I'm visiting home for the weekend and hanging out with my folks. I told them I wanted to try out the new rice pudding parlor
that opened in town. I like the idea of a rice pudding parlor muchly, and I liked this place, so I'm going to encourage all of you to go if you can. It's called "Rice n Easy". It's two doors down from the Iron Horse, so it's easy to find.
Rice n Easy is a lot like an ice-cream parlor, except with not-freezing wares. :-) They have about 21 different flavors of rice pudding that they make. The puddings are essentially the same, texture-wise, they just have different flavors & stuff in them. The flavors cover the sort of interesting range that I expect from a "fancy-flavor" ice-cream place like Cold Stone or Lizzy's: rocky-road, carrot cake, green tea, vanilla, etc. (I got mascarpone and was happily surprised to find that it had juicy cherries in it! Super yum!) There were also two non-dairy flavors.
The place was nice, too -- set up for hanging out. They have colorful walls and a big bar-table set back from the counter, plus several small tables. The center of the bar table is a row of books for browsing and there was a chess set and a checkers mat, too. (The checkers set was over-sized: made from a woven rug and hand-sized pieces. When we were there, an adorable 4-year-old was practicing stacking the pieces up; first all the reds together and the blacks together, then carefully alternating them. An even more adorable two-year-old was flipping thru the rack of posters for sale. It reached the end of the rack and half climbed in without seeming to mean to. "You're the cutest thing in there, you know," exclaimed a college-type, bidding farewell to the baby as her group left.)
I don't think that I need to mention that the walls are of course serving double duty as a rotating art gallery. In Northampton even the tax accountants are also art galleries. I also don't think I need to mention that they also sell all-beef hot dogs -- oh, wait, that is
odd. But there are also veggie hot-dogs according to their sign, so all is well. ...No, it's still odd. I can't explain it.
Anyway, you should try them out:
If you're one of those people who I hear complaining about New Englanders eating ice cream in winter -- get pudding instead -- they'll even serve it hot! If you're waiting in line for the Iron Horse, pop in for some pudding to go! If you, like me, just think rice pudding is great, pilgimage out there and help the place thrive as it deserves to!