It is hard to believe that I am six posts in to my vacation series, and I have only made it to dinner on Monday night. This is posting on Sunday, so I am now almost a week behind when these actually happened. That shows just how much culinary awesomeness I’m experiencing on my trip.
By Monday afternoon, I had finally made it to my parents’ house in New Castle. My parents wanted to do a birthday celebration for me since I am never home around my birthday. The last time was probably during my junior year of college when I came home for fall break.
My dad made a reservation at Timber Creek Tap & Table, a brewery in Grove City, PA. I didn’t know there was a brewery over there, but it is only a couple years old, so it does make sense that I’d miss it opening. I am glad that I didn’t hear any perspectives on this restaurant prior to going because the reviews I heard from friends afterward were mixed. It is nice once in awhile to go into a dining experience without any biases.
I thought the whole concept of this restaurant was neat. It has an old, wooded tavern feel, and the inside was very nice. It is a big space with large wooden tables. It felt a bit like upscale rustic.
The brewery is under the restaurant, and you can actually see it through glass floors. I thought that was a unique way to do it. My youngest brother was oblivious and didn’t realize you could see through the floor until the end. He said he wanted to take a picture of the “skyline.” Well, at least he was aware it was there.
My experience here was actually really good. It may have been my favorite meal of my entire vacation. I was pleased with everything I had here. I got an Oktoberfest beer. This was only about the fifth Oktoberfest beer I had since arriving, but I still thought it was delicious. It was also happy hour, so the beer was only $3!
We also got two orders of soft pretzel sticks with beer cheese. Also on the happy hour menu, these cost only $5 per order. The pretzels were lighly fried and had a crisp outside but were soft on the inside. My sister thought they were too salty, but I thought they were perfect. I was a fan of the beer cheese. I would much rather have beer cheese as a soft pretzel accompaniment than mustard.
For my dinner, I ordered the caprese chicken, which is just about what it sounds like: boneless chicken breasts covered with melted fresh mozzarella, topped with cooked tomatoes, and drizzled with balsamic glaze. It was served over a creamy risotto.
Creamy was definitely the correct word. This risotto was smooth and velvety. I don’t know if I have ever had a risotto that creamy. It paired phenomenally with the chicken breast. This chicken was incredibly tender and cut through at the slight touch of my knife. It could not have been more juicy. The flavors were great. I kept trying to get a bite of everything together for the full experience. If I ever go back here, it will be hard for me to resist ordering the same thing.
After dinner, we went back home and my other set of grandparents (who also live in New Castle) and my aunt (who was visiting from Colorado) came over for cake. My mom and sister picked out this beautiful cake from Giant Eagle. It was a white cake with a raspberry filling, butter cream icing and topped with white chocolate shavings.
This cake was so pretty we almost didn’t want to cut into it. Of course we did because we love cake. It did not disappoint. This was a good solid cake with a fancy flair, at least for grocery store bakery cake.
I had an amazing post-birthday celebration with my family. My favorite part was when I got this gift from my parents. It is a book that my mom had made for me. It had a bunch of old family photos and recipes passed down in our family. It was in honor of my blog and the family connections in it. It was a very special present and means a lot to me. I will have to make some of these recipes for the blog. If only my grandma were here to see this all happen. I believe she is watching with great pride though.