Ahh…now that the BBQ and Chicken Fried steaks are done, how about something sweet? Nothing like fresh donuts and pies!! But who needs the chains? How about some great independent bakeries and doughnut places? Every Picture Tells a Story, Doughnut?
Voodoo Doughnut – Portland, Oregon
Voodoo Doughnut is probably one of the most unique doughnut places in the world (not just the U.S.)!! Yes, they have amazing doughnuts, but they also have stained glass windows and even a wedding chapel. They have been featured on dozens of food and travel shows as well. And, by the way, make sure to bring cash if you want to eat. That is all they take.
The menu of great items is abundant and ever changing at Voodoo Doughnut. On my visit in March 2012, I picked up a few, including their most popular items. Here is a sampling…
Other unique items include Mexican Hot Chocolate (Chocolate Cake doughnut dusted in cinnamon sugar and cayenne pepper); Captain My Captain (Raised yeast doughnut with vanilla frosting and Captain Crunch); The Loop (Raised yeast doughnut with vanilla frosting and Fruit Loops); Grape Ape (Raised yeast doughnut with vanilla frosting, grape dust and lavender sprinkles); Dirt Doughnut (Raised yeast doughnut with vanilla frosting and Oreos); and there are a few that I won’t include in here (they are a bit on the nasty side….)
And did I mention the stained glass and wedding chapel? And, oh yes, the proprietors are ordained ministers!!
Paris Bakery – Paris, Ontario
I lived in Paris, Ontario for a few months in 2008 and it had many benefits. It is a beautiful small town that is sliced by a lovely river (actually, two of them). There is a picturesque downtown area with a number of unique shops and one of those shops opens early (6 AM) everyday from Tuesday to Saturday and provides a pleasant aroma to the early morning air. In this day and age of big box grocery stores and fast food chains with their baked goods, a good Mom and Pop type of bakery is getting difficult to find. Paris Bakery remains one of those “pleasant places.”
Unlike the young folks who throw the donuts in the oven at Tim Horton’s and Dunkin Donuts and Krispy Kreme, Gerry and Ross have been baking for over 100 years combined. Indeed, Gerry has been in the bakery business since he was 12 years old! And like many other small bakeries, this is a family affair. Vickie’s sister Liz works at the bakery as does Gerry’s daughter-in-law Heather. There are a couple of other who family members there as well.
Vickie Norris sold the bakery in January 2013, but some of the staff has remained. Vickie now runs the shop next door, which she has owned for a while, called The Paris Health Store and Yoga Studio. I think all that go to the bakery may need to visit Vickie’s new business to get back in shape after the Chelseas, doughnuts and breads!
Frontier Pies – Rexburg, Idaho
OK, so this place is really a restaurant, but it is called Frontier Pies and that is what is famous for. So, have some pie….the pictures say it all…
Oh, and I should mention that they make great breakfast, lunch and dinner items too!
Jaarsma Bakery – Pella, Iowa
Going Dutch was never so good as it was when I visited Pella earlier this year. This is Holland-ville USA and the Jaarsma Bakery does not disappoint with Dutch baked treats. Famous for its “Dutch Letters”, their other treats are just as good.
And, when done at the bakery, go get some Pella bologna a couple of doors down…
International Bakery – Omaha, Nebraska
Dutch baked goods are not the only delights out there. A good Mexicana Panaderia is also a great place for baked goodies and, typically a bit cheaper. I visited the locally famous International Baker while in Omaha for the 2012 US Olympic Swim Trials. Made for a great morning breakfast on Mexican Sweetbreads and other delights.
Not everything here is sweet. There are some great Cream Cheese Jalapeno Bolillos there as well. These guys are like little soft baguettes filled with cream cheese and jalapenos. Wowzers!!
And while there don’t forget the strawberry conchas. Everything is 50 cents so you can’t beat the price. But, bring cash as that is all they take.
Dutch Haven – Ronks, Pennsylvania
If you are going to go to Amish country in Lancaster County, there are a few places to visit including Intercourse, Paradise and Bird-in-Hand. You also need to stop in Ronks on the Lincoln Highway between Intercourse and Bird-in-Hand and visit the Dutch Haven for some real yummy Shoo-Fly Pie.
Shoo-fly pie is basically a molasses pie. Some say it is a variation of the older Treacle Tart. Treacle is a British term for any syrup made from refined sugar cane, which would include molasses. Gooey sweet goodness.
