Where to Eat: The Main Cup Middletown, Maryland

The Main Cup: My Tea Cup

There is a restaurant in Middletown, Maryland that I have wanted to blog about for a while for my Where to Eat section, but as you can tell I haven’t been blogging much lately. Today Alexis and I ate lunch there and I remembered to take some pictures, so today is the day! Let me tell you about The Main Cup.

The food there is great, but we’ll get to that in a minute, first let’s talk a little about the ambiance. Ambiance…who cares? I do, and so should you. This restaurant is in a charming historic building on Main Street in Middletown and you can read a little bit about it’s history here.

It has charming brick walls, art from local artists you can purchase and a nice homey feel. As you can see above, Alexis likes to sit at the table with the leather couches. They open early, have free wifi and I’ve been known to pop in to write in the mornings, especially when we lived on that side of the county, and enjoy a muffin or bagel, along with some hot tea. It has a laid back attitude and friendly service that makes it a very pleasant place to stop.

Now let’s talk food….

Alexis and I usually go for lunch, but Jamison and I have gone for dinner before too. I’ve never ordered anything I didn’t like. If you want to start out with a fabulous appetizer, I recommend the buffalo or crab dips. Their salads are fabulous, and so are their soups. Their burgers and pizza are extremely good too. They also have some really great fish and chips, some of the best I’ve ever had.

The Main Cup: Reuben and Sweet Potato Fries

One of my favorite things to get is their Reuben sandwich with sweet potato fries. It is perfection, especially the fries. Alexis likes to get their chicken tenders with regular fries:

The Main Cup: Chicken Tenders and Fries

They even have a fabulous selection of desserts. Alexis is particularly fond of the lava cake and I like the carrot cake a lot too. Today we tried the Smith Island Cake, which is Maryland’s official cake, the more you know! 😉

The Main Cup: Smith Island Cake

So if you’re in, or around, Middletown, stop by and check it out, or even drive over…it’s worth it I promise. Even now that we live across the county we still pop back over and now and then. You won’t be sorry you did.

Where to Eat: Gondolier Pizza, Athens, Tennessee

Gondolier Pizza, Athens, Tennessee

Today I’m going to tell you about a restaurant I really enjoyed when I was growing up in Tennessee…Gondolier Pizza! When Lex and I were in Tennessee in April I didn’t get a chance to stop by, but when Jamison had to teach a class in Nashville in May, and Lex and I went back to my mom’s house while he was there, I made sure to stop by with my mom, Darlene and Alexis one day for lunch.

Growing up we often ate at Gondolier after church on Sunday. My sister and I would normally get a pizza with black olives and mushrooms, while my mom and daddy would sometimes get the buffet. Also a favorite of mine is their Greek Salad, which I have mentioned before.

This go around we got a pizza that was half house special and half black olives (which is Lex’s favorite variety of pizza):

Gondolier Pizza, Athens, Tennessee: Pizza

The toppings where just as I remember, as was the sauce! So delicious!

Gondolier Pizza, Athens, Tennessee: Pizza

We ended up getting a small pizza with black olives to take home since we demolished the pizza before Lex finished what she actually ordered.

To begin with I got a Greek Salad of course!

Gondolier Pizza, Athens, Tennessee: Greek Salad

It too was so delicious!

Gondolier has locations in Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia and Florida. If you like good pizza, Italian food and an awesome Greek Salad and happen to be in one of the areas of their restaurants I highly recommend them!

Where To Eat: Castillos, Etowah, Tennessee

Castillos: Menu
As I mentioned last week Alexis and I went on a little adventure to Grams and Pop’s house. We got to see Jamison’s mom too, as she lives close to my parents, as well as Darlene and several friends I hadn’t seen in years. We had a really good trip!

You’ve heard me mention in the past that I LOVE Mexican food! Seriously I never grow tired of it, though I don’t eat it that often. Donna (Jamison’s mom) came up and met us at my Mom’s house when we arrived and Grams, Grandma, Lex and I went out for a mini girl’s dinner at the local Mexican restaurant Castillos. We were having such a good time talking and laughing that I forgot to take pictures.

Later in the week Mom and I decided to get take out from Castillos so I could get some pictures to share. Mexican twice in a week? Why not?!!?!

Alexis opted to make a salad at home. She does that often. But I had the Vegetarian A plate:

Castillos: Vegetarian A

This consists of a bean burrito, a cheese enchilada and a tostada with refried beans and cheese dip. It was fabulous! On Sunday when we arrived I had the Chicken Fajita Nachos and those were really great too! But as I mentioned no picture of that one.

