Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Antiques, Cuisine & Golf Legend Tour

Antiques, Cuisine & Golf Legend Tour
Experience fall foliage in the Laurel Highlands

While the countryside containing beautiful colors of fall will be amazing, an opportunity to taste artisan bread, “pick” unique and hard to find items, and see golf memorabilia and learn about the accomplishments of Arnold Palmer is an impressive experience.  This tour route covers 50 miles and takes approximately 1.5 hours without any planned stops.  The tour starts outside Greensburg at the intersection of Route 30 and Route 130/Humphrey Road (noted as the Greensburg / Pleasant Unity exit).

Attractions along the Route

Attractions along the Antiques, Cuisine & Golf Legend Tour are the following:

·         Friendship Farms Bakery -147 Friendship Farm Road, Latrobe, PA 15650 Bakery Phone:  (724) 423-1545 (approx. 8.3 miles into the tour)

A visit to the Costello family farm takes visitors back to the “good old days” when you could buy meat directly from a farmer and delight in the aroma of homemade bread in the oven.  The Costello family sells a wide selection of natural breads that they bake from scratch with spring water, untreated flours and organic grains. Angus range-fed beef from the farm’s own cattle is also available at their retail store.  Visitors can take a walk through the native plant nursery and learn about trees, shrubs and grasses native to our region. 

·         Foggy Mountain Lodge and Restaurant -117 Foggy Mountain Lane, Stahlstown, PA 15687 Phone: (724) 593-1000 (approx. 16 miles into the tour)
Stop by the Foggy Mountain Lodge and Restaurant to relax and enjoy drinks or a fine dining experience. Foggy Mountain Lodge is located on 120 secluded acres of fields and woodlands that create a beautiful and serene country setting. The restaurant features a cathedral ceiling for a comfortable atmosphere as guests relax and enjoy gourmet meals by the firelight and warmth of the stone fireplace. The full service bar features six beers on tap. When weather permits, guests may dine outside on the large patio deck.

·         Out of the Fire Café -3784 PA Route 31, Donegal, PA 15628 Phone: (724) 593-4200 (Tour deviation to Donegal, Pa.  Turn Right onto Route 711.  At the intersection of Route 31, turn left.)
Out of the Fire Café is a family owned and operated restaurant with an upscale menu but casual atmospherere that serves New American cuisine. The open kitchen allows guests to gaze into the enthralling scene of flames and artistic finesse as Out of the Fire’s skilled team creates delicious and visually tempting appetizers, entrees and desserts. The dining area is complemented by a stunning view of the Laurel Highlands ridgeline that is even more beautiful with the season’s changing leaves. Out of the Fire also offers seasonal deck dining. Out of the Fire is a BYOB establishment, so bring your favorite beer or wine.

·         Fort Ligonier -200 South Market Street, Ligonier, PA 15658 Phone: (724) 238-9701 (approx.  26 miles into the tour)
During the eight years that it served as a military base, Fort Ligonier was never taken by an enemy. During Pontiac’s War of 1763, it was vital for British communication and supply lines. Fort Ligonier was attacked twice and was besieged by the Native Americans prior to the pivotal victory at Bushy Run. When Arthur St. Clair was appointed civil caretaker, Fort Ligonier was retired from active service. Visit the museum galleries and the famed Fort to explore its history. Allow at least an hour to tour Fort Ligonier with some extra time to visit the Museum Store.

·         Graham’s Antique Mall -2397 Route 30 West, Ligonier, PA  15658 Phone: (724) 238-8611  (approx. 28.7 miles into the tour)     

Find just about anything from furniture to tools and a large selection of jewelry. With 40 antique dealers all under one roof, you’ll be sure to find some unique treasures to bring back home.

·         Arnold Palmer Memorabilia at SpringHill Suites by Marriott -115 Arnold Palmer Drive, Latrobe, PA 15650 Phone: (724) 537-7800 (Tour deviation to SpringHill Suites)

During the development of Latrobe’s newest hotel, the owners wanted to offer something special for guests and visitors.  Given the connection between Arnold Palmer with the City and the region, the logical choice was creating a signature lobby that honors a favorite native son.  Visitors are invited to see his memorabilia and view a documentary and photo history of his personal and professional career.  The hotel is situated less than one mile from Arnold Palmer's Latrobe Country Club and near the Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve adjacent to Saint Vincent College.

·         Dining Options along Route 30 in Greensburg

Downtown Greensburg offers an eclectic mix of dining choices with local establishments offering traditional pub favorites to upscale American Style cuisine. From traditional Italian to hamburgers, sushi, crepes and tapas style cuisine, visitors can enjoy dinner while taking advantage of prevalent outdoor seating this fall. Two Greensburg favorites along Route 30 to choose from during your fall foliage driving tour are Robokyo and Pepperwood. Both options offer patio seating and live music on select evenings.

