My summer trip to Central NY (with pics!)-UPDATE

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billyboy
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2008/08/21 21:45:59 (permalink)

My summer trip to Central NY (with pics!)-UPDATE

Dayna and I made a recent trip to Central NY to visit my family as my mom's bridal shower was that weekend. We were able to spend a lot of time with my family and with the camera in hand and a pad of paper and pen at the ready, I was able to get in quite a bit of Roadfooding. I managed to hit about 13 different spots and ended up creating a master list of Roadfood potentials and sights to see/things to do in Central NY. I stopped numbering them at 67!! Lots of great stuff to look forward to on future trips! I'll just keep adding to this thread as I have a lot of great food to talk about (and a couple of meet-ups with some fellow Roadfooders!).

Dayna and I rode business class an AMTRAK from NYC to Syracuse, NY to see what it was like and we loved it. It was an extra $26 pp each way, but the benefit was immeasurable. We each received a free drink. a copy of the NY Times and the legroom was the deal closer for me. I could actually stretch out and sleep. And they are reserved seats so we could sit together and only 15 seats in that section, so fewer people made for a much quieter ride.

Day 1-8/13/08

My sister, brother-in-law and niece picked us up at the station and they know how I love the Roadfood, so they asked if I know about Doc's Little Gem Diner, to which I replied, "It's on my list!". So we headed to Doc's. This building has been around for many years and I think it has always been a diner, but I believe it has only been Doc's since the mid-1990s. They aren't actually open 24 hours anymore. They are open continuously from Thursday 6am to Sunday 10pm and then they have regular hours Monday to Wednesday.


The sign right behind our booth.


I didn't see any boomerang patterns, but I was digging the stools, formica countertops and the metal accents.


The cover of the menu.


Specials for this evening. The Roast Pork Loin dinner and Pot Roast were sounding pretty good to me.


Dayna's Grilled Chicken sandwich with french fries. Notice how they butter and grill the bun? A nice touch. I didn't try it, but she really liked it.


My brother-in-law's Mushroom Swiss burger with french fries.


My sister's Hot Covered meatloaf sandwich with mashed potatoes. The only downside to this is she got the last order of mashed for the night! D'oh! My niece had the Spaghetti & Meatballs which she seemed to like.


My Turkey Dinner with stuffing, gravy, peas & carrots and french fries with gravy (subbed in for the mashed). The only thing they forgot was the cranberry sauce, which they brought after I asked. This was really good (but not the best I have ever had), classic diner food. Very comforting and almost always what I order when I go to a diner for dinner. I figure if a diner can get this right, then it's a harbinger of good things to come. Like I said, I have had better, but if I came back here I would order it again. Very happy with this.


My niece's Yellow Layer Cake with Vanilla Bean frosting. You can see the flecks of vanilla beans on this. Some of the frosting came off when the waitress removed it from the cling wrap. We all sampled some and it was very moist and delicious. Not sugary sweet, but the flavors of the cake and vanilla really came through.


And what would a diner be without pie? I shudder at the thought!! My brother-in-law's Chocolate Cream pie. This was homemade and verryyy good!! Good chocolate flavor and flaky crust.


My Coconut Cream pie. I loved this very much and the custard had a nice creamy coconut flavor and the crust was right on as well.


Dayna's Cherry pie (warmed up on request)- Very good, nice sweet/tart cherries. The crust was a bit moist though. Maybe from the heating? I'd definitely order it though.


A long shot of the diner. No pretense here. Lots of locals seniors come here to get their fill of tasty, comforting food. The neighborhood isn't exactly a tourist destination so Doc's doesn't see many out-of-towners. i think I received more than a few strange looks and head shakes when I started clicking away with the camera.


Doc's sign, at night. Love it! I counted about 7 diners in Syracuse that I want to explore, but If you're in the area, Doc's definitely IS a Gem!!


Doc's does offer up a version of Chicken Riggies, Central NY specialty Italian dish and a breakfast frittata (seen elsewhere in Syracuse listed as a "Fretta"). I think it's more of a mixed scramble than a classic frittata. Does anyone know if this is a CNY specialty?


1.) Doc's Little Gem Diner
832 Spencer Street
Syracuse, NY 13204
Phone # 315-422-1686
Website: www.docslittlegemdiner.com


P.S.-I just clicked on the "About Us" link on Doc's website and it brought me to their Myspace page and a song titled "Diner" by Martin Sexton plays. It's a favorite of mine as it was featured on the TV show "Scrubs" (one of my favorite shows!). I never listened to the lyrics until now and they mention Doc's Little Gem in the song. Here are the lyrics:


Diner

You might have seen one out in Minnesota
Or maybe down by the sea in Sarasota
But they were made back in Worcester Mass
Of aluminum and bakalite and glass

Like a locomotive they were streamlines
And the blue prints were drawn up from a dream of mine
Slap 'em up put 'em on the train
Out to Michigan up to Maine

You may find a diner down in Georgia or
Carolina off the twenty by the piggly wiggly
In the country out of Waynsboro

Or when it's getting late and rainy out in New York State
You hang a louie off the thru-way
And you go and grab yourself a cheeseburger
At the little gem diner off the six niner

Diner my shiny shiny love
In the night you're all I'm thinking of
Diner my shiny shiny love

The cruiser pulls in where the trooper's always stop
As we dine over the chrome and formica table top

The cashier she always squints
By the gum and the bowl of mints
She's tapping her toe
To the Dean Martin on the consolette
Booth service and a cigarette we're loving it so

Side of fries a dollar
Or the haddock plate two ninety five
A rootbeer float a pepsi
And be sure to save some room for some apple pie
Better make it a-la-mode

Chorus

Dean Martin god rest his soul
Talkin' to me from the cereal bowl
There's a couple from the show me state
Knockin' back a little meatloaf plate

Diner my shiny shiny love.


Just a wonderful, catchy, happy song! ENJOY!!


COMING UP NEXT ON THE ROADFOOD CHANNEL...a "Fretta" at a local diner, the Bob Marley connection, some tasty soft serve, "story time", Brooklyn in Syracuse?, and the best taste of summer in CNY (courtesy of my sis and brother-in-law)
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    leethebard
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    RE: My summer trip to Central NY (with pics!)-UPDATE 2008/08/21 21:48:05 (permalink)
    Thanks for the pictures..meatloaf sandwich looks good!!!
    #2
    Nancypalooza
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    RE: My summer trip to Central NY (with pics!)-UPDATE 2008/08/22 11:05:59 (permalink)
    That place is so cute, and the pies are lovely.
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    Ivyhouse
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    RE: My summer trip to Central NY (with pics!)-UPDATE 2008/08/22 11:38:20 (permalink)
    Billyboy, your writing and pictures are always wonderful. Your enjoyment really comes through -- your trip reports are always a pleasure to read. Thanks for taking us along.
    #4
    Twinwillow
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    RE: My summer trip to Central NY (with pics!)-UPDATE 2008/08/22 11:45:08 (permalink)
    Billy, how did you travel, "business class"? Bus or plane?
    #5
    ken8038
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    RE: My summer trip to Central NY (with pics!)-UPDATE 2008/08/22 14:19:58 (permalink)
    Thanks for this report, I'm thinking of adding this as a 3 day weekend destination, I'm running out of places to explore in NJ/PA/CT/RI/MA. I did Albany/Cooperstown/Port Jervis last fall (There's a trip report on here somewhere), so this time around I'm thinking of Binghamton to Syracuse and back thru the Finger Lakes. It's been at least 20 years since I last went in that direction.

