Remembering... My First Wings & Waffle Experience
The first time my daughter mentioned the combination of fried chicken wings and breakfast waffles, I sort of gagged. It sounded like just another food gimmick.
Joining the Line in 2011
So we checked out the craze on a Sunday morning in March, 8 years ago. Both kids had come home from Austin, for the weekend. Our family of 4 headed into Houston to enjoy a food adventure! The line at The Breakfast Klub was crazy.
A Fun Wait
We were handed menus right away. The restaurant staff was very much used to dealing with crowds. All were in good spirits.
The cool spring weather made the wait tolerable. But the people watching, made the wait entertaining. Some came dressed in their Sunday Best. Others looked like they had rolled out of bed. But all seemed happy and eager to be there.
Our Breakfast Table
Once seated, we studied the menus with big cups of coffee. The youngins ordered Wings and Waffles, so I knew I'd get a bite. I went ahead and ordered the other dish The Klub is known for...Catfish and Grits!
So it's been 7 years and the breakfast combo is seen on more and more menus. It wasn't a short trend, afterall. They probably even serve wings and waffles at Denny's.
It might be time to head back for some Catfish and Grits!
Gatherin' Place Cafe
Road Trip to California
I heard about Pie Town a few years ago and I made a mental note. So last winter when Don and did a TX to CA road trip, I was pretty excited to study the map and realize we could go a little off-route, between Truth or Consequences, NM and Gallup.
The weather was a little worrisome, but the winding drive on US 60 was scenic. Luckily, one of the three pie-related cafes was open.
A Welcome Truck
The old truck outside of Gatherin' Place was a pretty good reminder that we'd made it to Pie Town. Evidently the town of under 200, got its name because of a bakery that served up pie to travelers, back in the 1920's. Pie is still pretty much what the town is known for.
The Bakery Door
There were two doors on the front porch. The door on the right took us into the bakery where 3 women greeted us, while their flour covered hands worked at various tasks.
We stepped into the other room which held 3 community tables. An older couple from Iowa was finishing up their pie. We chatted a little road trip talk, until they headed off. Then we had the place to ourselves.
We kept an eye out the window, watching the snow. We worried a little over the drive ahead, but also figured this would be a pretty good place to get snowed in. Not only did the place have pies to last for days, but each table had a few games. We could have played Cribbage and Checkers, into the night.
Bob the Cook, popped up in the window when our food was ready. He seemed pretty eager to come out and chat since there were no other food orders.
Bob didn't grow up in Pie Town. He told us he sold his ranch and retired to Pie Town, where his wife worked as a school teacher.
Somewhere in the conversation, Bob mentioned that he usually wore a gun. Hmm? The town seemed safe enough to me. But, I guess the gun was more about completing his outfit, than safety. "They wanted me to wear it when I started working here. But it was just too heavy." He laughed.
Chili and Cornbread
I was excited to know our waitress was actually from Pie Town. She didn't have much to tell us about the town, because there wasn't much to tell. She was mostly excited about the weather. "It's been so dry. We need the moisture!"
Bye Pie Town!
Five months later, I'm still thinking about that snowy visit to Pie Town. I can't believe we got to spend a cozy time chatting over chili and pie, with a few welcoming people. We also had just enough snow to make it fun! We faced no travel issues after we got back on the road.
Yay for Pie!
A Quick Bite
Lunch in February
We studied the chalkboard menu, with numerous taco options.
Dining with Lola
My Tostilocos was served in an opened chip bag. I squeezed some lime and dug in! I wasn't really sure what all the ingredients were, but the peanuts were good. I liked the crunchy cucumber and jicama.
Hmm? The little slices of onion seemed to have an odd flavor and texture. Chali took a bite and wondered with me. "There's a strange aftertaste." Then I looked at the list of ingredients, on the sign. "What's cueritos?" I asked.
Pig Skin! That wasn't an onion that I tasted. It was written right on that bright ad, but I don't speak Spanish. Luckily there was no table service and I didn't have to insult a server by not finishing my meal.
I'll have a taco, next time!
