Helpful ReplyHot!I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata and the Passion of the Pusty (UPDATED 06/09/18)

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billyboy
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Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2016/10/02 07:10:40 (permalink)
Friday August 5, 2016 - When planning a food crawl or a trip to see my family I often find myself using Google Maps to come up with interesting places to eat and things to do.  One such place I came across was the a place called Donut Shop (aka Washboard Laundromat) in Tupper Lake, NY.  Turns out it is a mix of Native American art store/laundromat/donut shop, with a pair of horses on the roof.  Definitely a combination I have never encountered in any of my Roadfood travels!  

The laundromat is pretty much what you'd expect, nothing fancy.

The Native American art store was pretty cool and featured some really creative pieces of artwork.

Dolls.  I could never buy one of these for myself as the though of having one in my apartment, looking at me, would just be too creepy.

And some really creative pieces of furniture.

The donut shop is pretty small and very simple.  They only make plain cake-style donuts and the different flavors come from the various frostings and toppings.  This seems easy enough to understand but for some reason I just wasn't getting it until Dayna explained it to me for a second time!  While they do have bagels, breakfast sandwiches and other assorted foods, I'm not sure if they are homemade.  However, I did notice the large standing mixer, flour scale and handheld donut extruder on the counter (below the menu - sorry for the poorly lit photo) so I had a feeling that these donuts were going to be great.

Cinnamon-sugar on the left and Maple-frosted on the right.  Both of these were fresh tasting and the Maple-frosted had an intense maple flavor to it.  I'll be back when we stay in Tupper Lake next summer.

Our lunch stop was another find courtesy of of a Google search that led me to the www.tupperlake.com website.  Great listings for restaurants, hiking, outdoor activities, museums and so much more!  Larkin's Deli & Bakery is part gas station, part convenience store, part deli, part bakery and stop number two for another taste of those Michigan-style hot dogs.  

Firewood for S'mores, anyone?  Nope.  My uncle knows a guy in the area and he gave us all of the free firewood we needed for the week.  Michigans are why I'm here!

Signs for local fundraisers, ice cream socials, jobs, concerts and other goings-on are usually a good indicator of a place the locals frequent.

Just a few booths for seating.  Food is ordered at the cash register and drinks are from the refrigerated cases.

This is one drink I think I'll pass on trying.  I don't even remember drinking it in the 1990s when it first came on the market.

A pair of Michigans with chips for my lady & I.  These were pretty good.  I forgot to ask what kind of dogs they use.  I think these may have been steamed rather than grilled as I didn't detect any char or crust on them.  I'm definitely more of a grilled/griddled hot dog fan but I liked these and would go back again.  The Michigan meat sauce was a bit drier than the sauce at Skyline Drive-In the day before.  There wasn't any spice to this or tomato sauce in it but there was some onion and I did taste something slightly sweet.  Cinnamon?  Clove?  Not sure, but it worked for me.

There was a LOT more "road" than "food" on this trip and since we had fled up on those donuts and hot dogs, we were ready to tackle our big hike up Mt. Arab in Piercefield, NY, just outside of Tupper Lake.  I read about this on the Tupper Lake website as well and what really drew me in is that they have a fire tower at the summit and hikers can climb up i it and get 360 degree views that I really cannot describe in a way that will do them justice.  A short drive down a dirt road, there isn't much signage to point out the trailhead except for this one below.  Parking is in a loose gravel lot across the street.  

The beginning of the trail...

Dayna, signing in the log book.  This lets rangers know who is on the trail and when they arrived.  Hikers should also sign out when they leave so that rangers will know that everyone came down safely and to look for anyone should they not sign out.  Dayna had never gone hiking before and this was fairly challenging terrain so I was a bit nervous.

The trail is pretty well-maintained...

with lots of beautiful foliage along the way.  It is very important though, to keep one's eyes on the trail.  I did trip a few times on the way up while getting distracted by some of the sights off of the trail...

and as flat as it is in some places...

and very scenic...

it did get pretty rough and uneven, with a lot of rocks and tree roots sticking out of the ground.  There were also some areas where the trail would plateau but for the most part it was a very vigorous uphill climb.

The rocks in the photo above were quite obvious but these ones below were few and far between so paying attention was key.  

These looked like little mini ferns.

We had gotten a late start and didn't begin our ascent until 3:00pm so we didn't see too many people on the way up.  We passed on small group on the way down and the guide who operates the museum at the summit.  Dang!  I was really hoping to take a tour of that but perhaps next summer.  We did come across a family near the summit who had an interesting story.  They hike all over the U.S. and the father had made hiking sticks for his wife and their 7-year old daughter.

As you can see, they have been to quite a few places and have acquired metal tags from each hike they have completed.    Bryce Canyon in Utah, Niagara Falls in New York, Glacier National Park in Montana and many, many more.
The father & mother said that their daughter had hiked up the Delicate Arch in Utah with them when she was just 3 years old!  Pretty cool.  Hearing about this and seeing their tags from various Utah-based parks reminded of so many of the fantastic trip report and photos that Buffetbuster has posted from those parks and that region.  Great stuff, man!!  I find myself re-reading them often.

Dayna, relaxing on a bench just before the summit.  This photo op was just too good to pass up.  The views from here were amazing!

Welcome to the Adirondacks.

Breathtaking.

So Dayna took one of me soaking in the view as well.

Not sure what sign I was trying to make here but pay no attention to the weird man in the photo.  Instead, focus your gaze just to his right...

A better close-up.

The fire tower museum that we just missed before it closed for the day.  Fire towers have been around on the summits of many Adirondack Mountains with fire watchers manning them as an early warning system should a fire break out in the region.  The Travelin' Man was there in spirit...  I read a lot about it here: http://www.tupperlake.com/blog/2015/05/mount-arab-fire-tower-peak-museum
Sounds like a very interesting place and the Nature Interpreter who runs it sounds like he has some great stories!

The fire tower awaits...

I am NOT a fan of heights!  Despite this being Dayna's first hike and neither of us being in prime shape for it, we both made it to the summit in good time and she was "gung-ho" to climb the tower so I couldn't chicken out now.  Great.  

That's mighty high...

My legs were definitely shaking and I didn't look down once during the 5-story climb but the view was totally worth it!

It was pretty windy up here and the platform shook (just a wee bit) but I would have regretted it if I had only seen pictures of this later.  What these do not convey, however, are the sounds, sights and smells of just how wonderful it is to be in the middle of the Adirondacks.  In person, the green of the trees really does pop, the sound of the wind as it makes the leaves rustle, the smell of the vast array of tree species.  Brings back many memories of camping, hiking and spending time with my family in this region so many years ago.

On our way back to Long Lake, we passed this motel and I just had to try around for some photos.  I asked the proprietor if I could take some photos and he was totally okay with it.  He said it was for sale and wanted to know if would be interested in buying.  Given the name, if figured that this was one offer I could totally refuse!  Love that neon though.  I'll bet that it really pops at after dark.

Looks like a throwback to the 1950s or 1960s.

 
 
That's it for this installment.  Just one more to go for this trip.  Coming up next...another BIG chair, a museum unlike any other, doggies on parade (Yay!!), pure maple goodness and a Taste of NY!!
 
The 411:
 
1.)  Washboard Laundromat
      48 Park Street
      Tupper Lake, NY 12986
       Ph# 518-359-2339
       No website
 
2.)  Larkin's Deli & Bakery
      548 Main Street
      Tupper Lake, NY 12986
      Ph# 518-359-9000
      Website: http://www.tupperlake.com/dining/larkins-junction-deli-bakery
 
3.)  Mt. Arab
      Mount Arab Road
      Piercefield, NY 12973
      Ph# 518-359-3328
      Website: http://www.tupperlake.com/hiking/mount-arab
leethebard
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Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2016/10/02 10:56:33 (permalink)
Enjoying travelling along with you. Some amazing scenery. I love New York!!!
ScreamingChicken
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Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2016/10/02 19:50:43 (permalink)
The Faust Motel looks like an old "motor court" postcard.  I think you should at least inquire about the asking price.
mlm
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Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2016/10/02 20:03:11 (permalink)
Absolutely gorgeous. Good looking food and goes to show there IS still Road Food out there, as you suggest, just may have to do some research and get away from yuppy  territory to find it. love that motor court, shades of It Happened One Night.
billyboy
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Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2017/03/09 11:21:13 (permalink)
Saturday August 6, 2016 - On our last day in the Adirondacks, we went back to the Long Lake Diner for breakfast.  A mushroom omelet, sausage patties, home fries and rye toast fueled me for our upcoming museum visit and the long drive ahead.  

 
My first visit to the Adirondack Museum in many, many years.

 
So much history inside of this museum.  

 
Big Bear in a big chair!!

