Most of my blogs are related to campus life and events going on within the Alma College community. This year, though, I’m also going to take some time each month to explore areas around the campus and share what I learn and find with you.
I think it is important for all students, at any school, to take some time to explore the community and cities around their campuses. Around Alma there are several small towns and villages that have a lot of great things to offer.
This week I’m going to take you to one of my favorite off-campus eateries, located just 7 miles away in Ithaca: The Hearthstone Oven. I visited the Hearthstone Oven for the first time two years ago, on the recommendation of a long-time Alma resident. This was one of the greatest “local” tips I’ve received since I began college here at Alma.
Whether you are looking for a place to go to get off campus, get a good meal and get some studying done, or maybe you’re headed south or in Ithaca and looking for somewhere to get a quick lunch, Hearthstone is the place for you.
Driving to Hearthstone (or biking, if it’s a nice day!) takes just two streets… Head east on Superior Street until you hit State Road (the flashing red light down by the Citgo station) and turn right. You take that down a few miles and Hearthstone will be on your right.
Upon entering Hearthstone one of the first things you will notice is the bakery counter. There you can typically find cinnamon rolls, fruit rolls, cookies, bread, and many other delicious baked goods. I believe these are strategically placed at the door because they know it is hard for customers to leave without picking up a treat (or two!) to go, which you can see is true by the bags of treats people tend to leave with.
The menu may be small, but the tastes it provides are nothing short of fantastic. Some of my favorites are the spicy chicken bacon ranch sandwich, which comes served on one of their homemade specialties, a butterhorn. A butterhorn is similar to a croissant or roll but tastes buttery and kind of sweet… just go try one, it’s too hard to describe!
Another Hearthstone must-have is a side option they call graham cracker fluff. It is a mixture of pudding and Cool Whip and graham cracker crumbles that come together and taste incredible.
A word of warning: you need to be conscious of the hours when going to Hearthstone, as it is only open for breakfast and lunch hours and also closed on Sundays. Monday-Friday it is open 6:30 a.m.-4 p.m. On Saturdays, 6:30 a.m.-2 p.m.
Get out, go explore! Let me know if you find any other local hotspots, or have a favorite that you’d like me to check out. It may just end up being featured this year.