Sunday, July 25, 2010

Good Earth in Coopersburg

Thanks to the sandwich board that touted "snacks for trips" and ice cream, I noticed Good Earth Grains & Creamery (23 S. Main St., Coopersburg) while I was on my way to meet Court for lunch yesterday at The Brick Tavern Inn (2460 Old Bethlehem Pike, Quakertown).

Good Earth Grains & Creamery is an old time country store located inside the former Fluck's Hardware Store. Good Earth carries a wide variety of pre-packaged traditional & organic bulk foods and is HEAVEN for anyone with a gluten intolerance. (See below for half of the gluten products on display today). For the rest of us, there are Emmaus Bakery pastries and doughnuts as big as your face.

Good Earth also serves 32 flavors of Nelson's old fashioned hand-dipped ice cream. I got a regular cup with a scoop of "espresso explosion" and a scoop of coconut almond joy.

While I was on a coconut kick, I picked up a bag of coconut macaroon mix, mandarin orange poppyseed dip/dressing mix, and a bag of whole wheat apple cinnamon bars for snacks. I don't often cruise down Main Street in Coopersburg, but if I need something before the next time I'm in the neighborhood, I can order online! Before you go, check out the virtual tour on their web site.

Every borough deserves a Good Earth! Does your municipality have a gem like Good Earth? And if you live in Coopersburg, do you love this place?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

This afternoon I stopped by an event announcing plans for an International Culinary Arts School and restaurant on 7th Street in Allentown. This project is an initiative of 7th Street's Main Street program and seeks to adaptively reuse a vacant building on 7th Street to export the Italian culinary arts culture to the Lehigh Valley.

The Baum School of Art (510 W Linden St, Allentown) was the backdrop for the announcement, and representatives from CACLV, the City of Allentown (the mayor himself! although he didn't attempt any Italian), the rest of the project team, and interested "stakeholders," including Tamara from the Parking Authority, the gang from the Baum School, and friends of Pete's (like me) were present to watch Jacii Farris of WFMZ-69 do her thing.

Italian Culinary Arts school representatives Maria Tagliafierro, Dante Tacani and Massimo Napoli of the Nino Bergese Italian Culinary Arts Schools were in town to take a tour and continue the year and a half long discussion between both American and Italian representatives. Plans for the building include redeveloping an Old Allentown mansion into a school, restaurant and housing for exchange students and instructors. LCCC is expected to have a part in the curriculum as well.

The late Nino Bergese was the personal chef for the last King of Italy, and the school he founded in Savona, Italy, remains a benchmark for experts all over the world.

The project will be fantastic - if it can secure the necessary funding to make it happen. I have high hopes for the project, and if anyone can pull it off, it's this team. Best wishes.

PS Speaking of great Italian food, when I was in the lobby of the Holiday Inn in Allentown earlier in the afternoon, I overheard some visitors debating where to get a late lunch in downtown Allentown. Since they said they'd already been to Brew Works, I recommended Kow Thai, maybe a 4-block walk from the hotel. I was informed that "Frank doesn't do Thai," and not knowing who Frank was, thought of Sweet Italian as a backup. Yummy Italian and Mexican food - many dishes with ingredients most Americans recognize. The hotel concierge quickly jumped in and handed them a menu - this woman knows her stuff - and I confirmed with her after the meeting that they did go to Sweet Italian. Hope they liked it!

Bicycling in the Lehigh Valley

Bike riding is both exercise and play. Plus, with the recent heat wave, it's sometimes the only tolerable workout (other than "swimming," which we all know is really just floating or standing for most people - admit it!). I've got three updates that might interest anyone who can ride a "two-wheeler" (without training wheels).

I'm a big fan of Laini's Little Pocket Guide and now @writercarrie is contributing to her blog. This week Carrie wrote about great places to ride your bike. My street bike's tires aren't made for trails, but I've found that the Lehigh Parkway and streets of the cities are peachy for a workout or transportation. Still wondering what became of the bike racks in front of Bethlehem Brew Works...

I just learned that Performance Bicycle (934 Airport Center Drive in the Airport Center in Hanover Township) will celebrate the grand opening of its first Allentown location July 23-25 with the Bike Tube Blow-Out, a recycling program sponsored by Performance and Liberty Tire Recycling, the largest scrap tire recycler in the country. Bring used or blown-out inner tubes to the store and receive up to three $5 gift cards for each tube they recycle.

John at Cutters Bike Shop (418 E. Third St., Bethlehem) just helped me pick out a bike rack that will work on my car and serve my purposes. I can usually shove my bike in the back seat by removing the front wheel but I realized during a weekend getaway that this method does not work when you have backseat passengers (sorry Kirwei and Kari!). He's even going to help me put my new Yakima King Joe 2 on my car.

Roll on, riders!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Pie-eating contest at Blueberry Festival

I missed the Blueberry Festival this weekend at Burnside Plantation in Bethlehem, but I wanted to share the funny pictures I received from my friend Kim, who works for RCN.

Historic Bethlehem Partnership's next scheduled event is their annual Turkey Trot run/walk event through Bethlehem, the Saturday after Thanksgiving.