This past weekend I was in Syracuse, NY with my family to run the Inaugural Empire State Half Marathon. I had hoped to stop by 4-5 diners during my stay but unlike the Rolling Stones, time was NOT on my side! Friday October 14th -
By the time I had arrived in Syracuse I was famished. The peach mango smoothie and Everything bagel I had picked up in NY Penn Station before leaving was tasty but I needed more. My sister and her family had planned to get an early dinner at Stella's Diner
on Wolf St. which suited me just fine as I hadn't been there in 3 years and I was eager to revisit.
They do take credit cards and please note that they are only open for breakfast and lunch on Monday & Tuesday.
My niece started out her meal with this large and very rich and chocolatey milkshake. No silver beaker with this but we all helped her finish it off and I think I'll be getting my own on my next visit and maybe have them throw in some malt powder.
Stella's serves breakfast all day so I decided to try their version of a local specialty, the Fretta (scrambled eggs, onions, peppers, mushrooms, broccoli, pepperoni, sausage, ham and home fries). I opted to have mine covered in cheddar cheese and sided with raisin toast. This was excellent and all of the flavors came together nicely but I'm not sure I'd order it again unless I was sharing with someone or could get a half order. It is so daunting and HUGE!! My sister had the Hot Covered Turkey sandwich with mashed potatoes and my brother-in-law had pancakes. I tried some of both and they were great, especially the pancakes. Sorry, no pics on those. Saturday October 15th
- A few weeks before I came up, my sister had emailed me about a charity run taking place the day before the half marathon and though it might be a good warm-up for me. I like to run a few miles the day before a long race just to keep my legs fresh. When I read about the Run/Walk for William it just seemed like a natural fit.
The runners received these very adorable long sleeved shirts for the run which came in handy on a very cold, wet and windy day. The pre-run gathering in the school cafeteria was nice and they had a DJ, items to raffle, a local karate school giving demonstrations and lots of bananas, bagels, salted pretzels and other snacks for the runners. It was a nice run and I managed to log my first mile in under 11 minutes (a new record for me!) and my overall pace was under 12 minutes a mile which was also a personal record for me. As an added bonus at the end of the run they had plenty of local Byrne Dairy chocolate milk! A wonderful surprise was getting to meet William's parents, who are the race directors, before I left. I had a lovely conversation with them and they are just great. I hope to make it back for this one next year.
After the run, I drove about 10 minutes down Rte. 370 towards the B'Ville Diner
, another place I haven't been to since 2008. I was eager to try some more of their homemade pie!
A hot cup of tea was just what I needed to warm up after braving this cold, wet day. I liked that they gave me an extra cup of hot water to add as needed.
I asked the girl behind the counter which of their pies were homemade. She s and said that the chocolate meringue, lemon, pumpkin, coconut meringue and I think she said apple as well. I loved the chocolate last time but the coconut called out to me so I grabbed a slice before ordering lunch. Gotta keep my priorities in order, ya know! This was fantastic and obviously homemade. Great flaky crust, sweet filling and light as air meringue.
The locally made Gianelli sausage sandwich with tomato sauce sounded good and I opted for home fries instead of potatoes prepared in the French manner. The HF were flavorful but I wished there had been some crust on them. The sausage had a nice fennel flavor to it and a good snap. I managed about half of this as I had plans to carb load with my sis and her family later in the day.
BB, this shot is for you! Might be a good pie stop for you if you're in the area. HEIDs, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, Mother's Cupboard, etc would make for a tasty CNY trip!
Before heading back to my sis' house, I stopped at an orchard as they had signs for ice cream and pie. The ice cream was Gifford's. I was hoping maybe for homemade ice cream and the place was jammed with what seemed to be a very large group of students on a trip and the slices of apple pie they had out didn't really call out to me so I took a pass. After cleaning up and a big grocery shopping trip to Wegman's (where I insanely passed on picking up a beef-on-weck!) for our carb load dinner and post-race dinner provisions, I made my way to the race Expo for the Half Marathon. I ran into my friend Shawn who was volunteering for the race and giving out the t-shirts and who helped me greatly after I became lost driving to the Expo! As I was walking around I saw Kathrine Switzer and asked if I could get a picture with her. What a treat! She was the first woman to run the Boston Marathon in 1967. We had a nice conversation and she had a some helpful tips for getting through the race. She was kicking off these races as she is a Syracuse University alum and has ties to the area. She'll be commentating at the NYC Marathon in a few weeks and maybe I'll see her there!
Ms. Switzer was also selling copies of her book which looked like a good read.
And the pictures of Boston Marathon race director Jock Semple attempting to physically rip off Kathrine Switzer's race bib and then getting body checked by her boyfriend as he ran alongside her.
My apologies folks, but that's it for the Roadfood portion of this report. During our Wegman's excursion I walked through the bakery section and scored a mini grape pie, something I had never tried before.
This was really good and had a most pronounced grape flavor, like a homemade grape jam and the crust was buttery and flaky too. Very intense! I'm not sure if I could eat a while slice by myself.
Right here is where I skip ahead to the post race meal. My sis puts together "family supper" one Sunday a month as a way to gather the extended family for a nice evening together. She tries to schedule it when she knows I'll be visiting and this meal was terrific. Roast stuffed pork loin...
Homemade roasted applesauce...
Zuchini gratin with gruyere & parmesan...
Mashed potatoes and mashed butternut squash like Grandma used to make at Thanksgiving...
My uncle's girlfriend made a carrot cake...
and a killer pumpkin cake with a sweetened, whipped cream cheese filling and caramel sauce on top. Verrrry good...
My other uncle's girlfriend brought an apple pie that her dad made and it was another winner...
Of course we had our pie standby...chocolate pudding pie (with a chocolate cookie crust)...
and my favorite (with a graham cracker crust). I had a few slices of this one and it was like going back in time...! A couple of plates of food and I was feeling almost back to normal and it was truly wonderful to spend so much quality time with my family.
At the race Expo Shawn gave me my sweet wicking tech t-shirt. Love these things!
And the finisher's medal. Love the fall colors and theme. It was a great race. Not hilly at all, cool, breezy and just enough twists and turns to keep the course interesting. We ran right by HEIDs hot dog stand but I passed on stopping for a double coney! Running through Onondaga Lake Park and the views of the lake and trees changing colors made for a fun if exhausting run. The last couple of miles were tough but turning the corner towards the finish and coming upon a sea of spectators cheering me on definitely gave a boost to power me through to the end where I had another (PR) personal record time. And they had plenty of Byrne Dairy chocolate milk at the finish! Score! I managed to knock it out in 2hrs, 50mins, 49 sec for an overall pace of 13:03 mins per mile. Even better than that, I was able to find my mom and her husband waiting for me at the end with a cowbell, cheering me on!
That's it for this one. Hope you enjoyed it and I look forward to making my next trip to CNY a bit more heavy on the Roadfood.
"Eating is an adventure, enjoy the ride!" - billyboy, 2011
<message edited by billyboy on Tue, 11/15/11 3:12 AM>