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Mad. Sq. Eats Announces Fall Lineup

Mad. Sq. Eats Announces Fall Lineup

4 new vendors will join a familiar roster in New York’s Madison Square Park

Mad. Eats takes over Worth Square twice per year.

Every spring and autumn, Worth Square, which is adjacent to Madison Square Park in New York City, plays host to a lineup of carts representing some of the city’s finest restaurants and food vendors. Mad. Eats, presented by Urban Space and the Madison Square Park Conservancy, will be returning to the square from Sept. 27 to Oct. 25, and four new vendors have been added to the lineup, according to a release.

Delaney Barbecue will be launching a cart called TacoTown, where mastermind Daniel Delaney will be selling a chopped brisket taco, a pulled pork taco, a fried chicken taco, and a fried Brussels sprout taco; The Doughnuttery will be selling their brand of tiny donuts; Slide will be selling gourmet sliders in unique varieties like BBQ pork belly, fried chicken with Cheddar waffles, lamb, smoked duck, and their flagship Pat LaFrieda blend beef; and SD26 will be serving classic Italian sandwiches and pastas.

They’ll be joining an already stellar lineup that’s very similar to previous years’, including lobster rolls from Red Hook Lobster Pound, pizza from Roberta’s, desserts from Momofuku Milk Bar, pretzels from Sigmund’s, and Cal-Mex specialties from Calexico. All told, there will be 28 new lunchtime options in the Madison Square area come Sept. 27!


NYC’s 6 Best Fall 2013 Food Events & Festivals

Fall in New York City calls for pumpkin spice lattes, light sweaters and filling up at food festivals. The city&rsquos foodies can get their fix at these upcoming events, focused on local fare, celebrated chefs and interesting pairings. By Sarah Shaker.

(credit: The Vendy Awards/Facebook)

It’s no secret that we love food trucks here at CBSNewYork. On September 7th, Industry City in Brooklyn hosts the 9th Annual Vendy Awards, where street food vendors from all over New York City will be competing to not only win the ultimate prize, but also the hearts of locals. $95 General Admission tickets are still available with proceeds going to the Street Vendor Project that stands up for vendors&rsquo rights. Finalists include a long list of favorites from rookie entries like Lebanese truck Toum to past Vendy finalist Luke’s Lobster.

(credit: Lamb Jam Tour, American Lamb Facebook)

The Lamb Jam Tour traveled to Portland, Boston, Washington, D.C. and San Francisco with 15-20 chefs from each market competing head-to-head for top honors using local lamb in their dishes judged by a panel of media. Get Real Presents has partnered with the American Lamb Board to bring this prestigious event to Alewife this fall on September 23 to serve as the series finale where the Best in Show Chef from each city will battle to be crowned the Lamb Jam Master 2013. Local chefs and craft beers will be showcased along with the finalists. Tickets are $50 for the expert lamb dishes with unlimited beer and wine as part of the First Annual Get Real Beer Week in New York City.

Brooklyn Pour (credit: Brooklyn Pour/Facebook/Laura June Kirsch)

Featuring over 100 craft brews from New York and beyond, The Village Voice will host the third annual curated Brooklyn Pour craft beer tasting event on October 12. Foodies who appreciate good craft beers can sample the best seasonal, micro and reserve brews from breweries around the country with a focus on the Tri-State area. Enjoy demonstrations, meet and greets, beer talks and a food court for select choice eats to enjoy along with the unlimited pours. $80 VIP Tickets and $50 General Admission are now on sale.

Credit: Facebook.com/ Food Network New York City Wine and Food Festival

New York City Wine and Food Festival thrown by The Food Network will be back this October for four days of delicious events. Your favorite television foodie personalities will be celebrated around the Meatpacking District from October 17-20, hosting demos and events to sold-out crowds. While tickets aren&rsquot cheap, there are a range of price points available for events focusing on specific culinary preparations and cuisines to satisfy exactly what you’re craving.

(credit: Sarah M. Shaker / Bright Lights My City)

The semi-annual Madison Square Eats will be back this fall for more local favorites serving up their top dishes in one small plaza. Past vendors include Roberta&rsquos Pizza wood-burning their popular Bee Sting along other personal-sized pies on the premises, Red Hook Lobster Pound keeping the summer alive all year with their fresh lobster rolls and Macaron Parlour for a sweet ending, just to name a few. This ticket-less event is perfect for a snack during a autumn stroll or to mix up your lunch break in Flatiron.

Movie buffs can taste what they see on screen at this year&rsquos The Food Film Festival, October 23-27. Presented in association with the James Beard Foundation, the Festival is a &ldquocinematic scratch n’ sniff,&rdquo where guests taste the food they see on film. This competitive film festival presents awards for Best Feature, Best Short, Best Super-Short, Best Food Porn, Best Film Made Locally, Food Filmmaker of the Year and the Audience Choice Award.


Gastro markets: New gourmet shops in New York

Pick up fresh local produce, high-end coffees and selections from vendors like Roberta’s Pizza and Red Hook Lobster Pound at these gourmet shops.

Gourmet shops and food-geek mega-markets, like Dean & DeLuca and Smorgasburg, have long enticed epicures. Come autumn, a new set of gourmet food purveyors will roll out&mdashoffering high-end coffees, lobster rolls and pizza&mdashamid upscale grocery selections.

