Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Don't Miss this Historic Sweet Treat-Hank's Frozen Custard

You won't want to miss this historic sweet frozen treat. It is worth a road trip!

Hank's Frozen Custard in Conneaut Lake, PA has quite a history, but what sets their sweet treat apart from other frozen custards are the 1947 machines they use to make the tasty, creamy custard. 

Hank doesn't work here and never has, but Ryan Hild does, the grandson of Marg and Ernie Hild, who first opened the frozen custard stand June 4, 1952 taking in $4.05 that day.

HISTORY . . . They named their new business after Marg's father Henry, whose nickname was Hank. In 1947 Hank had opened Hank's Frozen Custard in new Brighton, PA. It was doing quite well and Ernie was looking for a new job so they opened their own stand far enough away as to not compete with Hank . . . and that was in Conneaut Lake where they knew they would draw business from weekend people staying in cottages and those visiting Conneaut Lake Amusement Park.

The couple ran the business until 1975. Their three children Peg, Judy and Rick all worked making the frozen custard while attending school in Meadville. Rick returned to help run the business and eventually he and his wife Linda bought the business and ran it until 2000. Their children Christie and Ryan had worked there while attending school and after Ryan graduated from Baldwin Wallace College in Berea, Ohio, he joined as a partner and eventually bought the business and is sole owner of Hank's today. 

Hank's is one of those places you wish you had in your town. It is special to those who lived there long ago and those that live there today . . .  it is a hometown thing you don't want to miss.

Ryan said it is really all about the 1947 machines they use. That is what makes it so creamy.

They are gravity fed so there is no air pressure and there is no a pumping it up with air, it goes in the back and comes out the front and that is what creates that smooth consistency.

Hank's offers four flavors each day. Due to allergies they can't keep flipping back and forth on flavors. The machines have to come totally apart to be cleaned every night. They have vanilla, chocolate, one special flavor and one sherbet each day. Some of those special flavors include Black Cherry, Cake Batter, Black Walnut, Cappuccino, Pumpkin, Strawberry, Butterscotch, Peanut Butter and more. The creamy sensations are available until two weeks after Labor Day and they open again before Easter each year. 

Don't limit yourself to a cone or sundae, although why not, they are great, but every Hank's milkshake is made by hand. They begin with their special extra thick milkshake base, add whole Vitamin D milk and then  large scoops of vanilla or chocolate custard (depending on the flavor) and then add the syrups to flavor. The combination is then mixed on old fashioned milkshake machines. At Hank's they are good at mixing requests! 
Milkshake flavors include Chocolate, Vanilla, Peanut Butter, Chocolate Mint, Strawberry, Pineapple, Black Raspberry, Banana, Root Beer, Butterscotch, Black Cherry and the newest creation . . . Salted Caramel.

You will find the treats at 13940 Conneaut Lake Road, Conneaut Lake, PA 16316. Visit www.hanksfrozencustard.com for times they are open and a flavor schedule. That way you won't miss your favorite!

NOTE: Hank's in New Brighton is no longer in the family but Ryan said the owner is a good guy and they have a good relationship with him. The New Brighton Hank's also sells Mexican Food, Ryan said they have Mexican on one side and custard on the other which is a weird combo that his grandparents started and it works, and it is really good. 

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Jame Beard Foundation Celebrity Chef Tour dinner in Columbus, Ohio

pictures courtesy of Weirick Communications
Good eats and helping others!

May 12 Executive Chef Bill Glover, Gallerie Bar & Bistro is playing host to top chefs for a James Beard Foundation (JBF) Celebrity Chefs Tour dinner. It all begins at 6:30 p.m. Tickets to this extraordinary eight-course dégustation are $110-$170 each and are available at JamesBeard.org.  Having been recently invited to cook at the historic James Beard House, Glover has hosted two JBF Celebrity Chef Tour dinners at Gallerie.
The event will be held in the beautiful Hilton Columbus Downtown located in the arts and entertainment district--Short North.

