A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was (UPDATED 02/09/12)

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jaylhorner
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Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/02/07 10:14:40 (permalink)
I'm getting smarter..... I now read your reports after breakfast!
#61
Tex-Max
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Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was (UPDATED 02/04/12) 2012/02/08 00:04:20 (permalink)
That North Star Orchard Cherry Pie looks awesome!  The photography is not bad either. Thanks for sharing.
TM
#62
billyboy
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Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/02/09 07:12:48 (permalink)
Back to Syracuse in October to run not one, but two races.  My first meal that weekend was at the family-favorite, Stella's Diner, and I did my best to help my niece finish her very large chocolate milkshake.  That's what family is for, right?  The massive Fretta (read: mixed scramble) I had for dinner was delicious but had crying "uncle"!  



 
The next day was the Run/Walk For William in Cicero, NY, a charity run to raise money for a local scholarship fund and I had the honor of meeting some very wonderful people. especially William's parents (the race coordinators).  



 
My post-run reward was lunch at the B'Ville Diner in Baldwinsville, NY.  In applying all that buffetbuster has taught me over the years I made sure to ask which pies were homemade and to order my coconut meringue slice BEFORE my meal!  The locally-made Gianelli sausage marinara sandwich with home fries was no slouch either.



 
The day before running the inaugural Empire State Half Marathon, I went to the Expo to pick up my race packet and had the honor of meeting and getting to speak with Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to run the Boston Marathon (1967).  

My post race treat was an amazing homemade roast pork dinner with my extended family at my sister's house and a special treat I picked up was a mini in-house made grape pie from Wegman's supermarket.  Flaky, buttery crust and an intensely grape-y flavor, I was only good for about 1/4 of this before passing it on to others.  



 
In the weeks before I ran the NYC Marathon, I scaled back on the Roadfooding to give my body time to adjust to eating lighter and eating food that would better serve me in going the distance for 26.2 miles.  However, my friends did put on a wonderful, touching pre-race pasta carb-load party the evening before with all sorts of tasty (regionally inspired) foods.  Trays of homemade lasagnas, chicken riggies, salads, breads from a local bakery, whoopie pie, Nutella and PB,  and PB & J cupcakes were but some of the delights we indulged in the night before the race.  Sorry, I only managed to get shots of the cupcakes!


 
Running and Roadfooding has been a special mix for me for some time now and these next pics are the culmination of a lot of hard work over the past two years and many of my friends and family have been so supportive and even indulged with me on many Roadfood/Running adventures (running 4 miles to Peter Liuger's with my friend Eb for a bacon cheeseburger come to mind!).  Billy below with Doug and Eb, the two best wingmen any runner could ask for!

Doug and I picking up our bibs at the Expo.

I've run so many times for almost every reason on here. 

Our friends at the pasta party took turns writing us good luck messages.

Emerald Nuts is a big sponsor of many local races in NYC.

Doug and his wife put a lot of work into planning and hosting this party and my eyes welled up a bit when I walked in and saw all of the signs and these very special and funny quotes all over the wall.  The effort that went into this really reminded me of how lucky I am to have such wonderful friends.





Marisa and D'Angelo came out to support Uncle Bill on his first marathon!

The whole gang met up post-race at a Starbucks near Central Park.  When I walked in, Doug came over and gave me a hug at which point everyone in the place cheered and applauded.  Wow!

My finish time.

And the medal.  What a rush!  To this day my eyes still well up when I listen to the theme song to "The Greatest American Hero" (believe it or not, I'm walkin' on air...).  Yeah, I know, sappy, but what can I say?

 
Lest you think there wasn't ANY Roadfood during the race weekend, we did celebrate our finish the next day with cheeseburgers, extra crispy fries and shakes at the RF reviewed All-American Hamburger Drive-In in Massapequa, NY.  In my post-race condition (read: loopiness) I forgot the camera but I can say that they were utterly amazing and can't wait to go back.  About a week later I was helping Doug and Marisa paint their apartment and we had another post-race treat, pizza from Nick's Pizza in Forest Hills, Queens.  They keep a pretty small menu of pizza and calzones.  No sandwiches, wraps, pastas...pretty simple and amazing.  The red and white pie was excellent but it was the fresh mozzarella, fresh ricotta and broccoli rabe calzone that blew me away.  So rich and creamy and then the bitterness and the rabe cut through it and the dough was so crispy, chewy and had a great bready, yeasty flavor to it.  Top shelf!


