When 250,000 people attend the world’s largest indoor flower show in Philadelphia from March 11-19, 2017, they’ll visit the Netherlands too. The Philadelphia Flower Show attracts enthusiasts and experts in horticulture for competitions, workshops, celebrations, planted installations and, this year only, a vibrant sampling of the famously lush landscapes and plantings of the Dutch countryside. “Holland: Flowering the World” features the country’s eco-design, modern greening—and traditional windmills, wooden shoes and tulips. Beyond the Pennsylvania Convention Center, Flower Show patrons can experience Philadelphia’s Dutch connections.
- Noord eetcafe – The city’s first Dutch-inspired dining room belongs to a chef whose parents came to Philadelphia from the Netherlands and stayed to raise their family. Joncarl Lachman’s South Philly bring-your-own-bottle (BYOB) spot specializes in bitterballen (crispy outside, soft inside meatballs), classic konijn in het zuur (vinegar-braised rabbit), Gouda plates—and a brunch with uitsmijter (customized open-faced two-egg sandwiches) and smoked herring. His real specialty, however, is gecelligheid, a Dutch word that means “a sense of comfortable welcome and warmth.” 1046 Tasker Street, (267) 909-9704, noordphilly.com
- The Dutch – Lachman (above) combined his traditions with those of chef and Fond bistro owner Lee Styer, whose lineage is Pennsylvania-German, a group that, centuries ago, became known as Pennsylvania Dutch instead of Pennsylvania Deutsch, to some confusion. Together, they’ve established a daytime BYOB that combines their culinary heritages with that of the South Philly luncheonette. Breakfast and brunch in this sunny spot include classics such as uitsmijter and bitterballen (above), plus fried chicken BLTs, smothered waffles and Lebanon bologna omelets. The owners encourage patrons to bring a bottle of bubbly or vodka to mix with fresh orange juice or into horseradish-heavy Bloody Mary’s. 1527 S. 4th Street, (215) 755-5600, thedutchphilly.com
- Philadelphia Museum of Art – The crowned jewel of the museum-lined Benjamin Franklin Parkway displays an exceptionally large collection of Dutch art. Most notable are Dutch Golden Age works in the John G. Johnson Collection. Rembrandt, Pieter Jansz, Saenredam, Jan Steen and Jacob van Ruisdael, a painter celebrated for his virtuoso skill and naturalistic landscapes, are all represented here. The museum also offers a private 17th century Dutch breakfast and tour. 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, (215) 763-8100, philamuseum.org
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On Greater Philadelphia’s official visitor website and blog, visitphilly.com and uwishunu.com, visitors can explore things to do, upcoming events, themed itineraries and hotel packages. Compelling photography and videos, interactive maps and detailed visitor information make the sites effective trip-planning tools. Along with Visit Philly social media channels, the online platforms communicate directly with consumers. Travelers can also call and stop into the Independence Visitor Center for additional information and tickets.