 
This is the one memory from my last visit that is burned into my mind...the big sailboat on display in the main building.

 
 

 
A little info about the Water Witch.

 
Canoeing, sailing and other forms of boating have been popular in the Adirondacks for a very long time.

 
While we didn't go by steamboat, my family and I took a boat around Raquette Lake for my mom's wedding reception in 2008.  Truly a beautiful place.

 
More seaworthy crafts.

 
So popular that there were many groups dedicated to navigating the waterways of the Adirondacks.

 
It's all a matter of opinion...

 
Pretty cool.

 
 

 
An early era log hotel.

 
One of the first hotels in the Adirondacks.

 
 

 
Interior of the Merwin House Hotel.  The sitting room.

 
Advertisements from an earlier time.

 
 

 
 

 
As it turned out, we visited on the day of the Dogs Days of Summer Parade.  Yay!  Dayna and I both love dogs and there were so many sweet doggies to see and pet.

 
This handsome boy, I think his name was Archie, had a football jersey on and was dressed as the "Quarter Bark".

 
Pooches on parade!

 
A pair of siblings: one a referee and the other a goalie for the Flyers.

 
Off to the side of the parade, a woman had a tent set up and was selling locally made maple products from her family's maple sugaring farm, Black Rooster Maple, in Keene, NY.  

 
 

 I picked up a jar of this maple cream and have been using it on pancake, french toast and just regular toast instead of butter.  Wow!  Pure maple to the Nth power!!

 
An old time outhouse.  Used a few outhouses while camping in some rural areas of the Adirondacks.

 
Some of the early hotels had "modern" and "luxury" conveniences of the day: croquet, tennis, boating, maid service, etc...

 
The pastimes of the city dwellers, found deep in the woods!

 
So many from which to choose.

 
One of the more luxurious hotels.

 
A small scale model of a hotel bedroom.

 
A great place to get away and just think.

 
Something about this cottage just really spoke to me.  If such a place was available right now, I'd get away for a week and just explore the region.

 
A bit of info...

 
A small, man-made lake at the museum where kids can go canoe rides.

 
Some early camps had tents set up for different purposes.  I forget what this one was for.

 
I believe that this one was for sitting and having tea.

 
Another fire tower!!

 
This one sat atop Whiteface Mountain for many years.  It's a pretty arduous hike to the top that we may or may not tackle this summer.  Stay tuned...

 
The view of the Adirondack Museum from the platform in the old Whiteface Mountain fire tower.  This climb was much easier than the tower at Mt. Arab.  While the photo is not of the best quality, the view in person is quite breathtaking.

 
After we left the museum, we drove east to head back down to NYC via Rte. 87.  We pulled over at a rest stop and found a farmers market as well as this Taste of NY section inside of the main building.  I think a number of rest stops along the NYS Thruway have these in them.

 
While we didn't find anything at the foreman's market that piqued our interest, we did pick up a bottle of Spiedie Sauce...

 
Some Red Jacket Orchards apple cider and some Ronnybrook Farms chocolate milk (my personal favorite).  

 
 
The 411:
 
1.)  Long Lake Diner
      1161 Main Street
      Long Lake, NY 12847
      Ph# 518-624-3941
      No website
 
2.)  Adirondack Museum
      9097 State Route 30
      Blue Mountain Lake, NY 12812
      Ph# 518-352-7311
      Website: http://www.adkmuseum.org
      It is a seasonal museum.  2017 dates are May 26, 2017 to October 9, 2017.  Seven days a week, 10am to 5pm.
 
That's all for now.  My apologies for taking so long to finally finish this last installment but thanks for tuning in.  Coming up in August...staying in Rainbow Lake with visits to Tupper Lake, Saranac Lake and Lake Placid.  More Michigan-style hot dogs, hiking, maybe another fire tower climb and a visit to the 1980 Olympic Village!!
 
"Eating is an adventure, enjoy the ride!" - billyboy, 2017
 
 
post edited by billyboy - 2017/03/10 10:52:57
Michael Hoffman
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Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2017/03/09 12:45:58 (permalink)
billyboy,
 
You have to stop posting this stuff. It's too damned good.
billyboy
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Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2017/03/10 11:04:47 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby ChiTownDiner 2017/03/10 18:06:02
Mr. Hoffman, there is much more to come!!!!!
ann peeples
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Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2017/03/10 11:18:42 (permalink)
Great stuff!

billyboy
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Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2017/03/10 12:05:42 (permalink)
Friday December 23, 2016 - Dayna and I headed to Rome for the holidays with my family.  Being pretty hungry by the time we arrived in Rome, NY, we headed out to dinner at Gone Coastal in Lee Center, NY, not far from where I grew up.  In the interest of full disclosure, Gone Coastal is owned and operated by my cousin, Bob Griffin.  My apologies for the low-light photos as I'm still figuring out the settings on my smart phone.  This half order of greens was just right.  Earthy, with just a bit of crunch, lots of garlic and some spicy peppers, onions and romano cheese, Bob (who is also the chef) really knows how to let the flavor of the greens shine through.  

 I went with the special of the evening, Chicken & Biscuits.  Very tender, shredded chicken in a deeply flavored gravy atop soft biscuits.  I was ready for a nap after that dinner!  It's definitely a locals spot and is located right alongside one of the many snowmobile trails in the area so they get a LOT of sliders coming in for some drinks and good grub and there were quite a few still in their snowsuits at the bar when we arrived.  We also ran into our neighbors who still live a few houses down the street from my mom.  

 One of our Christmas traditions is to drive around town and look at the different homes that have huge light displays.  This was the best photo of a few and really sums up how many families get into the holiday spirit.  

 This, however, is my favorite.  Very simple and understated.  Years ago, this farmer used to hoist a tree onto the top of the silo and light it.  

Mom's Christmas tree, complete with ornaments from all of our travels, pictures of our dog, homemade ornaments from our grandparents going back over 40 years.  I look forward to this brightly lit family history every year.

Saturday December 24, 2016 - We had a massive Christmas Eve brunch with our uncles and aunts in Rome and then headed up to Syracuse for Christmas with my sister and her family.  Unlike the 65 degree temps in 2015, there was actually snow this year and ice forming on the hedges in front of their house!

 Monday December 26, 2016 - We had a great, relaxing holiday and decided to grab dinner at a place I have wanted to check out for some time, Funk-n-Waffles.  A pair of Syracuse University grads started this place a number of years ago and it has really taken off.  The original spot by the University has since closed (they're looking for new digs) but they are expanding into Rochester, NY.  

 There is always funk music playing on the PA system (on this night it was George Clinton and P-Funk) and they also have live acts, which were just setting up by the time we left.

 So many waffles, so little time...

 My BIL, Dennis, went with the pulled pork waffle, smothered in Dinosaur BBQ sauce.  Good stuff.

 My niece, Maddie, chose the bacon, brie and basil with apricot marmalade.  Sounds like an odd combination but it really worked.

 My sister and I both ordered the Jive Turkey, which is a waffle made of stuffing (what?!?!), topped with smoked turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy and with a side of cranberry sauce (I am soooo glad they remembered the cranberry sauce!).  This was excellent.  Obviously, some of the crispy waffle is compromised by all of the toppings, similar to how it also happens with fresh-cut fries in a dish of poutine, but it is totally worth it.

 We swung by the downtown Syracuse area to check out the Christmas lights.

 Tuesday December 27, 2016 - Dayna and I headed out for breakfast at a local favorite of ours, Stella's Diner.  The place was packed and the line was long but we didn't have to wait too long and our waitress was pretty cheery and helpful.  I haven't had the "Fretta" here in years and it was as good as ever.  Scrambled eggs, home fries, ham, sausage, pepperoni, broccoli, mushrooms, onions and peppers.  I opted to top it with cheddar cheese for an extra $1.20.  So good but best if shared by 2 people as it is HUGE!  Bonus points for the thick-cut Italian toast.

 
The 411:
 
1.)  Gone Coastal
      5345 Lee Center-Taberg Road
      Lee Center, NY 13363 
      Ph# 315-533-7229
      Website: http://www.gonecoastalrestaurant.com
 
2.)  Funk-n-Waffles
      307 S. Clinton Street
      Syracuse, NY 13202
      Ph# 315-474-1060
      Website: http://www.funknwaffles.com/wp/
 
3.)  Stella's Diner
      110 Wolf Street
      Syracuse, NY 13208
      Ph# 315-425-0353
      Website: http://www.stellasdinersyracuse.com
 
 
ann peeples
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Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2017/03/10 14:10:11 (permalink)
Everything looks fantastic-but I think I would be all over the bacon brie waffle!
Greymo
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Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2017/03/10 16:17:07 (permalink)
Billyboy, I love all your reports.  I lived in that area for 30 years!  I have done many of the trails in the Adirondacks.  Our favorite restaurant to go to in Rome was The Savoy.  An elderly gentleman, who was the uncle of one of our customers, always waited on us.......................great memories!
billyboy
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Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2017/03/11 08:19:02 (permalink)
Thursday February 9, 2017
 In the 2nd of what I hope will be an annual trip, I headed up to Rome to attend the Positively Rome Moonlight Trail Ski & Walk event.  It also gave me the chance to meet with accountant to get my taxes done, spend some quality time with Mom and Harold and to celebrate with my uncles as they retired and sold the 71-year old family business that they had run for the last 31 years.  A well-deserved rest for them!!  This picture below was the spot where two cars on the Amtrak met up.  Lots of snow on this trip!

