Dairy Queen, Mahwah

December 3, 2017

Dairy Queen, Mahwah, New Jersey

Open all year

Well, the Christmas season is upon us, which can sometimes be problematic for an F10151B9-C3F9-4F00-BF59-8662697196227B93A850-A499-4DE0-A029-4E40649E1155ice cream blogger.  I always feel happy when I actually find an ice cream place open in December, so the Mahwah Dairy Queen was such a pleasure to visit.  It was bright,9E964242-5CC4-4612-A865-ED996D5D30AA attractively C090670E-0749-4840-A6F8-E1E770AA6821decorated and had both “hot eats” and “cool treats”.  The cool treats 42F15B7D-1715-4E86-B6CF-A88E40610E76were amazing – hard ice cream (Kemps and Hoods), soft ice cream and all the Blizzards and other awesome Dairy Queen signature treats.  There was a line of “Desserts a la Mode” which included Fudge Stuffed Cookie, Triple Chocolate Brownie and Apple Tart – all a la mode of course (I’d like one of each).  I had a pineapple sundae with soft vanilla ice cream which was delicious.  Don went with the hot eats and had chicken strips.  There were plenty of indoor tables to sit at and enjoy food.

In the area:

Today we went to the Ringwood Manor for their annual Victorian Christmas in which the beautifully decorated manor was open for visitors to walk through.  The grounds provided the background for an enjoyable December walk.

 

 

 

 

 

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Race Farms Cafe and Creamery

898F7302-195E-4F06-A553-0D64CB997831January 20, 2018

Race Farm Cafe and Creamery, Blairstown, New Jersey

Open all year

Race Farm is not a new name to me- When our DF7334C7-7AAE-4269-8E41-F117C8610EE8daughters were young, they went with their school to  Race Farm for apple and pumpkin picking, and they were always proud of the produce they brought home.  I have also stopped by the farm for produce and delicious prepared foods (such as soups and ravioli) over the years.  I think their ice cream is a wonderful new addition.

Upon entering the cafe, we immediately saw the ice cream counter with a toppings – there will be more flavors  “in season” (isn’t ice cream always “in season”?).  In addition to ice cream, there was a full selection of sandwiches and baked goods – even ones that are gluten-free, sugar-free and low carb (what is in42B77833-7511-4CF9-89AE-B89243B43421 it?).  The server said that all the recipes were developed in the owner’s kitchen and made in a commercial kitchen.  She assured me that they were all very tasty – Don had a chocolate croissant, which is said was “all right”.  The sandwich menu looked was eye-catching and the food looked wholesome and really good, but trying that is for another day.  True to its DCFF3612-06F6-4AA1-AB9C-217BA9CFF3A2cafe name, there was plenty of comfortable seating in a relaxed atmosphere.  There were also picnic tables outside.

Now for the important stuff – the ice cream.  There were about 8 flavors there today6A00A8BC-C5A0-49CC-AD90-4B901F0C529E, A4890B0A-3BA0-495B-B8E8-4398EDC3E328but this is January, and more flavors are available in the summer.  (I eat the same amount all year).  One of their specialties was an “Affogato” – ice cream topped with hot espresso – I guess a creative mix of summer and winter.  They also featured 638B2FCA-16F7-43CB-A948-549A995085A8apple cider doughnut sundaes and brownie sundaes, which give customers a chance to mix the luscious baked goods with great ice cream.  I went with the fruit theme today and had pumpkin spice and strawberry ice cream.  The strawberry ice cream was delightful.   The pumpkin spice was not as much to my liking.  I found the spice in the pumpkin spice too strong and the texture grainy.  We ate our ice cream outside – nothing like ice cream at snow covered picnic tables!

