Monday, March 11, 2013

High Street Caffe a local restaurant that will satisfy all cravings

Get out of the ordinary West Chester bar scene and immerse yourself in a culture filled with mouth-watering Cajun-Creole flavors, intoxicating colors and music with funky New Orleans style drinks.

The thick wooden doors on High Street invite you out of the town and into another world of voodoo dolls, colorful masks, deep soulful colors, and jazz music for a time that will capture and entrance your heart, begging you to return the minute you leave.

High Street Caffe and Vudu Lounge will satisfy every craving you have for unforgettable food, great drinks and wine, and one of a kind company and service. If you’re a food fanatic, let your taste buds get a glimpse of heaven with cuisine ranging from the spiciest seafood and chicken flavors to more mild dishes.

The Jambalaya, probably the most recognizable Cajun dish to newcomers, is served steaming, spicy, and will fill you up half way through. Most all of the dishes come with choices of chicken and shrimp, or more of a seafood flavor with crawfish, shrimp, and scallops, or you can always request more of the large juicy shrimp that are served to replace the chicken.

Special appetizers and entrées are added regularly to the already out of this world menu sending your decision making over the edge and daring you to be adventurous with offers such as ostrich, alligator, and wild boar. These deliciously spiced and flavored meats are paired with sides that complement each other in very distinct and impressive ways.

If you want the taste of the Jambalaya and Cajun-Creole but enjoy salads, High Street Caffe has the perfect options for you. Their Cajun popcorn Caesar and Jambalaya salads are nothing short of delectable, drizzled with Creole honey mustard on top of either fried crawfish tails or chicken and shrimp. Keeping with the lighter side, flatbreads are made in a portion big enough for two, but once you start eating them, you might want them all to yourself. The Jambalaya flatbread is hailed as their tastiest, but their barbecue and fresh veggie flatbreads are close runner ups.

If you enjoy fine wines, High Street and Vudu Lounge is your perfect bar. Bartenders are very knowledgeable and eager to give recommendations for great wine and food pairings. The extensive list covers an array of fine, but inexpensive wines that will surely quench your craving. 

If cocktails are more up your alley – take a seat at the bar and be prepared to find a new favorite with each drink you order. Martinis like The Panty Dropper, Icebreaker, and The Desperate Housewife will have your taste buds screaming with every sip, and the Bourbon Street Margarita leaves a spicy-sweet taste that goes down like water.

However unlikely it might be that after all of the appetizers, entrées, and drinks that you’ll have room for dessert, High Street Caffe offers two ways of sending yourself into a food coma: by drinking your dessert or eating it.

Banana’s Foster Martini, Irish and Italian Coffee, and Espresso Martinis are just a few options if drinking your dessert is your forte. If you would rather eat the final course, you cannot go wrong with any of their options. You can even continue the flavorful spice into dessert with their version of the ever popular crème-Brule, or satisfy your sweet tooth with their homemade Banana’s Foster.

Entertainment offered at High Street Caffe is unmatched by any other restaurant in town. Escape the DJs and music that takes over the town at night, and enjoy live bands and jazz-infused music on weekends and every Tuesday night.

Overall, High Street Caffe and Vudu Lounge is an exceptional dining experience that will instantly become a favorite and will not be forgotten any time soon. Their exquisite culinary details and flavors, and unique atmosphere will ignite a craving in you to travel to the bayou to experience the inspiration for this West Chester must. 

Monday, October 31, 2011

'The Help' star Octavia Spencer joins cast of new Diablo Cody film

Octavia Spencer was virtually unknown until about three months ago, when the actress unexpectedly received heaps of praise for her scene-stealing performance alongside co-stars Emma Stone and Viola Davis in the suprise late-summer blockbuster "The Help". The career heat she gained from her role in the film (which could very well result in a Best Supporting Actress nod at next year's Oscars) now appears to be paying off, as Spencer has just been cast in Academy Award-winning screenwriter Diablo Cody's as-yet-untitled directorial debut (which she also wrote) opposite Julianne Hough and Russell Brand. Spencer will star as a character who becomes an unlikely companion to the film's protagonist, a "sheltered young woman" (Hough) who goes on a trip to Las Vegas after losing her faith following a plane crash.

