Saturday, July 01, 2006

Lula's Cafe in South Bend

The two-day drive home from Boston was relaxed and delicious.

We stopped in Buffalo, NY where we ate buffalo wings at the restaurant that invented them, the Anchor Bar. I am not a fan usually, but these wings were meaty, crispy, and just-right spicy. Next time, we have to remember that hot is too hot for us. We are medium wings people.

The next day we decided to detour into Cleveland, OH to visit the pastry shop that had baked our wedding dobos cake. A perhaps little known fact: Cleveland is the largest (or was, at least) Hungarian city outside of Hungary. The shop has been located in the same spot since the 1950’s on a street that used to be lined with pastry shops, but I believe Lucy’s Sweet Surrender is a last holdout now. The baker is an American married to a Hungarian from Romania and he very generously gave us a tour of the shop, showing us where they make the strudel and all the other baking machinery.

I highly recommend ordering a dobos torte online. He will deep freeze it and then overnight it--very tasty and very authentic. (It is better to do this in the winter to avoid summer temperatures melting your torte en route.)

I spent one night back in South Bend before I headed out for a quick trip to St. Louis. I drove the six hour trip straight down Illinois in perfectly clouded skies. A long drive to be sure, but stops in Odell for pie at the Wishing Well Cafe and Towanda at the diner make that jaunt satisfying.

St. Louis always manages to surprise and delight. This time I got a tour of the botanical gardens to see the Chihuly blown-glass exhibit. More importantly I spent lots of time on the couch making googly-goo faces at baby Henry.

Now I am at Lula’s, THE café still in South Bend, despite several new ones that have arrived over the years. They still do not have wireless, however, which I support. It is always good to isolate myself from the Internet when I want to work on my writing.

We leave in a week for our “vacation” in Transylvania, our usual summer trip. This time my parents will join us for a week—it will be their second trip to Budapest, but their first to the Carpathian mountains and villages of Transylvania. I look forward to showing them life lived in the Székely way.


Anonymous said...

driving down the mississippi was always interesting (i spent considerable time working in Keokuk...where the missouri meets the mississippi!) and i enjoyed taking a day trip down to st.louis along the river's banks.

seeing as you did the south bend to st.louis probably cut through illinois instead of following the river down from the "quad-cities" in iowa?

J said...

I am happy to report that two years later, Lula's does in fact have wireless Internet access for terminal connectivity addicts like myself. Looks like they'll be getting even more of my money now :)