In the area:  This has been a very cold winter.  The newspaper had pictures of ice E689719D-270F-40E0-8E1B-F95D33694F8Djams in the Delaware River.  We went to see them for ourselves.  There were lots of giant ice blocks lining the river, and lots of ice chunks flowing down the center of the river, but the river was flowing smoothly.  Based on the location of the big ice chunks along the edge of the river, the level must have been much higher a short time ago.  We had also hoped to spot and eagle or two, but no such luck.

 

Haagen Dazs

 

 

 

January 13, 2018

Haagen Dazs, Washington, DC

C218225D-AB3E-4213-A192-3148CDDE70FCopen all year

This is a special year – the 10th anniversary of Haagen Dazs Peppermint Bark Ice Cream!  Since I love Haagen Dazs Peppermint Bark sundaes, and it is such a special time,  I went with my the tried and true today.  I was not disappointed.  I still love CA23DEC5-C87A-4897-8145-8B32765CE0812C4A7701-2D6B-46D3-8F85-6D9041BF6F55Peppermint bark sundaes.

We spent a cold day walking around Washington DC, and were “chilled to the bone” when we walked into the Haagen Dazs shop, the warmth felt good.   Our server was was quite friendly, and seemed to be having fun scooping ice cream and making 890D0EFC-1325-4109-AD49-554BC465EF831F3067DE-47D0-4A70-AAB3-650600EFAFE4sundaes.  When we were chatting, she 1A97A305-8630-4486-8863-73BCE9116B7Cconfided to me that this was just a job to pay her way through school – I am sure she will be a very successful teacher some day. She made me a great sundae – Haagen Dazs places toppings after each scoop so they are throughout the sundae.  Really yummy!

The shop opened up into an indoor mall with tables and umbrellas, all we needed was a sun to complete the tropical scene.  I was glad that there was a warm, comfortable place to enjoy our ice cream.

in the area:  Washington DC has so much to do – so many museums and memorials – it was hard to select what to do.

 

Our first stop was at the National Postal Museum – if anyone was not impressed by the USPS before a stop here, they will be after it.   There is no conceivable way mail could be delivered that they have not utilized – train, bus, boat, horse (did anyone believe the ‘Pony Express’ used ponies?), dog sled, snow shoes, bare feet.  They had a machine we could try to sort mail by zip code like the ones initially used by clerks – most of the mail I sorted would have gone to the wrong place (and the actual clerks had to work ten times that fast!).  There were exhibits showing how the modern postal service delivers over 150 MILLION pieces of mail a day  – fascinating!

We stopped at the Building Museum which I found quite dull and lacking creativity  – a waste of time and money.  Kudos to their advertising agency!

Our next stop was the International Spy Museum – also fascinating.  My spy identity was as a 50 year old molecular biologist visiting Germany under the cover of obtaining grant money,   Spies like me are very resourceful and there is nothing I won’t use as a dead drop , signaling mechanism or weapon.  There was so much to see here one could actually spend a couple of days exploring.  I would never make it as James Bond!

 

 

The National Portrait Gallery  was a wonderful surprise – my art knowledge and appreciation rivals that of your average baboon.  Yet I really enjoyed this place.  There were portraits of each president with a short description of their presidency and info on the painter.  I was totally captivated!  We also went through other interesting galleries including one on people at work.

Sweet Lucy’s

January 14, 2018

Sweet Lucy’s, Wilmington, DE

74512D56-1235-4375-BE77-C66EDB529682We arrived at Sweet Lucy’s in the early on a cold evening in January – usu3D90B9E2-3E4C-47FF-9771-87DCFEB125F2ally not 5E1E488E-0AC0-4564-92E6-F25914F33FB0prime time for ice cream parlors.  We were greeted by a server who told us about Woodside Farm Creamery where ice cream is prepared just for Sweet Lucy’s.  They also sell some flavors of Hershey ice cream.   I of course, opted for the locally made ice cream –  I chose pumpkin pecan and Walking Dough Chocolate  (with a name like that I had to try it).  The Pumpkin Pecan was good.  The Walking Dough Chocolate was supposed to be chocolate ice cream with caramel swirl and chocolate chips, but it seemed more like chocolate cookie crumbles than chocolate chips.  Not usually being a fan of chocolate ice cream, i went out of my comfort zone here.  I was glad I did – this was some of the best ice cream I have eaten.  The flavor, texture, and amount of chocolate cookies and caramel were just right.  I would like to visit Woodside Farm.

