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Posts tagged ‘food’

Rookwood Pottery Factory (& Bar?)

I’ve already mentioned that Cincinnati is known for being the home of Rookwood Pottery.  While Rookwood pottery today is produced in a modern facility, the original factory is still available for visits.  The only catch is that the plant responsible for classic American Arts & Crafts design is now a restaurant and bar which gives you the rare opportunity to eat in a kiln!

A kiln in the dining room of the Rookwood Bar & Restaurant.

A kiln in the dining room of the Rookwood Bar & Restaurant.

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St. Anthony’s Festival in Boston’s North End

St. Anthony Festival, North End Boston

St. Anthony processing through the decorated festival streets of the North End, Boston.

The funny thing about traditions is that sometimes a community starts their own.  One of the things I miss about Boston in the late summer are the neighborhood street festivals including the Portuguese and Italian celebrations in Cambridge and Boston.  While these events have the flavor of old Europe,  they are decidedly American celebrations.  The biggest of all of these, the St. Anthony’s Fest in the North End, is coming up (Aug 23-25, 2013) and a fun chance to celebrate Italian-American culture.  (My photos below are from last year.)

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Belgian Chocolate Overload

Most countries are known for a culinary specialty.  If I mention Italy, Japan or Argentina, you probably imagine pasta, sushi and fantastic steaks.  If we think about Belgium, then I definitely picture amazing chocolate!  I was in Bruges the week before Easter so all the shops had out their best holiday treats.  Not only is Bruges beautiful in March and has its own sculpture by Michelangelo, but it has incredible sweets!

belgian chocolate eggs

Lovely packaged, truffe-filled Belgian chocolate eggs ready for Easter at Depla Chocolaterie, Bruges

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“Visiting” Hungary at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival

As if the 4th of July weren’t exciting enough in Washington D.C., the Smithsonian host the annual Folklife Festival that week on the National Mall.  Bringing together international musicians, storytellers and craftspeople, the Festival celebrates culture and the preservation of traditional arts throughout the world.  Every year, three themes are selected for the festival and usually include a country, region, or collective community experience.  This year the themes were 1) Hungary, 2) Endangered Languages and 3) African-American fashion.

The Hungarian Village section of the festival sought to celebrate traditional music, dance and crafts as well as the people who are revitalizing that culture today.  There were informative museum-like exhibits, artisan demonstrations and lots of concerts.  Ever the international traveler, I was so excited to explore the Hungarian portion of the festival!

Hungarian tower

The Peacock Tower designed by Transylvanian architect Gyule Szilegyi stood at the center of the 2013 Smithsonian Folklife Festival.

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Brunch in Boston with a Side of History

The restaurant I’m recommending for “Best Brunch in Boston” actually has only average to above average food.  The dim sum at Empire Garden is good and certainly satisfying, but I really want you to go there because of the unbelievably beautiful and historic dining room.

Empire Garden Chinese Restaurant, Boston

Empire Garden Chinese Restaurant, Boston (photo: Wikimedia)

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