Last weekend I got a chance to try out the restaurant across the street - the Tip Top Cafe.

My friend Debbee, who has been away having her own adventures all summer, came to visit and help clean my grungy mini-blinds (which we did at one in the morning!)

We were engaged as soon as we entered by this fascinating arrangements of... DumDum lollipops! We couldn't figure out how it was arranged - was it just for show? Was it a Jenga-esque puzzle/game to be solved?! Perhaps we are too easily amused?

We were whisked away to our table before we could find out.

We were blessed with a very funny, and patient, waiter who calmly explained what a lot of the big words on the menu meant. He also encouraged me to get some real food as I was planning to order a yummy sounding salad and the garlic fries. Huh - that sounded like real food to me. But I gave in and got the meat loaf as well. We also learned that our waiter is awaiting the birth of his first child. We took a weird amount of glee in planning to check back with him in a few months to see if he was still so good humored and patient.

I'll spare you the details of what Debbee and my mom ordered - I don't think I remember - I was so obsessed with my own food! Here's what I got:

Strawberry and Blueberry Salad (mesclun greens, herbed goat cheese, toasted almonds, strawberry vinaigrette, balsamic reduction)
Crispy Fries with Fresh Garlic Aioli
Sesame Pork & Ginger Meat Loaf
(red wine demi, duo of mashed potatoes)

and for dessert? We all shared:Bread Pudding (caramel whiskey sauce, chocolate drizzle)

Was it good?
OMG. I'm drooling just thinking about it. I hope someone takes me there for my birthday... September 15th. Yes, better write that down so you don't forget! (wink wink).

No, I'm not worried that I will want to eat there every night because it is so close - well, I might WANT to eat there all the time - but it is on the rather expensive list of local restaurants. Although, I could have been happy with just the salad and fries. But I definitely would not have shared the fries - they are so addicting. And the meatloaf was like the yummy insides of those Chinese dumplings. Mmmm!

We had to walk off the bread pudding, so Debbee and I toured the deserted historical village in the dark. The only people were in the restaurants... and a few groups of men sitting on lawn chairs in the dark. OK. The rest of the town was total silence. On Saturday night. Not much different than Warner, NH actually. Although, I imagine White River Junction is a very different beast when there is a show on at the Northern Stage Theater.

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