Sunday, 5 August 2012

The one with five different places!

We hadn't really planned on heading North after our visit to Northampton but we were super glad we did. We ended up driving along beautiful tree lined roads...


...and we ended up in this tiny town. 

I couldn't tell you exactly where in Vermont this town is or what it's called (If you reeeally want to know I could probably find out!) but they had a cute tourist information office and the lovely lady inside gave us a map that directed us towards a beautiful picnic spot by a lake.

We spent most the day here eating, reading, and dipping our toes in the water. It was perfect.

The next morning we woke up bright and early to drive to Syracuse where we'd arranged to meet my buddy Bazu for lunch at Strong Hearts Cafe. Bazu and I "internet met" on the Post Punk Kitchen and we first met in real life in Brighton back in '08.

When I visited NYC in May 2009 I got the Megabus upstate to stay with Bazu, her husband, and their kitties. Before this mini meet up we had last seen each other when we travelled together in Vienna, Bratislava & Budapest in late 2009. Wow, that seems like a crazy long time ago! I love hanging out with Bazu & I was super excited to get to see her again.

I loved the Egg Trick Muffin and the Home Fries at Strong Hearts last time I was there but I decided to branch out this time & I ordered the pancakes. With a root beer of course!

These were ridiculously huge pancakes and for once I was actually into the accompanying banana! Weird! It was far too short a meet up but Bazu gave us the gift that just keeps on giving, Stretch Bread and Tomato Garlic dipping oil.

Stretch bread is a local speciality, it's kinda like ciabatta but the dough is more elastic, hence the name! The tomato garlic dipping oil was bloody brilliant, I loved the pourable packaging and how intensely garlicky it was. Bazu said that this combo would make the perfect road tripping dinner & she wasn't wrong. Nick is actually still totally obsessed with stretch bread & Tomato Garlic Dipping Oil, I'll ask what we should get for dinner and he'll sigh dramatically and say "Stretch bread & oil", he's ridiculous!

The next day started with another morning of waking up bright and early to head to Niagara Falls. We weren't sure whether to include the falls in our road trip, we'd heard that the American side wasn't as good as the Canadian side and that it'd be horribly touristy but as with the Top of The Rock in NYC we were totally glad we went.

None of my pictures do it justice but we thought it was super cool! We loved that you could go & stand near the bottom to really get an idea of how massive it is and we were pretty into the tacky souvenir shop - I love tack! One day we'd definitely like to go & check out the Canadian side, we contemplated doing that this time before we realised that our car hire agreement said a big old N-O to that idea!

We spent that night in Erie, Pennsylvania...

...eating these delicious Divvies cookies & watching movies. Divvies cookies are without a shadow of a doubt the best store bought cookies I've ever eaten, I think they cost something a little silly like $5.99 but they were definitely worth it.

The sugar cookies were better than any I've ever made and the Choco-Lot Brownie Cookies had a really deep chocolatey flavour without verging on bitter.

Using the wonderful Happy Cow app again we found that we were near The Whole Foods Co-op and their in-store Co-op Cafe. We headed there for breakfast and whilst we waited for my Tempeh Bacon and Cheese sandwich to be ready we browsed for snacks for the road. We ended up picking up a delicious Eggless Salad...

...and a Whoopie Pie to share.

My sandwich was SO awesome, it was certainly challenging to eat in a moving car & I hadn't expected the Daiya to be unmelted but wow, it was brilliant. I loved how much salad there was and the tempeh was perfectly smoked & fried.

It was around a 2 hour drive to that days destination and appropriately we spotted this truck ahead of us. Can you guess where we were headed?

That's right! The Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame! It was Epic!

They had Joe Strummer's Fender Telecaster!! SO COOL!

After spending hours wandering around this surprisingly huge museum we headed into Cleveland to find the slightly oddly named Flaming Icecube cafe. There were so many great reviews of this place on Happy Cow that we just had to go there and as soon as I tasted this Raspberry Lemonade I knew we'd made the right decision. I never thought a lemonade could be so amazing but it was perfectly tart and incredibly refreshing.

I even insisted that Nick had to try my lemonade even though he pretty much only drinks water and after one sip he ordered one of his own! I wasn't feeling particularly hungry, either because of the heat or the whoopie pie, so I ordered half a chicken salad wrap which came with a side of macaroni salad.

The wrap was great, I love vegan chicken, tuna or egg salad on any kind of bread product so this was always going to be a winner and I don't think that you can go wrong with macaroni salad either. My appetite miraculously came back after I spotted one of my favourite flavour combo's, chocolate mint, in the cupcake case.

These were great cupcakes, I loved that they made a fancy chocolate swirl on the plate and that the icing was really green.

We hadn't really planned on spending long enough in Cleveland to go out to eat but we were really glad we did, Flaming Icecube is a great chilled out lunch spot. The food was good, the staff were lovely and it made me realise that I really need to learn how to make my own raspberry lemonade.


  1. Awesome!!!! I can't really point anything particular that seems great, because it all seems like so much fun.

  2. The town in Vermont was Wilmington. I think the lake was the Harriman reservoir. It's a beautiful place.

  3. Oh my goodness! I am originally from Erie, PA (now living in Portland)!!! I got so excited when I saw that you visited the Whole Foods Co-op and got one of their whoopie pies!!! I love the food from their cafe. Glad your road trip is still going strong!!!

  4. Hello, I love reading your blog and have nominated it for the 'one lovely blog award'! You can see it here:

    Sarah, at Found by Sarah x

  5. Ooh, Strong Hearts! I glanced through the photos before I started reading, and thought there must be another. But no, it is "the" Strong Hearts. We live just north of Syracuse :D

    Looks like a ton of roadtrip fun!!

  6. Beautiful pictures! That picnic spot looks like a lovely place to spend a day. And again, so many amazing looking meals. The stretch bread sounds really good!

  7. Eeee! I got really nostalgic reading your description of our shared trips. Now if there was only a way to teleport you some stretch bread and oil on a regular basis...


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