Pepere, 6am, that’s so early.
Yeah, but he got his butt out of bed and we hit the road. Now I should point out, he went to sleep in the car for a few hours, but hey, it was 6am after-all.
Our trip was going to take us to Morrette’s King Steak for lunch, then on to Erie, PA for the night. The next day was going to be filled with stuff to do including a stop on the shores of Lake Erie for a round of frisbee golf, after-which it was on to B.A. Sweeties, (worlds largest candy store) a stop in Little Italy in Cleveland for lunch and from there to Daffin’s Chocolate Factory in Sharon, PA, and from here to our hotel for the night. The next day had another round of frisbee golf and a quick drive over to Logan Airport to pick up memere, who was retuning from a trip to CA., to visit the grand girls.
So let’s start with the drive to Morrette’s King Steak (see below the photo’s for more on Morrette’s) (http://www.morrettesonline.com). It was pretty much an uneventful drive of about 5 hours. The weather was fine albeit a bit overcast and off and on rain, but uneventful other then that. We did make a few stop to stretch our legs. One of these stops was at Twin Bridges in Stoddard, NH. You likely can’t tell from the photo, but these bridges were built with NO cement!
From here it was pretty much on to Morrette’s King Steak. We arrived at Morrette’s about 20 minutes before noon, so the service was fast and very pleasant. Now a bit of the story on this place.
Fast forward a few years and Frank and Kathy Martin have purchased the shop and reopened it pretty much as it was (they have added a few healthy dishes?) So I’m sure you are wondering how was it – Freakin Awesome! Now I should point out, that they serve their steak sandwich with Pizza Style Tomato sauce, which is something I grew up on (ok, so I had a few when I was a kid, I can’t say I grew up on them, but I do love it this way – Heck that’s how I order it everywhere I get a steak sandwich). I had a steak, cheese, mushrooms and tomato sauce, while Dominik had his with just steak and cheese wiz, both were “King Size” and didn’t last to long on our plates. These along with some great french fries made for a great lunch and more then enough in our bellies for the rest of the trip. Oh, thank you ladies for the great Lemon Meringue pie. To anyone who is wondering, Dominik and I give Morrette’s 2 thumbs-up
Ok, so from here it was off to Erie PA for the night. I say this like it was right next door, it’s not, it’s about 5 hours west of Schenectady, NY. As the name of the blog implies, we got on the back roads and headed towards Erie. It wasn’t but an hour or so, when we started to see “Snow”, which for those who don’t know it, but being from Maine, we had hope for sunny warm weather and were not liking this at all.
Now there are a few other things I should point out. Both Dominik and I had our eyes focused and road signs looking to see anything that was worth stopping to see, and yes, we found something.
We were some 75 miles from Erie, when we came across an area with strip malls and such. We had planned on eating something once we got to the hotel, but what before my wondrous eyes should appear but a Krispy Kreme donut shop. I pulled a quick u-turn and headed on in for some of their world famous “Hot” “Fresh” (making them right when we pulled in) “tasty”, “sticky”, “soft” Honey Dipped donuts:)
We got us a dozen assorted for dessert to eat after supper, your right, they didn’t even make it to supper. Most, but not all, did make it to the car. Yes there are many places with great donuts, hell, I could tell you of a dozen places myself, and some right here in Maine, but none like these.
Frosty’s, (now available at many Hannaford’s) Italian Bakery, Labadies Bakery are just a few here in Maine that rank right up there.
So where did I leave off … oh yeah, Krispy Kreems, folks stop if you are every near one, get the hot Honey dips, you’ll be glad you did.
So after Kripy Kreems, we headed to our Hotel for the night, The Clarion Hotel Lake Erie, which proved to be a fine choice. No it wasn’t the finest hotel in the area, but as inexpensive hotels go, if was very good. Quiet, Clean, well staff a pleasant stay all-in-all
The next morning we decided to try out the breakfast, and like many of the Choice Hotels (this is one of those), the breakfast we plentiful. Fruits, Juices, Waffles, Meat, Eggs, Yogurt, Hard Boiled Eggs, Donuts and pastries and hot coffee. Again, not the best breakfast around I’m sure, but a damn good one, at no extra cost, yes, FREE with your nights stay.
Breakfast took about 30 minutes or so, and now it’s on to our first frisbee golf course … right on the shores of Lake Erie. Did mention it is still snowing lightly, cold and windy. The course was about an hours drive from the hotel, which was fine, no traffic to speak of and the car heater works just fine.
Man talk about funny. So we get to the frisbee course and it is RIGHT on the shores of Lake Erie, and this day there is a stuff wind and it’s snowing. Windy enough that we would throw the frisbees to the left to go right, and in front of us to go backwards. It is a great park, with nice walkways, animals, fountains and so much more. It just wasn’t the day to be there for us. Dominik loves wearing shorts year-round, but even he, ran to the car and put some pants on. Which proofed to be waste of time, because 3 holes later we were both so damn cold, we couldn’t feel our fingers. We called it quits and head towards the world’s largest candy store: B.A. Sweeties in Cleveland, OH. This took about an hour to get to and my grandson was like “Whole cow pepere is all of this the candy store”? Sure is, let’s go inside and have a great time.
