Rhode Island to The Berkshires

So my egg tattoo…

For a baker, the egg is the perfect balance of protein (the white) and fat (the yolk) making it an ideal binder for cakes, cookies, quickbreads; it adds richness to brioche, and creates a beautiful golden, shiny finish on croissants and pie dough. When separated the yolk can be used in custards, rich cakes and curds while the whites can be whipped up to make tall meringue; light, fluffy cakes or crunchy little cookies. In other words, the egg is the perfect baking ingredient.

Another reason: the egg is the basis for the revolution of the food industry. If you know the farmer that raises your eggs, then you probably know everything else about your food. Happy and healthy chickens mean delicious eggs. Also, eggs seem to be where people started to become aware of their food. Buzz words like “free range,” “cage-free,” “natural,” “vegetarian fed” are all used on eggs and their production is a very delicate and complicated one. So that is why I got an egg tattoo.

Anyway, back to the story.

Rhode Island is when the craziness began.

The month of September we have 18 events scheduled all over the Northeast, making it the busiest month for Outstanding in the field. In the beginning, we had four events back to back: Martha’s Vineyard, Rhode Island Connecticut, and Connecticut again. It was crazy, but it was pretty fun. Granted I didn’t get to check out too many places, but after that string of events, I feel like I can work ninety hours +/week at any job, as long as I love what I’m doing. I guess it definitely helps that each event is in a different place and is never the same as the one before it, so redundancy and routine is never an issue.

Martha’s Vineyard


We didn’t have too much time to spend on Martha’s Vineyard, but I still managed to check out some of the food scene. We gorged ourselves on all sorts of seafood at a couple different places in the area. Fresh seafood is still somewhat foreign to me since I grew up in a landlocked state and all, but I can definitely still appreciate it…tons of clams, oysters and lobster. Yum.

We arose early the morning before the event to go to Scottish Bakehouse, which was quite charming (as everything on the Vineyard is). Good coffee, great breakfast sandwiches and not too expensive. One thing I thought was pretty interesting was how they give you the option of having a local, organic egg or a conventional egg on your breakfast sandwich. The local egg is a bit pricier, which makes sense, but also doesn’t. If you think about how difficult it is to get anything over to that little island, you would think that the mere cost of shipping the eggs over there would outweigh the cost of raising healthy chickens next door. But who knows. It is a mystery.

The event that evening ended up being threatened by rain so it was set in the greenhouse of this beautiful little flower farm we were on called Tea Lane Farms. We strung up some lights and set some flowers on the tables (left over from Seth Meyers’ wedding the day before). It ended up being quite magical.


The next morning we caught a ferry back to the mainland and beforehand got a quick bite at the Black Dog Cafe, which is a Vineyard staple. I got a peach muffin and a cup of coffee. Nothing that blew my mind, but it was a pretty good start to a long day ahead.


Then we were off to another event in Rhode Island at the Hickories, where the battle with rain continued. Since there was an imminent downpour around 4 o’clock (right when the guests arrive) we set the table inside, in a reception style area. The tables were disjointed and it didn’t feel like an OITF dinner at all. More like a wedding reception. Anyway, guests gathered underneath a tent to have wine, beer and some passed appetizers. They sat down and enjoyed the first two courses inside. Then, after the rain had passed, everyone was told to get up from the table and gather near the bus so the table could be moved. While the farmer gave a little speech about the farm, we moved the table (which was actually 17 tables) outside. We were able to do it flawlessly in under ten minutes. Everyone sat down at their original table with the same plate and same server. And it was absolutely worth it. The sun went down as this enormous orangey-pink orb while people were seated in a misty, grassy field.




After finishing up our string of four dinners in Connecticut, we celebrated at an acclaimed pizza joint in New Haven, Connecticut called Frank Pepe’s. I have heard people raving about their bacon and clam pizza since Minnesota and was pretty excited to try it. It was pretty good. Briney clams coupled with greasy bacon on a not too crispy crust made for a flavor-plosion. And it is definitely hard to stop eating.


