Thursday, February 19, 2009
Road Trip - Stoudt's Antique Mall & Brewery
Halfway between Philly and Harrisburg you'll find a clever day trip destination for the antique obsessed and beer-seeker, the Stoudt's 'Compound'. There is plenty of good ink spilled about the history of Stoudt's in Pennsylvania brewing, but they've built a mini-empire around the brewery. There's also a bakery, a restaurant and a sprawling 400+ vendor antique mall in on Sundays.
Walking around the labrynth of cast-away decor and kitchsy clutter, you could find an interesting thing or two to stop and look at. One of the more interesting objects in the mall was an old post office cabinet, complete with combination-lock P.O. Boxes...made me think of what checking your mail was like in some rural post-office 80 years ago.
Elizabeth was on the hunt for Bakelite bangles (there was rumored to be one vendor amongst the hundreds with a decent collection), I was on the hunt for beer. They have a 'festhaus' of sorts that sits between the brewery & mall. After bagging a few good bangles, Elizabeth & I tucked into a pint at the bar.
I was a bit disappointed with the taps selection, as I wanted to try their seasonal barleywine but theywere only tapping the stuff you can get in the bottle.
I had the Fat Dog Stout...rich and heavy...not too bad, but one was enough.
Elizabeth's red-tinged Scarlet ESB was a more balanced beer...I can see why this is one of thier better-known beers.
After scoping out the 'festhaus', we navigated our way through the mall and back into the restaurant. The bar was a mob-scene; the bar-tender swore he'd never seen it so busy.
We waited about 30 minutes for a spot at the bar, then ordered up some beer-friendly food.
The schnitzel was delicious...thin but not tough, perfectly breaded and not greasy. Resting on a bed of spatzle that was perfectly tender but not at all mushy. The dish was lacking seasoning though...we vigourously shook the salt on this one.
The schnitzel and stout had already pushed me across the oh-so-bad-for-you food line, so we threw some onion rings on top of the order. Huge and chunky, full onion rings...no chopped-reformed rings here.