Ralph and Lori go to New England, July 2010

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Ralph Melton
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Re:Ralph and Lori go to New England, July 2010 2010/09/09 17:31:12 (permalink)
On Saturday, we left the Boston area and went down through Rhode Island towards Connecticut. Our first stop was at Jigger's Diner, in East Greenwich.

Jigger's is a beautiful restored diner:


This is not a good photo, but it's the best photo of the interior that I have.


I ordered the diner-made sausage, eggs, and jonnycakes. I had expected jonnycakes to be like the cornbread pancakes I've had in the South, but these were dull, sullen globs of fried gruel, with a definite undercooked-corn taste. The diner-made sausage was just neutral, nothing to be excited about.


Lori ordered the gingerbread-granola pancakes with sweet cream and blueberry topping. My memory of these is that they were fairly tasty, but heavy, with a bit of that texture that makes eating a pancake feel like chewing a blanket. This is probably being too harsh on the pancakes, which weren't really bad - but it does say something that Lori pretty much ate only the portion of the pancakes that was under the topping.


We had told Hallie Baker of Turtle Alley Chocolates about our disappointment in hoping for ocean views as we drove along US 1 in Maine. She had assured us that US 1 in Rhode Island would not disappoint us, and offer lots of ocean views. So we followed US 1 from Providence to Mystic - but unfortunately, it did disappoint. We got no ocean views from US 1.
So then we turned onto US 1A, because it had a sign saying 'scenic route'. US 1A was more scenic, but I regret turning onto it in North Kingstown; North Kingstown was hosting an art festival, the street was clogged, and we were trying to make good time to Mystic. At the pace we were going, I could have walked through the art festival faster than the car - but Lori could not have done so, because her shopping is much more in depth than mine. Doing so wouldn't have helped, though, because Lori was the one who felt bereft at passing by the artists without stopping.

We did manage to say hello to the ocean briefly from Narragansett:


Up next: Mystic Seaport

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Re:Ralph and Lori go to New England, July 2010 2010/09/09 17:57:05 (permalink)
Thanks again.  Superb report.
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Re:Ralph and Lori go to New England, July 2010 2010/09/10 21:43:08 (permalink)
Mystic Seaport comes with a subtitle, so the full name is Mystic Seaport: The Museum of America and the Sea. I had thought that it involved role-players, like Plimoth Plantation, but although it was a recreation of a 19th century seafaring town, and it had people plying historic trades like blacksmithing and cooperage, the craftsmen were not adopting alternate personas. (A side note: the folks plying these trades were among the brawniest museum workers I've encountered. If you find yourself in need of a scholar of a trade who spends a large part of his day hammering, this is a place to seek one.) Unfortunately, it appears I neglected to take pictures of these crafts or of the sea rescue drill

We took a lot of pictures of the exhibit of figureheads. (Click on this photo to see more.)


The tall ships are not that tall, really. They're the size of smaller restaurants, not hotels. But ships this size would go out whaling for weeks or months at a time.


I quite liked the exhibit on how wooden ships were built; I particularly remember the discussion of how the knee of the keel was made from the tops of tree roots. Unfortunately, the museum was about to close, and we had to dash through this.


There was a wedding being set up out by the lighthouse. I wouldn't have chosen that as a site to wear high heels and coiffed hair, but I wasn't one of the bridesmaids.


For a snack, we stopped at the Sea Swirl, a seafood and ice cream shack a few blocks from the ocean.


I took this chance to try southeast Connecticut's distinctive style of clear clam chowder. I don't know that this gives me a basis for judging clear chowder in general, because this was very curious. At the beginning, it tasted like potatoes, and only of potatoes. I stirred it up to make sure it was well mixed; it still tasted just of potatoes. I made sure to try a bit of clam; it tasted like potato. Then, halfway through the cup, the chowder switched to tasting strongly of clam, and even the chunks of potato tasted of clam.


Lori got a tuna melt. Of all the tuna melts we've tried, well, it was one of them. It was entirely ordinary.

From there, we drove down to New Haven.

Up next: Frank Pepe's Pizzeria Napoletana.

