Potsdam/Canton NY

Post
flattop5
Cheeseburger
2013/03/03 10:30:39
Is there anything worth checking out in the Potsdam/Canton NY area?  Thanks!
Shmaboo
Junior Burger
Re:Potsdam/Canton NY 2013/03/03 15:32:42
It's a little bit of a trip and I don't think they're open until the weather warms up, but some of the best poutine I've ever had is just across the bridge from Ogdensburg.  Kal's Chip Stand is in the parking lot of the Giant Tiger in Prescott, Ontario.  It should be about 30-35 minutes from Canton.
 
The fries are excellent, as you might expect from a good chip wagon.  The sauce is very tasty, but the stars of the show are the curds.  They're squeaky-fresh curds from St. Albert and they are plentiful.  All together, the parts form a sublime whole.  Last time I was there, a regular size was $4.50 and was more than enough for one person.  A large at $5.50 could feed a small army.
Scorereader
Sirloin
Re:Potsdam/Canton NY 2013/03/04 12:02:11
Eben's Hearth - Potsdam. Comfort food, incredibly good sandwiches, soups, I love this place. On my last trip to Potsdam, this was the first restaurant I hit.
 
Sergi's - Potsdam: Pizza Roll. This is a Potsdam tradition. Like a big calzone with the sauce inside.
There is also a location in Canton
 
The big competitor to Sergi's is Josie's, and they, too, have a pizza roll. And the students at the local colleges: Potsdam, Clarkson, Canton and St. Lawrence, are split as to which is best.
 
I think I probably had more Josie's pizza rolls than Sergi's, but that may have had to do with the location, being on the same side of the street at the watering holes.
 
The Bagelry - Potsdam: Could not live in Potsdam without this place. Try the Gobble, and be sure to finish the meal with a Snoopy (LARGE peanut butter cookie) or Brown Bazoobie (LARGE chocolate chip cookie) 
 
So, all of those are perfect Roadfood places. If you're looking for something a little more upscale, do NOT miss 1844 House outside the village of Potsdam on Route 11 heading towards Canton.  Small, intimate, featuring local products.
 
Pub Food? Head to Maxfields. for as long as I can remember, they've been the refined pub of Potsdam, a college town, home toi Clarkson U and SUNY Potsdam, with a thriving bar scene. This is where alumni and professor meet for a beer and pub food.
 
When college students' parents come to visit, they typically go to Mama Lucia's for Italian, or Cactus Grill & Cantina for Mexican. Both opened after I graduated, and I've had good meals at both on visits as an alum. BUT, if I want better Tex-Mex in a better (less noisy) atmosphere, I drive 10 minute North to Norfolk and go to the Hotel Grande. Owner owned and operated, it's good roadfood.
 
With the 4 colleges, plus others not too far away, the area is saturated with academics/intellectuals, and so, there's a good number of really good eats in Potsdam/Canton area. Hope you enjoy it!
 
SeamusD
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Potsdam/Canton NY 2013/03/04 15:47:24
I think I only had one Josie's pizza roll while attending SUNY Canton. I stand solidly in the Sergi's camp. We called them "fat bags", and they were only $3 a piece back then (20 years ago), I imagine they cost more now.
 
My last trip up there a few years ago, we went to Eben's Hearth and had a very good meal (I had the prime rib), so I second that also.
 
I would always stay at the Cascade Inn in Canton when visiting, and would eat breakfast at the diner on site. Good, inexpensive comfort diner fare. Not sure if it's still open or not, it seems to me it closes down every couple of years, then gets opened back up again.
flattop5
Cheeseburger
Re:Potsdam/Canton NY 2013/03/04 16:09:34
Thank you to all for the detailed responses! We will certainly visit at least two of these.