The collaborative menu will be preceded by hors d' oeuvres and a cache of culinary cocktails created by celebrated mixologist Travis Owens of Curio at Harvest. Owens will use award-winning spirits from Columbus distillers Watershed Distillery and Middle West Spirits. Local craft beers from Jackie O’s Brewery in Athens and North High Brewing in Columbus will also be served.  Master Sommelier James Tidwell of TexSom (Dallas) will arrange wine pairings for the dinner. 

Chefs and Hors d ‘Oeuvres include:
·         Josh Dalton of Veritas in Delaware, OH: a Vegetable Terrarium + Crispy Ants
·         Andrew Smith of Salt & Pine in Columbus: Pig Heart, Trout Roe, “Bacony” Onion, Urfa
·         Avishar Barua of Service Bar in Columbus: Chicken Liver, Semolina, Tamarind, Apple, Mint
·         Seth Lassak of Wolf’s Ridge Brewing in Columbus: Smoked Scallop, English Pea, Bowfin Caviar, Pea Tendril
·         Marcus Meacham of Tastemaker/Tastemade Studios: Smoked Benton’s Ham, Pickled Mustard Seeds, Swiss Mousse

Chefs and Courses include:
·         Bill Glover of Gallerie Bar and Bistro: Hamachi Crudo with Sea Truffle, Sea Beans, Fermented Black Bean, Lemon Espuma, Cherry Bomb Radish, Olive Oil and Togarashi
·         Kevin Sousa of Superior Motors in Pittsburgh: Razor Clam with Escargot Caviar, Potato-Miso Espuma, Ramp Leaf and Morels
·         Ryan Beck of Burnham in Cleveland: Hudson Valley Foie Gras with Smoked Liverwurst, Foie Gras Torchon, Fermented Sunchokes, Coffee Toast
·         Todd Kelly of Orchids at Palm Court in Cincinnati: Roasted Squab Breast with Preserved Corn Puree, Soy, Whipped Truffle and Dates
·         JBF Award Winner Anne Kearney of Rue Dumaine in Dayton: Black Pepper Juniper Venison Loin, Pea Shoots, Carrot Rhubarb Confit, Bordeaux-Shallot Vinaigrette, Micro Arugula
·         Paul Virant of Perennial Virant in Chicago: Shaved Smoked Pork Loin, Crispy Belly, Caillette, Pomme Duchesse, Morels, Red Wine Jus
·         Devon Morgan of Gallerie Bar and Bistro: Rhubarb, Almond Cremeux, Rosemary Lemon Dacquoise, Brown Butter Crumb, Dehydrated Strawberry
·         Avishar Barua of Service Bar in Columbus: Peanut, Bourbon, Chocolate "Buckeye"

About the James Beard Foundation

The James Beard Foundation is a national not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization based in New York City with a mission to celebrate, nurture and honor America's diverse culinary heritage through programs that educate and inspire. Dedicated to exploring the way food enriches our lives, The James Beard Foundation is at the center of America's culinary community. A cookbook author and teacher, James Beard was a champion of American cuisine and helped educate and mentor generations of professional chefs and food enthusiasts. In addition to maintaining the historic James Beard House in New York’s Greenwich Village as a “performance space” for visiting chefs, including Hilton Columbus' Bill Glover, the Foundation has created a robust online community and hosts conferences, tastings, lectures, workshops and food-related art exhibits around the country.

About Hilton Columbus Downtown
Opened in 2012 to great fanfare, the stunning Hilton Columbus Downtown is a AAA Four Diamond full-service hotel located in the dynamic Short North arts and entertainment district. Led by Executive Chef Bill Glover, its restaurant Gallerie Bar & Bistro wins frequent accolades and is consistently listed on "Best of Lists," including "Best Burger" since its opening. Hilton Columbus Downtown was recently awarded the Hilton brand's prestigious Connie Award for the second year in a row. With 532 beautifully appointed guest rooms and 32,000 sq. ft. of premier event space, the hotel is connected to the Greater Columbus Convention Center via a sculptural glass walkway that's illuminated in ever-changing colored lights and is itself a work of art. The hotel features a stunning art collection of more than 280 original works by internationally significant artists with a strong connection to Columbus. The dramatic works of art are displayed in Gallerie Bar and Bistro, function space, guest rooms and public areas of the hotel. Details and reservations are available at HiltonColumbusDowntown.com.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

