A Glutton’s Paradise: Eat Your Way Through Amsterdam on a Dutch Food Tour

Death by tram.

City street in Amsterdam with tram on an Eating Amsterdam Dutch food tour.

The trams come from the left and the right in Amsterdam – pedestrians beware! Photo: The Open Suitcase

It’s not the way I wanted my obituary to read. I stepped out of Amsterdam’s Centraal Station onto a cloverleaf of tracks, heading for the #5 tram across the yard. What I didn’t notice was the #12 aiming for me.

“Drop the suitcase!” my husband and friends hollered. I blinked, stared and froze like a piece of bad, government-commissioned public art. Then the adrenaline kicked in and I darted back to the curb. Continue reading

Is The West Coast The Best Coast?

The Pacific Coast Highway

Remember Kathleen Turner in “Body Heat“? Seductive and dangerous. The Pacific Coast Highway is like that. The sweeping ocean views are tremendous and without meaning to, you swerve into the wrong lane while driving because your mind is busy processing the “wow” factor.

But is it better than my beloved Atlantic coast?
Continue reading

Fork It! Eat Your Way Out of Winter Weather Blues.

I suspected this winter had reached record suck levels, but it wasn’t confirmed until I saw “Northeast” and “Siberia” in the same headline. There was no January thaw, so the accumulated snow trapped us in a polar prison. Even if you were lucky enough to book an escape, you suffered airport delays, cancellations, reroutes, and the really fortunate ones skidded off a runway at Laguardia last week.

So what’s a poor, frostbit survivor to do? I recommend making a reservation at a destination restaurant and then eating and drinking to excess.

©The Open Suitcase LLC

This is my garden. Martha Stewart says I should plant peas on St. Patrick’s Day. Fat chance. (Photo: The Open Suitcase LLC)

Continue reading

Postcards from the Palate

Some places you remember for the sights. Others, for the people. And then there are those you swear you can still taste. NYC is renowned for the depth and breadth of its cuisine. The term farm-to-table truly comes alive on plates in California where simple, fresh meals can be had everywhere, every day. And then there’s New Orleans, where eating is a cultural obsession and the answer to every problem is, “Have another beignet.” Continue reading

Feeding Hungry, Hungry Tourists in Philadelphia

GUEST POST:  A little dirty. A bit brash. Philly’s all that and more. I started spending time there when my son enrolled at Drexel University and it was love at first bite. Seriously. The city has so many good restaurants, it can be daunting to choose one. I thought it would be helpful to engage the assistance of an expert. Sarah Ricks is a travel junkie and confirmed Phila-phile. We share a mutual friend who’s a travel editor. He encouraged us to hook up, so I guess this is technically our “first date”. I asked Sarah to share some of her favorite eateries located near Philly’s top tourist spots. I know I can’t wait to hop on the Turnpike and give these a try.

The Barnes

After visiting the Impressionist and post-Impressionist paintings at The Barnes Foundation (where art is displayed alongside Pennsylvania Dutch crafts, per orders of the eccentric Dr. Albert Barnes), you can pick up a convenient picnic lunch a block away at Whole Foods Market. Eat outside the Barnes or nearby at the Swann Fountain. If your visit is timed to avoid weekend brunch lines, the upscale diner Sabrina’s Cafe is a good choice for salads, sandwiches, frittatas, challah French toast, and ever-changing eclectic mash-ups like “cranberry-basil cornbread topped with crispy applewood bacon, arugula, caramelized red onions, broccoli, and over easy eggs.” Continue reading