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Re:Ralph and Lori go to New England, July 2010 2010/09/11 12:16:17 (permalink)
I guess your stop at Jiggers was before its recent legal troubles.  I have really enjoyed this report and look forward to each new addition.
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Re:Ralph and Lori go to New England, July 2010 2010/09/11 12:34:26 (permalink)
I've been to just about all of the places you mention in this report. Some a few times. I haven't been able to take a New England vacation for a few years. Thank you for letting live vicariously through yours! I can't wait for the rest!
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Re:Ralph and Lori go to New England, July 2010 2010/09/11 21:57:02 (permalink)
Chris Ayers had recommended New Haven apizza as a must-eat on our trip, so we sought that out. We had some more GPS vexations on this leg, but when we made it to New Haven's Little Italy, we knew it:


Frank Pepe's Pizzeria Napoletana is one of the oldest pizza restaurants in America, and originated the New Haven-style thin crust apizza. My belief is that reasonable people may disagree about which of the famous New Haven apizza places is the best - it was at least not clear to me from my research. But Frank Pepe's is the progenitor of all the other pizza places, so we chose it for the extra dose of history.

I'm not sure what I had been expecting, but I don't think that I had expected a restaurant so well-lit and sparsely-decorated. It was much brighter than, say, Santarpio's. 


Even the cooking area around the coal-fired oven has a lot of space:


They served drinks from the nearby bottler Foxon Park, so we shared a bottle of gassosa because I didn't know what "gassosa" meant. Now I know: it's lemon-lime. I don't think that I could distinguish this from Sprite or Seven-Up in a blind tasting.


For the pizza, we got the fresh tomato pie, because a) we're strongly in favor of seasonal foods and b) I couldn't talk Lori into a clam pizza. It was very good, thin and fairly crisp with bright summer tomato-and-basil flavors. Honestly, I'm not a pizza connoisseur; I'd be hard-pressed to compare this pizza to Santarpio's or other good pizzas. But it was certainly an excellent pizza, and it deserves to have the fans it does.


We brought the iPad into the restaurant, and it sparked a lot of conversation. (I'm an Apple employee, so I'm significantly more gracious about talking about the iPad with strangers than I am on other topics.) In particular, this got us into a conversation with our waitress that started with the iPad and led into a discussion of our Roadfooding plans. She recommended that for dessert, we should go next door to Libby's Italian Cookies. Lori is particularly glad that we got that recommendation.


I got the baba au rhum. I've only had baba au rhum once before at a Pittsburgh Italian bakery, and this preparation was far more decorative than what I'd had there. But to me, it did not taste very much of rum, but just of cake and custard. Lori disagreed with me; she felt it tasted very clearly of rum. It was good, but if I were to return, I would choose one of the many other good-looking products they had.


Lori had a similar judgement of her chocolate gelato; it was good, but not a standout among all the outstanding ice cream we'd had this week.


We also got a couple of apricot dolce, which the website describes as "A butter based cookie topped with apricot filling, dipped in colored chocolate." Again, Lori and I were judging things very differently. I took one bite and judged my cookie not worth finishing. Lori, however, describes them as "deliriously perfect", and considers them one of the great delights of our trip. (Lori was glad to discover that Libby's will ship; you can order athttp://www.libbyscookies.com .)


Next up: Super Duper Weenie

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Re:Ralph and Lori go to New England, July 2010 2010/09/11 22:08:31 (permalink)
It warms my heart to know that people are enjoying my report. Thank you all.
 
mr chipsI guess your stop at Jiggers was before its recent legal troubles.  I have really enjoyed this report and look forward to each new addition.

 
Yes, we visited Jiggers on July 10, and it seems they got shut down in mid-August.
 
agnesrobI've been to just about all of the places you mention in this report. Some a few times. I haven't been able to take a New England vacation for a few years. Thank you for letting live vicariously through yours! I can't wait for the rest!

 
I'm trying to finish up this report before the New Mexico tour, because I fear that tour will give me too many other things I hope to report on. I have two days left, but those cover nine restaurants - it's even odds as to whether I'll finish the report in time!
post edited by Ralph Melton - 2010/09/11 22:35:07
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Re:Ralph and Lori go to New England, July 2010 2010/09/12 21:21:28 (permalink)
Sunday, July 11
 
When we had made our original plans for his trip, we'd planned to visit friends in New Jeraey on Sunday evening. But that fell through, and we hadn't really replanned for that gap. When we planned in Pepe's, I had been idly considering going to Meatopia in New York City. Lori pointed out, however, that when we had been to Northampton previously, the yarn store that she had listed as one of her craved New England destinations had been closed for July 4, so she hoped to visit there again before we left New England. So we planned to wend our way through Connecticut to Northhampton, visit the yarn store in the morning, and make a long drive home on Monday.


