Indian restaurant in Des Moines is given new life with new owners and new menu offerings

Indian restaurant in Des Moines is given new life with new owners and new menu offerings

Des Moines can welcome back a new old restaurant to enjoy. Namaste India | India Cuisine and Restaurant, located at 7500 University Avenue in Clive, recently reopened with a new co-owner and the original chef, bringing back Indian classics to the clean, modern space. Interested in Iowa food news? Follow @briantaylorcarlson on Facebook, @BriinDSM on Twitter and @briindsm on Instagram. The restaurant features North and South Indian cuisine with Nepalese specialties including samosas, paneer dishes, biriyani and tandoori. Diners can enjoy a wide range of vegetarian options as well as fresh naan and roti.”We want to provide good service, good food and good ambiance,” said co-owner Rony Singh. “We don’t compromise on quality and we have the best ingredients and fresh vegetables.” Be sure to bookmark these frequently-updated special dining features: “We brought back some old favorite recipes for the new menu,” Singh said. “We offer a buffet for lunch, a full dinner menu and people can order delivery through GrubHub and DoorDash.”Singh is pleased to announce the return of chef and good friend, Andrew Jadhav, 33, who took a brief hiatus to travel around Louisiana and Mississippi before returning to cook his Nepali-influenced cuisine at Namaste. Jadhav is excited to offer smoothies made from mango and avocado along with his all-time favorites, tikka masala, butter chicken and assorted naan. Non-alcoholic beverages range from soft drinks to lassi and chai tea. Singh is working on getting a license to carry wine and beer by the end of May.The lunch buffet is offered every day, which features a rotating variety of meat and non-meat dishes like onion pakora, dal tadka, vegetable saag, chicken tandoori and tikki masala, assorted curries, naan and roti. For dessert, Namaste offers gulab jamun (sweetened fried cheese balls) and kheer (rice pudding). Singh, 40, said after the restaurant and grocer’s owner, Madhuri Sadhu, passed away about a year ago, the restaurant operated under new management until Singh took over operations on March 20 — reopening 10 days later. Singh is in a partnership with the owners of Namaste India Supermarket. And Singh also sells bottled Better Bayou Hot Sauce from Fair’s Best and Amazing Garlic Butter Sauce from Northern Lights Pizza Company — local companies donating all proceeds to support homeless women and children. Follow the Des Moines Register on Facebook | Download the Des Moines Register app Location: 7500 University Ave., # A, Clive Hours: Wednesday and Thursday, 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and 5 to 9:45 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and 5 to 10 p.m.; Sunday and Monday, 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and 5 to 9:45 p.m.; closed Tuesdays. Contact: (515) 255-1698; namasteindiaia.com ; Facebook

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Review: Decode Air Bar In Gurugram Is A Great Place For ‘Weekending’ With Food, Drinks And Friends

Decode Air Bar is located in Sector 29 in Gurugram The sprawling restaurant has an upbeat ambiance with live music Decode has an elaborate fusion Indian food menu and great drinks
Sector 29 market in Gurugram can cater to those looking to get a quick bite as well as those looking to party the weekend away. The area has evolved as a one-stop shop for all your hunger needs, simply because of the range of cuisines and dishes available at various restaurants. The convenience of choice is one of the strong points of this area, but that’s also what makes the competition among restaurants that much tougher. Now if you were to head over there on a weekend to hangout with your friends, you are sure to have a very tough time deciding the ideal place. This is probably where Decode Air Bar may win out over other places. The microbrewery and pub promises to show you a good time, all thanks to its elaborate menu, bedecked with a range of beers, cocktails and Indian fusion food. Decode Air Bar Has An Upbeat Ambiance
The sprawling restaurant covers two floors with indoor seating arrangement on the first floor and al fresco seating on the terrace. If you’ve gone there to simply enjoy a meal or a quiet dinner, then the first floor space can be your pick. It is decorated in an interesting way with vintage-looking paraphernalia like transistor radios, globes and hardbound books, retro telephones etc. The restaurant’s name and concept is inspired from World War 2 and the theme is reflective in the way this floor has been done up. One entire wall on this floor is covered with a green board which seemingly details a war plan and facing this wall is the bar serving classic and contemporary cocktails. The terrace is where you would go to enjoy some live music during a fun night out with a large group of friends. The indoor seating area at Decode Air Bar, Gurugram
Food: A Happy Mix Of Variety And Great Taste
Perhaps the biggest USP of this place is the sheer variety of food and drinks being served here. Some amazing vegetarian starters that we tried out at Decode included a deconstructed version of the Palak Patta Chaat with creamy and sweet white curd served on the side, crispy lotus stem chips, pulled jackfruit rolls with a spicy katthal filling in crunchy outer covering, Rajma Chawal Croquettes with papad tuile and an achaari gel, Pav Bhaji Rolls and Matra Kulcha.
Also Read: Kwality Reopens With A Promise Of Gastronomic Glee With A Side Of Nostalgia Crunchy Rajma Chawal Croquettes at Decode Air Bar, Gurugram
All these starters were perfectly delicious, except the Matra Kulcha that failed to impress. Perhaps the chana kulcha of the streets is best left untouched. The Pav Bhaji Rolls need a special mention- the tasty dish was made by stuffing bhaji inside soft twister cones made from freshly-baked pav bread. Among the non-veg starters was the Thai-style chicken tikka which was juicy, tender and flavourful.
Also Read: 6 Best Restaurants in Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru that Serve Contemporary Indian with a Twist Thai-style Chicken Tikka at Decode Air Bar, Gurugram
We also tried out their Achaari Vegetable Sushi and Chilli Chicken Crystal Dimsums. The former could be called an interesting experiment at best and the latter quite satisfying. The star of the show however, was the Lava Stone Ke Kebabs, which were prepared live on a hot stone, on the spot. The hot stone was wheeled in to our table and multiple pieces of tender marinated mutton were sizzled to perfection and served hot, along with delicious peanut sauce and fig sauce. The dish was garnished with chopped peanuts, sirke waali pya z and truffle oil. The perfectly juicy lamb pieces were flavourful and the sauces complemented them wonderfully. The dish is highly recommended for all non-veg lovers. Lava Stone Ke Kebabs at Decode Air Bar, Gurugram
Drinks: A Blend Of Old And New
On the bar menu at Decode, you’ll find the perfect blend of old and new combinations. We went for the new and gimmicky ones- Smoked Temptation (whiskey, coffee and maple), Chamomile Sour (tequila and chamomile syrup) and glitter beer. The Smoked Temptation was a let-down as it tasted nothing like coffee, but the Chamomile Sour was flavourful and delicious. The glitter beer at Decode has been talked about for a long time, as this was the first place to introduce this ‘Instagrammable’ drink in Delhi NCR. No doubt, the drink looks mesmerising, but taste-wise it had nothing unique to write home about.
Chamomile Sour, Bloody Mary and Glitter Beer at Decode Air Bar, Gurugram
All in all, Decode is a place that you will probably want to go to for a fun and food-filled night with your friends. The place is light on the pocket and has something for everyone.
Where: SCO 39, 1st Floor, Sector 29, Gurugram
Timings: 12 noon – 12 midnight
Cost for 2 (with alcohol): INR 1,500 (excluding taxes)

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Kavuni Arisi: Cooking With Black Rice

Kavuni Arisi: Cooking With Black Rice Kavuni Arisi: Cooking With Black Rice Ashwin Rajagopalan | Updated: May 03, 2019 18:18 IST Tweeter The key reason for its superfood status is the presence of anthocyanin, a powerful antioxidant
More than a decade ago during my first visit to Chettinad, an arid belt in Southern Tamil Nadu, I stumbled upon a food discovery that would stay with me. The Nattukottai Chettiars were among the first trading communities from India whose network spread beyond the Indian subcontinent. The community thrived in South East Asia and also brought back unique ingredients that shaped their cuisine. I consider Chettinad cuisine one of India’s most evolved cuisines and like Lucknow cuisine, it continued to evolve through the 19th Century. Star aniseed is one of the unique spices used in this cuisine and then there’s kavuni arisi or black rice .
Until that first visit to Chettinad, I’d never sampled or come across black rice. If you google forbidden rice, you will find a plethora of information about how black rice occupied a special place in medieval China. Cut to the 21st century, modern dietitians have put this exotic rice varietal under the scanner and declared it a superfood.
The key reason for its superfood status is the presence of anthocyanin, a powerful antioxidant. Black rice is also rich in fibre and is a source of phytonutrients that cleanse the body. This natural detoxifier also contains significant iron and protein. Apart from the health benefits, I’d recommend this rice for its unique textures. There are a couple of key things to keep in mind while cooking what we call kavuni arisi in Tamil Nadu or chak hao in Manipur. You need to soak this rice for at least six hours (I would recommend 8 hours or overnight) and it takes much longer to cook. The key reason for its superfood status is the presence of anthocyanin, a powerful antioxidant Kavuni Arisi Halwa Recipe
My favourite dish with kavuni arisi is the dish I tried on my first visit to Chettinad. They call it kavuni arisi halwa or just kavuni arisi. This is one of the healthiest desserts or after-meal treats you can possibly eat. It’s often served during special occasions or festivals in Chettinad.
Ingredients:
– Black rice (Kavuni arisi): 1 cup- Water: 1 1/2 cups – Sugar or powdered jaggery: 3/4 cup- Grated coconut: 3/4 cup- Cardamom powder: a couple of pinches- Ghee: 1 teaspoon
Method:
– Soak the black rice overnight or for at least 6 hours (this is the critical step).- Drain the rice.- Pressure cook it for about 15 minutes after the first whistle when you switch to a low flame.-Toss in the coconut and stir the rice in a pan as you add the sugar and cardamom powder. If you don’t mind it lightly sweet, you can use jaggery or a smaller quantity of sugar. The key is to make sure the rice doesn’t turn too mushy and retains the bite.-Add in the ghee as you turn the flame off and stir. You could add an extra spoon of ghee if you want to make it richer. Black Rice Idli Recipe
I first tried these idlis at the home of Mrs Latha Natrajan, a homemaker in Chennai who hails from Chettinad and an expert in the region’s cuisine. It’s a clever tweak to add the extra goodness of black rice to a daily breakfast staple.
Ingredients:

