Portland Museum of Art

Mini discovering Monet.

7 Congress Square, Portland, ME 04101

It is quite small. You can get through it in an afternoon or less. They do have a couple of Robert Indiana’s, Monet’s, and Renoir’s pieces which I found thoroughly enjoyable. They get some travel exhibits and show documentaries as well. Their cafe is so so and as with all museum gift shops, overpriced. It’s $15 bucks a person admissiob but check Groupon, you may be able to get 2 for the price of 1. Also, if you have a valid student ID, there’s a discount. 



Lobster roll

86 Middle St, Portland, ME 04101

What’s the big deal with eventide? I tried the clam chowder it was more like clam soup and kind of tasted like I was drinking ocean water. The lobster stew was pretty good, had a nice broth to it, but not something I’d rush back there for. And the lobster roll? Well it was good. I found the Chinese bun interesting and enjoyable, but honestly was it my favorite ever? Definitely not. Would I wait in line for 5 hours? Hell no! Would I wander in one day and grab one if I was in the neighborhood and there was no line? Sure, why not. Even if it is a little bit of a thing. I understand lobster is expensive, but really? Meh.  I will say our server was Rockin though! 

New England clam chowder

Fort Williams Park – Portland, Maine

1000 Shore Rd, Cape Elizabeth, ME 04107

For a brief moment I could have believed I was in Iceland (it certainly was cold enough) if it wasn’t for the trees. Just a short drive from Portland is  Fort Williams Park. The park beautiful under a blanket of snow. There’s a great vantage point of the lighthouse as you are driving to it. I actually stopped and shot photos there. Then looping through the park you can catch it from the opposite direction and get a nice vantage point. 

Portland Head Light

Tandem Coffee & Bakery –  Portland, Maine 

742 Congress St Portland, Maine

So every year I like to spend New year’s in a city I’ve never been. Having the tater tots in tow and not wanting to take a flight wth all his stuff on a short trip I decided to see what was in driving distance. 

I settled on Portland, Maine. 

We left in the early AM and got to Tandem which is located at a former  gas station in time for mini’s breakfast which meant breakfast for me too! 

I had heard about the Coconut Almond Cream Pie online and that it sells out quick. So pie for breakfast! Sure thing! It was so worth it! The cruise was crunchy, the filling smooth with flacks of coconut and the topping, what was that? Like it was a chocolately almond-y (I know that’s not a word, thanks WordPress) coconuty (I know WordPress, I know) cookie candy bar thing. So good! So good! So good! 

What a delicious pie!

Since the little one takes awhile to eat and has to sit up rightdyeto his reflux for at least 20 mins after he eats I ft I should order something else. There aren’t a lot of tables and they were nice enough to heat the babe’s bottle behind the counter as there were not outlets in the public area. I opted for an egg & cheese with added spinach on a bisciut. I saw her pull in this foil wrapped sandwich and I was worried. But thebudcyut was tick flakey and buttery. The eggs fluffy and just the right amount of cheese and spinach. 6 bucks for a premade egg & cheese? Eek! But Tandem’s? So worth it. 

Best egg and cheese sandwich i’ve had!

Final thought, check out the portrait painting of Abe Lincoln in the bathroom. 

The Pancake Bakery

The Pancake Bakery is supposed to have the best pancakes in Amsterdam.
I got to The Pancake Bakery and despite it being a Monday, it was hopping.

I had to stand and wait to be seated. Upon it being my turn they told the couple in front of me and me that we could be sat if we wouldn’t mind sharing a table. We all agreed. They sat us at a rectangle 6 top with a seat left open between us. This was fine for me as some restaurants technically have had me at separate tables from others and have been closer.

I ordered an orange juice and it was delicious. I then noticed the machine that squeezes oranges into freshly squeezed juice and realized why it was so good. Fresh orange juice is always better.

They had an extensive menu of pancakes both sweet and savory. Both done is the traditional style of the Netherlands and not. But since I was in the Netherlands I knew I had to try the traditional style. I ordered a Netherlands style with bananas and Nutella.

