Get in the Holiday Spirit at Christkindlmarket Chicago – Daley Plaza


The Christkindlmarket is open through December 24th and is a quintessential Chicago holiday eat, drink and be merry experience. Good news for the Christkindlemarkt purists, the boot mugs for Glühwein (mulled wine) and hot chocolate are back! Prost!

Originally posted on Alicia Tastes Life:

If you:

-Need help getting into the holiday spirit

-Still need to get some Christmas gifts

-Are hungry for some meat

-Are thirsty for some Glühwein

Then head down to Daley Plaza for the Christkindlmarket.

The first thing I do when I am there is head to the Glühwein line. Depending on the time and day it can be long so by the time you order you might be a bit cold and ready for a warm drink.

The mulled wine comes in a souvenir boot you can get refilled and take home.

Next is the food line. I’ve been to the market more than a few times so have had the pretzel (comes in about 6 types), potato pancakes, brat, Thueringer, snowballs and curry sausage. All was good and pretty authentic, although any German will tell you, not so cheap. But hey, you are here for the…

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Galician Home Cooking at Cera 23 – Barcelona, Spain

Cera 23 Barcelona Sign

Make your way down the narrow streets of Barcelona and take in the beautiful sounds and smells from the various Southeast Asian, African, South American, Pakistani and Spanish stores, restaurants and homes that make up El Raval neighborhood.

Cera 23 is a cozy spot in the middle of El Raval serving Galician and Mediterranean home cooking. Reservations recommended but you can kill time waiting for your table by trying the famous  blackberry mojito at the small bar in front. Continue reading

Breakfast at The Winchester – Chicago

Vegetable Poutine The Winchester Chicago

Poutine is usually served with cheese curds, french fries and some sort of meat gravy but this is the flavor-packed vegetable poutine from The Winchester. Rich mushroom Bolognese, flash-fried potatoes, a sunny egg topped with scallions.


Stained Glass Dome in La Rotonda – Madrid, Spain

Stained Glass Dome in La Rotonda - Madrid, Spain

Beautiful light flows through the elegant stained glass dome at La Rotonda restaurant in the Westin Palace hotel in Madrid Spain. Known for their Sunday Opera Brunch it’s also a great spot to stop by for tea, enjoy the decor and people watching.

The mannequin with the vintage suitcases was part of the 100 Years Traveling Together  exhibit.  Historical pieces from Samsonite gave a glimpse into how travel evolved from 1912 through the decades.

Best Deal in Tribeca – Bâtard, New York City

Bâtard NYC Dining Room

Retaining their Michelin star for 2016, Bâtard is one of the best deals in New York City with 2 courses for $55, 3 courses for $69, or 4 courses for $79. The warm golden lighting splashed on the lovely textured wallpaper surrounds an upbeat and bustling dining room with an unpretentious air.

My favorite dish of the night was the beautifully plump and delicately textured sea scallops, a hint of sweetness from vanilla, a dash of savory herbs served with kale and rich potato mousseline. Continue reading


Tropical Gardens of Madrid Atocha Station – Estación de Madrid Atocha

tropical gardens in atocha Madrid station

Atocha is the main train station in Madrid and hub for commuter and countrywide travel. The high-speed train to Barcelona is an easy way to travel and glimpse the countryside while utilizing the train Wi-Fi if you desire.

Entering the Jardín Tropical Estación de Atocha, lush tropical gardens, complete with a pond filled with fish and turtles and covering over 40,000 square feet of the concourse will make you forget you are in a bustling train station.

Farm Fresh Lunch at Locally Grown Gardens – Indianapolis

Locally Grown Gardens Indianapolis

On the road back from Louisville I decided to go off the beaten path and have lunch at Locally Grown Gardens a year round farm market owned by Chef Ron Harris. Housed in what looks like a former garage the patio is filled with wooden crates bursting with bright purple flowers, herb garden and large picnic tables with teal chairs.

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The shop is filled with vintage furniture and has a farmhouse chic vibe replete with a variety of packaged goods, seasonal produce and vintage inspired glassware and cutlery. The seasonal menu incorporates the best of local produce to buy and create your own meal or eat-in. September featured corn, tomatoes, fall squash, apples and cider. October features, pumpkins, winter squash, apple cider, and apple butter. Continue reading


Pintxoteca Orkestra at Platea Madrid

Pintxoteca Orkestra Platea Madrid

Pintxos, also known as pinchos or tapas, are typical Spanish bar snacks. These beauties are from Pintxoteca Orkestra at the Platea Madrid food hall – largest gastronomic center in Europe. It includes a theater, bar, restaurants and a club.