On a particularly stormy weekend involving bouts of torrential, blinding rain, we found ourselves in the Lehigh Valley. With memories of the area centering on a trip to the Crayola Factory we made years ago, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. At the time, downtown Easton had many stores that had been boarded up, and we were mostly passing by on our way home.
As we approached the city, I started to do a little research and then abandoned that track. What is a rainy day good for if you have no intention of covering up with a wide brim hat, darting from doorway to doorway, and exploring? There were salvage shops with curated items for the home, art galleries, and antiques dealers. Every place was a cozy little gem in the midst of a storm. The shops that were still vacant looked like promises of what is to come – enticements to come back in a few months and explore, perhaps in the sun.
If you want to get to know an area, you really have to stop and grab a bite to eat. We checked out the nearest menu. Lobster bisque, specialty pizzas, ribeye with frizzled onions. No need to read further. The River Grille was our little refuge for the afternoon. We snuggled up on the indoor patio, lingered over a late lunch, and watched as passersby splashed through the streets. The rain was that hard.
After a quick scan of the dessert menu, we simultaneously announced – caramel popcorn sundae. Feeling so full, I suggested splitting one. I would only have a few bites.
I never have a few bites. My husband has the unenviable position of being my occasional dessert sharing partner, and if I had to estimate, I’d say he ate 25% of our sundae. But, that percentage was filled with a satisfying caramel sauce, sweet and salty popcorn, and delicious vanilla ice cream. Served in a classic, chilled sundae dish and topped with whipped cream, it was the perfect, comforting end to our lunch. Making a simple dish memorable is no small feat.
We cozied up for a little longer, darted back to the car, and headed home in more torrential rain. My husband said he was in the mood for more caramel popcorn. Return visit plan: two desserts.