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21 Journeys of a Lifetime

Madhya Pradesh Let curiosity be your guide on these adventures, from spotting penguins in Antarctica to whizzing by in Russia’s Trans-Siberian Railway. Epic Journeys World Jennifer Barger A voyage to Antarctica tops many travellers’ bucket lists. “This is the wildest, most dramatic place on Earth,” says Lindblad Expeditions’ CEO, Sven-Olof Lindblad. Photo by: Mikhail Vorobyev Walk With Penguins Antarctica
At the bottom of the world, Antarctica provides a stark but stunning backdrop for encounters with up to seven different breeds of penguins, including black-capped chinstraps and long-tailed gentoos. The best time to visit is mid-January, when adult penguins care for their fat, fluffy chicks in nests made of pebbles. Although you should stay at a safe distance from the penguins, many birds seem unfazed by company and waddle up close. The Antarctic Peninsula, the huge spit of land jutting north from the rest of the continent toward South America, is the focus of most cruises.
Hot Tip Learn how to photograph penguins and icebergs on Nat Geo Expeditions’ Journey to Antarctica. natgeoexpeditions.com/explore
Ride Through a Grand Canyon Copper Canyon, Mexico
From the dazzling Sea of Cortez in the Pacific to the lofty Sierra Madre, the Chihuahua al Pacifico Railroad (El Chepe for short) crosses 39 bridges and passes through 88 tunnels, surrounded by vertical rocks and copper-coloured walls. The railroad was built to ferry gold prospectors into the ore-rich Sierra Madre and took more than a century to complete. Nowadays the attraction is the route itself, through the largely unspoiled expanses of the mighty Copper Canyon.
Hot Tip In Chihuahua, visit the National Museum of the Revolution in the former home of movement leader Pancho Villa.
Snorkel the Great Barrier Reef Australia
Despite coral bleaching caused by climate change, the Great Barrier Reef remains one of the globe’s natural wonders and an underwater paradise. Comprising nearly 3,000 separate reefs and more than 900 tropical islands, it stretches farther than the distance between Boston and Miami. Snorkelling, scuba diving, kayaks, or glass-bottom boats get you up close to more than 600 species of coral, vibrant clown fish, and timid reef sharks.
Hot Tip Several outfitters provide pickup at 4 a.m. to view sunrise over the reef and the Atherton Tablelands via hot-air balloon.
The Chihuahua al Pacifico Railroad (top left) snakes through northern Mexico’s Copper Canyon; Like the spine of a dragon, the Jinshanling section of the Great Wall (right) stretches 10.5 hilly kilometres in China’s Hebei Province. Watchtowers punctuate its length; The granite peaks, serene meadows, and dramatic cataracts of Yosemite National Park (bottom left) have inspired generations of artists and photographers, including Ansel Adams. Photos by: Blaine Harrington III (railroad), Dmitry Moiseenko/www.AirPano.com (Great Wall) Trace Biblical Routes King’s Highway, Jordan
Roman armies, biblical figures, and medieval crusaders all travelled this great Middle Eastern trade route, which ranges from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea. Drive Jordan’s section from Amman to Petra, and you’ll trace the dramatic, khaki-hued rock formations of the barren Rift Valley for some 370 winding kilometres, passing by derelict castles and temples plus Mount Nebo, where Moses is said to have seen the Promised Land.
Hot Tip The ancient city of Petra is best explored during three-times-a-week candlelit night tours.
Go on Safari Okavango Delta, Botswana
Botswana’s Chobe National Park harbours more elephants than just about any other game park in Africa, along with massive herds of buffalo, zebra, and antelope. Watch them on hiking safaris or via traditional game-watching vehicles, or explore the golden grass-lined Okavango Delta by mokoro (dugout canoe). Bunk at the Zarafa Camp, a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World, in the Selinda Reserve, where you might hear lions roar outside your tent.
Hot Tip Ogle ancient rock paintings at Tsodilo Hills, a UNESCO World Heritage site at the northwestern edge of the Okavango.
Sail the Mediterranean Turkey’s Turquoise Coast
Skip the megayacht-clogged ports of the French Riviera, and instead skirt the shoreline of Turkey’s idyllic Lycian peninsula in a two-masted gulet . Boats like these have plied the Mediterranean for centuries. Aboard the medium-size craft—typically 49 to 82 feet long—you’ll spot relics of civilisations spanning more than 4,000 years. Most gulets travel from Fethiye eastward along the coast to Kekova, calling at small ports and anchoring overnight in isolated coves.
Hot Tip Off the north coast of Kekova, you can spot sunken ruins of the Hellenistic city of Apollonia.
Clockwise from top left: The Garden Tomb at the ancient city of Petra, a highlight of the King’s Highway in Jordan; Boats lined up like crayons off the Mediterranean coast of southwestern Turkey; The village of Santa Maddalena, Italy, embraced by the jagged Dolomites; African elephants finding haven in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Photos by: Yadid Levy (columns), den-belitsky/Getty Images (boats), Cory Richards/National Geographic Creative (elephants), Peter Svoboda (church) Climb the Alps The Dolomites
Driving the Great Dolomite Road, you’ll curve and climb through a fantastical southern spur of the Alps. The nature of the dolomitic limestone gives the region its magic—over thousands of years, erosion has carved it into sawtooth ridges, pinnacles, and gorges that change color with the light.
Hot Tip Stop for a bite or the night at Cortina’s Rifugio Scoiattoli, a family-run inn with mountain vistas and house-made blueberry pasta.
Board the Ultimate Train Ride Russia
Crossing more than 8,000 kilometres, the Trans-Siberian Railway is the world’s longest, boasting multiple routes around Russia and Asia. Its newest and most exciting line (finished in 1956) takes a week to travel between Moscow and Beijing. After looping around Siberia’s crystal clear Lake Baikal (the world’s deepest and oldest), you’ll glide through wooded mountains, past the ger-dotted plains of Mongolia, and across the flaming red sands of the Gobi. Choices in the dining car might switch from borscht and blini to duck as the train crosses borders.
Hot Tip Reserve a bunk in a communal car ( platzkart ) or more expensive sleeper cabin, or book a Nat Geo Expeditions trip aboard the Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian .
Scale the Great Wall China
Built more than 2,000 years ago to keep out invaders from the north, the Great Wall runs like a monumental backbone across China. For long stretches it sprawls in extravagant decay, battered by time and weather. The Jinshanling to Simatai section, northeast of Beijing—rocky underfoot and largely unchanged since the 16th century—offers a glorious trek above rolling forests. East of Simatai the wall is 200 years older and more dilapidated and dramatic, climbing steep ridges and plunging into valleys. The wall’s tallest point is Watching Beijing Tower, reached via the Sky Bridge.
Hot Tip Sleep in modern style at the Commune by the Great Wall, a collection of villas and suites designed by top Asian architects.
Circle the Globe Samoa to the Serengeti
Become a modern-day Magellan and circumnavigate the easy way on National Geographic’s Around the World by Private Jet journeys. Expert photographers, writers, and cultural guides lead the way. ( natgeoexpeditions.com/explore )
Hot Tip Region-specific private-jet journeys explore African safari lands, Pacific island chains, and Asia’s temples and towns.
Although the professional Kabuki stages in Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka retain the tradition of all-male performers, amateur Kabuki theatres in towns throughout Japan rely on women and child players as well. These local actors (left) portray roles from warriors to maidens. Photos by: Hiroshi Watanabe (kabuki players) Applaud Kabuki Theatre Japan
Sword-wielding samurai, thwarted love affairs, and bloody betrayals make Japanese Kabuki performances as dramatic and compelling as Shakespearean plays or Spanish telenovelas. Its stars become household names, especially the onnagata , men who play the women’s roles. Racy, often historic tales are performed, sometimes punctuated with dance and the haunting, plangent notes of the shamisen, a three-string lute.
Hot Tip Look for shows at Osaka’s Shochikuza Kabuki Theatre, a converted 1923 movie palace. Pick up an English program or audio guide beforehand for interpretation.
Horse Trek the Andes Chile, Peru, Ecuador
Extending roughly 7,200 kilometres from Venezuela to Tierra del Fuego, the Andes are the world’s longest mountain range. Dirt paths skirting the mountains prove particularly suited to horseback trekking, with dozens of outfitters operating in Argentina, Chile, Peru, and Ecuador. One path crosses grasslands in the Ecuadorian highlands; another follows an old smugglers’ route from Chile through the Patagonian Andes into Argentina, passing mountain lakes along the way. If you’re lucky, you may spot llamas, cougars, chinchillas, or condors.
Hot Tip For a cosmic experience, stay at ElquiDomos, in Chile, which features astronomy tours, cabins with detachable roofs, and an outdoor deck with telescopes.
Be Dazzled by the Pyramids Egypt
The sands of Egypt shift around ancient monuments that capture the imagination as few others do. The Great Pyramids of Giza, built circa 2550 B.C, never cease to amaze with their vastness and history. Descend 300 feet through a 3.5-foot-wide passage into the heart of the only surviving wonder of the ancient world.
Hot Tip Stay at the Mena House Oberoi, a 19th-century hunting lodge converted into a hotel with grand pyramid views.
Drink Argentine Wine at the Source Mendoza, Argentina
Lush Malbec red wine provides a complex, berry-forward foil to Argentina’s trademark fire-grilled parrilla meats. Its richness comes from Mendoza’s mineral-laden soil, warm days, and cool nights. Taste its complexity and mystique at wineries south of this Old World city in western Argentina, where renowned bottles come from producers such as Achaval-Ferrer, Dominio del Plata, and Bodegas Salentein. Many wineries also run restaurants where you can wine and dine among the vines.
Hot Tip Maipú’sMuseo del Vino San Felipe displays antique winepresses and jumbo wooden barrels.
Follow in Ansel Adams’s Footsteps Yosemite Valley, California
During the 40 years he lived in the Yosemite Valley, Ansel Adams hiked around the park with 50 kilos of photography gear. The epic black-and-white images of the American West he captured here are infused with the innate power of these landscapes. Though fires ravaged some of the park’s groves and grounds last year, you can still follow in his footsteps to explore the magnificence of places bearing evocative names such as Cathedral Spires and Unicorn Peak. You’ll want to snap some of your own images of Adams’s prize subject, El Capitan, the world’s largest individual granite rock.
Hot Tip The Ansel Adams Gallery in Yosemite Valley offers photography workshops and guided hikes.
Clockwise from top left: A shepherd in the Carpathian Mountains wearing a traditional sheepskin coat; Decorated eggs popular at Easter time in Bucovina; Sucevita, one of Bucovina’s famed painted monasteries, with the largest number of painted images; The fresco enlivening the interior dome at Sucevita. Photos by: Dennis Galante Photo Inc/Getty Images (shepherd), Tessa Bunney/Getty Images (eggs), Robert Dziewulski/Alamy Stock Photo (fresco), Dziewul (church) Wonder at Religious Frescoes Moldavia, Romania
Their walls alive with scenes of biblical and historical events, the painted monasteries of Bucovina in the Carpathian Mountains of northeastern Romania resemble the pages of jumbo illuminated manuscripts. There are some 15 monasteries in the region, but most people visit Voronet, Humor, Moldovita, and Sucevita, drawn by the exquisite frescoes on exterior and interior walls. These UNESCO World Heritage-listed treasures mostly date from the 16th century and were built partly to inspire the illiterate Orthodox Christian population as it faced conquest by the Ottoman Turks.
Hot Tip Get a glimpse of monastery life with Sucevita’s collection of ecclesiastical silverware, books, and illuminated manuscripts.
Bike Copenhagen Denmark
In a city where more than a third of all journeys are by bike, multiple companies give tours on two wheels. Using either traditional or electric cycles, visitors pedal past contemporary architecture to local design shops or hop on food-centric jaunts led by local guides. “Good urban planning, an underlying ‘Nordic trust,’ and a flat terrain make Copenhagen an ideal city to bike in,” says South Dakota transplant Sam SandvigHosman. “I recommend the Green Path, a relaxing ride through the upper neighbourhoods of the city.”
Hot Tip Built in 2014, Copenhagen’s Bicycle Snake Bridge crisscrosses the harbour and offers views of the city’s modern buildings.
Hike Remote Snowfields British Columbia
It would take days of trekking to reach the distant peaks and glacial valleys of British Columbia’s Cariboo Range. But take a heli-hiking trip with outfitter CMH, and you’ll overnight in a comfy mountain lodge, then be zipped away by chopper to far-off-the-beaten-trail hiking. Guides, gear, and lunch are part of the experience, available early July through mid-September.
Hot Tip Take the path to Ghost Lake for huckleberry picking and vistas of the lake’s two waterfalls.
Plunge Into a Gorge Crete
One of Europe’s most dramatic day hikes descends into Samariá Gorge, which slices through western Crete from a high plateau to a pebbled beach some 4,000 feet below. The vertiginous route takes five to seven hours, past sweet-scented pine and cypress forests, a ruined village, and finally through the Iron Gates, where the soaring walls of the ravine are a mere 11 feet apart.
Hot Tip At the end of the trek, have a dip in the clear, warm Libyan Sea at the village of Agía Rouméli.
Sample an Indian Feast Goa, India
Portuguese sailors, British potentates, and Indian populations all made their mark on the cuisine and culture of this tropical west coast haven. Diverse dishes include spicy prawn balchão (a pickled curry) and some of India’s only beef and pork dishes. Fish, coconut, and peppers also figure in the mix, and meals are often finished by bebinca, an eggy, layered crepe dessert with a twist of nutmeg.
Hot Tip In Old Goa, the former Portuguese capital in India, try a cocktail mixed with feni, a spirit distilled from coconuts or cashews.
Sip America’s Native Spirit Kentucky
At any of the state’s distilleries, the air is filled with the caramel and vanilla scents of ageing bourbon. Explore America’s “native spirit” on the Bourbon Trail, a self-guided distillery driving (or bicycling) tour in and around Louisville. Among the newest operations: Rabbit Hole, with its glass-walled tasting room and city views.
Hot Tip At Jason Cohen’s Louisville workshop, bourbon barrel staves get repurposed as rustic-chic bar carts, stools, and chandeliers.

