Elephant House-Harry Potter

Have you ever wondered where great writers have set up their office? Have you ever wondered where they get the inspiration to write? If you are a Harry Potter fan, one location the author J.K. Rowling worked on writing the series was The Elephant House in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Rowling took a lot of her inspiration for the books from different locations in Edinburgh. So if you plan to visit some of these locations, add the Elephant House to your itinerary.

There are new articles about Rowling posted in the restaurant as well as photos of her working on the story lines for the series.

As the name suggests, this restaurant has an elephant theme. There are elephants around the restaurant. There are elephant figurines, posters, and even an elephant chair in the restaurant. They also encourage you to donate to a charity that benefits elephants.

I went with a friend who is a big Harry Potter fan. We ate lunch, although they are known for their coffee and pastries/ desserts we were told.

Chicken wrap
My friend ordered the pizza. She ended up sharing some with a little girl next to our table who was visiting from Shanghai. Her aunt was taking her to various Harry Potter locations.

If you would like to see a location J.K. Rowling penned the Harry Potter series visit The Elephant house in Edinburgh, Scotland. See where a great writer worked and have a cup of coffee or more.

Korea Town Jongro BBQ

Did you know Manhattan has a Korea Town? Do you know where it is? Which restaurant has decor that makes you feel you are in Korea? Jongro BBQ can transport you to Asia.

Korea Town, also known as K-Town, is south of the Empire State Building. It is on 32nd Street roughly between Broadway and 5th Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. The neighborhood has several restaurants. The first few I walked into that were on street level were packed on a Sunday afternoon. I decided to try Jongro- which was on the second floor of a building at 22 West 32nd Street. I was pleasantly surprised.

The decor of the restaurant brings you to Korea. I lived in Korea for two years and it reminded me of a restaurant in the country we stopped in on the way back from hiking a mountain. Jongro BBQ has antique items from Korea on the walls and on poles. They have old signage, a post box, and a vintage delivery bike to name a few. They also constructed areas of the restaurant to look like architecture you would find in Korea.

Newer signage with some of the architecture indoors
Korean post box- I love post boxes.
Vintage delivery bike

This is a BBQ, so you will find cooker areas on the tables. I am supposed to avoid beef and pork. A lot of items on the menu include those things. However, they did have my old standby, BeBimBop. This dish can be served hot or cold. I like it both ways. They only serve it cold at Jongro. It was excellent. I asked for it with egg on top instead of beef and they obliged. The rest of the dish is vegetables and rice. They had a couple of other items on the menu if you did not want a meat dish.

Bebimbop-This was has fried egg, vegetables, and rice.

If you are visiting Manhattan and want to eat Korean food or something healthy, head to Jongro BBQ. Enjoy the decor while you are there. It is one of the gems of Korea Town.

You can visit there website at: http://www.jongrobbqny.com

Cinco de Mayo at Casa Villa

On St. Patrick’s Day, everyone is Irish for a day. Another ethnic holiday that is starting to be celebrated by many, not just those who are from where it originates, is Cinco de Mayo. At Casa Villa everyone is invited to experience the food and culture of Mexico.

Besides food they have live music, folk dancing, bouncy houses for the kids, and vendors. I was only there for about 40 minutes and it was back to back entertainment.

I was able to see a more contemporary Mexican music group when I arrived.

Then, Folklorica of Poughkeepsie performed four dances from Oaxaca, Mexico. First, a man and a woman performed a dance known as Mixteco.

Mixteco
Dancing the Oaxaca Dance the Mixteca. At this point he had a rose in his mouth.

Next, the Folklorica of Poughkeepsie performed a dance with puppets called Chinas Oaxaquenas.

Chinas Oaxaquenas

A group of girls from the same group then performed a folkloric dance.

Lastly, a dance called El Torito, with a bull puppet, was performed.

El Torito

The food was delicious. They had food and drinks being sold outside, but during the celebrations a limited menu was offered indoors if you preferred less action.

The party started around lunchtime and went into the night. Some stay most of the day, while others stop in for a short visit. Again, I was only there for about 40 minutes. I understand I missed other performances before I arrived and I am sure others went on after I left.

I wish I could have stayed longer. From what I experienced I highly recommend stopping by Casa Villa around Cinco de Mayo. You can experience the food and culture of Mexico.

Check out their Facebook page for more information: https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Tex-Mex-Restaurant/Casa-Villa-Mexican-Restaurant-1442301769167523/

Pandorica

Are you familiar with the phrase “It’s bigger on the inside?” Do you know about a time traveler known as the Doctor? If so, you probably are a fan of the British TV show, Dr. Who, that airs on BBC and BBC America.

In Beacon, N.Y. there is a Dr. Who-themed restaurant run by a British ex-pat. The establishment on Main Street is decorated with show memorabilia and artwork related to the show. (The art is for sale by local artists). The restroom/ water closet resembles a Tardis inside and out, and, yes, it is bigger on the inside.

Exploding Tardis from the Van Gogh Episode
Door to the restroom decorated like a Tardis

There are a variety of items on the menu at Pandorica. Some traditional British fare includes: Bangers and Mash and Chicken or Beef Cottage Pie. Other items include pierogies and Caribbean spiced salmon. In homage to the show, some dishes have Doc Who inspired names that include: Are You My Mummy Meatloaf, Madame Vastra Clev’r Boy, WHOmmus (hummus), and Gallifreyed Potato Pancakes. Pandorica carries some salad choices on the menu as well as some gluten-free and vegan items.

Broiled Caribbean Spiced Faroe Islands Salmon with Coconut Rice and Broiled Mango

Madame De Pompadour Cake with Blueberries and Mascarpone Filling

How to get there From Manhattan take the Metro-North Hudson Line to the Beacon station. You could either walk up to Main Street or take a cab from the station. The restaurant is only a block or two from the corner of Main Street and 9D. See more details on the restaurant website.

If driving, there are parking spots on Main Street and side streets off Main Street. Parking in Beacon is free. The address of Pandora is 165 Main Street.

Are you a fan of Doctor Who? Do you have friends or relatives who are fans of the show? This would be a great destination to experience. You don’t have to be a fan of the show. If you are looking for a spot with a different atmosphere and great food, pop on over to Beacon. For more information check out Pandorica’s websites at: https://www.thepandoricarestaurant.com and https://www.facebook.com/thePandoricaRestaurant/ .

Pandorica- Prison beneath Stonehenge
Weeping Angel
Decoration based on “The Snowmen” Season 7 Episode 6