Why does ice cream taste better in New England than anywhere else in the country? We don’t have an answer, but as long as we keep travelling the area, we’ll keep tasting. There are boutique, one-shop stores offering superb hand-crafted renditions, and there are small companies that also turn out a product superior to the national brands. Gifford’s is one such Maine-owned ice cream maker that buys its cream locally and sells all over New England. Gifford’s premium ice cream has an honest flavor that we never tire of. Continue reading
Traditional New England cuisine has a lot to recommend it but whether you’re talking about jonnycakes or Indian pudding, lobster rolls or Anadama bread, clam chowder or baked beans , one thing it’s not is spicy and vibrant. Not that we’re complaining, mind you, but the modern American palate accustomed to the cuisines of Asia may find itself in need of the occasional jolt. And that’s where Thai Basil enters the picture. Continue reading
Cajun Mkt. Donut Co. has a new name (they used to call themselves Meche’s Donut King) and a new look, but the donuts, stuffed breads, and Cajun kolaches have not changed. They make what has been called Acadiana’s best king cake, and they are also, of course, a donut shop. We’ve tried neither king cake (a Mardi Gras specialty) nor donuts at Cajun Market, yet we still highly recommend a breakfast visit for a few unique items we did try. Continue reading
The Dorset Union Store was started in 1816 as a member-owned cooperative. Then-owner Perry Peltier changed the name to Peltier’s in 1955. When the current owners purchased the store in 2007, the name reverted back to its original Dorset Union Store. We like the ring of it. We also like how the store has achieved a perfect balance between old and new. Continue reading
This was Zally’s restaurant! Who is Zally, you ask? Zal Yanovsky was famous for three things: he was lead guitarist for the Lovin’ Spoonful; he was ostracized by the ’60s counterculture for allegedly ratting on his dealer when he was picked up for possession; and, in the ’70s, back home in Canada, he opened Chez Piggy. Zally died in 2002. Chez Piggy is now owned by Zally’s daughter, Zoe. Learn more about Zally by listening to The Mamas and the Papas song, Creeque Alley. Continue reading
What are you looking for from your visit to Vermont? A beautiful, small, old town? Dorset was founded in 1761; today it’s postcard-ready. A cozy old inn? The Dorset Inn first opened in 1796. Good New England food? The current menu at the restaurant in The Dorset Inn features chicken pot pie, turkey croquettes, locally smoked meats and cheeses from local farms, and cheesecake made by nuns a few miles to the east of Dorset. You can enjoy all this beside a roaring fire in an 18th-century dining room.
We don’t have cafeterias where we live (at least none that we’d want to eat in), so we’re always impressed, when traveling in a cafeteria-rich region of America, with the bounty of home-style cooking that can be enjoyed in one with the same ease, and minimal expense, of visiting a fast-food chain back home. We normally avoid chain restaurants during our travels, but one cafeteria chain we enjoy when passing through Indiana is MCL. Born in Indianapolis in 1950, MCL now numbers 19 primarily-Indiana restaurants. Continue reading
We’re impressed: Brasserie L’Oustau de Provence does reasonably capture much of the French brasserie experience. The bright, country-French Provencal-styled restaurant hits most of the old French country classics; this is not the spot for cutting edge cuisine. That’s not what a brasserie is about. Continue reading