Thursday, August 2, 2012

I've been asked to share some of my past and recent travel jaunts so I'll be posting some restaurant pics and adding some quirky little finds thrown in for good measure.  It seems as if lately, everywhere I go there has been some connection of sorts with the people I meet.  Happy happenstance.

I love meeting and talking to people, because where else are you going to find the small little treasures that every town has around the bend that no one ever finds..But leave it to me, I have a knack for that.


A few months ago, I had the opportunity for a quick trip to Canada to visit a friend and purchase some delicioso wines.  Driving was a pleasure, it was a beautiful sunny day and a stop in Buffalo at Schwabl's Restaurant took the edge off the no breakfast/no lunch issue.  This little icon is totally worth the 5 minute detour from I90. 
It's been written up in Jane and Michael Stern's "Road Food"

Or if you prefer Yelp:

A close view of beef on weck shows the character of the roll: salty, tender, able to absorb plenty of good beef juice.Schwabl's is known for their "beef on weck" and to do it justice you really do have to eat the sandwich at the restaurant. Take it from me, a soggy bun isn't the best way to eat this sandwich. With it's crusty roll that comes freshly baked from a local bakery (the name escapes me but it begins with an "E") and embellished with course salt and caraway seeds, down to the thinly sliced roast beef (you can tell them how you like your beef cooked) the sandwich is just perfection.  Included in the carryout is a little container of hot horseradish.

Thanks to Road Food for this pic...................

Continuing on after passing through customs, my sister and I detoured and took the leisurely Niagara Parkway River Rd N drive that winds its way alongside the Niagara River.  You are in Canada now, so it's okay to slow down and smell the grapevines :)  Passing by Niagara Falls is always a thrill; I am always in awe of all that water..and the many, many, many people walking around.  A veritable United Nations of people walking around.  I love it.  Past Queenston and into Niagara on the Lake with so many little stops along the way, you can spend weeks here and not see everything.

We finally reached out destination, 376 on Johnson, one of the nicest B&B's I've ever stayed in.  It's almost out of town, but still walkable to both downtown and a lovely little neighborhood beach with the most spectacular sunsets.  Breakfast every morning is a three course affair ending with dessert.  Innkeepers Trevor and Phillip work hard at keeping the grounds and flowers blooming, and the rooms are absolutely spotless. We loved it so much, we extended our stay for another night! And since I had recently visited South Africa and both Trevor and Phillip emigrated to Canada from South Africa...we enjoyed long hours of conversation about that gorgeous, troubled country.  And in a nod towards the odd coincidence, Trevor knows a distant relative living in his old hometown in South Africa!

One of my favorite places to eat near NOTL, is in St. Catharines, a short drive of maybe 15 minutes along Niagara Stone Rd.  Treadwell's is a Farm to Table restaurant concept that has become terribly popular in the past few years.

              Their menu reflects all their food vendors and sources. it's trendy, but the food is TO. DIE. FOR.


FISH AND CHIPS     ................................................     RABBIT & MUSTARD PASTA

After enjoying your meal at Treadwells, turn right and go to Lakeshore Park in Port Dahlousie.  Take the hike (or if you prefer the term "walk") to the end of the pier where a comfortable bench awaits.  You'll have an almost 360 view of the water.  What a great way to end your day.

SunnyBrook Farm Winery creates something that sets them apart from all the other vineyards near NOTL:
Gerald Goetz (pictured below) creates his wines from the abundant fruits that grow in the region.
Gerald says if you sip a bit of cherry wine each day, your heart will thank you.
I'm working on it!
Gerald also spoke of how he visits the Mennonite community near Holmes Co, OH...a hop and skip away from my little town.  Another familiar coincidence :)

Another fun excursion is driving around, getting lost and finding a country backroad that parallels the Welland Canal. 

The canal allows ships going from Lake Ontario to Lake Erie or vice versa.    I promised my sister we'd try to find one and lo and behold we found ourselves checking out this beauty from Hong Kong that had just passed through  Lock 3.  Lock 3 also sports the Welland Canal Museum if you are so inclined.

And apparently the last remaining French/Anglo telephone booth!