Blogs > News-Herald Food and Travel

Food and travel captivate Janet Podolak, who chronicles both for The News-Herald. Get the back story of her three decades of stories here. Guest bloggers and fellow News-Herald staffers also periodically share details of their trips.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Willoughby Brewing goes for the Gold at World Beer Cup in Denver

It was a tremendous thrill for Willoughby Brewing Co. to win the World Beer Cup's Gold in Specialty Beer for its Peanut Butter Cup Coffee Porter, said head brewer Rick Seibt. He and Willoughby Brewing's brewer Wyatt Routson were among thousands of brewers gathered for the awards  at the Hyatt Regency Denver when the honors were announced and presented.
"We've always had a tremendous customer response to this beer but to be recognized by our peers in a competition of such magnitude is a brewer's dream," Seibt said. He describes the winning dark porter as having flavors of coffee, peanut butter and chocolate that work well together.
"It's become something of a cult favorite beer that people buy in growlers and send all over the country," he said. "We have to ration it when we serve it at the Great American Beer Festival in October because it's always the first beer to sell out."
 Willoughby Brewing doesn't package the  Peanut Butter Cup Coffee Porte beer in bottle or cans yet, although it's been requested by places as distant as Chile.
"We jumped out of our seats," Seibt said when  the announcement came that its Peanut Butter Cup Coffee Porter had won the Gold  "We high fived each other and got so excited we almost ran up on the wrong side of the stage to accept the award."
Many said they expected a lot of German wins at the international contest, and even anticipated seeing breweries from Colorado, California and Washington  among those honored..
"But bringing an award like this home to small city Willoughby is such an honor," Seibt said.  Other Northeast Ohio  breweries honored with awards include Thirsty Dog Brewery from Akron and Fat Head's Brewery from Middleburg Heights.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Find Paris lost in time, Dali, tarmac transfer in April travel

Look for this sign on a side street near the market to find le Baron Rouge, a wonderful old wine bar in Paris. Or check out the neighborhood map with my story.

It's always exciting when a new Travel section comes out, and April is a gem if I do say so myself.  I discovered the d'Aligre neighborhood in Paris last fall but held off writing about it and two really nice Paris restaurants until now. I  don't want readers to OD on France stories so I try to spread them out.
 But if you follow these blogs you'll know that I recently won some major awards for the earlier France stories and I am happy as can be. This blog also is a chance to show off some more of the photos I shot during my trips.
We could not believe our eyes when we saw the cheese plate delivered to our table at Astier in Paris. It was at the end of an incredible meal.

Stacked crates of wine bottles are sidewalk table at leBaron Rouge, which probably hasn't changed in 50 years.

And United Airlines saved my day in early March when they offered me a chance to try their brand new tarmac transfer at Newark Liberty. It's something available to only the most frequent travelers (not me!) but it allowed me to make my flight to Bonaire on a day when I wakened to find the power out and yet another snowstorm  blowing in to delay (and almost cancel) my flights. Like many many travelers I've experienced my share of canceled flights during this endless winter and I was determined that day  to get away to the Caribbean for a break.

The curved glass exterior of the Dali Museum reflects palms. Imagine how the view looks when seen from inside.

A bench made from one of Dali's melting timepieces is  in the garden overlooking a ficus to which visitors have attached their wishes.

When I visited the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Fla. I was astonished at the way its architecture seemed to almost replicate the surreal art inside. Its founders, the Morses, were friends of my parents so I knew the museum almost was located in Cleveland. I've wanted to tell that story forever, so now I have.
This travel section also gives you the lowdown on a brand new river cruise, what's new at Kings Island, and lots of close to home and more distant travels you may wish to take in coming months.
I've collected them all in this blog so you can just click on the contrasting copy to read them and enjoy a few more of my photos than will appear in print.
The print section goes to subscribers on Sunday, April 13, and I hope it's a keeper. I really enjoyed putting it together. And if you aren't yet tired of France, stand by for a Paris shopping story I expect to do.

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Monday, April 7, 2014

Big contest win makes my day

Bustin' my buttons over this:
Veteran News-Herald staffer Janet Podolak has won a handful of honors from the Society of American Travel Writers, awarded at the group’s March 31 to April 5 Central States conference in Tulsa, Okla.
In the competition for 2013 work she took first place honors in the contest’s category Best Travel Story for Ecology Conservation for her Nov. 10 story about the Calanques, France’s newest national park and won a second place for France Sparkles in the category Best Newspaper Travel Article Featuring an International Destination. Her Oct. 13 story about how joining the Global Entry Program  is saving her time while traveling won a third place in the contest’s Best Travel How-to/ Consumer Reporting category. Her series about Montenegro won a third place in the contest’s Best Newspaper Series category. Her News-Herald Food and Travel Blog won an honorable mention in Best Travel Blog category.
In addition to directing to News-Herald’s monthly travel section, Podolak’s feature writing covers the areas of Food, Health, Religion and community. She also writes Local Flavors, a weekly food column that appears each Thursday. Podolak has been with The News-Herald since 1971 and lives in Mentor.
Members of SATW’s Central States Chapter live in Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin. They were the contest’s competitors.
Read  the award winning stories by clicking on copy above.

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