Jul 10, 201304:41 PMFood & Dining
Tasty Tidbits and Food For Thought
It was the day after the Fourth. It was a four day weekend, a night between barbeques, with not too much to do. After going into and coming home from work late, I was beckoned by the husband and teenage foodie daughter to hurry home for a brief road trip. They wanted to go to Gettysburg for dinner, they said. I hopped in the car and we sped off around 8:00 p.m.
We arrived in Gettysburg around dusk, as the last fading embers of the sun were gently retreating from the aged buildings. We followed our directions to the Mexican restaurant along the railroad tracks, which we found had been converted to a pizza shop and then evidently closed for good.
Not deterred, we decided to walk through the back streets of the town and make our way to the Blue Parrot Bistro on Chambersburg Street near the square. I had been to the Blue Parrot about ten years ago, when we took our budding foodie daughter (then an elementary student) to an early New Year’s dinner with relatives. I had since been back but only once or so, but the food was always good and the atmosphere stylish and busy.
I walked in the side door and waited for a hostess. Since I was there last, the restaurant has opened up a new dining area in the breezeway, which reminded me of outdoor seating squeezed between sky skyscrapers in some stylish European city. We were beckoned to our table and I ordered a Stella Artois. I ordered the ceviche as an appetizer, which is a lemon marinated seafood salad which was served with crackers. It was light and acidic, went well with the warm weather, and I enjoyed the addition of mango as one of the ingredients.
For dinner my husband ordered a burrito, and I ordered the poached salmon. The burrito had expertly seasoned grilled cooked chicken buried inside. As a side was a vibrant orange bell pepper salsa which was crunchy fresh and unabashedly shone with spicy flavors. The cold poached salmon dabbed with a light creamy dressing was excellent. It was served on peppery arugula with a toasted quinoa patty, which looked and tasted like an upscale falafel.
After dinner we walked several blocks for ice cream to Mr. G’s. We were too late to catch a ghost tour but the town was still hopping. Although it was after 10 o’clock the streets were bright and busy with families and tourists winding up their Sesqu-Centennial visits. The shops were open late to catch the extra business and the shoplights illuminated the streets. Mingled in with the tourists were battle reinactors, and there were ladies in long puffy dresses, with fans and bonnets quietly cruising past the shops.
Occasionally I would see a Union or Confederate reenactor walking past in full uniform, looking tired and downtrodden from the long day or quietly sitting on a building stoop to catch his breath. There were people sitting out on porches exchanging stories and horses clopped through the streets carrying tourists in white carriages.
The line at Mr. G’s was long, but the young clerks behind the counter moved it along at lightning speed and I got a fresh made blueberry ice cream which was a rich deep purple color. My daughter got a waffle cone with ghost tracks ice cream. I went into the gift shop behind Mr. G’s, bought earrings, saw the slice of the Witness Tree and then sauntered across the street to eavesdrop on the ghost tour. I took a picture in the dark where the tour was facing to try to catch a spooky apparition with no luck.
We crossed over to the Farnesworth house, which was overflowing with ghost tour customers. There was an ice cream bar in the courtyard, and I spied a woman in a full costume dress and bonnet buy a strawberry smoothie. We snacked on our ice cream and turned our steps back to the car, the crowds dwindling and the shops now mostly dark, giving up on the ghosts, making our way through the historic buildings and true living history back to our sleepy home.