The Back Porch Cafe

19 06 2012

My family recently went on a lovely vacation to Bethany Beach, Delaware. A friend found out we were going and gave me a gift card to The Back Porch Cafe in Rehoboth, which is about a 30-minute drive north of Bethany. We had planned on cooking our own meals while on vacation, so this was a welcomed surprise since the Back Porch is known as a more gourmet destination in that area. We decided to make a reservation on Father’s Day for 11:00, when it opened, figuring it would be the best time to take a toddler.

The building is on the main strip in Rehoboth, amongst typical souvenir shops and a Hooters right across the street. The restaurant is charming, with a bright blue exterior and its entrance off of the street. A friendly dog greets you as you arrive.

Our brunch menu:

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We started with the cheese and fruit plate, as we knew all three of us would enjoy it.  We were just a bit disappointed, as the two cheeses seemed pretty standard, but overall it was enjoyable (Anabel ate most of it).

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Matt ordered a glass of the champagne from Domaine Carneros but this is what he got:

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When we received our check we realized that it was the “Havana Daydream,” a very un-Matt-like drink, but he was a good sport about it. I got a very delicious Bloody Mary. I also took a chance and ordered the blue cheese and pear omelette.  I should have trusted my instincts and not ordered this.  I did not care for the combination of the sweet and syrupy pears in eggs, but maybe someone else would have really enjoyed this.  I also would have liked more cheese, but it was the same blue cheese as was on the cheese plate so it didn’t matter too much.  The eggs were more rubbery than fluffy.  The potatoes: perfection.  Crispy and chewy and almost burned, just the way I like them.

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Matt loved his scallops and cleaned his plate. I, for one, can’t eat non-breakfast food before noon, so I didn’t try it, but he really enjoyed the flavors and the scallops were done well.

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I was so happy to have a chance to try a fine-dining restaurant on our vacation, but I hope to go back some day for dinner to get a true feel for the place, and give them another chance at impressing me with their food.

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2010 Summer Food Festivals

8 03 2010

It’s about this time of year when I start itching to plan some traveling over the summer.  Although this year Matt and I may be laying low, I thought it would be fun to compile a list of summer food festivals around the United States for those of you starting to plan your warm weather escapes early.  Enjoy! (**Disclaimer: I can’t vouch for any of these festivals. I just did the research and provided the links!)

Wein & Saengerfest (May 1st; New Braunfels, Texas)

North Carolina Potato Festival (May 15; Elizabeth City, NC)

Rhubarb Festival (May 21 and 22; Intercourse, PA)

World’s Largest Brat Fest (May 28 through 31; Madison, Wisconsin)

Chili Pepper & Brew Fest (June 4 and 5; Snowmass, Colorado)

Virginia Pork Festival (June 9; Emporia, VA)

Orange County’s BBQ Festival (June 12; OC, CA)

Savor Idaho (June 13; Boise, Idaho)

Chefs at the Shore VII (June 17; Atlantic City, NJ)

Hampton County Watermelon Festival (June 19-27; Hampton County, SC)

Cranberry Blossom Festival (June 24-27; Wisconsin Rapids, WI)

Bayou Boogaloo & Cajun Festival (June 25-27; Norfolk, VA)

Ribfest (July 1-4; Naperville, Illinois)

Mandeville Seafood Festival (July 1-4; Mandeville, LA)

Taste of Park Ridge (July 8-10; Park Ridge, IL)

World’s Largest Catsup Bottle Festival (July 11; Collinsville, Illinois)

Citrus Festival (July 16-18; Santa Paula, CA)

Pierogi Fest (July 23-25; Whiting Indiana)

Bite of Seattle (July 16-18; Seattle, WA)

Natchez Food & Wine Festival (July 30-Aug. 1; Natchez, Mississippi)

Sweet Corn Festival (Aug. 12-15; Mendota, Illinois)

Hamburg-er Festival (Sep. 4; Hamburg, PA)





Tasting Table

1 03 2010

Check out Tasting Table, a free daily email geared towards adventurous foodies.  One of my virtual foodie friends, Joy Manning, just announced her new position as senior editor so you know it’s bound to be a good read!  Today, the national edition is featuring a article on French champagnes and the People section profiles a seaweed farmer in Maine.  I hope a Philadelphia version is developed soon.