Now I think it’s important to say, “I was very good this time folks”. We didn’t spend but maybe $100.00 on candy (last time I was here it was much closer to $400 or was it $500.00:). We did our thing and now it’s time for lunch and Little Italy in Downtown Cleveland. If you like walking the streets of an area and everything is of one ilk, then you’d love visiting here. Italian everywhere you look, and some of it, is simply outstanding! We walked around a bit, until I saw the place I remember from my last visit and it was then I told Dominik, there’s the place were we are having lunch, and maybe some dessert too.
We each had a slice of Sicilian pizza, Dominik had Cheese and I had ham and a Tomato Caprese (Which was awesome:), me loves my tomatoes. We ask the young lady behind the counter what other places we should visit while in the area, she gave us a few places that we should visit, including another pizza shop. The pizza shop was ok, but we both have had better pizza then her suggestion. Speaking of pizza, Dominik said that Muccui’s in Portland is still by far, the best sicilian pizza he’s ever had. I need to make a note here, I, me, Skip, choose to leave here without even as much as one pastry, not one!
Next on our trip was Daffin’s Chocolate Factory in Sharon, PA, some hour + – drive from here. Now while it was nice, had I known it was going to be like this, I would have spent the hour plus right there in Little Italy and been much happier, and I believe Dominik agreed. We stayed at Daffins about $65.00 or so, then headed the car northeast to our next hotel.
The drive was going to be a long one, but I wanted to get with 4-5 hours of Logan Airport as we were picking up Memere Jo the next day (she was coming back from CA., visiting the Grand Kids out there).
As it got dark both of us decided we needed something to eat before we got to our hotel (which was looking like 9-10:30 ish this rate), so we both started watching the signs on the road for something to eat, but not fast food. We saw a sign for Luigi’s in Dubois, PA and decided to give it a try.
Dubois is a small city (8,000 +- residents) some 200 miles west of Scranton, PA area. Getting off the highway and finding this place wasn’t real hard, but it’s not right off the exit. Good thing there were billboards with good directions for this place, not that we wouldn’t have found something else if it was necessary. Anyways, Luigi’s is a family owned and run Italian Restaurant right in downtown Dubois (which is much bigger then downtown Auburn, ME with some 35,000 people?). It was the only place opened when we pulled into town, which was fine as eating was what we were there for.
They were quick to greet us at the door, sit us down, take our drink and appetizer order, to bad the meal wasn’t as quick. The place was book solid. Damn near everyone from Dubois must have been here tonight.
Food, good, but not great. That’s not fair, seeing we only had a few things off the menu. Now some of this rating is because it took 45+ minutes to get served. I went with the house special Italian Steak and Dominik decided to try the Philly Stromboli for our meals. We started with an order of fried Mozzarella, which turned out to be pretty damn good. Good enough that I wish I had waited until having these to order. I say this because I would have ordered thr Chicken Parm with the same sauce that came with the fried cheese, but after asking and being told all the sauces had stuff in them, I went with the steak.
oh, stuff i.e., Onions, Green Peppers, Celery … none of which I like in my sauce, but turns out the sauce that came with the cheese was just that a nice sauce with no stuff in it. I will say, my steak was one of the most tender I have had in a restaurant in a long time. Dominik’s Stromboli on the other hand, was not at all what he was expected.
– Shaved Steak, French Fries, Cheese and a dressing, all rolled up in a pizza dough. Much like a calzone, but just different. Dominik didn’t have but maybe 3 bites and he was done, and I never even tried it, silly me. I could have eaten that and he could have eaten my steak. I guess we won’t be stopping when it’s late and we’re real hungry again, unless it’s a safe stop. Would I go back, Yes, I think I would. Heck I owe to them and me to try stuff else. When and if I ever go back, I will ask what the house specialty is, and give that a try.
Well a bit over an hour later and we’re headed for our hotel and what should be a good night sleep (would have been better if you didn’t snore so loud pepere:( )
Nest day, another breakfast at the hotel and then off to play frisbee golf, on the way to Logan Airport. The frisbee golf course was a very nice place in the middle of nowhere PA. A reservoir built by the Army Core of Engineers just outside of Scranton, PA (Prompton Lake Disc Golf). It’s a 2 tie launch giving you a 36 hole (Basket) course. Again, what seemed like a great course, but so damn cold and windy we only got in 5 holes before we were to cold to play. I will be back here in warmer weather to play.
– http://poconogeographic.com/?page_id=45, scroll down a bit to see about the park / course.
It’s now on to Logan, Memere and get our asses back to Auburn.
I had a wonderful, albeit short trip and I will do it again, I’ll just not stop at Daffins Chocolates, so I can spend more time in Little Italy and playing frisbee golf (and trying to find a downtown or 2 to explore and enjoy).