Saturday, July 23, 2011

Deep-fried pickles!

I know what you're thinking... heart attack on a plate with a side of ranch dressing. Absolutely! We first encountered these a couple of years ago when we went out to dinner with our friends who were visiting us in Bar Harbor. Looking for someplace with decent food at reasonable prices, we stumbled upon the Thirsty Whale. Not much to look at, but we took a table and perused the menu. Deep-fried pickles? Hmmm... intriguing. According to Rich, you should find the one thing on the menu that scares you the most and try it. Done. 

How can you not love 'em?

These were no measly little slices either, they were whole spears that were battered (with something decidedly spicy in there), deep-fried until golden and served up with some cooling ranch in which to dip these evil spears of death. Well, there's something to be said about taking a chance. These were goooooooood!

So good, in fact, we returned to the Thirsty Whale the other day just to relive their glory. Sure enough, just as good. Though we could have just gotten away with just those for dinner since the rest of the meal was so big. But I digress...

The moral of the story: Find the one thing on the menu that scares you the most and try it! You just might be pleasantly surprised.

Friday, July 15, 2011


What's another name for a can of quenching, lemony goodness? Limonata. Lemon soda. Made by the San Pellegrino company (of bottled water fame), we first discovered this tasty drink while on vacation in Italy.

One day we took a ferry boat from Varenna and upon setting foot on land in Bellagio, Don decided he needed something cold and refreshing to drink. As luck would have it there was a drink cart stationed right off the dock. Wanting to go for something a little more exotic than a Coke, he opted for a Limonata. From that moment we've been hooked. Not long after that we hiked up to Castello di Vezio, a centuries-old castle perched high on a hill overlooking beautiful Lake Como. What did we find at the top at the entrance to the castle grounds? A bar! Seriously, these Italians know what it's all about. Well, it was a bit early for the heavy stuff so we decided on a cold can of our new favorite soft drink.

After returning home, we longed for the bubbly, citrusy drink we had in Italy. Lo and behold it existed here in the States! We also discovered Limonata's sister: Aranciata (orange flavored) It's not cheap ($4-5 per 6-pack), but every once in a while we indulge and take ourselves back to Lake Como even if for a brief moment.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Old-school beverages

We ate at Ruby Tuesday's recently, not that we eat at chains often but it was the day before our kayak trip. We didn't have much food, didn't want leftovers and hoped for at least the choice of something healthy. Knowing they had a salad bar, off we went.

This was much fancier than the RT's I remember growing up. One in particular will always stick in my mind: Pigeon Forge, TN. Most of you have probably never even heard of it much less been there. Well, it was one of our many road trip vacations... either to the World's Fair in Knoxville or to Nashville in the mid-80s. (Maybe both.) Anyway, besides the memorable name of the town, one thing will always bring back memories- the kiddie drinks. Everyone knows that a Shirley Temple is 7-Up or Sprite with grenadine syrup. Given the time period, RT's was too cool for curly-haired cuties from the 30s and 40s. Bring on the Princess Leia! Ah, yes. The era of Star Wars and all its glory. Being huge fans of the franchise, my sister and I were all over this one. Of course, if you felt like sipping over to the dark side, you could order the Darth Vader (Coke or Pepsi with grenadine)!

May the force be with you!