November 12, 2017
Dilly’s Corner, New Hope, Pennsylvania
The best way to Dilly’s Corner is to start in Stockton, NJ, walk the bridge over the Delaware River and go straight. Sure lots of folks come by car or motorcycle, but they may have missed the beautiful river. When we arrived on a chilly day in November, they were set up for for cold weather – plastic sheets were placed around the outdoor covered porch, and propane heaters were installed. The walk-up ordering window was also likewise nicely enclosed. The year-round indoor seating area had cute pictures painted on the wall as well as art work from a featured local artist (Jarad R. Dellaratta).
Today there was a steady stream of customers, most getting fried things that looked quite good – but we were only here for ice cream (like most places we go). They had hard and soft ice cream, shakes and sundaes. The featured flavor of the day was soft pumpkin spice (quite surprising for fall), which I had in a blueberry sundae (of course I want whipped cream and a cherry!). Don had a coffee milkshake. The ice cream was good – not sensational – creamy but a bit short on flavor. To me the best thing about this place is location, location, location. A great place to get ice cream on a chilly day to enjoy while walking across a beautiful river.
In the area: My favorite rail trail has always been the Delaware and Raritan Canal trail which runs along much of the Delaware River in New Jersey. There is a parallel trail which follows the Delaware River on the Pennsylvania side, newly opened after a closure lasting several years. This is really nice – one can do loop trails using the many bridges with pedestrian walkways. Today we walked from Stockton to Lambertville in New Jersey and returned via the PA side for a total of just over 7 miles. It was a wonderfully scenic walk on a trail with a nearly perfect smooth crushed stone surface.
September 13, 2017
Cupcake Cafe, Hamburg, New Jersey
The first thing we saw approaching the Cupcake Cafe was a pink bus – was it to deliver ice cream and cupcakes to the home bound? a party bus for kids – or better yet for adults? a portable cupcake-cooking classroom? Does it even run? We had lots of ideas, but we forgot to ask so we may never know.
When we actually entered the Cupcake Cafe, we were welcomed by the proprietor who was seated at a table decorating some beautiful Eiffel Tower cookies for a sweet sixteen party (I was not invited to this party – too bad, I would like to try those cookies). Behind her was a display case of cupcakes and behind that was a display case of ice cream (the important stuff!) When Colleen (the proprietor has the same name as me, score one) realized we were here for ice cream, she suggested we try the new apple ice cream, which we did without too much arm twisting. While the apple flavor was good, I was not a fan of the texture. She then showed us her full selection of Dingman’s Dairy ice cream flavors.
I ordered Brownie S’mores and Snicker Doodle ice cream – the texture of the Brownie S’mores was more to my liking. The Snicker Doodle ice cream contained sugar crystals, as I guess it should – but it was a little strange, and I could not decide if I liked it – I may have to try it a few more times.
The Cupcake Cafe also had cupcakes (surprised?), and these were homemade. Pat bought some for us to try (I think cupcakes could actually be their own food group like fruits, vegetables and ice cream). I had a chocolate cupcake with raspberry frosting and a raspberry gel filling – I could be hooked on these!
The Cupcake Cafe offered children’s cooking camps (I wonder if I would qualify as a child) which sounded like my kind of thing – a week learning cake cooking and decorating techniques, and hopefully eating the fruits of one’s labor, all while messing up someone else’s kitchen. . She promises that she will be holding adult cooking classes soon, and I can’t wait!
October 7, 2017
Penn State Creamery at the Bethlehem Hotel
This was my maiden voyage to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania’s historic district – we came to play at a wonderful wedding. Upon arriving, a fellow fifer informed me that I could not leave without seeing the bathrooms in the Bethlehem Hotel. Bathrooms are not a usual tourist attraction for me. Albeit, the hotel had beautiful historic lobbies, and a great ice cream shop, but I did not figure out the lure of the bathrooms. Anyway, back to the Bethlehem Hotel ice cream shop. Entering in the shop, one can step to the left and buy some nice clothing or to the right and buy some nice ice cream (yes, a weird combination – maybe that was how they designed shops in the olden days?). I chose to step to the right into a small alcove decorated with Penn State paraphernalia and offering coffee and other beverages, milkshakes, floats, cookies and ice cream direct from the Penn State Creamery (which I reviewed previously). The feature flavor today was “Death by Chocolate” – not being a chocolate fan, I thought I might die if I ate that much chocolate, so I checked out the attractive display cases and chose +Alumni Swirl” (vanilla ice cream with chocolate chips with blueberry swirl). The ice cream was wonderful (of course). There were a couple of quaint tables inside, or a big historic bustling town with bands playing outside. We chose the latter.