 Apparently, some birds arrived at the train station before I did!

 Dinner at Teddy's Restaurant was a must.  

 I usually go for their red sauce Italian-American specialties as I feel that is where they really shine (and their homemade desserts!) but when I found out they only roast a turkey one night a week for this special I just had to try it. I'm glad I went outside of my comfort zone as this was a really fresh tasting plate of comfort food.  Creamy mashed potatoes, savory stuffing, moist roasted turkey and slightly crunchy steamed broccoli.There was a small bowl of cranberry sauce just out of frame.  I did get a slice of warm Toll House pie but forgot to take a picture.  Sorry, buffetbuster.  " />

 Friday February 10, 2017 - After seeing my accountant, I headed over to Big Daddy Sandwiches for one of my favorite subs since my high school days.  The Ruby D is a messy, multi-napkin toasted pastrami sub with plenty of pastrami, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and Thousand Island dressing.  While no one will ever confuse this with a NYC Jewish deli Reuben, I have found it immensely satisfying for almost three decades.  One note: B & L Italian Bakery that was located just two blocks down the street has closed and Big Daddy now gets their sub rolls from Syracuse-based New York Bakery.  While I miss those sturdy, yet tender rolls, these new ones are a fine successor.

 They make a pretty fine mayo-based potato salad that is creamy but not drippy.  

In another case of Facebook helping to spread the good word, I had been reading about Delta Bakery & Deli for the past few months and made it a point to stop in during this trip.  The small group of businesses in this strip known as Delta Plaza gave me so much "food joy" since I was a little boy: my first taste of BBQ ham sandwiches and homemade pies at the seasonal Pie Stand, then regular visits on my 10-speed bike to Delta Beverage & Deli for tasty sub sandwiches in high school and as my neighborhood source for Turkey Joints, a local specialty candy, then breakfasts and dinners at the Suburban Cafe for some of Phil Uvanni's greens and hard crust Italian toast.  However, there hasn't been a food-based business in the Plaza in nearly a decade, so this newest addition is a welcome sight.

 The menu board.

 I don't know who Harold the Haddock was but he was mighty tasty!  A Friday fish fry is a long-standing tradition in these parts as there is a large Catholic population and many people do not eat meat on Fridays.  Nearly every restaurant offers up a fish fry special on Friday and many fire houses, VFW posts, K of C and churches have them available throughout the year.  

 They have a pretty nice selection of pastries too.  I was so glad to see that they have "pusties" (aka pastaciotti) on their menu.  Yes, the name sounds weird but they are a local specialty with a huge following.

 Being a Friday, I went with the Fish Fry dinner with sides of onion rings and macaroni salad.  I had to run a few errands before heading home to eat this and yet it was still crispy and hot when I dug in for my first bite.  Moist and flaky this was a a hefty hunk o' haddock that made even this "fish frowner" happy.  The O-rings were great also,  The batter clung to the onions and the mac salad reminded me of the kind that my grandma used to make at family cookouts.  Having lived in NYC for so many years, I always experience a reverse sort of "sticker shock" whenever I eat out back in Rome.  I couldn't believe that all of this food was only $8.95!  

 Chef Mike, the owner, was out of pusties by the time I arrived but he said I should try the eclair and he threw in one on the house!  This was really fresh.

 The pate a choux pastry was tender and flaky, the cream just faintly sweet and the chocolate ganache on top was dark and rich.  I didn't share this with anyone and I'm not sorry!

 Saturday February 11, 2017 - Mom, Harold and I got up early to run some errands in Utica, NY and stopped for breakfast at the Boulevard Diner in Whitesboro, NY.  My Uncle Pete & Aunt Melody had recommended this place so I was eager to try it out.

 In doing some online sleuthing, I knew that they served Giambrotte, a local specialty, for breakfast.  It's a pretty hearty dish and one of my favorites.  

 This is one of the smaller ones I have come across and at $10.49, one of the pricier ones.  However, it was very filling and packed with flavor.  All of the ingredients listed above were well-balanced and came together quite nicely.  I think my favorite part were the hot peppers which I believe may have been pickled and pack a spicy punch.  

 They didn't have any hard crust Italian toast, which is my favorite bread to order with breakfast but this thick-cut challah was a fine substitute.  

 Later that evening, I packed up my mom's car and drove over to Delta Lake State Park for the annual Positively Rome Moonlight Ski & Walk.  Jake DiBari is a native Roman who is the founder of Positively Rome and he organizes events throughout the year to get Romans out and about and to showcase the many things there are to do in the "Copper City".  Rome, NY is the home of Revere Copper Products Inc., hence the nickname.  Once again, I found out about this through Facebook last year and knew I'd have to make the trip every year for this event.  When I arrived some people were getting warm by a barrel fire, others were prepping to hit the trails while others were just getting back.  In the background, you can see the Come Fry With Me food truck.  I stopped there after skiing to grab a hot dog and some fresh-cut fries for dinner.  Good stuff.

 My favorite shot of the trail.  Luminaries set up on either side of the trail to illuminate the way. skiers up ahead wearing their head lamps (as many of us did) to see the surface of the trail, which could be icy, bumpy, slope downhill a bit, etc. Last year's event was so warm that it was a trail walk as there wasn't any snow at all.  Rome had gotten a good base of snow this year and I was eager to strap on my skis.  Despite not having been on them in 7-8 years I think I did ok.

 Towards the end of the trail, they had colored lights stung about in the trees and bright lights on some picnic tables to let skiers know they were almost done.  I had skied these trails with my family back in the mid-1980s and it was like a trip down memory lane for me.  

 Let me stand next to your fire!!!

 Another bonus in attending this outing was that I was able to catch up with friends.  Joann & Patti are a pair of ladies that have run the Delta Lake Half Marathon with me a number of times over the years.  We run about the same pace so we would keep each other company and talk throughout the run and encourage one another.  So good to see both of you!  I also ran into Kelly, a former co-worker of mine when we both were at a non-profit helping troubled teens.  

 Rome experienced two small blizzards while I was in town.  Mom's house saw quite a bit of the white stuff.

 I spent many mornings listening to the radio, waiting to hear my school's name in the list of closings so I could grab my sled and spend half the days flying down the nearby hills.  I never tire of looking at a crisp, Central NY snowfall.

 
 
The 411:
 
1.)  Teddy's Restaurant
      851 Black River Blvd.N.
      Rome, NY 13440
      Ph# 315-336-7839
      Website: http://www.teddysrestaurantny.com
 
2.)  Big Daddy Sandwiches
      500 N. James Street
      Rome, NY 13440
      Ph# 315-336-9556
      No website
 
3.)  Delta Bakery & Deli
      8605 Turin Road (Delta Plaza)
      Rome, NY 13440
      Ph# 315-795-2165
      Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Delta-Bakery-and-Deli-1025043800868431/
 
4.)  Boulevard Diner
      24 Roosevelt Drive
      Whitesboro, NY 13492
      Ph# 315-982-6010
      Website: http://boulevarddiner.net
 
5.)  Postively Rome Moonlight Ski & Walk - see the Positively Rome Facebook page for info on upcoming events.
      https://www.facebook.com/Positively-Rome-1478003855745138/
 
ChiTownDiner
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Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2017/03/11 10:50:46 (permalink)
billyboy
 
Remarkable!  Just finished wiping down the screen!  
 
Love it!  
chickenplucker
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Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2017/03/11 11:08:47 (permalink)
Incredible photos. Thanks for letting us tag along....
ScreamingChicken
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Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2017/03/11 12:39:15 (permalink)
Great eats and sights, Billy!  At least some people got some decent snow this season...
ann peeples
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Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2017/03/11 13:40:42 (permalink)
I love that you show us good food in your neighborhood and surroundings!
 
post edited by ann peeples - 2017/03/11 13:41:51
billyboy
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Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2017/11/12 21:03:52 (permalink)
Friday, September 29, 2017 - Dayna and I headed up to Syracuse for the weekend as our niece, Maddie, had recently auditioned for and received a chair in the LeMoyne College Orchestra.  Pretty impressive for a 12-year old and she is the youngest member.  Yay Maddie!  We made a quick trip down the road from my sister's to William Farm Stand on Rte. 31 in the town of Cicero, NY  I just couldn't pass up a chance to visit my namesake and if I had known that it was this close to "Central Park" I may have never left Central NY!

