In addition to the vanilla pusties I popped into Holland Farms Bakery & Deli
for some half moon cookies to bring to the party
It was killing me not to buy a pie and also to not whip out a marker and correct the grammar and punctuation on this sign!
A classic chocolate base half moon with white & chocolate frosting.
And a new favorite of mine...a carrot cake half moon with cream cheese and (I think) a brown-sugar cream cheese frosting!
Our group shot at the pasta party. It really was terrific to spend time with all of them. Lots of laughs, great stories from our school days, discussing upcoming races and guessing how the race tomorrow was going to play out. I look forward to this party every year! SUNDAY JULY 8, 2012
Billyboy, ready to run!
My friend and coach, Doug, geared up for the race!
They were selling these commemorative 35th Anniversary medals at the finish line and I couldn't resist getting one (though Doug picked one up for me as he finished well before me). It was definitely the toughest one I've run so far. I ran better than I did in 2010 but not as well as 2011. I was hoping to finish in under 2 hours but I came in at 2:04:51. The local paper said the temperature was around 65 degrees at the start at 8:00am but the humidity was over 90%!! I definitely felt as if I was burning up almost a 1/2 mile in which almost never happens to me. I stopped at every water station, person giving out ice, kid with a sprinkler or water gun, etc just to cool off. Much relief was provided by my mom, sister, brother-in-law, niece, cousins and many friends handing me water, ice chips, sweaty hugs and a ton of moral support from the sidelines.
Finishers don't receive a medal but a Finisher's Pin at the end of the race. My pins from my three Boilermakers.
Each runner also gets a free pint glass at the Expo as part of their goodie bag. The design changes from year to year and is usually chosen as part of a contest where local students submit design ideas.
The blue "Long Distance Relationship" is the last one in a trio of shirts that I acquired in the three successive years I've run this race.
The graffiti on the wooden walls at the back entrance of Tom Cavallo's Restaurant
in New Hartford, NY has been a long standing tradition. Doug and I have been coming here since our college days when a whole dorm floor would carpool here for all-you-could-eat 99 cent pasta Mondays or 20 cent wing Tuesdays and it was always our go-to spot whenever I'd come back into town after I had moved to Boston. We had thought about having hot dogs and BBQ sandwiches at Voss BAR B-Q as our post race meal like we did in 2011 but with the humidity still being high we opted for somewhere indoors with air conditioning. and Cavallo's was the perfect choice.
A complimentary loaf of their crusty bread is always a great start to any meal here.
While the Utica/Rome area is not the birthplace of the Buffalo wing, it is close enough to bask in the hot glow of wing sauce from the Nickel City and as a result I grew up chowing down on excellent Buffalo-style wings from numerous restaurants in the area. I've been eating wings at Cavallo's for over 20 years and they are still some of the best I have ever had. They nail the three basic elements that for me, define the perfect Buffalo wing: 1.) crispy skin (no rubbery wings here), 2.) meaty, moist wings (no dried out chicken) and 3.) a sauce that is a perfect balance of spice and flavor (their "hot" level packs a nice punch without being overpowering and has some great tangy, vinegary, peppery and buttery notes to it). It brought me right back to my college days! The blue cheese dip was very chunky, cool and creamy too. As much as I love NYC and the variety of food it offers, a decent plate of Buffalo wings is hard to come by.
A local specialty that I was looking forward to trying was a hot "tunnel" sandwich. As many of you know, sandwiches have different names in different regions (hot brown vs. turkey devonshire, Jucy Lucy vs. stuffed cheeseburger, subs, heroes, grinders, torpedoes, wedges, etc...). A tunnel is a hot sub (meatball, sausage, chicken/veal/eggplant parm, etc...) served in a long roll that I believe has been hollowed out somewhat to allow for more filling and baked to crisp up the bread.
I opted for the meatball and sausage tunnel and I requested roasted long hots (Italian long green peppers) as well as getting it split-top and covered in mozzarella. A truly great sandwich. There were little bits of blackened skin still on the long hots which gave them a smoky, charred flavor and while the sausage was good I had forgotten how much I truly loved their meatballs until my first bite. Next time, a meatball only tunnel!
Being that my friends love food as much as I do, we split some of our dishes so we could sample. I gave away parts of my sandwich and was able to sample some chicken riggies as a trade-off. For some reason I have never tried them here but I shall not make that mistake again as these were terrific, though I might wait for cooler weather.
On my way back to Rome for the night I stopped in at Holland Farms again to treat myself to a couple of half moons and I passed this sign and couldn't resist taking a picture. Oh, long have I wondered when the worlds of Vietnamese comfort food and Snoop D-O-Double G would at long last collide! My wait is finally over!
Later that day my family wanted to have dinner at Symeon's, a local Greek restaurant, which Roadfooder ynotryme
has been wanting me to go to for some time. As much as I wanted to I REALLY needed to sleep for a while so sis, brother-in-law and my niece headed back to Syracuse and after some much needed sleep, mom and I had a late dinner at Nicky Doodles
in Rome, NY.
I went for a Nicky Doodle Dog (a grilled Hofmann hot dog with their spicy meat sauce in a buttered and griddled bun). A tasty dog but made even better by adding some of their Gold BBQ sauce on top. Spicy and sweet with possibly some mustard in it.
And a side of cool and creamy potato salad. I really like how the kids working there seem to have a great work ethic and usually go the extra mile for the customer.
Ice cream was a given and so much to choose from...
but the Peanut Butter Caramel Cookie Dough isn't something I see very often which is too bad as this was fantastic. Creamy with a healthy swirl of caramel and lots of rich chunks of peanut butter-y cookie dough.
A couple more stops to come. Stay tuned!!
<message edited by billyboy on Thu, 01/31/13 6:06 AM>