RECOMMENDED: Full list of NYC restaurants opening this fall

Urban Space Meatpacking
Urban Space&mdashthe crew behind Mad Sq Eats and Dekalb Market&mdashwill bring artisanal eats to clubland via this 15,178-square-foot outdoor bazaar in the Meatpacking District. The top-notch lineup of 60 vendors includes Red Hook Lobster Pound, Roberta&rsquos Pizza and Asia Dog, plus a fresh-pressed juice and smoothie bar. 437&ndash451 W 13th St at Washington St (212-529-9262). Early September.

All Good Things
Tribeca will gain a mammoth food emporium when this 2,000-square-foot epicurean bazaar opens in the fall. Go merchant-hopping among vendors such as Orwashers Bakery, Blue Bottle Coffee, Dickson&rsquos Farmstand Meats and Nunu Chocolates. It will also house a fish counter, a produce stand and an oyster bar, as well as a downstairs restaurant, with a prix-fixe-only menu helmed by chef Ryan Tate (Savoy). 102 Franklin St between West Broadway and Sixth Ave (212-966-3663). Mid-September.

Union Market
Brooklyn&rsquos gourmet grocery store will make its Manhattan debut, with a colossal 5,500-square-foot-space dwarfing the Kings County locations. Chef Katy Sparks (Radish) will oversee a prepared food selection, offering meals like miso-crusted tofu with black and white sesame seeds and turkey-ricotta meatballs. 240 E Houston St between Essex and Norfolk Sts (unionmarket.com). Mid-September.

Brooklyn Fare
Cesar Ramirez dazzled the food world when his Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare&mdasha tasting menu served in a spare grocery prep kitchen in Downtown Brooklyn&mdashwon three Michelin stars. Now, owner Moe Issa transports an expanded version of the concept across the East River. Ramirez will oversee a menu of pastas and Mediterranean fare on the 65-seat ground-floor dining room, while upstairs, shoppers can wander through an 11,000-square-foot luxe supermarket, which will make cheeses and pastries on-site. 437&ndash
439 37th St between Ninth and Tenth Aves (no phone yet). Late November .


Urbanspace

There are 15 different vendors in the space, including the first ever outpost of Eisenberg's Sandwich Shop.

Fall Food Market Season Is Underway With The Opening Of Mad. Sq. Eats

Highlights by the Flatiron include Destination Dumplings, Ice & Vice, and Mayhem Sandwiches, and two additional Urbanspace outdoor markets are coming soon.

What To Eat At Two Just-Opened Outdoor Markets: Broadway Bites And Madison Square Eats

Definitely get the B&W Sammie, featuring vanilla rolled in everything bagel seeds, then placed between two black and white cookies.

What To Eat At NYC's Newest Food Hall, 570 Lex

There's an impressive lineup of nearly 20 different food and drink vendors here.

Midtown Pocket Park Hosts Pop-Up Food Market For Autumn

Broadway Bites returns to Greeley Square through November 10th, offering Japanese pancakes, doughnuts, garlic knots, and dozens of other treats.

Bryant Park's Winter Village Is Now Full Of Delicious Comfort Food

Think freshly melted cheese over bread, bowls of steaming ramen, plump pierogi, and hot dogs that are literally on fire.

Pop-Up Food Market Will Serve Slices Of Chicago-Style Pizza

Urbanspace Garment District will also have delicatessen-inspired tacos, tamales, lobster rolls, Turkish and Spanish cuisines and more.

What To Get At Mad. Sq. Eats, Now Open In Flatiron

Exclusive Ice & Vice flavors, Squish Marshmallows, Poke Nachos, and the Beatrice "Animal" Burger are among the highlights of this season's market.

A Guide To NYC's Best Seasonal Outdoor Food Markets

Eating inside is for suckers.

New Food Market Opens In The Meatpacking District Today

If you're worried all the food's gone from the Meatpacking District, don't fret, because starting today, vendors will be flooding the 'hood at the new UrbanSpace Meatpacking market!


Persian Pop-Up at Porsena Morgenstern's Gadzilla Flavor

EAST VILLAGE — Cookbook author Louisa Shafia will host a weekly Persian pop-up called Lakh Lakh at Porsena Extra Bar on Monday nights starting September 15. Small plates like tamarind rice with fish and chicken cooked with apricots, and salty plums are inspired by her recent trip to Iran. [Eaterwire]

BOWERY — Morgenstern's is partnering with designer Ale et Ange on some clothing designs and a special flavor called Gadzilla: strawberry-vanilla ice cream with chocolate fudge ribbons running through it. The partnership kicks off with an event this Saturday from 2-4 p.m., but the flavor and clothes will be on sale for the rest of the week. [Eaterwire]

GARMENT DISTRICT — UrbanSpace, which helped launch Mad. Sq. Eats and Broadway Bites, is bringing a food market to 41st Street and Broadway. The vendor lineup includes Bluestone Lane, Roberta's, and the Red Hook Lobster Pound. The market will open on September 15 and close on October 17. [Eaterwire]

EXPANSION WIRE — José Andrés is getting closer to opening his fast-casual concept spot. The chef just secured a second round of financing and is planning to roll out, what will possibly be a vegetarian chain, in early 2015. [


16 Treats You Can Make With a Can of Pumpkin Pie Filling

Pumpkin pie season is here and there&rsquos no better shortcut to delicious pumpkin-flavored treats than canned pumpkin pie filling. Organic varieties that are sweetened with pure cane sugar and lightly spiced are our favorites and highly recommended for all of our quick recipes featured here.