Next door is a traditional Italian pastry place with some delicious cannollis and cheap Italian ice. I got a chocolate mousse cannolli which was pretty dang good, but I liked the ricotta filled once a little bit more. Less greasy tasting and the traditional ricotta filling gives it a little twang, which I like. I don’t know if they top Mike’s Pastry in Boston though…


The Berkshires

So far, my favorite coffee shop was found in Great Barrington: Rubi’s. It is a hidden little brick building with some baristas who have a little bit of attitude and unique breakfast options. Toast. Soft boiled eggs. Peaches and cream pastries. Simple, but unique. Oh, and they have delicious, strong coffee, something that is hard to find in an area where Dunkin’ Donuts has seemed to monopolized the coffee/pastry niche. I was really infatuated with the feel of this place: old brick walls, rustic copper countertops, and just some really beautiful details. Love it.



Vermont to Boston


After my successful, but always stressful, boarder crossing back into the United States, I headed off to Burlington, Vermont for an event at Shelburne Orchards. One of my good friends and fellow bakers, Zoe used to live and work in Burlington, so needless to say, she had some recommendations of where to eat and what to do in the area. My first stop in the morning was at August First, a rustic bakery that she used to work at.


She used to rave about this place all the time…a sort of “At August First blahblahblah…” which is inevitable with any job, but she made it sound like they had everything right. And she meant it. I’m glad I got to see everything, because they definitely know what they’re doing. I got a breakfast sandwich and a lemon ginger scone – something that was raved about – and enjoyed both of them very much.


The baked goods were simple, rustic and from scratch, which is my definition of perfection. The breakfast sandwich was on housemade bread (obviously) and filled with sprouts, tomato, an egg and some cheddar cheese. Delicious. The scone was perfectly tender and buttery, and not too sweet. All of it was the perfect start to a long day on a farm.

The next day we had off, and I just cruised around Burlington and got a leisurely brunch at Penny Cluse’s. It was exactly what I wanted. Just a well made chicken and avocado sandwich that had been grilled. I love food like that. Crunchy, buttery bread paired with creamy avocado and slightly salty chicken. Yum. It makes me hungry just thinking about it.


That night we headed to a member of the crews house, about an hour and a half south of Burlington in a pretty rural area of Vermont. Many of us did not have cell phone reception, which was nice. We also had a full three days off. Being foodies and obsessed with the togetherness that a shared meal could provide, we put on a potluck style party with friends and family in the area. I gladly accepted the role of dessert coordinator.

I put together three free form pies, or galettes (does anyone know the difference?) made with some of the itty-bitty blackberries collected from the area. They turned out pretty well for a first time attempt. I also adopted the task of frosting the carrot cake, something I usually don’t do very often but I’m happy with the result.


The party was a success. People were well fed and well drunk and dancing lasted long into the night.


After another leisurely day spent jumping into lakes and eating pizza, we headed off to Maine and made a short stop in Portland. I roamed through a hipster crowded craft fair and straight to the dock for some lobster rolls at Portland Lobster Roll Co. So freaking good and worth every penny. You know its good when they pour a little bowl of butter over it right before serving it to you. It’s hard to beat eating lobster rolls on the pier while listening to a Beatles cover band and watching the sunset. Ahhh.


That relaxing evening ended the short vacation time that we had. The next day we had the first event of four in a row in a small town called Whitefield, an hour north of Portland. The next three days after that were pretty whirlwind and I don’t have too much to say about them.

I was staying at Anna’s friend, Lucia’s, house and we were planning on having a small dinner party that night, so I planned on contributing a chocolate zucchini cake with cream cheese frosting. I unfortunately did not get any pictures of it. I know, I’m horrible. But I promise it was beautiful.