    Coincidentally, the NY Times was up that way for today's weekend section:

    http://travel.nytimes.com/2008/08/22/travel/escapes/22nyfood.html?ref=todayspaper

    But I like your report better, keep it coming!
    #6
    buffetbuster
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    RE: My summer trip to Central NY (with pics!)-UPDATE 2008/08/22 14:36:20 (permalink)
    Yet another great report billboy, highlighted by some wonderful looking pie. That cherry pie looks about as good as they come! Glad to hear that a few odd looks from the locals didn't stop you from getting the quality food photos we all love.

    Can't wait to see where you go next!
    #7
    seafarer john
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    RE: My summer trip to Central NY (with pics!)-UPDATE 2008/08/22 14:41:28 (permalink)
    That NYTimes report is a major disappointment - the writer might just as well have stayed in Manhattan and read a few brochures.

    Cheers, John
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    wallhd
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    RE: My summer trip to Central NY (with pics!)-UPDATE 2008/08/22 14:44:45 (permalink)
    I only get to (or sometimes thru) Syracuse 2 or three times each year. But Doc's is ALWAYS a stop. Last fall and winter Doc's suffered a fire resulting from someone stuffing a cigarette butt into a gap in an exterior wall. Doc told me that the fire itself did only minor damage (the place has a sprinkler system), but the fact that he was required to bring his diner up to meet current code standards cost him thousands and delayed his reopening for an extended period of time.

    Doc's in a definite stop if you are in or around Syracuse.

    Wally
    Plattsburgh NY
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    billyboy
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    RE: My summer trip to Central NY (with pics!)-UPDATE 2008/08/22 14:56:20 (permalink)

    8/14/08-Day Two (Market Diner, Carousel Mall, Vicky's Tasty Treats,
    Brooklyn Pickle, BBQ Dinner)

    My sister was nice enough to let us use her car, provided we drop her off at work (which was great as we had to drive through the Syracuse University campus, a beautiful place). We stopped for breakfast at the Market Diner, near Carousel Mall, our next stop. It is in the space known at Stadium Market Center, home to Alliance Bank Stadium (home of the Syracuse Chiefs-International League affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays), the CNY Regional Market, which according to the city's website is the oldest and largest in New York State, and the Regional Transportation Center, where we arrived in town. Sis and brother-in-law had heard good things, but had never been there. It doesn't have the true diner feel (chrome interior, railroad car look), but looks aren't everything. The breakfast specials.


    The menu.


    I was contemplating the bacon omelette special or the biscuits with sausage gravy, then this jumped out at me. I saw a similar dish on Doc's menu the night before and the waitress said it was pretty good. I ordered the two egg version covered with swiss cheese.


    My Fretta with Italian toast. This was unbelievably good. A HUGE mixed scramble of meats and vegetables. The meats gave it some heartiness and the vegetables were cooked, yet still had a slight crunch to them. A little pepper and hot sauce on top and all was complete. I managed to eat about 2/3 of this as it was a very daunting dish. Italian toast is something that has always been part of CNY breakfast menus and this was a thick, crispy, buttery version that I liked very much.


    Dayna's Pumpkin Pancakes. These were great! Nice pumpkin flavor with a slightly spicy ginger finish.


    I love these little half stools!


    The wall murals in these next two shots show what you would see outside if there was a window there. A westbound train at the station...


    Alliance Bank stadium and the Farmer's Market. The MARKET DINER was a real winner for both of us and we would recommend a trip there if you have the chance. Especially with all the surroundings. The "Bob Marley" connection I referred to was a table of about 4 couples, probably in their 60s just having a great time and it seemed like they were regulars and one of the men went to the bathroom and came back wearing dreadlocks and a Jamaican red, yellow and green hat and they must have been laughing for 10 minutes over it! I went to take a pic of a mural and the waitress said to a local, "Smile, Frank, you're on camera!", to which he covered his face with his menu!


    A zoom shot of the Penfield "house". Rumor has it that this house was built on top of this factory and some one lived in it for years. Of course, another story says that it is just a facade built to generate rumors. Who knows?


    Outside the Market Diner.


    The CNY Regional Market. We had a lot to do this day, so a stop wasn't in the cards


    Our next stop was at Carousel Mall as I needed a suit for my mom's upcoming wedding. None found, but we did run across this carousel. I always love seeing these and finding out their history.


    A closer shot.


    Shhh!! She's sleeping.


    Love the craftsmanship.


    A bit of history... I love that it has provided generations with so many memories.


    More signage.


    On our way to the Great Northern Mall, we passed Vicky's and I have been wanting to come here for some time. I asked the man at the counter what a "Nutzee" was and he said it was ice cream covered in chocolate and sprinkled with chopped nuts. They don't sell them anymore. Turns out he was Bill Commisso, the husband of Vicky and semi-retired father of Lisa King, who now runs Vicky's. A really nice guy. The variety here really lies in the sundae toppings and shake flavors. Not exactly sure what a Boston Shake is, but I'd give it a try.


    Some history of Vicky's


    More history.


    The next 5 shots are of the different ice cream treats they offer on their menu. They don't sell any hard ice cream. I like their logic. Hard pack is something that people in CNY eat year round, but with the fairly brutal winters up here, soft serve is a special summer treat that is as much about the ice cream as it is the experience of going out to a small stand with your family or friends (maybe after paying some mini golf first), getting some dishes and cones, and just enjoying a beautiful evening (and probably chatting with your neighbors who are there as well!). Many of the independently owned soft serve places are only seasonal and the proprietors go south for the winter each year.








    I forgot to get a shot of it, but Vicky's has a big glass window on the side with Polaroids of many of the families and children eating ice cream there through the years.





    My chocolate and vanilla soft serve twist cone with a peanut butter dip.


    Very messy, but very good. Cool and refreshing on a warm summer day.


    A wider shot of Vicky's.


    The Euclid Restaurant on Rte. 31 in Clay, NY. I have driven by many times but have never eaten there.


    The specials on the sign always make me hungry, especially the sauerbraten, chicken & biscuits, roast pork and fried chicken. Have any Roadfooders eaten there? I'd love to hear what you thought of it!



    Dayna and I had a speaking engagement at my niece's daycare. My sister mentioned we were going to be in town and the teachers asked if we would come and read to the children. We had done it on our last visit. It was really nice to spend time with them and have a reading circle. We read from 101 Dalmations, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and other books. Lots of fun!

    Afterwards, we took my niece for a ride in the car to pick up her mommy and convinced her to stop at one of my favorite sandwich shops, the Brooklyn Pickle. We hadn't had lunch, so we needed a nosh before dinner.


    Outside of the Pickle.


    Lots of cheesecake, fruit, lettuce, potato & mac salads and puddings. They also carry Byrne Dairy milks. A local favorite.


    They also had a good selection of Dr. Brown sodas, even Cel-Ray, a celery flavored soda. Never thought I'd see THAT in CNY! Have had it before, but much like Moxie, it's an acquired taste.


    The Brooklyn Bridge, all lit up.


    The menu. That Neptune Stew sounds tasty.


    Close up of the partial sandwich menu.


