Posts tagged ‘3’

@ The Fallingwater Cafe, in Mill Run

We departed Philadelphia on the fifth day, and began the return west into Amish country. First stop, Intercourse. We’d both been looking forward to it for days. If I’m being honest, though, it was kind of a let down. Not much excitement, over pretty quickly. I did pick up some literature on the subject, though. If you’re into that sort of thing.

We reached Mill Run late in the day, and checked into our (first ever) bed & breakfast. We sat in floral print splendor and stared at each other until it was time to go to bed. In the morning, a bright and early reservation to see the most important building of the 20th century. And then there was this.

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“Ham and Asparagus Panini: Ham, Swiss and asparagus on wheat-berry bread.”

Despite Frank Lloyd Wright’s success in utilizing the cantilever design and attractive local materials in his design of Fallingwater, the café on site was unable to leverage these concepts in the construction of their panini. Let’s review:

Poor construction. Fallingwater was lovingly constructed over two years by local stonemasons. The “grilling” of this Panini was done hastily, with a dry heat method that failed to properly secure the lower level to that above.

Inferior materials. While Fallingwater’s horizontal trays were made of reinforced concrete, the horizontal trays of this panini were flaccid and unpalatable.

Structural issues. Fallingwater’s cantilever is anchored into the rock of the adjacent hillside. The back of this Panini was anchored in a precarious slaw pile.

Edgar Kaufmann Jr. called the house an “ever-flowing source of exhilaration.” I found this Panini to be a source of indigestion, and awarded it a 3.

But it was pretty hard to be mad.

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@ Club 45, in Conover

Day two of my weekend: “Grilled cheese on texas toast with beer battered fries.” (+pickles)

Club 45 is your typical lakefront, northwoods tavern, and a seemingly popular fish fry destination. It’s a nice spot, with a patio over looking the water, a swing set for the kids, and more video gambling than you can shake a stick at. There were six of us, and our collective order was probably something like, “five fish frys, and a grilled cheese with pickles.” Right off the bat, my zany request is met with a raised eyebrow and dubious look from our waitress. (I don’t know why this annoys me so much, but it does.)

Delightful pickle placement aside, this was an expected disappointment. Sandwiches made with texas toast are almost always a big, fat let down, and this was no exception. (“Hey, guys. Know what would be even awesomer than boring white bread? THICKER boring white bread!” – Some guy in Texas.) The bread was dry, the cheese was ample but unmelted, and the pickles were super skunky – no doubt, fished from a giant jar opened sometime during the Bush administration. I was a few bites in before I identified the source of the foul infraction, and I promptly fished them all out of there. I wound up dissecting it, eating a few bites out of the middle, and leaving the tragic remains in the basket for the waitress.

She, later, observed in a hushed exchange with the other bartenders:  “Pickles??!”  “Yes,” she says, deadpan. “PICKLES.”

@ Bistro 212, in Stevens Point

“Grown-up Grilled Cheese Panini:” Muenster, cheddar, and bacon with basil garlic mayo on multi-grain bread.  Sounds good, right? What’s that? Can’t see any of that awesome stuff in the picture? Hrm. Funny, I didn’t taste any of that stuff either. Maybe it’s invisible bacon?  Maybe, (since Bistro 212 is attached to a gym) they’re trying to promote healthy eating? At any rate, this was a (hilarious) disappointment:  from the soggy, downright used-looking sweet potato fries, to the decorative orange garnish. Where to begin? First of all, let’s start with the name. There was nothing grown-up about this sandwich, nor was it by any stretch a “panini.” Clearly, the fellow holding down the fort on this day has no idea what he’s doing. I should have been tipped off when we were the only people in the whole place – or maybe when we were grossly undercharged at the counter, or perhaps when he apologetically muttered “we’re really low on everything,” as he set down our food. This was one slice of cheddar on multi-grain bread. And tiny. I gave it a 3/10, but it’s only because I have a sense of humor. . . . and because the oranges slices were divine. ($6.50?)

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