Oh Midsized Town of Bethlehem (P.A. Of course)

Oh Midsized town of Bethlehem, how you feed me riiiiight.  This Thanksgiving, my always adventurous tribe decided to explore the historic town of Bethlehem, P.A.  This quaint Moravian landscape boasts of its serious Christmas culture including marketplaces and ornament chachkis galore.

We stayed at the Hotel Bethlehem which has one of the top 100 holiday brunches in the United States.  I was on site to happily confirm this with an empty plate and shoddy iPhone camera in hand.  Check out my delicious bagel with cream cheese, capers and lox for my Thanksgiving morning repast. 
I always get a sampling of cold appetizers to start. Due to the sheer volume of guests equally enjoying the brunch it was slightly difficult to catch the carving stations and hot serving dishes in action.  Regardless, I got some up close and personal snaps of the takeaway.
  They did a fantastic job at including all of the holiday favorites including turkey, roast beef, and the ever important stuffing.  I mean, why not throw a breakfast sausage in the mix.  Nothing wrong with a pinch of meal mingling.

Historic Hotel Bethlehem: 1741 on the Terrace
437 Main Street, Bethlehem, PA 18018
1741ontheterrace.com

My family could think of no better way to work off all those noshes than with a trip to The Koziar Christmas Village in Bernville.  I was in kitschy roadside heaven.  This place hits the holiday spot and doesn’t gauge you with amusement park prices.  My hot chocolate in a souvenir cup a measly $7.00 and that mug is taking daily trips to work with me, mark my seasonal words.

Koziar’s Christmas Village
782 Christmas Village Road, Bernville, PA 19506
www.koziarschristmasvillage.com/

Across from where we stayed was this adorable chocolate spot with truly delicious offerings.  Homemade cocoa in every, shape, and form.  

Sage wisdom from the local chocolatiers.

Our top pick from our mixed bag was the chunks of different nut turtles.  Don’t let Oprah’s Favorite Things list get wind of this place, or their adorable boxes of truffles may be impossible to get your hands on.

Chocolate Lab
446 Main Street, Bethlehem, PA
www.chocolatelabbethlehem.com

Friday morning I laced up my walking shoes and hit the streets to school myself in the Moravian way of life.  Moravians are one of the oldest Protestant denominations in the world with its heritage dating back to the Bohemian Reformation in the fifteenth century. Bethlehem hosts their historic dwellings and church.  My cousin, Uncle Colm and I happened upon one of the oldest cemeteries and poked around awhile.  Only in the daylight of course.

Check us out being tourists.  Watch on as my Uncle sports his favorite next to cannon pose.  I see an antique cannon calendar photo shoot in his future….watch out FDNY calendar.  
No rest for the weary as we were off to The Christmas Market brimming with holiday wares and funnel cakes for miles.  Well, at least for the length of three tents.  Showcasing handcrafted hats, toys, and art it is an absolute explosion of homegrown creativity and community.  I tried the creamy potato soup in a bread bowl partnered with a Diet Coke pleading me to share a drink with “someone special”…..so I ate with the fam.  I can see the warm fuzzies flying in so many nineties sitcom directions.

Christkindlmarkt
ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks
101 Founders Way, Bethlehem, PA 18015
www.christmascity.org/christkindlmarkt/

Ok “someone nice”….I’ll be waiting at this wobbly table for you to share my low-calorie refreshment and bread bowl with me.

The Moravian Book Shop
428 Main Street, Bethlehem, PA 18018
http://shop.moravianbookshop/index.htm


On to The Moravian Book Store!  This place not only has books, but it has coffee, baked goods, and MEAD.  Someone order me an air mattress because I am moving in…..I’ll find a nook in the back somewhere near the cupcake themed kettles.

The Colony Meadery has a beautiful tasting station at the back of the store, and I couldn’t resist treating my taste buds to the sampler.  Dear Megan’s liver, don’t worry, these glasses are not ALL for me (only half)….does anyone know a good juice cleanse?  I had my mother on hand to taste the sweeter samples.  My favorite was one of their flagship breeds called Straight, No Chaser.  If you’re looking for something a bit sweeter the Pikwant Fields, a strawberry kiwi blend may be more your speed.  Worth the taste test, the brand ambassadors are pleasant and knowledgeable so ask them anything, they will know the answer.

At the conclusion of my journey, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Historic Hotel Bethlehem had one of my favorite seasonal beers: Mad Elf Ale.  It’s like swishing Christmas around in your mouth without all the pesky pine needles.  If you haven’t tried this blend, give it a go…tis’ the season.

Oh, midsized town of Bethlehem, how you’ve done me right.  If you’re looking for a place to enhance your Christmas spirit and you’re tired of Starbuck’s red cups do yourself a favor and take a drive to Bethlehem, PA.  You are sure to find yourself smiling from ear to ear and feeling the rush of seasonal holiday joy.  Maybe you’ll even tear up a bit without having to listen to The Christmas Shoes (if mama meets Jesus tonight) oh God, every time.

 

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Megan

Born in Virginia and raised on the mean streets of Garden City, Long Island, I’ve learned to appreciate any type of cuisine from a late night burrito and tatcho’s to a tasting menu and wine pairing. I’m a bit of an adventurer when it comes to food and am always up for an eating challenge where I can find one. I may or may not have eaten sixteen chili tacos to become “The Taco Queen” of a small hole in the wall Mexican eatery. I also couldn’t help myself from ordering whale in Oslo (please don’t tell Green Peace) and can’t resist a zany menu choice. A writer and performer, I like to pair my meals with a good play and you can find my reviews on New York Theatre Guide. Baking is a guilty pleasure and I’m constantly preparing confectionaries with surprises inside. I hope one day to compile all my recipes into one called “Get Stuffed”.I’m looking forward to the next culinary adventure I carve out and sharing them with you. I may just need to create an entire series devoted to “did they really just make this Asian/Mexican/Korean/Italian fusion a food truck?”. Cheers!

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