    Dayna's Cajun Turkey with lettuce & onions on wheat (half sandwich)


    A closer look. I tried a few bites on it was pretty good. Moist and a bit spicy. I'm not sure what kind of meat they use (Boar's Head, etc...) but it's pretty tasty.


    My Dr. Brown Root Beer.


    My Ham Salad sandwich with lettuce & tomatoes on wheat (half sandwich). This is one of my favorite sandwiches of all time. Partially because it reminds me so much of the ham salad my Grandma made and I would eat for lunch after doing yardwork for her. Brings me back to some nice, simple, warm afternoons and time spent with her. The Pickle's sandwiches are HUGE! A half is the size of a normal square of bread and they use the good stuff from local favorite Columbus Baking Co. Plus the ham salad is smoky and creamy, yet not so wet that it becomes drippy. And their lettuce, tomatoes and other toppings are really fresh and bright. They do have a pretty good turnover, so it doesn't sit around for very long. There isn't anything particularly regional about this place with respect to Syracuse, but I really do think this is a must stop for lunch in Syracuse.


    A closer shot of my sandwich.


    A mural of the pedestrian path on the Brooklyn Bridge.


    Outdoor deck seating with umbrella tables. Perfect on a summer day.


    As we drove back to my sister's house, we saw a sign saying that a Tim Horton's Donuts was coming soon near the intersection of James Street and Thompson Road, just a few blocks from Carrier Circle (exit 35 on the NYS thruway). Carrier used to be one of the largest employers in the area, but like many local companies (Oneida Silver, Griffiss Air Force base, Pettibone, Paul Revere, Corona, etc...) laid off thousands and moved jobs elsewhere and took money out of the local economy. Hard to see the effects sometimes when I visit. Lots school consolidations, houses that can't be sold, restaurant closings, chains coming in and setting up shop, etc... Off the soapbox for now and back to the happy stuff.


    Summer in Central NY means firing up the grill for a barbeque (not to eat barbeque, but to have A barbeque, big difference!!). We made dinner at sis' tonight. On the menu:
    Grilled BBQ Chicken (with Dinosaur Barbeque Roasted Garlic and Honey Barbeque sauce)... I was so happy that I got to man the grill!!


    Sweet corn on the cob... Nothing says late summer in CNY to me more than sweet corn. Growing up, there were many nights when dinner would be a salad, a loaf of crust bread from a local Italian bakery and a dozen ears of sweet corn from Aiken's or Chimilewski's farms (not sure if I spelled those correctly). If you're up in CNy over the summer, just drive by some cornfields (they are all over) and you'll usually find a tent or just a small table with someone selling sweet corn. I think it comes in as early as mid-July, but mid to late August is the best time for it. You have to steam, boil or grill it yourself, but the taste is worth it!!


    Salt potatoes... Another CNY favorite. We didn't do them in melted butter, but just mashed them on our plates and spread butter on them. We usually save having the "pool o' butter" for clambakes and the State Fair.


    Dinosaur's sauce


    My plate of goodness!! Two plates later, I was very content.


    Kelly's brownies. I love the way she makes these. From the box, but they are so fudgy, chewy and rich with chocolate flavor. About 6 of these with a cold glass of milk was the perfect dessert!




    1.) Stadium Market Center (home to Alliance Bank Stadium, the CNY regional Market and the William F. Walsh Regional Transportation Center)
    Website: http://www.syracuse.ny.us/stadiumMarketSquare.asp

    2.) Carousel Center Mall
    Website: http://www.carouselcenter.com/

    3.) Vicky's Tasty Treats
    680 Old Liverpool Road
    Salina, NY (may be part of Liverpool)
    Phone # 315-457-9084
    Hours: 11:30am to 10:30pm Monday through Friday
    12:00pm to 10:30pm Saturday
    3:00pm to 10:30pm Sunday
    Open Mid-April to Mid-September

    4.) Euclid Restaurant
    Rte. 31 at Morgan Road
    Clay, NY
    Phone # 315-622-2750
    Website: www.eudlicrestaurant.com

    5.) Brooklyn Pickle
    2222 Burnet Avenue
    Syracuse, NY 13206
    Phone # 315-463-6220
    Hours: 9am to 8pm Monday through Saturday (closed Sundays)

    6.) Columbus Baking Co.
    502 Pearl Street
    Syracuse, NY 13203
    Phone # 315-422-2913
    I have not been there yet, but I am told it is pretty basic and all they sell is bread (no pastries or place to sit, FYI).



    COMING UP NEXT...lunch with fellow Roadfooder Cosmos, a great (unplanned) ice cream find at Byrne Dairy, and dinner with the family at the Turning Stone Casino in Verona, NY. Til then...
    #10
    Nancypalooza
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    RE: My summer trip to Central NY (with pics!)-UPDATE 2008/08/22 15:09:10 (permalink)
    That fretta looked great but yeah, I'd have had to jump ship pretty early too. And Vicky's looks like a fun stop. And look at billyboy with the 'coming up next' teasers!
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    bethgrd
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    RE: My summer trip to Central NY (with pics!)-UPDATE 2008/08/22 15:18:35 (permalink)
    Let's see a photo of Dayna!!!!! beth
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    Ivyhouse
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    RE: My summer trip to Central NY (with pics!)-UPDATE 2008/08/22 15:20:11 (permalink)
    Wow! Even better!

    Billyboy, I think you need your own travel-and-eating show -- you are MUCH better than Guy Fieri (sp?)!
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    billyboy
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    RE: My summer trip to Central NY (with pics!)-UPDATE 2008/08/22 16:16:07 (permalink)
    Beth, she's coming up on Day 5!

    Ivy and Nancy, thanks for all of the kind words! I had so much fun experiencing this report and writing it!

    Twinwilliow, we actually rode the rails via Amtrak. Business class is definitely the way to go!

    Ken, if you need any suggestions, feel free to email me, I've been finding some great CNY eats lately!

    BB, more pie to come. Actually one of the best pies I've eaten in some time! On Day 6...
    There was a lot of pie I had to pass up due to time constraints, but I figure I'll work it into a future trip report.

    John, I actually liked the NYT article. It put me on to a few places I don't have on my list yet and the Cornell/Ithaca area is one I'm not terribly familiar with. The wines in that area are pretty good and I did do a wine tour one year that whetted my appetite for what else it might have to offer.

    wallhd, they are still doing some work on the reconstruction at Doc's, but it didn't affect the look of the seating area or "front of house".


    quote:
    Originally posted by bethgrd

    Let's see a photo of Dayna!!!!! beth
    #14
    mar52
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    RE: My summer trip to Central NY (with pics!)-UPDATE 2008/08/22 16:32:55 (permalink)
    I really must win the lottery!

    Excellent report!
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    billyboy
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    RE: My summer trip to Central NY (with pics!)-UPDATE 2008/08/22 22:10:50 (permalink)
    CNY Roadfood Friday 8/15/08-Day 3: The Search For Spock. Whoops, had Star Trek on the brain for a moment there! hehe!

    After exchanging a couple of emails and a phone call, I arranged to meet fellow Roadfooder, Cosmos, for lunch at Liehs & Steigerwald North. It's a German meat market in Clay, NY, but they have tables and sometimes a lunch special or two. I called ahead and no specials of the day, but they will prepare brats, stuffed cabbage and other items if you buy it from the case.


