I will always remember my first college-bound child's drop-off over eight years ago. It was a hot & humid, late & lazy August day in our nation's capitol, her room was on ( at least ) the third floor, and there was no freight elevator in service in that aging building. With quite a few kids moving in on the same day at basically the same time, the winding staircase made for quite a few traffic jams and strained smiles before it was all over.
The other thing I'll definitely remember is how the student "helpers" - strapping young men that I think were members of the soccer team - that were so eager to assist my daughter carry her belongings seemed to vanish shortly after they discovered her room was on the third floor.
Equally, I will more than likely remember my last college pick-up, which took place yesterday on a frigid January day in State College, PA. I won't bore you with the details, but there were plenty of steps, a hammer that eventually bent after some heavy use taking apart an extremely well-constructed wooden bunk bed ( built by a mechanical engineer ), and a 400 mile round trip in one day that gave father and son some quality time to catch-up.
And then there was lunch at Herwig's Austrian Bistro:
"Where Bacon is an herb!"™
I could probably peck away for the next hour or two and never do this award-winning eatery justice. so I will simply offer this; if you ever visit State College, PA, you have to grab lunch or dinner at Herwig's...and bring your appetites and sense of humor.
My lunch selection was Schweinsbauch (a slow roasted local cured pork belly with a tart bacon/Chardonnay sauerkraut). I paired it with a bottle ( it's a BYOB ) of double chocolate stout. My son had Leberkaese mit Ei (a Bavarian beef/pork sausage loaf grilled and topped with a fried egg). He chose a very hoppy pale ale to wash that down. And as we were going to be burning off quite a few calories that afternoon, we both opted for dessert. My son had Dark Chocolate Bacon Cheesecake.
That's right folks...there's bacon in the cheesecake.
And for the second time in a row, I had the Cremeschnitte - Puff pastry stuffed with an orange rum cream. And I think someone got distracted when adding the ~151 proof rum to the cream as they were whipping it to perfection...but no complaints here. I'm thinking I probably could have started a small fire if I lit a match anywhere near my plate.
Seriously...it was an absolute gastronomic masterpiece of a finish.
And on our way home, we stopped back to pick up some cinnabaconrolls for my wife. Yep, that's correct. They even put bacon, and not just a few small pieces, in their homemade cinnamon rolls.
Here are a few pics from our most recent visit to one of the finest and funnest ethnic eateries around...anywhere!
Above & Below: Pork Bellies & sauerkraut - before & after.
Below: Only at Herwig's
Above/below: Our zero calorie/zero guilt desserts.
And finally, the legendary Herwig "Brandy" Brandstatter & me!
Once again...do not pass through State College without a visit to Herwig's! And if they have pork bellies...go for it!
P.S. - Definitely call ahead to reserve your cinnabaconrolls.
Folks, we will soon be 100% authentic empty-nesters.
Tempus does indeed fugit. For those who still have kids underfoot...enjoy every second.