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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Red Roof Inn Review ~ Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania

While the boys and I were on our road trip last week, I decided to book our rooms ahead of time. I debated about leaving it open ended and seeing how far I could get and maybe even get better prices. But in the end I knew that with the long distance we had to cover and in such a short period of time, it would be better to know a room was waiting for us. I ended up using Hotwire and Priceline to book our rooms. Our first night we were staying at the Red Roof Inn in Wilkes-Barre, PA. 

I was really impressed with the front desk clerk. We arrived a little before 9 at night and it was so nice after a long day of travel to be greeted with such a friendly face. She had everything ready for us and it was a breeze to check in.

I was in love with their garden they had outside the lobby. I would like to hire their gardener for my backyard (if I can briefly pretend that I have the money to hire a gardener).

We got our room at the bargain price of $37 (through Priceline). We certainly got more than our moneys worth out of it. It was conveniently located right off the highway, beautiful landscaping, friendly staff, and a clean room. The room is listed as recently renovated and it definitely had a new feel to it. I saw tiny little things that didn't effect our enjoyment at all but made me question how great of a renovation occurred (the base of the wall that met the carpet was starting to separate). It certainly didn't make us enjoy the room any less and wouldn't stop me from staying here again.

Overall, we had a comfortable stay at the Red Roof Inn and wouldn't hesitate to stay here again. If you would like to try them out for yourself, they are located at 1035 Hwy 315, Wilkes-Barre, PA.

Anthracite Cafe Review ~ Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania

Due to my slightly obsessive trip planning, I had our restaurant picked out two weeks before we arrived in Wilkes-Barre for our one night stop over. Trip Advisor was my friend while planning the trip. I scoured the reviews online and then poured over the menus of the contenders. After weeks of evaluating my choices, I finally narrowed it down to the Anthracite Cafe.

It is located in the middle of a neighborhood. I got the impression that this was a popular place for the locals. The parking lot was completely full when we arrived (and it was already 9 pm), so we took this as a good sign. When we first arrived, we entered into the bar area and waited a little awkwardly at the entrance for awhile until we finally got someone's attention (to be fair we were there late for dinner and I don't think they were expecting anyone else for dinner). We were brought to a table and settled in.

The waitress greeted us and quickly brought out our drink orders.
I started with a Margarita. I am spoiled in Portland, Maine with all of our craft cocktails so I am an unfair judge for this Margarita. I believe this was made with a mixer. It still tasted pretty good and was much needed after our first long day on the road.

We ordered an appetizer of the fried mozzarella. Riley was initially put off that it was one large square of cheese instead of sticks. But once he tried it, he could not stop talking about how good it was (like seriously, the whole trip I had to hear about how good this was). Make sure you eat this when you go here.

I was digging the decorations in the dining room. Lots of great signs from the different beer companies. It was fun checking them all out.

For Gabrian's dinner, he went with the Clams Appetizer. While he still prefers as his main shellfish, he still enjoyed eating these clams. I was able to snag one and it was super tender (and no sand or grit which I absolutely hate finding in my clams).

Riley picked out the Crab Cake Sandwich. He is a sucker for crab cakes and he found this delicious. He polished it off before I blinked. Based on how fast he inhaled this, I am going to declare this choice as a success.

I ordered the Mountain Burger that was topped with some pretty amazing Onion Rings. I really enjoyed this burger but was only able to make it through half before I had to call it quits (Riley was more than happy to oblige and finish it off for me). 
I also tried out the Hell or High Watermelon that was on draft. I loved this. It was so light and refreshing. I could definitely taste notes of watermelon in it.

We ended the meal by sharing a slice of the Big Chocolate Cake. It was ok (probably the only flop for us of the meal) but we have definitely had better.
Overall, we had a very enjoyable experience at the Anthracite Cafe and would definitely go back the next time we are in town. If you would like to try them out for yourself, they are located at 804 Scott Street, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Vernon Diner Review ~ Vernon, Connecticut

The boys and I just returned from an awesome road trip (trip details will be coming soon and lots of reviews!). We left around noon this past Wednesday and had a picnic lunch packed. Around late afternoon we were ready for a snack and we knew that dinner was going to be late. We saw a sign for the Vernon Diner on the side of the highway and decided to give them a try.
They are attached to the Days Inn and are open 24 hours daily. If you are staying at this hotel, I would definitely hit them up for dinner (and maybe for breakfast the next day too!).

There menu was huge and most of the items were homemade (I love that!). They also have a huge display of desserts that are made in house as well. 
We started off with a round of waters. I like how they served it in nice big glasses because we were so thirsty after being in the car for hours.

Riley went with the carrot cake. The cake was moist and flavorful. I would have preferred a cream cheese frosting instead of a whipped cream frosting but Riley liked it just fine. The cake slice was huge and definitely tided him over until we were able to make it until dinner.

Gabrian picked out the Strawberry Cheesecake (we were shocked that he turned down the chocolate cake with chocolate chips coating the outside). This cheesecake is as huge as it looks and minus the one bite I was allowed to have, he gobbled the rest right down. The bite I got was great and wouldn't have minded having my own slice.

I picked the homemade chili served with tortilla chips. I added a splash of tobacco sauce and hit the spot for me. It was thick and filling and I could definitely taste that they had made it there.

Overall our visit to Vernon Diner, was a great spot to keep us going on the road. If you would like to try them out for yourself, they are located at 453 Hartford Turnpike (Rt. 30), Vernon, Connecticut.