    I had a cold German Potato salad which was very good was a nice balance of vinegar and mustard. But I decided I'm more of a fan of hot german potato salad or least eating it at room temp. I think the flavors are brought out more that way.


    I also ordered a knockwurst and a smoked bratwurst, both on rolls with sauerkraut and deli mustard. They were both very tasty and I particularly liked the smokiness of the brat. However, these were steamed and I also decided today that I really do prefer the charred taste and texture (snap) of a grilled wurst. They really are a different animal after having spent some time over a flame. The kraut and mustard were both tangy, but the roll I felt was not up to the task. A run of the mill sesame seeded sandwich roll that got soggy rather quickly. I really love those crusty rolls from Hallo Berlin in NYC! I think this whole deal might have cost me $6.00, tops. I'm hoping next time I go, they'll have a rouladen or stuffed cabbage special!

    Cosmos and I sat and had a wonderful chat about Central NY and growing up around there and of course, Roadfood. It was a pleasure to meet him and dining with other Roadfooders really does make the experience that much more enjoyable. Thanks, Cosmos!! I have to say though, I am jealous of your Friday night sojourns to the Dinosaur!


    My sister picked me up and we made a stop at Wegman's before heading home. I love this shot as the sky seems to look fake, almost like the store was posed in front of a photo studio's sky backdrop. The weather was soooo beautiful the entire time we were there and I couldn't believe it. I'm used to gray skies and drizzle.


    I took the car out to run a few errands (and squeeze in a RF stop or two!). I stopped at the bank and ended up leaving my ATM card in the machine and didn't realize it until I went to pay at another store and to which I said "I'm sorry" to the cashier and earned my own Olympic Gold sprinting across the parking lot to the bank and luckily managed to retrieve it. Nothing like flop sweat to get the heart pumping and blood flowing! This unfortunately killed some time and I was on a schedule, so I couldn't make the stops I had wanted to. As I drove back to the house, I passed a Byrne Dairy and noticed that they had an ice cream shoppe.


    A close up of the shoppe.


    What to choose?...


    Well, there's no choice now, is there? I couldn't wait to try this!


    I went inside only to be informed they were out of the Grasshopper Pie flavor! I sorta felt "Travelin' Manned" as i had my heart set on it. A few minutes of agonizing later...


    I decided on a small cup of the "Berried Treasure"-Cheesecake ice cream with black berries and chunks of cheesecake. This was REALLY good!!! Lots of great blackberry flavor that danced with the slightly tangy cheesecake ice cream and just the right amount of chunks studded throughout. My only complaint would be that there were no actual whole or halved blackberries to be found. I think they really swirled them in and it was apparent from the strong blackberry flavor. I think this cost around $2.50 and it was money well spent!


    They had a nice little patch of grass under some trees with about 3 or 4 picnic tables where one could just relax and enjoy their ice cream, which is exactly what I did. I savored every spoonful and though it looks a bit country-ish in this shot, that table is just yards from busy Rte. 57!


    Back at the house, we relaxed for a bit before heading east on the NYS Thruway to Exit 33 (Verona) and on to the Turning Stone Casino (part of the Oneida Indian Nation). This is a shot of the sun setting on the top level of the parking garage at the casino. I decided that bringing my camera in to a casino (even for Roadfood) would be ill-advised.


    More sunset...


    Outside the casino...


    And I believe this is the hotel. The TSC has changed quite a bit since the last time I was there, around 1997. It has expanded in leaps and bounds and that is a good or bad thing, depending on who you are talking to. We had dinner at the Emerald Restaurant inside the casino. I passed a Nathan's Famous cart inside, but decided to hold out for Surf and Stillwell (call me crazy!). I had a Mushroom Swiss burger, ordered medium but came out closer to medium well. Not very juicy. Not bad but nothing to write home about. Dayna had the "Oneida" sandwich which was warm Indian Fry Bread stuffed with grilled chicken, lettuce, tomato and red onion with a curry mayonnaise (as described on the menu). I was eager for a bite as I had heard of this bread before, but had though it was more of a Southwest thing. Was it a common thing among many tribes outside of the Southwest? It wasn't very good. Somewhat dried out and used as a vehicle for a sandwich didn't seem to be the best application for this bread. We were seated about 5-10 minutes after waiting in line which was good, but it was about 45 minutes after ordering until we received our food. Bottom line: I didn't find anything special about the food or service in this place and wouldn't recommend it.





    1.) Liehs & Steigerwald North
    4130 State Rte. 31
    Clay, NY
    Phone # 315-652-4955
    Website: www.liehsandsteigerwald.com

    2.) Byrne Dairy
    7544 Oswego Road
    Liverpool, NY 13088
    Website: www.byrnedairy.com
    Hours for this location: Monday through Saturday 6am to 10pm and Sunday 6am to 9pm.

    3.) Turning Stone Resort & Casino
    5218 Patrick Road
    Verona, NY 13478
    Phone # 1-800-771-7711
    Website: www.turningstone.com


    NEXT ON THE HIT PARADE... I buy my very first suit at the age of 37!! Mom and I do some Roadfooding at a local orchard that has one of my childhood favorites, the "half-moon". A trip to the Adirondack Mountains and "camp" with my aunt and uncle. Steaks, pork and prime rib at the Buffalo Head!!! And to cap off the night, some most excellent cakes and pastries from Vescio's Franklin Hotel. See you soon!!
    #16
    Cosmos
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    RE: My summer trip to Central NY (with pics!)-UPDATE 2008/08/24 11:35:50 (permalink)
    Billyboy, it was a pleasure to share a lunch w/ you. Next time you're around we can hit some other places we talked about like Shifty's or the Green Arch in Cortland. I didn't get to stop at the Chief Schenevus when we went to Albany, maybe next time I'll do a report. Here's a link if you ever head to the Cooperstown area, its a little north on 88.

    http://chiefschenevus.com/index.htm
    #17
    billyboy
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    RE: My summer trip to Central NY (with pics!)-UPDATE 2008/08/24 18:29:53 (permalink)


    Roadfooding in Central NY 8/16/08-Day 4

    Mom and I took a trip to New Hartford, NY so I could purchase my
    first suit to wear at her wedding. I know, crazy, right? I always
    had a jacket and cress pants and every other wedding I was in the
    party, so I had a tux, but I felt there was no better time than
    walking my mom down the aisle to look sharp. So a few hundred
    dollars and a dark charcoal grey suit later, we made our way to NORTH
    STAR ORCHARDS for some blueberries. For some reason though, my
    Roadfood radar kept going off and between New Hartford, Kirkland and
    Westmoreland, I added about 15 places to my master list of food to
    check out on future trips to the area.

    A little overcast today, but the bounty inside was plentiful.


    A shot of the sign and Rte. 233 in Westmoreland, NY.


    Lots of tomatoes...


    ...and peaches!


    Hinerwadels salt potatoes are available pretty much anywhere in CNY.
    They truly are a taste of summer.


    These tomatoes look so fresh.


    Some locally made smoked cheddar.


    Fresh peaches.


    Half Moon cookies.


    Whoopie Pies


    Fresh cherries


    A wide shot of the interior


    We initially came for the blueberries, but they didn't have any in
    the store, only the U-Pick and we didn't have time to stroll.


    Lots of sweet corn fields all over CNY.


