Bakery Patrol


We were driving from where we had been to where we were going in New England, driving over and around mountains and through small towns, the small towns that have a mechanic and someone who does roofing and a few houses. People who live there go to the next town for gas and groceries.

We suspected we were coming to that next town based on the font size of the name on the map – I was on bakery patrol. And there it was, on the right, big letters on the side of the building “BAKERY”. There was the Polish Princess Bakery, with 7 empty angled parking places in a row – just big enough for our truck and travel trailer with a space on each end left for other shoppers. It felt like a miracle.

On that day I became the Polish Princess. I had always been the Polish part, at least half of me, and I felt the Princess part was bestowed on me as I walked into the bakery. We decided to follow our routine to buy something to split at the empty table for two by the front window and something to split with our cup of tea after the veil of evening darkness had descended upon our cozy little traveling home.

Our choice to split in the bakery was a chocolate-filled croissant because neither of us can eat chocolate at night. It blocks the easy drift into slumber, even with the chamomile tea antidote. The dark chocolate filling was a perfect mate for the sweet, buttery pastry. We licked our lips, we moaned in joy, and we picked up crumbs with our moistened finger tips.

The real joy came that night when we split the apple-filled pastry. The crust was between a very good pie crust and a filo pastry, oh so flaky and tender and buttery. It was folded over real, not-out-of-a-can, apples that were still a little crunchy and sprinkled with just enough cinnamon and sugar to enhance the flavor of the apples while still allowing the apples to have the leading role. The Polish Princess was sorry she had to share half with her Prince.


The prompt from The Daily Post, flavorful, motivated me to write this post.

Tommy’s Hot Dog Stand

This afternoon my honey and I decided to do a lunch date at one of our favorite eating places – Tommy’s Hot Dog Stand.

You can only find Tommy’s open during warm weather – they will be closing October 26. And you need to know where to go because they aren’t listed in the Yellow Pages or on-line. I don’t think they have an address to put in your GPS. They are close to downtown, in a residential neighborhood, in front of Tommy’s house. And they sell a lot of hot dogs. We heard from someone that he closes each day after he sells 400. This may also be local urban legend. We go after the noon rush.

Our town is known for Coney Islands, made with finely ground beef heart. Each time my mother came back to visit from Florida, she stopped for Coneys before seeing me. People airship them to other places in the country after they move away.

Meet Tommy, doing what he is so good at – making hot dogs and having fun with customers. Andie and Alex are in the background. They are all related – and belong to a restaurant family famous for their Coney Island Dogs.

After parking by the curb, you get in line so Carrie can take your order. The menu consists of hot dogs, chips, rice pudding and canned pop/soda.

As we were getting in line we met up with a woman who had come down the street in a motorized wheel chair to get a hot dog for herself and one for her grandson whose birthday was yesterday.

If they aren’t busy there is always some chatting going on.

And they know how to make a hot dog and serve it fast. Tommy makes the dogs on a tray, handing it back to the wrappers and server. Many people take orders back to work with them but you can also eat in – well actually out, picnic style.

Alex wrapping.

Andie bagging a take-away order.

Curt replenishing Polish sausages. Refilling containers is full-time work.

If you haven’t picked up on it, Tommy likes to talk and my husband does as well. We live in a small town and find out that Tommy graduated with my cousin’s husband, Ted. Jim also worked with Tommy’s neighbor so they have a lot to talk about. While Tommy takes a break, Alex takes over making the dogs. He shows us the find art of making a perfect coney dog with onions.

Hot coney sauce is spooned on the dog.

Some mustard.

Onions carefully spread on top.

My Nancy Dog, with a fresh sauerkraut slaw on top, was fabulous but as usual it was gone before I thought about taking a picture. You will just have to take my word for it.