Chocolate Peanut Butter-Pumpkin Cups

Kids of all ages will love this seasonal twist on a classic candy. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (about 1 minute at 100% power). Using a pastry brush, coat cupcake liners with the melted chocolate and place the liners in a cupcake tin. Refrigerate until firm. Heat 1.5 cups peanut butter in the microwave until softened, about 30 seconds, then mix with 1/2 cup pumpkin pie filling. Fill the chocolate cups with filling until 3/4 full. Pour remaining chocolate on top of each cup to close them and garnish with chopped peanuts. Place in the refrigerator until firm. Yields six chocolate cups.

Pumpkin Panna Cotta

Pumpkin spiced panna cotta is a creamy, indulgent dessert that's perfect for fall entertaining. You&rsquoll need 2 cups of heavy cream, 1 cup pumpkin pie filling and 1 package of unflavored powdered gelatin dissolved in two tablespoons of water. Stir together the cream and pie filling in a saucepan over medium heat until hot, then add the gelatin. Stir until dissolved. Pour into dessert cups and chill until firm. Garnish each cup with a spoonful of canned dulce de leche, whipped cream and a sprinkle of nutmeg.

Spiced Pumpkin Truffles

These truffles are three-ingredient wonders and a quick fix for busy holiday cooks. Combine 1 cup of graham cracker crumbs with 1/2 cup pumpkin pie filling and mash together until thick dough forms. Scoop mixture by 1 level tablespoon and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roll each tablespoon of dough into a ball and freeze until solid (about 1 hour). Dip each ball into melted white candy coating (about 12 ounces) and place on parchment paper using two forks. Garnish each truffle with a pinch of grated nutmeg. Let stand until firm, about 30 minutes. Yields 13 truffles.

Pumpkin Pastry Twists

Say hello to your new favorite fall snack! These twists are delicious and make great game day eats. Thaw one box (2 sheets) of puff pastry and spread 2 tablespoons of pumpkin pie filling over one sheet top with a second sheet and press together. Cut the stacked pastry into 1/2-inch thick lengths and transfer them to parchment-lined cookie sheets. Twist each piece and brush with egg wash (1 egg yolk mixed with 1 tablespoon of water). Bake at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes, or until golden brown and fragrant. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar (optional) and serve with pumpkin or apple butter for dipping.

Pumpkin Oatmeal

Spice up your morning oatmeal with the flavors of pumpkin pie, chopped apples and pecans. Cook up your favorite oats and swirl two tablespoons of pumpkin pie filling into each bowl. Garnish each serving with the season&rsquos best apples (chopped) and a tablespoon of chopped pecans.

Pumpkin Milkshakes

These three-ingredient milkshakes are perfect if you&rsquore craving something cozy and refreshing. Start with 24 ounces (about 8 scoops) of your favorite vanilla ice cream and place in a blender pitcher. Add one can of pumpkin pie filling, one cup of milk and blend until smooth. Pour into tall glasses and serve with whipped cream, a sprinkle of cinnamon and gingersnap garnishes.

Pumpkin Spice French Toast Casserole

Breakfast enthusiasts will want to try this seasonal take on classic French toast. Grab a loaf of your favorite bread and a 13x9-inch baking dish. Slice bread into 1/2-inch thick slices and layer in the baking dish. In a large bowl, combine 1.5 cups of milk, 6 whole eggs and 1 can of pumpkin pie filling. Mix well and pour over the bread. Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of one hour or overnight. Bake the dish at 350 degrees F for one hour, or until the custard is puffed and well-set. Serve warm with maple syrup and garnish with pistachios, if desired.

Two-Ingredient Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins

Talk about easy! This recipe uses just two packaged ingredients and will yield moist, springy muffins with a hint of pumpkin and warm fall spices. Simply stir together one can (15 ounces) of pumpkin pie filling and 1 box of chocolate cake mix. Pour into paper-lined muffin tins. Bake jumbo muffins for 40 minutes at 350 degrees F or standard-size muffins for 20-25 minutes. Garnish with chopped walnuts for a satisfying crunch.

Pumpkin Cream Trifle

Impress everyone at your next fall party with this show-stopping trifle. You&rsquoll need two cans (15 ounces each) of pie filling and four cups of whipped cream to fill a large trifle dish. Cube one, store-bought angel food cake into 1-inch pieces and alternate with layers of pumpkin pie filling and whipped cream. Garnish with pumpkin seeds and ground cinnamon, if desired.

Pumpkin Pie Dip

Entertaining has never been easier thanks to this make-ahead seasonal dip. In a large mixing bowl, combine one package (8 ounces) cream cheese, 2 cups powdered sugar and 1 can (15 ounces) of pumpkin pie filling. Beat well. Cover and chill until ready to serve. Makes 3 cups &mdash enough to serve a crowd. Pair with pre-packaged gingersnaps and fresh apple slices, or try with pound cake tidbits and frozen cubes of cheesecake.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Brownies

Dress up your classic chocolate brownie mix for fall with rich swirls of pumpkin-flavored cream cheese. Prepare a family-sized brownie mix (18.4 ounces) with the directions on the box and pour into a 13x9-inch baking dish. In a mixing bowl, combine 4 ounces of softened cream cheese, 1/2 cup pumpkin pie filling and one large egg. Once mixed, place dollops of the pumpkin mixture over the brownie batter and use a butter knife to swirl the two flavors together. Bake as directed.

Pumpkin Pie Fillo Bites

Ready-made fillo pie shells are a boon to busy hosts, and you can whip up these one-bite treats in just minutes. For the filling, place 1 egg, 1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin pie filling and 1/4 cup heavy cream in a bowl and mix well. Spoon the filling into 30 fillo shells and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees F. Garnish with chopped pecans, if desired.