New "thing to do" Off Road at Ohio State Park

A new adventure awaits you at Hocking Hills. Besides the Canopy Tours, hiking, fishing, ATV and balloon rides...a new off-road Segway tour, X-treme Zipline into a cave and sunrise and twilight experiences have been added to make your visit more exciting.

This area is known for its unforgettable outdoor adventures and now there are more. The new Segway Adventure features a 1.5-2 hour guided nature tour--off road. These all terrain Segway's take visitors through the dramatic scenery of the park, including ancient recessed caves

An area long known for offering unforgettable outdoor adventures, Ohio’s stunning Hocking  Hills region is now home to a series of unique new adventure experiences. Hocking Hills Canopy Tours just launched Off-Road Segway® Adventures, X-Tours and limited-availability Sunrise and Twilight Zipline Tours. The new tours further showcase the region’s spectacular topography, offering visitors to southeast Ohio’s Hocking Hills region even more ways to experience the area’s natural beauty.

The Segway® Adventure features a 1.5- to 2-hour guided nature tour, with guides highlighting the unique features of the area while guests experience the thrill of a state-of-the-art Off-Road SegwayX2.  Priced at $59 per person, the Segway Adventure is offered for visitors age 14 and older who weigh between 100-260 lbs.

Carefully designed to offer a highly intuitive driver experience, the all-terrain Segway X2 offers the ultimate way to see Hocking Hills’ dramatic scenery.  Drivers report that it feel as if the Segway can read their mind as they glide along rugged paths taking in the area’s lush natural surroundings. While they easily master the Segway, guests discover ancient recessed caves, the scenic Hocking River, majestic old-growth trees, native plants and wildlife and much more on the adventures, which are led by knowledgeable, trained naturalists.

Hocking Hills Canopy Tours’ “X" Tour is a 2.5- to 3-hour, professionally guided, extreme zipline tour. A new hybrid course design uses a combination of trees and towers to create a cross country-style tour that boasts 11 ziplines and showcases many amazing Hocking Hills features. For just $89 per person, visitors sail above the region’s signature rolling hills. This one-of-a-kind faster, higher, longer tour even zips adventurers into a hidden, recess cave with  waterfall and across the scenic Hocking River not once, but twice.

Finally, the new "Sunrise" and "Twilight" Zipline Tours showcasing nature in its most beautiful light: dawn and dusk. These limited-availability, 2-hour tours showcase the forest during the most tranquil times of the day, yet it is also the most active time of day for all the area’s abundant wildlife. Guests have spotted deer, beaver, birds of prey and other native species. For $64 each per person, Sunrise and Twilight Tours feature six breathtaking zip lines and four adventure bridges.

The new adventures join existing tours offered by Hocking Hills Canopy Tours, including its signature Canopy Tour, the Night Flight, Super Zip and DragonFly for younger kids.

Located 40 miles southeast of Columbus, Ohio, Hocking Hills region’s soaring cliffs, craggy caves and dozens of rushing waterfalls are home to once-in-a-lifetime experiences that make every day feel like Saturday, with plenty of free activities. The region boasts a wide variety of affordable lodging, from camping, cabins and cottages to hotels and inns.  In addition to hiking trails, parks and forests, the Hocking Hills is the Canopy Tour Capital of the Midwest, with more than 60 different ziplines offered via four distinct guide services.  Unique gift and antique shops, canoeing, horseback riding, golf, spas and more add to the allure of the Hocking Hills as the perfect place to unplug. Complete traveler information is available www.ExploreHockingHills.com or 1-800-Hocking (800-462-5464).