So, where to eat in New Haven before we set off? Chris Ayers had recommended Rawley's for superior hot dogs, but their answering machine said they were closed on Sunday. Louis Lunch has historical significance with this claim to being the origin of the hamburger, but their phone didn't answer. So we headed towards Super Duper Weenie.


A celebrity endorsement:


We both had the New Englander hot dog, with sauerkraut, bacon, mustard, relish, and cole slaw. It was pretty good, but we weren't blown away. I felt that it would have improved the hot dog for the bacon to be much crisper, or cut into smaller pieces; it was hard to bite through the bacon neatly.


We also got an order of fries; one order of fries provided a whole lot of thin, crisp little fries.


Along with my meal, I got a bottle of Hosmer Mountain Tangerine Sparkling Water. (Hosmer Mountain is a Connecticut-local Roadfood-listed bottler.) I liked this quite a lot, because it was tart and refreshing, but not sweet at all. Lori made a face at it because it was not sweet at all.



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Re:Ralph and Lori go to New England, July 2010 2010/09/12 21:21:53 (permalink)
It's daylight; it must be time for ice cream! This stop was at Rich Farm, a dairy farm in Oxford, Connecticut.


I took a look at the menu, saw "Razzmanian Devil", and decided "that sounds intriguing, I'll have that." In retrospect, I should have sampled it first. I had expected it to be raspberry or raspberry-with-stuff; it turned out to be vanilla with a barely-tastable raspberry ribbon and bits of chocolate that overwhelmed the raspberry taste.
Note the size of this cone; this is considered a kid's cone.


Lori chose the peaches and cream ice cream, because it had been mentioned in http://www.roadfood.com/TheBest/NewEnglandIceCream/1-1202/rich-farm. The chunks of peaches were very bright orange, not the yellow-orange that I associate with peaches. It made me think of canned or frozen peaches, though I don't know anything about the treatment of the peaches besides the color. The flavor was mostly creamy, not the bright peach taste that I associate with my favorite ice cream.
This cone is a "small". We realized we didn't have a chance of eating it quickly enough to keep it from melting off the cone, so I got a dish for it before it landed on the ground.


I took this picture facing away from the ice cream stand, to try to have something obscure for the "Name that Roadfood restaurant!" forum thread. It ended up being extremely obscure; I felt a bit sheepish about how hard t was to identify.


Next up: Dottie's Diner

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Re:Ralph and Lori go to New England, July 2010 2010/09/13 17:03:56 (permalink)
After some antiquing in nearby Woodbury, we arrived at Dottie's Diner at 2:30, half an hour before closing time. (We would have done a lot more antiquing if we hadn't called ahead.) Dottie's may be the only place that we visited on this trip that had "Diner" in the name but didn't have any stainless steel showing on the exterior.


Inside, though, it looks completely dineresque.


We were pretty full and we had plans for dessert, so we split an order of the chicken pie. (Dottie's offers both a traditional chicken pie with just chicken, or a pie with chicken and vegetables; we ordered the version with vegetables.) This was superb. The crust was crisp, just softening under gravy. The filling was sumptuous and savory. The pie brought back fond childhood memories of my great-aunt Lois's chicken pot pie; she would have used a single biscuit crust instead of a double pie crust, but the filling is much the same, pure comfort food.
The mashed potatoes were also very rich and savory, with warm broad flavors of garlic and butter. The vegetables were excellent, but perhaps overshadowed by the chicken pie and the mashed potatoes. This was definitely one of our favorite dishes.


We had made plans for dessert from the moment that we put Dottie's on our itinerary, because the Sterns' book 500 Things to Eat Before It's Too Late mentioned the donut bread pudding. Mm, donut bread pudding. How could that be anything but decadent and delightful?
Unfortunately, I found it too rich and heavy; I would have preferred a bread pudding made from bread. My theory is this: if you feel that a cake donut is improved by being dunked in milk, then the donut bread pudding might be a winner for you.