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We also got a slew of different cheeses, cured meats, some fruit and cooked up a nice meal, nice enough to feed the vegans that were on the guest list. Shopping took place at this amazing little specialty shop in Cambridge called Formaggio. They are packed to the ceiling with different, honeys, jams, cheeses, an array of cured meats, and they even had fresh dates. I have never seen fresh dates, but there they were. I secretly snacked on a few of them and they taste like a dried date, but fresher. And they have a pecan-like pit. Strange. All of this combined with the leftover wine and beer we had from previous events made for a classy, but casual dinner party.

The next morning I was on a mission. Number one on the agenda was to go to High Rise Bakery, which I accomplished pretty quickly. It turned out to be a beautiful bakery with rustic and simple baked goods. I loved the space a lot too, high ceilings with lots of natural light and some antique-y furniture. Great vibes, but no internet connection or bathroom. Take that as you will. I bought a brioche filled with apricot jam and a little breakfast slider. The slider was filled with a sliced hard-boiled egg, some greens and a little mustard. A simple, well executed idea. I wish I had a reason to buy more things there, but I didn’t. It all looked amazing though.



 The next was to get a tattoo that I had been thinking about for a while. So I did. And this is it:


I will go into detail each and every reason why I got this particular tattoo, because there is certainly more than one reason.

Stay tuned…


Canada: Part Deux

Montreal! What a strange place. Definitely felt like another country, of course lots of Euro influence, but I don’t think I was expecting as much as I saw. When I went into a Starbucks, I was greeted with a “BonjourHi,” which seems very unique to Quebec. You never know if someone is going to start speaking French or English to you and usually its a combination of both. I saw a guy go up to the bartender and saw “How’s it goin’ man?” and the rest of their conversation was completed in French. I like the hybridization of the languages though. It makes the multicultural aspect that much more visible.

This event was a little tricky. For one, some Montreal food festival was taking place, which limited our chef selection in the Montreal area to zero. That’s where Justin came into play. He was kind enough to fly up to Montreal with his wife Hilary to put on a simple, but unforgettable meal. Heirloom tomato salad, grilled chickens, blackened whole red snapper and a delicious wheel of cheese covered in fresh berries and apple cider donut crumb to finish up. He pulled it off beautifully.


Oh, I forgot to mention that this event didn’t actually take place on a farm but instead an $8.5 million mansion right outside of Montreal that dates back to the 19th century. It was unreal. The woman that owned the estate lived only in part of the house with her husband leaving the rest of it in museum-style condition. We were lucky enough to spend the night in the empty portion of the house, but it certainly had an eerie feel.


The next morning, after waking up on the floor of an old mansion, we lounged around the pool catching up on emails, painting our toes and taking advantage of this mini-vacation. The plan was then to head out and check out the city of Montreal in all its glory. Christina, Kara and I got lunch at this cute little vegan joint on Saint Laurent Street, called Aux Vivres. They had fabulous food and super refreshing drinks. Food like this is much appreciated when stuffing your face with rich cheeses, fatty charcuterie or lukewarm pork become the norm.


However, the vegan kick did not last long. We stopped by two bakeries and one poutine place. The first bakery we went to, blüming gateaux was pretty adorable. They didn’t have the biggest selection, but it was pretty clear that they were in the wedding cake industry, which is a whole other animal. I really loved their style anyway. We got a little parfait with chocolate cake pieces and Chantilly cream. Delicious.



Since we were in Canada, poutine was a necessary addition. In case you aren’t familiar, poutine is classic Canadian drunk food: fries covered with gravy and cheese curds. So that’s what we got. I’m not really blown away by poutine, but I guess I can check that off the list.


The last stop we made in Montreal was in this beautiful French pastry shop called Maison Christian Faure that totally blew me away. We just happened to stumble into this little place with a wall lined with brightly colored jams in Wick jars, cases filled with eclairs, pot de crèmes, fruit tarts, chocolate tarts, madelines…the list could go on. Naturally, an older gentleman amused with our reaction to all the artfully done sweets and strikes up a conversation with us, half in French and half in English (standard Montreal style). He pokes fun at our horrible French and then gives us a little personal history. He, Christian Faure, learned pastry in France, near Lyon during seventies and has been doing it ever since. He just recently opened the shop, 15 days before, and it also includes an French pastry school with only a 12 student cap.