    So I picked up some Palatine Smoked Cheddar...


    Some locally made pita bread...





    Some Bread and Butter pickle chips. Another taste of summer for me.
    We always had sweet pickles at every picnic I went to growing up and
    I didn't develop a taste for dills until I was an adult.


    I wish I had noticed the HFCS ingredient on the label before I bought
    them, but I thought the quote on the label was a nice touch.


    I didn't know we could get Whoopie Pies here in Central NY. I've
    never seen them with confectioner's sugar on top, but this was
    fantastic! Pillowy soft cake and lightly sweetened cream in the
    center.


    The only thing that made this complete was eating it off of the
    Hanna-Barbera plate with Magilla Gorilla on it I used as a kid


    As much as I loved the Whoopie Pie, this Half Moon is what I was
    craving. Almost every bakery in Rome and Utica carried these and
    I've eaten my share over the years. Oh, I miss Hemstrought's
    Bakery!! This looks very similar to the
    "black & white" cookies of New York City, but is really quite
    different. First, half moon are always made with a soft, chocolate,
    brownie-like cookie and the frosting (not icing) is creamy soft, not
    a shell on top. Greedily, I did NOT share this or the Whoopie Pie
    with anyone else!


    Cut open to show detail. This was sooo good! I wish I had bought two!


    My mom picked up these Peanut Butter cookies...


    ...and some Raspberry filled pillow cookies


    Before we went to dinner with our relatives up north, we noshed on a
    snack platter of the smoked cheddar, pickles, cherries and pita. The
    cheddar was very creamy and the flavors really came out when it was
    eaten close to room temp and paired nicely with the fresh pita bread.
    The pickles were both spicy and sweet. The cherries were plump and
    fresh. If you in CNY, check out North Star or any local orchard and
    you'll likely find lots of fresh tasty produce that make for a great
    snack or lunch.


    They were ok, but a little too sugary sweet for my taste.


    We left Rome and drove past the Delta Lake dam, near where I lived
    and spent summers as a kid. The old Village of Delta was actually
    purposely flooded and is under Lake Delta. We made our way past
    Griffiss AFB and up to White lake, NY in the Adirondack Park.


    The next series of shots were taken at my Uncle Joe and Aunt Joan's
    summer house in White Lake. Lots of great memories here with family
    picnics as a kid. It ended up being a bit overcast, but being on the
    lake has always been very peaceful and relaxing for me. I was so
    happy we were able to come up for the day as we are always welcomed
    into their home and they are the nicest people. I always look
    forward to visiting.














    A couple of kayakers on the lake.


    The ducks.


    We took my niece down to the lake with some bread and we fed the ducks!


    Uncle Joe's wood shop. He could take just about anything and make a
    dresser, bench or whatever you could want out of it.


    He's been making these for years and my mom gave me one for Christmas
    a few years ago. One of the nicest gifts I have ever gotten.


    Another shot of the woodshop.


    Leaving the park for dinner.


    Come up to the Adirondacks and you'll likely see many of these
    snowmobile crossing signs.


    The Wigwam, a local bar, I believe. I've never been in, but for me
    it was always a unique landmark that helped me remember how far I was
    from my Uncle Joe and Aunt Joan's place.


    Dinner at the Buffalo Head restaurant in Forestport, NY. I have eaten
    here countless times over the years with family, friends and
    co-workers and I have had some truly great meals (countless steaks!)
    and would eat here again in a heartbeat. It's mostly a local place
    as this is big snowmobiling and hunting country, but I'm sure
    tourists find it during leaf peeping season. It's always packed and
    I would suggest reservations. Walk in and you'll see most people
    chatting with neighbors. There really is a local feel to the place
    and there aren't any pretenses, just lots of hearty food for hearty
    eaters. Their specialty is steak and prime rib, but they have a
    pretty diverse menu and something for everyone. Almost every table
    we passed had the prime rib and the one next to us was filled with a
    crew of hearty sized long distance truckers who all had the King cut
    of prime rib that would have broken Paul Bunyan's spirit!








    These tracks are where the Adirondack Scenic railtroad passes through
    Forestport and picks up passengers. It's really a great ride!


    A little history on the name. Sorry this is so blurry.


    This roll was really fresh and pillowy.


    This was a pretty good salad: crispy and fresh.


    My cousin Joey's Queen cut Prime Rib.


    Dutch Apple Pork (boneless pork loin topped with apples, crumb
    topping and cheddar cheese)-text taken from menu. It tried this an
    it was excellent. I almost wished I had ordered it! Savory sweet
    and very moist.



    My 24oz Sirloin Steak for one with onion rings and sauteed mushrooms
    (ordered medium). It came cooked perfectly, but I didn't love it. I
    wished it was more tender. Honestly, I should have gotten a smaller
    cut like a 16oz NY Strip or 12oz filet. I couldn't finish this and I
    gave it to Joey to which he said "Great, steak and eggs for breakfast
    tomorrow!".


    Baked Potato. This was a bit dry, but the butter & sour cream helped
    salvage it.


    Spaghetti & Meatballs


    You know you're in the Adirondacks when you start seeing these John
    Deere plates attached to trucks.


    On our way back to my mom's house, we stopped at Vescio's Franklin
    Hotel to pick up a couple of cakes for mom's shower. I didn't get
    pics, but we got a Carrot Cake with cream cheese frosting and chopped
    nuts and a Banana Split cake with vanilla frosting. They saved a
    couple of pieces for me and they were both real winners: sweet, moist
    and creamy!


    Some Sfogliatelles, pusties and chocolate dipped biscotti. Pusties
    are custard filled pastry shells. Usually chocolate or vanilla.


    A Sfgogliatelle, chocolate dipped cannoli with ricotta filling and a
    peanut butter cup.


    Lobster tail


    A cross section of the Sfogliatelle and peanut butter cup. These
    were truly amazing! I reviewed this place for dinner a couple of
    years ago and I do love their food, but the pastries are an another
    level altogether. The PB cup was a different style, rich pb covered
    in dark chocolate in a pastry cup. The Sfogliatelle was the best I
    gave ever eaten. Many times I end up disappointed as the chesse
    filling is somewwhat dry or the pastry is so big that the cheese
    doesn't fill it. This was perfect: creamy orange zest tinged ricotta
    encased in the crispiest of pastry. Worth a stop if you are in CNY!!




    JUST AROUND THE BEND...potato salad from the past, Roadfooding with Lexi's brother (and Gumby, dammit!) in Vernon, NY, a not-so-good experience at the Turning Stone Casino and back where I belong ( a LONG awaited return) at
    VOSS' BBQ in Yorkville, NY!!!!!!!!! Yahooooooo!