My Mom got the Yolandas:


This consists of three chicken enhiladas with cheese and ranchero sauce. It’s served with lettuce, tomatoes, gucamole and Mexican rice. Mom thought it was a bit spicy, but she likes things really mild. It looked really good.

And finally my dad got the Beef Taco Salad:

Castillos: Beef Taco Salad

The shell is filled with ground beef, refried beans, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, sour cream and guacamole.

If you’re in Etowah or passing through then stop by and check out Castillos. They are located at 331 Tennessee Avenue and you’ll definitely be glad you did!


Where To Eat: The Lobster Barn, York, Maine

The Lobster Barn, York, Maine

Today I’m going to finally share with you the restaurant we ate at when we did our Maine day trip in October. You probably thought I had forgotten all about that didn’t you? 😉 I’ll hopefully have some new recipes for you soon. I’m kind of in a cooking repeat stuff mode right now and haven’t really done anything new. Soon though!

For now though, let’s talk some lobster!

The Lobster Barn, York, Maine

When you think of Maine you often think of lobsters! Kind of like you think of crabs and/or oysters if you think of Maryland. And one of the signature dishes that comes to mind when Maine enters your thoughts are lobster rolls, so I knew I wanted to try an authentic Maine lobster roll!

When we ventured in to Maine I wanted to go see the Cape Neddick Lighthouse. I had done a painting of the lighthouse years ago (A very bad painting at that!) and I wanted to see it in person. In case you didn’t know I have a thing for lighthouses. My favorite being a tie between the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and the Currituck Lighthouse both located out on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Normally if there is a lighthouse to be seen I’ll find it. I even plan to see a few when I finally make it to Ireland, but that is neither here nor there for the moment.

Back to the story at hand….

Cape Neddick Lighthouse Maine

So the first place we headed in Maine was to the lighthouse. It’s gorgeous! The coast line around it is beautiful too, so rocky and rustic! Alexis and I spent about a half hour just standing next to the ocean, taking in the view. It was heavenly! My first glimpse of ocean in over 2 years. That’s way too long between ocean views!

After we finished up at the lighthouse we headed back toward New Hampshire, but before we left Maine I wanted to eat lunch. We came across The Lobster Barn and we were set!

The Lobster Barn, York, Maine: Clam Chowder

The food was fabulous! Jamison’s order came with a cup of clam chowder, and of course that isn’t anything he would ever eat so I got to enjoy that too! It was delicious! Rich and creamy and the clams were just right.

The Lobster Barn, York, Maine: Lobster Roll

For the main course I obviously got the lobster roll and it was great too! Their homecut fries were also fabulous and if I’m not mistaken there was a hint of dill in their coleslaw, which was unexpected, but I found that I really liked the overall flavor!

Maine Welcome Sign

The staff was really great and our waitress was just fabulous! We ended up having a conversation about foods indicative of our states, or in other words lobster rolls and crab cakes! It was a very nice lunch and when we go back to Maine (And believe me I plan on going back!) I definitely will stop in at The Lobster Barn again!

Where to Eat: Tavern on Main, Cepachet, Rhode Island

Tavern on Main Chepachet, RI

Being so close we decided that we wanted to go over to Rhode Island for dinner one evening. My thought was to head toward the ocean, but I finally decided the best course would be to find a town that was within an hour of Windsor. I got on Google maps and found a town that was in a relatively straight path (once you crossed the river) and within the hour time frame, which led me to the town of Foster, Rhode Island. I looked for restaurants on Google that were within the town and came up with a restaurant nearby in Gloucester, Rhode Island that looked promising so yesterday after Jamison left work we set out to have our little Rhode Island adventure.

The drive over was a gorgeous one through the Connecticut country side. The restaurant we had planned to go to was 10 miles across the border. When we arrived however they were locked up tight. We decided to drive a bit further to see if we might come across something else up ahead and had pretty much decided that our trip to Rhode Island was a bust when we entered the little town of Chepachet. We had planned to turn around and head back to Connecticut when we passed The Tavern on Main and I was instantly intrigued. Jamison grumbled a bit, but he consented to stop (This is not his favorite type of establishment, he prefers tried and true chains…Yes I know! ;oP) and I’m so glad we did!

The building that the restaurant is in is the most adorable old historical building that just exudes charm, even from the outside you are drawn in. It’s not only charming, but also very inviting. The inside is just as fabulous! The old world charm surrounds you immediately. There was a quilt that was on the wall that I just fell in love with. The light was very low so I didn’t even attempt to take a picture (it was difficult enough getting the ones for this post) but I stared at it the whole time we were there. Apparently Tavern on Main even has it’s own ghost! I have to admit though I didn’t sense anything like that in building and I’m usually pretty good about feeling that sort of thing, but maybe he (or she) had the night off! ;oP

The staff is also fabulous. The hostess was very inviting and our waitress was just amazing. She was great with Lex and Lex loved her too. And the food? The food was amazing! Lex got the chicken tenders (do you see a pattern forming with her dining out food?), Jamison had the New York strip steak and I had the Lazy Man’s Lobster and it was simply divine!

