This past weekend was Parent's Weekend at school, and it couldn't have been more fun to have my dad in town even if just for 48 hours to hang out. Besides getting to see my dad, parent's weekend is sheer enjoyment because it's a chance to break out of Bethlehem for a couple days, eat real food, shower without shoes on, and restock on anything I need very conveniently. My dad and I discovered some really amazing restaurants, and not only was the food delicious, but comparing the food to the dining hall made the experience that much better.
My dad and I met before my third class on Friday at 11 AM. Afterwards, we picked up my roommate and went to brunch/lunch in Downtown Bethlehem at Billy's Downtown Diner. Billy's was recommended to me by a reader and I love trying out the places you suggest! It's known for it's brunch, and so that's just what we had.
My order: A pumpkin cappuccino and "South Side Grits" with chorizo.
Fun fact, I hate bacon. I know, who hates bacon?! A brunch enthusiast like me, too... Yeah it's weird, #sorrynotsorry!! But, if you know anything about what happened to my tastes buds back in New Orleans in April, when it comes to anything spicy or anything with the word "grits" you can bet it'll be on my plate. Of course, that means I had to order the grits topped with scallions and two over easy eggs, sub bacon for chorizo. Ugh, so good. The best part (besides the chorizo) was the dish included goat cheese, which is my favorite!
The pumpkin cappuccino was also really, really good. I love pumpkin anything in the fall because I'm super basic, and college has totally turned me into a coffee snob. This baby was totally worth every gram of sugar.
If I had to pick one thing I've missed most in the dining hall, it would be avocados. I am a self proclaimed avocado addict and I have no shame. Friday night, my dad and I checked into our hotel in downtown Allentown and went to dinner close to our hotel at Bell Hall.
My order: Avocado melt and "Honey Stung" Brussels sprouts.
So basically this meal was plain and simple: delicious. Like I said, I'd do anything for an avocado, and Brussels sprouts are my favorite veg. I had never had Brussels sprout done with honey though, but I have such a sweet tooth that the crispy, roasted, sweet combination was right up my alley!
For dessert we walked down the street to The Hamilton because the person at the hotel recommended the Whiskey Bar to my dad and he really wanted an aperitif, I guess. Or, I just demanded dessert and wanted to keep exploring...
Our Order: Lemon Creme Brûlée and Caramel Chocolate Banana Cheesecake
I really love cheesecake, and my dad and I have this weird thing for bananas. Like, if anything has bananas in it we pretty much just have to try it. However, the waitress didn't warn us that the cheesecake would be huge, and lemon creme brûlée sounded too intriguing to pass up, so we went ahead and ordered both. Wow, that creme brûlée.. we are still thinking about it! My dad and I both agree that the creme brûlée took the cake (ha, get it?) when comparing the two, because the little zing of lemon was such a unique burst of flavor and we couldn't get enough.
On Saturday we tailgated in the morning and then went to the Lehigh vs Colgate game all afternoon. We wanted to relax Saturday night, so we went to dinner and a late movie, and opted for pizza before. Of course, I could never go for any old pizza, so we discovered Centro, an eclectic spot also near our hotel with really nice pizza options.
Our order: Grilled artichoke hearts to start, the Risotto with spicy sausage and jalapeño and the "Funghi" pizza, which included mushrooms, burrata, caramelized onions, and truffle oil as entrees, and the "banana-misu" for dessert.
So let's take a minute to acknowledge the fact that being Italian, my dad and I know a few things about pizza and pasta. Like I said, I can go for anything spicy and gritty at anytime, so risotto with spicy sausage and jalapeños had to be done. The pizza and artichokes were my personal picks though, which did so not disappoint. I love artichokes, mushrooms, burrata, and truffle oil, so this meal really was a combination of a bunch of my faves, and although I couldn't finish the whole thing, if you'd made me, I wouldn't have complained (I did take the rest back with us, it was so worthy I wouldn't have considered leaving it behind!).
Ahh, and last but not least, Sunday brunch at Blue Sky Cafe right by Lehigh in South Bethlehem.
The Order: 2 scrambled eggs with a side of fruit for me, the "Mega Breakfast Sandwich" for my dad, and the best pumpkin pancake with maple butter to split.
When I went to brunch last Sunday with my friends I had the pumpkin pancakes from Blue Sky for the first time, and they immediately were awarded greatest pancakes of my life. I had to share the experience with my dad, but after all of the other heavy eating prior to Sunday brunch, I knew I wouldn't want the whole order for myself and suggested we split a pancake and I ordered eggs and fruit for myself. The real maple butter really just makes the cakes so incredible, you can't get enough. Ugh, the best for last for sure!
How was your weekend? Back to the dining hall this week for me, but then I'm sure it'll be another good ending when I touchdown in Chicago on Friday night!!! I seriously can't wait.