I live in DC, which is a great place to live and visit. I try to make the most of it. However, I also love to leave my home and see what the world has to offer. Come and join me!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Visit to Charming Milford, PA in the Poconos

Welcome to Milford

My travel companion and I drove to New Hampshire over the long weekend to visit his sister. We did the drive north from DC in one very long 10 hour go (helpful hint: never, ever drive through New York City), but decided that we'd break it up on the way home and take a little time to enjoy ourselves. We looked at the map and it appeared that the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area was just about halfway between New Hampshire and DC. After a quick look on TripAdvisor we decided on the Myer Country Motel in Milford, Pennsylvania. We gave them a call (reservations can only be made by telephone) and snagged the evening's last vacancy.

Myer Motel Sign The motel was easy to approach and to find, just five miles off I-84. It was founded in 1943 and keeps the old school motor inn style of the rooms being small cottages (some are duplexes) arranged around a lawn with a few picnic tables and barbecue spots, rather than the bland row of rooms you find in motels today.

Myer Motel Cottage It is completely adorable and we were thrilled to have one of the single cottages. The interior is cozy and clean with country style decor and a comfortable bed. The towels had been washed into a perfect softness and smelled of my favorite dryer sheets.

We settled in and then headed into town. Route 209, on which the Myer Motel is located, is the town's main drag. To walk there from the motel you have to walk on the shoulder of the road for a bit, which isn't fun, but once you get past that you're onto sidewalk and the town is very pedestrian friendly. There are only a few stoplights but there are several pedestrian crosswalks between the stoplights with signs to motorists saying they have to stop for pedestrians in the crosswalks. In DC this would be taken by drivers as a challenge to mow down as many pedestrians as possible, but we found that cars actually stopped for us when they saw us standing on the side of the road waiting for the road to clear so we could cross. Highly unusual!

CourthouseMilford is a quaint little town with beautiful old buildings. Since we're lawyers, we were intrigued by the courthouse, which still performs its original function.

Castle-y Thing I was also struck by this large old castle-y looking building, which has now been subdivided into little shops (our favorite name: "Reigning Cats and Dogs"; groan with me over the pun). Unfortunately, we arrived at around 6:30 on a Sunday evening and everything was closed, so we couldn't check out the shops or the historical buildings. This gives us a reason to come back!

After walking through the town we chose the Dimmick Inn to have a drink before dinner. We sat at the bar next to some people we took to be fellow tourists but in fact they were locals who lived about a mile down the road near the llama farm. We did not, alas, see the llama farm, but they are kept for their wool apparently. They were very friendly and we enjoyed hearing about the area. The bartender was also a local, just returned from Boston where he had been studying. I had a glass of wine but after seeing him expertly working the shaker I thought I should have ordered a cocktail! The restaurant at the Dimmick specializes in steak and burgers and the food we saw coming out looked good, but since I'm a vegetarian we decided to look for somewhere else.

Bar LouisWe decided on Bar Louis downstairs at the Hotel Fauchere. Although there is a bar, there is actually a lovely dining room downstairs. The decor is nice--pale wood paneling, an old brick support wall, indirect lighting.

Frida Kahlo BearI was immediately struck by the fact that (1) there was a vegetarian entree, and (2) it was not pasta. The downside of being a vegetarian is that the fancier the restaurant the less likely they have anything--even a salad--without meat in it. And if there is a vegetarian main dish, it is invariably an uninspired pasta. Not so at Bar Louis! The veggie entree was grilled halloumi cheese, an arugula and foraged purslane salad with heirloom tomatoes, and a fried egg. Several dishes featured fried eggs; I don't know if they keep chickens or what. There were also several small plates to choose from, but I decided I'd go for the entree for the novelty value of a non-pasta veggie main. I didn't think to take pictures of the food so please content yourself with random bear statues that were scattered throughout the city.

Darth VadBearEverything on the plate was fantastic, though the salad was definitely the star, perfectly dressed in a nice vinaigrette with perfect tomatoes and greens in a generous serving. The fried egg was indeed fried....mmmm, butter. The grilled halloumi was excellent. I really appreciated that there was adequate protein, which shows a degree of thought and care that is a glaring omission in the ubiquitous pasta. My travel companion had the steak frites and also enjoyed his meal.

The dessert was the crowning glory. I had some kind of dense flourless chocolate concoction with browned butter caramel and lemon curd. Chocolate and lemon are not often paired together but here they were sensational and the browned butter caramel was amazing.

Michael at the Beer Barn Trena at the LibraryWe woke up the next morning and unfortunately many shops are closed Mondays and those that aren't normally closed were closed for the holiday. We took one last walk through town and stopped for photo ops at the locations that best represent our personalities: me at the library and my travel companion at the Beer Barn.

Luckily, Jorgensen's Deli was open and we had fantastic New York style bagels for breakfast before hitting the road back home.

We'd love to come back and get a chance to see more of the town and do some hiking in the area so we're considering this our scouting trip!

All photos are here.