Look at the size of that thing!

It didn’t take too long for my food to arrive. It arrived on a large round plate and the pancake was just about the same circumference as the plate itself. It was very thin, however. In America, our pancakes are thick and hopefully fluffy. This one was thin, but purposely so. It reminded me more of a crepe than a pancake.

There were some pieces of banana cooked in. But due to the pancake being so thin the bananas stuck right out. The Nutella was served on the side. On the table, there were very condiments for both the sweet and the savory that were served.

I found though it had areas that were browned to a crisp it was still rather on the chewy side. It appeared easier and to make more sense to me to fold the ends in and make it essentially 3x as thick. It helped me to cut it as well as keep the bananas more intact.

The service up until time if payment was quick and efficient. It seems though that in every country when it’s time to go you can never track your server down. But the gentleman that had been taking care of me had been nice and spoke English well.

Overall I thought that The Pancake Bakery was fine, but not someplace I necessarily need to go back to, nor are Netherland style pancakes something I need to eat again.

Station – Pittsburgh, PA


As a Penn State Nittany Lion I’ve obviously made friends in Pittsburgh. I’ve been a couple times, but let’s just say it’s been awhile since I’ve been. It’s just close enough that driving there is a bit annoying and just far enough and flying there seems silly. But when a very good fellow lion called and tells me he’s getting married I make sure to circle it on my calendar to make sure I’m not traveling then, that is except to Pittsburgh!

The wedding was over Labor Day Weekend so I knew I would have some free time and the thing I remember best about Pittsburgh, besides the numerous bridges, was the food scene. I looked into some of the restaurants in Pittsburgh and came across Station the Bloomfield section of Pittsburgh.

Bloomfield is located about three miles outside of downtown Pittsburgh and has been referred to as Pittsburgh’s Little Italy. What I find interesting is that it was settled by Italians from the region of Abruzzo. I’ve met three people from Abruzzo, two brothers living in Roma and a young woman who’s family is from Abruzzo but lives in New York. Abruzzo sounds like a beautiful small village. The region of Abruzzo is located in central eastern Italia. Thus far most of the Little Italy sections I have visited in America were settled by people from Napoli, which is where my father’s family is from. Not to say I haven’t eaten food cooked by Italians from Abruzzo. Those brothers I mentioned? They were roommates to a friend of mine and were so generous as to cook me dinner one day and when I say it was delicious that’s an understatement.

I’m getting a bit off track here, let’s get back to Station. Curtis who is the owner/chef was so generous to invite me in for dinner. He was even so accommodating to work around my busy schedule.

I arrived and was bought to my table. I soon met my server Jesse who would be my guide throughout my meal at Station. Jesse told me about the new menu items that rolled out just the day before my arrival.Jesse was knowledgeable on the menu, professional, courteous, and made someone feel at ease.

For my party’s meal we went with a couple new menu items as well as their most popular dish.


To start, we had the fairy tale eggplant which Jesse described as not bitter as one has come to expect with what you would consider traditional eggplant. I myself have never been a fan of eggplant but Jesse’s description on it sold me on trying it. I wouldn’t say it was sweet by any means, but I wasn’t told it would be sweet, I was told it wouldn’t be bitter, and it wasn’t. It is is sous vide in miso and olive oil for about and hour then slow roasted to order. The salad that was served with it was fragrant and earthy. The black garlic was something I could put on almost anything. (Italians and Koreans both love garlic!) Their garlic is locally sourced and fermented in house for up to 6 weeks. Chermoula is a middle eastern condiment much like Salsa verde with evoo, parsley, cilantro, organic cumin, coriander, allepo, lemon and lime zest.



I ordered the pork chop and pierogi meal which was served with a huckleberry mustard that was sweet and tangy. It was almost at the top of my list for favorite things there. I’m really into condiments, and this was a creme de la creme of condiments. The pork chop which was a bone in (my favorite) was cooked to perfection, oozing juice as you cut into it.



