Saturday, June 25, 2011

Oh Happy Days: A Review of Happy Days Diner

Hearts: LOTS of dessert choices, coupons!
Farts: HUGE portion sizes (I know, how can that be a bad thing?) and some things TOO sweet

Young Old Fart Says....

I was really excited to try out this diner knowing that it had a ton of desserts to try out.

From gelato, to cake to pie...there really was anything to suit your hearts desire. 

YAH and I went twice. Once for sundaes and another time for cake and pie. The sundae experience was definitely unforgettable, but probably not in the best way. At the waitress's recommendation I got their brownie sundae with vanilla, chocolate, and coffee gelato, a brownie, chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, whipped cream and a cherry. I know, I know it sounds like enough to feed an entire army. I knew it would be big but normally portion sizes never deter me. 

Even when this sucker came out I thought, "I can totally pack this away." I took the first bite and it was glorious, the gelato was just divine. However, I eventually made it to the brownie and was completely thrown off by its sweetness. In my mind brownies are a more chocolatey fudgey goodness, not so much a carrier for super sweet chocolate chips and sugar rushes. While the brownie was overtaking my sweet tooth, the second I hit the coffee gelato I almost blew out of my seat. Now, I love coffee flavored ice cream...I have to tell you this gelato was like taking a spoon and diving into your Foldger's container. It was WAY too strong. Ironically enough, though I was thinking this the whole time I was eating this sundae, I ended up finishing off the whole thing. Need proof?

It wasn't until after I finished the entire thing that the waitress informed me, "Normally it takes three of us to eat this and even then we don't finish it! Hehehehehehe" Well...I paid for eating three waitress portions worth of this concoction, trust me. The sugar rush from this bad boy knocked me out for the rest of day. I am not diabetic, but after my Friday afternoon sugar coma I think I can sympathize. Now don't think I won't be coming back for more gelato goodness, I definitely will. But next time I plan to create my own dreamy sundae so I can control the sweetness level and the amount of hours I plan to be comatose : ) 

Kittens and fudge,

Young At Heart Says...

We were on a mission. You see, Young Old Fart is now in the throws of summer school at UNCW and swears that the only thing that keeps her going is our Friday dessert dates. Off we went in search of their renowned Sundaes to fill her veins with renewed perseverance (better known as a sugar rush).  The sundae selection is vast and I DO mean vast. In addition you can create your own gelato concoctions.

I choose their Almond Joy Sundae. It was definitely a joy to the palette albeit a bit sweet for my older taste buds. Combining the three known ingredients of the Almond Joy Bar one will find Coconut, chocolate and almond gelato topped with chocolate sauce, almond brittle, whipped cream and a cherry.

On my next outing to this 50's throwback I will be bringing a Sundae sharing buddy to help me polish off this huge sundae. As you know by now, Young Old Fart NEVER shares a dessert. I was left to my own demise and almost finished it off but not quite.

We will be returning in the near future...more updates to follow. I have my eyes on another yummy dessert I spied!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Live Out Loud:Port City Pottery and Fine Crafts

Hearts: Supports local artists, large selection of beautiful original art works
Farts: None

Young At Heart Says...

I was thrilled to find what reminds me of a NY art gallery. Tucked inside The Cotton Exchange is this lovely pottery and fine crafts boutique, Port City Pottery and Fine Crafts.  It has a wide variety of artisans, all using a wide variety of materials to produce their works of art.

As so often is said...a picture says a thousand words.  I will let the pictures tell this story...

This is just a small sampling of the exquisite artworks that abound here. Come see for yourself or better yet, make a date with a friend to attend Fourth Friday Gallery Nights!

And live out loud they do! You can't help but be enthralled by the different "music" that each artist expresses in this well crafted gallery. It is a feast for the eyes and food for the soul.

Friday, June 10, 2011

A Pressing Matter: Press 102 Restaurant Review

Hearts: Affordable, local ingredients, wonderful panini selection. 
Farts: Limited inside seating and closed on Tuesdays

Young At Heart says...