We followed up lunch at Dottie's with more lengthy shopping at a nearby antique store. The proprietor was watching the World Cup game, which led to this interchange:
"Could you open this case for me, please? I could wait for a commercial, if that would be more convenient."
"There are no commercials. This is a real sport."

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Re:Ralph and Lori go to New England, July 2010 2010/09/13 17:32:16 (permalink)
Ohhh that chicken pot pie looks heavenly.  I love CPPs.  The hot dog and fries look pretty great too--who can argue with Eddie Munster?
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Re:Ralph and Lori go to New England, July 2010 2010/09/13 18:10:59 (permalink)
Rural Connecticut makes for some very pretty driving, but I'm not in the habit of stopping to take pictures. Ah well.

Our next destination was Tulmeadow Farm, in West Simsbury, CT. Tulmeadow farm has apparently been operating as a farm since 1768, though only making ice cream since 1994.


One curiosity about Tulmeadow Farm: it's under an easement from Simsbury Land Trust that requires it to stay as a farm. I'm not a real estate lawyer, but my layman's understanding of the easement is that the Simsbury Land Trust has essentially bought the rights to use that land as anything but a farm, and intends to hoard those rights in perpetuity, so that this farmland never gets turned into condominiums or whatnot. I don't feel qualified to evaluate whether this is a good thing or not, but it is at least interesting as a means for people who want to preserve local farming to put their money where their mouth is.

Of the three farms where we got ice cream on this trip, this was the only one that smelled strongly of farm (where by "farm", I probably mean "ruminant digestion".)

We were still rather full after Dottie's, so we split a single cup of black raspberry ice cream. I think I was too sated to really appreciate it, though I remember that it was good. The late afternoon sun gave me an inadvertently artsy photo:


One last photo of the sign over the counter:


Up next: Judie's

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Re:Ralph and Lori go to New England, July 2010 2010/09/13 18:29:16 (permalink)
Amazing!

Ralph,
 
I finally had a chance to review part of your great report. How many weeks were you out here for?
 
Sorry to hear about your negative experience at Jiggers. I can assure you based on recent experience, even before they closed the quality of their Jonnycakes hadn't changed, although I believe it's an aquired taste even though I always liked them.
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Re:Ralph and Lori go to New England, July 2010 2010/09/13 20:04:23 (permalink)
We left on Saturday, July 3, and returned home on Monday, July 12, for a total of 9 days.
 
I would certainly try jonnycakes again; I'd be particularly curious to try the thinner jonnycakes of the east side of Narragansett Bay. But the jonnycakes I had seemed like food for grizzled farmers, evoking the sort of grueling labor involved in grinding corn at Plimoth:
IMG_0596 by Ralph Melton, on Flickr
IMG_0597 by Ralph Melton, on Flickr  
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Ralph Melton
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Re:Ralph and Lori go to New England, July 2010 2010/09/13 20:32:07 (permalink)
Scenic overlooks help me a lot, because they tell me "this is where you should stop and take a picture of the goodness you've been seeing." This is from western Massachusetts, near Hadley.


We'd picked a hotel in Hadley to position us in striking distance of the knitter's mecca Lori wanted to visit the next day. A miniature golf course nearby tempted me. I'm fond of miniature golf, since it evokes childhood memories of playing with my grandparents. We decided that we were still full enough that we could play a round before dinner. I've mislaid the scorecard, but I believe that Lori won the first nine, but I won on the back nine.


For dinner, we drove into Amherst in hopes of finding an Italian restaurant recommended by the hotel clerk. Unfortunately, it was closed - and it seemed that most of Amherst's restaurants were closed on Sunday evening. By Hobson's Choice, we settled on Judie's Restaurant. On entering, we quickly decided that this was a restaurant where the faculty ate, instead of students; it was nicely appointed, with handpainted tables and classical music playing. "Classical music playing" may not give exactly the right impression, though - this is the first time I remember hearing Mussorgsky's "Night on Bald Mountain" playing over a restaurant sound system. It definitely added a certain something to the soup course.


Judie's specialty is massive popovers with the volume of a loaf of bread and the mass of a muffin. Lori ordered a cold sundried cherry chicken salad sandwich on a popover. This was pretty good; the dried cherries and toasted almonds made it taste very summery.