Pumpkin Spice Carrot Bread

Whip together this deliciously-spicy pumpkin bread using one box of carrot cake mix (21.41 ounce), three eggs and one can (15 ounces) pumpkin pie filling. Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes. Pro tip: we chose a cake mix with delicious chunks of raisins and carrots already mixed in.

Pumpkin Pie Parfaits

These parfaits make for a satisfying breakfast or a healthy dessert. Simply layer a quarter cup each of pumpkin pie filling, crunchy granola and vanilla yogurt in a tall glass or jar, then top with pumpkin seeds.

Pumpkin Pie Danish Pastries

You don&rsquot need to be a seasoned baker to make fancy-looking Danish pastries at home. Begin with one package (2 sheets) of ready-made puff pastry, thawed. Cut each pastry into four squares. Dock the centers of the squares 2-3 times with a fork and set aside. In a mixing bowl combine 3 large egg yolks, 1/4 cup pumpkin pie filling and 4 ounces of softened cream cheese. Blend well. Add a tablespoon of filling to the centers of each pastry square, then score 1/2-inch from the edges with a plain-edge knife to create a professional-looking design. Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets, and bake at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Drizzle with glaze or dust with powdered sugar and pumpkin spice before serving.

Pumpkin Pie Smoothies

Simple and so season-appropriate, one of these pumpkin-orange smoothies will start your day off right! Place one can (15 ounces) pumpkin pie filling, 1 large banana, 1 can (14 ounces) mandarin oranges and one cup of vanilla yogurt in a blender. Blend well on high speed. Add 1 cup of ice cubes and blend again until smooth. Pour into two large glasses and garnish with cinnamon. This recipe yields two servings, so share one with a friend! Or don't, who are we to judge?


Brunch

Photo Credit: Brunch Facebook

644 N Orleans

I mean, with a name so fitting, how could we leave it off the list? Brunch serves everything breakfast-style with our favorite entree being the tres leches pancakes, which is served with fresh strawberries and caramel sauce. If that isn’t perfect for the fall season, I don’t know what is, so make Brunch your favorite breakfast outing this season.


2021 Summer Guide: Celebrate Summer in Cincinnati with This Checklist

These are the things that every Cincinnati resident or visitor needs to do this summer.

Ziegler Park Pool Photo: Hailey Bollinger Summer is here, and it’s finally time to shake off that COVID-19 ennui and safely mingle with your pals outside. Greater Cincinnati has an abundance of activities for all interests and ages, but there are a few that every resident needs to try. So why not make a game of it?

Read on for CityBeat's favorite summertime activities.

If you’ve lived in Cincinnati for any length of time, chances are you can distinctly evoke the taste of blue ice cream. A blueberry-based soft serve, the actual name of the flavor is known simply as “blue.” Introduced by Kings Island in 1982 to promote a then-new Smurfs ride in the park’s Hanna-Barbera Land, it’s become a quintessential Queen City summer treat. Thankfully the cult following for the dessert is as rich as its flavor, so you can grab a cone at most local creamy whip windows, like Putz’s Creamy Whip in Westwood. Although blue creamy whip varies slightly at each location — with many shops implementing special (and secret) twists — the treats taste nearly identical, staying faithful to the amusement park’s true-blue recipe. Putz’s Creamy Whip, 2673 Putz’s Place, Westwood, putzscreamywhip.com.

SOAK UP CULTURE AT SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARK

Cincinnati Shakespeare Company kicked off its 2021 Shakespeare in the Park series in early May with performances listed online through May 23 (information for performances for June through August will be announced soon). Locations for the events span across the Greater Cincinnati area in beautiful destinations like Devou, Eden and Washington parks. Admittance is free and open to the public. Visit individual venue websites for COVID protocols. cincyshakes.com.

AMBLE AMONG ART AT PYRAMID HILL SCULPTURE PARK & MUSEUM

Art appreciation and fresh air aren’t mutually exclusive, at least at Hamilton’s Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park & Museum. Since 1997, the 300-acre nonprofit outdoor art park features more than 80 gargantuan sculptures displayed among rolling hills, lakes and hiking trails. If the weather’s not to your taste, head indoors to explore the ancient sculpture museum, which houses Greek, Roman, Syrian and Egyptian art, as well as rotating exhibitions of more modern work. The park rents out special Art Carts (aka golf carts) on a first-come, first-served basis. Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park & Museum, 1763 Hamilton Cleves Road, Hamilton, pyramidhill.org.

STEP BACK IN TIME AT A DRIVE-IN THEATER

Greater Cincinnati has two drive-in theaters — Holiday Auto Theatre in Oxford and Starlite Drive-In in Amelia. And both, like drive-ins across the country, have seen renewed interest since the advent of COVID. Sporting vintage vibes and cheery concession stands, the theaters offer an opportunity to hang in your car while you watch first-run films and classic cinema with sound beamed straight to your radio. Starlite, open since 1947, and Holiday, open for more than 60 years, both offer double features for the price of one (and an option to pay an additional $5ish to bring in your own food). Holiday Auto Theatre, 1816 Old Oxford Road, Oxford, holidayautotheatre.com. Starlite Drive-In, 2255 Ohio Route 125, Amelia, starlitedriveinohio.com.

SEE (AND HEAR) A CONCERT FROM THE LAWN AT RIVERBEND

After a long, live concertless year, Riverbend Music Center is loading its summer and fall schedules with a star-studded lineup. Currently, the venue is anticipating performances by Alicia Keys, Maroon 5, Dave Matthews Band, Alanis Morissette and (parrotheads, rejoice) Jimmy Buffett. In 2019, the venue made it even easier to see live music from the lawn seats by removing support beam towers that have been part of the pavilion structure since 1984. Riverbend Music Center, 6295 Kellogg Ave., California, riverbend.org.

