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Toasted, tasted, conquered

Posted

I’ve never been to Milford. Of course, living a substantial 45 minutes away, I’ve never had much reason to go. But, as The River Reporter’s managing editor, I’m suddenly quite knowledgeable about most of the events happening within a 30-mile radius of my little bubble. The press brief snagged my attention: 31 participating businesses throughout the town offering unique and enticing food and beverage samples from morning til’ night. With a pleasant forecast and a full day off, Toast to Milford seemed like a worthy excursion.

With my good friend Raina Bowers in tow, we traveled down a section of PA Route 6 that I’ve maybe driven just once or twice my life before. With the fresh spring buds on the trees, the stretching, early-morning misty views warmed my spirits for the day ahead.

Approaching from the usual empty, winding roads, I was suddenly stopping and starting, waiting my turn at traffic lights as people with maps clutched in their hands traversed the crosswalks, pointing in directions and paying no mind to the idling cars waiting their passing.

After getting turned around in a lot meant for Milford Diner parking only, I quickly found a convenient spot on the street—in the middle of all the action, I would later learn. “We need to get us one of those maps,” I announced as I locked my car. As I was hoping, some kind passerbys directed us to the shop near the corner, The Artisan Exchange.

Ask a local! We were feeling overwhelmed about where to start, and this guy made himself known as a member of the street team. We appreciated his enthusiasm, but he didn’t offer any suggestions….

We got our maps, and felt our collective breath taken away. The day had just begun, and already we were eyeing up one, two, three—maybe 10 things we’d like to spend our money on. The shopkeeper told us the store was filled with 100% American-made art, and we were feeling impressed as we traveled through its multiple rooms. After 20 minutes, we agreed we had to get out of there before we got into trouble.

Turning the corner, we found the Milford Craft Show; the map read, “Renegade Winery Wine Tasting (& MORE!).” The lawn was colorful with ornaments that spun in the wind, and behind them, three booths, manned by two wineries and a brewery. It was 1 p.m., so we skipped over the wine and found ourselves at the Log Tavern Brewery’s stand. As our server poured our beer samples, he told us about some fancy mustard and pretzel action happening at the actual brewery, just down the street, for another hour. We didn’t need much convincing—to the pretzels we went! The spicy mustard was the true star; I got it all over my fingers as I tried to get as much as possible onto the mini soft pretzels. That classic, tasty combo, and many other snacks, comes from Highland Kitchen and Gardens, which serves food at the tavern on Saturdays and Sundays.

As we delighted in the tavern’s Yeti v2 and Harford Haze brews, I realized we were going to miss my biggest draw to the event: the goat cheese and blueberry cold brew samples at the Frisky Goat Coffeehouse. The map showed us, unfortunately, that we were on the other side of town. After a quick GPS check, we discovered we were a 17-minute walk away. The power walking commenced, and we made it with 10 minutes to spare. The extra layer of sweat on the already humid day was well worth it, and we were even treated to a cold brew refill.

Walking into Milford Underground, we heard some great news. "Everything is 20% off, and we have sangria!" 

If we thought we were done with power-walking, we were wrong. There was some drama with my sweater that was resolved after a hurried retracing of our steps; it had slipped off the straps of my bag and onto the sidewalk without my notice. No longer mourning the loss of a sweater I’ve only worn twice, I was feeling victorious and energized. It only makes sense that we found ourselves next in a temptress of a boutique, Milford Underground, that wasn’t even on the map. But how could we deny those glorious 20%-off-everything signs in the window? “Everything in here is 20% off, and we have sangria!” the shopkeeper announced to us with a wide smile. Sold.

I kept forgetting about my sangria sample as I prodded at the jewelry. I decided on a pair of $12 earrings, feeling pleased that I hadn’t fallen in love with anything else in the shop. Of course, Raina had, and she was trying it all on, so I asked them to hold those earrings while I waited for her. An emerald-green gown right outside the fitting room caught my eye, and, after some inspection, fit me perfectly. Even though I didn’t make it out of there with just a $12-dollar scratch, I was still feeling pleased with myself as we continued down the street.

The Laquer Nail Bar enticed us with a promise of “Fiesta Bites,” but we were offered this choice: sangria or tequila. In the spirit of the looming Cinco de Mayo, we chose tequila, finding out it was mixed with coconut rum, peach schnapps and orange juice. It got Raina feeling some kind of way because she decided to pay for facials for both of us. It came with a free eyebrow wax, the first I’ve ever had. Montages from movies and television make it seem much more dramatic than it really is. 

Back to the center of town, we ended at 403 Broad with delicious rice balls and Japanese eggplant pizza. The quality of the food and atmosphere of the place seemed $40 dollars more expensive than the actual bill. We gave each other a prideful nod, as if we were the true heroes for choosing the right place to eat dinner and finish our evening.

Cheers, to a uniquely wonderful night on the town; we agreed we would have to take the hike and return to the adorable Milford again.

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