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4 Pizza Spots to Hit in Chicago

March 29, 2015 by  

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Big cities are often known for a special local dish, and Chicago’s specialty is pizza. Everyone has a favorite, and every restaurant has its own twist. Below are some fan favorites. Try them all and pick your own: pizza

1. Deep-Dish Number 1: Uno/Due

Just a couple of blocks off the Magnificent Mile, Pizzeria Uno and Pizzeria Duo are perfect pit stops after a day of shopping. Back in 1943, Uno was one of the first to serve the deep-dish-style pizza that has become a favorite among Chicago natives, and continues to offer a family friendly atmosphere over 70 years later. The menu also contains burgers, sandwiches, and salads to make any guest happy.

2. Deep-Dish Number 2: Gino’s East

Gino’s East is another oldie but goodie in the deep-dish pizza scene. Started in 1966, the original location off Superior Avenue has a casual, nostalgic atmosphere where you can add your name to the graffiti on the walls. The location over by South Loop offers more of an upscale, sports bar atmosphere. Along with pizza, it also serves a variety of local craft beers.

3. Pizza Potpie: Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder Co.

If you…

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Portugal Travel: The Artisanal Guide To The Azores

March 29, 2015 by  

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While there’s much to explore in the Azores — hiking, bird watching, surfing, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, history — one of the focuses of my recent trip there was local artisan culture. azores After visiting the islands of São Miguel, São Jorge and Pico, here are what I found to be the most worthwhile artisan experiences for culture carnivores: the azores Sorting black tea by hand at Gorreana Tea. azores Gorreana Tea fields azores Old fashioned machines used to process tea on Sao Miguel

1. Visit Europe’s Only Tea Plantations

São Miguel boasts being the only place in all of Europe where you’ll find tea plantations. There are actually two on the island, both within a 10-minute drive of each other. I visited Gorreana Tea, a family-operated business since 1883 that takes pride in growing organic tea leafs. Visitors can wander the plantation and factory free of charge, learning how the machines work, sampling tea (the green has a floral, non-bitter flavor) and perusing a gift shop showcasing local products like homemade jams and fruit liqueurs. They make both…

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Luxury Sipping & Eating at Carmel’s GourmetFest 2015

March 28, 2015 by  

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00-gourmetfest-2015.jpg Chef Olivier Roellinger at his outdoor cooking demo.  .
01_GourmetFest_2015.jpg Chef Michel Bras helping to plate chef Francis Wolf’s dish at the Taste of France luncheon.
02_GourmetFest_2015.jpg L’endive farcie, parfum de truffes, by Michel Bras.
03_GourmetFest_2015.jpg The electric Ernst Loosen at his Mosel tasting and talk.
04_gourmetfest_2015.jpg Bonjour, gorgeous. A 1966 poured en magnum at the Dom Pérignon tasting.
05-gourmetfest-2015.jpg The lineup from the Dom Pérignon tasting.
It was an honor to be invited back to GourmetFest 2015, a weekend-long event in Carmel by the Sea, with some heavy-hitting Relais & Chateaux chefs from around the world, along with top winemakers and sommeliers from France, Italy, and more. I drove down early Saturday morning, in time for the outdoor cooking demo with chef Olivier Roellinger (Les Maisons de Bricourt), who gave an interesting talk about the history of spices and…

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Mi Casa Supper Club for Moroccan Cuisine in Baja California

March 26, 2015 by  

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While growing up in Morocco‘s Casablanca, chef Bo Bendana was warned that every girl had to learn how to cook, or no one would marry her. “But I don’t want to get married!” 12 year-old Bo told her mother. In spite of her resistance, Bo’s mother taught her to cook. That early introduction to savory ingredients and exotic spices contributed to the success Chef Bo is enjoying in Mexico’s Baja California. Her “Moroxican” (Moroccan-Mexican fusion) restaurant, Mi Casa Supper Club, with its airy Mediterranean-style décor and oceanfront location less than an hour’s drive from San Diego, is drawing patrons from both sides of the border for open-to-the-public dinners, private parties, and holiday festivals. And her annual white-tie food and wine pairing celebration, Sabor de Baja, held at the famed Rosarito Beach Hotel, has celebrities like Sam the Cooking Guy jumping to be a part of it. California transplant, Bo Bendana, is putting Rosarito’s cuisine on the foodie map. Mi Casa Supper Club Mi Casa Supper Club at sunset

Mi Casa Supper Club Is Born

In 2006, Bo Bendana and husband Dennis Sein moved from their home in Newport Beach, California to Rosarito Beach. Rosarito…

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Chicago Foodie Guide: 6 Quirky Spots For Your Next Trip

March 26, 2015 by  

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seafood The influx of diverse cultures into the area during Chicago’s history has made the city’s food some of the best in the nation. The historic Chicago Union Stockyards once produced most of the United States’ meat, and the railroads brought grain through Chicago from America’s heartland. The stockyards aren’t there anymore, but their legacy lives on in the plentiful, robust, hardy fare that the immigrants brought to this land of plenty.