Now, part 2: we will be there with a girls hockey team (age 15-17).  While at tournaments we try to have a team dinner -- are any of these places good for groups of 30+ (I'll be investigating them myself as part of a duo), or do you know of any others?  They don't have to be RF-worthy -- they never are......
Scorereader
Sirloin
Re:Potsdam/Canton NY 2013/03/05 09:35:03
I would say Mama Lucia's Italian restaurant.
They have "Family" style eating, so ordering ahead for a large group is probably easy.
 
Just one thought, though, for a meal, when I was a HS teacher and took my students to a college campus, I always ate on campus in a dining hall.
 
Are they playing at Cheel Arena at Clarkson? I'm sure you can call the school's dining facility. Most dining halls are pay one price and there's a buffet/stations, kids can pick what they want to eat. I went to the Crane School of Music at Potsdam, and there's Lehman Hall on that campus. They do a really nice job there. I'm sure SUNY-P would accomodate a HS group in town for a tournament (They see it as an opportunity to have kids on campus, checking out the school - you get an easy to do meal in a setting that can accomodate large groups). The SUNY-P dining services is called PACES (pronounced, pay-sees). They consistently rate among the top dining services in all of the SUNY system.  I honed some culinary skills there as a student - the staff is fantastic. Today, I'm the foodie and house chef at my home. My interest in cooking started before college, but I got more passionate while a student earning work-life money through PACES. They were always concerned with putting out a quality product, and they consistently changed with the times - not like some other SUNY schools I visited where the food was not so good!
 
When I was a music teacher, I would take students to concerts, plays and we'd perform at music festivals at local colleges. When I took my HS students to the on-campus dining hall, they really enjoyed eating amongst the college students. It was a brief glimpse of college life for them. They loved it.
 
While typing this, I found a link: They have a group rate of $10.50plus tax for dinner at Lehman Hall.
 
Otherwise, Mama Lucia's, if memory serves, has ample space...call WAY ahead for a weekend, though. There's aren't too many "fine" dining places in Potsdam, and this one is popular. I've been twice, both times they were jammed. But, what kid doesn't like italian food?! 
 
Oh, and I just spoke with a Fraternity brother (who's visiting me this week) and I mentioned Potsdam eating for large groups, he said there's a Mongolian BBQ that is popular among students. A quick FB post on my fraternity alumni page yielded a positive reaction from more recent alums.  Here's a link to their menu.
I've never been, so I can't give direct evidence to its quality, but I trust these guys, for what its worth.
 
Have fun. Good luck to the girls! We used to go to Jr. Hockey games in Canada, up in Cornwall on occasion - maybe 3 or 4 times. Going to Canada was sooo easy back then. We'd also went to one CAN/AM youth tourney. A younger brother of a friend played in the CAN/AM tournament - and it was at St. Lawrence U...I think. We went to Cornwall because Jr. Hockey in Canada was nuts! Going to those games (not too often) and SUNY-P and Clarkson motivated me to learn to skate. I'm not good, but I do enjoy skating a couple times a year and not falling all over myself. Now that I'm in DC, I'm a big Caps fan!
SeamusD
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Potsdam/Canton NY 2013/03/05 10:50:22
We went to Cornwall often also... but it wasn't for hockey games. I think one place was called "The Body Shop", and then we'd cap the night off at "The Aardvark".
Scorereader
Sirloin
Re:Potsdam/Canton NY 2013/03/05 11:13:41
SeamusD

We went to Cornwall often also... but it wasn't for hockey games. I think one place was called "The Body Shop", and then we'd cap the night off at "The Aardvark".


One a semester, my fraternity would have a Canadian night Lock and Load. No outsiders, just us and Canadian Beer. At the time, you could bring back 2 cases of beer per person with paying a tax at customs. We'd go up in several cars packed with 4 or 5 guys each, buy a crap load of beer at the package store in Cornwall.
 
The US Customs folks would give us a little crap on return, but we never lost a case or paid a "tax." Brador was popular choice, as was XXX from Molson. But Labatts also made "Forte" or Strong beers. These beers back then in Canada were named after an animal, like Labatt Wolf. We'd stock up on cases of Forte Wolf, too. And regular Amstel, which wasn't sold in the US.
 
