However, go east on I-70 a few miles and you will come to the city of
I’ve made short trips to this city before, each time vowing to spend a longer amount of time discovering all of the delicious taste sensations available. This past Saturday, Michael and I did just that--The
Food Tour, Part One of Many. Lawrence
We started with lunch at Mirth Café (745
, themirthcafe.com). This is the type of place you would expect to find in a university town, with rustic brick walls, tables decorated with flower-filled wine bottles, and an espresso machine creating rich, dark coffee nirvana. It’s easy to imagine Bob Dylan in one corner plucking out a new tune, J. K. Rowling at a table writing Harry Potter’s comeback, a family enjoying breakfast in front of large street-side windows, and two sweethearts sharing bites of each other’s meals. New Hampshire
In my case, that last scenario was reality! Michael, ordered Mirth’s Big Breakfast, with two scrambled eggs, potatoes, sausage and wheat toast. (And, of course, he drenched it all in ketchup.)
I ordered the Ultimate Grilled Cheese—not an over exaggeration for its name. This is the best grilled cheese sandwich I’ve ever tasted! Cheddar, feta and provolone cheese is melted between two slices of white or wheat bread (I had white this time) with fresh spinach leaves and a spread of pesto--hey, I think I can make this at home! I had it with a side of the house salad made with fresh baby greens, cucumbers, homemade garlic croutons, feta garlic dressing and fresh Parmesan. And of course, I ordered a latte to appease my coffee addiction. (Notice Michael's line of jellies waiting for the toast.)
Next, after spending some time (and money) in an antique mall on
Massachusetts Street, we went to Brits, a quaint small shop that stocks everything British ( 929 Massachusetts Street, britsshop.com). I’ve always been an anglophile and I stock-up on the imported items I remember from my two trips to the . This time I picked up some McVitie’s Digestives biscuits (a wheat and wholemeal cross between a cookie and a cracker) and Nestle Toffee Crisp candy bars (crunchy rice puffs with caramel, covered in chocolate). I also purchased the book Full English: A Journey Through the British and Their Food by Tom Parker Bowles, the brother of Camilla Parker Bowles, otherwise known as the Duchess of Cornwall and wife of Prince Charles. I have seen Tom Parker Bowles on television a number of times and can’t wait to read his take on British cuisine. UK
Michael and I also made a stop at the Great Harvest Bread Company (807
), where we tasted the Italian herb bread—mmmmm! I left munching on a snickerdoodle cookie, and we took home a wonderful loaf of challah, a braided Jewish egg bread. Vermont
Our final food stop for the day was dinner with my soon-to-be sister and brother in-laws’ family at Bigg’s BBQ (2429
Michael had the smoked half-chicken with potato salad and baked beans. He ate it all, so it must have been good!
His sister, Lisa, had the burnt ends, which turned out to be one-inch cubes of smoked brisket with barbecue sauce. She gave me a taste, and it, too, was tender and smoky. For dessert, I had a deep-fried brownie--rich and sinfully wonderful. However, I enjoyed even more the homemade ice cream that came with the dish. It tasted like what my Mom and Dad churn for summer cookouts. Lisa’s husband, Don, is a bread pudding addict, and he ordered the white chocolate bread pudding. He said it was the best he’s ever had, and now he doesn’t want to order bread pudding anywhere else!
Part one of the tour was such a success, I'm already looking forward to part two, once I've fully recovered from this one. I'm still full! Now I need suggestions of where to go next. So all you Kansans, let me know your favorite spots in Lawrence, Topeka, or anywhere! Until then, I think I'd better start a new exercise routine.