As we sat down to enjoy our ice cream the next customers came in, a man with two kids.  The servers now really earned their pay.  It must of taken the man 15 minutes to decide what he wanted –  I think he tried every flavor in the place before settling on  strawberry, which they were out of.  I was impressed with what good sports they were. I guess this guy was either a serious ice cream critic, or he was just not sure where his next ice cream cone was coming from.

Why we were here:  We were returning from our long weekend- visited three great places today:  Patuxent Research Refuge, College Park Aviation Museum, and Goddard Space Flight Center.

Our trip to the Patuxent 473AAEF9-AB9A-4E37-BEF3-52714C022D68.jpegResearch Refuge in Laurel Maryland was not pre-planned,  We saw a sign for it on the highway and decided to visit – we were their first A3ABAB48-0E29-43CB-8AA3-B17FCEDEC9F4.jpegvisitors of the day.  To be honest we expected the run-of-the- mill wildlife exhibits with a few hiking trails – not what we found!  5335F931-B02D-4709-9FE5-45493D8AAAED.jpegThe exhibits here were awesome – beautifully done, elaborate, informative and interesting – just enough written to keep our interest without being cumbersome to read.   The exhibits  included “please touch me” animal furs and bones, poster boards and lots more!  There were miles of hiking trails which were not able to visit today, but it looked like it could be a great stop on a warmer, less icy day.

 

Our second stop was to the College Park Aviation Museum at the University of Maryland – Don loved this place, several vintage airplanes (or replicas), some hands-on stuff and lots more. 4994F50E-23E2-4DB7-8AFF-09D8AD804230

 

763F5204-D90A-4D58-AEF9-02D6A056A79C.jpeg

Our third stop was the Goddard Space Flight Center – what can I say?  NASA is always fascinating,  and I had a very interesting chat with a heliophysiscist or some title likeF1E3ED05-5E3D-4B5C-B21C-166043423FDA.jpeg that where she was explaining to me how sun activity effects weather on the earth – a very intelligent lady!

Sip and Swirl

B81DD2BC-4D6A-4CD7-89F8-BD2B686ED16DNovember 19, 2017

Sip and Swirl, Little Falls, New Jersey

open all year

Sip and Swirl has a great street presence- as one drives by, they cannot miss the “Homemade Ice Cream” banners around the building (to be real, I cannot even miss very little “homemade ice cream” signs).    When we entered, we found the shop very appealing – brightly lit and pleasingly painted and decorated.  For eat-in customers there were two small tables inside and several more outside.  It was a blustery day so we chose inside.  24C8F6EB-AC33-4C66-956D-A32EFCFF7FF59EAC7D58-C8AD-4C8F-9A9F-34D775073FFAAll the ice cream was home made with standard flavors like mint chip and vanilla plus interesting flavors like banana Oreo and Whitney’s Latte 58372471-101B-4012-8794-279E8BAD0D12(unfortunately the server could not tell me who Whitney was).   They featured a “Sundae Smasherwhich” great for anyone who is chronically indecisive or “wants it all” – a warmed lava cake with soft 2951240E-E27A-41E6-92F2-A191BD81A029ice cream and toppings with whipped cream in a cup – Don got a peanut Butter Sundae Smasher which he C7650839-BDB8-4305-BD6D-CA5FA695FD60enjoyed.  I chose a peanut butter sundae with hard ice cream – Whitney’s Latte and Butter Pecan.  I found the ice cream to be refreshingly delicious – both the flavor and the texture.  The butter pecan had lots of large pieces of pecans (to me the more the merrier) in a delicious base.   I found the server to be very friendly.