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What To do: Cinco De Mayo in Kennettt

Home Uncategorized What To do: Cinco De Mayo in Kennettt What To do: Cinco De Mayo in Kennettt May
By Denny Dyroff , Entertainment Editor, The Times
Cinco De Mayo is day for partying. Along with El Dia de Los Reyes (Day of the Kings) and El Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), it is one of the biggest party days of the year for the people of Mexican descent.
On St. Patty’s Day, everyone is an honorary Irishman. On Cinco de Mayo, everyone is an honorary Mexican (except Donald Trump).
But just as you don’t have to be Irish to party on St. Patrick’s Day or Indian to get colorful celebrating Holi, you don’t have to be Mexican to celebrate Cinco De Mayo.
With the huge Hispanic population in southern Chester County, Kennett Square is the perfect location for a Cinco De Mayo Celebration.
Lively celebrations of Cinco de Mayo have become an annual tradition in Kennett Square and are celebrated each year on the Sunday closest to May 5. This year, Sunday May 5 is the “party day.”
“Cinco De Mayo” (The Fifth of May”) commemorates the defeat of the French army by the Mexicans at The Battle of Puebla in 1862.
On May 5, 1862, over 6,000 French soldiers tried to capture the forts of Loreto and Guadalupe in Puebla de Los Angeles, Mexico. Led by General Ignazio Zaragoza, 2,000 Mexican men fought back hard and held the fort.
Kennett Square’s 28th Annual Cinco De Mayo Celebration ( https://www.casagks.org/ ), which will be held on State Street and Broad Street from 11 a.m.-5 p.m., is a celebration of Mexican culture. The free event features authentic Mexican food showcasing Mexican and Hispanic regional specialties with 15 restaurants.
There will be a stage with non-stop live program from 11:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. featuring music and folkloric dancing. Another attraction will be an “Education Fair” with more than 10 regional colleges and university representatives present. More than 80 vendors with a diverse offering of arts and crafts, unique merchandise and clothing. Will be set up at the event along with 30 non-profit organizations providing on-the-spot services and handing out information.
The festival has been sponsored in Kennett Square since 2006 by Casa Guanajuato, a group promoting Mexican culture.
One of more than 50 kindred organizations across the USA, Casa Guanajuato derives its name from Guanajuato, a state in Mexico that is the original home of many of the Mexican immigrants in the area. The event is co-sponsored by Univision65.
Another activity scheduled for Kennett Square this weekend is the 2018 Trout Rodeo which will take place at Anson B. Nixon Park (North Walnut Street, Kennett Square) on May 4.
The 24th Annual Anson B. Nixon Trout Rodeo ( historickennettsquare.com , 610-388-2773), which is sponsored by the Red Clay Valley Association and the Kennett Area Park Authority, will be held from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Ponds will be stocked with trout up to 22 inches for youth and adult fishing.
There will be prizes for largest single fish and highest total weight in two classes — adult’s (with a $50 prize and trophy for the winners) and children’s (with a $25 prize and trophy for the winners).
On May 3, it will be time for another installment of Kennett Square’s First Friday Art Stroll in downtown Kennett Square ( http://historickennettsquare.com/recreation-culture/art-stroll/ ).
Kennett Square’s Art Stroll is a monthly celebration of the local art scene as it is showcased in the galleries, shops and restaurants throughout town. Residents and visitors alike are encouraged to stroll the tree-lined streets and browse the many businesses that stay open late.
The Art Stroll runs from 6-9 p.m. on the first Friday of each month. After 5 p.m. on Friday, visitors can take advantage of free parking anywhere in the Parking Garage and at any street meter.
There will also be First Friday happenings in Lancaster tonight.
Lancaster’s popular First Friday ( http://www.visitlancastercity.com/first-friday/ ) is an arts extravaganza that runs from 5-9 p.m. on April 5. Visitors to downtown Lancaster will have the opportunity to discover innovative exhibitions, performances and perhaps a few surprises as they walk the streets lined with trees and distinctive architecture.
Unique boutiques and excellent restaurants complement the art galleries, artisan studios, museums, performing groups, professional theater, symphony orchestra and art college that from Lancaster’s arts community.
Another First Friday event this weekend will take place in Old City Philadelphia (230 Vine Street and locations throughout Old City Philadelphia, 215- 625-9200, www.oldcitydistrict.org ).
On the first Friday of each month — year-round — Old City’s galleries, studios, shops and restaurants open their doors for First Friday, in an epic exhibition of the neighborhood’s vibrant arts scene.
Old City Arts Association launched First Friday in 1991 to introduce Philadelphia to the improving neighborhood and the artists and designers who were bringing it back to life.
Two decades later, Old City is a nationally recognized arts destination, named in 2013 as one of the country’s top ArtPlaces by the ArtPlace Foundation.
On the first Friday evening of every month, the streets of Old City fill with art lovers of all kinds who wander among the neighborhood’s 40-plus galleries, most of which are open from 5-9 p.m.
There will be a bustle of activity this weekend on Kennett Pike just a few miles south of Kennett Square at Winterthur (Route 52, Wilmington, Delaware, 302-888-4600, www.winterthur.org ) with the staging of the annual Winterthur Point-to-Point Races — an event that has become one of premier attractions in the Brandywine Valley each year.
This year’s 41st annual staging of the event is scheduled for May 5 from 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
The Alison Hershbell Pony Races and the Parade of River Hills Foxhounds are scheduled for noon followed by the George A. “Frolic” Weymouth Parade of Antique Carriages at 1p.m. and the Stick Horse Races (ages 4 and under) at 1:30 p.m.
The Point-to-Point features a variety of cross-country equestrian events. The main events are the steeplechase races. The races, which are on a course just over three miles long, include eight fences that are jumped 17 times.
Post time for the first steeplechase event is the Isabella du Pont Sharp Memorial Maiden Timber Race at 2 p.m. — after the National Anthem at 1:50 p.m. The Point-to-Point’s other featured races will be the Winterthur Bowl at 2:30 p.m., the Vicmead Plate at 3 p.m. and the Middletown Cup at 3:30 p.m.
The full-day event will also include all of its other traditional annual features such as the pony rides, food tents, the traditional opening ceremony with the bagpipers of the Delaware State Police Pipe Band and the legendary “Tailgate Picnic Competition.”
Video link for Point-to-Point — https://youtu.be/dLPom4ZRk6I .
Tickets are $60 for adults and $25 for youth (ages 12-20).
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library has also just opened another blockbuster exhibit.
Now through January 5, 2020, Winterthur is presenting “Costuming THE CROWN.” The exhibition is the first global comprehensive exhibition of costumes from the first two seasons of the hit Netflix show.
From the dazzling gold of Queen Elizabeth’s coronation robe to the simple sophistication of Princess Margaret’s wedding dress, “Costuming THE CROWN” features 40 iconic costumes from the beloved Emmy® and Golden Globe award-winning drama “The Crown.”
The Netflix Original series, produced by Left Bank Pictures in association with Sony Pictures Television, is a dramatized history of Queen Elizabeth II’s early reign – an era when the fragile social order established after the Second World War broke apart.
Beginning with spectacle and pageantry, “Costuming THE CROWN,” reveals everything from the majesty of royal crowns and tiaras to the private outfits worn by the royal family behind the palace doors.
Winterthur, which is known for its impressive collection of American decorative arts, naturalistic gardens, and research library for the study of American art and material culture, offers a variety of tours, exhibitions, programs, and activities throughout the year.
General admission includes a tour of some of the most notable spaces in the 175-room house as well as access to the Winterthur Garden and Galleries, special exhibitions, a narrated tram tour (weather permitting), the Campbell Collection of Soup Tureens, and the Enchanted Woods children’s garden.
Admission fees are $20 for adults, $18 for students and seniors, and $6 for ages 2–11. Museum hours are 10 a.m-5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.
When May arrives in Chester County, people from the area know that it is time once again for West Chester’s Annual May Day Festival.
West Chester’s “May Day Festival of the Arts” will be held on May 5 at Everhart Park (West Union Street and South Brandywine Avenue, 610-436-9010, www.west-chester.com ) from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
The list of attractions at the free event includes food trucks and food vendors, high quality arts and crafts for sale, live artisan demonstrations, moon bounces, children’s rides, outdoor art show and live performances.
Live entertainment in the Performance Area will feature juggler Randy Lyons and a performance by West Chester Dance Works.
Another special event in downtown West Chester this weekend will be the West Chester Spring Gallery Walk. The popular annual event will be held on May 3 from 5-9 p.m.
There will be a festival atmosphere along the streets of West Chester when area businesses feature pop-up gallery shows for local artists and six West Chester galleries will host their own art reception events.
A Gallery Walk map can be downloaded at http://greaterwestchester.com/events/featured-events/gallery-walk/ .
On May 4, the Tamil Association of the Greater Delaware Valley’s “Tamil New Year 2019” will be held at West Chester Henderson High School (400 Montgomery Avenue, West Chester, http://tagdv.org ).
The program will feature educational and cultural activities for youngsters, performances by the Tamil Association of Greater Delaware Valley’s school children and special performances by Tamil entertainers – including Lydian Nadhaswaram.
Tickets for the event, which runs from 1:30-10 p.m., are $21 for adults and $9 for children.
Visitors are invited to the Fairville Fun Fair, which will be held May 4 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at Fairville Friends School (216 Pond View, Chadds Ford, 610-388-1268, http://www.fairvillefriends.org ).
Held on the school’s grounds, Fairville’s Fun Fair is especially great for families with toddlers, preschoolers, and young children with activities such as pony rides, moon bounces, cookie decorating, digging for treasures in a giant sandpit, arts and crafts, and even riding on a tractor.
The Fun Fair also offers live entertainment and healthy lunch fare will be available for purchase. The Fair is open to the public with no entrance fee. In case of rain, the Fair will be held on May 5 at the same time and location.
Malvern Blooms (downtown Malvern, 484-321-3235, http://www.malvernbusiness.com ), one of Chester County’s popular early spring events, will be held May 5 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
On this special day, the Borough of Malvern will be hosting a large array of juried artists, home and garden vendors, entertainers and crafters.
The event will take place along King Street, on Warren Street and in Burke Park. The street will be lined with booths, exhibits and sales displays presented by artists, local store owners and food vendors.
Kids’ activities include “Gem Mining,” the All-Star Obstacle Course, Lil’ Pirates Bouncie, Stubby the Helicopter, face painting, Scooby Doo and Paw Patrol, sand art and a collaborative art project.
Entertainment will be provided by American Deluxe Band, Eddy Ray the magician and DJ Loudenclear.
The event is free and open to the public.
The 2019 Phoenixville Food Truck Festival (Downtown Phoenixville including the 100 & 200 blocks of Bridge Street, Phoenixville, http://www.phoenixvillefirst.org/foodtruckfestival ) will be held on May 4 from noon-6 p.m.
The featured attraction will be a caravan of food trucks featuring food in a wide array of cuisines, including Mexican, Korean, French and even soul food.
Some of the participating food trucks this year are Bonjour Creperie, Dump n Roll, Abuelita`s Empanadas, The Chilly Banana, Dos Hermanos, Wow Wagon, and Phyllodelphia.
The event will also have vendors with homemade snacks and handmade arts and crafts.
Live entertainment will be provided by Skip & Chickie, Rick’s Office Band, Hidden Treasure, DJ TKO, and Elle Gyandoh.
There will be A “Food Truck Frenzy” at Linvilla Orchards (137 West Knowlton Road, Media, 610-876-7116, www.linvilla.com ) on May 4 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Some of the participating trucks will be The Plum Pit, 22 BBQ, KOI on the go, Outlandish, Jeremiah’s Custom Cuisine, Roasted Liberties and Humming Bird Island Cuisine.
The “Food Truck Craze Cinco Bash” will be held May 4 and 5 at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center (100 Station Avenue, Oaks, 484-754-3976, www.phillyexpocenter.com ). The event will be located outside the Expo Center.
Event tickets give visitors access to a wide variety of food trucks and vendors, live music, adult beverage tents, larger-than-life oversized inflatable games, sponsor activation’s, and table and seating areas.
Other onsite activities will be available for additional cost on the day of event — including a zip line. This is a rain or shine event, with a limited number of tickets available for each session.
Live entertainment will be provided by DJ Gregg Nyce, Three’s Company, DJ VITO G, and Pretty Decent.
This is an all-ages event. Children (6 and under) admitted free with paying adult ticket, which is $5.
Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge and the Military Living History Association are hosting the Ninth Annual World War II Weekend ( www.ww2weekend.org ) on May 4 and 5 at the Medal of Honor Grove on the campus of Freedoms Foundation (1601 Valley Forge Road, Phoenixville).
Throughout the weekend, guests in the Medal of Honor Grove can witness flag raisings, weapons demonstrations and battle reenactments by approximately 300 re-enactors. They will also be able to visit encampments and experience military life in the 1940s — and see authentic military vehicles of the times.
Elsewhere on campus, visitors can hear Mae Krier, a “Rosie the Riveter” during the war; watch the Magnolia Sadies Dancers; hear Rich DeSimone singing Frank Sinatra; and enjoy a 1940s fashion show.
On Saturday, from 7-10 p.m., there will be a dance featuring the West Chester Swing Kings in the Martha Washington Building on campus.
The Ninth Annual World War II Weekend will run from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on May 4 and 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. on May 5.
Admission to the event is $12 for adults (18 and up), $10 for seniors, $6 for children (ages 13-17), and $30 for families. Veterans and children 12 and under are admitted free. Tickets for the Saturday night swing dance are $15.
On May 5, Sly Fox Brewing Company (331 Circle of Progress Drive, Pottstown, 484-300-4644, http://www.slyfoxbeer.com ) is hosting its Sly Fox Bock Festival and Goat Race. Bock Fest runs from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. and the brewery’s tasting room will remain open until 8 p.m.
Brewmaster Brian O’Reilly and his crew produce a mouthwatering lineup of bock beers including Slacker Bock, Helles Bock, Instigator Doppelbock, Eisbocks and a Maibock.
A wide open, grassy field neighboring the 30,000 square-foot brewery is the annual site for the running of the goats and other fun festival activities.
The Goat Race starts with the first heat at 2 p.m. and the competition lasts approximately two hours. The competitor that finishes as Goat Race champion goes down in history.
The name of the brewery’s Maibock is named after the winning goat and ceremoniously tapped directly after the conclusion of the race.
In recent years, the event has featured between 40 and 60 registered goats. Some of the entrants this year are Elvis, Waylon, Speedy, Tosh, Falcor, Shadow, Patches O’Houlihan, Comet, Miss Betty, Marley Guiness, Ms. MooGoo, Oreo and Vincent Van Goat.
There will be live German oompah music and live coverage of the Goat Races on a jumbotron. Afterwards, some of the goats and their owners will mingle with the crowd and get friendly with children and their families.
Admission to the event is free.
From May 4-6, the Broomall Fire Company Carnival will make its annual visit to Delaware County on the grounds adjacent to the Broomall Fire Company’s station (10 North Malin Road, Broomall, broomallfirecompany.com ).
The Carnival, which runs from 6-11 p.m. on May 3, 3-11 p.m. on May 4 and 1-6 p.m. on May 5, is free and open to the public.
The event will feature a carnival midway, amusement rides, family games and a wide variety of food vendors. Chinese Lantern Festival
In conjunction with the celebration of Historic Philadelphia’s 13th anniversary at Franklin Square (200 Sixth Street, Philadelphia, www.historicphiladelphia.org ), Historic Philadelphia is once again illuminating the park with its Chinese Lantern Festival.
Now through June 30, Franklin Square will come alive every night with more than two dozen illuminated lanterns – all constructed by lantern artisans from China.
Chinese-inspired performances will take place in Franklin Square twice nightly. Performances, which celebrate Chinese performance art and entertainment, are 30-minutes long and are scheduled for 7 and 9 p.m.
Festival hours are 6-10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 6-11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Admission is $18 (Sunday-Thursday) and $20 (Friday and Saturday) for adults, $12 for youth, and $16 for seniors and military.
On May 4, the American Swedish Historical Museum (1900 Pattison Avenue, Philadelphia, 215-389-1776, www.americanswedish.org ) is hosting Spring Ting Dinner & Auction 20198.