Robokyo Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi- 117 Toll House Road, Greensburg, PA 15601 Phone: (724) 834-7423 
Robokyo offers hibachi style steak, chicken and seafood made by chefs who entertain guests with tricks and fire in one of the hibachi rooms. An extensive menu of sushi and appetizers is available at the lounge and patio for those who would like a more intimate dining setting.

Pepperwood Grille -5290 East Pittsburgh Street, Greensburg, PA 15601 Phone: (724) 853-8121
Pepperwood serves a seasonal menu filled with fresh seafood, steaks, salads, brick oven pizzas and specialty burgers and sandwiches.

Description of the Route

  • Start outside Greensburg at the intersection of Route 30 and Route 130/Humphrey Road (noted as the Greensburg / Pleasant Unity exit).
  • Proceed south on Route 130/Humphrey Road towards Stahlstown.  Route 130 passes through the communities of Pleasant Unity and Lycippus.
  • In Stahlstown at the intersection of Route 130 and Route 711, turn left and proceed north on Route 711.
  • In Ligonier at the intersection of Route 711 and Route 30, turn left and proceed west to Latrobe.
  • In Latrobe at the intersection of Route 30 and Route 981, turn left on Route 981 and proceed south to Pleasant Unity.
  • At the stop sign intersection with Route 130, turn right.  (At this point, you are returning to Greensburg.)
  • Proceed on Route 130 to the intersection with Route 30 outside of Greensburg.

Choose one or all of the stopping points to create a memorable experience this fall, and enjoy your scenic drive through the beautiful Laurel Highlands! Alternate routes can be found at the Laurel Highlands Visitor’s Bureau. Click the link to find out more: http://www.laurelhighlands.org/laurel-highlands/outdoor-activities/pennsylvania-fall-foliage.asp

Wine, Berries and Burgers Tour

Wine, Berries and Burgers Tour
Experice fall foliage in the Laurel Highlands

When the season changes from summer to fall, the leaves also begin to change from green to lively hues of red, orange, pink, purple and yellow. The vibrant explosions of color seen across the Laurel Highlands region make this time of year a favorite for many people. Consider taking this scenic drive beginning in Greensburg to see the breathtaking views our region has to offer.

Drive straight through the route and enjoy the scenery from inside your car, or take an entire day to make several leisurely stops along the way for added fun. Enjoy wine, berries and burgers at the noted stopping points. The driving route covers 34 miles and will take 1.5 to 4 hours (depending on the number and length of stops).

Attractions along the Route

Attractions along the Wine, Berries and Burgers Tour are the following:

·         Stone Villa Wine Cellar - Corner of Clay Pike and Alice,  1085 Clay Pike Road, Acme, PA 15610 Phone: (724) 423-5604 (Approx. 30 minutes into the drive)
Stone Villa is located on a 150 acre site in the foothills of the Laurel Highlands of southwestern Pennsylvania. The name comes from ancestors of co-owner of the wine cellar Randy, whose grandparents were wine makers and stone masons. Stone Villa features over 12 varieties of grapes and over 20 varieties of wines. With the new facilities, production is expected to be around 15,000 gallons a year, but can handle 20,000 gallons or 10,000 cases of wine. A relaxing atmosphere, beautiful landscape and patio and tasteful wine make a trip to Stone Villa a revitalizing and memorable trip.

·         Polymath Park Resort-187 Evergreen Lane, Acme, PA 15610 Phone: (877) 833-7829
Polymath Park Resort features the famous Usonian Style architecture of the Duncan House created by Frank Lloyd Wright, as well as the Balter and Blum Houses. Take a tour to marvel at the work of one of the world’s most celebrated architects, and enjoy wine, dessert or a meal at Tree Tops Restaurant. Some tour options even include a walking tour ending with an outdoor picnic or a horse-drawn carriage tour. Call the (877) 833-7829 x2 to book a tour and learn pricing information for each package.

·         Sand Hill Berry Farm and Greendance Winery-304 Deerfield Road  and 306 Deerfield Road, Mount Pleasant, PA 15666 Phone: (724) 547-4760 and (724) 547-6500 (approx. 26 miles into the drive)
Sand Hill Berries is a family-owned and operated small fruits farm specializing in red and yellow raspberries, red and black currants, gooseberries, blackberries, blueberries and strawberries. The farm also creates a line of products including jams, jellies, vinaigrettes and unique gourmet products. Fresh daily baked goods including berry pies, cheesecakes and cookies are also available at the farm and farm markets. Call a day or more ahead of time if you wish to place an order for berries and baked goods to ensure they have what you need when you arrive.

