I’m deliberately dragging my heels some, since I need to time my meet-up with entropyenator for when she’s not working. Also, seeing as I’m only a couple hundred miles short of ten large, I’m going easy on the car. I did take it in for an oil change before I started out on the trip, but I’m about a thousand miles past the next oil change due time, and the car is flashing a reminder every time I start it. Harrisburg is right off the interstate, and is large enough so that I can kill some time tomorrow before finishing up my drive to entropyenator’s place.
I located an Airbnb place in the oldest part of town, within walking distance of the Broad Street Market, which dates back to the 1860s. The immediate area has clearly gone through some rough patches, but it shows signs of gentrifying, and they’ve done some neat repurposing of the larger buildings. Across the street from Broad Street Market is the Midtown Scholar, a bookstore-cafe-art gallery housed in a historic movie theater, and down the street is The Millworks, which is a recycled factory that now hosts a restaurant and a number of artists’ studios. What I really like is how these businesses have kept the original bones of the buildings (The Millworks in particular is ugly as sin outside) but have opened up the space so that those bones look striking, and not just industrial. Rhode Island’s tried to do something similar with its old factories, but in comparison those buildings are dark and cramped and unappealing inside, and really don’t play on the vaulted airiness you can get with an industrial building.
The Millworks is dedicated to sourcing its food from local farms and businesses, which is commendable, but the output is uneven. The plates are gorgeous to look at, but they’re a bit lacking in flavor. Charcuterie plate meats were amazing, with fat wisping away on your tongue, but the cheeses were bland and barely noticeable; my favorite part, though, were the pickled ramps, which went easy on the spices so the innate garlic of the ramp came through. Smoked beef tacos were completely disappointing, desperately in need of salt. I did enjoy the wlidflower cocktail (vodka, honey, lemon, lavender, cassis), though it tasted as if a bit of bitter pith had gotten in with the lemon; the honey rounded the vodka nicely, and the lavender was a light note instead of a perfumey blast. And the dessert, a vanilla custard, was okay, nothing special, and it being made out of raw milk didn’t add much as far as I could tell.