The special fundraiser features a silent auction, a three-course Swedish dinner and a talk by Swedish-American artist Helena Hernmarck. Guests can also personally welcome Sweden’s Ambassador Olofsdotter on her first visit to the museum.
The event will run from 6-10 p.m.
Founded in 1926, the American Swedish Historical Museum in South Philadelphia is the oldest Swedish museum in the United States. 1926 marked the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and Americans from all backgrounds were celebrating their heritage and their contributions to the United States of America. The museum’s founder, Dr. Amandus Johnson inspired a group of committed, successful Swedish-Americans to build the Museum as a permanent monument to Swedish contributions in the United States.
The Museum is located on land that was once part of a seventeenth-century land grant from Queen Christina of Sweden to Swedish colonist, Sven Skute. The Museum’s architect, Swedish-American John Nydén, combined architectural features from three prominent edifices in his design. He modeled the main building after a seventeenth-century Swedish manor house, Eriksberg in Södermanland. The copper cupola atop the building is inspired by the one on Stockhlom’s City Hall, and the arcades which flank the Museum are patterned after those at George Washington’s home, Mount Vernon.
The Museum’s 20,000 square foot interior is currently divided into twelve exhibition galleries, reference library, curatorial storage and archives, offices, museum store, large dining room/conference area and kitchen.
The Haverford Spring Fest (Brookline Boulevard, Haverford, haverfordspringfest.com ) will take place on May 5 from noon-7 p.m.
The festival’s main stage attractions will be Charlotte Hamburg (National Anthem), Haverford High School Jazz Ensemble, Solemnis, Dave Patten and The First Cut, Classic Stones Live featuring the Glimmer Twins, and Broken Arrow – Tribute to Neil Young.
In addition to live music, the one-day festival will feature artisan vendors, food vendors, beer/wine gardens, an inflatable park, and an array of children’s activities.
A donation is requested at admission.
The Yellow Springs Art Show got its start back in 1973 as a free event featuring a variety of artists displaying their work on clotheslines.
It has changed immeasurably since then and has become one of the largest and most prestigious annual art shows in the Delaware Valley.
The Yellow Springs Art Show, which is still free and open to the public, is celebrating its 45th anniversary this year. The popular annual event now features more than 185 participating artists — including more than 20 artists who are new to the show this year.
The show is running April 27 through May 12 in Historic Yellow Springs Lincoln Building (Art School Road, Chester Springs, 610-827-7414 or www.yellowsprings.org ). Show hours are from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. daily.
The 2019 Yellow Springs Art Show will have on display more than 3,000 pieces of fine art in a wide range of media and styles – oils, watercolors, bronze sculptures, pastels, landscapes, still life, three-dimensional works, seascapes and abstract.
All proceeds benefit arts education, environmental protection and historic preservation of the 300-year-old village of Historic Yellow Springs.
Springtime is a great time to visit Longwood Gardens (Route 1, Kennett Square, 610-388-1000, www.longwoodgardens.org ) and you have just three more days to check out the site’s special celebration of spring.
At “Spring Blooms,” which is running through May 5, visitors can enjoy hundreds of lush acres featuring burgeoning gardens of daffodils, tulips, magnolias, azaleas, flowering cherries and more than 240,000 flowering bulbs.
Longwood’s 1,100 acres are coming alive with an amazing array of flowers. As colorful spring blooms make their entrance, Longwood radiates with renewal and growth.
Early spring bulbs like glory-of-the-snow, winter-aconite, and crocus first herald the season’s arrival, with gorgeous tulips, wisteria, and flowering trees deepening our lush spring tapestry of color, fragrance, and warmth.
In the indoor part of “Spring Blooms,” lilies, delphiniums, hydrangeas and other spring blossoms fill the conservatory with color. Also featured are Longwood’s grand treehouses, whimsical Topiary Garden, and colorful Idea Garden.
Knowledge also blooms this spring as Longwood focuses on the many learning opportunities the site offers. No matter your age, interest, or skill, Longwood has exciting education programs, as well as walks and talks with our horticulturists, educators, and students.
Admission to Longwood Gardens is $23 for adults, $20 for seniors and $12 for students.
Wilmington Garden Day, a springtime tradition in the Brandywine Valley, will host its 72nd annual tour on Saturday, May 5, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Featuring both houses and gardens, this is a rain-or-shine event.
This year’s Wilmington Garden Day tour ( http://www.wilmingtongardenday.org/ ) will offer participants the opportunity to visit 14 colorful — and very different — gardens. Of those, seven will include the home’s interior and/or greenhouses.
Wilmington Garden Day has been using its proceeds to benefit underserved children in Delaware for 49 years. Tickets for this year’s tour are $35.
On May 4 and 5, Tyler Arboretum (515 Painter Road, Media, 610-566-9134, www.tylerarboretum.org ) will present its annual “Garden Plant Sale.”
The event will run from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. both days with viburnums as the featured plant. As an added attraction, “Plant Experts” will be available throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday to offer advice.
Offering luscious plants to suit all gardens, soil types, growing conditions, gardening abilities, and pockets, Tyler’s Annual Plant Sale provides inspiration for the garden, with showy annuals for containers, herbs, edibles, flowering shrubs, trees, unusual vines, and rare and difficult to find plants.
Gilbert & Sullivan and the Ardensingers go together like spaghetti and meatballs — and they have the history to prove it.
The Ardensingers have been presenting the works of Gilbert & Sullivan continuously since 1948 at their historic Gild Hall (2126 The Highway, Arden, Delaware, 484-319-2350, www.ardensingers.com ).
Now through May 4, the Ardensingers are performing Gilbert & Sullivan’s “The Pirates of Penzance” — one of the team’s legendary musical comedies.
“The Pirates of Penzance” (or “The Slave of Duty”) is a comic opera in two acts, with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert. The opera’s official premiere was at the Fifth Avenue Theatre in New York City on New Year’s Eve 1879, where the show was well received by both audiences and critics. Its London debut was in April 1880, at the Opera Comique, where it ran for 363 performances.
The story concerns Frederic, who, having completed his 21st year, is released from his apprenticeship to a band of tender-hearted pirates. He meets Mabel, the daughter of Major-General Stanley, and the two young people fall instantly in love. Frederic soon learns, however, that he was born on the 29th of February, and so, technically, he has a birthday only once each leap year. His indenture specifies that he remain apprenticed to the pirates until his “twenty-first birthday”, meaning that he must serve for another 63 years. Bound by his own sense of duty, Frederic’s only solace is that Mabel agrees to wait for him faithfully.
This show was the fifth Gilbert and Sullivan collaboration and introduced the much-parodied “Major-General’s Song”. The opera was performed for over a century by the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company in Britain and by many other opera companies and repertory companies worldwide. Modernized productions include Joseph Papp’s 1981 Broadway production, which ran for 787 performances, winning the Tony Award for Best Revival and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Musical and a 1983 film adaptation.
Performances are scheduled for May 3 at 8 p.m. and May 4 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults, $17 for seniors and $7 for children.
On May 4 and 5, it will be time for the annual Lancaster City Art Walk (vicinity of Prince and King streets, Lancaster, lancasterartwalk.org ).
Special exhibitions, meet-the-artist events, children’s activities and live demonstrations are all available for discovery within the bustling independent galleries of Lancaster city.
Art Walks have a long history in the City of Lancaster.
Back in 1965, the first art walk was organized by the Community Gallery, now the Lancaster Museum of Art. The event was called Art Sunday and occurred on the first Sunday in October. It was a special day for promoting local artists and galleries and included both city and county venues. Arts venues were less commonplace at that time. Downtown was a quieter place and there were no First Fridays. Thanks to the Community Gallery/Lancaster Museum of Art, Art Sunday continued every year and became well-established.
Featured Stops at the 2019 Lancaster City Art Walk will be fine art galleries, edgy and indie boutiques, fine craft stores, co-operatives, art centers and museums.
A popular event in Delaware this weekend is “Train Day” at Auburn Heights Preserve (3000 Creek Road, Yorklyn, Delaware, 302-239-2385, http://auburnheights.org ).
“Train Day,” which is scheduled for May 5, celebrates all things train — big and small – with special guests and elaborate model railroad layouts.
Planned activities include rides on the Auburn Valley Railroad featuring the site’s 1/8-size live steam and diesel locomotives and a display of 1930 electric trains in the Marshall Steam Museum.
There will also be special exhibits spotlighting early track tools, the history of the Auburn Valley Railroad and more.
The model railroad layouts will be provided by the Nordel Model Railroad Club.
Also included is entry to the Marshall Steam Museum, which features the world’s largest operating collection of Stanley steam cars along with a 1930s working Lionel electric train display, a hands-on engine display, kids’ activities and exhibits and the Museum Gift Shop.
The event is scheduled to run from 12:30-4:30 p.m. and admission is $8.
On May 5, it will be time for “First Sundays for Families” at the Brandywine River Museum of Art (1 Hoffmans Mill Road, Chadds Ford, www.brandywine.org ).
Families will be able to explore Brandywine inside and out through nature crafts, and interactive discovery walks.
There will be lively musical performances from the award-winning duo Two of a Kind at 11:15 a.m. and 12:15 p.m.
Visitors to the museum will also have the opportunity to observe “Farm to Table Plein Air” artists as they capture the beauty of the Brandywine landscape in paint
There will also be art activities with teaching artists. Children of all ages can make their own fairy-tale finger puppets, create a friends-and-family coat of arms and assemble a wearable crown or hat.
The event will run from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Museum admission is $18 for adults, $15 for seniors (65+) and $6 for students with ID and children ages 6-18.
On May 4, one of Montgomery County’s most popular historic sites will celebrate the arrival of May.
Pottsgrove Manor (100 West King Street, Pottstown, 610- 326-4014, www.historicsites.montcopa.org ) is hosting a Colonial May Fair on May 4 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
The event will feature 18th-century entertainment, including May Pole Dancing Milkmaids’ Garland Dances. The list of hands-on activities includes trap-ball (a predecessor of baseball), colonial toys and games, fortune-telling, a kid-sized Maypole, beanbag toss games, churning butter and free spring-themed make-and-take crafts.
Visitors will also be able to tour the manor house which features the early Georgian architecture that was popular with wealthy English gentry during the mid-18th century. It was built in 1752 for John Potts (ironmaster and founder of Pottstown) on a 1,000-acre plantation.
Admission to the event is free but there is a $2 suggested donation.
The annual South Street Spring Festival ( http://southstreet.com ) will close down South Street from Front Street to Eighth Street on May 4 from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. The free festival will feature food, music and a variety of family activities.
Live entertainment will be provided all day with a line-up of approximately 20 music acts.
Affiliated events in the area on Saturday include the Second Annual Philly Taco Eating Contest, the Third Annual Atomi-Con and Maifest at Brauhaus Schmidtz.
Also on May 4, Cliveden, a historical home in the northwest outskirts of Philadelphia, will host the 49th Annual Mt. Airy Day from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
The event, which will be held on the grounds of Cliveden of the National Trust (6400 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, http://www.mtairyday.org ), will offer a day of fun for the whole family with delicious food, live entertainment, great shopping, kids’ games and more.
A special event at a Berks County “homestead” on May 4 will be the “ Artisans in The Park at Conrad Weiser Homestead” (28 Weiser Drive, Womelsdorf, 484-335-0091, www.artisansinthepark.com ).
The “Artisans in The Park” is an Annual event that takes place the weekend before Mother’s Day to help raise money to assist the Friends of the Conrad Weiser Homestead with the upkeep and improvement of the beautiful, historic Conrad Weiser Homestead.
The Conrad Weiser Homestead is a privately funded Pennsylvania state historic site that interprets the life of Conrad Weiser — an 18th-century German immigrant who served as an Indian interpreter, helped coordinate Pennsylvania’s Indian policy and played a major role in the history of colonial Pennsylvania.
The Conrad Weiser Homestead is located on 26 acres of land. Seven total buildings exist on the property with three open for touring. Two large monuments, a gazebo, the Weiser Family Cemetery, and a pond are also on the site.
Admission is free, and the event will be held rain or shine.
There is a big event for specialized memorabilia collectors this weekend — the Philly Non-Sports Card Show. The event will be held on May 4 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and 5 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at Merchants Square Mall (1901 South 12th Street, Allentown, 717-238-1936 , http://phillynon-sportscardshow.com ). Tickets are $8 each day or $14 for a two-day pass.
There are two basic categories of trading cards — sports cards and non-sports cards. Sports cards depict athletes at all levels. Non-sport cards offer so much more. There are card sets dealing with music, movies, politics, nature, pop culture and history.
For more than a century, non-sport trading cards have documented trends in pop culture – providing people with history lessons provided by small, rectangular pieces of cardboard.
Twice each year, collectors from across the country come together in eastern Pennsylvania for this very special event. Now in its 33rd year, the event is the oldest show of its kind in the country. This weekend’s extravaganza, which will be held Saturday and Sunday at the Merchants Square Mall in Allentown, is the 70th edition of the show.
Many of the hobby’s top manufacturers will have exhibit booths at this weekend’s show and will be distributing free promo cards. There will be a huge array of non-sport cards, sets, singles, wrappers, chase cards, promos, and related memorabilia.
For and event that is both fun and educational, consider the Archaeology and Heritage Festival on May 5.
The event will run from noon-4:30 p.m. at the Iron Hill Museum (1355 Old Baltimore Pike, Newark, Delaware, 3032-368-5703, ironhill-museum.org ).
Visitors to the festival will be able to learn about cooking styles of early settlers, dig with professional archaeologists and watch colonial craftspeople do blacksmithing, lime mortar making, brewing, and spinning.
This family-friendly event will include a demonstration from John Dickenson Plantation, flint knapping demonstrations and blacksmith demonstration, archaeology excavations and demonstrations, cooking and historical brewing demonstrations, and museum & science center tours. Food trucks will be available. Also, just for the little ones, there will also be corn husk doll making and archery.
Held in coordination with Delaware Archaeology Month, the 2019 Archaeology & Heritage Festival is sponsored by the Delaware Academy of Science, and the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs. Delaware Archaeology Month is designed to promote the study and conservation of Delaware’s archaeological resources and to reflect on the vital role of archaeology in revealing the cultural legacy of the state. Local and state wide historical societies will also be in attendance to talk about their findings and upcoming events.
Admission to the museum and event is $5 for adults and $4 for students and children.
Hope Lodge (553 South Bethlehem Pike, Fort Washington, 215-343-0965, http://www.ushistory.org/hope/ ) will be presenting “Guided Mansion Tours” on three Sundays this month – May 5, 12 and 19.
Hope Lodge was built between 1743 and 1748 by Samuel Morris, a prosperous Quaker entrepreneur. Morris acted as a farmer, shipowner, miller, iron master, shop owner, and owner of the mill now known as Mather Mill. Hope Lodge is an excellent example of early Georgian architecture, and it is possible that Edmund Woolley, architect of Independence Hall, offered advice in building. Samuel Morris owned the estate until his death in 1770.
Visitors can participate by watching a short film and then taking a tour. Guided tours of the mansion will depart at 1 and 2:30 p.m. all three days.
Tour admission is $8 for adults, $5 for seniors (age 65+) and for youth age 6-17, and fee for children under 5. Hope Lodge is a Blue Star Museum which means that active duty military personnel, including National Guard and Reserve and their families, are admitted free for regular tours from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

