Monday, August 17, 2009

A Visit To The Buckeye State

This weekend, I headed to the Youngstown area of Ohio to visit my dear friend Marilyn.

Just an hour from the Pennsylvania-Ohio border on the Pittsburgh side, Youngstown and its surrounding environs boast warm and friendly locals, a robust arts scene and several fabulous restaurants.

In between shopping and catching up, Marilyn and I experienced a few mouthwatering meals. Friday, we continued a longstanding tradition and had dinner at Springfield Grille. I enjoyed pan seared scallops in sweet sherry sauce with smashed red potatoes, while Marilyn had petit filet mignon -- and her first cosmo ever.

A Toast To Friendship: Marilyn and I at Springfield Grille

Along with great dining, the Youngstown area has a knack for cleverly named stores. From La Ti Da apparel and Elmo’s Bras & Girdles to the Flaming Ice Cube gift shop, there’s no shortage of them. My personal favorite -- The Bone Bucket, a barbecue joint with a banner that reads, “Man Food.”

Marilyn and I had a good laugh over that one -- and over the many times we’ve driven past the right highway exit because we’re so absorbed in conversation. Having been friends for nearly twenty years, we never run out of things to talk about. Or, of course, great restaurants to try.

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