 
A subdued finale coming up...
 
#63
CajunKing
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Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/02/09 16:21:40 (permalink)
YOU DA MAN BILLYBOY!!
 
Awesome adventure and the foods not to shabby either
#64
leethebard
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Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/02/09 16:59:40 (permalink)
Way to go, Billyboy!!!
#65
billyboy
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Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/02/11 02:04:58 (permalink)
My last trip for 2011 was to visit my family in Syracuse, NY for Christmas.  I made it back to Mother's Cupboard for breakfast.  A seat at the counter meant I was able to watch the owner/cook engage with every local in the place (and I think he knew just about everyone's names!) and fix up some serious home fries!  He's been working there about 14 years and has owned it for 7 years. The biscuits and sausage gravy called out to me and he threw a buttered biscuit on the griddle to make it even better.  I was a bit disappointed to see the gravy being heated up in the microwave but it was pretty spectacular nonetheless.  A hearty plate of rib-sticking food!  Before I finished a couple saw me taking pictures and offered up the half of their 6lb frittata they couldn't finish as a model for my camera.  Now I know what is next on my list...



 
My last stop was to the Second North Deli just a few blocks away from Alliance Bank Park, home of the Syracuse Chiefs baseball club.  My sister had told me about this place a few years ago so I went back for another fresh London Broil sandwich with hot au jus and a side of homemade potato chip and a local Byrne Dairy milk.  The beef was so tender and the bread was really crunchy on the outside and chewy inside, even after a dip in the jus "pool".   And the chips had that balance of super crunchy edges and soft middles that I love!  Sorry, I forgot the camera on this one.
 
Well, that's it for 2011.  Thanks for sticking around.  Hope to break bread with you at some point in 2012. 
"Eating is an adventure, enjoy the ride!" - billyboy, 2012
 
#66
cecif
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Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/02/11 06:50:01 (permalink)
Amazing.
Jealous.
Yum.
Rock on, Billyboy!!!!!!
 
 
#67
CCinNJ
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Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was (UPDATED 02/09/12) 2012/02/13 20:58:07 (permalink)
I think Lulu Cake Boutique is now called Empire Cake. Same location...same goodies.

#68
billyboy
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Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/04/24 00:56:04 (permalink)
Hi ces1948!
I was reading through some of my reports and I realized that I never answered your question about Utica style greens.  Sorry about that.  They're not like southern style at all.  Utica style are escarole greens that are sauteed in a pan with garlic and olive oil.  Nearly every Italian restaurant in the Central NY region has them on the menu as an appetizer and each one has their own recipe and can also include: hot cherry peppers, prosciutto, provolone cheese, bread crumbs, parmesan and/or romano cheese, etc...  I just had a shaved steak and greens sandwich for lunch today at a family favorite, Teddy's Restaurant, in Rome, NY (next to Utica) and it was great!
 
Cheers, 
Billy
 
#69
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle
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Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/04/24 01:25:18 (permalink)
Billy, don't forget one of my favorite Utica dishes, greens and beans!
#70
will_work_4_bbq
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Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/04/24 09:09:28 (permalink)
I'm so glad this report got bumped.  Somehow, I missed it the first time around.  Fabulous report and remarkable pictures!
#71
billyboy
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Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/04/26 17:01:32 (permalink)
Thanks Bruce!  Green & beans is one i always seem to forget about, along with 1000 Islands River Rat cheese and Croghan bologna.  I'll have to try some on my next trip to CNY in July.
#72
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle
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Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/04/26 18:30:24 (permalink)
Ah, Croghan bologna. Sue's 96 year old uncle in Rochester usually has some of that good stuff around when we visit.
#73
leethebard
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Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/04/26 18:49:17 (permalink)
I've grown up with Escarole and beans...a standard Italian starter in many Italian restaurants around here in Jersey(and I'll bet many other places)....and I live nowhere near Utica!! How did Utica claim this one?
#74
billyboy
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Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/04/26 19:56:39 (permalink)
Hey Lee, I don't know that Utica has necessarily "claimed" it, but it is a specialty at many Italian restaurants in the area.
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