Elizabethtown, New York
The Book That Inspired the Stop
Before heading off to New York, I made sure to peek inside a couple of our old Ford Motor Cookbooks. I was excited to find a featured recipe, from an inn which was located in an area we planned to visit. The book was printed over 50 years ago, so I was excited to learn that the inn was still in business.
Closed on Sunday
Our route from Lake George to Saranac Lake, took us right through Elizabethtown!
Posing in E-Town
Jennifer and Kate pulled up minutes later, when I was taking photos of the inn. We 4 wandered the town a bit. My sister and I had some fun taking pictures... and being in them.
I posed with the rusty sign that showed my name. Then we spotted another sign and posed. It turns out, we were standing in front of a shop that benefits a local organization, which reaches out to women experiencing domestic violence.
We also learned some fun news. Greg's son was chef at Deer's Head Inn. "You need to come back!" Greg insisted. So we did.
2 Days Later
We returned on a Tuesday, after staying in Sarnac Lake. It was a lovely day when we arrived for lunch. It was tempting to dine on the porch. I love porches.
But first I had to take in the exterior, which had a homey, farmhouse look to it.
I had to study the side view too. The business reopened a couple of years ago, as a "tavern, inn and grocer". What fun it would be, to stay in one of their 4, second story rooms.
We headed towards the front door on the porch, hoping to find some answers.
My eyes were drawn to the potted herbs absorbing the window light.
The Tavern/ Restaurant
Photo in the Hall
This old photo shows the original Deer's Head Inn, which was torn down in 1968. It didn't exactly match my cookbook image either, but it is the building that was featured in the book. I'm guessing, after they moved The Annex to it's current location in the 1830's, they added more gingerbread and porches to the original old inn.
It was fun having Jennifer and Kate join us for our cookbook dining adventure. They were just as excited as Don and me, hoping to show the book to Chef Josh. Funny that we had just chatted with his dad, 2 days earlier.
Where to Sit?
There were some cute little alcoves and bay windows for seating. There was even a great area with dartboard and pool table, if only we'd had the time.
The New Bar
Driving by, you would never have guessed there was such an inviting, modern, Sazerac serving bar, inside this old building... in a town of 1,000.
I love vintage bars, with antique or retro decor. Usually I cringe when things are modernized. But there was something fun about having this new fresh interior, inside a 210 year old building.
I knew they were getting busy and Courtney seemed to be the only waitstaff, but I begged. "We talked to the chef's dad the other day. We were hoping to meet him..." Courtney agreed to bring him out a little later, so I held onto the book.
Jennifer ordered the House Maple Lemonade, which was pretty refreshing. We shared some locally picked and pickled Fried Dilly Beans with Ancho Chile Spiced Aioli. Yum!
I had the Eggplant and Pickled Beet Sandwich, with Feta, Olives, Capers and Herbs. Don got the Roast Chicken Breast Sandwich with Roasted Peppers and Sweet Basil Pesto. I stole his fries and he snitched my greens! All good!
Deer's Head Bamboo Rice Bowl
Kate's rice dish looked as garden fresh as her blouse. She was a brave one, ordering the dish that Courtney said was very yummy, with "furry" bamboo rice. We had to laugh at that description. It was interesting, with marinated tofu and miso ginger dressing. But I liked my eggplant better.
Waiting on Chef Josh
The cozy tavern at one point, was practically full. Courtney was rushing about, serving diners on the porch and even at the bar. She kept assuring us that Josh would try to make it out to meet us, but we had to get going.
The Dining Blog
This is a blog about Dining Adventures. Sometimes, I talk about food. Below, you can read how this started.
On July 4th 2011, I set a goal to try 50 culturally diverse restaurants in one year! (I knew that was possible, living in the Houston area) I spent the year pulling in friends and family to join me, on some unusual dining adventures. I met some curious people, tried some scary foods and explored places and cultures I never would have otherwise. Even though I met my goal, I learned too much to end my adventures in dining. I have continued blogging about memorable dining adventures of all kinds, near and far... and all the discoveries and funny things I've learned along the way!
Locations and types of dining adventures, are listed further down.