I heard stories about club hopping in Cornwall, but I never made a trek for that. Now Montreal on the other hand...
 
post edited by Scorereader - 2013/03/05 11:18:45
SeamusD
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Potsdam/Canton NY 2013/03/05 13:20:46
Brador was big with us also. Haven't even seen it in years. Labatt Maximum Ice was a sought after beer also, now that's all over the place and Brador is seemingly nonexistent in my neck of the woods.
I got into more trouble than I care to admit in Cornwall, and down the road in Brockville. Never had a problem at the border though.
cribari
Junior Burger
Re:Potsdam/Canton NY 2013/03/05 13:30:43
Well this is just too good to pass up!  I went to St Lawrence University (class of '69) and last week I was in Canton for an alumni-in-residence program.  It's the first time I've been back in quite a while and THE significant change to that area since I was an undergraduate is that the drinking age is twenty-one, whereas it was eighteen in, as they say, my day.  So, here's where you cannot go: Billy's Upper, Billy's Lower, Moose's, Connie Bars, The Evergreen, Zsa Zsa's: all gone.  The Tick Tock used to be the swankier place, but now I think it's late night weekend clubbing under different owners.  Where can you go?  Dave's, who refuses to serve St Lawrence students, and as has been pointed out elsewhere on this thread Josie's and Sergi's.  I went to Sergi's last week, having arrived Canton in a blizzard and wanting to see if anything from my day was still extant.  Sergi's was, and Sam the owner back in the late '60s was there.  We chatted and had a lovely visit.  His son Pat runs the place now.  The ziti with meatballs was what it always was, still with Mary's tomato sauce (though Mary, sadly, died a few years ago).  Huge portion.  I didn't get the pizza (which looked quite good) as back when I was a freshman I was sometimes invited to join the 'Sergi family' for their Sunday dinner (which they had in the restaurant which was closed on Sundays).  This was at the time Italian-American food as I knew it in the NYC area and it was the same last week as as it was forty-five years ago.  I thoroughly enjoyed my visit and my meal.  Highly recommended.
 
Chatting with Pat, he explained how he auditions young people who want to make pizza and work for him.  They spout all this training they've had and come armed with 'pizza degrees' and can't make a pizza or handle the dough properly.  Family standards!
 
I suspect Sergi's may be more of a local place these days than a college place.  At least, while I was there in the snowstorm, various local families, multi-generational, were dining there.  Lively take-out pizza alternative in the front room.  I was told that they take $.25 off each pizza from each home goal scored in St Lawrence hockey games.
SeamusD
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Potsdam/Canton NY 2013/03/05 15:33:51
Connie's was still open when I was a student there, only went a couple times as townies would always pick fights with us (and lose) when we went there for a drink.
My last trip up the only bar still open from my days that we went to was the Hoot Owl.
cribari
Junior Burger
Re:Potsdam/Canton NY 2013/03/05 16:16:03
The Hoot Owl is still there.  It opened just as I was graduating from St Lawrence.  When I arrived at St Lawrence, what is today the Hoot Owl was, then, a train station.  The direct trains from NYC to the campus had only recently been terminated.  I'm told that Connie's just recently closed.
Scorereader
Sirloin
Re:Potsdam/Canton NY 2013/03/07 13:44:07
cribari: I rarely, if ever, hung out in Canton, but I really enjoyed your story about Sergi's. I used to really enjoy their restaurant in Potsdam...when we could get a table. Always crowded! Good food, what else can be expected?!!
uncleiqbal65
Junior Burger
Re:Potsdam/Canton NY 2013/04/03 00:38:03

If you are a fast food freak i must suggest you the world famous food chains like MCD, KFC etc etc.... And if you are looking for some special location food in NY then you can easily find it... Italian, Continental, Chinese foods can be easily found in Canton NY.....

There are some worth spending places also.. depending on your budget you can go for 5-7 stars and some economical food can also be found ....