Just about a block from the lovely Cape Fear River in downtown Wilmington,  Press 102 can be found.

A Florida friend of mine was visiting and while taking a historical walking tour of Wilmington, we were fortunate to get referred to this gem of a restaurant by three lovely business woman headed over there for lunch.  Originally my intention was take my friend to the Brewery but after their rave reviews from these loyal locals…I was hooked.

The atmosphere is cozy but upscale.  Definitely reminiscent of my NY soho days but fitting for downtown Wilmington. We were the last to fill up the inside of the restaurant which attests to its popularity with the local business crowd. Immediately I started perusing their menu. Lots and lots to choose from for lunch.

I choose a soup and salad combo. The squash soup was pleasantly flavored and tasted delicious. My salad was traditional mixed greens sided with wedges of tomato and topped with fresh cheese. I have to admit that there were many items on their lunch menu that I wished to try. The chief incorporates fresh herbs and locally acquired fare in his menus selections. The Panini selection is impressive as well as a choice of seven salads that one can top with blackened chicken or salmon for an additional charge.

My friend ordered their quiche of the day with a side of fresh fruit. Her asparagus quiche was also flavorful (we always share). Hats off to this local chef's well presented plates with a wide menu selection for lunch.

Of course I ended with dessert.  A lovely warm brownie clothed in vanilla ice cream, caramel and chocolate sauce. Yum is all I can say!

They are open Wednesday - Sat - 8 am until…and Sunday for brunch from 9am - 3pm.

I will be going back for sure!  And I am adding this one to my "guest" list…my future guests are sure to be pleased.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Fuzzy Peach....Take Two...Three!

Hearts: Yummy good!
Farts: Parking

Young At Heart says...

They did it again! The Fuzzy Peach has recently opened a third location in Wilmington.

This location is at 310 Front St., Wilmington, N.C.

It is just as good as their other locations and offers up the same delicious frozen yogurts! And...just in time for summer.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Belle of The Ball: Review of Bellamy Mansion Tour

Hearts: Wonderful historical tour, fairly priced, entertaining tour guides
Farts: Reminds one of darker days gone by

I was very pleasantly surprised on the Bellamy Mansion tour.  I am not a history buff per se but I do enjoy a good yarn now and then.  Our tour guide was a lovely lady filled with not just the architectural detail and  historical details of Bellamy Mansion but she had a rare flare that intertwined the personal lives of Bellamy's previous owners. So much so, I still want to go back and get a book in their gift shop about one of the home's original slaves.  He had apparently escaped via the Cape Fear River and his memoirs were later published in this book.  

Indeed, this tour guide made my day!! In addition she captured the true essence of why I moved to Wilmington in the first place, the grace of southern hospitality.  She reminded me of a true history artisan.  One that was able to keep the audience fully captivated with enough details to entice you into the past.  I was definitely doing a dance with a grand lady on this day.

Bellamy Mansion offers the visitor a spectacular architectural preview of days gone by. Her graceful columns, pocketed doors, chandeliers and grand rooms speak to a time in history when ball gowns and parasols dominated even though this mansion was referred to as a "working" mansion.  But underneath her finery lingered slave quarters and segregated bathrooms. A time in our history when suppression and slavery prevailed.  Such a contrast is evident in almost every corner of this mansion. Such a contrast, I believe we need to more fully understand.

The tour is a paradox. It is enjoyable for the beauty of Bellamy Mansion but it is also heart breaking as it reminds us of a time when our country used men, women, and children to build plantations upon while robbing them of their freedom.

I will carry the history of this belle with me forever.  In the pictures I took, in the memory of our wonderful tour guide but more poignantly in the memory of those who sacrificed their freedom to both run Bellamy Mansion and her plantations as well as to help build the city of Wilmington.

This is one tour you should not miss!