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Fussy Duck Private Dining @ Sampan Place

Fussy Duck Private Dining @ Sampan Place May 2, 2019
Private dining venues have been popping up all over our little island for the past few months. The concept is simple and straightforward whereby chefs open up their homes for small groups to enjoy an intimate dining experience. Most home chefs have been offering Peranakan or Western menus but Fussy Duck in particular, offers a slightly different twist- Modern European cuisine with a touch of Indian influence.
A group of us was invited by Chef Raj and his wife to their home for a 5 course dinner at $99 per pax. Bookings are mostly for weekend lunch or dinners at the moment but I am sure that Chef Raj is willing to make an exception for special requests! Vegan friends rejoice! Because there is even a vegan menu being offered here- something that is still not very common in Singapore.
Chef Raj has had more than a decade’s experience in professional kitchens such as Daniel Boulud, Marina Bay Sands and even in the Google office, cooking for more than 3000 people every single day. It was therefore no surprise that even the warm freshly baked bread that was served to start our dinner was finished in no time!
Our amuse bouche was a Ravioli filled with Shiitake and Button Mushroom . This petite envelope packed a whole lot of flavour which burst in our mouths when we ate it. Every element of this was homemade and we only wished that we had more than one on our plate! Made complete with a couple of black truffle shavings, this starter already left a very good impression on us.
Moving on to the interesting chilled Truffle Leek and Potato Vichyssoise. This was a pleasant surprise when we had the first spoonful. Creamy, light and fluffy with the earthiness of the potatoes still intact, it was all too easy to slurp up every last drop of this foamy concoction.
We also got to try one of the dishes from their vegan menu- Vegan Eggplant Caviar and Tomato Tart . While I personally do not eat eggplant or tomatoes, this one was surprisingly refreshing and delightful. Complimented by a shot of Earl Grey infused Tomato Water with chili oil, this was really unlike anything I have had before, and definitely in a good way.
One of our highlights of the evening was this “Palak Paneer” Risotto with Pan Seared Scallops . I think it was an unanimous decision that we were almost mind-blown by the perfect balance of flavours and use of spices in this puréed spinach risotto. Inspired by a traditional Indian vegetarian dish of cottage cheese in smooth creamy spinach gravy, this dish ticked all the boxes for us. It is a must-try at Fussy Duck.
For the mains, diners have a choice of either the lamb or the duck. If you chose the Roasted Lamb Rack with Pea Fricassee and Spiced Carrot Puree , then you will also have to top up an additional $10. Chef Raj uses young lamb from New Zealand (not older than 3 months) so that there is little to no gaminess. The meat was simply marinated and cooked till medium-rare with a beautiful shade of pink that was on point. Those at our table who appreciate the taste of lamb really enjoyed it.
As for me, I thoroughly adored the Duck Confit with Pea Fricassee and Pumpkin Puree . That piece of duck leg was succulent, juicy with a tenderness that could only be achieved by slow roasting the meat in its own fat. One of the best versions of this classic French dish that I have had by far.
One of the best parts about private dining concepts is that you are allowed to go into the kitchen to watch Chef prepare your dishes. It was no different here at Fussy Duck and we also got to witness the crystallisation of the sugar as it gradually hardened as a top layer of our dessert and final course of the evening.
While Crème Brûlée is a rather common dessert, this Saffron Crème Brûlée was quite unique. Adding a subtle floral dimension to the rich custard base, I never knew that this herb could be used in desserts too. Certainly a great ending to our meal.
Overall, we all enjoyed our private dining experience at Fussy Duck. Chef Raj and his wife were great hosts and the food was no lightweight either. Grab a couple of friends (4 to 6 pax) and make a booking with them now! You will not regret it.
RiverEdge

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I spent a year traveling around the world — here are the best adventures I had in each country

Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider In the year that I spent traveling around the world as Business Insider’s international correspondent , I visited over 20 countries and had countless adventures. I decided it would be fun to highlight the best adventure I had in each country, from off-roading in the desert in Inner Mongolia to visiting one of the seven wonders of the world in Jordan and partying all night in Seoul, South Korea. While I hate travel bucket lists, I hope that sharing my favorite recent adventures may provide some inspiration for both travel junkies and those looking to take their first trip abroad. Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories . I’ll be honest: I hate bucket lists. To me, they take what should be a freeing experience of discovery and turn it into an endless checklist where you’re constantly feeling inadequate in the face of the things you haven’t done. I prefer traveling with less of a plan. I pick a country beforehand, and maybe a few destinations within, and trust that I’ll encounter amazing people, sights, and adventures along the way as long as I say yes. When I left to travel as Business Insider’s international correspondent a year ago, I approached the trip the same way. From China to Russia to Israel, I have found myself in the middle of more adventures than I can remember. There’s been off-roading in the desert in Inner Mongolia, visiting one of the seven wonders of the world in Jordan, and partying all night in Seoul, to name a few. With my world tour completed and twenty countries visited, I decided it was time to pinpoint my favorite adventure in each place. Perhaps you’ll find some inspiration for your next trip abroad. 1 / The trip started off with a bang in Hong Kong, where I attended Art Basel Hong Kong, the premier art fair in Asia for millionaire and billionaire collectors to buy and sell art. The fair peaked with an elaborate soiree organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider 2 / The star-studded party was held at Hong Kong’s Jumbo Kingdom, the world’s largest floating restaurant and featured a mix of celebrities, art world big shots, artists, collectors, and — thanks to a last-minute invite — yours truly. Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider 3 / The party’s experiential theme evoking 1930s-era Hong Kong was designed by Burning Man veteran Jason Swamy, a cofounder of artist collective Robot Heart. Some attendees, however, found the allusions to opium bars and Asian courtesans to be tone-deaf. Read more: We partied at the exclusive, sexy Hong Kong party with the art world’s elite on a 62,000-square-foot floating restaurant — here’s what it was like» 4 / After Hong Kong, I headed to China, where I spent a whirlwind five weeks traversing from Shanghai and Beijing to far-flung cities on the ancient Silk Road. In Inner Mongolia, I befriended a group of Chinese adrenaline-junkies who were part of an off-roading club. Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider 5 / The off-roaders invited me to join them on a two-day tour through the desert. They’d already been driving for nearly a week, but they couldn’t get enough of racing over massive sand dunes and camping in Mongolian camps in the middle of nowhere. Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider 6 / The adventure was not without its dangers. A number of times the jeeps got stuck crested over a sand dune and another jeep had to tow the others out. And, that’s to say nothing of how we were chased by park rangers because foreigners are only supposed to go in to the desert with official tour guides, not a local off-road driving club. Read more: I tried to climb the ‘plank walk’ in China known as ‘the most dangerous hike in the world,’ but just getting there was the hardest part» 7 / Next, I headed to Bali, Indonesia to decompress. The city of Ubud has been well-known as a spiritual and mystical center to Balinese for centuries — Ubud means “medicine” — and over the last several decades for new agey tourists. Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider 8 / It may sound hokey, but I did a full-day spiritual retreat that included yoga, “ecstatic dance,” a cacao ceremony, and workshops of “authentic relating.” I was very skeptical before going in. By the time it was over, I had cried twice. Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider 9 / The retreat ended with a dance party and a sound healing ritual. Located on a beautiful estate outside Ubud, the retreat felt otherworldly. There was no need for alcohol at this party; everyone was already buzzing. Read more: I woke up at 2 a.m. to hike two hours up a mountain in Bali to see the sunrise — and it was completely worth it» 10 / In Singapore, I spent several days trying as much Singaporean food as I could manage to fit in my stomach. Singaporean food is known for being a tasty mix of Chinese, Indian, and Malay cuisines. It may not look pretty, but these are flavors you’ve likely never tasted before. It is the most interesting and unique cuisine I’ve ever had. Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider 11 / The best places to try Singaporean cuisine (and a shortcut to understanding the city-state’s culture) is in “hawker centers.” Built in the 1950s and 1960s to make street-food more sanitary, while preserving the local food culture, hawker centers are large open-air complexes of food stalls where Singaporeans eat every day. There are dozens of centers across the city, each specializing in different dishes and cuisines. Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider 12 / One of my favorite Singaporean dishes was rojak, a traditional fruit and vegetable salad. There are different types of rojak with Chinese, Indian, or Malay flavors, but the basic idea is that you select what you want in your salad and, depending on the items, they might fry them up or serve them fresh with sauces. Read more: Every amazing, strange, and delicious food I tried during an epic 6-week trip to China » 13 / When I headed to South Korea, I knew I had to sample Seoul’s famous nightlife scene. I met star Seoul-based YouTubers Alfred “Haeppy” Leung and Alexander “Xander” Varley of WeFancy, who agreed to take me out in Gangnam, the insanely wealthy neighborhood known for all-night parties, plastic surgery clinics, and high-end real estate. The night, of course, started with lots of soju and fried chicken. Check out WeFancy on YouTube here» 14 / After drinking and eating more than our fill, we headed to a nearby hookah bar in Gangnam, where Varley and Leung explained Seoul’s wild party scene. Many of the top clubs in Korea are owned by K-Pop celebrities and are just about impossible to get into unless you know someone. Thankfully, I knew someone. Or, rather, they did. Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider 15 / We headed to Arena, one of the hottest clubs in Seoul, around 3 a.m. After Leung and Varley sweet-talked the bouncer, we danced until sunrise. The scene was like something out of a movie — packed to the gills and champagne bottles popping, as if it was everyone’s birthday. The partying lived up to the hype. The hangover did, too. Read more: Inside notoriously ritzy Gangnam, ‘the Beverly Hills of South Korea’ that’s home to the country’s biggest celebrities» 16 / I headed to Russia in June to attend the 2018 World Cup, but the best thing I saw in the country was something I didn’t plan for: St. Petersburg’s “White Nights.” The city is so far north that towards the end of June there are around 22 hours of sunlight each day. This photo was taken a bit past midnight. Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider 17 / The White Nights peak with the Scarlet Sails festival. It’s the biggest night of the year in St. Petersburg. Everyone comes out to the banks of the Neva River to watch a grand display of fireworks, a water show, music, and the sailing of a replica 1700s-era boat with red sails. Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider 18 / Everyone from children to teenagers to grandparents was in the streets of St. Petersburg celebrating. Just after 1 a.m., it became clear why it is called White Nights. Read more: Much of Russia is blanketed in sunlight nearly 24 hours a day this time of year — here’s what it looks like at every hour» 19 / Visiting Masada, an ancient fortress built atop a mountain plateau near the Dead Sea, is the highlight of many travelers’ trips to Israel. There is something undeniably powerful about waking up at 4 a.m. and hiking up a mountain in absolute darkness. Ben Gilbert/Business Insider 20 / After about an hour or so of very strenuous hiking, I reached the fortress just as the sun was rising. The entire complex, a stunning set of ruins, was enveloped in golden light. Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider 21 / The fortress overlooks the Dead Sea. Walking through the fortress once occupied by King Herod at sunrise, it becomes apparent why the location was so attractive to the king, both from a defensive position and as a place to relax. Read more: What it’s like visiting one of the world’s greatest treasures, the 2,000 year-old mountaintop fortress Masada» 22 / While visiting Israel, I felt it very important to see the Palestinian territories. I visited Hebron, the biggest city in the Palestinian West Bank and a place that some call a microcosm of the Israel-Palestine conflict. The city is divided into a Jewish and a Palestinian-controlled sector. Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider 23 / I visited Hebron on a “dual narrative” tour. Half the tour was guided by Eliyahu McLean, an Israeli Jew, and the other half was guided by Mohammed Al-Mohtaseb, a Palestinian from Hebron. Each told their side of the conflict in Hebron. At the center of their contesting narratives is the site known as the Ibrahimi Mosque to Muslims and the Tomb of the Patriarchs to Jews. Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider 24 / The experience was something like “Israel-Palestine 101.” I was deeply affected by the conflicting narratives of both sides, the many painful events suffered in Hebron, and the way in which the city feels a military camp with checkpoints, jeeps, and platoons spread across the city. Read more: I visited the most contested city in the Middle East, where Israelis and Palestinians are separated by a gauntlet of military checkpoints — and the harsh, complicated truth of the conflict was immediately clear» 25 / In Jordan, I fulfilled one of the few things I’ve actually put on my internal bucket list: visiting the ancient Nabatean city of Petra. Ever since seeing the rose-red sandstone facades featured in Indiana Jones as a child, I knew I had to go. Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider 26 / The archaeological site, now considered one of the seven wonders of the world, was as magnificent as I imagined it. Al Khazna, or the Treasury, is the first structure you see upon entering the city. At 150 feet tall and around 100 feet wide, it is the masterpiece of Petra. Read more: One of the 7 wonders of the world is a 10,000-year-old city hidden in the desert — and in real life, it’s more incredible than you can imagine» 27 / The tour in Jordan was made even more epic because, after leaving Petra, I spent the night in Wadi Rum, a desert valley in Jordan. It has played the part of Mars and distant planets in countless movies, including “The Martian,” “Star Wars: Rogue One,” “Prometheus,” and Red Planet.” Read more: An otherworldly desert in Jordan has doubled as distant planets in movies like ‘Star Wars’ and ‘The Martian’ — after seeing it myself, I can tell you it’s just as breathtaking in person» 28 / The cheapest flight out of Israel was to Cyprus, an island in the Mediterranean also known for its long history of division and strife. Ever since a coup in 1974 and a subsequent invasion by Turkey, the island has been divided into the Republic of Cyprus and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. The island is astoundingly beautiful. I decided to rent a car and do a road trip to traverse both sides of the island. Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider 29 / About 3,600 square miles in size, Cyprus has tons of different geographical features from natural ports to mountains, valleys, and rock formations that make driving the island a pleasure. Kyrenia Harbor, on the Northern Cyprus side, is one of the oldest sites on the island. Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider 30 / Driving Cyprus not only gives you a window into the many landscapes of the island, but also the many cultures that have developed there. The capital, Nicosia, is a divided city, but it is easily visited. The old city looks like what I imagine a city in the Ottoman Empire looking like. Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider 31 / Before I went to Greece, I thought the best thing I would do in the country was party in Mykonos. I was very wrong. After escaping crowded Mykonos, I went to Tinos, an island 30 minutes away by ferry, and found a breathtaking landscape, untouched beaches, and historic Greek villages built into the mountainsides. I rented a car and did a day trip across the island. Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider 32 / For those looking for a taste of classic Cycladic life, Tinos may well be paradise. During my drive, I stopped in Volax, a village of 51 people (51!) built among a unique geological formation of giant round rocks. Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider 33 / Driving in Tinos, you feel lost in time. I could have sworn that the day I spent driving around the island lasted a week. But maybe that’s because I was terrified as I whipped up and down the mountains from village to village on the seemingly endless one-lane roads. Read more: Forget Mykonos and Santorini. I found a little-known island in Greece that’s twice as beautiful and half the price» 34 / After Greece came a spontaneous trip to Bulgaria to visit some Bulgarian friends I had met in Bali. They had told me to meet them in Sozopol on the coast of the Black Sea. During the summer, the capital of Sofia empties and everyone heads to the beach. Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider 35 / The vibe is like a Bulgarian Jersey Shore. It’s probably not a place you would end up at unless you knew a Bulgarian, but it’s a ton of fun. There are clubs and bars all along the beach where people party day and night. It’s not uncommon for people to arrive at the beach bar Bash on Friday night and not leave the bar until Sunday, sleeping in the sand when they get tired. Bash Bar Sozopol/LeMouseRat Photographie / Anastas Zick Dsk 36 / Due to zoning restrictions, there aren’t really hotels on the beach. Instead, the beach is lined with campsites, RVs, trailers, and tents. It makes for one big communal party. I “glamped” in one of these tent-huts. Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider 37 / If you drive a bit away from Sozopol down the coast, you can easily find beaches that are practically empty. Veleka Beach in Tsarevo is known for having the Black Sea on one side and the Veleka River on the other. You can swim on both sides. Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider 38 / After Bulgaria, I hopped a flight to Portugal. It was August, so peak beach season for a country known for having some of the best beaches in the world. I rented a car to explore them. Annie Zheng/Business Insider 39 / Over the course of a week, I drove all over The Algarve, the southern region popular for beach holidays, and Alentejo, a region known for its many wild and hidden beaches. Like this one. Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider 40 / My favorite beaches were the wild ones in Alentejo. The small submerged rocks teem with sea life. But the Atlantic Ocean water is brisk, even during the summer. Read more: Portugal is one of the hottest travel destinations for 2018, and my 6-day beach-hopping road trip showed me exactly why 41 / Ibiza has a reputation as one of the top places to party in the world, so I had to give it a try. I stopped by for the end-of-summer “closing” parties. Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider 42 / The part of the island that I really loved, however, was the vast and quiet countryside on the north of Ibiza. Shutterstock 43 / There’s nothing quite like a riding a motorbike down the small winding streets of the Ibizan countryside. The island is dotted with hippie villages that date back to the 1960s and 1970s, when artists, writers, and other bohemians moved to the island. Read more: I visited Ibiza, home of legendary 24-hour clubs — but the island’s hidden gems are far away from the glitz and glam 44 / The last leg of my trip started in the United Arab Emirates. After spending close to two weeks in Dubai, I took a day trip to Abu Dhabi to wake up at dawn and watch falconers train their falcons. Falconry has a central role in Emirati culture, where nomads have long used falcons to hunt for food. Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider 45 / It was fascinating to watch the complex way that the falconers train their falcons to race at hundreds of miles an hour, using both modern and ancient techniques. Read more : I woke up at dawn to follow a top falconer training the fastest creatures on earth to compete for $7 million in prizes, and found the Middle East’s oldest pastime grisly and thrilling 46 / While most people visit Egypt to visit the Pyramids, I found the most fascinating sights in the country to be the abundance of ancient Egyptian ruins, burial sites, temples, and hieroglyphs in the south. Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider 47 / In particular, the city of Luxor is home to the Valley of the Kings, a valley of over 60 rock-cut royal tombs filled with colorful hieroglyphs and cave paintings, the temple of Karnak, a complex built over the course of 1,500 years, and dozens of other tombs, temples, and statues. Read more : Forget about the Great Pyramids and the Sphinx: I spent a month in Egypt, and the most spectacular site I visited was the ancient city of Thebes 48 / When I got to Morocco, I knew that I needed to visit Erg Chebbi, possibly the most iconic way to see the Sahara Desert. Erg Chebbi is one of Morocco’s many ergs, or seas of sand dunes. It is often used for films because of its stunning expanse of iconic fire-orange sand dunes. Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider 49 / The sunrise and sunset were unforgettable, as was shivering under the star-filled sky late into the night. But the thing I will most remember is trading songs with the company of Berbers who hosted us. Read more : The most iconic desert in the world is the Sahara. I drove for days, rode a camel for hours, and slept under the stars just to see it. 50 / After Morocco, I flew into Lagos, Nigeria for two weeks of meetings with entrepreneurs. Learning about how the tech industry is changing the country was fascinating, but after ten days in office buildings, I needed to get to nature. The best place to see Nigeria’s nature, without venturing out fo the city, is the Lekki Conservation Centre, a 193-acre nature reserve filled with jungle, monkeys, crocodiles, and various birds. Source : Lekki Conservation Centre 51 / It’s also one of the best places to see how Lagosians relax and blow off steam. There is a large family park attached with picnic areas, floor games, and a canopy walkway. The suya, or traditional Nigerian barbecue, served up at the barbecue joints in the park tasted incredible. Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider 52 / I didn’t get a ton of time in Kenya, but what time I did have I spent exploring Nairobi and the surrounding areas. I loved visiting the Giraffe Centre. For $10, I was able to feed giraffes and learn about the center’s conservation and breeding efforts. Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider 53 / Feeding the giraffes was a blast. As one of the caretakers explained, giraffes spend sixteen to twenty hours per day eating — and they consume as much as 75 pounds of food. You don’t have to be worried about how many pellets you are feeding them: They have a nearly insatiable appetite. Read more : I found a $10 alternative to the Instagram-famous Giraffe Manor in Kenya, which runs over $600 a night — and it’s right next door 54 / It is perhaps fitting that the most mind-blowing experience I had traveling occurred last. In Tanzania, I went on safari for five days to the Serengeti; Ngorongoro, a 3,202-square-mile conservation area with a volcanic crater filled with wildlife; and Tarangire, a national park typically filled with thousands of migrating elephants. Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider 55 / While seeing lions, giraffes, and elephants up close was cool, it was nothing compared to witnessing the Great Wildebeest Migration — 1.5 million wildebeest traveling across Tanzania’s grasslands to give birth. The ground shook as they stampeded past us. Read more : I spent 5 days on a Tanzanian safari and saw wild lions, elephants, and rhinos — but it made me realize there are 2 factors that can make or break your trip 56 / It was a strange, fascinating, exhilarating, and exhausting trip. And these adventures only scratch the surface of what I did, and what you could do, in these countries. I find that the more I travel, learn, and experience new worlds, the more I want to do it. I suppose that’s the beauty of it.