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Don't Miss Toasting the Town with 'Savor Yuma' Tour

Photos Provided by Visit Yuma
Did you make a New Year's resolution to eat healthy-more fresh foods?

In Yuma, Arizona it is all about authentic border fare and "fresh from the field" produce during the "Savor Yuma" tour.

The tours treat diners to a mystery culinary quest, much like a progressive dinner with three stops. Leave the driving to the motor coach designated driver.
You will start off your tour with appetizers at the first stop. Then comes the fresh soup or salad at the second and the main course at the third stop. Each diner can enjoy two specialty "adult" drinks along the way and a sweet treat tops the evening. 
This is the fourth year for the tour and the first one kicks off Jan. 5. at 5 p.m., but the available dates continue into April. The tour departs from the Yuma Heritage Center (old city hall) at 180 W. 1st Street. 
Featured restaurants include A&R Grill, Garden Cafe, Market Grill Steak & Seafood, Main Street Cafe, The Press, The Patio at The Hills, River City Grill, Tina's Cocina and Yuma Landing.
It is a great way to get a taste of culinary Yuma.

Savor Yuma tours are scheduled for Jan. 5 and 19, Feb. 9 and 16. March 3 and 22 and April 7. The cost of $55 per person includes transportation, dinner and two "adult beverages." Tickets are on sale now at YVB's Visitor Information Center at the Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park, 201 N. 4th Avenue, call 800-293-0071 or 928-783-0071 for more information. The VIC is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. seven days a week through May. Savor Yuma and Field to Feast tickets also can be purchased online at VisitYuma.com  (http://www.visityuma.com/savor-yuma-culinary-tour.html).

In January and February, Tuesday evening dinner tours also coordinate with Wednesday morning Field to Feast agriculture tours, for a double helping of fresh Yuma bounty. See more info at VisitYuma.com(http://www.visityuma.com/field-to-feast-agriculture-tour.html).

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Cruising for Comfort Food

Here is something a little different to spice up your winter. The Comfort Food Cruise in Hocking Hills had become a very popular event and is the answer to spicing up the winter.

Hocking Hills State Park is about a three hour drive from our area and makes for a great day trip or overnight stay.

The Comfort Food Cruise is a unique food tasting that takes you to 13 scrumptious stops.  Each stop has something tasty to "taste". Not only is the food good, but the drive is fun. The area is known as a scenic destination. Drive along the scenic roads to each delicious stop. The Hocking Hills area is becoming well known as a traveler favorite for its culinary scene and this is your chance to taste a little something from many popular eateries.

If you are not yet tempted to join the Comfort Food Cruise these tasty treats may change your mind. This year's cruise includes 13 stops for you to take in, try all of them or some of them, it is up to you and your taste buds.

Begin at the Hocking Hills Regional Welcome Center to get information, a mini cinnamon roll, coffee and a free souvenir. After your sweet treat, begin your morning at Pearl's Diner with some good ole biscuits and gravy. Then take off to Jack's Steak House where there is a little more sweetness––french toast sticks with syrup. Spice up your day at the Maya Burrito with a chocolate churro. the Boot Factory Grill is serving up prime rib sliders and Pizza Crossing has pizza. But, the tempting taste treats do not end here as the Millstone BBQ has sweet corn muffins and the Hocking Hills Dining Lodge is serving meaty mac and cheese. Warm up at the M & M Diner with vegetable soup. Make a plan and visit the restaurants in the order for what you want to eat when. You can even top the day off with dinner by visiting the Ridge Inn for meatloaf and then traveling to the Olde Dutch Restaurant for chicken and homemade noodles or mashed potatoes.  

At this point you will be comfort food full, but why not top it all off with ice cream from Sandy Sue's Silver Diner and the ultimate chocolate brownie from the Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls.

The Comfort Food Event spans three weekends so there are plenty of options to make plans to takes in this unique "cruise" experience. The dates are Jan. 23 and 24; Jan. 30 and 31; and Feb. 6 and 7.