Cody's next film is the dramedy "Young Adult", which marks her second collaboration with "Juno" director Jason Reitman. The film stars Charlize Theron and hits theaters on December 16th.

"The Help" exceeded expectations when it opened in August to a strong $26 million weekend and continued to demonstrate impressive holds in subsequent weeks. It now stands at over $166 million in domestic receipts.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Salem Theatre Company continues Music & More Series

The Salem Theatre Company will present the Ko Theater Works production of Belle Linda Halpern’s CRAVINGS: Songs of Hunger & Satisfaction as part of their Music & More Series for four performances only September 8 – 11 in the STC Theater - 90 Lafayette Street in Salem. The cabaret is directed by Sabrina Hamilton and musical direction is by Ron Roy, who will accompany Ms. Halpern.
Cravings is a humorous and thought-provoking look at our constant cravings for food, acceptance and true nourishment. In it, songs ranging from Tin Pan Alley classics by Berlin and Bernstein, to pop anthems and contemporary ballads are interspersed with personal narrative reflecting Halpern's Jewish-American experience. As she prepares the Passover dish charoset, Halpern’s humorous take on our desperate desire for fulfillment evolves into a life-affirming call to taste the sweetness in the everyday. Whether familiar with Jewish culture or not, audiences of all ages will enjoy this vibrant showpiece.
Cravings also holds particular appeal for cabaret fans and of course – all those who love food! The production has consistently received standing ovations in its premiere run at the Ko Festival of Performance in Amherst, MA, and at subsequent performances at Central Square Theatre in Cambridge and the Firehouse Theatre in Newburyport.

The Boston Globe called Belle Linda Halpern's work “stunning, both as music and theater” as she connects the music and lyrics of American and European cabaret songs with clarity, warmth and style. With her incredible dynamic range, she sensuously croons ballads, powerfully belts out the blues, and, with lightning speed and hilarity, whips out a patter song, the Boston Herald hails her as, “Boston’s best singing actor.”
Ms. Halpern has performed as a cabaret singer and actor at clubs and theatres in New York, Boston, San Francisco, Paris, Munich, Jerusalem, and Bombay. Her theater roles include Esther in Elizabeth Swados’ rock opera Esther, Alice in her Alice in Concert, Josephine in Laura Harrington’s (N) Bonaparte, and Sally in Cabaret. Belle’s other theatre credits include work with Robert Wilson and Andrew Serban at the American Repertory Theatre. She has taught singing and performance since 1986 at Harvard University and each summer in Italy through the Tuscany Project. She has co-created Moon Over Dark Street, a Brecht/Weill Cabaret with Pilgrim Theatre and Cutting Crosstown: From 2nd Avenue to Broadway with fellow performer Jeffrey Korn. Her interest in Weill and Yiddish music was inspired by the generous spirit of her teacher, Martha Schlamme. She has also co-authored Leadership Presence: Dramatic Techniques to Reach Out, Motivate, and Inspire published by Penguin Putnam about the leadership development work she does with her company, The Ariel Group.
Pianist and Musical Director Ron Roy Ron is a full time faculty member at the Boston Conservatory of Music, teaching in the Musical Theater department. Ron has extensive credits in theater, cabaret, and opera both here and abroad. Additionally, Ron is a faculty member of The Tuscany Project, a voice and performance workshop that takes place every summer in Italy. Theatrical credits include: Disappearing Act, Forbidden Hollywood, Crazy For You, Forever Plaid and Forbidden Broadway. Additionally, Ron works with The Ariel Group, an international organization unique in its use of music in developing leadership skills to members of multi-national corporations around the globe.
Director and Designer Sabrina Hamilton is the Artistic Director of the Ko Festival of Performance which has just completed its 20th season in Amherst, MA. For many years she worked with the New York theatre company Mabou Mines as Lighting Designer, Production Manager, Stage Manager, Performer, and Assistant Director. Other credits include work at the New York Shakespeare Festival, the Goodman Theatre, the Mark Taper Forum and 6 years as Route Lighting Designer for New York's Village Halloween Parade under the direction of Ralph Lee. International lighting credits include work in Bologna, Florence,Milan, London, Grenada, Geneva, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Amsterdam, Brussels, Cardiff, Edinburgh, at the Bristol Old Vic, the Theatre Academy in Tampere, Finland, and at the International Theatre Festival in Havana, Cuba. Her directing work, primarily original pieces, has been seen throughout New England. She is on the Board of the Network of Ensemble Theatres.
Ko Theater Works is an organization based in Amherst, MA that creates original works of theatre and for the past 20 years has produced the Ko Festival of Performance (
Tickets for Cravings: Songs of Hunger and Satisfaction are $35 each and available online at, or can be held at the door for pick-up 30 minutes before show time by calling the Salem Theatre Company at 978-790-8546 or e-mailing Group rates are available. Online ticketing ends 24 hours in advance of each performance.
For more information, visit