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5 places for great Jewish food in the Buffalo area

*This piece was originally published here in The Buffalo News’ Gusto Section*
At one point in time, Buffalo was rich with Jewish delis and restaurants.
But one by one, Mastman’s Deli on Hertel Avenue, Reuben’s N.Y. Deli in Amherst and Tel Aviv Cafe by Falafel Bar in the JCC, among others, have all shut their doors. These closings made it hard to find a good roast brisket or potato pancake, especially during the non-holiday times of the year when you can’t rely on your family’s home cooking.
But if you know where to look, there are some Buffalo restaurants serving stellar Jewish cuisine. For New York City transplants or UB students from downstate looking for a taste of home, here are my top five picks for ordering Jewish food in Buffalo.
Frank Gourmet Hot Dogs
707 Kenmore Ave.
Ironically, the best bowl of matzo ball soup I’ve found in Buffalo is at a gourmet hot dog joint. The rest of Frank’s menu may not exactly be kosher, but it hits this Jewish staple out of the park.
A bowl of soup will run you $6, which is a little bit pricey, but the portions are generous. The broth is bursting with flavor and schmaltz –– rendered chicken fat, a popular ingredient in Jewish cuisine –– and includes one giant, fluffy matzo ball. Pair it with a sky-high pastrami sandwich ($12) and you’re good to go.
The only catch is that matzo ball soup and pastrami are part of Frank’s cycling specials menu. Check its Facebook page for updates on when the restaurant is serving up the dishes next.
[Read more: Frank adds half-smoke to Buffalo’s eating lexicon]
Risa’s
285 Delaware Ave.
If you’re craving a cup of bubbe’s soup but Frank’s isn’t serving, Risa’s, which very well may be the last true Jewish deli in town, is a no brainer.
At the recommendation of The New’s food critic Andrew Z. Galarneau, I checked out Risa’s for a sandwich and cup of soup, and wasn’t disappointed. For $7.50, Risa’s runs a steal of a lunch special offering half of any sandwich and a cup of soup. The chicken noodle matzo ball soup ($4.55 for a full bowl) is light yet filled with lots of schmaltzy flavor. Risa’s variation is chocked full of chicken meat, veggies, noodles and two al dente matzo balls creating a lip-smacking concoction.
I paired my soup with a roast brisket sandwich ($8.95), which was filled to the brim with juicy cuts of meat that melted in my mouth. Risa’s also serves other Jewish sandwiches like whitefish salad ($7.95), pastrami ($8.95) and kosher beef salami ($8.25).
[Throwback: See when Risa’s replaced Reuben’s NY Deli ]
Potato pancakes at Scharf’s German Restaurant and Bar. (Derek Gee/Buffalo News file photo)
Scharf’s German Restaurant and Bar
2683 Clinton St., West Seneca
I can’t talk Jewish food without mentioning potato pancakes. While some places serve them only around the holidays, Scharf’s serves delicious latkes year-round.
An appetizer of either two, four or six potato pancakes will run you $5.50, $9.50 and $13.50 respectively. The potato pancakes are fluffy and buttery on the inside but have a perfect char on the outside, offering a crisp bite that ends with a velvety rush of potato. These potato pancakes are massive — one takes up half the plate. The dish comes with a side of applesauce, the classic dipping condiment for potato pancakes.
[Review: German food without much of an accent at Scharf’s ]
The Bloom & Rose
Farmers & Artisans, 4557 Main St. and the Elmwood-Bidwell Farmers Market (starting May 11)
Almost every culture has a dough pocket-style street snack, and for Jews, it’s the knish. Offering a blend of traditional fillings and more contemporary fusion fillings, The Bloom and Rose serves one of the best knish in town.
Currently, The Bloom and Rose sells knish with classic onion and potato filling, spinach and feta filling, and an Indian samosa filling. Each is made with local ingredients. Seasonal flavors rotate in and out throughout the year. The outer crust of the knish is buttery and flaky. Once you bite in, the juices from the filling absorb into the dough, making each bite even more savory. One knish is $4, or you can stock up with three for $10 or 12 for $35.
House of Hummus
1150 Hertel Ave. and 502 Elmwood Ave.
Although falafel may not have originated from Israel, it plays an iconic role in Jewish cuisine and is widely known as the national dish of Israel. Lucky for Buffalonians, there’s tons of great falafel in town, my favorite being from the House of Hummus.
For $6.49, the falafel wrap, four generously sized falafel and Jerusalem salad wrapped in pita, is a steal. House of Hummus boasts the “fluffiest falafel in Western New York” and they aren’t kidding. While some falafel can be dry, these have the perfect outer crisp but maintain a soft, moist inside.
The addition of the Jerusalem salad (finely chopped parsley, tomatoes, cucumbers, lemon, olive oil and tahini) creates the perfect bite and makes the wrap super refreshing, especially on a hot summer day.

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35 Places for Mother’s Day Dining in Metro Phoenix