PUT YOUR TOES IN THE SAND AT CAESAR CREEK STATE PARK BEACH

The Queen City may be landlocked, but when you’re in need of some sand between your toes, there are a few beach-boasting state park lakes within a one-hour drive from downtown, such as Caesar Creek State Park, Hueston Woods State Park and East Fork State Park. Caesar Creek offers a 1,300-foot beach that is open during daylight hours. After a day of hiking, mountain biking, fishing or boating, visitors can hang out on the beach or take a dip in the lake. Caesar Creek State Park, 8570 Ohio Route 73, Waynesville, Ohio, caesarcreeknatureassociation.org.

GET FIT FOR FREE AT WASHINGTON PARK

Ditch the gym membership and head to Washington Park on Wednesdays and Thursdays this summer for the park’s weekly free Workout on the Green series. Spring sessions include yoga, HIIT and dance fitness summer session dates and workouts have not yet been announced. Washington Park, 1230 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, washingtonpark.org.

DO A CANNONBALL IN THE ZIEGLER PARK POOL

Located in Ziegler Park, this renovated Over-the-Rhine pool is not only a community hot spot, but also a hip place to see and be seen. It’s popularity largely is due to the location (across from Alumni Lofts in the former School for Creative and Performing Arts), the cost (daily admission is just $4 for adults) and the features, including a zero-depth entry, lap lanes and a rock climbing wall that arcs out over the water. Due to capacity restrictions, the pool is offering three two-hour swimming sessions per day with a maximum of 175 swimmers per session, split between season pass holders and reservations. Guests must reserve their visit at least one day in advance walk-up ticket sales are currently unavailable. Ziegler Pool, 216 Woodward St., Over-the-Rhine, zieglerpark.org.

TAKE A SELFIE WITH A CINCINNATI MURAL

Since its inception in 2007, the ArtWorks mural pro-gram has been a boon to public art along the streets of Cincinnati. The nonprofit organization — dedicated to employing and training local youth and other creative individuals to achieve community impact through art — has created nearly 200 of them. Download or print a map from online and build your own tour, or purchase a ticket for an ArtWorks-guided tour. artworkscincinnati.org.

GET YOUR FLOAT ON AT GREEN ACRES KAYAK RENTAL

Harrison’s Green Acres kayak rental has officially opened for the season. If you didn’t get a chance to visit the livery last summer, traditional operations have shifted a bit to allow for safer trips for their guests. You must book your date and pay for your trip online in advance. The outfitter is only offering the 8-mile trip, and guests must weigh more than 75 pounds to participate. No dogs or large coolers are permitted, and only single kayaks are available. Trips start at $26.75 and increase by $8 on weekends or holidays. Green Acres Kayak Rental, 10465 Suspension Bridge Road, Harrison, greenacrescanoe.com.

VISIT FIONA AND THE ‘ROOS AT THE CINCINNATI ZOO & BOTANICAL GARDEN

The Cincinnati Zoo’s new Roo Valley habitat is an interactive experience that allows visitors to wander a 15,000-square-foot green space where red and grey kangaroos roam about. In this land down under (it is technically down under — located where the zoo’s Wildlife Canyon used to be and currently below the local-beer-serving Hops Beer Garden), adorable marsupials may even come up and interact with you. Another zoo superstar to check out? Fiona the hippo, the Queen City’s perfectly plump princess. Since being born six weeks early in January 2017, Fiona has become a bona fide celebrity. Initially weighing just 29 pounds, she inspired the hashtag #TeamFiona as well as plenty of international media coverage, books and mountains of themed merchandise. Visit her and her mom Bibi in the zoo’s Africa exhibit, or check out the other animal tots who steal our hearts on the regular, especially during Zoo Babies month in May. Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, 3400 Vine St., Avondale, cincinnatizoo.org.

ZIG-ZAG UP THE ART CLIMB

Starting near the intersection of Eden Park Drive and Gilbert Avenue, the new and expansive Art Climb is a flight of 164 steps that ascends from the sidewalk and zig-zags its way up to the Cincinnati Art Museum. At nine stories high, the stairway includes 16 landings and is flanked on either side by greenery and modern light beam structures. If the climb seems daunting, don’t fret: not only are benches placed throughout, but users can also check out artworks placed at four different plazas. Cincinnati Art Museum, 953 Eden Park Drive, Mount Adams, cincinnatiartmuseum.org.

SHOP LOCAL AT A THE CITY FLEA

This “curated urban flea market” pops up monthly from May to October — with a special winter holiday market — in Washington Park. Small businesses and independent makers sell everything from vintage duds and air plants to apothecary items and artisan pizza. Washington Park, 1230 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, thecityflea.com.

VISIT SHARONVILLE’S THE ROOT BEER STAND

Opened as an A&W Root Beer Stand in 1957, the now family-owned restaurant makes secret-recipe root beer (available by the jug) using water from the property’s 280-foot-deep well. But don’t miss out on the food — the secret-recipe chili for the eatery’s famous foot-long coney dogs is to die for. Open seasonally. The Root Beer Stand, 11566 Reading Road, Sharonville, therootbeerstand.com.

