Sirvent Horchateria – Barcelona, Spain

March 22, 2012

When I was in Barcelona the other week, I stumbled across a small neighborhood diner specializing in horchata. The area was only a few minutes from Las Ramblas, Barcelona’s main tourist drag, but felt years away from the strip’s touts and American chains. The horchateria felt like it hadn’t been updated since the late 80s.  [...]

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Best of Brussels Blog on Bottlepopped!

March 16, 2012

Welcome to the first installment of Bottlepopped! Basically, every so often I’ll ask various people of note who I think are interesting, funny, and knowledgeable, etc, about their favorite places, favorite drinks, and yadda yadda. First up is one Miss Jane Goodyear.  Jane’s a fellow American who found herself in Brussels during study abroad, fell [...]

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National Pie Week and Nigel Slater’s Cottage Pie with Spiced Parsnips

March 12, 2012

March is a curious fellow.  It always feels like it’s the second-string hitter in a game of baseball, warming up and flexing his muscle, hoping to swing that homerun out of the doldrums of winter. This always feels like Brussels’ month to me too. This feeling of seesawing between the sunny warmth of the future, [...]

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Belgian Cuisine: The Belgian Friterie

March 7, 2012

I acknowledge not everyone has their own personal deep fryer (but think about the possibilities if you did!), so making Belgian fries at home is probably not an option.  This is where the friterie/fritkot comes in. These fry shacks can be roaming trailers, making the circuits between cities or rooted huts on public squares.  They [...]

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How to Make Traditional Belgian Fries

March 5, 2012

In a country that teetered dangerously close to dissolution for the last year and a half, there was one national thing that most Belgians could identify with and believe in.  This one belief gave the tiniest bit of hope that Belgians could unite around something. Fries are not French. Fries are a thing here.  They [...]

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Bara Brith for St. David’s Day – Welsh Speckled Bread

March 1, 2012

One of the benefits of living in a city like Brussels, where cultures are constantly mashed together, is learning about quirky holidays from other countries.  For example, sometimes you’ll see children in blackface here on St. Nicholas Day in December, in honor of the Dutch-version of Santa Claus and the character Zwarte Piet.  There’s also [...]

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Deep Fried Street Art

February 29, 2012

Hi everyone, A few weekends ago, a friend took me home so her mother could teach me the art of making real Belgian fries.  And basically, ever since then, I’ve been in the kitchen on a frying kick. I’ll be back in a few days if I’ve managed not to deep fry my apartment into [...]

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From Belgium, With Love

February 14, 2012

I’ve always been a sucker for Nick Hornby and John Cusack, so it’s appropriate that for Valentine’s Day I ‘fess up on five things I’ll always have a soft spot for: Hanson. This is my generational equivalent to the Beatles, that Davy person from the Patridge Family and Scott Baio. (Coincidentally, they’re getting into the [...]

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The Marché Richard Lenoir – Paris, France

February 10, 2012

The amount of dog poop on Parisian sidewalks makes walking through a French market a stimulating experience in more than ways than one. It’s another reminder of how the European market experience feels like a real-life game of Mario Kart no matter which city I visit. When navigating markets in Brussels, the game of duck [...]

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Paris vs. Brussels

February 7, 2012

Experiencing Paris after intimately knowing Brussels is an exercise in mind-bending. While walking around Paris this past weekend, I felt as if the whole of Brussels had been tilted to one angle, allowing the Dutch influence to tipple out and then placed squarely back flat on the ground. I always forget how intensely French Paris [...]

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