Showing posts with label PA turnpike. Show all posts
Showing posts with label PA turnpike. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Backyard Beans

Subject: Backyard Beans Coffee Company
Location visited: Lansdale, PA
WiFi?: yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]

While I hold firmly to the opinion that turnpikes ruin road trips, I have come to embrace their necessity. Sure, tolls effectively suck the fun and loose change out of life, making a carefree drive into a financial balancing act, but having driven much of the United States I have come to terms that toll roads are a fair compromise until flying cars become a reality.  

Friday, October 15, 2010

CC: Saint's Cafe

What's does "CC" mean?

Saint's Cafe
Location visited: State College, PA
Free WiFi ? : yes
5+ [
see key]

Central Pennsylvania has always been greatly overlooked in my travels. I have driven across it many times but aside from the scenery along the turnpike, there was little else I managed to see.

That sad trend met its end when I found my way to State College. The quintessential college town, State College surpassed my meager expectations with its bustling streets full of alluring stores and eateries (unlike some other college towns that shan't be named).

But what put my delight into hyperdrive was the presence of Saint's Cafe. Serving up Intelligentsia, Metropolis and Counter Culture, this coffeehouse was the first cafe I had heard of between Philly and Pittsburgh that knew about good coffee (never mind served it).

Parking in the metered lot across the street, I walked over, into their busy yet open cafe full of whites, greens and tans (all influenced by complimentary lighting). The space had an overall warm environment as well as plenty of seating.

I ordered an espresso of (Intelly's) Black Cat and a Clover-brewed Rwandan (also from Intelly). The espresso was pulled pretty well, appearing with a great crema and the flavors of creamy chocolate milk, lemon rind, clove and a bit of pepper. The shots seemed a bit off from normal Black Cat but the quality still proved splendid. The Rwandan displayed mild hops, caramel, wheat grass, raspberry yogurt, a tinge of tobacco and a small measure of fig (i.e. a delicious coffee). The tea is free leaf and Republic of Tea.

My experience with the cafe left me pleased, as the service and product both boded well. Along with Penn State's world-famous creamery (which was practically bursting with fervent customers that day), Saint's Cafe easily produces a good reason for making State College a place to hit soon.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

CC: Perk on Main

What's does "CC" mean?

Perk on Main
Location visited: Emmaus, PA
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 5+ [see key]

While I understand the history and necessity for turnpikes (roads use to be privately owned and hence, tolls were collected to manage upkeep; states now do the same to balance costs), oh how do I despise them. Especially ones with 3 exits over 7 hundred miles, like Rt 476 (i.e. the NE Extension of the PA turnpike) drive me nuts, as with normal highways you can get off at local towns as you go in order to grab refreshment and nourishment. Not with 476.

But occasionally, I decree (with the wife's consent of course) to go off course to grab some local coffee, with the most recent stop being a place called Perk on Main. The joint sits on the Main St of the cute little town of Emmaus, in a cute little store outfitted with a substantial porch and chic outside seating. The inside is a medium-sized room with peripheral seating and large serving area.

The coffee comes from Counter Culture Coffee out of North Carolina, a great roaster and purveyor of coffee (also becoming more and more common in the Northeast). I had the La Golondrina via drip, a wonderfully chocolaty and orange-ish coffee with low acidity and a creamy texture. The espresso was also a refreshing beverage, as the barista definitely knew what she was doing and hence pulled a smooth and bright shot with strong flavors of bittersweet cocoa and a nice cranberry tang. The tea is freeleaf and also from Counter Culture I believe.

While the sidetrip took me about 45 minutes out of the way, it was well worth it to find a gem like Perk on Main. If you're in the nearby area or even driving on 476, take a stop by Emmaus for the Perk on Main.