Posts tagged ‘favorite places’
This weekend, while out and about, the husband and I stopped by Dunkin’ Donuts. We’re really, really big Dunks fans. The store we went to was carrying the new “Toffee for Your Coffee” donut. It’s a glazed sour cream donut with heath bar bits on top. I actually voted for this donut last year when they ran the “Create Dunkin’s Next Donut” contest, so I needed to try it out.
This is the picture distributed by Dunkin’ Donuts:
This is what the donut actually looks like:
Not quite as appetizing, eh? And to be honest, it tastes about as good as it looks. It tastes like a plain Dunks donut (which is definitely not a bad thing), with really sugary glaze on top. I’m sure it is heath bar, but it didn’t really taste like it to me. Disappointing, to say the least.
Anyone else have experience with Toffee for Your Coffee? Are they better looking at other locations?
Brian and I spent most of our time in Philly in the Old City. We did a ton of walking in that area alone. However, I couldn’t quite resist making the hike to Center City to see Reading Terminal Market. How could I forgo checking out “the best, freshest and liveliest public market since 1893”?
In short, it was everything I hoped it would be. Tons of vendors, amazing looking fresh food, variety, ethnic cuisine. I very nearly decided to move to Philadelphia for the market alone. It was a good thing we didn’t have a cooler with us or a fridge in our hotel because I would’ve spent a fortune on food. I’ll stop rambling and just get to the photos, because they express my feelings much better:
Reading Terminal Market: definitely a Philadelphia foodie must see.
I may have just decided where all my money is going to go.
I also just had an amazing whole wheat bagel with delicious sundried tomato cream cheese.
If my Man notices in a few weeks that we’re out of money, brewhaha, in downtown North Adams, may be to blame. It’s adorable. It’s delicious. And they have vegetarian/vegan offerings! They offer loose, organic teas! Not to mention coffee and baked goods.
If you’re in the area and looking for breakfast or lunch, I highly recommend it.
Finally leaving the house today was so worth it.
Fore Street Restaurant
Whole Foods Market, though completely wonderful, was just an errand on the way to the climax of my day. I had 6 pm reservations at the Fore Street Restaurant in Portland (Maine). Fore Street made an appearance in a recent issue of Down East Magazine in “Where to Eat Now”, but what really got me interested in checking it out was its nomination for a 2009 James Beard Award for “Outstanding Restaurant”. When I saw that a Portland establishment had been nominated for an award, I knew I had to go, especially since Fore Street is focused on local, fresh ingredients, which sounded right up my alley.
I don’t eat at “fancy” restaurants much, but the meal really made me question why I don’t. From the moment we entered the restaurant, I felt at ease. First of all, though Fore Street is beautiful, it’s just rustic enough to feel cozy. Our waiter, Lance, was incredibly kind and helpful. The menu was relatively long and though I’ve never been somewhere where carpaccio or foie gras was actually being served, they apparently don’t just exist on television. That said, there were many items on the menu that sounded delicious and I wish they didn’t change their menu daily (!!!) so I could try to experience more of the items on it. I settled on duck, cooked in their wood-burning oven. My Man ordered pork loin. We split a side of delicious Maine garlic mashed potatoes. I had never had duck before, and it was incredible. I figure if you’re going to eat at a good place, you may as well order something different because it’ll be good. Yay for trying new things, again. We also had some really excellent pino grigio (I forgot how good quality wine was!) We had a wonderful meal at Fore Street. I would absolutely recommend it to someone looking for perfectly prepared food, though be prepared for $25-40 entrees.
Forgoing dessert at the Fore Street was a hard decision (though we were pretty full…) My Man and I had other plans; on the way home we stopped at another place we adore. The Gelato Fiasco in Brunswick is a frequent stop for my family (my sister once went 3 times in one weekend…and its a good 40 minutes from our home!). I’m sure Brunswick isn’t the first place you’d look for good gelato, but it’s well worth it. The gelato is created fresh from scratch right in town. They always have at least 20 flavors available and I’ve never had a bad one. Tuesday night’s choice for me was half strawberry (sorbetto, actually, not gelato) and half chocolate gelato; my Man had half espresso gelato and half chocolate caramel. Delcious. Gelato Fiasco is also very generous with samples, has games for customers to play and provides free wi-fi. They’re open 7 days a week, 11-11. If you’re ever in mid-coast Maine, definitely check them, or one of their partner locations, out.