Tavern on Main Chepachet, RI: Lazy Man's Lobster

So if you ever find yourself in Chepachet, Rhode Island be sure and stop in at Tavern on Main…Trust me you won’t be disappointed!

Chepachet, RI

Today is our last full day in Connecticut. Tomorrow morning we are heading up to Maine, and then will venture back across New Hampshire and Vermont and back into New York. We’ll spend the night somewhere in New York or Pennsylvania and then head back to Maryland on Sunday. We’ve had a really fabulous week. It passed so quickly!

Where to Eat: Piccadilly Pub

Piccadilly Pub

This morning Alexis and I headed over to New Haven. Yale was kind of neat, we drove around the campus and it’s a lot bigger than I expected, but there is a lot of construction and road work going on and there was no where to park. I asked a cop if there was any public parking and he grinned at me and said “Good luck with that!” So we took a spin around the campus to see the “sites” and then headed back north.

When we got back to Windsor I went to a restaurant for lunch that I had seen the other night that was a few exits up from our hotel, but it wasn’t open yet. So we got back on I-91 N and drove until I found something that looked interesting. We only went about 10 miles or so up the road, but without realizing it we passed in to Massachusetts and ended up in West Springfield. There was no sign on the Interstate saying we had passed into MA, nor was their a sign on the way back that said we had passed back in to Connecticut. When I got back to the hotel and pulled up the restaurant’s web site that was my first clue that Alexis and I had added a new state to our never been to list!

We came across a restaurant along the way called Piccadilly Pub and Alexis was amused by their building and their fall decorations so we stopped. Apparently they are a small chain and have several locations within Massachusetts. The restaurant was very quaint, with a homey, country sort of feel, and the service was great!

Now let’s talk about the food!

Piccadilly Pub: Lobster Bisque

Alexis got chicken tenders and french fries, which looked very good. I decided to go with the lobster bisque which was excellent! The soup was creamy, cheesy and had little bits of lobster throughout. The flavor was also very fresh which can be tricky when dealing with seafood. I’d definitely eat there again!

Tonight we’re heading over to Rhode Island for dinner. If the restaurant is any good, you’ll most likely hear about it tomorrow!

Where to Eat: Mystic Pizza

Mystic Pizza

Growing up Mystic Pizza was one of my favorite movies. In fact I have it on DVD to this day. When we found out that Jamison was going to be coming to Connecticut to teach a class for work, and Lex and I would be tagging along for the ride, I knew I wanted to actually go to Mystic and eat at the original Mystic Pizza.

A few years ago I stumbled across one of their frozen pizzas and I have to admit, though I’m not normally a fan of frozen pizzas, this one wasn’t bad. The frozen pizza however did nothing to prepare me for the real deal. This pizza is fabulous!

The inside of the restaurant is completely charming too. There is an entire wall of Movie memorabilia (intermixed with other pictures of stars) and a flat screen playing the movie:

Mystic Pizza

Alexis told them as we were leaving that we’d be back next summer. I don’t know where she came up with that idea, but hey it sounds good to me!

Now what did we eat??

After reading several things online I decided to go with the House Special Pizza, which is topped with pepperoni, meatballs, sausage, green peppers, onions and mushrooms, because the general consensus was that all the pizza was good, but the House Special was the best. Lex got her standard pizza with black olives:

Mystic Pizza

The crust was perfect, the sauce was amazing and the toppings were just right! Luckily our room has a kitchen so we were able to bring back the left overs and put them in the fridge! The service was really great too.

Mystic Pizza

Mystic itself is beyond charming as well, in fact I’ll just go ahead and admit I’ve fallen in love with the whole state of Connecticut! The people are so friendly, it’s absolutely gorgeous and it just has an essence of charm that permeates the air! I could totally live here!

Mystic CT

We were lucky today in that the rain didn’t start until we were getting ready to leave. Lex had a ball playing on the board walk next to the Mystic River. We also strolled up Main Street as well on our way to Mystic Pizza and stopped in at a bookstore along the way.

Tomorrow it’s supposed to be miserable rainy so we’re staying in and catching up on lessons. On Thursday Alexis and I plan to venture over to New Haven and check out Yale. Adventures are so much fun!

I hope you all are having a fabulous week! I know we are!