Not sure if this farm belongs to a man named William or if it is the Williams family.  These two conflicting signs drove the proofreader in me positively crazy!

While I don't know the significance of this horse statue, I do love the pose it strikes.

Mmmm, salt potatoes.  Never tire of these.

Nothings says Central NY like an abundance of apples in the fall.

And some Red Jacket apple cider from Geneva, NY.  While this isn't made by William's Farm, Red Jacket does put out a mighty fine cider.

Some local made products.  Love the Dinosaur Bar-B-Que sauce and Hofmann's mustard but I have yet to try the other two.  

Dinner tonight was at Eva's European Sweets in the Solvay section of Syracuse.  I first came here with my family in December of 2014 and loved it.  Being a big fan of Polish food I knew it would be good.

I'm not sure what Pyzy and Nalesniki are but I do have a lot of love for Golabki and Pierogi.

Inside. 

Polish accents abound.

 

And the aroma in here is very inviting too.  Can't wait to eat.

We ordered a plate of Ruskie (Potato & Cheese pierogis) topped with sautéed onions & butter and sauerkraut.  Wow.   Just incredible.  So tender and full of flavor.  Just like in 2014.  I could have knocked this out by myself.

Dennis started off with a bowl of borscht (not sure it it was hot or cold).  Not being a fan of beets or the color of Pepto-Bismol, I didn't try any of it.

Very tender Golabki (stuffed cabbage).

My order of Gulasz & Kopytka (Beef Stew AKA Goulash) with potato dumplings.  This was fantastic.  Rich, buttery and rib-sticking.  Dayna had this in 2014 and after a couple of bites I vowed to have it on my next visit.  Worth the wait.

I opted for a side of red cabbage and sauerkraut.  Great vinegary tang and they both complemented the meat & potatoes quite nicely.  

Dayna had the Pork Dinner with two cutlets, fried creamer potatoes, red cabbage, applesauce and a cucumber-tomato salad. Tasty stuff.

Saturday, September 30, 2017 - I woke up early and headed out for breakfast on my own to check out the Fretta I've been told is one of the best in Syracuse at The GEM (formerly Doc's Little Gem Diner), just down the road from NBT Bank Stadium (home to the Syracuse Chiefs baseball club).  

Lots of pies and cakes right at the entrance.  Always a good sign.  I'm not sure if they are homemade or a mix of homemade and some from local bakeries.

I grabbed a seat at the counter and ordered a half size Fretatta (eggs, scrambled with sausage, pepperoni, onions, peppers, broccoli and home fries).  I think I opted to add Swiss cheese on it as well.  When the waitress brought it out, I said, "I believe I ordered the half size". She replied, "This IS the half size!" I felt like Joey Tribbiani when Monica brought out that 19lb turkey. It's like me when I was born! I cried "Uncle" about halfway in. While it is daunting, it is one of the best versions I've tried so far out of about 15 or so. Bonus points for having "hard crust" Italian toast available as not many places do these days.

I took this with the fork in it to give a sense of scale.  I truly could not believe how big this was.  Of all the regional specialties in and around Syracuse the Fretatta/Fretta may be my most favorite.

leethebard
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Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2017/11/13 04:17:44 (permalink)
Wow...that frettata looks amazing. Never had one with broccoli. Sounds great.
ScreamingChicken
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Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2017/11/13 14:46:17 (permalink)
billyboy
Friday, September 29, 2017 - Dayna and I headed up to Syracuse for the weekend as our niece, Maddie, had recently auditioned for and received a chair in the LeMoyne College Orchestra.

"Our"?  Is there some news you'd like to share with the class?  Perhaps something along the line of "How I Spent My Summer Vacation"?
 
I know how you feel about William's Farm.  Misplaced/misused apostrophe's drive me nut's!
billyboy
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Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2017/11/13 15:19:01 (permalink)
No news.  Dayna and I have been together for 14 years so her family is my family and my family is her family.
Wintahaba
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Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2017/11/13 15:49:49 (permalink)
BB, Great update...glad to see the "Gem" is still going. It is a true classic Diner, although the last time I went it was Mario's.
billyboy
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Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2017/11/22 19:22:25 (permalink)
Thursday, October 19, 2017 - My friend Doug & I once again made plans to attend Homecoming weekend at Utica College, our alma mater since we had such a blast when we went back in 2014.  I traveled up to Rome, NY a coupled of days ahead so I could spend some time with Mom & Harold.  When Mom picked me up at the train station her high school friend Debbie was with her, visiting for the week from Ottawa, Canada.  We were going to have dinner at Teddy's Restaurant in Rome but Mom had a surprise in store.  We drove out to Steuben, NY to have dinner with Uncle Pete & Aunt Melody at their camp house. Snug Acres.  The family has been to visit quite a few times and I have always wanted to go so I was excited for my first visit.  Love this homemade sign.

The bedroom/living room area.  This place really is snug and is still a work in progress and I love it.  It has been in Melody's family for close to 100 years.  It may be hard to see but on the fireplace mantle is a cannonball that they found on the property some years ago.  Much of this land belonged at one time to Baron Von Steuben, who was instrumental in training the Continental Army in the Revolutionary War and for whom the town is named after.  

After a hearty meal of burgers, hot dogs, homemade chili and cornbread, we gathered around the outdoor fire pit to relax and have some S'Mores.  The sounds from a nearby babbling brook could be heard just steps away.  

A perfect way to end the night.  I hope to come back again very soon and get a chance to explore the grounds during the day.  Apologies for the quality of the photos.  Nighttime photography is not my strong suit.  

Friday, October 20, 2017 - After spending the day cleaning out my old room and looking at old school projects and my baseball card collection, we headed out to dinner at The Soda Fountain in Remsen, NY., just a couple of miles down the road from Snug Acres.  I was last here in 2015 and really enjoyed my Hofmann hot dog and homemade baked beans.  

I started my meal with an excellent cup of shrimp & corn chowder.  Love that boomerang pattern on the table!

I had been thinking about the Remsen Garbage Plate since 2015 and today was the day to try it.  

While the 50s diner style of The Soda Fountain lacks the hash house patina of Nick Tahou's, the execution of this Rochester classic dish is fantastic.  I went for the half cheeseburger/half hot dog combo and this was one pretty awesome Garbage Plate. Everything came together perfectly on this plate: starchy home fried potatoes, cool & creamy macaroni salad, a split & griddled Hofmann's hot dog, and a fairly thick & juicy burger with a spot-on amount of pink in it, all covered with a slightly sweet, meat-based chili sauce (SPICY Remsen Sauce, as listed on the menu) with hints and cinnamon and cloves and a creeping heat that left my lips aglow.

Time for dessert at the local Stewarts Shop down the street from Mom's house.  A combination gas station and convenience store, they also happen to have some of the best ice cream in town.  

A scoop of Peanut Butter Pandemonium (with some nice ribbons of salty peanut butter) and a scoop of Pumpkin pie (with strong pie spices and lots of flaky pieces of crust!) capped off the night.  

Saturday, October 21, 2017 - Breakfast for me meant a stop at Ferlo's Bakery in Rome, NY.  

Lots of homemade goodies here.  I'm not a huge fan of their tomato pie or pusties, but they make some of the best bread in the area and their donuts and pastries are top notch.  

The aroma of these breads cooling off was intoxicating.

A fresh Maple glazed coffee roll.  

Snacking a la car hood.  Doesn't get any better than this.  

On the way to campus, a stop at Voss BAR B-Q was a must.  I knew this would be my last chance to get there before they closed for the season and there was no way I was going to pass up the opportunity!

Whew!  I'm glad I stopped in.  

The menu for 2017.

My "go-to" order: Mexi-Dog (with homemade chili, cheese and onions), Ham BBQ sandwich (with extra sauce) and an order of fries.

That buttery, crispy, split-top roll is the perfect vehicle for the Zweigle's hot dog and that chili is still the yardstick by which I measure all other hot dog chilis.

And some chocolate milk to wash it all down, naturally.

After making my way to campus and meeting up with my friends, we stopped on our way to the homecoming football game for a shot by the Utica College logo.  Left to right: Billy, Doug, Andy and his wife, Nicki.

No football team when we attended at UC but the school has grown quite a bit in the last 25 years.  

A big turnout for the game against the Buffalo State Bengals.  

And the Utica College Pioneers with a blowout win!

