Food and fun around the USA

Detroit, MI: Polish Village Cafe

A surprising fact I came to learn about Detroit was the high number of Polish immigrants living in the city. As covered in the blog previously, I married into a Polish family, and largely through the annual celebration of Wigilia, I’ve discovered an entire world of food I didn’t previously know existed; or hadn’t attributed to the Poles.

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Detroit, MI: Slow’s Bar BQ

In the early stages of the 20th century, not long after Henry Ford fired up his model T for the first time, manufacturing jobs became the new gold rush. Thousands of skilled laborers rushed to the car plants of Detroit, Michigan. Why Detroit? Centrally located in the United States, it was perfectly positioned to receive the raw material coming in by train from all over the country.

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Baltimore, MD: LP Steamers

Our time in Baltimore was coming to an end, and we were saddened because we had thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The media gives an impression of an impoverished ghetto, which could not be further from the truth. It’s a city rich with history; a reminder to early industrialization, but still taking the steps necessary to find ways to keep relevancy. The harbor front is home to dozens of crab shacks, one of the world’s largest aquariums, and lots of ships – both work, and tour-boats.

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Baltimore, MD: Pioneer Pit Beef

When hitting the coastal city of Baltimore, the food you’d associate with the city would be crabs. Steamers, crab cakes, soft shell sandwiches, and more. Venture away from the port area, however, and you’ll find a completely different culinary scene. Over on the East side of the city lies the blue collar crowd, and crabs aren’t every day living. The fact is, seafood is a premium; and for those who are simply getting by, a much more humble sandwich is up their alley. Two words: Pit beef.

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Washington, DC: Nationals Park

As a father of a new baby boy, one of the things I’m looking forward to most in the coming years is sharing my love of baseball with him. It’s a passion, to the point of obsession, and it’s been with me since I was a kid. My earliest memory is sitting on my dad’s lap as he tried to wire me into a state of overwhelming euphoria every time Tim Raines came up to bat.

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Syracuse, New York: Eva’s European Sweets

My wife is Polish, her grandmother an immigrant, coming to Canada shortly after the second world war. Her family has maintained their roots, and are proud of their heritage. When I met her, I was introduced to a wide world of Polish cuisine that I not only had never eaten, but in a lot of cases wasn’t even aware of. Now, I anticipate every Wigilia when I’m given the chance to eat my weight in mushroom naleśniki, and pierogi.

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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Dalessandro’s

With our weekend in Philadelphia winding down, we had one more item on our bucket list. And while Bassett’s Ice Cream, a tomato pie, or a fresh stromboli would need to wait for another trip, we were completely focused on the hoagie-centric theme of the city. Even though I’d cheated our itinerary by eating at Tony Luke’s, I wasn’t going to rest until I got a cheesesteak from Dalessandro’s.

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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Citizen’s Bank Park

I’ve been a baseball fan since birth. Some of my earliest memories are watching the Expos on my dad’s lap, with him getting me all riled up every time Tim Raines stepped on the field. I can remember listening to the games at our summer trailer on the radio, called by Dave Van Horne and Ken Singleton. That passion has never left me, and over the past few years I’ve made it a special point to visit at least one new ballpark every year.

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