Want to come on a nerdy road trip with me and my mom?
In case you're not familiar with my mom, guess what? She too is an illustrator. That's her work above. She's illustrated a number of children's books; check out her work on Amazon by searching for "Margie Moore"!
Like me, she's also a total nerd and loves history. So...last week, me and the moms got in my little car and drove up to New England with the purpose of seeing some Salem Witch Trial haunts. Along the way, we had plenty of great adventures and tasty food. Wanna see what we ate? Here are some highlights from our short but totally sweet trip.
1. Pumpkin-style coffee, Rook Coffee, Various Locations, NJ.
Where do you stand on the great PSL debate? Some people love pumpkin spice coffee drinks, some despise it. Personally, as much as I gravitate toward sweet foods, I really don't like sweet drinks as a general rule. However, at Rook Coffee (one of my favorite mini-chains in New Jersey) they do it a little different. They have a pumpkin spice infused coffee which they serve as a pour-over, and you can opt to add sweetener or not. A non-sweetened pumpkin spice coffee, as it turns out, is EXACTLY what I have been wishing for!
More info: Rook Coffee.
2. Mystic Pizza, Mystic, CT.
I'm not saying this in a critical way, just factual for my own preferences: it's not necessarily the pizza that makes me stop at Mystic Pizza every time I am going through Connecticut. It's the back-story. The mystique behind this pizza place more than fills in the gap that makes visiting this place a great experience (because food is about more than just the flavor, let's face it). Mystic Pizza was the setting and subject of an eponymous 1988 movie which starred a bunch of people before they were famous: Julia Roberts, Lili Taylor, Vincent D'onofrio, etc. If you've never seen it, watch it RIGHT NOW PLEASE. And then visit Mystic Pizza next time you're passing through Connecticut.
More info: Mystic Pizza.
3. Sift Bake Shop, Mystic, CT.
After enjoying some slices at Mystic Pizza, I was craving something sweet, so the moms and I took a stroll down the main drag. The chocolate place was filled with tourists wanting a taste of fudge before buying so I quickly got bored of waiting in line. Luckily, by abandoning that project we accidentally ran across Sift Bakeshop. What a beautiful bakery! It smelled like HEAVEN. We ogled the French pastries, but ultimately just picked up a couple of pumpkin spice macarons, because first, well, tis the season, and second, just a small snack was in order post-pizza!
More info: Sift Bake Shop.
As a diversion, we stopped in to see Lizzie Borden's home in Fall River, MA. Hopefully you won't mind my creative photoshopping here.
4. Pie in the Sky, Woods Hole, MA
We stayed at my aunt's house in Falmouth, MA and made sure to hit up Pie in the Sky in the morning. I have a long history with this bakery and it was great to visit again. We scored brekkie sandwiches (mom got hers on a popover, which kind of blew my mind) and some pastries. This is a really special place--a kind of eat local hippie place that's been at it since before it was a trend. You must visit if you're in the area!
More info: Pie in the Sky
5. Maison Villatte, Falmouth, MA
Pricey but pretty and very good. That would be my mini-review of this authentic Frenchie spot, which had a gorgeous and bountiful display filled with choux, croissants, cookies, tartes, and so much more. We got a ton of stuff here: My faves were the Paris-Brest and the pistachio eclair (!!).
More info: Maison Vallatte.
Oh, can I tell you something funny, too? My mom being from NJ (born and bred), she has never ever had to pump gas in her life (it's all full service there and you're not allowed to pump your own). I've never seen her as impressed with me as when I fearlessly fueled the car all by myself! Yup, she took photos.
6. Ye Olde Pepper Candy Co.
Hi from Salem, MA! We came to do some witch hunting, and found ourselves hungry for a sweet treat, so we hit up Ye Olde Pepper Candy Companie, which is billed as America's oldest candy company, was conveniently across the street from the House of the Seven Gables (of Nathaniel Hawthorne fame). I got a butter rum chocolate which tasted better due to sprinkles. A nice little old fashioned chocolate shop.
More info: Ye Olde Pepper Candy Companie
7. Lord Hobo Brewing
I've been into craft beer lately, so on our way from Salem to Concord, we stopped to check out Lord Hobo Brewing, purely based on the name. They had some pretty interesting beers that they were making--I'm all about double IPAs, the more assertive the better, and they had a cool one called "Consolation Prize". Best of all, dogs were allowed inside, so the pugs got to come and enjoy (if not imbibe). A good stop if you're in the area and into beer.
More info: Lord Hobo Brewing
We also stopped for a little more nerdiness in Concord, dropping by Louisa May Alcott's house and Walden Pond. Sorry I don't have a better picture for you!
8. DeLuise Bakery, Cranston, RI
On our way back to New Jersey and Philadelphia respectively, me'n'mom stopped at DeLuise Bakery in Cranston, RI. This is exactly my favorite type of bakery: it's been there for ages and it has a certain degree of "saltiness" if you know what I mean. Mom got a marble cookie, which was perfect; I got this incredibleness featuring a brownie base, cookie dough layer, peanut butter icing, and reese's pieces on top. JEEBUS. Happiness town = ME.
More info: DeLuise Bakery