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Chasing big-league dream is costly

As an LPGA Futures Tour player, Whitney Wade knows that every time she packs her car for a tournament and forks out the $500 entry fee, she's taking a gamble.
Will she take a significant step toward her dream of becoming a full-time LPGA Tour golfer, or will she drop deeper into debt?
Expenses on the women's developmental tour can easily run up to $40,000 for the year. And sponsorship opportunities for a tour that gets little exposure are hard to come by, so Wade decided she'd take a gamble there, too.
West Point Thoroughbreds Inc. struck up a deal with the former University of Georgia All-American: She'd wear the WPT logo on her clothes and the provider of thoroughbred racing partnerships would give her 5 percent ownership in a racehorse.
She soon found out she really was gambling. After her horse was injured last year, WPT substituted it with The Defense Rests, a colt sired by Closing Argument, which finished second in the 2005 Kentucky Derby.
Then, The Defense Rests got hurt and her original horse started winning purses that she would have shared in.
"My horse is doing better," said Wade, who is in town this week to compete in the Futures Tour's Daytona Beach Invitational at the LPGA International Champions Course. "The one we gave up has done really well. Mine got a third place I think last year, but that's it. But this is a new year."
Like all Futures Tour golfers, Wade remains optimistic.
"I got (WPT's) beautiful logo on my clothes, but, yeah, I played on my own dime last year," she said. "For the first time (in four years as a professional golfer), I'm asking my parents for a little bit of money."
Futures Tour players keep coming back for a chance to grab one of the coveted spots on the LPGA Tour given to the five players atop the Futures Tour money list. In 2009 Wade was fifth going into the final tournament, but finished sixth on the final list, allowing her only conditional LPGA Tour status for 2010. She ended up playing in only three LPGA events last year. Now she's back full-time on the Futures Tour.
Futures Tour competitors save money by driving to most of the events, sometimes carpooling, and staying with host families at the tour stops. They often develop lifelong relationships with these families.
"A lot of times I go back to the same families," said Mo Martin, who is starting her fifth year on the tour. "I keep in touch with my families through the winter and the holidays."
Foreign players on the tour have an easier time getting sponsored, Futures Tour communications manager Lisa D. Mickey said. The American players are just not well known enough, so they have to get creative, often making deals with investors -- usually friends and families -- who pay money up front and then receive a percentage of the golfer's winnings.
"That's actually pretty common," Martin said. "You get a chunk of money out front and you pay back a percentage. If you don't have a good year, they might not get what they put in. But if you do have a good year they'll make money."
Everyone on tour has heard the stories of players meeting potential sponsors while playing in the weekly pro-am events. That happened to Samantha Richdale, who graduated to the LPGA Tour.
"She played with the owner of a pharmaceutical company. He liked her so much he sponsored her tens of thousands of dollars," Mickey said.
But that's far from typical.
"I haven't had anyone come up to me and say, 'Go play some golf, here's a check for so much money,' " said Stephanie Connelly, who joined the tour in 2009.
More often than not players run up debt until they do well in an event. Last week's season-opening tourney in Winter Haven paid $15,400 to the winner and $11,000 to the runner-up, but only seven other players made more than $2,000.
"It takes a lot of commitment and a lot of money," said Dolores White, who is beginning her second season on tour. "It costs money to practice, to get good clothes to wear, rain clothes and things like that. The entry fee is $500 per tournament. I missed the cut last week, so I'm a little nervous. It's a lot of pressure. You don't want to think about that when you're on the course, but you have to."
White said she's giving herself five years to make the big time. Connelly said she'll keep going as long as she keeps improving.
"You can't go on forever," Connelly said. "I want to give it my best, but you also have to be realistic. It comes a point where you also have to have an income and pay your own bills."

