Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A Dream is a Wish Your Stomach Makes

Scott, Tod and I were on our way to Altoona, PA for what has become our annual pilgrimage to the AIDS benefit at Escapade Bar. Abigail wasn't performing this year due to "The Blood Clot Incident" so Scott and I were along as Drag Lackey and Cocktail Lackey.

Last year our hosts had taken us out to dinner at Cracker Barrel. Very thoughtful of them, but certainly not a place I would ever choose to dine on my own. So this year when I heard they were taking us to dinner I asked Tod that we please not eat at Cracker Barrel. Certainly Altoona has to have some local cuisine that could outmatch the "Barrel". I mean, on any given day Denny's pretty much does. We wound up at...

Just a quick hop over to Holidaysburg.

The Dream, and it was pretty dreamy. We had a very brief wait for our table and while we were waiting we were simply blown away by the bakery's display case. Sorry, I didn't get a picture of that. It was just bursting with every type of pastry you could ever need, want, or desire. They even had gluten free items, which I think is a great sign of the times.

Anyway, we were seated and then came the difficult task of choosing what to order.

Fairly sizable menu.

Usually when I'm confronted by a menu of this diversity, I wait to hear what the specials are, and I'm glad I did. We all ordered and then the waitress brought the bread. If you've followed my blog at all, you know my stance on processed flour, but even I couldn't resist the hot, fluffy goodness that was placed before us.

I did stick with the whole wheat one tho. No sense goin crazy!

I  did not sample the cinnamon/sugar butter that came with the bread. 100% butter was just fine with me. The guys said the flavored butter was great and Scott even took the leftovers back to the hotel with him. Next came our salads.

Creamy, savory cole slaw

I opted for the cole slaw once I discovered that it wasn't a sweet version. I have to be fairly cautious with my veggie choices because of "The Blood Clot Incident", too much green stuff and my blood thickens up like molasses on a winter day. I am a sucker for a good cole slaw. This one was creamy enough to stick to the cabbage, but still delightfully slick on the tongue. I really liked the addition of the paprika, it gave the dish a nice little splash of color.

Ok, I've been teasing you a bit with my choice of main course...and I'm going to continue for just a bit and discuss what the other ordered. Tod got ribs, which were one of the specials. Huge serving, he couldn't finish it and still be able to perform later. Scott got some sort of something with steamed veggies. He seemed to like it but I still have know idea what it was. Tod's friends got hot roast beef and hot turkey sandwiches which looked amazing and was making be debate whether I had made the right selection. But then my plate came and any doubt immediately vanished.

Chicken Cordon Bleu and FRIES!

Heaven! OMG!!! There were a few things about this dish that were different from other CCB's I've had. First, it wasn't rolled. The cheese and the ham had been rolled, but then they were just placed beneath the chicken breast and baked. I found this style more enjoyable from the slicing and eating standpoint. It created a much more balanced flavor. You weren't getting more chicken than filling because there was only one layer or chicken, not a roll. The other delightful aspect of the dish was that the ham was sliced very thin. So often with CCB's it's just a chunk of ham stuck in the middle. No fun. The fries were amazing too. Crispy, hot and tender in the middle...exactly the way I love them. Not to mention the fact that there was, what I believe to be, homemade ranch dressing to dip them in.

The real shame is that after all of this food, none of us had any room left to sample anything from the bakery case. I really wanted to try one of those gluten free brownies and in hindsight probably should have gotten one to go.

Oh well...that just gives me a good reason to dream The Dream again!

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