Friday, July 11, 2014

I Ate My Way Around Put-in-Bay

When Lacey joined our family over a year ago her separation anxiety was so severe that she lost it when either of us went on a short business trip. With that and some of her other issues, Husband and I didn’t think it was a good idea to go on a vacation with her. Lacey behavior hasn’t earned the privilege of going on a vacation yet so we stayed home.

Husband and I really needed a vacation this year.

putinbaysignpost
The signpost is in nautical miles!

We’ve been working with Lacey on her issues and she is making progress. We decided to test the waters and board Lacey while we took a went to Kelley’s Island and Put-in-Bay. We get a break, I finally get to visit the islands I grew up near but never visited, and we are close enough to home that if Lacey has issues, we can come home early. Fortunately, we didn't. Lacey did well while we were gone.

Whew!

putinbayhusbanddaycarecenter

As soon as I smelled the lake air and the island ferry launched, I didn't realize exactly how much I miss boating and being on the water. Seeing some of the tourist puns during our first quick jaunt around downtown Put-in-Bay reminded me of my childhood lake life. I knew I was HOME.

TJ’s Smokehouse is kind enough to offer husband day care services for guys who don’t want to go poking around the many shops downtown. This wasn't an issue with us. When Husband went running, I window shopped for something to do.


We stayed on Put-in-Bay because there was more things we interested in seeing on doing (and eating!)

We took a day trip to hit the highlights on Kelley’s Island. Check out my DIY blog Condo Blues for more Put-in-Bay and Kelley's Island fun!

Kelley’s is a little larger island than Put-in-Bay. It only made sense to fuel our day of pedal powered tourism with lunch at Kelley’s Island Brewery. We had a great chat with Doug the brewer about his beers and how he makes them as we sampled Kelley's Island Brewery Summer Haze. 



kelleysislandbrewery
This probably goes without saying but since I am highlighting some of the adult beverages we sampled on our vacation, we drank these offerings carefully and responsibly. You can be arrested for operating a bicycle, boat, and golf cart under the influence of alcohol in the state of Ohio just as you can be arrested for doing the same in an automobile. A word to the wise – don’t. (End of PSA.)

I didn't do much in the way of shopping for doodads. We didn't want our suitcases to get too heavy because we brought our bikes to ride to and from the ferry dock. Most folks travel by rented bicycle or golf cart since the islands are small and parking is limited.


It was also a good incentive to oil our bike chains and check for wear, which is something we almost never do (bad me.)  Learn how I tuned up our bicycles before our trip on my DIY blog Condo Blues.

We already have a bike rack for our car so it wasn't a big thing to bring our own bikes. I’m glad we did. I didn't see any Lisa kid-size bikes for rent. Yep, I’m That. Short.

With all of that cycling, needed to refuel frequently and often. As we ate our way around the Lake Erie Islands, we also indulged in our favorite vacation game I Dare You to Eat That with Mossback’s Pierogi Burger.

pierogiburger

Friends, I do not think you fully understand the epic culinary grandness of 1/4 pound of burger topped with Pierogi – my all time eyes pop out of my head comfort food.

Gaze upon it in wonder and joy. Pierogi. ON TOP OF A HAMBURGER! 

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Husband and I split the burger because it was so big.

Husband laughed at my reaction all through lunch. He almost had to stop me from rolling on the restaurant flood and making happy tummy sounds. Pierogi. ON TOP OF A HAMBURGER! 

We paid tribute to our Celtic roots at Hooligan’s Irish Pub where I indulged in the Guinness Burger. A burger topped with not as caramelized onions as promised (I like my caramelized onion a little bit browner) and a sweet Guinness BBQ sauce.

guinnessburger
Still good though. I like my barbeque on the sweet side.

Since vacations clearly fall into the 20 of our family healthy eating 80-20% rule, I paired it with a Black and Gold. This is Hooligan’s take on the traditional Black and Tan beer cocktail. Instead of floating the Guinness on Bass they float it on Great Lake’s Brewing Company Dortmunder Gold.

Blackandgoldguinnessdortmundergold

A refreshing twist on a favorite!

Most of the time, I stuffed my face with Lake Erie Perch or Walleye accompanied by a Great Lakes Brewing Company Commodore Perry IPA at every opportunity.  As much as it kills me to waste food, I skipped the burger buns during most meals because I didn’t know if they were made with milk ingredients. It was a strategy that worked. That way when I came upon a cheese filled dish of amazing deliciousness that my foodie self could not pass up, I was able to handle the lactose in carefully chosen small doses.

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Fun fact: Commodore Perry IPA tastes even better when enjoyed in the shadow of Perry’s Monument.
The area is also known for its wineries because it has a Mediterranean climate that produces the most luscious grapes. Each winery is worth a visit because they are all slightly different. The Put-in-Bay Winery at the Doller Estate is more of a history of island life and wine sampling (look for this in a later post on my DIY blog Condo Blues,) Heineman's Winery tour features the entire winemaking process, and the Kelley’s Island Wine Co is more of a wine bar type of place.

Don’t let’s that stop you from visiting.  Kelley’s Island Wine Co. serves an innovative and delicious duck quesadilla so worth jumping head first into lactose intolerance island for.

Duck quesadilla
I dream about this quesadilla at night.

One of my few regrets about our trip is that we couldn't stay longer. There were too many restaurants we didn't get to try during our stay!















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