Food

Holiday Tastes & Treats

Each season brings along with it amazing flavors that tickle the taste buds or take us on a walk down memory lane. Spring and summer greet us with fruity flavors, like key lime, that inspire me to relax poolside. Each fall and winter, I eagerly await the taste of comforting flavors like peppermint, gingerbread, and cinnamon that are best accompanied by a good book, blanket, and fireplace. In this spirit, I invite you to join me as I introduce you to the special flavors that downtown restaurants have to offer this holiday season.

It goes without saying that one of the best solutions to a brisk day is a warm beverage. This season, Court Square Coffee is featuring a peppermint mocha coffee that is sure to warm your hands and your heart, whether you are enjoying it over a conversation with a good friend or exploring the streets of downtown.

Court Square Coffee. Photo by Shannon Essad.

Although it is customary to leave out cookies for Santa, the Artful Dodger would probably challenge you to break the norm and leave good ole St. Nick one of their drinks that is appropriately named “the peanut butter cookie.” The Peanut Butter Cookie is a blend of steamed milk, peanut butter, and espresso served in a peanut-butter rimmed mug with crushed peanuts and a cookie. I can tell you from experience that this drink was love at first sip! Similarly, the Gingerbread Latte is another classic holiday cup of joe that the Dodger is featuring this season. This drink is their signature latte, infused with gingerbread and topped with whipped cream and a gingerbread cookie. Need I say more?

The Peanut Butter Cookie from the Artful Dodger. Photo by Shannon Essad.

The Blue Nile is also offering their share of holiday flavors this season. Treat yourself to Ethiopian Fudge, which is a combination of chocolate, cloves, cinnamon, and cardamom. Or indulge in their homemade White Chocolate Walnut Fudge. For their adult audience, the Blue Nile is offering “The Pumpkin Dream,” which is a blend of pumpkin cream liquor, Captain Morgan spiced rum, chai seasoning, and milk.

Cozy up inside the Blue Nile this winter season! Photo by Shannon Essad.

Ethiopian Fudge from the Blue Nile. Photo by Shannon Essad.

This holiday season, you can count on Clementine to provide hearty appetizers and entrees. Start your meal off with Petite Salmon Cakes or Polyface Farms Italian Sausage. Then choose from seasonal entrees like Grilled Pork Tenderloin, made of pork paillard, curied diced vegetables and raisins, jasmine rice, and mango chutney. Furthermore, Texas Dry Rub Chicken is also on the menu. This dish features cowboy succotash, mashed red bliss potatoes, anch0-mollasses vinaigrette, and chili-creme.

Take a break from the cold inside Clementine. Photo by Shannon Essad.

Can’t get enough pumpkin? I can’t either! The New Leaf Pastry Kitchen has an array of amazing baked goods to offer this winter season, including a Pumpkin Cheese Tart with Pecan Tuille. These baking experts have also created a holiday special-order menu, including a Cranberry Raisin Danish Braid, Spiced Caramel Apple Torte, Milk Chocolate Chestnut Date Tart, and Pumpkin Brioche Pan Rolls. Whether you are enjoying these delectable desserts around the table as a family or bringing them along to a holiday party, they are sure to impress all of your guests and fellow party-goers!

New Leaf Pastry Kitchen’s Pumpkin Cheese Tart with Pecan Tuille. Photo by Shannon Essad.

It wouldn’t be a proper winter in Harrisonburg if a few trips to Kline’s Dairy Bar weren’t on the agenda. Make sure to mark your calendars with the upcoming holiday flavors that Kline’s will be offering. At the East Wolfe Street location, Pumpkin will be making a return beginning December 6th, followed by Peppermint and Egg Nog beginning December 13th. For all of you Red Velvet fanatics, this flavor will be featured on December 6th at the South Main Street location.

Feeling inspired and motivated to try all of these tasty treats? Then bundle up and hit the town. Special holiday flavors are awaiting your taste buds!

Shannon Essad is HDR’s first Social Media Intern for Fall 2012 and a senior Communication major with a concentration in Organizational Communication at James Madison University.

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