Presti’s Bakery – Cleveland, Ohio
I was born in the Little Italy area of Cleveland. Unfortunately, I was taken away from there when less than a year old. I never had the chance to meet my real father. However, I have been back there numerous times to visit my half brother and half sisters. And, each time I go to Cleveland I have to make a visit to Presti’s Bakery. Great cannoli and other baked goods.
They also make some great stiffed breads with good Italian meats and cheeses and veggies. But, nothing tops the melt in your mouth tingle your tongue cannoli. And, you can get them in a nice box to go.
Along the Less Beaten Paths there are many interesting places to stop and get some goodies. I wish I had more time to stop at them all. Here are a couple of more places I could have visited while on the road. At least I snapped a photo of some of them…
Other Places I could have gone
Check back in a couple of days for Part 4: Leftovers – all the other places
Following is a gallery of over 300 photos of my travels in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Japan and the Philippines, covering a span of nearly 40 years. The unique thing about all of these is that I am in the photos.
Over the years I have taken nearly 30,000 photos of my travels and in most cases I have not been in the photos. Over the coming months I will add new galleries that are thematic. this is the first one. Enjoy!!
Today (Feb. 15, 2013) was one of those delightful days when I got to enjoy most of my passions…mainly travel, photography and music. Ultimately, the main reason for the trip was to go to Elizabethtown to see Tommy Emmanuel and Michael Kelsey. But, I took the long way to do it. Following is a map with the stops I made.
I drove from Lexington thru Danville and then into Perryville. I made a quick drive through the old Merchant’s Row area of Perryville.
After Perryville it was on to the small village of Gravel Switch, KY. grew up around a gravel quarry on a spur line of the L&N railroad around 1870. There is not much there now but a small Amish school, a Post Office, a bank and a few houses.
Not far from Gravel Switch is perhaps the most famous place in the area…Penn’s Store.
According to its website, “Penn’s Store is the oldest country store in America being run continuously by the same family. It has been in the Penn family since 1850.” There is a nice writeup about it here.
The drive from Gravel Switch to Penns Store Road is a bit complicated, but, once I figured it out, it was easy… After passing through Gravel Switch, follow Hwy 243 until you get to a fork in the road where 243 goes left and Hwy 337 goes strait to Bradfordsville. Follow Hwy 243 past the Forkland Community sign and continue until you go over a big bridge at the point where Forkland Rd. continues to the left and Hwy 243 goes right. Immediately after the bridge you will see the signs above. Penn’s Store is straight ahead.
When I arrived I was met by some very friendly white Labradors. They greeted me with total friendliness. Unfortunately, those were the only greeters as the store is currently closed for repairs from a big flood a couple of years ago. They hope to reopen in mid-April 2013.
Perhaps one of the more famous stories is the dedication of the Penn’s Privy outhouse. The outhouse was built in 1992 and is made of poplar and has a tin roof. It is a “one-holer.” The dedication was held with several musical friends lending their talents to the days festivities. The shows were headlined by Chet Atkins and Billy Edd Wheeler (who wrote the Grammy awarded Johnny Cash song “Jackson”). Billy Edd also wrote the song “Ode to the Little Brown Shack Out Back”. The Chet Atkins connection is pretty unique since the evening show with Tommy Emmanuel will have some dedicatory pieces for Chet. Read the amazing story of Chet and Tommy here. In Nashville in 1999, Tommy was honored by his mentor, Chet Atkins with the title of “Certified Guitar Player” for his contribution to fingerstyle guitar, a rare distinction shared by only four other people in the world (Jerry Reed, Steve Wariner, John Knowles and Paul Yandell). More about that later.
I soon left the little knob in the woods and headed back up to Hwy 337 to venture towards Bradfordsville, another quiet little town of a little over 300. Needing a pit stop, I stopped at Patches Mini Mart…an old style country gas station and Mom and Pop type of cafe. As I found out when I went in, “Patches” is the nickname for owner Patsy Morgeson, who is the chief cook and bottle washer too. She was a charmer and let me take some photos inside. I was hungry and though on a mainly vegan regimen, I broke down to have her speciality – fried bologna sandwich with egg and cheese. Yes, the total antithesis of vegan… But it was really really good.
I was reminded of Antsy McClain’s song “Mom and Pop Don’t Work Here No More,” as I spoke to Patches. Located only 9 miles from Lebanon, KY, she is seeing many of her clientele go there to the fast food joints and big box store. She told me that she is not sure how much longer she will be able to stay in business. I hope Patches and the hundreds of others like here across this country can stay in business so that they can live the dream.
I soon found myself back in the car headed toward Lebanon as many of Patche’s customers now do. But, Lebanon, the geographic center of Kentucky, would have only have one stop on the road for me…the National Cemetery…in the dead center of Kentucky!!