A group selfie in the stands.  Billy, Doug and his wife Marisa, Andy and Nicki and our friend and classmate Betsy, who is a HUGE Utica College booster!

Love the Traveling Runner sculpture and the nod to the Boilermaker Road Race.

Trax the Pioneer Moose, the official school mascot.

The stage where I first tread the boards and truly found my love for performing.

Coming here in and walking around brought back a lot of great memories.  

The student center had a numb er of different activities for adults and kids: an air guitar contest, jewelry making, bull riding and olde timey photos.  I can't tell you all how much we were laughing trying on the outfits!  It was hard to keep a straight face for this photo (no one smiled back then, right?)

Doug bested all of us as he lasted longer than 8 seconds.  No photos of my epic failure trying to mount the bull will be posted.

There rest of the gang attended a 25th anniversary dinner (mine isn't until next year) while I broke off and stopped in at Slice Pizzeria, a place I have been wanting to checkout for some time ever since seeing their fantastic food photos on Facebook.  

It is nestled in a small shopping plaza along the main drag in Utica.  

I started out with 6 of their Purple Cow chicken wings.  Fried and then grilled for a great char and then coated in a sauce that seems to possess equal parts tabasco/cayenne pepper sauce, honey and butter (and a few extra things I can't quite place), they have a slow, creeping heat that lingers on the lips and they were the tops of the table for me.

Some classic Utica-style "upside down" pizza. Great crust, great browning of the cheese along the edges. The sauce was tangy but a bit too salty for my taste as I prefer a sweet sauce but I would get it again. Made by people who definitely love pizza.  And yes, Upside Down pizza is a "thing".  Lest you think that I ate the whole pizza, I brought most of it home to share with Mom & Harold.

When in town, Saranac Root Beer is my beverage of choice.

One more stop before heading home for the night.  My friends Lori & Dan partnered up with another couple and after a few years of researching other local brew pubs and home brewing, they opened Copper City Brewing Co. last November and it has been a smashing success.  On this night there was a local band doing a Tom Petty tribute and I had to circle around twice to find a parking spot.  

Some of the local offerings.  I went with a Saranac Black Cherry Cream soda as I don't indulge when I'm driving.  One day, I'll get a ride here and check out their flight of beers.

A local metal work artist made this for the brewery and it's a likeness of Paul Revere on his midnight ride.  For many years, Revere has been a local company in Rome, NY., making pots and pans and they have a huge neon sign above the factory, that would blink, depicting he and his horse in motion.  While Revere has downsized and the sign is no longer lit, for myself and many other Romans that sign always served as a beacon that we were close to home whenever we returned from a trip.  

Sunday, October 22, 2017 - While I rode the rails upstate for this trip, I hitched a ride with Doug & Marisa for our return to NYC.  Always great to take a road trip with them and get in some quality time.  A short side trip took us over the Rip Van Winkle Bridge in Catskill, NY 

 

And over to Green Acres Farm in Hudson.  If Doug & Marisa want to stop for pie, who am I to say no?  We were hoping to pick up a coconut cream pie as they only make them in the cooler months but they had already sold out for the day.  Drat!

I never, ever tire of this apple pie.  The best I have ever tasted.  

Dusk over the Croton Reservoir.  Really beautiful.  

 
That's it for this installment.  Hopefully more to come over Christmas including Upside Down pizza and other regional specialties like Giambotte and Mushroom Stew.  Stay tuned!
 
The 411:
 
1.)  The Soda Fountain
      9698 Main St
      Remsen, NY 13438
      Ph# 315-831-8400
      Website: http://www.thesoda-fountain.com
 
2.)  Stewarts (Store #377)
      9189 Turin Road
      Rome, NY 13440
      Website: http://www.stewartsshops.com
 
3.)  Ferlo's Original Bakery
      522 Floyd Avenue
      Rome, NY 13440
      Ph# 315-339-8874
      No website
      Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Ferlos-Orignal-Bakery-117932494884962/
 
4.)  Voss BAR B-Q
      Rte 5A (aka Oriskany Blvd.) 
      Yorkville, NY 13495 
      No phone or website
 
5.)  Slice Pizzeria
      2007 Genesee Street
      Utica, NY 13501
      Ph# 315-507-3197
      Website: http://uticaslice.com
 
6.)  Copper City Brewing Co.
      1111 Oneida Street
      Rome, NY 13440
      Ph# 315-281-8987
      Website: http://coppercitybrewing.com
 
7.)  Green Acres Farm
      226 NY-82
      Hudson, NY 12534
      Ph# 518-851-7460
      Website: http://www.greenacreshudson.com
 
Wintahaba
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Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2017/11/23 11:58:04 (permalink)
Love it BB...I miss that area....especially the throwback memories of the Garbage Plate (I only had it at Tahou's) and Stewarts...loved their Ice Cream.
ScreamingChicken
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Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2017/11/23 20:37:45 (permalink)
That shrimp & corn chowder looks like it'd be perfect in front of the Snug Acres fireplace after a day out in the snow!
billyboy
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Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2018/04/07 23:19:57 (permalink)
December 22, 2017 - So, I'm finally getting around to adding more installments onto this thread.  Dayna & I went up to Rome, NY to spend the Christmas holiday with my family.  I made a quick stop at Vescio's Franklin Hotel (RF reviewed) in Rome to see if they had any of my favorite local specialty, tomato pie.  Many of my friends have told me that their version is quite good.  Upon walking into the bakery/pastry counter area, I spied a number of boxes for sale on a table.  Score!

They didn't have any individual slices for sale (I forget if they sell them by the slice) but plenty of half sheets, party-cut style (16-slice count).  I think this box was about $8.00-$9.00.  The dough on this was thicker than most but not at all doughy but nice and chewy, like a really good focaccia bread.  The sauce was more savory than sweet and a liberal sprinkling of romano cheese topped it off.  The tomato pie from Roma Sausage & Bakery in Utica is still my favorite but this was really good and it's nice to know that there is a solid place closer to my mom's when I'm in town.  

Of course, I had to pickup a couple of jars of Turkey Joints, it's a holiday tradition!  A discovery that I made is that they have replaced the Brazil nuts they have used for decades with hazelnuts.  The jars with the sticker on top indicate that they now have hazelnuts.  Not sure if it's a cost or availability issue.  I did find a stash of the original version at the local Price Chopper supermarket so I picked up one of each to do a side-by-side taste test for, umm, science.  Yeah, science.  

The hazelnut version was tasty and reminded me a bit of Nutella.  I still prefer the classic Brazil nut version and I hope I can still find them the next time I visit my family.  Looks like Santa is getting ready to make off with these jars.  Back away, Kringle!

My own holiday tradition is that I sit on the couch at my mom's house a couple of days before Christmas and just gaze at the tree all lit up.  Never gets old.  

And the lovely tree at my sister's house on Christmas Eve.

A gift I have been giving to my family the past few years are homemade chocolate chip cookies made by Maryann Mazzaferro AKA "The Cookie Lady of Rome, NY".  Honestly, I wish I could make chocolate chip cookies like these.  They are just perfect.  I first wrote about Maryann and her cookies back in September 2015 which is on page 4 of this ongoing trip report.  

 
 
February 22, 2018 - I rode the rails via Amtrak on a solo trip to Rome, NY to visit Mom & Harold, see my accountant and attend my third consecutive Moonlight Trail Night, an annual cross-country skiing/trail walking event held at Delta Lake State Park, where I grew up.  I was so happy to find out my sister and my niece would be joining us for dinner and we had a lovely evening with them.  
February 23, 2018 - I got up early and headed out for a quick breakfast of tomato pie, donuts and a pusty at Ferlo's Bakery.  

Fresh bread anyone?

And warm, soft dinner rolls too.

Such great donut choices and they are really fresh.

I haven't been a big fan of their tomato pie in the past but this slice was crispy on the bottom and had a zesty sauce.  I'd come back for more and I like that they will sell it by the slice as many places do not.  

I seem to recall Ferlo's selling their own pusties on past visits to their bakery and while buying one pre-wrapped that was made off-site hasn't always worked out for me at other places, I thought I'd give it a shot.  This one had a texture similar to shortbread but the dough was a bit damp which was not a good thing.  The chocolate filling was okay but not memorable.  Think I'll stick to pusties made in-house from now on.  

A good looking pusty.

And a nice amount of filling.  The trouble with buying off-site is you just don't know when they were pre=wrapped or how long they have been on the counter.  Some places (convenience stores, mostly) don't even have a label on them to let the buyer know from which bakery they came.

Ferule's does make some great doughnuts and their headlights are top notch.

When I spied a row of cherry doughnuts I knew I had to have one.  Don't see those very often in CNY.

Cakey and with a pronounced cherry flavor, this was very satisfying.