In the area: We came the Bethlehem Hotel to play our fifes and drums at a beautiful outdoor wedding – the bride invited us to surprise the groom – what a fun gig this was!! In the morning we visited the site of the old Bethlehem Steel Mill – a factory that used to cover four square miles. The organized tour lacked any real substance or fascinating facts, but seeing all the stuff was interesting and I hope to return soon to explore more of the area and read the historic plaques that I ran out of time to do today.
October 14, 2017
Duke’s Pizzeria and Restaurant, Pittstown, New Jersey
On the “main drag” in Pittstown, New Jersey is a pizzeria with an bonus: an ice cream stand! Duke’s Pizzeria and Restaurant has an inside with tables for Italian food and an outside walk up window featuring Welsh Farms ice cream, sundaes and shakes. Pittstown just became a lot less sleepy! I had soft vanilla with chocolate sauce and peanuts, Renee had her standard hard mint chocolate chip with peanut butter sauce and Angela had chocolate chip cookie dough. We sat at their outside pavilion with picnic tables to enjoy our ice cream and the enjoy the peaceful setting.
in the area: Custom Alloys in High Bridge, New Jersey had their community day today with awesome tours of their facility. we watched huge pieces of metal being fabricated into pieces for pipe lines, mining equipment, military applications and lots more! We witnessed glowing hot metal come out of furnaces and into
water quenching baths, immersion arc welding, precision machining and many other interesting things. Really, really fascinating tour!! Everyone at the company was very friendly and knowledgeable!was very friendly and. Eru knowledgeable.
September 10, 2017
Belle’s Ice Cream, Spring Lake, New Jersey
First impressions are important, especially in the world of ice cream shops. At Belle’s Ice Cream our first impressions were (1) wow, this place is friendly (we were cheerfully greeted by the staff) (2) The place is very colorful and tastefully decorated (the way an ice cream shop should be). (3) selecting flavors will be really difficult (sometimes I wish these were the most difficult decisions I had to make). The shop offered many flavors of homemade ice cream from the common to the creative. I chose “Elvis” and “Nutter Butter”. They also offered shakes, sundaes and all sorts of toppings – I was a purist today and had my ice cream plain. The ice cream was awesome – flavorful, creamy. For seating there were little tables inside and tables with blue umbrellas outside, Today was a warm day so we decided to walk around the town while we enjoyed some great treats.
In the area: Spring Lake is a cute little town with a scenic walkway. It also has an ocean beach – we came for the ocean – it was a beautiful day, but the water was cold, and there was a stiff breeze, so we only got partially wet. We also visited the Sea Girt lighthouse, which is always a pleasure – the knowledgeable volunteers take a lot of pride in their treasure – their enthusiasm is contagious!
September 30, 2017
Cold Stone Creamery, Hoboken, New Jersey
Cold Stone Creamery is a chain of ice cream shops that take ice cream and mix in items of your choice. You can pick individual items, or select one of their Signature Creations. I had a Signature Creation – the Founder’s Favorite (pecans and other stuff mixed in) with Cream Burlee ice cream. The server put a scoop of ice cream on a frozen board, added the mix-ins, mixed everything in, threw it in a cup and gave it to me – yummy! We ate at one of the small tables inside the shop. Ice cream here is awesome – smooth, creamy, flavorful – Cold Stone does it right!
September 23, 2018
Bomboy’s Ice Cream, Harve de Grace, Maryland
According to the Urban Dictionary, a ‘bomboy’ is the cool hippie who likes clove cigarettes. I am not sure how that relates to this ice cream parlor, other than sharing a name. We approached Bomboy’s at night when it was all lit up – intriguing. The shop had two sides – one for ordering, one for eating. We entered the ordering side and were greeted by three friendly workers who seemed to enjoy their jobs. There was a large selection of flavors in display cases – I had a difficult time deciding on what to get, but chose on raspberry truffle at the suggestion of the server and pina colata in a waffle cone. The serving sizes were generous (bad since I just had a
large dinner – good thing I left room for dessert!), the texture were perfect, and the flavor was good. There was a large inside seating area with tables and chairs, and additional seating outside. There was a cow statue outside and a cow bench inside, that we used as photo backdrops – it would have been nice to have a kid with us! This place is worth a visit.
In the area: We were invited to Harve de Grace to sail on our friends Karen and Larry’s beautiful sail boat. The boat was awesome and the day was warm with a nice breeze – a perfect sailing day. I never sailed before, and I thought sailboats were supposed feel like you were going to fall off whenever it went fast, but the ride was incredibly smooth – I like this sailing thing! After dinner we explored the charming town of Harve de Grace – a beautiful boardwalk, incredible views of the water, charming shops and restaurants and a neat fitness course in Veteran’s Park. A great town to visit!