MoMa

29 01 2010

If you have a chance, visit the Tim Burton exhibit at the MoMa.  It’s on until April 26th and is fabulous. Browse through childhood art, adolescent angst, and props such as the Edward Scissorhands costume. Be sure to reserve tickets online ahead of time or you’ll be waiting in line for a while.

There are a lot of other cool exhibits at the MoMa–my favorite is the “What Was Good Design?” featuring do dads and vintage pieces such as Tupperware, popsicle trays, and ashtrays. There were a couple of Charles Rennie McIntosh pieces on display, which made me very happy.

And, of course, the giant hanging dinosaur “bones:”





Metropolitan Museum of Art

14 01 2010

It usually takes a very special reason to get me into a museum. I am more of a wandering around a city until I get lost kinda gal. Or a hang out in the local pub in the countryside kinda gal. I love interactive activities when I travel, so when my husband was excited to check out the Art of the Samurai Exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on our recent trip to New York City, I was skeptical to say the least.

After we checked our coats and got our (very extensive) map, we set out for the exhibit, which was on loan until January 10th from the Tokyo National Museum.  I must admit that it was a very cool exhibit for the sheer reason that multiple National Treasures were on display (a National Treasure is a “precious cultural property” deemed so by the government Agency for Cultural Affairs in Japan).  Although I like to call myself a pacifist, I couldn’t help but admire the workmanship of each sword and weapon on display.

We moseyed through the museum, grabbed a bite at the cafeteria downstairs (it is hidden and discreet i.e. very hard to find), and then found some cool paintings. We don’t know anything about art. I know right away at a glance if I want to go take a closer look, and most paintings do not invite me to take a closer look.  Except for these:

Maude Adams (1872–1953) as Joan of Arc (Alphonse Marie Mucha)

Sunflowers (Vincent Van Gogh)

It took us 4 hours to see the Samurai exhibit and European paintings. We were worn out. We didn’t even get to see the musical instrument exhibit or the Asian art. Maybe we’ll pop back in during a future trip.





Vino Volo: in the airport!

24 11 2009

Matt and I usually get to the airport with tons of time to spare, so on Friday, before we boarded our plane to Pittsburgh, we stopped at Vino Volo for a quick drink and bite to eat. This wine bar chain currently has locations in about 10 airports in the U.S. and it’s a welcome change to the overwhelming fast food options you usually get.

Impressive, albeit small, wine list with some fun flight options. (Heh, get it?)

These are cute and come with each glass.  Not your basic, run-of-the-mill wine guide with standard terms, but still user-friendly.

Matt’s artisan cured meats (small size for $8) were yummy but really just made him more hungry for a real dinner.

My brie & prosciutto sandwich (small size for $6) was surprisingly tasty. The brie was slightly melted and warm and the fig spread was ooey and gooey (in a good way).

It’s nice to have Vino Volo in the Philly airport, because when we were early in Pittsburgh coming home, we sat in a Friday’s. Not as nice.





Palomar Hotel Philadelphia: Luxury Living on a budget

30 10 2009

The Palomar in Philadelphia is luxurious without being obnoxiously over-the-top. Matt’s exact words were: “Now we get to see what it’s like to live in a fancy Rittenhouse Square condo for a night.” The staff is friendly and efficient, the decor is cool and simple, and there is an eco-conscious theme that permeates everything. This hotel makes me want to move away from Philadelphia just so I could visit and stay here more often.

Cool and helpful reception:

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Clean room and comfy bed:
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Relaxing and deep Fuji tub:
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Nice and high view:
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Fast and fancy elevators:
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All for $129. Special deal. Loved it.

I loved the art deco in the lobby. I loved the clean designs and eco-friendly atmosphere. I loved the ofuro-style tub that melted away all of the stress I had accumulated in my body. I loved the animal print robes in the closet. I loved the central location close to Rittenhouse Square.

I want to live here forever and ever.