Hi Bill- welcome aboard.
I grew up in that neck of the woods (literally) and although the cuisine is not exactly haute, I have wonderful memories of family meals and quintessential roadfood around the area. It has been over a decade since I last visited, so I will make only a few restaurant suggestions with the hope that their quality has not changed: Cherry Knoll diner/truck stop about 10 miles east of Malone on Route 11. After 65 years of travel I still consider this one of the best of its type in America. DO NOT MISS THEIR MICHIGANS, MACARONI AND TOMATO SOUP (ambrosia in a bowl), HOT BEEF OR HOT TURKEY SANDWICHES, AND HOME-MADE PIES. If you don't think their French fries are the best you ever had- with or without gravy- they are on me. In Malone, try Sansone's for classic 4th? generation red-sauce Italian American dishes, especially their spaghetti and meatballs and veal parm. Tasty Freeze and Dairy Queen used to be local favorites for their own flavors that the rest of their chain bretheren didn't carry. I still dream of the black raspberry but can't remember from which stand it came.
Points of nostalgia- you missed by a few years the closing of what I think was the country's last Lums in Plattsburg (hot dogs steamed in stale beer). Tearfully I must report that you only missed the closing of Jake's Michigans in Chateaugay by about 40 years- 100 yards from my family home and the purveyor of the world's best treats run by one of the world's nicest ladies. Anyone who wishes to debate that with me had best bring a large chef's knife.
The road from Malone eastward is (used to be) littered with farm stands with amazing corn and tomatoes at pennies on the dollar compared to city prices if the season has not yet passed, and the orchards around Chazy sell fabulous apples, cider, and some have pies and donuts that should be brought home by the case.
Have a wonderful trip with some great scenery to go with the eats and try not to get snowed in; remember it is already September and blizzard season has begun. I wish I could be with you and turn back the clock to stop for 4 with onions and mustard at Jake's.
Happy eating, Chef Marty
<message edited by chef marty on Thu, 09/13/12 10:25 PM>