    1.) North Star Orchards
    Rte. 233 & South Street
    Phone # 315-853-1024

    2.) Hinerwadel's Grove (clambake facility and originator of "salt potatoes")
    5300 West Taft Road
    Syracuse, NY 13212
    Phone # 315-458-1050
    Website: http://www.hinerwadelsinc.com/about.nxg

    3.) Palatine Dairy (smoked cheddar)
    68 East Main Street
    Nelliston, NY 13410
    Phone # 518-993-3194
    Website: http://www.palatinecheese.com/index.html

    4.) Grandma's Bread Co.
    4808 Clinton Street
    Clark Mills, NY 13321
    Phone # 315-240-6924
    Link to Utica Observe Dispatch article: http://www.uticaod.com/business/x415950256/Passing-on-recipes-heritage

    5.) Jake & Amos (bread and butter pickles)
    Website: http://www.jakeandamos.com/Default.aspx

    6.) Delta, NY (now under the lake)
    Web link: http://nlford.com/history/delta/

    7.) White Lake, NY
    Web link to info on the area: http://nyroute28.com/towns/woodgate_white_lake.php

    8.) The Buffalo Head
    10626 North Lake Road
    Forestport, NY 13338
    Phone # 315-392-6607
    Website: http://www.buffaloheadrestaurant.com/

    9.) Adirondack Scenic Railroad (different stations at Utica, Thendara, Lake Placid and Saraanac Lake)
    Phone # 1-800-819-2291
    Website: http://adirondackrr.com/index.php

    10.) Vescio's Franklin Hotel
    301 South James Street
    Rome, NY 13440
    Phone # 315-336-9974
    Roadfood review: http://roadfood.com/Reviews/Overview.aspx?RefID=4085
    #18
    hatteras04
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    RE: My summer trip to Central NY (with pics!)-UPDATE 2008/08/24 18:32:04 (permalink)
    You are bringing back memories. I went to Colgate University from 1990-1994 and the Turning Stone opened my senior year. It certainly sounds like it has grown quite a bit since then but we managed to waste quite a bit of time/money there even in its earlier smaller days as it was only about a 25 minute drive from campus. I don't remember ever eating anything there and at the time they did not serve alcohol. I am not sure if this is still true or not.
    #19
    ellen4641
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    RE: My summer trip to Central NY (with pics!)-UPDATE 2008/08/24 19:48:54 (permalink)
    This is some report, Billyboy! Wow!
    Those HALF MOON cookies look real good; better than black & whites!
    Cause I'd rather have that creamy whipped frosting than the hard shell on the black & white ...

    That pastrami sandwich on the deli menu certainly did'nt get top billing... or even near the top. Since it's 2nd from the bottom on the menu board, I realized it's not trying to be a Carnegie style deli.
    Your ham salad sandwich was huge, though, and looked interesting, even though I'm not a ham eater.

    Those crusted edges looked good on your 24 ounce sirloin; But as far as the rest of that piece of meat goes, appreciated your honesty saying you wish it was more tender. Your choices that you said you should've picked, the 16 ounce NY Steak or the Filet are both normally more tender cuts than the sirloin, of course. Less meat size-wise, but at least you would'nt have had to struggle with the steak knife so much!!

    The soft, pillowy roll with the whipped butter is just my type!

    Went to Turning Stone Casino last summer while driving thru the area. Played poker for about 1/2 hour or so. Ate at Joel's Frontyard Steakhouse a few miles or so away. It was "okay"

    I like good, candid reviews like YOURS, Billyboy..... ones that don't try and SUGARCOAT everything!!
    (like Rachael Ray style, "This is DELISH!")
    That's why I like Zagat so much, as well as YELP.com, and epinions.com.
    I'm getting tired of reading reviews that try and keep things too positive to sell books and magazine articles. Everyone's tastes and opinions are what it's all about!

    #20
    leethebard
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    RE: My summer trip to Central NY (with pics!)-UPDATE 2008/08/24 19:55:52 (permalink)
    Wow...more great pictures...that Italian pastry...I gained 5 pounds just looking ..and Vicky's must be the real new york thing...they called it correctly,"lemon Ice" !!!!!!!
    #21
    CCinNJ
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    RE: My summer trip to Central NY (with pics!)-UPDATE 2008/08/24 20:34:08 (permalink)
    True. I have never seen a Black & White cookie made with a chocolate cookie. It looks very good. I would have eaten it and the plate would have disappeared. I too have fond memories of Magilla Gorilla. Only thing missing is BING BING BING Ricochet Rabbit. LOL
    #22
    roossy90
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    RE: My summer trip to Central NY (with pics!)-UPDATE 2008/08/24 23:25:41 (permalink)
    I cant tell you how many time I passed the Wigwam, and thus gauged my own distance back to Eagle Bay..
    The shot from the bridge is hauntingly familiar!
    I think there is a little "hole in the rocks" where you used to be able to fill water bottles up, if that is the place I am thinking of.
    Great report...You knew I would be all over that, since the Adirondacks has a special place in my heart, having lived there for 2 years. A special magical place.
    Thank you Billy Boy for showing us.
    #23
    billyboy
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    RE: My summer trip to Central NY (with pics!)-UPDATE 2008/08/25 05:07:48 (permalink)
    ROADFOODING IN CNY-8/17/08, DAY 5

    After a very restful night (I seem to sleep much better when I'm on
    vacation and I can actually hear crickets, not street crews working
    at night!), I woke up to my sister making her version of our
    Grandma's Potato Salad. I knew Dayna and I couldn't make the family
    picnic later that evening, so she set me up with a couple of servings
    of freshly made salad when I got up.
    I love my sis and I love her her potato salad! This truly is the
    best I have tasted anywhere! It's creamy and tangy from the mayo,
    has a slight crunch from the celery, chunks of hard-boiled eggs and
    the potatoes are always just the right texture, soft and fork tender.
    Verrryyy comforting! It is great cold, but warm? It was like
    getting to pick those rolls straight off the conveyor at Rockland
    bakery a few months ago. Perfection! Thanks sis!


    A little while ago, I received an email from fellow Roadfooder, Lexi.
    She said that if I was going to be in the vicinity of Vernon, NY,
    her brother had a cafe there I should really check out. A few phone
    calls later, I had arranged to meet David Furer at The Only Cafe in
    Vernon, NY at 12 noon. I apologize in advance for some of these photos not coming out so well. It's located near the corner of Rte. 31 & Rte. 5 in Vernon, NY. This is my Hatch, NM Green Chile Stew with smoked pulled pork and salt potatoes. Tons of flavor! Smoky, spicy, rich and all of the parts had their moment in the sun. Total comfort food. He gave me some tortilla chips with it which I crumbled into the mix making them at once crunchy and soft (similar to migas). I knew I like this place when I asked David what he had on the menu and he replied that he didn't have a menu, but just made big batches of food that HE liked to eat! Right on, man! He started to tell me about the green chile stew, some paninis, pizzas, burritos, etc. that he makes. He smokes his own pulled pork and brisket and makes the sandwich breads and pizza dough from scratch.

    There is a story about the Canadian rock band Rush where they were auditioning for a drummer and they had about 100 people coming in and they found exactly who they were looking for in the first guy, but knew they had to hear the other drummers, even though they had already made up their minds. When he told me about the stew, nothing else mattered. The other things did sound pretty good, but I couldn't get my mind off of that stew!


    Washed down with a Jones root beer. Very tasty.


    Gumby was one of our dining companions. I was the only person there, so David I and talked the whole time and I had originally intended to stay about an hour, but I met up with some friends 2 1/2 hours later. That area of CNY has fallen on some hard times and many businesses have gone the way of the Edsel, but I hope David's place is around for a long time.


    These next four shots are of the various photos and bric-a-brac he has throughout the cafe. I found it to be fascinating. I could spend days just looking through this stuff!











    David had all sorts of books around and he handed me this very interesting one on coffee. Everything you ever wanted to know about coffee: etymology of, uses, history, etc... I'm not a coffee drinker, but I found it to be a fun read.


