Mon, 11/8/10 8:52 AM
Just returned from very nice trip up the Northway to Plattsburg to celebrate our grandaughter's birthday. The Adirondacks were beautiful, snow on the higher peaks, and still a lot of autumn color in the forests. Traffic was light, very few large trucks to contend with, and Smokey the Bear was inactive, so we just set the cruise control and breezed on north.
We stayed at a relatively new Microtel - our first experience with that chain. The room was quite small, with two queen size beds crammed in, surprisingly, the bathroom was larger than in most motels - go figure. anyhow, the room was clean and in good repair, a nice view from our window, and the front desk was manned (feminine) by competent , informative, and helpful people. They steered us to the nearest McSweeney's where I had a pair of my first ever "Michigan Hots" which were delicious. It's a spicy hamburger based sauce, a bit salty, dark brown, and served with chopped fresh onions and mustard. It's quite different from what we are used to here in the Hudson Valley, but the dog was of much better quality and a little larger than is usual around home. The french fries were awful - soggy and greasy. The service was excellent, rapid, pleasant, and full of info on other local eating places.
For the birthday dinner we took Kelsey to Anthony's, a big sprawling place that has grown out of what appeared to be a rather small house at one time. As the "bistro" room was full - I checked it out and it was a very pleasant bar and cozy dining room - we were seated in one of the dining rooms where we were allowed to order off the bistro menu ( much the same as the main menu, but smaller portions and less expensive). The place is welcoming and the service is professionally good. There's a large well designed wine and beer list - by the glass and bottle- from which we selected an inexpensive fresh fruity Italian Pinot Grigio that went well with everyones meals. We had stuffed chicken breast, duck leg and thigh, and sea scallops, all of which were excellent. We shared one dessert, which came with a candle (thankfully, no chorus of singing waiters and busboys) and was a beautiful something made up of three kinds of chocolatet goodies. An excellent meal in very nice surroundings - I'd go back any time.
We had a late breakfast Sunday morning at a place in a kind of run-down neighborhood called Quiche and Crepe. This turned out to be a mom-and-pop operation - a small dining room seating maybe up to twenty people, and an open kitchen from which the chef/owner freely joined into the conversation. Mom, our greeter and waitress, was a tiny French woman with that high pitched lilting voice that seems so common among such women, and she is an excellent front-of-the-room person. We had bowls of fresh fruit, huge wonderful omelettes, croisants, and big mugs of strong almost bitter, but very good coffee. You order your omelette as you like from a list of ham, bacon, cheese, an a dozen vegetables - I had ham, onions, and green pepper (I explained to the chef that that was a "Western omelette" , to which he said, "Well, you never had any like this in a diner", and he was right). The omeletes were tender, ever so lightly browned, and generously stuffed with fillings.
The croissants were not those little crescents we usually see, but big round puffy confections of flaky pastry filled with almond paste and topped with sugar and chopped almonds - excellent - worth a 228 mile detour!
All in all, a wonderful weekend visit with our granddaughter and some unexpected fine food in a small city on the Canadian border.