He then offered to give us a tour of the brand new pastry school. It was freaking beautiful. If I could, I would have gone there in a heartbeat. Sugar sculpture bouquets are intricately arranged on the countertop, proof of the hard work and patience of brand new pastry students. On our way out, the French gentleman offered me a vanilla bean and Christina a sugar-sculpted flower. It was like something out of a weird movie, but I’m glad I was in it.


Hopefully this wasn’t too much word/picture vomit! I will fill in on the Northeast as soon as I can!



Behold. My favorite sketch of a croissant ever.

Soooo… I have realized that keeping up with this blog is harder than I thought. Not only am I constantly bombarded with everything food related, but when I do get a minute to relax, I usually don’t want to sit down at a computer and mentally recollect everything I have done. It is simply exhausting. But here it goes.


I had a lot of fun staying in Pittsburgh just because we were so intimately connected to the restaurant, Cure who we worked with at the event. The chef, Justin Severino, also ended up saving the event in Montreal after a series of events took place, but I’ll go into all that later. Although I didn’t see that many bakeries, I’m glad I got to get to know the Cure’s kitchen and the surrounding (very interesting) area. Cure lies in Lawrenceville, a neighborhood in Pittsburgh that is a developing pocket of small businesses. Ten years ago it was considered a “bad” part of Pittsburgh, somewhere you wouldn’t want to walk through alone at night. Now there is Cure followed by a artisanal stained glass shop, a professional photography studio, a market that sells foraged produce, local honey, handmade soap and some other goodies. Some people would call this gentrification, and it would be hard to argue with that, but I can definitely see a positive impact.


Gourmandine Bakery is another new addition to Lawrenceville that I insisted on checking out. It is a very French inspired bakery: beautiful crispy baguettes, golden croissants, tartine, and many other single-serve colorful French confections. I bought an apricotine which is small spoonful of pastry cream on a square of pastry dough topped off with a halved apricot. A nice little breakfast pastry since its not too sweet and went very well with my coffee. They also had some savory focaccia flatbreads and a baguette with small pieces of pancetta or some type of fatty cured meat in it. Honestly, purely delicious (I say as the vegetarianism in me slowly leaks out).

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Did you know that Niagara Falls is on the boarder of Canada and the U.S.? Because I didn’t. So we got to do a surprise stop at Niagara Falls. Not my favorite tourist destination. But let’s be honest for a second: Niagara Falls is kind of a joke. At least that’s what I thought before I saw Japanese, Indian, German, Chinese and Russian tourists flocking to take pictures of themselves getting drenched in their matching sandals and modified trash bag ponchos. A strange experience to say the least.


After spending the day in the city of Niagara, I headed up to Toronto to stay with my host from Couchsurfing, a very nice gentleman named David. He was incredibly gracious when I turned up onto his doorstep at 1AM only to leave 9 hours later to work an event just near the boarder.


Let me take this time to fill everyone in on what is happening behind the scenes. The core crew of Outstanding in the Field has been reduced to two people: Leah and Ilana due to passport issues, people visiting friends, but mostly Jim Denevan’s (the founder and visionary behind Outstanding in the Field) latest art project that involves an entire wheat field in St. Catherine’s, Ontario. The objective (and final outcome of) Jim’s project uses the natural patterns found within circles. Lots of circles. The thing is, is that it takes a lot of manpower to make acres cleared wheat fields into acres of geometrically perfect circle patterns. So three members of our crew (and eventually more) were summoned to be a part of this project. While I was offered a brief position as a circle walker, I politely declined and headed up to Montreal.