I ordered the gumbo popover. I might have enjoyed this more if it had a slightly different name. The gumbo was reasonably good; I believe the mushrooms are nontraditional for gumbo, but the nature of gumbo makes it hard to declare that any ingredient is utterly inauthentic. But because it was called a "gumbo popover" (instead of a name like "gumbo with popover", which was how it was served) I kept trying to put the gumbo in the popover and eat the combination. And this didn't work very well; the popover was tough enough that it needed special attention to cut or bite, and doing that special attention made any gumbo in the popover spill out. I would have been happier leaving them separate.


A view of the inside of the popover:


For dessert, we shared a "Summerberry Stack", made with layers of cake, berries, and cream. I wasn't wild about it, but Lori was delighted.


Up next: Webs yarn store

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Re:Ralph and Lori go to New England, July 2010 2010/09/14 13:09:22 (permalink)
'Night on Bald Mountain'--LOLOLOL
 
You know it never would have occurred to me to use a popover like a sandwich roll but it sounds not half bad.  Was it distracting or did it add to the dish?  They're very eggy (if they're good) so I don't think you could just sub it out for anything.
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Re:Ralph and Lori go to New England, July 2010 2010/09/14 15:56:14 (permalink)
Monday, July 12
 
We began the day with a trip to Webs, a yarn store of renown in Northampton. 

The front part is a large yarn store that looks much like any yarn store, with carpet and wooden fixtures. In the back, though, is a large yarn warehouse, full of tall metal shelves filled with plastic bags containing every odd scrap of yarn a knitter might dream of.


From my point of view, the most attractive feature was the group of chairs placed at the front for the relief of beleaguered companions. There was clear evidence of whom those chairs were intended for: the magazines provided were things like TimeSports Illustrated, and Golf Digest, instead ofAnother Six Thousand Things You Could Do With Yarn. I chatted with other companions, showed the iPad to the curious, read some of the magazines, updated our trip notes on the iPad, finished reading a book, bought another book on the iPad, and generally waited with the patience appropriate to someone with no belief that impatience would yield a faster departure.

We returned at Herrell's for a farewell ice cream. I had the cider sorbet, which was very apple-y, cold, sweet and good.


Lori took the opportunity to correct a previous oversight. After our previous visit to Herrell's, she had read the praises of the chocolate pudding ice cream from http://www.roadfood.com/TheBest/NewEnglandIceCream/1-5646/herrells-ice-cream and was determined to sample it for herself. She found it good enough to swoon over, and considers it one of the best ice creams of a trip filled with many great ice creams.


We bought a jar of Herrell's hot fudge sauce to bring home with us.

Next: If I had known what we were getting into at White Hut, I might have avoided seeing it at its finest.
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Re:Ralph and Lori go to New England, July 2010 2010/09/15 00:01:08 (permalink)
If I'd known what we were getting into with White Hut, I might have avoided the place - and that would have meant missing out on seeing it in its element.

White Hut is a small little burger-and-hot-dog joint in Springfield, Massachusetts. What this picture does not show is that when we drove up, there were TV crews in the parking lot. TV crews are a potentially bad sign for Roadfooding - not as bad a sign as SWAT teams or hazmat suits, but still something to be wary about.


Inside, we discovered that White Hut was hosting a campaign rally for this tall gubernatorial candidate. The place was utter bedlam; you couldn't even get close to the counter without discreet elbow work.
The candidate shook my hand and said, "Hi, I'm Charlie Baker, and I'm running for governor."
I'm not very interested in Massachusetts politics, so I tried to give him permission to talk to someone else: "Hi, I'm Ralph Melton, and I'm from Pennsylvania."
I will say this for him: he didn't drop me right away. He said something innocuous like "We've got a lot of people from out of state today. It's great to see you here!" I have no idea of his policies or whether he'll do the right thing for Pennsylvania (or Massachusetts), but I approve of his schmoozing; I have stories of us being treated far worse by professional schmoozers. 


But here's how that reflects well on White Hut: despite this teeming throng of people, the White Hut staff handled things quickly and efficiently. I had to shout my order to a staffperson across two rows of customers, but in just a minute or two, we got handed a bag with a perfectly completed order, down to the condiments. I've seen fast food chains collapse into commercial hysteria with half such a horde, but White Hut seemed to handle such a frenetic crowd with aplomb. I was very impressed.
Nevertheless, we chose to eat at the tables outside where there was a chance of hearing ourselves think.