Cartwright’s Modern Cuisine 6710 East Cave Creek Road, Cave Creek
Who can say no to complimentary Champagne? Cartwright’s Modern Cuisine is hosting a Mother’s Day brunch featuring Rhiba Farms duck egg quiche, organic ocean halibut, and eggs Benedict. For dessert, it is all about the pavlova. Menu is available from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. and to make reservations, call 480-488-8031. Farmboy Market, Meats and Sandwiches 1075 West Queen Creek Road, #1, Chandler
If you want mom to have a hearty breakfast, Farmboy Market, Meats and Sandwiches offers everything from a Sunrise burrito with scrambled eggs, pork sausage, potato hash, and Colby cheddar to stuffed French toast — sourdough bread stuffed with apple-cinnamon-cream cheese filling and caramel, served with choice of pork sausage or vegan chorizo patty. Come by between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 12, and mom will get a free dish with the purchase of one regular breakfast or brunch entree. Don’t forget to cap off brunch at The Greene House with dessert. Courtesy of The Greene House The Greene House 15024 North Scottsdale Road, #100, Scottsdale
Casual, but classy, The Greene House welcomes Mom in a setting that feels like a beach retreat. Enjoy your meal in the restaurant’s cozy dining room or sit on the cool, covered patio while enjoying Mother’s Day specials like an egg sandwich, stuffed French toast, or spring vegetable frittata — all served alongside the normal menu. To make a reservation, see The Greene House website. The Henry 4455 East Camelback Road
The Henry’s Mother’s Day menu features blue crab quiche with spring vegetable and braised short rib with bourbon caramel, roasted mushroom, and mashed potatoes. Order Mom a specialty cocktail or coffee drink to really round off the day. To make a reservation, visit The Henry website. Hotel Valley Ho is all about the buffet this Mother’s Day. Courtesy of Hotel Valley Ho Hotel Valley Ho 6850 East Main Street, Scottsdale
Take mom to an iconic Phoenix hotel where she can indulge in the buffet at Hotel Valley Ho’s Sands and schedule some downtime at the rooftop pool. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., mom can feast on herb-crusted prime rib, made-to-order omelets, Scottish salmon Wellington, hot entrees from the kitchen, and a variety of desserts. The hotel is also offering brunch at ZuZu from 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. featuring a Bloody Mary and mimosa bar starting at 9 a.m. She can enjoy her drink with pistachio-crusted Alaskan halibut served with bamboo rice, lobster miso butter, caramelized bok choy, shiitake mushrooms, and togarashi rice.To make reservations, call 480-376-2600. Keeler’s Neighborhood Steakhouse 7212 East Ho Hum Road, Carefree
Treat your mom to a culinary experience at Keeler’s Neighborhood Steakhouse. On Sunday, May 12, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., a breakfast and lunch buffet will feature a prime rib carving station, shrimp cocktails, pancakes, French toast, and more. Dinner on Mother’s Day means guests can customize their own menu with a starter, entree, and dessert. Cost for brunch is $49 per adults and $19 for children 10 and under. The three-course dinner menu is $60 per person with a children’s menu available. Reservations can be made online at Keeler’s Neighborhood Steakhouse or call 602-374-4784. Liberty Station American Tavern and Smokehouse Multiple Locations
Sometimes the weekend is packed, but no need to worry if you are crunched for time on Mother’s Day. Mom can still enjoy breakfast for dinner. Liberty Station American Tavern and Smokehouse offers Mother’s Day specials all day, including French toast with strawberry mascarpone, blueberry compote, and smoked maple syrup. There’s also smoked salmon bruschetta, or pan-seared halibut with risotto and grilled asparagus, and bottomless mimosas. Reservations can be made online at the Liberty Station American Tavern and Smokehouse website or by calling. It’s 480-278-7044 for seating at the DC Ranch location and 480-595-9930 for seating at the Terravita location. Let mom get her Italian on at Marcellino Ristorante. Courtesy of Marcellino Ristorante Marcellino Ristorante 7114 East Stetson Drive, Scottsdale
If your mom loves Italian food, Marcellino Ristorante offers an all-day special for mom on Sunday, March 12. For $40, treat her to hand-crafted, porcini-infused fettuccine with chunks of fresh lobster, shiitake mushrooms, and drizzles of white truffle oil, plus chef Marcellino’s complimentary tiramisu. Children don’t have to feel left out of the fun. Once a year, Marcellino’s offer a special children’s menu which includes a choice of entree, dessert, and a beverage for $20. For reservations, call 480-990-9500. The Market Restaurant + Bar by Jennifer’s 3603 East Indian School Road, Suite A
The Market Restaurant + Bar by Jennifer’s features three courses with options from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dishes are accompanied by the “Mom-Mosa,” a combo of strawberry frose and Aperol spritz. Starters include heirloom tomato salad or an asparagus board, while main choices include salmon and an avocado toast. For more information, call 602-626-5050 or see The Market Restaurant + Bar by Jennifer’s website. Mother’s Day menu items will impress at Match Restaurant & Lounge. Jackie Mercandetti Match Restaurant & Lounge 1100 North Central Avenue
Raise a glass and toast your mom at Match Restaurant & Lounge. This will be easy to do during lunch with $1 mimosas from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. To accompany the drink special, moms can enjoy lobster Benedict, asparagus Benedict, and items from the regular menu. For reservations, call 602-875-8080 or visit the Match Restaurant & Lounge website. Mora Italian 5651 North Seventh Street
It is all about the moms on Mother’s Day at Mora Italian. This trendy space features Neapolitan-style pizzas as well as pasta dishes. Dinner is on you of course, but this year, the restaurant is rewarding sons and daughters alike. Mora Italian will celebrate moms by offering a complimentary flower and special dessert, a chocolate torte with strawberry conserve, and pistachio gelato. There will also be a photographer in the restaurant to give out complimentary photos of guests with their families to commemorate the special day. Visit the Mora Italian website for additional details and reservations. Mountain Shadows 5445 East Lincoln Drive, Scottsdale
If you really want to treat Mom right (as you should), make it a memorable Mother’s Day at Mountain Shadows. For scenic views during brunch, Hearth ’61 will let mom gaze at Camelback Mountain while enjoying brunch. From 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., choose from smoked salmon, seasonal salads, and fresh seafood options before diving into a made-to-order omelet station, carved prime rib, and specialty a la carte menu items from the kitchen. Brunch is $79 per person and $19 for children 12 and under. For reservations, call 480-624-5400 or visit the Mountain Shadows website. Savory and sweet toast are for the taking this Mother’s Day at Ocean Prime. Courtesy of Ocean Prime Ocean Prime 5455 East High Street, #115
Brunch at Ocean Prime includes everything from smoked salmon to crab and eggs to short ribs. If she loves bread, she can choose lobster toast for a savory option or French toast to satisfy her sweet tooth. A blood orange mimosa or Ocean Prime’s signature Bloody Mary offers a nice complement for any entree. Mother’s Day brunch runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Make reservations at 480-347-1313 or on the Ocean Prime website. Original Breakfast House 13623 North 32nd Street
There is nothing like all day breakfast and lunch specials. Especially for Mom. At the Original Breakfast House , there is everything from barbacoa Benedict to shrimp and grits to key lime pancakes. Most entrees are less than $14.50. Hours for breakfast and brunch are from 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Palette at Phoenix Art Museum 1625 North Central Avenue
Accompany mom to the Phoenix Art Museum to visit some of her favorite paintings and then treat her to brunch at Palette . Palette will be offering an a la carte Mother’s Day menu or a three-course, prix-fixe menu for guests. Sit on the beautiful sculpture garden patio or inside the restaurant. Guests may also enjoy $5 mimosas or Bloody Marys during this special brunch. Reservations are encouraged and can be made at 602-257-2191. It will be hard for Mom to choose her favorite at Parma Italian Roots. AWE Collective Parma Italian Roots 20831 North Scottsdale Road, #117, Scottsdale
Parma Italian Roots is showing their appreciation for mothers with a complimentary glass of rosé for every mom during brunch, available until 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 12. Parma blends coastal California cuisine with Italian influences made with locally sourced ingredients. Mom will feel like she is eating in her own kitchen because everything is made from scratch each morning. Call 480-292-9900 or visit the Parma Italian Roots website to make a reservation. Perk Eatery 6501 East Greenway Parkway, #159, Scottsdale
If mom loves breakfast, Perk Eatery has the $5 “MOMosas” and chocolate hazelnut French toast topped with fresh berries for $15 on Sunday, May 12, from 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Phoenix Ale Brewery Central Kitchen 5813 North Seventh Street, #140
It will be hard for Mom to pass up the one-cent drink specials at The Phoenix Ale Brewery Central Kitchen. Beginning at 10 a.m. on Sunday, May 12, moms are eligible for one-cent mimosas and sangrias with the purchase of food. There is one fun disclaimer — the limit on how many one-cent mimosas or sangrias mom can order is determined by the number of children she has. Mother’s Day brunch at Roaring Fork is impressive. Courtesy of Roaring Fork Roaring Fork 4800 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale
If Mom adores wood-fire techniques when it comes to her cooking, Roaring Fork is the best fit. Valley moms can choose breakfast, lunch, or dinner options from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 12. Menu items include green chile pork stew and tortillas, prime rib, smoked salmon platter, vegetable migas , huckleberry French toast, bread pudding, and pecan pie bars. The cost is $39 per person. For Mother’s Day brunch reservations, call 480-947-0795 or visit the Roaring Fork website. Roka Akor 7299 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale
If mom likes ambiance and Japanese cuisine, Roka Akor has created a three-course Mother’s Day brunch in addition to their usual lunch and dinner menu. Mom might like twists on classic fare such as crab cake Benedict with yuzu sashimi hollandaise and wagyu skirt steak with poached eggs. Dessert options include strawberry mochi cake or an ube pot de crème. For reservations, see the Roka Akor website. You’ll have all the choices at Rusconi’s American Kitchen. Rusconi’s American Kitchen / Facebook Rusconi’s Italian American Kitchen 10637 North Tatum Boulevard
Rusconi’s American Kitchen is featuring a three-course menu for Mother’s Day. Choose from starters like chilled tomato gazpacho, lobster bisque, or house-smoked salmon. Main courses include steak and eggs, braised spring lamb shank, and blackberry-glazed pork tenderloin. Dessert is a toss-up among pistachio and peach creme brûlée, lemon-crusted strawberry cheesecake, and dark chocolate budino. Brunch is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at $58 per person. Reservations can be made at 480-483-0009 or online at the Rusconi’s American Kitchen website. Salty Sow 4801 East Cactus Road, Scottsdale
There are no lack of choices at Salty Sow for Mother’s Day, and brunch is between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. For $34.95, opt for pork belly hash, farm-fresh eggs any style, omelets, honey ham, fried chicken and waffles, rotisserie turkey with gravy, banana chocolate chip French toast, green chile pork topped with poached eggs, hot smoked salmon with mustard dill, and molasses cured bacon. For reservations, call 602-795-9463 or visit the Salty Sow website. The Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch 7700 East McCormick Parkway, Scottsdale
The Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch is a place to make Mom feel special. On Sunday, May 12, moms can toast to their motherhood with a celebratory Champagne brunch. The Vista Verde Dining room offers spectacular views while moms are deciding between breakfast pastries, bagels, made-to-order omelets, and pasta stations, as well as a salad bar and an international cheese display. If that isn’t enough, there are carving stations, handmade sushi, and a decadent seafood bar. For dessert, there is an assortment of cakes, pies, truffles, and chocolate-dipped strawberries. Cost is $75, then $37.50 for children 5 to 12, and free for kids under 5. Reservations are required from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and can be made at 480-596-7525. T. Cook’s 5200 East Camelback Road, #100
Take mom to T. Cook’s if you intend to make an impression. Located on the property of the Royal Palms Resort and Spa, mom can enjoy a brunch buffet hand-selected by chef Alex Robinson. The chilled seafood display offers signature items including Baja prawns, snow crab claws, oysters, cocktail sauce, and mignonette. Entrees include lamb shank baklava, egg white frittata, herb-crusted beef tenderloin, and a dessert buffet. Cost is $95 per diner and $45 for kids 6 to 12. Another brunch from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. will feature omelets and eggs to order, almond-crusted French toast, a waffle station, pasta, carving stations, and choices for desserts. Cost is $85 per diner, $35 for kids 6 to 12, and free for those 5 and under. Make reservations for either at 602-283-1234, or the T.Cook’s website. Taco Guild 546 East Osborn Road
Taco Guild , housed in a 125-year-old church building, is offering something special for Mother’s Day. Choose from starters like grilled asparagus with jalapeño-infused bacon and braised pork belly chicharron. Entrees include pan-seared Pacific swordfish filet, slow-braised short ribs, and roasted pork tenderloin. If mom has room for dessert, she can choose between mango cheesecake and flourless chocolate cake. Keep it casual and low-key with takeout from Thai Chili 2 Go. Courtesy of Thai Chili 2 Go Thai Chili 2 Go Multiple Locations
Mothers who enjoy a bargain will love Thai Chili 2 Go’s special offer on Sunday, May 12. All day long, moms can enjoy an entrée on the house with the purchase of another regularly priced dish. Choose from Thai dumplings, curry and noodles, Thai fried rice, and more. To view the full menu, visit the Thai Chile 2 Go website. Thirsty Lion Gastropub & Grill Multiple Locations
At Thirsty Lion Gastropub & Grill, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., brunch will feature fresh berry waffles, Irish whiskey French toast, and passionfruit or blood orange mimosas. If moms choose to drop in for lunch or dinner, the new seasonal menu offers Chilean sea bass, seafood paella, and falafel salad bowl. For reservations, visit the Thirsty Lion Gastropub & Grill website. If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters. SHOW ME HOW

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Soho Wala review: Mumbai’s street food is here to stay on Marlborough Street

Soho Wala review: Mumbai’s street food is here to stay on Marlborough Street 29th April 2019 0
Chef Rajesh Parmar of Taj Hotels’ Thai Pavilion fame has now opened a restaurant that serves street food in style, writes Rasika Sittamparam
The Great Marlborough Street Magistrates Court in Soho may have once tried the likes of Mick Jagger, John Lennon and even Oscar Wilde – and for that, you might have decided to saunter across the road from Liberty to examine the magnificent Grade II-listed building. Next time you’re there, look closely. Open the door, yes, and find yourself completely transported, not back in time, but into what looks like the interiors of a modern Mumbai apartment.
This is Soho Wala, the creation of chef Rajesh Parmar, who has years of experience as executive chef at Taj Hotels’ Thai Pavilion restaurant under his belt. Indian-born Parmar has moved on to cuisine that is closer to home, and is introducing authentic Mumbai street food instead, in a colourful, unstuffy atmosphere that only covers 50.
Once somewhat comfortably seated, expect bright orange-red-yellow miniature trolleys to arrive at your table, carrying six shot glasses with pastry-like parcels on top. Did you order something called Pani Puri, possibly with vodka and spice-induced shots? Great. This will be a painfully pleasant challenge: pop the entire potato-filled parcel into your mouth and wash it down with the potent green juice. ‘Oh my god,’ my dining partner lets out a muffled exclamation as the mixture of crumbly wheat shells, sweet-spicy potato, mint, tamarind and vodka travels down his throat. I’m experiencing the same boozy and fiery sensation, but have managed to move on to the next Pani Puri. It takes a while to get through the rest on the trolley (you have to race with your partner, it’s the rule), but we are left with tears in our eyes, both from the spice-exertion and laughter.
Parmar has done it – the element of play is most definitely here, and it’s what one would expect from the bustling streets of Mumbai anyway with the dizzying variety of street snacks on offer. Next, we try ordering Kurkure Bhaji and Mirchi Matchstick Chicken. Both arrive in miniature trolleys again, but this time, thankfully, without any booze. The former taste like jazzed up kale crisps, but with okra and lotus stems instead. The chicken is flavourful and is decorated with powdered spice and green chillies. One trolley empties while the other rapidly piles up with bones.
With appetisers done, we move on to the more serious dishes to test Parmar’s gastronomic mettle. The Prawn Balchao from the clay oven is a delicious, albeit minuscule, treat. This features the arthropods in an unbelievably sweet, tangy and moreish marinade. The explosion of flavours enlarged my appetite for more – alas, I was reluctant to trade another dish’s place for it in my stomach, out of sheer greed and the fear of missing out. The Hariyali Poussin arrives covered in jade-coloured spices and lemon slices stained bright red with chilli powder. The tenderly cooked chicken blends well with its coriander and mint coating – a bite of the extraordinarily buttery Choor Choor naan bread makes a perfect complement. I finish this with a refreshing swig of Cobra beer.
The Paneer Kofta was the last straw for me, as it arrived in gleaming orange gravy, topped with what looked like cream. These are in fact cottage cheese dumplings in a rich Tikka-like tomato sauce. I barely finish half of the Creme Egg-sized morsel while remembering my mother’s explanation of how one slice of the paneer cheese is the equivalence of five glasses of milk. I hurriedly push the plate towards my partner instead.
Although I am at this point struggling to drink the rest of my Cobra, I desire for just a little more. I highly recommend my dessert, Vidhesi Chai, for its magical workings. This is Assam tea brûlée made with malai crème and vanilla ice cream and the crumbliest type of shortbread. I lick the dessert spoon before falling into Indian food stupor. Calling it a night, I vow to return to further explore Parmar’s playful menu, and of course, for the opportunity to show off again in a Pani Puri challenge on a night out in Soho.
Rasika Sittamparam is senior researcher and writer at Spear’s

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