The tagliatelle is one of the most popular dishes at Station and I must say, it was to die for. It had a nice smoky flavor that I wish all restaurants were able to create in such a  delicious way. If I had room in my belly I would have eaten both plates myself.



Upon finishing the main course we moved on to dessert. They serve but two at Station, and both sounded delicious. Both were ordered and we shared. The lavender pound cake was sweet but heavy. But I could have drank the syrup that it was soaked in. (Again, I like condiments, probably a little bit too much.)



My absolute favorite things at Station, the panna cotta. While in Roma I learned panna cotta is simply cooked cream. I’ve had it many times in Italy and a few times in the states. Nothing compared to that first time in Italy, except finally here at Station. I’ve found one comparable. Panna Cotta I find can be very blank if done incorrectly. But this juts like the one in Roma was sweet but not overly so and you could still taste the creamy milkyness of it. To top it with popcorn was new for me, but it gave it texture and crunch.



The cocktail menu is comparable to your hot spots in New York and should not be taken lightly. Their drinks are tasty and well crafted. Thanks to a knowledgeable bar staff that all contributes to bring you the libations that will keep your mouth happy until your meal arrives and makes your mouthy doubley happy.


Curtis Gamble – Owner and Chef

Curtis himself said, “We let the menu change very organically, when the markets dictate good looking produce or products, and when some of our farmers have an excess of a certain meat . There are several things that never change, the mousse, the tag, and the carrot salad, but everything else is very fluid around it.” So if I sold you on a particular dish I’m sorry if it’s not available when you go, but from my experience there, you really cannot go wrong with trying something new, and if all else fails, definitely get their most popular, the tagliatelle.

Thank you Curtis for having me in to experience one of the best spots in Pittsburgh.

Have you been to Station? What was your favorite dish? What other spots in Pittsburgh would you suggest?

*** This is a sponsored blog post, but all opinions are my own.***

Public transportation issues in Brussels

So on my final day in Brussels I figured out why I was having transportation issues. In Brussels many people speak both French and Dutch. Some people speak only French while others speak only Dutch. So many signs are in both languages. However, my Google maps tells me the direction to take the bus in in one language while when the bus shows up the banner on the bus is in another language. Know this and it will help many of your issues out. As the number was right, but I thought it was going in different direction. I would not have let so many pass by if I had known this!

A Jet Set Lifestyle: Albert Cuyp Market 


I’ve had stroopwafel before. But while doing my research I heard about Albert Cuyp Market. I never had a stroopwafel warm before so I thought I’d check it out.

The market has many stalls selling everything from cheap household goods, clothing, stuff you can’t think anyone would ever want, produce, and other foods. Orginal Stroopwafels had a bit if a line.


You could order the original way or with chocolate added on. They had smaller cold ones pacakged up in 10 packs that you could buy. You would buy them with or without a canister to carry them in. The canister is some sort of metal and does better than just the plastic bag at supporting them and keeping them from getting broken. The cap appears to be of a thinner metal however and did get dented, but the stroopwafels were still okay.


The stand is cash only so make sure to hit an ATM before you go otherwise you’ll end up having to wait in line twice. The gentleman I met working at the stand was friendly and spoke English. He also had a bit of a Benedict Cumberbatch look to him.


The warm stroopwafel was lovely. You have to hold it flat otherwise all the sweet caramel goodness in the center will run out and not just be lost forever but make a sticky mess in the process.


If you have the time check it out. And while you’re at it, bring me back one?

A Jet Set Lifestyle: A transportation tip for Amsterdam

Many places make you swipe a card when you enter a bus or to enter a metro station platform. And then you just leave when you’ve gotten to your desired stop. Do NOT do this in Amsterdam.

In Amsterdam you MUST tap you card against the ticket machine again as you exit. Otherwise they will shut off access to your card and it will be a waste of money.

I’m not quite sure why exactly you must do this, but after spending however many euros on the card and realizing I wasn’t going to get my money’s worth on the museum side I wasn’t about to test this rule.

Have you tested it? How did it go?