Greendance is the winery at Sand Hill. The Lynn and Schilling families of Sand Hill Berry Farm partnered with the Vinoski family, who has been making wine and growing grapes for years. Because of their dedication and award-winning success as private enologists, the Vinoskis envisioned a winery to make their passion available for all to appreciate. Greendance offers over 40 wines that are free for tasting every day. Their Nectar Garden and outdoor Cafe are open daily for visitors to sit, sip, and enjoy the warm sun and gentle breezes through the flowers. Weekends provide added entertainment with live music on the patio stage. A full calendar of musical guests can be seen at www.greendancewinery.com.

·         The Olde Spitfire Grille-1517 Broad St, Greensburg, PA 15601 Phone:(724)-205-6402(approx. 34 ½ miles into the tour)
The Olde Spitfire Grille in Greensburg provides an contemporary but comfortable atmosphere with delicious foods for any appetite.The Olde Spitfire Grille specializes in American, down-home fare. Out of their impressive smoker, comes everything from beef brisket, to their house-smoked wings...try the signature "Mitch's Mambo BBQ Sauce". It is open for lunch only on Sundays, dinner and late night beer and cocktails Tuesday through Saturday. Dine inside or enjoy an evening of live entertainment as local bands play on the outdoor patio.

Description of the Route

· Start outside Greensburg at the intersection of Route 30 and Mt. Pleasant Road (noted as the Greensburg / Mt. Pleasant exit).
· Proceed South on Mt. Pleasant Road towards the community of Norvelt.
· After passing the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg campus, turn left so to remain on Mt. Pleasant Road.
· At the intersection of Mt. Pleasant Road and Kecksburg Pike Road, turn left.  A BP gas station will be a landmark.
· Follow Keckburg Pike Road to the village of Keckburg (approx. 10 miles).
· At Kecksburg, continue straight onto Clays Pike Road which ends at Route 31 in Donegal.
· Turn Right at the intersection of Clays Pike Road and Route 31 (approx. 15.6 miles)
· Follow Route 31 to the town of Mt. Pleasant (approx. 23 miles).  Turn right onto Route 819 and return to Greensburg.

Choose one or all of the stopping points to create a memorable experience this fall, and enjoy your scenic drive through the beautiful Laurel Highlands! Alternate routes can be found at the Laurel Highlands Visitor’s Bureau. Click the link to find out more: http://www.laurelhighlands.org/laurel-highlands/outdoor-activities/pennsylvania-fall-foliage.asp

Monday, August 13, 2012

Dining Experience at Robokyo and Downtown Tour

While planning a weekend date, I thought of all of the unique privately-owned restaurants that I have learned about during my summer internship at the Greensburg Community Development Corporation. There are countless options to choose from, depending on the type of food you’re craving and desired setting.

Outdoor bar at Robokyo
My boyfriend Michale and I both love Asian style cuisine, so we decided to eat at Robokyo Steakhouse & Sushi.  Robokyo is a Japanese style hibachi restaurant that also has an extensive menu of traditional and specialty sushi and appetizers. Guests may dine inside one of the hibachi rooms for fresh steak, chicken and seafood, prepared on downdraft smokeless Hibachi tables by skilled chefs that entertain guests with tricks and fire while cooking. For guests looking for a more intimate setting, the restaurant also contains a quiet lounge in addition an outdoor patio and bar.

Fried rice with chicken at Robokyo's outdoor patio
 We decided to enjoy a casual date on the outdoor patio, which features a bar with beautiful stonework and tables shaded by umbrellas and adjacent trees.  Upon arrival and with the evening being beautiful, I noticed that other couples had the same idea and were enjoying drinks, sushi and appetizers.  We found a table in corner and spent a few minutes discussing the choices on the menu.  Although there was not a band playing on the evening of our date, Robokyo features live music on the outdoor patio on some evenings.

The food did not disappoint with flavorful dishes of fried rice topped with chicken and steak and garnished with colorful spirals of carrot and purple cabbage. The dishes were made complete with a side of Robokyo’s own ginger dressing. I also enjoy the Philadelphia rolls, made with cream cheese, smoked salmon, asparagus and jalapeno. Robokyo provides a great dining experience for any occasion, from a large group of friends to family dinner or a date.

Kiwi gelato at Sugar & Cream

After our meal, I decided to take Michale on a walking tour downtown. I told him about various shops I have visited and my favorite places to get ice cream and gelato, such as The Cupcake Shoppe, Sugar & Cream and Ice House Creamery. I also told him about the great drinks at DV8 Espresso Bar & Gallery, like Frozen Chai. I enjoyed sharing what I appreciate about the City of Greensburg. I would definitely like to plan another date in the City for the near future!
By Alex Hinton, GCDC Summer Intern