December 7, 2017
Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory, Brooklyn, New York, NY
Open all rear
Location, location. location, location… Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory has those going for it – located in a scenic building in a delightful park right near the water (East River?) under the Brooklyn Bridge in the rapidly developing borough of Brooklyn. The perfect place for and ice cream shop! It looks like they had an outdoor serving area for the warmer weather, adding an extra charm to the waterfront park.
We entered the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory into a room with three tables and chairs, two random bar stools and a good size ice cream counter. Signs reading “BROOKLYN ICE CREAM FACTORY using only the finest, purest, natural ingredients” were placed around the room. Even though is it chilly outside, lots of people are eating and ordering ice cream. I think I would like living in Brooklyn. The ice cream is all homemade upstairs – you can sort of see it through a window on the second floor.
If you have never ordered ice cream before, and are a little afraid to do it for the first time, The Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory is a great place to get over your phobia – the have posted “Ice cream ordering etiquette”. All you need to do is follow the directions, and the ice cream cone or dish you desire shows up in your hands! I ordered Peaches and Cream with peach puree topping. Renee ordered vanilla chocolate chip (their best seller the server informed me) with chocolate sauce. The chocolate sauce was more of a dark chocolate flavor than I normally associate with ice cream toppings. Perhaps that means it is more healthy – it does mean that Renee really liked it. While the peach ice cream was creamy, and had a lot of small pieces if peaches (say that three times fast), I thought it had a bit of an unpleasant aftertaste. Renee’s vanilla chocolate chip was more to my liking.
In the area: I took a vacation day from work today to walk around NYC looking at all the Christmas displays. Somehow we ended up walking across the Brooklyn Bridge
first because I wanted to see what it was like. It was a really cool – the bridge was very old , I am told that building this bridge is where “the bends” that SCUBA divers experience were first discovered. Anyway it was awesome bridge, and we were not the only ones with this idea today. after walking around the Brooklyn waterfront for a while, we took the ferry (best deal for a scenic boat ride) to 34th street and walked to Macy’s ( the world’s largest store) to see their decorated windows – amazing creativity, delightful to watch!
August 27, 2017
Temptation Cafe, Nyack, New York
open all year
Nyack, New York has a pleasant downtown with plenty of stores for window shopping, and plenty of restaurants to eat at. We chose the Temptation Cafe. This evening, it is a busy place with customers eating at outside tables with colorful umbrellas. The only way to identify the place was by a sign painted on the window. Is it a new place waiting for an official sign? I do not know. Entering into the galley-style shop was delightful – It featured two large display cases with lots of flavors of ice cream (Hershey’s and Perry’s). The back of the shop was wider with some nice indoor seating, and the cafe offered a full menu that looked good, but we were only here for ice cream. In addition to the plethora of ice cream flavors, they also offered sundaes, toppings and cones of various colors. I had Chocolate Covered Pretzel ice cream in a sugar cone. It was both nice to look at and nice to eat!
In the area: today we went visit Don’s mother and were thrilled to find the new Tappan Zee Bridge was opened west bound – east bound will not be open for another year. We then got a better view of the bridge and the Hudson River walking along the Old Erie Path and trails on either end of it that make up a Hudson River Greenway. The trails offered stunning views the river and the bridge, and ends in
Piermont New York which is a great town to walk around. This day was made extra special when walking along the trail, we ran into our daughter’s friends Yulena and Dan with their baby daughter!
October 21, 2017
Clinton Fudge Company
The shop is open all year, ice cream in season
Entering the Clinton Fudge Company is an feast for the eyes with delectable-looking chocolates in impressive showcases – and a delectable ice cream counter featuring Gifford’s ice cream (from Maine). We were cheerfully greeted by the staff member asking us what kind of ice cream we wanted. I got a scoop of coffee fudge and a scoop of Campfire S’mores (graham ice cream with marshmallow ripple and chocolate chips). Both scoops were creamy and smooth. I loved the coffee fudge flavor, but the S’mores did not quite capture the graham cracker flavor. We enjoyed chatting with the customer who came in after us, also looking for ice cream and our server – it gave the shop a nice and friendly atmosphere. Our fellow customer took the picture, but did not want to be in it with us – maybe he is in the witness protection program (my mind is already set for the haunted house tonight!) There is no no indoor or outdoor
seating, but Clinton is a delightful town to walk around, and we happily window shopped while we ate.
In the area: The Red Mill Museum is a picturesque historic site in Clinton, I was first here with my children many years ago. Be tech junkies, we loved seeing the gears and inner working of the water wheel, and how it powered, among other things, a talc factory.
Their major fund raiser is an annual Halloween haunted mill, and I love volunteering to scare people. This was our night, and it was a lot of fun as usual – I was a scary janitor and Erica was a scary maid.
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.