Visit to Wilkes-Barre

On Friday morning, Nate and I hopped in the car and escaped New York City for the quiet of my hometown: Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. After our 3 hour drive, one of the first things we did was pay a visit to Nate’s “mecca” otherwise known as Sanitary Bakery. I’ve brought him back some goodies from this bakery before, but this was the first time that he actually saw the place for himself. Unfortunately we arrived rather late in the day and most of the shelves were bare. Nevertheless, Nate managed to score a giant frosted sugar cookie and a 4th of July cupcake for $1.15. Sweet! He even gave me a few bites of the cupcake. I’ve had my fair share of Sanitary Bakery cake over the years, but its moistness and lightness never fail to impress me. This was a completely different kind of cupcake than the behemoths at Magnolia and Crumbs, but I loved its old-fashioned flavor!

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After our bakery visit, we headed to the newly opened Riverwalk downtown. We strolled along the Susquehanna River for about an hour.

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Around 7pm, we met my family at a local restaurant called Dukey’s Cafe. One of the best things about Wilkes-Barre is the prices. Compared to Manhattan, everything is so cheap! I started off with an unsweetened iced tea and a side salad with a bit of french dressing on the side.

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One of my side dishes was homemade coleslaw. This looked very different from the slaw I’m used to, but it was amazing! The cabbage seemed to be grated into very small pieces and it had a nice sweet and tangy flavor.

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For my entree, I chose the homemade broiled crabcakes (check out the pieces of bell pepper in the patty) with french fries. I was only able to eat one of the crabcakes (was getting so full!), but it was yummy. I loved dipping the crispy crab into the pickle-y tartar sauce. Yum!

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My mom was very excited about her dinner and wanted me to take a photo – she ordered marinated chicken breast with pineapple, homemade mashed potatoes with gravy, and summer vegetable casserole.

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Nate chose the chicken parmesan sandwich with fries. He gave me a bite and the grilled chicken, marinara sauce, and melt-y mozzarella cheese were delish and the portion was huge. The deals at this little restauant are pretty amazing!

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After our dinner digested a bit, we picked up my friend Joe and headed out to Dallas (Pennsylvania) to Hillside Farms Dairy. This dairy has been in operation for nearly 130 years! Although it’s only 5 minutes from the busy highway, once you arrive, it feels as though you’re taken back in time.

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Hillside Farms has is a working dairy that also boasts an on-site ice cream shoppe and a dairy store. Joe was very excited to get a cup of vanilla softserve with gummi bears.

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I chose a small cup of chocolate-vanilla frozen yogurt with Reese’s Pieces. I was nice enough to give a few bites to Nate 🙂 He was still pretty full from his Chicken Parm sub!

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After we enjoyed our ice cream, we explored the dairy store. In the cooler case, I found glass bottles and bladders full of farm fresh milk!

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Hillside Farms butter:

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Homemade ice cream!!!!! I need to figure out a way to transport this stuff back to NYC. They had all kinds of amazing flavors – cinnamon, peanut butter & banana, and more. Drool…..

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Local honey from Pennsylvania apiaries:

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In addition to the milk, butter, and ice cream that I listed above, the dairy store also stocks:

  • Artisan crafted farmstead cheese
  • Eggs from free-range chickens
  • Unique snacks including old-style “penny candy” and natural treats like granola, trail mix, nuts & seeds.
  • Delicious baked goods
  • Local, fresh, farmstand-quality food & produce
  • Green Mountain Coffee

I’ve been going to Hillside Farms for years, but I guess I only ever noticed the ice cream shoppe. I’m already planning my next trip…and it will involved a cooler and plenty of ice packs. I NEED to get a take-home gallon of that peanut butter and banana ice cream 🙂