For a home cook like me, this is heaven. Rows of brightly colored stand mixers greet me inside the KitchenAid Experience Retail Center, just waiting to whisk together soup, cookie dough and ice cream. Located in the historic town of Greenville, it's part outlet store and part museum. The nearby factory is the only place in the world the brand's iconic stand mixers are made.
I add to my collection of kitchen gadgetry, including a pasta roller and cutter attachment for my own KitchenAid stand mixer that will help me make homemade pastas.
I also splurge on a food processor attachment to quickly dice, slice or shred fruits and vegetables. Before I spend all my money in one spot, I head to the museum, where I learn that the first stand mixers were sold door to door by women, who lugged around these 65-pound kitchen utensils, back in the early 1900s.
I've cooked up an appetite as I head into Greenville's downtown and its blend of late-1800s buildings with sleek new storefronts. A dozen or so eateries here offer menus ranging from upscale esoteric to Midwestern classics and a storied hometown favorite.
For the latter, I make a beeline for Maid-Rite Sandwich Shoppe, a small hole-in-the-wall diner that opened in 1934. The Cheese-Rite sandwich is the first thing anyone should order here. The seasoned and steamed loose ground beef, served on a sweet bun, comes out moist, tender and covered with cheese and grilled onions. Following local custom, I stick a piece of my own chewed gum on the building's exterior along with a mosaic of others — an artistic testament to the restaurant's charm.
As a java junkie, downtown Greenville's got me covered with three coffee shops. But I pick the A & B Coffee & Cake Co. for its warm crimson walls, wood floors, and tables and chairs that provide a cozy, homey atmosphere perfect for my post-lunch rest. A latte and one of the house-made specialty cupcakes the spot is known for — vanilla buttercream on chocolate cake — are my cafe companions and tide me over until dinner.
The red brick walls and low-hanging lights of D'Alessios give the 5-year-old restaurant a rustic romantic feel. As I survey the menu of Italian favorites — think fettuccini Alfredo, and spaghetti and meatballs — I also see some fun twists, including breadsticks stuffed with mozzarella cheese. I opt for chef Graham Guttadore's Mediterranean-meets-Italian take on a grilled chicken breast Caesar salad topped with local strawberries and blueberries from Fulton Farms in nearby Troy, and tangy feta cheese. And although I love pound cake, D'Alessios made a smartly sinful decision to replace it with a glazed doughnut as the base for strawberry shortcake, which I quickly devour.
If You Go
KitchenAid Experience Retail Center, 423 S. Broadway St., 888-886-8318, kitchenaid.com/experience-retail-center
Maid-Rite Sandwich Shoppe, 125 N. Broadway St., 937-548-9340, maidrite-greenville.com
The A & B Coffee & Cake Co., 501 S. Broadway St., 937-459-5720
Print out a floor-by-floor map of Bear's Mill from its website and take a self-guided tour of the fully functioning gristmill, which was built in 1848 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Afterward, buy freshly ground flours and cornmeal from its small gift shop. 6450 Arcanum-Bear's Mill Road, Greenville, 937-548-5112, bearsmill.com
The National Annie
Oakley Center celebrates the sharpshooter who supported her family by selling the small game she shot. See posters, photos and long rifles of the Darke County native, who went on to become a female shooting star in Buffalo Bill's Wild West show. 205 N. Broadway, Greenville, 937-548-5250, garstmuseum.org
You'll want to wake up for the Early Morning Butter Crumb Coffee Cake at Wayman's Corner Bed and Breakfast, a restored 1925 American Foursquare-styled building. Decorated in Victorian styles but with 21st-century conveniences, the four-bedroom inn features two porches and a lovely corner garden blooming with roses, petunias, phlox, mums and herbs. $90-$135 per night; 633 Central Ave., Greenville, 937-316-6074, waymanscorner.com