After our event at 13th Street Winery, just down the road from Jim’s art piece, went smoothly, we headed up to Montreal. But first I made a stop in Toronto to grab a little lunch with David since I had barely got to chat with him at all. He picked Starving Artist, a self described waffle and espresso bar. It was in a quaint neighborhood in Toronto, a little crowded for brunch on a Saturday, but we got a nice spot on the patio outside. I ordered a waffle sandwich with avocado and roast chicken. It was better than any other chicken and waffles I’ve had. A very satisfying little brunch combined with an inspiring conversation with David made for a great brunch.


I think Montreal is going to have to fit in another blog post, because there is a lot to see and talk about. But I promise it won’t be nearly as long as the last one. I promise I won’t skip out on any details just because I am lagging behind so much.

OH also… I broke down and got an Instagram. Follow me: @bakerybandit.


Chicago & Michigan

I don’t even know where to begin. The past week has flown by because we have crammed five events into the week. I finally feel like I’m getting it down. There is certainly a learning curve, but after you start to accept that you actually have no idea what you’re doing and let other people show you the particular ways of practically everything, you learn much faster.


Right now, I’m sitting at the empty bar of Cure, a restaurant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Justin Severino, the head chef, is cooking the event tonight. We all slept in the convenient apartment right above the restaurant. Last night, around 2AM, I had the pleasure of talking to the bread baker, Rick, about his magical ways while he was shaping sourdough. Now, about nine hours later, he is baking off the bread in pairs since the oven is not even close to a proper bread oven. But he is making it work.


I guess I’ll start in Chicago. I didn’t check out nearly as many places as I wanted to since I only had about two days there, one of which I was working. I was staying up in North Chicago, Andersonville, with Tereza, my Couchsurfing host. I explained to her my whole project with the bakeries and such, and she took me to Swedish Bakery. It is a pretty classic European style bakery, so lots of pastry cream and pastry dough but there are also cupcakes and some little things I’ve never heard of. I got a Napoleon and an apple tart square.


They were both pretty good…. nothing mind blowing. The Napoleon was everything it should be: creamy pastry cream sandwiched between layers of pastry dough with a light layer of chocolate. The apple square was a little too sweet for me. The filling was like the canned pie filling you see in grocery store, so that was obviously not the best, but I still ate it.


The morning before I left, Krisan and I stopped for coffee at The Coffee Studio, an adorable coffee place in Andersonville. I loved their set up more than anything. They had great little outdoor seating area and big open windows that let in the morning light. I just felt like I could hang out there all day long.


Then I was headed off to Michigan. One of the towns we were staying happened to be sporting the National Blueberry Festival that weekend so obviously I had to check it out. There was blueberry pie, blueberry muffins, blueberry ice cream cake, blueberry jam, blueberry mustard…I could go on. There were the cheapest blueberries I had ever seen and there were just so many of them! Michigan really does have some beautiful fruit, and they were showing it all off here, not just blueberries.


I then took a short trip up to northern Michigan to visit my friend Krista, who happened to be having her daughters first birthday party. Naturally, I took it upon myself to make a cake. I’ve been obsessed with the Miette style cake, and felt like this was the perfect occasion to try it out. Someone also convienently brought a pink fondant bow that fit perfectly with the cake. On a scale from one to ten, ten being completely satisfied and one being totally unsatisfied, I’d say I was about an 8 for that cake, which is pretty high. I really wanted to do a 6” three layer cake, but we didn’t have the pans to make it happen. Also, I was lazy and didn’t cut the domes off so it ended up being a little slanted, which drove me crazy the entire party, but I’m over it.


Oh and Paige probably couldn’t have been any cuter during her birthday party. Mckenna, Krista’s sister bought her a baker’s outfit and a play kitchen, so she is well on her way to becoming a little baker.


The next foggy morning, I left for Pittsburgh. After realizing that the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is in Cleveland, I had to stop by and I’m so glad I did. I spent two and a half hours there, but I really don’t feel like I saw everything I wanted to. There was some really cool stuff though. Janis Joplin’s Porsche (I guess God wouldn’t buy her a Mercedes Benz), Kurt Cobain’s death certificate right next to his guitar, Elvis Presley’s Cadillac, a collection of Stevie Nicks stage outfits and so much other cool stuff.