My next stop was a visit to my accountant for tax time and lots of belly rubs and ear scratches to his chocolate lab, Cappuccino.  He's a big 8-year old baby who wouldn't let me leave until I gave him lots of attention.  Twist my arm!

Donna's Cafe on East Dominick Street in Rome's Little Italy neighborhood had been on my radar for a while as I had heard that they have a pretty good giambotte.  

This looks similar to the list I had seen on the door at Eddie's Paramount Diner a while back and if Eddie is catering these dinners I would highly recommend checking out one or three of them. His food is great as are his pies.  

According to the menu, it appeared that I may have missed breakfast but the owner said they serve it all day.  Whew!  This giambotte had it all: eggs, potatoes, mushrooms, onions, sausage, greens, red & green peppers, hot peppers and parmesan cheese.  I'd never heard of parmesan in any of the giambottes that I've tried so far (I'm up to six and have found out about 12 others for future visits) so this would be something new to me.  It was definitely the first thing I smelled when she brought it out and it seemed overpowering at first, but bite after bite it just made sense and won me over.  Bonus points for the thick-cut Italian toast.  Donna's is a tiny place that you might drive by without noticing and the parking lot is a bit tricky to exit as one would need to back out onto the street but it is well with it for this dish.

February 24, 2018 - A buddy of mine from Rome, Bill Vinci, has a great web series called The Empire Plate in which he and his crew highlight family-owned restaurants, cafes, diners and much more across New York State aka the "Empire Set".  I saw his episode on the Marr-Logg Restaurant in Utica, NY and knew I'd have to try their giambotti for breakfast this morning.  

I always take it as a good sign when I see a bulletin board at the entrance to a restaurant that is filled with flyers for local events in the community and business cards from local merchants.

St. Patrick's Day tree?  A new holiday tradition?

The guy cooking my breakfast was really nice and was a master of the skillet.  Turns out he goes camping with his family at a campground just a few miles from where I grew up in Rome.  The restaurant has been around since 1972 and the name comes from the first four letters of the owner's last name (John Marraffa) and the last four letters of the road where they first opened in 1972 (Kellogg Road in New Hartford, NY).  

This was one very filling breakfast.  The Marr-Logg Giambotti includes: eggs, potatoes, sausage, greens, mushrooms, onion, red peppers and long hot peppers and cheese for $1.00 more.  Tons of flavor and lots of heat from those long hot peppers.  I had the full size but considering I had a few other food stops, I should've went with the 1/2 size.  While the toast wasn't thick-cut I do believe it was locally made.  Great place with lots of locals and just sitting there and listening I could tell that many of them were regulars.

Off to New Hartford for a half moon cookie at the Gingerbread Bake Shop.  

Lots of good choices but I didn't see any tomato pie in the case so I suspect that it must be ordered by the sheet as is the case with many local places.  

Lots of cakes too though the bake shop did seem empty on this day with just a few item sin the case.  I do remember having a half-moon cake for my birthday a few times when I was a kid.  Love a GIANT half moon cookie!

Ahh, a taste of home!  Moist chocolate cake and soft whipped chocolate and vanilla frostings.  Never gets old.

Just a short drive down the same street is the New Hartford location of the Roadfood reviewed Roma Sausage & Deli, my favorite spot for tomato pie.  

Travelin' Manned!!  Drat!  I should have guessed something was up when I saw that there were absolutely no cars in the parking lot at 12 noon on a Saturday.  Closed for 10 days right when I am there.  I called their Bleecker Street location but no answer so I guessing they might have been on a family vacation.  

In my search for more regional staples (giambotte, tomato pie, half moons and pusties) I found Salvatore's Italian Bread Bakery & Bagel Shoppe just around the corner from Roma's.  

Most Italian bakeries in the region are pretty skilled at making both of these.

I arrived late in the day and they were already out of tomato pie but they still had chocolate and vanilla pusties.

So I opted for one of each. The flat top on the left is the chocolate and the button-top on the right is the vanilla.  Even if recipes vary from place to place, the button-top is a distinguishing characteristic that is consistent no matter where you get your pusties.

It was pretty quiet inside and consisted of a small cafe with a few tables and chairs for enjoying some pastries and a beverage.  The dough in these versions was similar to shortbread but they lacked that buttery taste and those darkened edges that I really like.  The fillings were tasty and they didn't skimp on it.  

Next up was my attempt to find a cafe that is an offshoot of Florentine Pastry Shop, a Utica institution.  After getting lost a few times, I finally arrived at Cafe Florentine in a mini mall parking lot.  This building used to house a Famous Footwear store and now a small paint supply shop as well as the cafe.  Cafe Florentine is part cafe, part wine bar and they have paninis, salads, sandwiches, wine and many Italian pastries.  I'm not 100% sure but I think the pastries are made at the original Bleecker Street location.  

The cafe has an upscale bistro feel to it which isn't really my thing but as long at the pusties are good then it'll work for me.

Mmmm...lots of pusties: chocolate, vanilla, lemon, apple, raspberry and coconut.

Vanilla. So good.  Buttery, crumbly crust, slightly darkened edges and lots of sweet vanilla scented custard.  

Coconut. Lots of coconut studded throughout the custard and a liberal sprinkling of toasted coconut on top.  My 2nd favorite.

Chocolate.  These are the yardstick by which I measure all pusties.  Rich, chocolatey custard with that buttery crust is the perfect dessert and while I do love many others, the ones from Florentine are the best I have ever tried.

On the way back to Mom's I picked up some sandwiches for dinner at my favorite sub shop, Big Daddy Sandwiches.  Looks like they recently got a fresh coat of paint.  Really stands out.  While my photos didn't come out very well, the ham salad sub I had was right on.  I've been eating here since high school and very little has changed and that's just how I like it.  The women behind the counter wear the same uniforms, assemble the sandwiches in the same way and the tuna subs, turkey subs, toasted Reuben subs and ham salad subs are just as good as ever.  They did have to switch breads as the bakery across the street that supplied their sub rolls went out of business.  They use a bakery in Syracuse, NY but they're pretty good too.  

Another big reason for coming to CNY this weekend was to attend the 4th Annual Moonlight Trail Night at Delta Lake State Park.  I spent a lot of time camping, walking and skiing the trails, and on the beach at this park over the years.  Lots of great memories.  Walking through the beach house...

I found a bit of local history.  Some people would try to scare kids by saying that if you swam in the lake to be careful that you don't brush your foot up against a chimney from one of the old houses of the village that is below the surface!

Sunset at the park.  Just beautiful.  

And a nice bonfire to keep warm after walking the trails.

And a horse-drawn wagon ride for the little ones.

The moonlight was perfect and really did illuminate the trail quite well.  Almost as if on cue, a flock of geese noisily flew overhead, providing some sounds to set the mood for hiking through the woods.  

Positively Rome is the group that organizes this outing (and many others throughout the year) and they really put a lot of effort into making it a huge success. They came by early to set up the luminaries along the trail which really helped define the trail's edge.  The only thing they couldn't control was the weather.  usually, it is a trail walk/snowshoe/x-country ski event but due to a recent warm spell, the remaining snow had iced over and just wasn't suited for skis, though some people did break out the showshoes.  Mother Nature decided to dump a couple of feet of snow on the area the next weekend!

End of the trail.  I spent a lot of time in the woods this night, just looking at what nature had to offer and listening to the sounds it made.  One of my favorite events all year.

A mainstay at this event is the Come Fry With Me food truck.

Think I'll be getting the poutine.

Very tasty stuff.  Fresh cheese curds and some of them had "squeak", crispy fries and a generous amount of salty/peppery gravy.  While fried cheese curds have yet to become a "thing" in CNY, fresh cheese curds have been popular here for many decades and it's always a treat to have them, especially in this dish.  I ended up sharing a picnic table with a woman and her granddaughter and it turned out that the grandmother attended that same college as me (though some years before me) and had some of the same professors as me.  Never know who you're going to meet!

I love including picture of dogs in my trip reports and I thought I'd end this one with a shot of Daisy, my niece's dog, looking at me and begging for belly rubs!

 
Not sure when I'll be in CNY next but I look forward to more Roadfood adventures in the region ASAP!  Til then...
 
The 411:
 
1.)  Vescio's Franklin Hotel
      301 S. James St.
      Rome, NY 13440
      Ph# 315-336-9974
      Website: http://vesciosfranklinhotel.com
 
2.)  Maryann Mazzaferro (aka The Cookie Lady of Rome, NY)
      Phone # 315-569-7744
      Email address: gocookie@twcny.rr.com
      Maryann does deliver locally but I'm not sure if she does mail order.  You'd have to contact her for more details.
 
