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Road Weary

June 25, 2018

Summer is here!

There is the stickiness in the air. The kids are out of school. The strawberries are delicious. And that endless winter we had seems like a distant memory.

For the next several weeks, the rhythm of my life is going to change significantly. Summer camp starts later than school. I’m only going to have one lunch to pack. And the amount of travel is going to ratchet up significantly.

Just this weekend I logged over 700 miles in just about 36 hours. And that brought us to some new but oddly familiar places.

There is no way that we got a good sense of Allentown, PA during our brief overnight stay. Apparently the demographics of the town have changed considerably. But it isn’t the burnt out shell of a bygone era that I was expecting. There are new modern places, old classic places, but also a slew of places serving the cuisines of Latin American, which reflect the new cultural diversity of the area.

Next time we are there I want to get pernil. There is one Puerto Rican place that looks amazing. But since we weren’t able to eat our picnic lunch on the way down, dinner was a selection of cheese and charcuterie in the hotel room.

We did however make it out for dessert. This was when things got weird.

Mrs. Fussy felt like ice cream, and she found a place called The Udder Bar which makes their own hard ice cream. One of the signature dishes there was a warm donut ice cream sandwich! That along with a few of the design flourishes, made this Pennsylvanian ice cream shop feel very much like The Dutch Udder.

I think The Dutch Udder does it better. But maybe that’s just my hometown pride.

Because I felt the same way about the local old school donut shop we went to the next morning. Mary Ann’s Donut Kitchen is amazing, and the locals on Yelp swear by the boston cream donuts. They are very good indeed, and I’m thrilled that people are enthusiastic about a donut place that’s not a national chain.

Truly, these are worth a drive if you’re craving donuts in Allentown. We had to pass two Dunkin’ Donuts on the way there. DD seems to be a scourge all across America.

That said, Bella Napoli and The Cookie Factory both make better boston cream doutnuts. Still, I’m hoping to get back to Mary Ann’s Donut Kitchen for more. The hospitality there was amazing. Plus I loved being able to sit down on a stool at the counter, and enjoy a hot cup of coffee in a proper mug, while eating some delicious and freshly made donuts.

From the crossroads of eastern Pennsylvania, we drove off to Long Island for a little family gathering. And like almost all the family gatherings in Great Neck, it involved chicken from Poultry Mart.

I still haven’t been to Dizzy’s in Saratoga Spring. But I feel like every place has some kind of delicious chicken spot. Actually I have never been to Poultry Mart either, even though I’ve been enjoying its chicken for decades.

It’s good to be still for a few days. There’s an Official Yelp Event coming up, and all other kinds of local fun. As always, the FLB persists as a daily blog. However, during the summer, posts may go up at a more relaxed pace than usual.

These are my lazy days of summer, and while they may be exhausting, they are totally worth it.

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