FRIDAY JULY 6, 2012
- For the 2nd weekend of July I trekked back to Central NY to run my 3rd consecutive Boilermaker 15K Road Race in Utica, NY. Mom picked me up at the train station in Utica, NY (it was 2.5 hours late getting in!) and upon exiting the train I felt an immediate kinship with pottery as it bakes in a kiln! Definitely concerned for race day conditions tomorrow morning. We made our way to the RF-reviewed Teddy's Restaurant
in Rome, NY (my hometown) for dinner.
I started out with a crock of tasty French Onion soup...
..and moved on to my usual entree of Chicken Parmesan with angel hair pasta. Great, just as I expected.
I always look forward to their desserts and I couldn't resist trying a piece of their peaches & cream pie. This was more like a cake in terms of texture: super-moist, peachy, with a topping of whipped cream cheese mixed with some else (sweet) and coated with cinnamon on top that was baked in. The edge had a nice crisp feel to it and it was like no other pie I have ever had. I hope they have it on the menu again.
As much as I loved the peaches & cream, my mom's slice of warm blueberry pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream really blew me away. Lots of fresh blueberries and a buttery, flaky, homemade crust was a perfect end to this meal. We've been coming here for almost 20 years and have had many great meals. We had my mom's retirement party here back in April and they catered my uncle's wedding a few weeks ago. Brian and Carlos (the owners) are great guys who are really active in the local community and are on a first name basis with just about everyone who comes in. If you want to try really good versions of the local specialties of Chicken Riggies and Greens, as well as some stellar homemade pie, Teddy's is the place. SATURDAY JULY 7, 2012
- Borrowing mom's car, I made my way to the Boilermaker Expo in Utica to pick up my runner's bib and goodie bag. Naturally, I gave myself some extra time to explore a some Roadfood options before arriving at the Expo! An early lunch at the RF-reviewed Voss BAR B-Q
was in order.
I just found out on this visit that they now have an outpost at the Utica Zoo. I'll have to check it out and report back.
8 was the number of the day and I couldn't wait for them to call it out over the loudspeaker.
A Mexi-Dog, BBQ Ham sandwich (with extra sauce) and fries. I wanted to order twice this much but I figured with a 15K to run the next morning I should probably go easy.
One of the best hot dog chilis I have ever tasted on top of a quality Honest John's frank and nestled in a buttered and griddled Freihofer's split-top bun is perfection to me.
A BBQ Ham sandwich is a taste of my childhood and Voss' sauce has had me hooked for over 20 years. I was recently in touch with Chris Ayers as he and Amy Briesch had been in CNY and had made a couple of visits to Voss'. While he liked the BBQ sauce he thought that the turkey had a "lunchmeat-y" texture to it. I've always struggled to describe the meat at Voss', especially to those who may have grown up in the BBQ belt(s). That word probably sums it up (at least in terms of the turkey). It's something I grew up with and I will always crave it but I can see how it would be a hard sell if smoked meats are what one is accustomed to. In doing some research online for what I hope is a Summer 2013 BBQ Ham/Hot Ham sandwich smack down I found about 19 places in Central NY that serve one or both of these specialties. Looking forward to it!
And to wash it all down AND double as my dessert, a heavy pistachio shake, which was just right.
As I got closer to the Expo I made a slight detour on to Bleecker Street in East Utica to pick up some tomato pie from Roma Sausage & Deli
to bring to the pre-race pasta carb-loading party in Rome later that evening.
They don't keep very late hours and have a tendency to run out of tomato pie early in the day. Good thing I stopped here BEFORE the Expo as the line was almost to the door and there was a bit of a wait as they were making them as quick as they could. The upside of waiting was that I received a fresh, warm one right out of the oven. Now, they are really good a few hours and even a few days later but they are definitely at their peak while still warm.
And amidst all of the hanging cheeses were many signs and a Terrible Towel indicating that someone here is a HUGE Steelers fan!
Lots of olives to choose from as well.
The Steelers fan and I had a nice conversation and he handed me my pie over the counter whereupon I promptly set it down and took this shot (among others) as many other line dwellers snickered and pointed at the goofy guy photographing his food! I do it for YOU, people!!
I have yet to buy a tomato pie that makes into the car intact. They idea of NOT eating 3-4 slices from the hood just seems silly to me!
Off to the Jorgensen Athletic Center at the Mohawk Valley Community College campus for the Expo.
The bib has been acquired! Less than 24 hours until my toes are on the race course!! I get excited about this race every year!
For the past 5 years members of the 2nd Battalion of the 108th Infantry based out of the Parkway Armory in Utica, NY participated in a "shadow run" in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
For more info on the run and the results, check out this link from the Boilermaker site: http://www.boilermaker.com/news/entry.php?id=545
I wouldn't mind getting behind the wheel of this car!
And a very sweet and energetic doggie I met before leaving the Expo. I forget his name but he was very huggable.
After the Expo I made my way back to Bleecker Street, to the RF-reviewed Florentine Pastry Shop
to pick up some pusties for the party.
The only down side to this visit was they only had vanilla pusties left and only 7 of them. So, I bought them all. Six for the party and one for me to "sample" in the car in the parking lot before I left. Quality control, you know?
These seem to get better every single time I eat them! Many more pusties to try in the area but these are still the yardstick by which I measure all others.
More to come...
<message edited by billyboy on Thu, 01/31/13 5:57 AM>