Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Adding Some "Perk" to the Morning

I had to drive down to Guilford today for an appointment, and the most direct route to there from Middletown was Route 77, which actually starts in Durham. So I picked up 77 in Durham and settled in for a fantastic, beautiful ride.

Route 77 winds its way through farmland--glorious, undisturbed, pristine farmland. There are very few retail stores; the ones that exist are years-old mom-and-pop businesses. You go past lakes, marshes, and underneath some wonderful green canopies of trees. Mostly, however, you drive by acres and acres of open, green farmland. I was enthralled by this ride--well, as enthralled as I could be while driving a car. I took in as much of the scene as I could while focusing on the road in front of me. The best part about the ride was that I got to repeat it on the way home.

The way home from Guilford also encompasses a part of Route 17 going through Durham, one of my favorite Connecticut small towns. I love Durham because it's quiet, scenic, and has just the right amount of retail business without selling out to the major chains. In fact, the only chain stores in town are Curves and the gas stations.

On the way home, I stopped to try out the restaurant Perk on Main, about which I have heard raves. Perk on Main is a local restaurant known for its wonderful Perkuccinos, but is more widely known--and deservedly so--for its wonderful crepes. At Perk on Main, not only can you get the traditional sweet crepes, you can also get some very filling savory crepes, which make a terrific lunch. I originally was going to purchase a Nutella crepe, just a simple, basic crepe, until I read the full menu of savory crepes. It was 11:30 AM, and I asked if the savories were available yet; I was told that the full menu was available all day.

An all-day menu?!? Score!

Anyway, I decided to go with the Nathan Hale crepe, which contained fresh basil, diced tomato, fresh mozzarella, and balsamic vinegar--essentially a caprese crepe, and you know I can't resist caprese. For an additional charge, you can get either chicken or shrimp with your crepe; I went with the chicken.

I ended up paying $7.35 for the whole crepe, a little on the expensive side, but it was worth every penny. The chicken was moist, tender, and flavorful. The tomatoes were oh-so-fresh, firm, and perfect. There was just the right amount of basil and freshly ground black pepper, and this delectable delicacy was enrobed in just the right amount of sweet, tangy, tasty balsamic vinegar. I savored every delicious bite.

Each savory crepe comes with a pickle and two slices of fresh melon. I passed on those because I dislike both of these foods. Yet the crepe was wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. Yes, I know that I've used that word multiple times throughout this post, but I don't know how else I can articulate my feelings without cracking Mr. Roget's thesaurus.

Perk on Main has an open mike night every Friday at 7 PM. They've got a concert going on tomorrow, but I am not sure that it's a regular thing.

One of the best things I liked about Perk on Main is that it's a green coffee shop. They have paper cups for coffee to go, but they're biodegradable and made of recycled materials. They brew organic, fair trade coffee and serve it with hormone free milk. Their produce comes from local growers.

I'm definitely making this a new favorite place to go. Next time, I'm ordering that Nutella crepe! Wait a minute...I'm looking at their menu right now, and their breakfast burritos look pretty good, too...and they come with potatoes!! Arrgh, decisions...

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