3.)  Ferlo's Bakery 
      522 Floyd Avenue 
      Rome, NY 13440 
      Ph # 315-339-8874 
      No website
 
4.)  Donna's Cafe
      5942 Erie Blvd. West (they moved to this location as of 05/16/18)
      Rome, NY 13440
      Ph# 315-336-5682 (phone number is still the same)
      Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/DONnas-cafe-163783267122/
 
5.)  Marr-Logg Restaurant
      1130 Culver Ave.
      Utica, NY 13501
      Ph# 315-797-7730
      Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Marr-Logg-House-111683008868990/
 
6.)  Gingerbread Bake Shop
      3991 Oneida St.
      New Hartford, NY 13413
      Ph# 315-737-5460
      Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Gingerbread-Bake-Shop-120014064682111/
 
7.)  Salvatore's Italian Bread Bakery & Bagel Shoppe
      9270 Kellogg Rd.
      New Hartford, NY 13413
      Ph# 315-737-5757
      Website: http://salvatoresbakery.com
 
8.)  Cafe Florentine
      8647 Clinton St.
      New Hartford, NY 13413
      Ph# 315-768-1509
      Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Cafe-Florentine-263221938583/
 
9.)  Come Fry With Me (food truck)
      Ph# 315-292-0058
      Website: http://comefrywithmerome.com
 
10.)  Delta Lake State Park (camping, trail walks, swimming, picnics, beach)
        8797 NY State Route 46
        Rome, NY 13440
        Ph# 315-337-4670
        Website: http://www.nysparks.com/parks/66/details.aspx
post edited by billyboy - 2018/05/22 12:26:21
Greymo
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Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2018/04/08 14:19:21 (permalink)
I  very much enjoy your posts as I grew up in Herkimer NY and went to Utica and Rome all the time.  Summers were spent in the Adirondacks and at Hinkley Dam at my uncle's camp or my other uncle's camp on Fourth lake...............wonderful  memories!  All the food that you have talked about are foods that I took for granted.  A stop, each week, was a must at the Florentine Bakery.
 
I have  a question for you. Did you ever have mushroom stew?  It was served at Italian restaurants in the Utica area, usually a Thursday night special.  I loved that dish.  I still make it a couple of times a year.  It is delicious but seemed to taste best in one of the small Italian restaurants.
ScreamingChicken
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Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2018/04/08 22:28:07 (permalink)
Great addition to an already great report, Billy!  The nighttime trail hike looks like a lot of fun!
 
I've never had mushroom stew but I do love mushrooms...
Ivyhouse
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Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2018/04/09 09:56:08 (permalink)
Your reports are always a pleasure to read, Billy.  Thanks for sharing.  And, love the night-time photo of the moon through the trees.
billyboy
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Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2018/04/09 20:04:25 (permalink)
Greymo, I took a field trip to the Herkimer Diamond Mine as a kid and found a few "diamonds".  I still remember that more than three decades later.  I haven't been to Hinckley in years but our church priest has a house up there and my sister and I used to go up there for picnic from time to time with there kids from our congregation.  Sounds like you've got some great memories from the Adirondack region.  I've eaten a LOT of pusties since I was a kid and have really been on a quest for them in the last five years or so and Florentine is still the best in my book.
 I'm not sure if I've had mushroom stew before.  I was always aware of it but I was a super picky eater as a kid and since I knew mushrooms were a fungus I refused to even try them until I got older and broadened my appetite.  It's still available as a Thursday special in a number of Utica area restaurants and taverns (and in Rome as well).  I'm hoping to try it on a future trip but I'm not usually in the area on Thursdays.  Whenever I go up I have to get some greens, pusties, half moons, tomato pie, giambotte and chicken riggies.  
 
ScreamingChicken, that nighttime trail walk is something I look forward to every year.  The atmosphere and the wonderful people really make it special.  
 
Ivyhouse, I still struggle with nighttime photos but some of those trail walk shots came out pretty well.
 
NOTE: I was just updating this report with the info for the places I visited and when I looked at the Come Fry With Me food truck website, I saw that they offer a few interesting items on their menu:
 
A Rochester Plate ($10) - "A bed of fries, mac salad and hamburger, covered with Rochester style chili meat sauce."  Obviously a nod to the "Garbage Plate" invented at Nick Tahou's.
 
And a Chicago Horseshoe ($10) - "Open Faced Sandwich with deli ham, covered with fries and topped with cheese sauce"  A nod to the Springfield, IL horseshoe sandwiches.  Never would have thought I'd see one of those a Central NY menu!
billyboy
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Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2018/06/09 18:22:09 (permalink)
Thursday, May 24, 2018 - Dayna & I rode the rails once again to visit my sister and her family in Liverpool, NY for the long Memorial Day weekend.  Sis texted me before we arrived and we decided to have dinner at Eva's European Sweets in the Solvay section of Syracuse.  

We've eaten here a few times before and the food and service have always been great.  Eva's is decorated with lots of elements from the old country: books on a shelf (all in Polish), nesting dolls, etc and I've heard "Happy Birthday" being sung to patrons in Polish on a couple of occasions.  Authentic dishes and an extensive dessert list make Eva's a favorite stop for us whenever we're in town.

I don't think vodka would ever say that to Elaine Benes from "Seinfeld" if it ever saw her dance!  


My brother-in-law, Dennis, had the Kielbasa Plate with sauerkraut.  Looks pretty good but I didn't get a chance to try it.

Dayna had the Braised Ribs with mashed potatoes & sauerkraut from the specials menu.  In addition to being very tender, the meat was falling off the bone and the potatoes were buttery and rich.  That tangy sauerkraut was a perfect complement.  

I ordered the Placki Nadziewane Miewane, which are potato pancakes stuffed with seasoned ground beef and topped with a creamy mushroom sauce.  Pure Polish comfort food.  

I had to order a side Golabki because I just can't resist them.  They are my niece's favorite and she always orders them when we come here.  

Despite the bevy of desserts at Eva's, on this warm early summer night we made room for homemade ice cream at Gannon's Ice Cream.  We've been here before and while it may be a small shack with no seating, the ice cream is worth the line and worth standing in the parking lot, getting in our licks.

I love a good tip jar, especially if it's going towards the college funds of the kids working behind the counter.  

My double scoop cone of Peanut Butter Perfection (peanut butter ice cream with peanut butter swirl and crushed peanut butter cups) and Peppermint Chip (peppermint ice cream with dark chocolate chunks).  This was epically creamy and there was an overabundance of peanut butter chunks mixed in, something I don't see at many ice cream shops.  For some reason, I thought that the Peppermint was going to be peppermint "stick", with crunchy peppermint candy bits.  This was definitely different with the ice cream having an intense peppermint flavor and large chunks of dark chocolate throughout.  A must-stop when in Syracuse.  

After dinner, we stopped at Wegman's to pick up a few things for a cookout (or "barbecue" of hot dogs and hamburgers as we like to call it in Central NY!) and I noticed a few items not too well known in these parts.  Taylor's Pork Roll (aka Taylor Ham) and Peter Luger Steak House sauce.

And some scrapple.  I have to wonder how well these three items sell in this region?

Now these are big sellers in CNY.  Hofmann's are the hot dogs of choice at most backyard barbecues, sporting events and at any food establishment serving up encased meats in a bun.

Friday, May 25, 2018 -  We didn't do any Roadfooding today.  The main reason for our trip was to be there to support my sister, Kelly, as she went in for her 2nd round of chemotherapy after having recently been diagnosed with and had surgery for breast cancer.  Thankfully, it was caught early and her prognosis is good but she and the doctors don't want to take any chances so chemo and radiation are in the cards for the near future.  I've never had any experience being around someone with cancer or getting treatments and it was inspiring to see my sister so strong and see the medical staff take such good care of her.  A long road ahead but one that I'm sure she will get through with humor, dignity and resilience.  Good thoughts and prayers, if you're so inclined, are always welcome.  
Kelly was a bit tired after her treatment, so Dayna and I took our favorite dog, Daisy, for her daily walk in the park.  She kept looking back at the house and didn't want to go very far with us.  She's pretty used to her Mama taking her for her walks.  

We did come across this interesting structure, the likes of which I had never seen before.  I attempted to turn it like a wheel, lift it up, pull on the chains and despite everything I just could not figure out why this was here.  Art installation?  A not-terribly useful bike rack?  A mystery to be solved at the end of this report segment...

Saturday, May 26, 2018 - Dayna and I got up early to run a few errands, gas up the car and grab breakfast at one of my most favorite local spots, Ruston's Diner in Jamesville.  I was here in 2015 and 2016 but I wanted to make it back again to see if it was as great as I remember before writing an official review.  I texted my friend Kelly, whom I've known since high school to see if she and her family wanted to meet us for breakfast.  Ruston's is their go-to breakfast spot on weekends but they were in Florida on vacation this weekend and hoped we'd meet up again soon.  