    I love this phone booth!


    A slice of Chocolate Mousse Cake (with some frozen mousse on top). This was a really great slice of cake. David said he had incorporated many different things into this such as cinnamon, raspberry(puree or jam?), and coffee, among other ingredients. The cool thing was that with each bite, I could taste those things at different points: coffee at the top, cinnamon at the finish and so on. Very rich, but not heavy.


    Ah yes, the Blueberry-Rhubarb Crumble aka the Blubarb Crumble. Something new for me as I have never tried rhubarb before. Very tangy and I'm not sure if I am a rhubarb fan or not, but its use here made perfect sense and the dish was amazing! He is big on seeing what is in season and making use of it. Fresh picked blueberries, rhubarb, etc...


    I haven't seen one of those fallout shelter signs since I was in elementary school. I always thought if a ducking under a desk will protect me from a nuclear blast, shouldn't they be using those desk materials to make buildings and cars? They'd be millionaires in 10 minutes!


    Outside The Only Cafe. David and I seemed to talk about everything under the sun: living in Central NY, NYC, Roadfood and food in general, life experiences and he showed me some of the food pics he has taken over the years as well as some shots that he took on the road when he travelled with that HUGE Gumby! Sort of like the "gnome" that has been all over the U.S.

    He had some big band music playing the whole time I was there and it just felt right. You know, it just occurred to me right this moment that that is how I would sum up this place, "just felt right". Initially, a couple of friends were supposed to join me, but one of them is pretty much allergic to any change in his schedule and has to be dragged to try anything new. When I saw them after, I told my other friend that he wouldn't have like it as there was no menu. He looked at me like I was crazy.

    I know some people would balk at no menu and might look at this place and see clutter, but I saw tons of uniqueness, personality and character. Where David has been and what he loves to do are all present here and I think they don't know what they missed. I think the way he does things makes this a great place (not just by Roadfood standards).

    I hope every Roadfooder has an opportunity to experience this place. He does keep his own hours and was planning on closing up early to go antiquing, but since I called ahead, he planned on meeting me. Thanks so much David and Lexi!!!



    I met my friends at the Turning Stone Casino after lunch and the whole experience of trying to gamble was more trouble than it was worth. No "one-armed bandits" here. Everything only takes cards now. I stood in one line to get a card, then went to 3 machines to put money on it and none of them would read it, so I saw the mobile cashier and his machine couldn't read it at first, but eventually it worked and I put $20 on the card. We went to the machines and after trying my card in 5 of them for about 10 minutes (and none of them could read my card) my friends said "Oh, that always happens". Unbelievable!!

    I went back to the mobile cashier who said I had to go to the cashier at the window to get my money back. I waited in that line and she couldn't read my card so she said I'd have to get back in the line where I originally got the card, get a new one and have them transfer the balance THEN come back to her line, have her swipe the card to read the balance, then she could give me back my money. I thought I was going to lose it!! Her machine finally read my card and I got my cash.

    When I had my car in Boston, I had a rule: If it took me longer to park than it did to drive to the destination, I would take the train the next time. As a result I had some first dates that didn't turn into second dates because of that rule. If your machines can't read the cards on a regular basis, isolate the problem and fix it!! Oh, and I hope they ban smoking in the casinos too. Nothing says good times like coming out smelling like a burnt log! (billyboy descends from soapbox now). Sigh, I really miss the old days and the plunk of coins!!

    Dayna and I drove on Rte. 5 east towards Yorkville, NY to Voss BBQ to meet her friends from college, Kristi and Jay and their son Jonathan, for dinner. We passed this breakfast place from my past on the way (Rte. 5 in Kirkland). Greens (sauteed escarole) are a huge part of breakfast fare up in these parts. It killed me though to see that apostrophe on eggs!! I remember liking this place. Has anyone been here recently? How is the food?


    This donut shop was right next to Voss BBQ. Has anyone ever been to one of these? Their website said they have 900 shops. Are they any good?


    The parking lot at Voss BBQ. Not terribly big and it fills up quickly.


    Honey, I'm home!! I started eating here around 15 years ago after reading an article in the Utica Observer Dispatch by columnist Joe Kelly. By the time I finished, I was ready to eat my newspaper! Every couple of years a rumor goes around that they are closing. I did a Google search before going and a June 2008 article said that this year is their 70th anniversary and they have no intention of closing. There was a rumor that Walgreens was going to buy a lot in the area. I'm always sad when a Roadfood place closes, but I think I would be physically ill if anything ever happened to Voss. The place definitely looks more spiffed up and the sign looks newer than I remember. But, how has the food held up?


    The menu. Prices have gone up since the Roadfood review Bruce and Sue posted (2001?)


    Like the Stern's theory that animals on top of restaurants are a good sign, this milk bottle (they sell ice cream also) is a kissing cousin that supports that theory. When I first started coming here, there were no seats of any kind. You ate in your car, on the hood of your car at the red runner along the outside of the shack (my personal favorite as I could watch them cooking the orders through the window). They have 4 picnic tables set up on either side of the shack.


    Want to call ahead? Forget about it! This pay phone is the only one that has ever been here. No website either. They do have a bathroom and it is pretty clean!


    A shot of the dogs and burgers cooking on the flat-top. The staff there were really nice about letting me take pictures from all kinds of angles.


    A key component of Voss BBQ. All rolls are buttered and grilled on the flat-top.


    No cards accepted here.


    They sell Honest John's hot dogs which is actually the first hot dog I ever truly enjoyed. I think they come in beef and beef/pork mixes, but I'm not sure which one Voss uses. I tried to score a 70th anniversary t-shirt, but they weren't for sale. I like that they post local goings on in the village and also post flyers for local fundraisers. I though about getting some chili and BBQ sauce to go, but I don't think it would taste the same out of context. I can't do them justice.





    The toppings list.


    The red runner where I have consumed many a BBQ sandwich and Mexi-burger!


    They use Freihofer's buns which are a favorite I grew up with.


    An undressed dog. These get a great crust on them from that flat-top which must be so well seasoned after all these years!


    A boat of french fries. I'm guessing these are not hand cut. Very good, not THE best I've ever had, but they serve an important purpose to be explained...


    My Mexi-Burger. I think I get one of these every time I am here. Basically a burger with their homemade chili (beanless), chunks of American cheese and chopped raw onions. This is a burger of the thin variety. If you like thick, juicy burgers, this may not be your thing. The Mexi had me at "hello" many moons ago. Slightly spicy, buttery from the bun, the meat, cheese and onions all come through and I find it to be addicting. It's not a big burger, so I can easily justify eating this as an appetizer to my BBQ sandwiches!


    My Ham BBQ sandwich. Only second to the turkey, this is meaty with a slight saltiness to it.


    A pair of Turkey BBQ sandwiches (extra sauce as always!) Here's the thing about BBQ sandwiches at Voss (and for a good part of Central NY): it's not about the meat! I know, that pretty much flies in the face of most BBQ logic, but it really works!

    Voss strength lies in the buns (the type as well as the preparation) and more importantly, the sauce. No pits or smoked meat here. If I had to venture a guess, I might say deli meat, but I'm really not sure. I always order mine with extra sauce. My only regret on this day is I didn't take a wide master shot of all of the food. Everyone sitting with me was surprised at the amount I ordered, but I was making up for lost time and I really did want to get a good cross section of everything I love about this place to post here on the forums.