1. The New Maxwell Street Market

The New Maxwell Street Market is where you come on Sundays to shop the outdoor stalls and get great tacos and hotdogs. The all-beef Chicago hot dog was created at the old Maxwell Street Market. Now visitors can get an authentic taste of Mexico here with cuisine of Mexican states from Oaxaca to Jalisco available at the outdoor vendors’ stalls.

2. Frontera Grill

In 1987, Rick Bayless started a food empire by introducing authentic Mexican food to North Americans. Ever since then, Frontera Grill has been winning awards and pleasing visitors and locals alike. Try street fare like Mushroom/potato huaraches, wood-grilled duck, pork, or catfish tacos.

3. The Publican

The Publican features rustic dishes and international beer…

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Conscious & Healthy Travel at India’s Aurovalley Yoga Ashram

March 25, 2015 by  

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Aurovalley Ashram, yoga, India, travel, food, eating, green, sustainable, vegetarian Aurovalley Ashram in north India is a place for seekers to find peace. Aurovalley founder Swami Brahmdev describes the ashram as an experiment in consciousness living. It’s also an experiment in conscious eating and sustainable food production. Three times every day, several of the women who live and work at Aurovalley Ashram line up behind the counter and ladle mild, vegetarian food, like rice, dal, and sabzi (vegetable) onto the stainless steel thali (plates) each person carries. The basic fare is usually enlivened by the addition of things like fresh salad, fruit, home made curd (yoghurt), hot ginger tea, buttermilk or home made pickles. Aurovalley Ashram, yoga, India, travel, food, eating, green, sustainable, thali Fresh, healthy, vegetarian lunch at Aurovalley Ashram It’s not food that’s going to win any awards, and it’s not what foodies dream about, but it is simple, healthy, nutritious and vital. At Aurovalley Ashram, food is part of the spiritual life. People are expected to eat in silence, and clean their own plates afterwards. Aurovalley Ashram founder Swami Brahmdev explains that eating in silence gives ashramites…

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Fun and Quirky Guide to Israel’s Tel Aviv

March 24, 2015 by  

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Israel’s most cosmopolitan city may be small, but it’s packed with great things to see and do. Here are a few things to do in Tel Aviv to experience the quirkier side of the city. things to do in tel aviv Stock Up On Spices At Levinsky Market Most tourists head straight to the famous Carmel Market to experience that famous “local flavor” — and you should too. That being said, Tel Aviv has a smaller market dedicated to spices, dried fruit, sweets and other dry foods. Levinsky market is actually a stretch of shops along Levinsky Street, between HaAliya Street and Herzl Street. Shops there sell everything from exotic spices and herbal tea blends to freshly ground coffee, every dried fruit imaginable and even tasty Turkish delight. There are also a few good restaurants and cafés along the street and at night you can visit some hip bars in the area, like the Bar Mitzva at 13 Zevulun Street. Enter The Belly Of The Beast With A Central Bus Station Tour Tel Aviv’s central bus station is most people’s idea of hell, but this controversial concrete monster is steeped in…

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The Ancestral Slaughtering of Pigs in Spain’s Soria

March 24, 2015 by  

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  spain_burgos_pigThe slaughter and butchering of a pig is may not be at the top of every tourist’s must see list, but the “slaughter weekends” represent a celebration of the role the porker plays in the Spanish diet. In the heart of scarcely populated Soria province, a trip to El Burgo de Osma makes for behind-the-scenes visit to this part of Castile-Leon. On weekends from January 17 to April 12, 2015, the town of Burgo de Osma in the province of Soria, hosts Matanza del Cerdo. This event maintains an ancestral tradition that is deep-rooted in many rural areas of the region, where whole families come together around a table to slaughter a pig. This age-old ritual, which leads to the traditional production of ham, blood pudding, chorizo sausage, pork loin and other cured meats is, at the same time, a day of communion and brotherhood. The whole process is described and explained to visitors who come to the town for the event. After the slaughter and a visit to the Pork Museum, there is a meal based around pork meat and its many derived products. Folk groups, bagpipe players and a…

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