Saturday, June 3, 2017

Hipsters Are The New Amish in Lancaster, PA

I travel to Carlisle, Pennsylvania, for work sometimes, in the past flying into Harrisburg.  More recently, having switched my loyalties to Southwest, I decided to try flying into Baltimore and driving up.  I took a detour this time to Lancaster city, to reconnect with an old friend as a pit stop.

I think that I was expecting a cow town filled with Amish tourist attractions and buggies, but the city itself is very much... a city.  But given its long history, it's full of old architecture.  And hipsters.  Lots of art students and hipsters.  It seems like the place is going through a bit of a revival since around 2010, with a vibrant art school and business popping up.  I did notice a pretty visible contingent of homeless persons, but I felt safe and enjoyed the old buildings.

Since it was a work day, and I had some time to kill before dinner with my friend, I settled into a coffee shop with my trusty laptop to get #girlboss things done.  The Prince Street Cafe was full of students, and it was very welcoming and cute!

For lunch, I had a rice bowl with chicken, and a chai latte later for some caffeine.  It was tasty, and I definitely need to make this as a meal more at home.

For dinner, my friend and I ate at a beautiful restaurant called Aussie and the Fox.  I'd read reviews on Yelp that it was good, and I fell in love!  Lancaster seems to be full of local spots like these, but I don't know how many are as beautiful!  This one served an interesting hybrid of Australian and American upscale cuisine.

I kind of want to have an entire house decorated like this place.  The beautiful booths, mirrors, exposed brick... call me basic, but I love restaurants decorated like this.

One of my favorite things was their cocktail menu.  There were so many drinks I wanted to try!  I even snapped a picture of the menu, so I could try to get Dan to create some similar ones at home.  Mine was the Pink Paper Daisy, with tequila, lemon juice, Solerno, house-made grenadine, lemon juice, and orange bitters.  Uh, hello, gorgeous!  I like my alcohol to sneak up on me (hence, I'm not a whiskey drinker), and the server had great recommendations.  I narrowed it down to a few, and she helped me decide.

My dinner was phenomenal, y'all.   There were so many choices, and I definitely got a great one!  I chose the Australian pie, which reminded me of a cottage pie of sorts, but it was roasted chicken, mashed potato, onion jus, and tomato jam.  I Googled to see if this is a thing, and meat pies are definitely an Australian dish, but this one was definitely skewing fancy and more gourmet than what the interwebz was showing me.  Boy, I'd love to eat this on a chilly day in front of a fire.  Yum.  Definitely worth trying.

So in a way, I came to Lancaster for the Amish vibe, but I left delighted with what I found nonetheless.  I would love to come back and try more spots, because it's just such a neat place!

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