Brimfield and Beyond

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Best of Show

Lefty's

Destination: The annual September Brimfield Antiques Fair.

Best of Show: The Leverett Village Coop 

Saturday's adventure started with one of our three annual expeditions to the awesome Brimfield Antiques Show.

You really can't imagine the sense of remote rural deep-hemlock-hillside-dark isolation until you drive through Leverett, turn left on Rattlesnake Gutter Road, and visit the Leverett Village Coop... I got Kombucha and local Irish Stout from Lefty's Brewing, Bernardston, MA.

Trust the Expert

Destination: Provincetown, MA

Best of Show: A Royal Bermuda Yacht Club cocktail at Bubala's.

P-town is great fun in the summer, and those who enjoy shopping can find some interesting treasures. I'm not much of a shopper, so I typically sit someplace with coffee to work and write while Lorna shops.  

On this particular occasion, I had a foodie goal: I had been learning about the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club cocktail (see link above) and I have even made up a batch of that mysterious elixir known as Falernum Syrup to get the authentic flavor. But it still wasn't working for me; I needed the help of a pro.

Billy's instincts did the job. Billy is one of the barkeeps at Bubala's, on Commercial Street in Provincetown. I think he dreads when I come in because he knows I will want something that nobody else has ever asked for. But he also seems to enjoy the challenge, and always does a great job.

I had brought my Falernum in a little glass jar. He knew trouble was brewing when I set it down on the bar beside my clipboard and pen. I showed him the recipe and told him my troubles - the lime juice was beating up the other ingredients, but if I let up on it then it was too sweet. Alas! I had never had one properly made so I didn't even know what I was shooting for.

He drily said "You're shooting for a good drink, you fool." Then he took the Falernum and lickity-split he had shaken up a delicious Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Cocktail.

I asked him how he did it, and he said he'd just done it. I asked if he could do it again, and measure it this time.

Vermont Garlic Festival

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Best of Show

Heirlooms 

Destination: Vermont Garlic Festival

Best of Show: Tasting 19 kinds of garlic and 21 varieties of heirloom tomatoes!

The journey was memorable, too - we also enjoyed local Mocha Joe's coffee, grass-fed beef and local veggies at the Chelsea Royal Diner in West Brattleboro before we ever got to the Garlic Fest.

After we left the Garlic Fest, it was too early to head home, so wecrossed Vermont on country  roads en route to ... dinner and Benton Lane pinot noir at Giuseppe's in Meredith, NH (well, it's sort of on our way...)

Caledonia County Fair

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Best of Show

Corn Dogs at the Caledonia FairDestination: The Caledonia County Fair, Lyndonville VT

Best of Show: Fresh cheese curds from the cheese-maker truck

The Caledonia County Fair in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom is a good old-fashioned county fair with all the required accoutrements: cows and goats, the draft horse pull, corn-dogs and maple cotton candy - they do it right.

You might think that your source for the classic corn dog might not be fertile fields for foodie fun, but you just have to look around and maybe you'll get lucky.

We did. Way up in the back, beyond the center ring with the fairway and the draft horse competition, just to the left of the cattle barns, we found the Dairy on the Moove, a cheesemaker on wheels with an educational program and samples of tasty fresh cheese curds! 

 The lady with the white Bengal tigers was pretty cool, too!

 

Outdoor Concert by the River at at Prescott Park

Destination: Richard Thompson live at Prescott Park, Portsmouth, NH

Best of Show: Shared Reggiano Parmigiana and fresh peaches in the park

Honorable Mention goes to Colby's for an excellent late lunch 

MidCoast Maine

Destination: The Union Fair, Union, ME

Best of Show: Steamers at The Boathouse on the harbor

The best steamers we'd ever had, served with draft Allagash White Ale - heavenly!

 

Summer Sunday on Cape Cod

Destination: Provincetown

Best of Show: The Beehive Tavern

Any summer sunday expedition to Cape Cod must take into account that you won't be getting off-Cape before the traffic subsides, you may as well plan to dine well and slowly.

The Bee-Hive is a homey, comfortable place with local Cape Cod Beer (a vacation in every pint!) and Cape Cod comfort food.

See also the very excellent Dunbar Tea Room.

Bennington, VT

Destination: Bennington VT and Hoosick Falls, NY

Best of Show: Peppermills, Bennington

Boothbay Harbor

Destination: Boothbay Harbor, ME

Best of Show: Cafe Mirabelle, Portsmouth, NH

Another honorable mention to Becky's Diner (nothin' finer!) 

A Classic Cocktail at the Chinese Restaurant

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Best of Show

Destination: Woburn, MA

Best of Show: A Sazerac at the Sichuan Garden bar

We went to Woburn for dinner this Friday after dropping Melissa off at Logan Airport.

I had wanted to come here for the highly-regarded authentic fare ever since visitng the Yin-Yu-Tang House at excellent Peabody-Essex Museum in Salem, and listening to a series of lectures on 5000 years of Chinese history. The classic cocktails were a very pleasant surprise.

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