Tuesday, September 03, 2013

american rolling

Post-Labor Day and the summer hiatus is over – whether it was planned or not. We spent the long weekend visiting family in Ohio. There’s a lovely bed-and-breakfast with a stunning native garden that hosted a few rooms of visitors. Heather came down from Seattle for the weekend, Jen, Dave, and family live nearby; and Connie played hostess. It was such a great three days of relaxing, farmers marketing, high school soccer watching, and catching up. More on the Ohio-specific stuff to come.

The Eleven headed out Friday afternoon from D.C. and immediately (though not surprisingly) moved into our place in the massive exodus from the nation’s capital on the last holiday weekend of the summer. No worries though, we were clear of traffic about ten miles west of Hagerstown, MD (feel free to locate Hagerstown on a map). Our plan was to stop in Frostburg, MD for dinner – it worked out timing wise for the trip, plus X’s grandparents and uncle lived / grew up there so we had a chance to flashback to her youth. Our enquiries to the internet and familynet as we approached the Metropolis indicated that Frostburg isn’t much known for anything to eat, so X pointed her finger to Dante’s, a bar / restaurant, right downtown. The restaurant part, The Red Giant, has been there for a few years and the food is served in the bar area so you have a very pleasant experience of the bar itself – full of character – while stuffing your face with amazing Red Giant food. We were awed by the food and between us we had the watermelon gazpacho; goat cheese, apple, green onion, bleu cheese crostini; Caesar salad with grilled cheese croutons; and white bean Panini. It was so good that X was unwilling to leave behind (or wrap up) the huge plate of crostini…eat eat eat. The vibe in the place is cool and laid back so if you find yourself on I-68 in western Maryland, swing on in – with our high recommendation in hand.

We traced nearly the same route home on Monday, but stopped in Clarksburg, WV for a bite to eat. Once again, based on some crazy reviews we decided venture into what can only be described as the old, dark, and uninhabited former industrial area of town. We are talking an old, beat-up, hard on its luck, former mining town. Our destination was Tomaro’s ItalianBakery and their customer-declared, badass pepperoni rolls. I didn’t even know what a pepperoni roll was until yesterday – at about 1:15pm. I don’t eat meat any more, but there was no way I wasn’t eating what they handed us in exchange for our measly six dollars: four piping hot pepperoni rolls. What you have here is a freshly baked, Italian bread roll with hunks of pepperoni in the middle – unbelievable. We kept two for the boys (they were lucky) and I gobbled down two while they were still steaming their wondrous aroma all over the car. It’s sort of true that once you have a Tomaro’s pepperoni roll you can die happy. If you are rolling out the way, stop in and get a bag load. STOP. GET ROLLS!

X didn’t get a chance to eat rolls – hey, it’s her choice – so we made once more stop at…wait for it….Panera. Where, as expected, they fucked up her order. I have no idea what to say.

The journey both ways was pretty straightforward. The food was a discovery.

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