STROLL THROUGH FINDLAY MARKET

We already knew Findlay Market is great, but one of the best in the world? OK, we kinda knew that, too. In 2019, Newsweek affirmed our love for the 165-year-old outdoor market — the oldest continually operated public market in Ohio — by declaring it one of the top 10 food markets in the world as well as the only market in the United States to make the list. More than 50 full-time merchants at the 19th-century landmark sell everything from meat, cheese and fresh-baked bread to produce, flowers and international eats. Stop by for a pint at the newly opened Jane’s bar (a partnership with Karrikin Spirits taking over the former biergarten), a local farmers market and plenty of arts and crafts vendors. Findlay Market, 1801 Race St., Over-the-Rhine, findlaymarket.org.

RIDE THE LOVELAND BIKE TRAIL

Spanning more than 70 miles along the Little Miami River, the Loveland Bike Trail is a haven for cyclists, runners and walkers alike. The paved, flat trail was developed in 1983, replacing what was once the Pennsylvania Railroad. Now, visitors pedal through to immerse themselves in the landscape of Little Miami State Park, grab ice cream at Loveland Sweets or Loveland Dairy Whip, and maybe even learn a thing or two at the Loveland History Museum. Loveland is also a DORA (Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area) district, so if you grab a brew from Narrow Path Brewing, you can take it with you while you wander the quaint downtown. And if you don’t own a bike, don’t worry — rentals are a phone call away. Loveland Bike Trail, lovelandbiketrail.com.

BUMP, SET, SPIKE AT FIFTY WEST BREWING COMPANY’S SAND VOLLEYBALL COURTS

Fifty West has turned a stretch of Wooster Pike into a veritable outdoor recreation corridor with several sand volleyball courts (register online for leagues), plus running groups, the Fifty West Cycling Company and more. All are geared toward building community through shared experiences, which include drinking craft beer and getting outside. The brewery hub also added its popular new Burger Bar to the sprawling campus, with a menu of bread-and-butter diner specialties like classic cheeseburgers, flat-top hot dogs and loaded crinkle-cut fries. Don’t miss the 12 specialty burgers named for the 12 states that U.S. Route 50 runs through. Grab a house-made root beer or orange soda to wash it all down, or choose from a wide range of Fifty West canned, bottled or draft beers. Fifty West Brewing Company, 7605 Wooster Pike, Columbia Township, fiftywestbrew.com.

SLIDE THROUGH THE TWISTER AT CONEY ISLAND

Cincinnatians have been splashing around in the world’s largest recirculating pool at Coney Island amusement park since 1925. The 200-foot-by- 401-foot Sunlite Pool has plenty of space for small children, teenagers and lap swimmers to cool off during the summer, in addition to water slides like The Twister, a Typhoon Tower and adjacent Cannonball Cove, which has three diving boards (the tallest one is 9 feet high). Coney Island Amusement Park, 6201 Kellogg Ave., California, coneyislandpark.com.

SHOP VINTAGE AT THE BURLINGTON ANTIQUE MARKET

The Midwest’s premier antique market kicked off its 2021 season in April and has monthly dates slated through October. Visitors can expect to hunt through authentic wares — mid-century modern, Art Deco, pre-war, industrial and more — from more than 200 dealers offering the best antiques and vintage collectibles. If you’re a real hunter, aim for early-bird admission ($6 6-8 a.m.), or just browse until 3 p.m. General admission is $4. Boone County Fairgrounds, 5819 Idlewild Road, Burlington, burlingtonantiqueshow.com.

Still craving more? Read our full 2021 Summer Guide issue or check out these activities:


A Trio of Early Spring Walks and Nearby Eats in Vermont

Throughout the pandemic, I have stayed sane, and active, by getting outside and exploring nature at least one day every weekend.

During summer and fall, I was up for ambitious, full-day hikes. Colder days are better suited to briefer forays, but Mother Nature still delivers the much-needed reprieve from endless video meetings and household chores.

As we slowly move from a long winter into early spring, it's best to plan your outing carefully to avoid squelchy trails. If you're going on a walk, the Green Mountain Club recommends sticking to low elevations and south-facing slopes — and turning around if you encounter mud. Tread patiently and gently as you assess the conditions, even if that means covering less ground.

Rather than race to the view, I wind through the woods at a leisurely pace, relishing the journey as much as the destination. I pause to admire shelf fungus marching up tree trunks, touch velvety emerald mosses carpeting old stone walls and peer skyward to spot the woodpecker responsible for that ratatatat.

Part of the fun has been finding new-to-me places to investigate. Sometimes the destinations are super close: How did I not know there's a suspension bridge and a troll in Shelburne? Others have long been on my list, such as the striking Millstone Trails winding quarry-side through Barre and Websterville.

And then there is the draw of nearby good eats. I'm what they call "food-motivated." I'd probably walk along the banks of the River Styx if it put me in the vicinity of a maple milkshake. Luckily, Vermont offers far more pleasant options. Here are three.

Chase Brook Town Forest

Fayston

The Mad River Valley is a favorite, year-round outdoor destination for my family. The oasis of great food and drink along Waitsfield's Main Street doesn't hurt. On a recent but still-snowy day, my husband identified our destination in Fayston's Chase Brook Town Forest on AllTrails, and we planned a late grazing lunch for after our walk.

The small parking area and trailhead for the town forest are easy to find, right across from the Fayston Elementary School next to a lovely old barn. A sign explains that in 2005 the Town of Fayston bought the 72-acre forest, "part of an iconic hill farm . now managed by the Fayston Conservation Commission for environmental education, community recreation and wildlife habitat."

I could imagine happy schoolchildren running the length of the bridge over the Chase Brook at the start of the trail. I would love to return in warmer weather to sit on the double Adirondack chair overlooking the water.