    I find their sauce to be sooo addicting! It's a terrific balance of sweet and heat. I taste the sweet first, then the heat creeps up on me about halfway through the sandwich. Not a burning heat, but it makes my lips happy. I've never tried the pork or beef as I'm pretty much stuck on the turkey and ham. I wish I knew what was in it. That pool of sauce on the cardboard tray is perfect for the french fries. No ketchup for me.


    Close-up of my Turkey BBQ sandwich. I went in with the fork and knife on this so as not to get any sauce on my hands, but more of it in my mouth! The sauce is applied to the sandwiches just before serving.


    My hot dog with mustard, ketchup, relish and onions. Nice snap to this dog, tangy relish, and pungent onions. The buttered bun is so key here. It adds a great taste, but more importantly serves to shore up the bun from collapsing from the wet toppings (especially in the case of the BBQ sandwiches!). Similar to the logic applied to lobster rolls across New England. Interestingly enough, there seem to be a lot of BBQ sandwich/ice cream shacks in Central NY, much like the roast beef/fried clam stands of New England. Separated at birth, maybe?


    In all the times I have come here, I never tried their ice cream, despite countless people telling me how good it was. I was always too stuffed after the sandwiches. But, I was not to be denied on this evening! I love that they offer hard and soft ice creams.


    More of the menu


    The full ice cream menu.


    I ordered a medium Maple Walnut hard pack cone (cake cone). Funny, I just read that name on another thread and had never heard of "cake" cones before. We always called them plain cones. This was extremely good. Assertive maple flavor and good crunchy nuts throughout.


    Dayna had a small dish of Black Raspberry. I wasn't mad about this one. I thought it was a bit too sugary and the blackberry flavor ended up riding shotgun.


    Kristi, her son Jonathan, Dayna and bb. To recap, a few things you should know about Voss BBQ. No phone, no website, cash only, outdoor seating only (your car or their picnic tables), seasonal hours from Memorial Day to Thanksgiving (last I knew anyway. I forgot to ask them this time). When you order, they give you a plastic magnetic refirgerator letter (or number) and you wait until it is called over the P.A. system.

    Ice cream is ordered at a separate window. This, to me, is a quintissential RF place and one worthy of a special trip. I am such a HUGE fan of Voss and can't say enough about it. I don't presume to have anywhere near the breadth and depth of experience as the Sterns, but if I may paraphrase: If the warden asks me what I want for my last meal, I think I'd have to say Voss BBQ sandwiches (with extra sauce). Although I do wonder, if a warden is taking my last meal request, maybe finding good BBQ sandwiches isn't my BIGGEST problem. Said with deepest apologies to Jerry Seinfeld!

    I think of this place as I would my favorite recliner: I'm happy when I get near it, it's very comforting and all I want to do is kick back and enjoy it!


    Dayna took some great shots of the sun setting as we drove down the NYS Thruway towards Syracuse.












    1.) The Only Cafe (no sign outside)
    5253 West Seneca Street (aka Rte. 5 near the Rte. 31 intersection)
    Vernon, NY
    Phone # 315-829-3030
    No menu (it's worth it!)
    Call ahead for hours

    2.) Voss BBQ
    Rte. 5A (aka Oriskany Blvd.) Near corner of Rte. 5A & Main Street
    Yorkville, NY
    No phone
    Seasonal (Memorial Day to Thanksgiving?)


    ON THE AGENDA FOR DAY 6...Thick cut French toast and amazing CB Hash, a truly blissful piece of pie and some Central NY style pizza and buffalo wings! Stay tuned, same bat-channel!


    #24
    TnTinCT
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    RE: My summer trip to Central NY (with pics!)-UPDATE 2008/08/25 08:20:17 (permalink)
    What a great report - had to catch up from the beginning, and now my head is spinning with how many different food cravings I have!
    #25
    firecommander3565
    Double Cheeseburger
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    RE: My summer trip to Central NY (with pics!)-UPDATE 2008/08/25 09:16:45 (permalink)
    Really nice report. Felt like I was there for the trip. I like the variety of food explored.
    #26
    Nancypalooza
    Filet Mignon
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    RE: My summer trip to Central NY (with pics!)-UPDATE 2008/08/25 09:24:51 (permalink)
    The Dutch apple pork sounds to die for, and that's a beautiful bunch of pastries up there. Thanks Billy!
    #27
    ann peeples
    Sirloin
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    RE: My summer trip to Central NY (with pics!)-UPDATE 2008/08/25 09:31:29 (permalink)
    You have such a great sense of adventure and wonderful food tastes.I always completely enjoy your trips!!!
    #28
    Akavar
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    RE: My summer trip to Central NY (with pics!)-UPDATE 2008/08/25 12:21:44 (permalink)
    Billy -

    Great report!

    You have given me some ideas for my next trip to Utica.

    BTW - have you ever tried Knuckleheads in Westmoreland? They have great wings and I have also had some excellent mushroom stew there.
    #29
    billyboy
    Double Chili Cheeseburger
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    RE: My summer trip to Central NY (with pics!)-UPDATE 2008/08/26 10:32:25 (permalink)
    Cosmos, Dayna and I are heading to the Oneonta/Cooperstown area in October and meeting some of her college friends, two of whom live in Schenevus. I know we're doing dinner one night at Brooks BBQ, but hopefully we can hit Chief Schenevus as well.

    Hatteras, Colgate has a lot of memories for me too. I was a Big Brother for a number of years and the program always gave a free tickets to Colgate football games. I was going there with my Little Brother around the same time you were there. Their team didn't win much, but we always had a great time. I always loved that area of Hamilton, New York. One of the most beautiful campuses, especially in the fall! I'm not sure if the TSC serves alcohol either. I have a feeling it doesn't. Now, if they can just get rid of the smoking...

    Ellen, I LOVE those half-moons. Such a childhood memory for me. Yeah, the "Pickle" definitely is more of a sandwich/sub shop and doesn't try to position itself as a Jewish-style deli. I don't think a Katz/Carneigie type place would fly in CNY. They wouldn't know what to make of it. Appetizing wouldn't be a big seller. I've driven by Joel's hundreds of times since high school, but never went there. Thanks for the kind words. Even if I love a place, but didn't like a particular aspect about my experience there, I feel I need to say something about it. My family always worries about me posting anything negative online for fear of consequences. I think with the Rachael Ray stuff though, every place she goes has obviously been thoroughly researched before she even walked in the door to eat there, and that's cool. I just don't like how they position it on the show, as though she stumbled upon it and it was a surprise.

    CC, Richochet Rabbit, yes!! I couldn't remember the names of other Hanna Barbera characters. Thanks!

    Roossy, I had a feeling you'd like some of those pics. The Adirondacks have always been a very special place for me too. Heading back up there (Big Moose, Thendara/Old Forge and Raquette Lake) next month.

    Akavar, I haven't been to Knuckleheads, but I had it one my list. So much food, so little time! It;s funny that you mention the mushroom stew. I seem to recall two or three other bars/taverns, one of them being Uncle's Tavern on Main St in New York Mills (not far from Voss BBQ), that offered a mushroom stew special. I wonder if that is a regional CNY thing?
    #30
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