10EBDDC5-98E5-4337-ABA8-1D7740C91078Sip and Swirl offers catering service where you can have a Sip and Swirl truck come to your next event. I am wondering if I can just have that truck park outside my house.

 

Chatterbox

June 12, 2017

Chatterbox Drive-In Restaurant, Augusta, New Jersey

Open all year

The Chatterbox Drive-In Restaurant has always been a favorite of mine0B3C8023-81BB-44D2-BEC4-CBE5818339FC – great food, great milkshakes, great atmosphere.  It features 1950s motif which includes period music, a model train and an old car (in mint condition) in the center of the service floor.  The car changes regularly – I think anyone can apply to have their car DFCB1DC9-BCCB-4E61-825F-FA48FAC807C1feature5EDA89C5-82D6-471F-9814-682DE56ED605d, but I am unsure.  During the Christmas season, a Christmas tree occupies the spot of honor.  The restaurant has large booths around the circular perimeter and a few tables toward the center.  It also has a soda-fountain style counter.  It is spacious, giving it a relaxing atmosphere.  There is some period merchandise available for sale before the hostess station – I frequently get gifts there for a relative who restores old vehicles.

The food is always good – burgers, sandwiches, munchies, the best milkshakes FA78B5EA-85A6-4333-9B8A-F2C5562C8A9Baround and ice cream for dessert!   They have about six flavors of Hershey’s ice cream, several toppings to chose from, and ice cream sodas, root beer floats, and milkshakes.  I had a sundae with black raspberry ice cream and chocolate syrup.  Pat and Mary Lou had sundaes as well.   Sundae were nicely sized and presented, and made a great ending to our delicious dinner!

 

 

Hubcap Cafe

 

 

 

E6A82A6C-CD12-41B6-92C3-E91F0660B0FA5539A519-669E-4F3F-B1F4-BD98EBE7DDDEDecember 17, 2017

Hubcap Cafe,  America on Wheels  Museum,  Allentown, Pennsylvania

Seasonal (closed January, February, March)

When we decided to experience the America on Wheels Museum, we were happy to find  it came with its own ice cream parlor – the Hubcap Cafe!  After entering the 5EE048A1-A794-4825-9CCB-8658AE53379Cmuseum, we made this our first stop – even more exciting, because it was almost time for ice cream with Santa!

BB3F6D48-C917-4B87-B521-5BDBC11569FCEntering the Hubcap Cafe feels a little like entering an old-fashioned ice cream parlor with bar with stools by an ice cream counter and tables around the room.  It even came with a Christmas Tree made of hubcaps – charming in a transportation 32C2A636-7353-4DC6-894F-097919D9CEACmuseum!  We went to the bar and were greeted by a server  sucking on a candy cane – can  he be called a bar tender if there is no alcohol? The menu listed ice cream flavors, and sundaes.  We asked the server about the sundaes and got the reply “the sundaes are nothing special, just a brownie, two scoops of whatever kind of ice cream you want, chocolate sauce, whipped cream and a cherry.”  I am not sure this guy has a future in sales.  He was not copping an attitude, just explaining it to us like it was.  He then prepared our sundaes, I had mint chocolate chip and Don had vanilla, prepared with Jack and Jill ice cream.   We went to a table to eat it, and our experience was enriched when Santa came in for the “Ice Cream with Santa celebration!”  I guess Santa was fat enough – he did not eat ice cream.  Although the bartender did not know it, all sundaes are special!  We enjoyed them, enjoyed the simplicity of the cafe, and hoped the server continued to enjoy his candy cane.

In the area:  America on Wheels Museum is a history of travel.  It has displays of old cars, toy cars (both model and rideable),   bridge designs, and lots more.

There was a model train set up that came with a scavenger hunt where you had to find things like Spongebob.  There were several volunteers at the museum, mostly older men who were knowledgeable about the exhibits seemed to be good friends and enriched our experience there.