We thoroughly enjoyed our mellow trek of less than three miles round trip to a nice clearing and view at the top. There were plenty of downed logs and small streams to investigate. As one AllTrails user said, "Good for kiddos!"

Driving back down into town, we called in our takeout order to the Mad Taco for a mix of their very good tacos, including carnitas, smoked pork belly and house chorizo.

While we waited for our bagged order to appear in the window, we zipped across the parking lot to Canteen Creemee for an "appetizer" of a small maple milkshake and a small cherry-maple twist. And then we popped across the road for beer from the Lawson Finest Liquids' drive-through and cider from the Mad River Taste Place. The latter has the best selection of Vermont cheeses and a wide array of other local specialties.

LaPlatte Nature Park

Shelburne

One busy weekend called for an outing that would fit into a 90-minute window. My friend Kathy had posted photos of a walk in Shelburne involving a troll, and I needed no further encouragement.

Shelburne's LaPlatte Nature Park covers about 145 acres and includes community gardens off LaPlatte Circle, where many people park to walk on the interconnected looped trails. The closest access to the troll is to park behind the Shelburne Market and enter at the sign. Walk down the hill and bear left to reach the gently undulating suspension bridge and search for the troll. (Part of the fun is finding the creature, so I won't give too much detail — but the full-size figure is perched where you might not expect.)

Shelburne Parks & Recreation staffers cannot confirm how the troll came to reside here he seems to have arrived within the past year. "Town officials will leave him alone as long as he behaves," director Betsy Cieplicki said with a laugh.

You can make the walk as long or as short as you want, looping through the woods and down by the river. As the weather warms, it'd be lovely to stop for a picnic at the table and stools on the near side of the bridge.

Other charms along the way include an arch of vines woven together over the pathway and a sweet garden gate where one of the trail spurs ends at the road. There's even a history lesson about Ira Allen's saw and gristmills, which date back to the late 1700s.

With history on our minds, we stopped at the Shelburne Country Store before heading home. The building has housed a general store for more than a century and is known for its warren of rooms and wide assortment of candy, including throwbacks such as chocolate bull's-eyes and Tart N Tinys.

But I was there for the fudge. It's made fresh daily by co-owner Deb Mayfield. She told me that at least 20 flavors are on offer at any time, from among 200 total. I acquired two small chunks: Maple Northern Delight, which layers chocolate and maple fudge with caramel and peanut butter cups to great effect and Tiger Fluff, made with chocolate and divinity fudges and a peanut butter ribbon. Creemees return in April, Mayfield said. Those are old-school, too: maple, chocolate or a swirl.

Millstone Trails

Barre and Websterville

"No one likes to explore on an empty stomach," proclaimed a sign in the window of South Barre's Citgo gas station, which houses Rickie's Indian Restaurant.

We were headed to explore the granite quarries of Barre and Websterville and planned to grab some finger foods, such as vegetable pakoras, from Rickie's. But I learned later from co-owner Gary Singh that the menu has been streamlined for lack of help. His wife, Kelly, is the cook and also took our order.

Gary recommends calling ahead. We had not, so we snacked on a trio of satisfying deviled egg halves while waiting about 10 minutes.

The restaurant is currently takeout only, so we ate in our car amid steamy wafts of cumin and curry. Our saag paneer was topped with the softest cubes of freshly made paneer I have ever had, and the aloo chole was chunky with chickpeas and potatoes in a crimson, warmly spiced chile-tomato sauce. Both came with perfectly fluffy rice, as naan is also off the menu right now.

If sandwiches are more your thing, head to downtown Barre to check out the creative menu of grilled cheese options at the Meltdown or grab a very good sandwich from the case at AR Market. (Note that both Rickie's and AR are closed on Sunday.)

Well fed, we headed to Millstone Trails. We parked on Barclay Quarry Road toward the south end of the trail system and walked a loose four-mile loop, meandering through woods of birch, relics of the industrial past, and striking crags and piles of granite. Along the way, signs explaining the history of the quarries and those who worked there brought the past to life.

Eventually, we crossed Church Hill Road and arrived at the start of the path to Grand Lookout, marked by a pair of nascent columns emerging half-carved out of granite blocks. (To get to the lookout more quickly, park at the Brook Street lot in Websterville.)

The roughly half-mile approach to the Grand Lookout is rich with stunning views, informative signage, and engaging carvings and statues. One wall of granite blocks boasts a pair of owls, a dinosaur, a gladiator helmet and more. Four Ionic columns soar around a statue of Hephaestus, son of Zeus and Hera. He was, it turns out, the god of stone masonry. A bit of Greek mythology, for sure, but far from the River Styx.

The original print version of this article was headlined "Trek and Treat | A trio of early spring walks and nearby eats"


A Killer French Dip at Maison Pickle

News of a respectable restaurant opening on the Upper West Side is always notable. And Jacob’s Pickles proved a welcome addition indeed when it opened on Amsterdam a few years ago — serving southern-styled comfort food, craft beer and of course, plenty of house-brined pickles. Well, the affection seems to be mutual, as the eatery has proved faithful to the neighborhood with its reason expansion debuting Maison Pickle a short jaunt away on Broadway.

Aside from a “nosh” of vinegared crudité, the pickle influence is negligible this time around. As for the “maison” part of the name, there is indeed a French bent to the menu, but don’t expect faithful renditions of bourride and quenelles a la Le Coucou. Instead, the lineup favors American appropriations of French foods, from gruyere-bombed onion soup and duck fat fries, to chicken and shrimp francese and smoked blue fish nicoise.

