortification, while some of the exterior housing more similar to the white washed architecture of Mykonos and Santorini. 

Red Door entrance and bridge over a moat on the west side of the Kastello in Rhodes

Regardless of how many or how few Greek Islands you visit, you will be enthralled by their unique natural beauty. Everything is interesting and different, from the magnificent blue waters and beaches to the hills and mountains, or the unique architecture and the many historic sites. 

Rhodes has many shops selling gold, jewelry and clothing

We enjoyed our trip to Greece and the Greek Islands, but having only gotten a small taste of all there is to see and experience, another visit will hopefully have to happen in the near future. For now I was glad to finally experience a bit of one of the world’s most historic areas. 

By one of Mykonos’ marinas full of small fishing boats

® All Photographs taken by Ray and Peg Raposo

The intriguing Sapore di Mare in Coconut Grove by Ray Raposo

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A group of family members went for lunch to Sapore di Mare in Coconut Grove this week. Giorgia Calabrese and Matteo Paderni opened this seafood restaurant with an Italian flavor about 4 years ago. They’re devoted to serve the freshest and most seasonal fish and shellfish sourced from both the Mediterranean and waters worldwide. Besides seafood their menu also includes a short selection of meat to round out the extensive offerings.

The daily Specials board

Many of their dishes are made special for the day, a blackboard high on the wall lists those menu selections. Most of these dishes are usually the most expensive items they serve.

Our large family group

 

The restaurant has a number of shiny wooden tables that they can arrange separate or together for larger groups. With lots of windows, as they’re on the end of the building, and mostly white walls and a beachy mariner decor, it’s bright and upbeat inside.

The covered and semi-enclosed outdoor back area

They also have an ample seating area with a large canopy in the back of the restaurant.

Writer Ray and part of the lunch group

We tried several dishes and everyone was pleased and more than delighted with their orders. We started with a dish of Frittura di Calamari which many tried and enjoyed. My main dish was the Tagliatelle alla Boscaiola, pasta with Porcini mushrooms and cherry tomatoes and it was delectable. Tagliatelle pasta are a traditional type of pasta from the Emilia-Romagna and Marche regions of Italy, they are long, flat ribbons similar in shape to fettuccine. Several of us ordered a special dish of Branzino, a Mediterranean white fish they served with artichokes. Usually just on the dinner Menu, but they serve it for lunch if you ask.

Another terrific tasting Mediterranean fish dish was served with an arugula salad with cucumbers and cherry tomatoes. Another lovely salad featured Tiger Shrimp or langostinos. One of us ordered and loved the classic Frutti di Mare, a Tagliolini pasta with red sauce, clams, mussels and shrimp. We also tried and enjoyed the special Veal Scaloppine al Limone with artichokes and vegetables. We also tried a Cacio e Pepe, a traditional Roman pasta prepared in a wheel of pecorino cheese. “Cacio e Pepe” means “cheese and pepper” in several central Italian dialects. Other items on the Menu include a fish soup of the day, several Spaghetti dishes, grilled wild Salmon, and a Tagliata de Manzo with sliced NY Steak. For desert a homemade Cannoli and a small tasty peach cobbler were both enjoyed.

Their extensive wine list features over 100 selections to pair perfectly with their dishes. They also offer Catering services, deliveries within 4 miles and host special events. Their Lunch prices range from the high teens to the 20s with some special dishes costing quite a bit more. This is not an inexpensive place, but you get the quality you pay for. If you love Italian inspired seafood dishes, you should give Sapore di Mare a try.

All smiles while waiting for their entrees

Sapore di Mare, Italian Seafood Restaurant & Catering Services

Located at 3111 Grand Avenue 3, Coconut Grove, FL 33133, a block west of CocoWalk. They’re open daily for lunch from 12:00 pm – 3:30pm and for dinner from 5:30 pm – 11:00 pm. You can phone them directly at 305-476-8292, or visit their website at saporedimaremiami.com

Valet parking is available and some parking in the back. There’s also public parking lot across the street.

Three satisfied customers

It is time! The Fashion Institute is now accepting registrations for its Fall B Course

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Sophie Miller Flaunter

The Fashion Programs is a complete program designed for creative individuals that want to gain complete knowledge of the fashion industry.

This 20-course program plus internship time, covers courses on each of the fashion design disciplines, including Sewing, Pattern Making, Fashion Design, Draping, Grading, the Fashion Business, and Textiles, in order to provide students with the foundation they need to develop a career in the industry. The students will finish the fashion program by making a 3- 5 looks collection during the last 4 months of the program for the runway fashion show at the graduation ceremony.

Photo by: Clem Onojeghou

As a student, you will earn access to fashion related events and activities, including student invitations for the Fashion Group International South FL and tours to garment factories in Miami.

Our small, hands-on classes are held at our facilities located inside Las Flores Plaza, just 2.7 miles away from the Miami International Airport and 4.4 miles from Downtown Miami. The Fashion Program class schedule is designed to work around people’s different schedules. We offer classes either twice a week (weekday’s schedule) OR Saturdays. Each class is 3 hours long.

Weekday morning classes:

  • 10 AM – 1 PM
  • Evening classes from 6:00 PM- 9:00 PMS
  • Saturday classes from 9:00 AM to 4:00PM (One-hour lunch break)

For more information contact: info@fashionSfl.com. The Fashion Institute of South Florida | 2624 NW 20th ST. Miami, FL 33142 | 786-332-4624 | | www.fashionsfl.com

How Digital Marketing Transformed One Bank Executive’s Life

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Photo by Tim Bennett

Hello BizHackers!

