Today my husband surprised me and took me out for lunch! We've been talking about this restaurant we heard about on The Travel Channel (big fan here).
When we saw the piece on The Country Pancake House in Ridgewood, New Jersey, we knew we'd have to go. After all, it's only about 20 minutes away, and the food looked fabulous! We were not disappointed! Their motto is "Home of the Hearty", and hearty is an understatement!
With such an extensive menu, it was really hard to choose from the 100 different pancake varieties and 50 kinds of french toast!! In addition to the breakfast fare, they also offer a full lunch and dinner menu featuring overstuffed sandwiches, burgers, salads and full dinners.
My husband and I both chose pancakes... mine were the Country Cream of Wheat cakes, and Colin ordered Oatmeal Flapjacks which were chocolate chip oatmeal pancakes smothered with strawberry and banana slices! Talk about heaven on Earth! Our orders came out and we couldn't believe the size of these pancakes! 4 humongous plate-sized pancakes on a platter! Needless to say, we both left with overly full bellies and 2 styrofoam boxes! (When the kids got home from school, they were thrilled to see they were having "breakfast for dinner"...translation: mom & dad's leftovers!)
After we left the Country Pancake House, we were so full that we decided to take a walk down the main street of Ridgewood to work off some of our lunch. Am I ever glad we did! We stumbled across the best small-town bookstore!
BOOKENDS is a legendary bookstore that has a HUGE author-signing reputation. On the wall immediately to the left of the door, there are hundreds of photos of authors and celebrity authors who have crossed their threshold for signings and discussions. This week they are featuring the hugely popular Jodi Picoult.
Some other authors that BOOKENDS has had in its store are Mary Higgins Clark, James Patterson, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, Madonna,members of the NY Yankees, Carol Higgins Clark, Harlan Coben, Michael Connelly.... and the list goes on! The store boasts about 75 book signing and author events a year!
It is not a "big box" bookstore, so the selection is a tad bit limited. It has all the current bestsellers and an extensive "local" collection. There is also quite a selection of author signed volumes for sale - some protectively encased in a glass cabinet.
I didn't get to spend as much time in there as I would have liked (with my husband, who is NOT a book freak like me, in tow, my time was limited). But now that I have gotten a small taste, and I know how to get there, I am definitely planning a return trip... by myself!
I love when an unplanned, fly by the seat of your pants car ride turns into something much more than you could have hoped for. It's always such a pleasant surprise to find something unexpected along the way.
How 'bout you guys? Ever happen across something by accident that made you happy you took that route? Share your stories with me! Maybe a reader in your neck of the woods will read this and discover something new to them!