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New Culinary Spots Get Personal in Upstate New York

Upstate New York’s diverse Finger Lakes region is known for its extensive wine production, but it’s also an emerging hotbed of culinary talent, craft breweries, and distilleries.

But the thing that stood out the most to me when first visited was a distinctive approach to culinary creation that draws inspiration from personal and local historical details. Continue Reading →

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Three Historic Foodie Stops in Upstate New York

Before arriving in Rochester, I knew just as much about Upstate New York as I did about Bora Bora: that they weren’t going to share a similar climate in February, or ever.

What I was not expecting to find was a rich historical backdrop for some seriously good food spots, a growing craft beer scene, and the second largest wine producing region in the United States after California. Continue Reading →

Absinthe Fire cocktail in Banff Alberta

Come on Baby Light My (Banff Cocktail) on Fire!

At the Balkan Restaurant in Banff, Alberta, drinks are conceptualized by mad scientist, Matthew Hendricks, the restaurant’s head Mixologist. Hendricks uses creativity (and fire!) to bring unique cocktails to even the most discerning drinkers.

Their menu has at least 25 drinks cocktails available at all times and a team of (good looking) bartenders at the ready to make them. At The Balkan, juices and syrups are made from scratch onsite along with massive deoxygenated ice cubes—I’ll get to those in a minute. Continue Reading →

Fairmont Montreal Style Bagels

Bete’avon! Jewish Specialty Eats in Montreal’s Mile End

Montreal’s Mile End and neighboring Le Plateau-Mont-Royal appear consistently on lists celebrating the hippest neighborhoods in North America. The food, drink, music, and art can’t be beat and the street life lasts all day and night.

But it wasn’t always this way. Before gentrification transformed the neighborhood, Mile End was home to a hard-working immigrant community. Until the 1960s, it was Canada’s largest Jewish quarter, a world immortalized by Mordecai Richler, where the teeming streets reverberated with the old-world sounds of Yiddish. In those days, scores of delicatessens and lunch counters fed the people who worked there. The food was similar to what could be found in the other North American, Jewish neighborhoods but Montreal was developing a food culture all its own. And the taste of days gone by remains in the neighborhood to this day. Continue Reading →

Seafood Tostada at Marisqueria El Caguamo

Cuisine and Culture in Mexico City with Sabores Mexico Food Tours

In 2010, UNESCO added traditional Mexican cuisine to the Intangible Cultural Heritage list, recognizing the local ingredients, farming practices, and regional dishes as an integral part of the national identity. Sabores Mexico owner Rodrigo Lopez Aldana—himself born and raised in Mexico City—has built a tour business that places Mexican food right where it belongs: at the center of your sightseeing experience.

Mexico City’s el Centro is the location of many iconic sights including the National Palace, the Palacio de Bellas Artes, and the world’s second-largest public plaza, Zócalo (only Moscow’s Red Square is bigger). A site of conflict between the Aztec Empire and Spanish colonizers, el Centro has hundreds of years of history behind it and is the perfect place for a walking food tour. Continue Reading →

Traditional Italian Dish, Cioppino - a traditional San Francisco dish

West Coast Walkabout in the City of Lights: San Francisco, California

San Francisco is a charming city offering delicious food and drink and a variety of activities for anyone to enjoy. The usual suspects like the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and Haight-Ashbury are what first spring to mind for most West Coast-bound tourists. But after you’ve seen the bridge and been squicked-out at prison, take a day to explore the local delights and get to know the original home of the streetcar just a little better. Continue Reading →

Le Nordik, Chelsea, Quebec

National Parks and World Class Spa Treatments: Together at Last!

If you are lucky enough to live in Canada’s National Capital Region, the best day ever is only minutes away. Don’t get me wrong; I’m as surprised as you are. A few months ago I moved to the region and was looking for ways to fill my time while I waited to make new friends. And I found something great. Across the border away from the chaos of Parliament Hill, are the Yin and Yang of the perfect day: Quebec’s Gatineau Park and the world renowned Le Nordik Spa Nature. Continue Reading →

Churchill Manitoba

Canada’s Arctic Edge: Life in Churchill, Manitoba

Every summer about 3,000 belugas whales enter the Churchill River, which flows out of northern Manitoba, Canada, and into Hudson Bay. Churchill is Canada’s principal Arctic-area seaport, located on the western shore of Hudson Bay.

This sub-Arctic hamlet, in which no road leads in or out, has a population of just 1,000 souls. It bills itself as both the beluga whale and polar bear capital of the world. If that isn’t enough, it’s also a self-described birdwatching paradise and the best place on the planet to view the aurora borealis, better known as the northern lights. Continue Reading →