The last time I was in Frenchtown was almost ten years ago on a snow day in January of 2011. Earlier in the week, I mentioned to Bhavna that the local businesses and residents decorate the downtown area for the holidays and the feeling is quite festive. Bhavna woke up early and drove with me to Frenchtown.
We parked in the lot on Race Street. As we walked toward Bridge Street a biting cold wind blew on my face. Some of the colourful storefronts looked familiar, and some appeared brand new. We meandered down Race Street and stopped at the Uhlerstown-Frenchtown Bridge for a few quick snaps before heading inside the Bridge Street Cafe. The cold was too much. We were ahead of the schedule I set, but I was hungry. Bhavna agreed that we should order lunch and then drive to Readington Brewery and Hop Farm to eat and try the beer.
I ordered a grilled cheese with onions and bacon and Bermuda seafood chowder, and Bhavna ordered a hummus wrap. While we waited for food, I chatted with a resident who mentioned that some of the businesses, like the barbershop, had closed and some new ones, like the record store, were more recent additions.
I stopped at the record store on the walk back to the car. Compared to the quantity of the selection at the Princeton Record Exchange, it’s disappointing, but I enjoy the layout and the ambience here.
Readington Brewery & Hop Farm
The Readington Brewery & Hop Farm recently opened in the borough of Readington in Hunterdon County. The brewery specializes in producing a variety of handcrafted beers using ingredients grown on the farm, including hops, barley, and other locally sourced ingredients. It’s rare to have a new brewery open in this area so we were excited. We looked at the tap list before making the trip but did not hope we would enjoy the ales. Our misgivings were confirmed.
The brewery has a spacious taproom with a relaxing atmosphere. The tap list included IPAs, stouts, lagers, and seasonal brews. Some of their beers include "Old Highway," an American Pale Ale, "Sourland," a sour IPA, and "Farmers Tan," an American wheat beer. The brewery is committed to sustainability and uses environmentally friendly practices in its brewing and farming processes.
We tried several times from the tap list but found them average. But one beer stood out. We rated the Kombucha-inspired ale a paltry 0.1/5, the lowest rating I can give a beer on Untappd. Up until now, my lowest-rated beer was a Corona.
As for the food we bought in Frenchtown, I enjoyed my Bermuda seafood chowder and grilled cheese, but Bhanva disliked her hummus wrap.