Tickets for the event are $18 and include one comfort food at each of stops and $5 from each ticket supports local food banks. No restaurant reservations are needed, but tickets are required in order to receive the featured complimentary comfort food samples and gift. Event and visitor information, as well as details on Comfort Food Cruise packages is available at www.ExploreHockingHills.com.

Take a brisk winter hike past frozen waterfalls and through the area's stunning winter landscapes before, during or after munching on the tasty treats during your Comfort Food Cruise. Work up an appetite or walk off that full feeling and take a hike to Old Man's Cave, the spot that legend says hermit Richard Rowe once called home. Visitors can also enjoy the area’s fresh air and spectacular winter landscape with an easy hike to Ash Cave or a longer trek to Cedar Falls or around Conkle’s Hollow––or any of the area’s many other gorgeous natural features.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Another Ghostly Place

 Another ghostly place in Mansfield is the Renaissance Theatre. Employees and patrons have reported many creepy encounters throughout the years.

The theatre is known for its grand staircase...where footsteps have been heard as well as in the dark hallways and twisting corridors outside the second floor grand ballroom. 

Spectral figures have been spotted in the balcony. Voices, laughter and even music has been heard coming from the theatre--well after audiences have gone home. 

"Pete" took up residence at the Renaissance shortly after his beloved projector was transplanted there from the Madison Theatre down the street. 

Wall sconces in the lower lobby's elegant marbled grand salon are said to have a mind of their own and, when the building is unlocked in the morning, the sconces are often found turned completely upside-down. 

Voices whispering have been heard in rooms under the stage. Actors and crew have reported seeing a shadowy “woman in white” standing in the wings during performances. 

However, the most haunted area is the lobby is where theatre manager Edward Rafter was murdered in a botched robbery attempt Oct. 30, 1929. For 80 years, witnesses have reported seeing a forlorn Rafter pacing back and forth along the marble floor. They also report seeing the ghost of his assailant, hiding in the darkest corner of the lobby. 

Tours will point out these and other places for paranormal occurrences, and guests are welcome to perform their own paranormal investigations, backstage, in the  basement, upstairs ballrooms and even camp out in restrooms.

For information or to order a Visitors Guide, consumers can call 800-642-8282 or visit www.MansfieldTourism.com.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Even More Haunts in Mansfield

Continuing with the haunting of this northern central Ohio city, the Mansfield Fire Museum, is known for its strange happenings. Employees and visitors have experienced a fire truck side mirror that seems to move on its own. When only one person is in the building, unexplained sounds occur. 

Lights flicker and shadow people have been reported during paranormal investigations. Open Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. The free tour points out known paranormal hot spots and occurrences. Guests are also welcome to schedule private paranormal investigations at no cost that take place from 9 p.m.-2 a.m. by calling 419-564-5531. 

In Galion, just west of Mansfield, Brownella Cottage is known for its Gothic architecture and the former home of religious-leader-turned-communist Bishop William M. Brown. Guests are invited to use equipment to perform their own paranormal investigations, which have revealed strange voices, lights that seem to do their own thing and peculiar door slamming. Does the deceased Bishop Brown still roams the halls?

 Tours begin at Historic Grace Church in Galion and include a bit of history and an overview of paranormal equipment. Tours run 8 p.m.-midnight and can be scheduled by calling 419-462-5672 or email cathym_75@hotmail.com.

For information or to order a Visitors Guide, consumers can call 800-642-8282 or visit www.MansfieldTourism.com.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

More Hauntings in Mansfield Ohio

Be one of the tens of thousands of visitors that make their way to north central Ohio to see if they can handle the host of haunted destinations that have earned Mansfield its spooky reputation. 

The sites written about have been featured on national TV, including: Travel Channel's "Ghost Adventures," SyFy's "Ghost Hunters" and Bio's "My Ghost Story.

