Downtown Rome, Georgia has plenty of pedestrian pathways for easy access.
I started off my downtown excursion by checking out my favorite bookstore, Paradise Lost Books. It's a very small used bookstore, but it is packed with an ever-changing assortment of previously owned and loved books. For the amount of books crammed into the tiny space, it's surprisingly well organized and the prices are very reasonable. Be sure to greet the friendly shop cats that roam the store when you check it out.
My other favorite Roman bookstore is Dogwood Books and Antiques. This cool store has a great selection of antique and vintage books as well as collectibles and memorabilia. There is even a cozy reading nook upstairs.
When I had finished foraging for books I was hungry, so I headed to Harvest Moon Cafe. This neat little café offers sidewalk tables, an indoor/outdoor patio space and a cool interior seating area. The indoor dining area is funky and cool with décor pieces by local artists, a number of cow-themed objets d'art, and some really awesome flatware chandeliers. There is also a bar upstairs on The Moon Roof and an event space, The New Moon Venue. Harvest Moon Café has an excellent menu featuring favorites like chips and fries made in-house, pasta salad and the devilishly delicious Hot Wicked Pimina Dip.
I normally get the French Dip sandwich, hot rare prime rib with provolone on a toasted hoagie roll and served with au jus. Today however, I opted for the meat and two veggie plate. I ordered grilled tilapia as my meat, but was told the tilapia had been changed for either trout or salmon. A tough choice, but I went with the salmon. For my veggies I ordered garlic mashed potatoes and fried green tomatoes. Since it was really beautiful out I decided to sit at one of the sidewalk tables. The wait staff is always friendly and attentive and my glass was never less than half full of sweet tea. My food arrived promptly and I couldn't wait to dig in.
The lunch menu at Harvest Moon Cafe is superb and relatively inexpensive.
While the garlic mashed potatoes could have used just a bit more seasoning, the fried green tomatoes more than made up for it. The cornmeal crust was light and crispy, not at all soggy or greasy. The tomatoes were nice and juicy and sweet. The salmon was perfectly grilled, flaky and wonderfully seasoned. A piece of cornbread came with the dish and it was super moist with just the right amount of heat from some sweet jalapenos. It was overall an excellent lunch: great food, nice atmosphere, excellent service.
I had planned on getting dessert next door at the Honeymoon Bakery after lunch, but I was much too full, so I decided to take a stroll downtown and do some shopping instead. There are a number of excellent vintage and upscale consignment shops downtown, but my personal favorite is POSH. This is the kind of store you see in magazines and on television. It's super hip with cool lighting, tasteful displays and an excellent selection of upscale clothing and accessory items at great prices.
POSH is a frugal fashionista's paradise!
After scoring some remarkable deals on some quality pieces for fall, I was feeling a bit noshy, so I headed back to the Honeymoon Bakery for something sweet. The bakery is amazing. The pastry case is stocked full of delectable items like cookies, cupcakes, tarts and even jumbo-sized Rice Crispy treats.
The Rice Crispy treats are the size of bricks! Delicious marshmallowy bricks.
Honeymoon Bakery also makes custom cakes for weddings or other events. They even have a nice assortment of gelato.
Soooo much better than plain ice cream!
On this particular day though, I was after only one thing.... cannoli.
Honeymoon Bakery has the best cannoli I've tried so far. The shell is nice and crispy and coated on the inside with a thin layer of chocolate. The marscapone filling is sweet, but not cloyingly so, and the whole thing is drizzled with chocolate. I took mine to go and sat out on one of the street-side benches and enjoyed it slowly. Ah, la dolce vita!
Other notable places in downtown Rome include:
The Historic Desoto Theatre: Home of Rome's Little Theatre, a community theatre company, this venue also hosts shows and concerts.
La Scala Mediterranean Bistro: My favorite place in the world to eat is pricey, but more than worth it. The tomato basil soup and portobello ravioli are excellent.
Old Havana Cigar Company: With its comfy leather chairs and top-notch selection of fine cigars, this cigar bar has an appealing speak-easy vibe to it. They also have drinks and live music.
There is much more to Rome, Georgia than the downtown area, but that's another post. For more information on this cool city, check out: http://www.romegeorgia.org/ or visit their Facebook page at:Georgia's Rome