Lebanon National Cemetery, is the final resting place for more than 800 Union Civil War veterans, many of whom are buried as unknown soldiers. Like its sister cemetery Camp Nelson in nearby Nicholasville, KY, the site is comprised of nicely laid out rows of white marble grave markers of both the unknown soldiers as well as many other veterans. In fact, as I was taking this photo, a procession was on its way into the grounds for another veteran burial.
From Lebanon I made my way to Raywick (per recommendation of Patche’s and her assistant at the Mini Mart). This small village was first settled in 1778 by Henry Prather and James and John Ray. In 1811, Lloyd Ray married a Nancy Wickliffe, thus the name Raywick. Raywick is also home to a large Catholic Church.
Heading west from Raywick I meandered towards Hwy 527, also known as Scott Ridge Rd. Saw this sign on the way out of town…notice it says “Your Leaving”… LOL
The drive up Scott Ridge is very scenic as it takes you high up on a hill overlooking the valley below. At the crest of the hill is a cement lookout, which lets you see over 100 square miles of the scenic Rolling Fork River valley below. Using my iPhone Panaorama feature, I captured the following photo of the view below:
Here are a couple more from my Nikon:
I proceeded south on 527 to Maple Road and turned right. I followed this windy path of a road to Social Band Road (what a name…)
I continued north to Atilla Rd and then West to KY 210 (Campbellsville Rd.). I went north on that road to Hwy 1192 (Bailey Rd) and followed it all the way to Mt. Sherman Ward Rd. This road winded southward eventually passing Buck Rub Lane and Fatboy Blvd. You gotta love the names of some of these roads.
Further down the road I came across this little white house with a sign “God’s House” on it. I am assuming it is a church, but I wondered if God’s house is really this small….
I continued west on Hwy 1906 towards Magnolia. Very rural scenery continued. I love old barns and reminders that I am in Amish country.
I followed KY 1079 west and then proceeded north up Munfordville Rd. to Hwy 1517 (Oak Hill Road). At that corner I came across an old log cabin, shown below. This is one of those delights you run across while traveling the less beaten paths.
I headed north up Oak Hill Rd until I got to Talley Oak Hill Rd, where I tool a left and then the next right was my second goal location of the trip (first was Penn’s Store). Here I came across Wonderland Rd. The name drew some interest for me…but there really isn’t much of a wonderland on this road.
The trailer above had smoke coming out of the smoke stack, no apparent electricity and only a bike parked in front. Makes me wonder who is really living in wonderland….
Wonderland Road ended up at Sonora Road, where I took a left and that brought me to US 31W. I headed south towards Bonnieville and then into Munfordville.
Before getting into downtown Munfordville I drove by a Barbecue place called Big Bubba Bucks Belly Bustin BBQ Bliss. I have always loved the names of local BBQ joints (and I have also enjoyed stopping at them to eat). Unfortunately, I was running out of time so I wasn’t able to stop. Catfish, fried pickles, sweet tater fries, collard greens and BBQ. Hmmm…
My third planned stop on this trip was Kentucky Stonehenge., a small replica of the fabled Stonehenge from England. Actually, it really isn’t quite a replica, but is fun and worth the stop. Located just off of Interstate 65 at exit 65, go just a bit south on US-31 towards Munfordville. Turn right on Maple St (where you should see the sign above) and then left on Lynn Ave. You will see it in the back yard of a house on the right. The owners have even created a parking area for visitors.
Over the years I have become close friends with many of these performers thru Eddie and Antsy McClain. I was thrilled to also see Edgar Cruz, an amazing Flamenco guitarist from Oklahoma City who came out to the show. I also visited with Bardstown, Kentucky fingerstyle guitarist Pat Kirtley. All of these guitarists are the best in the business, but also are amazing entertainers. All have performed at the John Hardin Performing Arts Center due to Eddie Mattingly’s great efforts. Their posters adorn the wall of the PAC Green Room:
Needless to say, the show was not only magical, it was breathtaking. Both Michael, who opened the show and then Tommy, played sets that astounded the crowd and kept us totally entertained and amazed at the same time. It is by far the best musical show I have ever been to. And I have been to some pretty amazing ones over the years!! The photography from the show was by my good friend and photographer Marc Manning. One of the best horse photographers in Kentucky, he is also a premiere concert and landscape photographer.
This day began with me Enjoying the Ride, but ended with me on an absolute high from the music, the friends and the road trip. It was an unforgettable day!!
Though I can’t add video from last night’s show, you may want to check out some of the videos on YouTube and on their sites.