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Crazy Flavors Homemade Ice Cream, Brooklyn Style

August 1, 2014 by  

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  3-OddFellows-by-kathyylchan-1024x689 The first thing that will jump out at you when visiting Brooklyn’s OddFellows Ice Cream Co. website is their array of quirky flavors. It isn’t everyday you see flavors like Tobacco Leaf Smoked Chili Huckleberry; Beet Pistachio Honey Goat Cheese; Coconut, Cream Cheese & Carrot Cake; and Sesame Kumquat Pumpernickel. That being said, what makes OddFellows isn’t just their atypical offerings, but their methods of production. Opened in June 2013, OddFellows Ice Cream Co. caused a stir from the beginning. Within two months of opening, they’d been voted Best Ice Cream in New York , one of the eight Best Ice Cream Shops For Kids In New York City by Timeout New York and one of New York City’s 10 Tastiest Summer Treats by Forbes Travel Guide. So, what makes OddFellows so addictive? “We’re making ice cream from scratch which is a very rare thing,” explains co-owner Mohan Kumar. “Not too many people are doing this in the country and only a handful are in NYC. Typically people who claim to sell homemade ice cream are buying their ice cream base from a creamery or farm and are adding in things like chocolate chips. We’re going the extra step and making…

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Sweet Nectar in Fort Lauderdale Florida is a Must For Your Next Visit

August 1, 2014 by  

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menu In Fort Lauderdale, Florida, when exploring the Las Olas restaurants scene, make sure to stop by an artisanal venue worth the trip in itself: Sweet Nectar Charcoal and Spirits. After walking along the beachfront and seeing so many chain restaurants, it was a joy to discover Las Olas, filled with boutiques, art galleries, local businesses, ambient wine bars and innovative restaurants. To me, this boulevard provided an immersive experience into the local culture through art, local design and artisanal eats. After wandering the street and doing some research of my own, I stumble upon the menu of Sweet Nectar. Charcoal-grilled Florida snapper? Ahi Tuna carpaccio with black truffle chimichurri? Lobster popcorn? Sounds interesting. As I approach the indoor/outdoor restaurant I see locals gathered around the bar watching a game, friends sitting under dangling potted plants eating at rustic wooden tables off of wobbly plate and cast-iron skillets. In this farm-feeling space there’s also an industrial vibe with long dangling bare bulbs and exposed brick. Sweet Nectar Sitting outdoors at Sweet Nectar. Photo courtesy of Jessica Festa. I choose to sit outdoors so I can enjoy the ambiance of Las…

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4 Off the Beaten Path Gems in Europe For Summer Touring

August 1, 2014 by  

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It seems like everyone is going to Europe these days, which makes it tempting to assume there’s nothing you can see in Europe that all your friends haven’t seen before. Of course, this couldn’t be further from the truth. With an endless array of cultures, languages, architectures and landscapes, Europe is one of the most diverse regions in the world for travelers. You could literally visit every year, the rest of your life, and not see it all! I’ve personally been to Europe eight times, yet I hear about someplace I haven’t seen or an experience I haven’t enjoyed at least once a week. This goes the other way, too: Many of my favorite spots in Europe are places people didn’t know exist. Whether you’re looking for where to go on your next trip to Europe, or simply need an exciting distraction from your day, continue reading to learn more about some lesser-known European treasures.

Lake Bled, Slovenia

Slovenia in general is a destination that tends to evade most travelers, on account of its small size, the low international profile it keeps and its location, wedged between Italy, Croatia and Austria. But this lilliputian locale is disproportionately packed with mind-blowing landscapes, charming cultural…

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Exploring Portland’s Neighborhoods by Foot

July 31, 2014 by  

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Despite the fact that my trip to Portland was short, I did my best to explore as many neighborhoods as possible. If you’ve never been to Portland, let’s start with some basic orientation to help get your bearings. The city is divided by the Willamette River, with the more walkable neighborhoods on the west side and the slightly more spacious, residential neighborhoods on the east. If you remember from my recent post, Portland sports every type of bridge architecture so crossing from one side of Portland to the other is the ultimate photo op. I’ll be starting with two neighborhoods on the west side, from north to south and then will move along to the east side. There are plenty of neighborhoods not mentioned on this list but these five are the ones I spent the most time in, so they are the ones that made the cut!

