An Open Letter to Sandwich-makers: It’s time to ratify sandwich standards
Mar24

An Open Letter to Sandwich-makers: It’s time to ratify sandwich standards

Since the first time an Arab stuffed meat into a pita, the sandwich has been awesome. Sure, the Earl of Sandwich gave the lunchtime staple it’s name during a furious poker match, but the first recording of someone putting food between bread and eating it dates back to 110 BC when Hillel the Elder came up with the dish for Passover. There’s no question why the sandwich has such international staying power: It’s simple, versatile,...

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Raise Your Glass: Organic Wines That Are Well Worth a Try
Mar24

Raise Your Glass: Organic Wines That Are Well Worth a Try

Natura Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, Chile, $9.99-11.99 Natura Chardonnay 2013, Chile, $9.99-11.99 About a decade ago, I tried an organic wine. It was expensive and bad. I didn’t spit it out or even pour it down the drain, probably because of my Scots heritage, but I didn’t like it. So when friends recently suggested that I write about organic wine, I was reluctant. The organic wine I’d tried back then was overpriced for the quality. It...

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Taste-Off! Slice Showdown, Part 1: Which Northampton by-the-slice pizza joint lays claim to the best?
Mar24

Taste-Off! Slice Showdown, Part 1: Which Northampton by-the-slice pizza joint lays claim to the best?

Pizza — it’s as American as, well, burritos and frankenfurters. Determining what’s the best pizza is a heady, touchy business. And in an area where there’s a pizza joint every 50 feet or so, the stakes are high. For something that is, at its most elemental, just cheese, sauce, and crust, pizza is also subject to plenty of variations. Some of them are variations that aren’t necessarily obvious — what makes (an American) pizza “Greek”...

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Beerhunter: Tips, going on a tour at your local craft brewer
Mar18

Beerhunter: Tips, going on a tour at your local craft brewer

Up in Vermont there’s a glow-in-the-dark circus party at the end of the world. Neon streamers and Mardi Gras beads hang all over the place. Colorful string lights set the room aglow. Some visitors hunker down at the long bar counter, but others try on jester hats, toss Frisbees, and laugh behind the curtains of a photo booth. The visitor center at Magic Hat, called the Artifactory, is packed full of silly diversions — a tourist stop...

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Madame Barfly: Mix It Up, Take a Shot
Mar03

Madame Barfly: Mix It Up, Take a Shot

Shots cut to the chase. Whether you need some quick courage for that karaoke performance or don’t want a drink that sloshes on your dancing shoes, shots are great when you want to get that buzz rolling in one fell shoot. So, why not make it delicious? When it comes to shots, many — myself included — have been known to simply go for the hard stuff, straight up. But mixed shots can be fun, and absolutely delicious, when the moment calls...

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Dive! Five unpolished gems with cheap drinks and charm to spare.
Mar03

Dive! Five unpolished gems with cheap drinks and charm to spare.

Everyone has a favorite dive bar; a place you can go in your old jeans and sweater, have a beer for under $3 and watch some “Wheel of Fortune” with townies looking to unwind. Dive bars — and we use the term lovingly — tend to be physically and metaphysically secluded. Signs are minimal and the website, if it even exists, barely functions. The good ones are tucked away like unpolished backstreet gems. Last week, Advocate writers took...

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