New Castle News

July 28, 2012

Josh Drespling: Fulfilled — and full — after a tasty tour of the globe

Josh Drespling
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Last weekend, I got to partake in a whirlwind tour of our small planet. I was accompanied by my wife and her full-blooded Italian grandfather and his wife, Helen.

There was no need to carry our passports or even our visas. Our journey's only requirement was a fresh palate and willingness to try new and possibly adventurous foods.  

We began our expedition with a taste of Italy to appease the Italians in the group. We parted the doors of 2 Tomato in New Castle and took our place at a corner table. I ordered an amazing dish of pasta with shrimp and artichoke hearts and tangy white sauce. My wife had a very tasty fish dish with a creamy risotto. Grandpa Tony selected the Chicken Parmigiano (Parmesan) which, he commented,“was not like mom's.”  It never is.

 If you expect to have your mother's recipe served at a restaurant you will always be disappointed. They both had the Italian wedding soup and I had a delicate salad for which I was told the chef personally picked the veggies from his garden that morning. The bread and dipping oil added a nice touch and left my big, fat belly full. Overall, it was a great taste of Italy.

The following day we ventured to the mega-metropolis of Butler and partook at Red Lobster. I had a fisherman’s feast with all the feeling and taste of a small New England town along the Atlantic Coast. My wife skipped her usual Atlantic salmon in favor of a southern style chicken dish with all-American mashed potatoes. Grandpa had the fish and chips since we had been talking about my wife's adventure in Ireland all weekend. The meals, along with the scrumptious garlic rolls, once again made my belly full and satisfied.

Next on our itinerary was a lunch expedition to On The Boarder in Cranberry following church. Our Mexican-tinged meal started with loads of corn tortilla chips with zesty salsa and queso. I ordered the Baja combo, which came with a deep fried avocado stuffed with slow-cooked pulled chicken, some sauce drenched burritos and, of, course black beans. The rest of the crew settled on various taco and burrito combinations to round out our Mexican experience. Much like the previous two stops, I left with a full belly.

Needless to say, we all put on a few pounds. We had fun doing it and enjoyed our little adventure and the accompanying conversation.

Now I’m back at work contemplating which fast food I shall inflict on my body today as I dream of all the doggie bags that are waiting for me in my fridge at home.