The Pearl District

We all know how I adore revamped neighborhoods and Portland’s Pearl District has a great rags to riches story. Former warehouse turned stylish hub, this neighborhood is effortlessly charming. The cobblestone streets contrast the modern lofts, showcasing how both old and new influences can exist in perfect harmony. This area is very walkable and…

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Traveling with a Conscious Through India’s Kerala

July 31, 2014 by  

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  canal route We’re currently cycling from Kochi to Thattekkad, a 60-kilometer (37-mile) journey that immerses me in the local culture of the canal villages. Sure, a bus would be a quicker option, but this wouldn’t allow me to share a smile with the women washing clothes in the canal, smell the fragrant tapioca and nutmeg growing on the sides of the road, watch teenagers do backflips off bridges into the flowing waters, wave to grown men walking goats and tending to cows, or chat with a group of women burning grass to clean up the roads. And when a young boy of about seven years runs out onto the road carrying a tray of fresh fruit to give me, expecting only a smile and hello in return, I know I’ve made the right decision. These experiences aren’t faded by smudged plexi-glass, and I don’t need them explained to me on a microphone by a bored tour guide. They’re all mine to interpret and cherish. india children Children along the Canal Route

Cultural Immersion In Kerala

My time traveling through Kerala isn’t about doing things the easy way or…

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All Things Tea in Japan’s Kansai Region

July 30, 2014 by  

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  bento box From the high-quality green tea of Uji to the rich soba culture of Izushi to Osaka’s hearty soul food, Japan’s Kansai Region is made to be explored through the tongue. While many may associate Japanese food with rice, sushi and miso soup — which are all important parts of Japanese cuisine — it’s not as simple as that. And if that’s all you eat during your travels, you’re missing out on a slew of delicious opportunities. Here’s what Epicure & Culture suggests: Local Guide Recommendation: For a certified Japanese, English and Spanish speaking guide Epicure & Culture recommends Michiko Moriwaki (moriwaki.michiko (at) gmail (dot) com). Not only is she extremely knowledgeable on the Kansai Prefecture, her upbeat demeanor and passion for showing guests a good time lead to an extremely enjoyable experience. green tea Green tea. Photo courtesy of Barta IV.

Green Tea In Uji

While you’ll find green tea all over Japan, Uji, located on the outskirts of Kyoto, is particularly well-known for the curative drink. You can take the West Japan Railway Company (JR West) Nara Line to Uji Station, and from there it…

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The Phantom Of The Opera, a Granddaddy of a Musical Keeps Ticking…

July 30, 2014 by  

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  I arrived full circle with “The Phantom of the Opera.”  This granddaddy of a musical is still playing some 26 years after its 1988 opening at the appropriately named “Majestic Theater” and remains the longest running show on Broadway.  I can’t envision anything topping this fantastic record, although should it ever happen, I hope “Chicago” inherits the crown simply because it seems right that an American musical hold this title. I was quite fortunate to catch this landmark show soon after it opened in early 1988 to somewhat reluctant raves from the critics, but thunderous applause from its mesmerized audience.  Yes, I was young and impressionable (that’s a good thing!) and found this show intensely romantic (if only!) yet I was old enough to appreciate the new musical theatrics, both vocally and visually, at work here. Like everyone else, I bought the album… yes, on vinyl, those were the days…. and wore it out along with my vocal chords!  Whatever made me think I was a soprano? So I jumped at this recent opportunity to see how I would perceive “Phantom” so many years later given that my world has altered in every way possible. In 1988 this show…

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New York City for Foodies: Restaurants Without the Snob Factor

July 30, 2014 by  

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    The Ellington New York City gets a bad rep for having some pretty pretentious restaurants. But the truth is, there is an array of delicious venues offering sophisticated settings with inviting atmospheres. Whether you’re looking for a great date spot, a memorable meal or a place to spend time with friends, the following NYC restaurants offer the aesthetics without the stuffiness.

The Ellington

For a truly unpretentious dining experience that also features delicious food, The Ellington offers a country kitchen–meets–shabby chic ambience and a menu of homemade dishes. The owners felt that the neighborhood had been waiting for a bar and kitchen that could offer a mix of American comfort food and European cuisine. Because owner Glenda Sansone’s family background is a mix of European and American, it was easy to meld the flavors of the two cultures. Dishes are simple—a scotch egg served with chilled English mustard; a flatbread with homemade fig jam and fresh ricotta; cumberland sausage with mashed potatoes, onion gravy and braised red cabbage—and add to The Ellington’s cozy neighborhood hangout ambiance. It’s the type of place that isn’t trying to top the trends, but rather create a space…

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