This week I’m telling the stories of three Miami business owners who are Striving for Something Bigger.

Today I want to introduce you to Lula Folgosa.

Lula Folgosa
Realtor at Keller Williams

Lula was born in Cuba. She moved to the US in 1959… then to Spain… then to the Philippines. While her family kept moving in search of a better life, Lula longed for a stable home.

After a career at Citibank as a Regional Vice President for Marketing, Lula decided to pursue her true passion: To help people, particularly immigrants, find a stable home.

“It’s why our parents sacrificed and moved here,” said Lula, a realtor at Keller Williams. “My happiest time is when I give a family a key to their first home.”

But like many realtors, Lula struggled to find potential buyers. The traditional techniques of fliers, cold calls and open houses just weren’t working. She took BizHack’s course to learn a new approach. Under the guidance of her marketing coach, she built a sleek new landing page and an email sequence that communicated her passion for the job. The leads started rolling in, and haven’t stopped.

My advice to realtors looking to use digital advertising to attract more buyersTake a similar approach to Lula. Ditch the template used by your brokerage firm and create a customized landing page for each of your new property listings.   Your page needs to be attractive and easy to read, with photos and videos.

Photo by Tim Bennett

And it should have a conspicuous form where interested buyers can input their contact information to learn more. Then spend advertising dollars promoting the listing using Facebook and Google ads that direct people to the landing page. That in addition to everything you usually do: email alerts, open houses, fliers and calls. In this way, you’ll be able to attract new prospective buyers and stay in touch with your network of existing buyers.

Now Lula uses Facebook ads to promote all of her properties. And her social media outreach landed her a new $1 million listing. 

 This course transformed my life,” Lula said. “I learned not only all the techniques of social media but a lot about myself. I truly recommend it to anyone who wants to succeed in their business.”

Tomorrow I’ll share the story of former Burger King marketing exec Kim Miller, who’s now helping restaurants of all sizes franchise.

More soon,
Dan

Empowering South Florida’s business!

About the Author: Dan Grech is  the founder of BizHack  an accelerated learning program that offers programs in-person and online to train small business owners and entrepreneurs in the technology tools for marketing and sales that will allow them to grow their business and accelerate their career.
Check out his work at: BizHack Academy
Digital Marketing Training
dgrech@bizhack.co

 

Escuela de Estudios Avanzados anuncia Sesiones de información para estudiantes de décimo grado del Condado Miami-Dade

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Photo by Jonathan Daniels

Escuela de Estudios Avanzados del MDC anuncia sesiones de información el 29 de septiembre y el 6 de octubre

 Los estudiantes actuales de décimo grado del Condado Miami-Dade con un promedio académico mínimo no ponderado de 3.0 puntos pueden solicitar matrícula, y pudieran ser elegibles para incorporarse si satisfacen todos los requerimientos del programa, como obtener una calificación mínima en el examen de aceptación de college de SAS. La matrícula es limitada. Si la cifra de solicitantes elegibles supera la cantidad de espacios disponibles, se realizará una selección al azar para aceptar estudiantes.

 

SAS acepta a solicitantes de escuelas públicas, privadas, parroquiales y chárter del Condado Miami-Dade. Además, numerosos estudiantes que se instruyen en casa eligen a SAS para culminar sus estudios secundarios y comenzar su transición al college.

Los estudiantes pueden lograr una experiencia auténtica de college, debido a que sus cursos de matrícula dual de college y sus cursos secundarios de Ubicación Avanzada (AP) se llevan a cabo en los campus del MDC. Todos los cursos de enseñanza secundaria son de nivel AP, excepto Pre cálculo e Investigación. Además, reciben colegiatura gratuita, libros de texto, y si son elegibles, transporte en autobuses escolares y Metrorail, financiado por las Escuelas Públicas del Condado Miami-Dade.

SAS, calificada por Niche como la Mejor Secundaria del Sur de la Florida en el 2018, está ubicada en cinco campus del MDC: Homestead, Kendall, Norte, Oeste y Wolfson. SAS fue designada recientemente como “The Collegiate High School” del Condado Miami-Dade, y los cinco campus han recibido la calificación de escuelas “A” que otorga el estado de la Florida.

La Escuela de Estudios Avanzados (SAS) del Miami Dade College (MDC), llevará a cabo sesiones de información/solicitud de matrícula en dos campus del MDC los sábados 29 de septiembre y 6 de octubre, para el curso escolar 2018-2019. SAS es una escuela secundaria colegiada en la que los alumnos concluyen sus dos últimos años de secundaria, asistiendo al MDC, y, en la mayoría de los casos, obteniendo simultáneamente el diploma de enseñanza secundaria y el de Asociado.

A continuación, la programación de información/solicitud de matrícula

  • Campus KendallSábado 29 de septiembre, a las 9 a.m.,11011 S.W. 104th St. Edificio 7, Centro Deportivo.  (Los estudiantes interesados en asistir a la SAS en los campus Kendall, West, o Homestead Campuses deben participar en esta reunión)
  • Campus Norte, Sábado 6 de octubre, a las 9 a.m.,11380 N.W. 27 Avenida, Lehman Theater
  • Campus Wolfson, Sábado 6 de octubre, a la 1 p.m.,300 N.E. 2da Avenida, Salón 1261

Para más información, póngase en contacto con Dennis Lindsay, llamando al número telefónico 305-237-0510 o visite el sitio web de SAS, sas.dadeschools.net.