Upcoming: Pittsburgh, Canada and maybe a little Vermont!


The Midwest

I have officially made it to the true Midwest where people are famed for their niceness, beer is always around the corner and cheese is a staple to any meal. The event near Minneapolis was at Singing Hills Goat Dairy, right out side of Nerstrand Big Woods State Park. I camped at the park and enjoyed being engulfed by the jungle-like forest that is surrounded by farmland. I went on a run through the dense, deciduous forest which is so different than what I’m used to in Colorado. Everything is so wet and green.


Right before I left, I noticed some other campers who were heading out. Later, I found out that it was the chef and sous chef of the event that evening. What a coincidence. On the farm we got to meet some of the adorable goats and their kids on the farm. It really makes me want to have a couple of goats one day. They are just so friendly and cute. Awwww.


Patisserie 46


The next day, I packed up all my stuff and headed North to Minneapolis to waste a couple hours. One of the dishwashers at the event recommended that I check out Patisserie 46, so that was my first stop. When I got there, I was immediately impressed. Their case was filled with perfect little cakes, tarts and other French desserts and the counter was flooded with pastries. The croissants were some of the most beautiful I had ever seen and I immediately ordered one with a large cup of coffee. It was everything its appearance promised: flakey, light texture with a classic, clean croissant flavor. Beautiful.


After my short stint in Minneapolis, I headed East to Madison, Wisconsin. The drive over there was punctuated with heavy rain, but beautiful. This was America’s Dairyland and it was everything people had said it was. During the sunset, I drove through vast farmland with big red barns towered by tall silos with a pinky, orange backdrop. It honestly did not seem real.

La Baguette


While in Madison, I was lucky enough to have run into a Francophile named Stephanie who knew about all the best foodie places in the area. This morning we went to La Baguette, which was owned and operated by a French woman who had brought a little piece of Paris over to Madison. They had some delicious looking things, but I settled on the chocolatine, essentially brioche filled with a smear of pastry cream and chocolate chips. It was very rich, but definitely not overdone. I love simple but unique pastries that use traditional ingredients (ie. brioche, chocolate and pastry cream) to create something unique and delicious.




The next stop was Fromagination, which is a generous little cheese shop in downtown Madison packed with an incredible amount of cheese, chocolate, beer, wine and crackers. They follow you handing you samples of cheese and sips of wine as you soak in the incredible variety that Wisconsin cheeses have to offer. My favorite was the Ziege Zacke Blue. It is an aged cheddar with a blend of cow and goat milk and some beautiful veins of blue in it. It isn’t too strong but has a creamy, rich flavor that never gets old.


Madison Sourdough Company

We obviously needed a baguette to pair with our cheese so we went to Madison Sourdough Company. This was a simple bred company that offered some pastries, salads and soups and occasionally pies and tarts for the holidays. I loved pretty much everything about this place. They had a simple but artful approach that is clarified in a small booklet that they had. Andrew Hutchinson (I assume the head baker) writes about the centuries old connection between the baker, miller and farmer and how he has rekindled that in the local area. “As a baker, it strengthens my connection to the history that has inspired my baking techniques in a modern craft-revival.” Modern craft-revival. I love that.

I ordered a roasted vegetable panini which was presented with a small side salad that really tied it all together. The bread was definitely the best part about the sandwich, and when you have good bread, not much else matters. Overall, I really like Madison Sourdough Company, and one day I plan on opening one very similar.


The next morning, a Saturday, we all went to the farmer’s market around the Capitol. It put Boulder’s Farmer’s Market to shame. There were so many farmers there and almost as many bakeries, selling things from their famed spicy cheesey bread to indulgent cinnamon rolls and healthy scones. The amount of bakeries were simply overwhelming. There is no way I could document each one, let alone try one out. Note to self: do not open a bakery in Wisconsin because they already have millions. Ardem, my host from couchsurfing, has fully embraced my search for great bakeries and is more than willing to try out every baked good we pass.




