Erie Canal Cruise and Food

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2005/12/21 14:24:18 (permalink)

Erie Canal Cruise and Food

Has anyone rented and skippered a canal boat?
if so, did you eat at restaurants or cook on the boat? or both?

what would you recommend?
if you cooked, what type of food did you cook? what do you recommend cooking?

I'm thinking of doing a week on the Erie/NYS Canal. My wife does not want to sacrafice all the great meals we normally have on vacation. So I'm wondering about anyone's experiences with boat trips and eating.



8 Replies Related Threads

    Filet Mignon
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    RE: Erie Canal Cruise and Food 2005/12/21 15:53:15 (permalink)
    I have looked at a canal boat, but it was rejected by my wife. She remembers living on a boat. Yachting is one thing, but boating is like camping. If you are rich and have a 100ft boat with crew, that is one thing, but if you are on a smaller boat, it can become real work for the cook. Everything is smaller, alcohol stoves put out less heat, and cleanup in the 12 inch x 9 inch sink is a real chore. Go for soft drink and sandwich at lunch time on the boat. For breakfast and supper, plan to be tied up at one of the many tie ups provided by the canal authority, and test out the local eateries.

    Two summers ago I had my pokeboat (tm) with me on a short solo getaway in Upstate New York, and I waved at several canal boats. I spent some time in conversation with some nice folks in a rented boat tied up at Fairport, NY. Fairport has several Roadfood type eateries, and one nicer place within walking distance of the dock. The people planned to eat supper at the nice place, and have breakfast at one of the breakfast places. They had planned their trip to do the same thing each night at different towns.

    The Canal Auth has a good website, and you can order free maps and info on it. The new stuff for the summer season should be out soon. Canal cruising is much more laid back than sailing on the coast. You don't have the crowded marinas or anchorages for one thing, and so far as I know there are no dockage fees. The only cost, besides boat rental, fuel and food, is the canal permit, and that may be included with your rental. For example, I think that Fairport has 3 tieups and only one was in use the day that I was there. The company that you rent your boat from should have several ideas as to where you should stop.
    Double Chili Cheeseburger
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    RE: Erie Canal Cruise and Food 2005/12/22 03:19:21 (permalink)
    Hello All,
    This is a great topic.
    I have always had a dream trip of being
    on a canal boat or just a boat where I
    can be captain going down a river or on
    a huge lake. It won't happen, but I dream.
    Please, let us hear more.
    Take Care,
    Junior Burger
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    RE: Erie Canal Cruise and Food 2006/04/06 16:19:14 (permalink)
    We went on the western part of the canal last year. We liked it so much we bought a farm that backs on the canal.

    On our trip we cooked all our meals. We used a small portable grill with bag-light charcoal and cooked on shore. Some of the favorites were steaks, corn and potatoes. The corn and potatoes were all wrapped in aluminum prior to the trip and cooked directly on the coals. The steaks were packed frozen and thawed in the cooler over several days. One evening we made shish-kebabs on bamboo skewers. The pre-made vegetable and snack trays you get from grocery stores were nice for afternoon and evening cocktails. Lunch and breakfasts were light, usually pasteries, sandwiches or shrimp cocktail, also packed in coolers frozen. Most food preparation was done before the trip. The main exception was that we caught and ate some very nice fish, also cooked outside on a portable gas burner. Clean-up is the most dificult thing about meals with canal cruising is clean-up so cooking in aluminum foil and disposable dishes make life a lot easier.

    If you are going to cook I reccomend cooking outside. However, you could easily eat all of your meals in restaurants, and we have been at several along the western section since then. The cruising guide available though the NYS barge canal web site lists quite a few, more are a short walk away in many of the towns. The Basket Factory Restaurant near Middleport stands out and has a nice small dock/marina area with it. Captain Kidz in Medina overlooks the canal park and has a nice patio overlooking the harbor, the food is not exotic but well prepared and the homemade pies are quite tasty.

    Take lots of cold drinks.

    Have Fun!
    Fire Safety Admin
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    RE: Erie Canal Cruise and Food 2006/04/06 17:53:44 (permalink)
    I have always wanted to do this historic trip. I could not help but look up their web site. I think it would be a neat adventure and lots of fun.

    The attached link offers many possibilities including maps and other related links that you can access.

    Fall would be a super time to do this trip.

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
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    RE: Erie Canal Cruise and Food 2006/07/19 19:45:24 (permalink)
    Well my trip is just a week and a half away. (We decided to go for it!)
    Thanks for the tips. I've been doing a ton of research ever since putting down the deposit on the boat.

    I'm looking for thoughts on restaurants in the villages of:

    I'm sure we'll stumble on a few eateries. I noticed that Brockport has a nice little diner in the center fo town and I've done a fair amount of research. But if anyone has a favorite or first hand information on a place in any of those towns, I'd love to hear about it.

    PS As I post this, it really makes me sad to know that Berndog isn't around. He knew that area inside and out. Not to mention he was a good guy on these boards.

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    RE: Erie Canal Cruise and Food 2006/07/19 20:43:35 (permalink)

    After years and years on boats, you get used to the cooking in a "one butt" galley with two burners and a very small sink. For utensils I have the following:
    one percolator coffee pot
    one cast-iron skillet
    one small soup pot
    tongs, spatula, knives, forks and spoons, paper plates and plenty of paper towels

    Good foods to pack and take along are: grilled BBQ chicken, grilled flank steak, potato salad, fresh fruit, salad fixings. Of course, sandwich fixings. Shrimp cocktail or crabmeat or lobster. For breakfast it's all made in ONE cast-iron skillet......first the sausage or bacon, remove to paper plate with another turned ontop to keep it semi-warm. Then proceed with your eggs or fritatta (our favorite).

    Enjoy your boat trip!!
    seafarer john
    Filet Mignon
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    RE: Erie Canal Cruise and Food 2006/07/19 21:34:16 (permalink)
    I guess it's east of your area of navigation, but I read that one of the locks near Utica is closed because in the recent floods the Lockkeeper's house fell into the lock.

    Lots of luck and have a great trip on the canal...

    cheers, John
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    RE: Erie Canal Cruise and Food 2006/07/25 15:46:22 (permalink)
    Well, I'm off on vacation. I'll get to the boat on Sunday. In the meantime, I've got some things to do at home, for my side-company and then it's rest and relaxation for nine days.

    See you all in the mid-2nd week of August with reports and pic (if I figure that out).

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