Time for another update! After my big summer trip, I spent most of the rest of 2013 at home on the Delmarva Peninsula... but that doesn't mean there aren't plenty of good restaurants there! Here are a few of them.
On the way back from a day trip to see Kelly's grandfather in August, we stopped by the Vanderwende Farm Creamery in Bridgeville, DE.
The building itself is unassuming...
...but the pasture out back guarantees all the milk, cheese and ice cream inside is fresh!
Cookies and cream for me.
Here are the rest of the flavors.
After Hopkins Farm Creamery (reviewed earlier in this thread), Vanderwende's is my favorite ice cream stop in Delaware.
Kelly’s birthday was a couple weeks later, and to celebrate, I took her on a mini restaurant tour. In late 2012, the Irish Penny Pub opened in the strip mall across the street from my office in Salisbury, MD. I’d eaten there a couple times, and it was decent. I mentioned earlier Kelly’s fascination with Irish restaurants, so we started her birthday restaurant tour here.
I know it looks dark in this photo, but the restaurant itself is really nice inside, with old barrels (or reasonable facsimiles thereof) converted into tables, as well as a number of booths, regular tables and a bar.
A friend of mine who frequents the restaurant recommended trying the Irish egg rolls, stuffed with corned beef, potatoes, cabbage, onions and cheese. I had never tried them before, so why not?
They were awesome!
I opted for the Reuben with pub fries, which, up to this point, had been my go-to here.
Kelly ordered a “build your own” burger with bleu cheese and bacon on a pretzel roll. She insisted I try a bite. Holy cow! I’ve never gotten anything else here since, and I usually come back about twice a month. It’s seriously the best hamburger I’ve ever had that I didn’t make myself. If you’re ever in the area, I strongly, strongly suggest you stop by and try one. (Kelly got onions on hers, but I prefer mine without.)
That evening, after dinner at a Bahama Breeze franchise in Christiana, DE, we made our final stop of the day for dessert at Shuckers Pier 13 in Dover, DE.
The interior is rather homey.
I mean, this is the service area, for crying out loud!
But despite the restaurant’s name, we weren’t here for seafood. Doing some online research, Kelly determined that Shuckers was the closest place to our home that served our favorite cheesecake from Junior’s in New York (discussed earlier in this thread)! Mine was original…
…while Kelly lived a bit more dangerously with a combination cheesecake and chocolate cake.
I took this photo of the locally famous Kirby and Holloway Family Restaurant sign on the way home. The restaurant opened in the 1940s and was a landmark in Dover... until it burned down five months after this picture was taken.
A week later, I had some time to kill between appointments in Salisbury, MD, and decided to grab some lunch. Paul’s Pizza was right across the street from my next stop, so I figured I’d give it a try. The restaurant had recently opened in a building that formerly contained another pizza parlor, Route 12 Pizza.
The interior was festive.
The pizza was pretty tasty, but the crust was a lot crispier than most “New York” pizzas I’ve had. There definitely was no folding happening here!
The bad news is, this particular restaurant closed down late last year and has been reborn as another eatery. The good news is that Paul's Pizza is still around, having reopened in a nearby shopping center.
In early November, Kelly, Lauryn and I decided to take a day trip to Newark, DE, to attend the Delaware Saengerbund’s annual German Christmas Festival.
The band and dancers were great, but they took up a lot of space. This place was wall-to-wall people, and there was absolutely no chance of getting a seat. No one who was lucky enough to have one was about to give it up for any reason.
Of course, the biggest reason we were here was the food! It was served cafeteria style. Each of these ladies staffed a chaffing dish, and if you wanted some of what she was serving, you’d say so. Then, at the end of the line, you paid for whatever was on your plate.
This was some of the best German food (and hands down the best sauerkraut) I’ve ever had! There’s spaetzle, sausage and a German meat patty covered in the finest gravy these lips have ever tasted. Too bad I had to eat it standing up in the lobby, off the top of a baby grand piano.
For dessert I snagged a piece of hazelnut cake. Unfortunately, it didn’t really taste the way I expected it to. When I think of hazelnuts, I think of something like Nutella. This tasted more like sour-ish fruit… which I guess is probably what it was supposed to taste like, but it was a surprise.
It took me a long time to make my way across the room to the German candy and cookie vendor, and it took the couple running the candy and cookie booth even longer to ring up my order, but I did end up with an assortment of confections, both for myself and for Christmas gifts, by the time they were done, including these pfeffernusse cookies.
They were subtly sweet, almost like stale spice cake with 10X sugar icing… but that’s not necessarily a bad thing!
Up next: some 2013 leftovers in Lancaster, PA, and New York City!
As always, thanks for reading! I promised a couple 2013 leftovers before we head into the 2014 Roadfood adventure... so here we go!
In November, I took my sister on a bus trip to New York, a place she's always wanted to visit, as an early Christmas present. While there, I purchased some roasted chestnuts from a street vendor.
For those who have never seen the inside of a chestnut, here it is! And for those who have never tasted one... well, they're just plain awful. At least these were. Maybe they're an acquired taste. I can't imagine why anyone ever would have written a song about them.
For several years, a friend of mine has spoken the praises of Ellen's Stardust Diner in New York. I told my sister about it, and she was very interested in checking it out.
Here's a look at the inside. It's a little cramped, but they make good use of the space available.
Did I mention it's very retro?
Along the walls are plaques honoring New York's past Miss Subways winners.
But the real reason to visit Ellen's Stardust Diner is the singing waitstaff!
They day we were there, they sang everything from Elvis to One Dimension.
My sister was less than impressed... though some of the songs were OK.
The same can be said for the food. Not altogether impressive... but OK. My sister tried a quesadilla...
...while I got loaded waffle fries.
Kelly, Lauryn and I rounded out 2013 with what has become our annual Thanksgiving weekend trip to Lancaster, PA. Our first day there, we stopped by Dienner's Country Restaurant, where Kelly's grandparents took her as a child.
Dienner's is actually a small buffet... but what it lacks in size it makes up for in taste!
Here's my first plate. Clockwise from top is sour beef, ham, sauerkraut, filling (the Amish word for stuffing), macaroni and cheese, and what I thought was the restaurant's best dish, hot buttered noodles.
The desserts were good, too, but the chocolate cobbler at the left was the only one I was able to finish completely. I was so full that I just kind of tried a bite of everything else.
The next day, we visited the Wilbur Chocolate Co. in Lititz, PA (an earlier trip there is posted in this thread), to do some Christmas shopping. We ended up parking near this little bakery and decided to stop inside.
Well, of course, we couldn't leave empty handed! The cupcakes were good -- not great -- but I'm a firm believer that there's no such thing as a bad cupcake!
Up next: Pushing forward into 2014, with stops throughout Pennsylvania, New England, upstate New York and Wildwood, NJ. All aboard!
Regarding chestnuts, I think the song was written because of the wonderful aroma they emit. Some people think the classic smell from the NYC food carts in the winter comes from the pretzels, but it is the chestnuts.
As usual, my analysis is free of charge! Original enough to not steal someone else's quote as a signature
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