The scones were amazing (the middle picture). I got a chocolate chip oat one that claimed to be healthy, but it was almost like a giant oatmeal chocolate chip cookie. Not quite a traditional scone, but it didn’t have the normal dryness that is usually covered up by clotted cream, lemon curd or strong tea. Silly British, just add more butter!

The next thing I learned about Wisconsin is not only do they love beer, cheese and bakeries, but they also have a serious enthusiasm for mustard. It just so happened that I landed in Madison on National Mustard Day. Who knew? Honestly, there isn’t much to say. Just check out the wonderful pictures.


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Lincoln, NE

My new life on the road has begun. I worked my first Outstanding in the Field event in Boulder last Thursday, and its pretty amazing to be part of the team that sets up these beautiful events. It is quite a process hauling enough equipment and people around the country to put together these dinners in the middle of fields typically reserved for cows or John Deere machinery. It’s become clear that the whole process is a science, but the result is nothing short of art. Nebraska11
These people have every little thing down to a very particular methodology: stacking the chairs onto carts, aligning and spacing the chairs evenly at the table, shimming the table so that it is perfectly flat or precisely curved and the list could go on.  The art side of things comes from acknowledging and preserving the natural beauty of the area like the tall grasses that surround the table to create the picturesque settings that Outstanding in the Field is known for. This means being careful not to trample the grass while setting up a continues dining table for nearly 100 people and to be aware of things like fresh cow manure on the road so that people can hold onto the idyllic farm setting that they have come to experience.


Enough about that, although I could go on. Right now I’m sitting in a nice little underground coffee shop in downtown Lincoln, Nebraska called Crescent Moon Coffee. They have a pretty expansive, but uncrowded shop with windowless brick walls lined with photographs of cows, sunflowers, dandelions and other things reminiscent of the American plains. They also host a pretty lively music and poetry scene that I honestly did not expect, but one of the many pleasant surprises in Lincoln.  I ordered a simple iced coffee with a grilled cheese sandwich, and that’s what I got. Nothing too extraordinary, but it was certainly satisfying.


Yesterday morning, I went to the Lincoln Farmer’s market, which surprised me with the amount of vendors they had. They had everything from jewelry vendors to people selling beautiful little yellow watermelons. Being smack dab in the middle of farm country, I expected a lot of farm vendors, but I got more than that. One woman was selling adorable handmade stuffed animals and another vendor was pushing petit fours with a thick French accent. Needless to say it was more than I expected.


Rosie, the girl that I’m staying with in Lincoln, insisted that we go to Ivanna Cone, a homemade ice cream shop in downtown. I was pretty excited to check out their ice cream as well and once I saw the line out the door and the waffle cone smell wafting down the hall, I was in. They have an adorable shop with two enormous old fashioned ice cream makers that greet you as you walk in the door and a chalk board listing the flavors of the day.


We ended up choosing one scoop of the fresh strawberry and one scoop of the vegan dark chocolate sea salt, both of which were amazing. The strawberry was pretty much everything you want in a strawberry ice cream: fresh strawberries, creamy ice cream and not too sweet. The vegan chocolate was much more than I expected: it was a little thicker than the regular ice cream and had a strong, rich chocolate flavor with a slight hint of sea salt. I wish I would have asked them what the base was for that, because it was incredible.



They certainly didn’t last long!

Lincoln has surprised me with their focus on the arts, awareness with food and general open-mindedness. I’m not entirely sure what I expected, but something closer to a farm city with little concern on the arts. The conversations I’ve had and the things I’ve seen makes me see Lincoln in a much more progressive light, one that wants to change the future of the food industry. Combine that with the Midwest-nice attitude and it becomes an unpretentious, we-are-all-in-this-together approach to helping to change the food industry, from the inside out. Next Up: I’ll be headed to the Minneapolis area! Let me know if you have any recommendations for what kind of places to see or where to eat!