We split a burger and two hot dogs. Both burger and dog were tasty in a juicy, messy way, with a whole lot of grilled onions.


Next: Dr. Mike's Ice Cream

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#78
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Re:Ralph and Lori go to New England, July 2010 2010/09/15 00:26:35 (permalink)
Excellent trip report. But, one small point. Those of us from New Haven would not ever call the Wooster Street area Little Italy. Rather, it's just New Haven.
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Re:Ralph and Lori go to New England, July 2010 2010/09/15 08:09:13 (permalink)
Great report!
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Re:Ralph and Lori go to New England, July 2010 2010/09/15 12:15:13 (permalink)
Ah - I wish we knew you were in the neighborhood - we are about 5 miles from Tulmeadow Farms in Simsbury (so I am very familiar with "farm smell" of which you speak!). I do love their raspberry chip ice cream, though. Really enjoying your stories and pics!
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Re:Ralph and Lori go to New England, July 2010 2010/09/15 15:34:49 (permalink)
It would have been lovely to meet up with TnTinCT in Simsbury, and with wheregreggeats in Northampton. Unfortunately, I don't know how to arrange such meetups in an effective way - particularly since our own plans may be made on short notice. (I think we planned to go to Tulmeadow Farm after we finished up at Dottie's.)
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Re:Ralph and Lori go to New England, July 2010 2010/09/15 20:51:55 (permalink)
It's only fitting to say farewell to New England with ice cream, so we detoured to Bethel, Connecticut for a stop at Dr. Mike's. Dr. Mike's does small batches of very rich ice cream, operating out of a store the size of a walk-in closet in the back of this building:


Lori ordered the caramel toffee swirl. I asked her just now what she remembered of it, and she moaned at the memory. "It had a very rich vanilla base flavor with caramel and toffee accents. It was just a very rich, dense creamy ice cream."
I ordered the strawberry ice cream, and it was amazingly good, with a broad, intense, rich flavor. This might well be the best strawberry ice cream I've ever had.
These cones were both "small" cones. A "small" is apparently about the size of a softball.


Dr. Mike's was one of the great ice cream delights of our trip, and we would recommend it enthusiastically.

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Re:Ralph and Lori go to New England, July 2010 2010/09/15 23:28:40 (permalink)
A few comments again...
 
1. Nancypalooza: The popovers worked nicely with my chicken salad. I don't know how they'd work for everything, but it was a good match for what I had.
 
2. I was "yarnverwhelmed" at the amazing yarn store. If you enjoy fiber (of the crafty kind), you really must go!  Amazing place! :-)
 
3. Having Dr. Mike's and Herrell's in the same day was pretty much sinful. They were both soooooooooooooooooooooooo good. I have no idea how the team who picked the best ice cream in New England did it -- I admire their work and research! :-)
 
4. I have no idea about the political candidate's agenda, or anything about him, but I will say that he really was nice to everyone in the restaurant.
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Re:Ralph and Lori go to New England, July 2010 2010/09/15 23:40:10 (permalink)
Thanks for the report; I've really enjoyed it. The strawberry ice cream looks great, but I'd really like to try that cider sorbet.
 
Can't wait to read your report from New Mexico!
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Ralph Melton
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Re:Ralph and Lori go to New England, July 2010 2010/09/16 11:14:27 (permalink)
We stopped for dinner at Salerno's in Old Forge, Pennsylvania, because I was curious to sample Old Forge pizza.

Service was horribly slow. It took us a long time to get menus, a long time before our order was taken, and a long time before our food was provided. We whiled away the time chatting with the folks at the next table, who were gathered to celebrate a nonagenarian's birthday.

We ordered the stuffed white pizza with broccoli. Here's what's good about it: the crust was light and crisp and bit easily; if your stated task is "I want to eat a whole lot of gooey cheese with one hand", then this crust is absolutely the perfect bread for the job.
Here's what's bad: the cheese was a mixture of mozzarella and American, and it had a lot of that unpleasant cloying quality that American cheese has at its worst.
I'm glad to have tried it, and I respect it for how perfectly suited the bread is for its task, but I would think twice before ordering this again.