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Denver Nuggets: Future Looks Bright in the Early Post-Carmelo Anthony Era

After a summer and first half of the season rife with incessant supposition, analysis and media attention concerning the status of Carmelo Anthony, last week the Denver Nuggets finally made the decision to trade the unhappy superstar to his preferred destination, the New York Knicks.
The opinion of Denver's haul in return for Anthony, veteran Chauncey Billups and spare parts (young wings Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler, cost-effective lead man Ray Felton, seven-footer Timofey Mozgov and draft picks, plus added financial flexibility) varied depending on what NBA expert or fan you talked to.
After four games with this new crew of Nuggets, though, views on the trade from Denver's perspective have taken an upward trajectory toward positive.
Why? Despite the team's gaudy 3-1 record Post-Melo (hereafter referred to as P.M.), its the collective attitude, energy and youthful exuberance of the new-look Nuggets that has Denver and its fans smiling.
Gone with the trade are awkward cheers for an unhappy Anthony, stern but polite media posturing from players and the feeling that wins are irrelevant in the long run.
Denver is playing an exciting new brand of basketball, players are happy to be a part of it and the Nuggets, though left for dead P.M. this season by prognosticators, look poised to challenge for a playoff spot in the loaded Western Conference.
How is this group of ragtag players excelling? It begins with the most most surprising aspect of the new Nuggs: they've been stellar on defense in three games P.M. with their new acquisitions in tow.
First, the Nuggets held perennial power and championship favorite Boston to a mere 75 points and 39 percent shooting while out-rebounding the Celtics by 14.
A day later on the road in Portland, Denver lost an overtime heart-breaker by one, but kept the Blazers to just 97 points in regulation, a commendable feat considering the home team's prowess at the raucous Rose Garden.
Finally, last night the Nuggets dominated the playoff-bound Hawks, forcing them to 40 percent shooting and just 90 points.
Clearly, P.M. Denver has early returns of being vastly superior on defense to the team that ranked in the league's bottom third of defensive efficiency.
Coach George Karl has a litany of quick, long and bouncy athletes at his disposal in his deep new rotation, and he is using it to the Nuggets' great advantage on that end of the floor.
Offensively, Denver's barely missed a beat despite losing the awesome talent and production of the Anthony/Billups tandem.
The Nuggets have averaged 104 points per game and shot 46.3 percent from the field P.M., both numbers just shy of their season-long average, but still among the league's leaders.
Denver need not worry about the smallest slippage on offense, though, because their increased defensive acumen (if maintained, of course) makes the margin for error on the other end greater.
In other words, the Nuggets' immediate improvement in stopping their opponents gives them more time to integrate new and important pieces Gallinari, Wilson and Felton into their offensive schemes and sets.
Simply, this Nuggets team is much better P.M. than anyone anticipated.
They have one of the deepest and most athletic rosters in the entire league, with two talented young PGs (Ty Lawson is the other, a potential star), a bevy of wing scorers, an imposing and physical front-court (led by Nene) and solid defenders at every position.
Plus, the team's most talented and valuable members of their nine-man rotation are 28 or younger.
Denver, despite their impressive P.M. beginnings, will likely serve as nothing more than a playoff road-bump for one of the West's best this spring.
However, the collective youth, talent and attitude of these Nuggets, combined with stable finances going into the summer, make Denver's future undeniably bright P.M., a far cry from where most thought they'd be just a few weeks ago.