I knew that a day which began with 50 cent iced coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts would be a good one, but when I left the house Tuesday morning I underestimated just how good the day could be. I managed to go to DD, Whole Foods, Fore Street and Gelato Fiasco on the same day (“Go big, or go home,” right? One only gets off the peninsula so often!)
After the (delicious, inexpensive, refreshing) coffee break, my Man and I headed to Portland (Maine, of course), to shop and eat lunch at Whole Foods Market. As I may have mentioned previously, WFM is currently one of my favorite places in the whole world. I’d been ranting and raving about my plans to go for days; my parents officially think I’m crazy. It’s possible I need to get a life. My Man had never been there, so I was even more excited to show him around. We had a good time, checking out all the food, discussing meal possibilities. I can’t fathom a time when I will go in there and beeline for the things I need and not browse every aisle. We picked up some good stuff including cornmeal for polenta, a marinated olive medley, rice noodles, whole wheat pasta, and greek yogurt. Definitely the most food I’d ever bought on a single trip. That I also finally planned a trip which enabled me to eat lunch there was awesome. It’s so unfair to walk by all the salad bars and be unable to partake. My Man had some excellent chili and I had a salad with some yummy dumplings. I threw a few pieces of tofu in at his urging (for someone sometimes expresses hesitancy about my foodie-ness, he certainly is encouraging). I don’t think I’ll be picking up tofu on a regular basis, but it wasn’t bad. I’m just not sure tofu is for me. But at any rate, I can check off trying another new food.
Seems to me I never eat Indian food in places that one would expect. The last time in memory I can recall having authentic Indian cuisine was in Wales 3 years ago, homemade by an individual who was hosting members of the mission team I was working with. Every time I smell curry, I think of Wales. Indian food in Wales is about as expected as Indian food in northwest Massachusetts, I would think, but expectations are often false.
Spice Root is located in downtown Williamstown, MA (home of Williams College and the Clark Art Institute). My Man and I ventured there because it was recommended to us by one of his friends who is, reliably, Indian. According to him, the food is something like 75% authentic and 25% what Americans want to eat. Honestly, I wouldn’t know and I wouldn’t say that’s necessarily a bad thing. Weekday lunch is a $8.95 all you can eat buffet and it was delicious. Rice, naan, chicken tikka masala, mulligatawny soup, aloo gobi (potatoes and eggplant). It was everything I think Indian food should be and my stomach and I left very happy. the rest of the menu looks great as well, I definitely plan to head back.
Disclaimer: Tea is one of my most favorite things in the world. Even if that’s not true for you, you should still read this post.
It’s somewhat unlikely that you’d ever find yourself randomly in Millerton, NY. However, if you ever find yourself anywhere near Millerton, NY (like, in any state between New Jersey and Maine), you must stop by Harney and Sons Fine Tea on Route 22.The store/tea tasting bar/tasting room was a wonderful experience which I’d been looking forward to since receiving Harney and Sons teas as a gift last year.
My Man, his parents and I started with a delicious lunch in the Tasting Room. There have been moments when I’ve felt frustrated by my decision to not eat meat for lunch–the mushroom strudel with gruyere cheese I ordered was not one of them. It was incredible. And, of course, we drank tea, Lapsang Souchong my Man picked out, which was smoky and definitely worth trying . But even if you for some bizarre reason weren’t going to have any tea, the food is still worth it.
After lunch we moved on to the tea tasting bar.
It’s probably a bad idea to take me to a place which provides me with the opportunity to sample any one of 200 varieties of tea, the vast majority of which I’ve never heard (or dreamed) of. I have a hard time deciding what color socks to wear on any given day. However, the staff at the tea bar are incredibly knowledgeable (I’d just about die for their job if I had any hope of ever retaining all the information the man behind the counter did.) Chances are while you’re there, sipping and smelling tea and trying to consider what to purchase, John Harney will wander through and say hello, because it is a family business, after all.
Harney and Sons makes excellent tea. The Plaza Hotel thinks so (they serve H&S “Palm Court” black tea), and so does Barnes and Noble. The experience of the tasting room and tea bar only enhance the experience (and make me want to buy more tea). Highly recommended.
Unable to visit? Fear not, you can order all their tea online, at http://www.harney.com.