But it’s the French dip that’s been positioned as something of a maison specialty, with five different variations on offer. Owing nothing whatsoever to France (except for the banh mi-like bread), the entirely American invention is presented in its most classic iteration — boasting thinly sliced roast beef, doused in jus, with more on the side for dipping, as well as a restrained restaurant flourish of horseradish aioli and a side of pickled peppers. But that’s just the jumping off point — fried onions and fondue get thrown into the mix for the “Deluxe,” the “Cochon” swaps in pork as the protein, slathered in spiced apple compote, and there’s a “Lamb” entry as well, rubbed with sprightly mint chimichurri. And then there’s the “Royale,” which rings in at $37 (the “Classic is $18), but for legitimate reason the whole thing’s crowned with fat, cross-hatched lobes of Hudson Valley foie gras.

Maison Pickle may have more kinship with over-the-top America than moderate France, but it’s certainly not lacking in joie de vivre.


Chef Vivian Howard Returns With A New PBS Show, And A Full Plate Of Projects

In 2013, Vivian Howard captivated public television viewers with her story of returning home from New York City to open a restaurant in tiny Kinston, N.C.

A Chef’s Life, which ran for five seasons, combined stories of Howard’s life with the challenges of building a network of local producers and keeping the lights on.

It became the first television cooking show to win a Peabody Award since Julia Child, took home Emmy awards and Howard subsequently was named Outstanding TV Personality by the James Beard Awards.

Now, Howard is back with a full plate of projects.

They include a new TV show, new restaurants under development in Charleston, S.C., one of the country’s most heralded food cities, and another cookbook due out this fall.

Somewhere South launches on PBS stations Friday night (check your local station for the air time).

Rather than focus on Howard’s restaurants, it is a travelogue that digs into the roots of Southern food, something like the programs made by the late Anthony Bourdain.

Howard travels across the South, exploring multi-cultural dishes and having frank conversations about food origins and culture.

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This summer, Howard is scheduled to open Lenoir (pronounced Lenore), a sit down restaurant focused on Southern agriculture, and Handy and Hot, a coffee and pastry place, assuming the coronavirus doesn’t delay them.

(Her exiting restaurants, including Chef and the Farmer in Kinston, and Benny’s Big Time in Wilmington, N.C., have closed their dining rooms, but are offering food to go. Check her website for details.)

Meanwhile, her next cookbook, This Will Make It Taste Good, is scheduled to be published in October.

I talked to Howard recently about her show, her growing restaurant collection and her business practices.

On getting started in Kinston: “We didn’t have money, didn’t have a labor pool, or a customer pool (that was) understanding what we were trying to do. I was really hung up on the idea that you did not have to be in a major metropolitan area to run and execute an excellent restaurant.

The building itself is 10,000 square feet, and we paid $75,000. The build out cost about $300,000 and we took out a $90,000 small wares and operating budget loan. We were very scrappy. I would have loved for it to put more put together and more corporate than it did. But it looked and felt more like our dining room. People often tell us how comfortable it is.”

How TV affected her business: “We didn’t think anyone was going to watch the show. I didn’t think it was going to be compelling for people. Two things happened: in January 2012, we were filming the show and in the middle of it, the kitchen burned down. We got a tremendous amount of press before the show started airing. With all the press around the fire, we reopened even busier than we closed. On a weeknight, we’d do 80 to 110 people. After the fire, from 110 to 150 people.

After the show began airing, it was insane. We had lines of people an hour before we opened. We’d serve 200 people on weeknights, between 200 and 250 on the weekends We had always struggled to get people to eat late, because of where we are. After the show aired, people willing to take those 9:30 pm reservations.”

But Howard says that was a mixed blessing. “We were so crazed and overwhelmed that (the surge) could have very easily closed us. Nobody likes that story. Everybody thinks you’ll be able to make it work. It took us more than a year to wrap our labor around it and get our experience back to where it was so we didn’t act like chickens.”

The new PBS show: “Somewhere South is really a show where we worked to broaden the definition of what Southern food is and what means to be Southern. We go all over the South, and we look at pickles, dumplings, greens, and all types of food. It’s meant to demonstrate the food traditions we bring to a place.

I’ve learned a ton in being a part of it. It’s meant to soften the edges of the way we think about our neighbors. It’s different in that it reaches an audience that maybe would not have pondered these questions. They’re a little bit like the Bourdain series (such as No Reservations).

What an episode is like: The porridge episode tells a history of Charleston and the Sea Islands and slavery and the rice culture and economy built as a result of the knowledge that enslaved Africans brought to this place. So many Africans were selected because of their knowledge and skill cultivating and growing rice. That knowledge is what Charleston is built on.

The pickle episode is really fun. Why are some of them yellow or orange? It’s because they come straight from India and the UK’s occupation of India. The show is warm and funny at times and difficult to watch. I’m a white woman in a room with people that don’t look like me. People won’t put themselves out there the way we do on the show.”

The move to Charleston: “Having opened a restaurant in an economically depressed region and run it for 14 years and now being in a city with a thriving scene (is) a weird type of security. Say I decide not to be on TV anymore and not to make my personal life the center of a TV show any more. Will people still travel to Kinston?

I’d be lying if I’d say I wasn’t hungry for a peer group. It’s refreshing and invigorating to talk to other restaurateurs and feel like a part of the community here.”

How she feels about her career: “I’m proud and I’m excited. I hope people see that my intentions are good. You never know how something’s going to land. I’m very excited and really grateful.”


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