We stopped at the Dutch Kitchen in Frackville for a token dessert, because it is so convenient to the interstate. Lori ordered a piece of coconut cream pie, which was excellent:


I ordered the peach pie. Most of it was pretty good, but some pieces of peach were rather hard and tasteless. I've had far better pie at the Dutch Kitchen.


We had accumulated enough delay on the drive (we got out from Webs later than intended, Salerno's service was glacial, we were slowed by very heavy rain on the interstate) that we didn't feel able to make it all the way home safely. We stopped at Breezewood, Town of Motels for the night, had an indifferent breakfast, and made the drive into Pittsburgh without me being too late for work.

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Re:Ralph and Lori go to New England, July 2010 2010/09/16 11:43:08 (permalink)
Wrapup and pointless statistics:
 
9 days on the road.
29 Roadfood-listed places visited.
10 ice cream stops (plus another if you count Lori's gelato). 3 farm stands.
5 places with "Diner" in the name. 5 places with metal walls. 4 places in the intersection of those two sets.

Foods I'd never tried before:
Cheerwine
Mealie from Charlies Pool Room.
Ichi yaki chicken
Girlsenberry ice cream
Maple soda
Dandelion/burdock soda
Ice cider
Potato bacon pancake
Lobster roll
Indian pudding
Whole-belly clams
Squash pie
Gingersnap molasses ice cream
Grape nut with raisin ice cream
Moxie
Loukaniko sausage
Mee Siem au Poulet
Ginger ice cream
Johnnycakes
Broth clam chowder
Doughnut bread pudding
Old Forge pizza

Outstanding restaurant visits which I yearn to repeat:
Herrell's
Dorset Inn (twice)
Maine Diner
Rancatore's
Dottie's Diner
Dr. Mike's

Places that weren't listed in Roadfood that I'd recommend for Roadfood consideration:
Scotty's American Grill at Eddie's Drive-In
Herrell's in Northampton (another Herrell's is listed in Roadfood)
Libby's Italian Cookies

Random conclusions and observations:
• I don't know what music is right for driving through Vermont in the way that listening to bluegrass just feels right for driving through Kentucky. Country music feels a little off; sea chanties might be suitable for Maine and some other states in New England, but not for states without coastline.
• I like seafood about as much as I like, say, chicken. But even in New England, seafood costs substantially more than chicken.
• The New England accent is prominent in a way that the Pittsburgh accent is not.
• Route 1 is not an effective way to see ocean views while driving.
• I'm not good at noticing distinctions in hot dogs or ice cream.
And now I'm off to New Mexico. (This year has involved a lot of trips to places named "New Whatever". New Orleans, New England, and two trips to New Mexico.)

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post edited by Ralph Melton - 2010/09/16 12:05:38
#87
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Re:Ralph and Lori go to New England, July 2010 2010/09/19 12:00:49 (permalink)
I will only say one thing about the pizza we had at Salerno's. There should have been a warning label about the American cheese. Ugh, it was bad.
 
The Dutch Kitchen is a favorite of ours. We've made some substantial detours to eat there on the way home from someplace else. 
 
If Dr. Mike or Herrel's would set up a shop in Pittsburgh, I would die of happiness...well, or a heart attack from eating some everyday. Or IS that dying of happiness? ;-)
 
I should also mention that Ralph was extremely patient in the yarn store. Really, he was. Then again, I'm still not sure why he wanted to sit on the boring couch instead of looking at all the great yarn with me! 
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Re:Ralph and Lori go to New England, July 2010 2010/09/20 10:40:12 (permalink)
icecreamchick

I should also mention that Ralph was extremely patient in the yarn store. Really, he was. Then again, I'm still not sure why he wanted to sit on the boring couch instead of looking at all the great yarn with me! 

 
My wife is a knitter and I know full well what Ralph went though.  The man deserves a medal.
 
Brad
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Ralph Melton
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Re:Ralph and Lori go to New England, July 2010 2010/09/25 20:06:47 (permalink)
buffetbuster mentioned to me that he was very surprised at my report about Red's Eats, because Red's Eats has been consistently excellent in his experience. Based on his testimonial, I would try Red's Eats again.
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