"The 128-year-old Bissman Building was also used in the movie "Shawshank Redemption". The building is 128-years-old and was designed by the same architect who drew up plans for the Reformatory. The building is located in downtown Mansfield's historic district as a wholesale grocery warehouse. Ghost hunters have reported that when the company closed its doors, "Not all of the employees left the building." Travelers can tour the haunted building. Guides will tell you all about the history, stories of movies and videos filmed on site as well as the chilling takes of the spirits. 

Guests under 18 are welcome with parent/legal guardian. Tours also include a full-blown paranormal investigation. A public Ghost Hunt is offered Oct. 31 and private tours for groups of up to 30 are available by reservation. Tours begin at 7 p.m., typically run until 3 a.m. and cost $50 per person. They can be scheduled by emailing ghost@bissmanbuilding.com or calling 419-295-5002.

Keeping the ghostly sightings alive...historic Malabar Farm State Park employees and visitors have reported tales of flickering lights and appearances by the ghost of Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and screenwriter Louis Bromfield. Along with the ghostly visits of Bromfield, Ceely Rose, who murdered her entire family in the summer of 1896 has been known to visit.  Visitors can hear the grisly story of The Ghost of Ceely Rose during outdoor multi-media Chautauqua-style performance events at 7 p.m. Oct. 2-3 and 9-10.

For information or to order a Visitors Guide, consumers can call 800-642-8282 or visit www.MansfieldTourism.com.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Haunted Capitol...Get Your Scare On!

Mansfield, Ohio offers a variety of fright...that allows for visitors to get their scare on in some of the creepiest spots in the Midwest. 

Be one of the tens of thousands of visitors that make their way to north central Ohio to see if they can handle the host of haunted destinations that have earned Mansfield its spooky reputation. These sites have been featured on national TV, including: Travel Channel's "Ghost Adventures," SyFy's "Ghost Hunters" and Bio's "My Ghost Story."  

It takes a brave visitor to take on the historic Ohio State Reformatory's hair-raising, one-of-a-kind Haunted Prison Experience. "Supernatural III". It has won awards and this scarefest uses professional actors and Hollywood animatronics, props and special effects to create a haunted tour that goes far beyond any typical "haunted house." More information is available at HauntedX.com

The Ohio State Reformatory has a reputation as one of the most haunted places in America as well as an architectural and cultural treasure. It is known for its use in a variety of movies including the No. 1 movie of all time, "The Shawshank Redemption." 

For complete information on all of the region's haunted and paranormal experiences, including videos, useful "ghost ratings," site tours, ghost hunts and haunted houses are found via the Haunted Mansfield Guide at www.HauntedMansfield.com.  In addition, Private Paranormal Investigations of several local haunts can be scheduled for groups and individuals by calling 419-295-5002 or emailing paranormalace@ymail.com

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Discovering More than the Grape!

The Grape Discovery Center in Westfield, New York is all about the grapes, except for this special event..."An Evening of Harvest Wines and Beer at the Grape." 
It is a great place to visit anytime of year, but October 3, 2015 the center will hold this special event from 6 to 10 p.m.
The evening will include pairing Harvest Wines and Craft Beer with local foods during harvest season. 
Appetizers, small bites and desserts paired with the harvest wine and beer tastings will be offered throughout the gift shop, tasting bar and exhibit room with music on the patio and a up close view of  the vineyards. 
Local experts will also been on hand to guide you through history and exhibits, give you ideas of how to entertain with wine and answer any questions. 

They are keeping it local with food from local farms and more. What better time to visit New York than the fall?

This begins a series of special events at the Grape Discovery Center presenting Lake Erie regional wine and craft beverages in a seasonal context. 

Get into the spirit for the holidays. Check out the up coming December events with Holiday Wines, Beers and spirits. 
In March, 2016...umm, Diversity of Craft Beverages and maple infused theme. 
The center is open year round and is located in the center of the famous Lake Erie Grape Region at 8305 West Main Road (NYS Route 20) in Westfield. 
The Grape Discovery Center has everything grape...wines, gifts, video's and history of the grape! For more information or to register for events call 716-326-2003 or visit www.grapediscovery.com/events.