Ruston's is situated not far from the local quarry and they get many workers coming in for breakfast on the go during the weekdays.  

A bulletin board with flyers and business cards from local merchants is a pretty sure indicator of good eats just inside the door.  

They offer plenty of counter seating (which is my preferred spot so I can watch the action behind the counter) but Dayna & I opted for a table on this visit.  

So many specials.

People in these parts are HUGE Syracuse University Orangemen and and they bleed Orange & Blue!  This panoramic shot was one of the record-breaking crowds at the Carrier Dome for an S.U. basketball game.  

Not sure why there are hot air balloons on the cover of the menu but the pages inside boast a huge selection of great food.  

I inquired about their corned beef hash as I had learned on a previous visit that they have it on the regular menu but only offer their homemade version as an occasional special.  Today was not that day but our waitress, Sue, said that I should not miss out on their Eggs Benedict.  She was right on with this one and they didn't skimp on the Hollandaise sauce.  The English muffins were had a proper toast on them, the Canadian bacon was in abundance and the poached eggs were just right.  A messy dish for sure but one that was so satisfying.  In a city that I would feel comfortable calling Dinertown, U.S.A. (seriously, the Greater Syracuse area has a wealth of diners), Ruston's makes what may be my favorite home fries and for $0.50 extra, they will add onions to them if you want (and you should want them!!).  Crusty, creamy and well-seasoned, they are worth the trip all by themselves.  

Dayna went for the State Fair omelette (sausage, peppers, onions and cheese) with toast.  She was very happy that she took my advice and got the side of home fries with onions.  This was a terrific omelette and Dayna couldn't finish it so I gave an assist, being the helpful guy that I am.  They use locally made Gianelli sausage which is a staple in the sausage with peppers & onions sandwich that Gianelli sells thousands of each August at the Great New York State Fair.  

No meal at Ruston's would be complete without their homemade desserts.  Dayna likes pie but when she heard Sue describe this peach cake topped with strawberries and blueberries, she was sold on it.  It was crowned with a comically large amount of whipped cream that it could have gotten cast in the ensemble of the local production of "Hairspray".  Dayna found it to be a bit too sweet.  Not sure if the berries were fresh or frozen as it is a bit early for them to be in season but I liked it a lot.  

For me, it's all about the pies.  I've had their cherry, chocolate cream and strawberry-rhubarb before and they were all excellent.  When our waitress said "coconut cream" I just knew.  Homemade crust, toasted coconut on top, whipped cream and a creamy filling laced with coconut, this was a wonderful slice of pie.  

Mom & Harold came up from Rome for our cookout on Saturday and it was really nice to spend some quality time with them just relaxing about the house, sharing good food and good conversation.  
Sunday, May 27, 2018 - Dayna & I went out early again to run some errands of our own and to run a few for Kelly.  Breakfast this morning was at another diner favorite of mine, Mother's Cupboard.  Nestled in the shadow of the water tower behind it and within earshot of the train tracks just below and off to the right, Mother's is a tiny spot that fills up quickly, as evidence by the line we encountered when we pulled into the parking lot and managed to snag a spot from someone just exiting.  

While I do love their Frittata, I could barely put a dent in the 1/2 size so the Whole Frittata is definitely out of the question!  

Follow Mother's rules!  They may occasionally bust chops if you don't follow these rules but I wouldn't call them "hard & fast" rules.

They may be small but they've got a lot of big flavor going on in here and a heckuva personality!  We ended up being seated at a table with another couple whom we had never met before.  While we weren't in Pennsylvania Dutch country I do like sitting with strangers and striking up a conversation.  The wife didn't say much but her husband and I talked about the different diners that we liked in Syracuse and our favorite dishes as each one.  A really cool thing happened not long after we sat down.  An elderly man walked in, sat on one of the stools at the counter at which point seemingly everyone yelled out, "FRANK!!".  It was then that I realized that he was Norm and Mother's Cupboard was his Cheers!  

Dayna & I decided to split a few dishes and I was glad to find out that they now offer a 1/4 size Frittata on the menu.  As good as ever and loaded with eggs, home fries, pepperoni, broccoli, sausage, green peppers, red peppers and onions.  We opted for no cheese but our waitress missed the "no" part but these cheese was easy to pick around.  That thick-cut Italian toast always gets bonus points from me.  

I've eaten more than a few Monte Cristos in my day, mostly while having brunch at a higher end restaurant in Boston or NYC.  They were pretty well put together dishes.  This is more like the workingman's version.  This has American cheese on it which didn't work as well for me as the traditional Swiss I usually find accompanying it.  Mother's doesn't offer Swiss and Dayna can't stand the smell anyway so it all worked out.  I slathered on some butter, maple syrup and a dash of hot sauce and it just came together.  This is the dish you want when you just want to commit to something you know you shouldn't have or maybe even like but it is really, really good in a naughty sort of way that you can't say no to.  I mean, ham & cheese, sandwiched between two slices of French Toast, dusted with powdered sugar and served with an irresponsible amount of butter?  Yeah, you know you want it.

Dayna went for one of their plate-wide blueberry pancakes.  Plate-wide may be hyperbole at some places, but not at Mother's.  

They do have maple syrup on the tables in squirt bottles and I have seen jugs of real maple syrup too (not sure if there is an upcharge for that) but given how many blueberries they managed to stuff in this pancake, none was necessary.  Seriously, it was like a clown-car, made into a pancake!  This might be my favorite food photo of the trip.  

The cook was happy to pose for me in front of that well-seaoned griddle.  

Good advice.   

Reminds me of George Carlin's bit about the "Ice Box Man".  
I had this brilliant idea to pace myself so I could save room for doughnuts at Glazed & Confused, the new kid in town that all of my friends have been raving about.  Despite sharing with Dayna, the breakfast at Mother's utterly slayed my hunger.  I know I can't possibly eat any more when I turn down an opportunity for doughnuts!  After relaxing back at my sister's house for the afternoon we tried to go and see "A Wrinkle In Time" at a local theater, only to arrive too late and find the only seats left were in the front row.  So, we headed out for an early dinner at Stella's Diner, one of our favorite places.  

A recent update to their hours.

The specials menu.  I'm always on the lookout for Scalloped Potatoes & Ham.  Score!

I ran across a similar Mountain Dew sign while hiking at Ausable Chasm last summer.  What kind of ad campaign are you running, Mountain Dew?  Stay away from my innards!!

Dayna ordered the State Fair Pasta (Italian sausage, chicken tenders, onions, peppers and mushrooms in marina sauce).  I took a few bites and it had a spicy kick to it.  Might have to get my own next time.  

My Scalloped Potatoes & Ham was just okay.  The ham was a small dice and while the potatoes were creamy, they cheese flavor was fairly mild and there weren't any crusty edges that I loved eating as a kid and at a local church supper a couple of years ago.  Not sure I would get it again as I tired of it rather quickly.  

Stella's has good desserts but since summers are so brief in Central NY, any chance to spend it outdoors is always welcomed.  Just a ways down the road is one of my favorite seasonal soft serve stands, Vicky's Tasty Treats.  

My Sister Kelly & The Mural

All around on the windows are photos of kids enjoying their ice cream through the years.

I knew I was all about getting a sundae, but which one?

Dennis' cone with Krunch Kote.  He tried to describe it to me but I still don't know what it is.  

I went for the medium-sized Tortuga sundae with hot fudge, hot caramel, salty Spanish peanuts and whipped cream.  And they do NOT skimp with the hot fudge!  So, so, so good.  

Monday, May 28, 2018 - Back to the park once again to walk Daisy.  She spent a little more time out and about today.

And while it looks like a small area the path into the woods goes on for quite a ways.

A tribute to Stanley Hamlin, a local conservationist.  

Very quiet and peaceful back here.  Always love finding a good hiking trail.  We didn't go in too far as Daisy wanted to get back to her Mama.

I found another one of those interesting metal structures on this walk and this one had a sign on top.  Apparently, there are 18 of them and they are part of the Clay Central Park Disc Golf Course.  I posted the first picture on my Facebook page and asked if anyone knew what it was and most of my friends were surprised to find out I had never heard of it before.  Yes, Disc Golf is a real thing and appear to be there last person on the planet to find out about it!  From what I can understand, the goal is to throw the disc or frisbee at the chains, in an attempt to land it in the metal basket below.  I'm not sure how points are awarded and 18 holes seems awfully long to me but I'll bet this sport is infinitely better when hauling a roll-y cooler full of cold beers that gets lighter after each hole!  

DGA stands for the Disc Golf Association so this seems to be a pretty big deal.  

One of my goals for this trip was to shave my head and find a pair of pink bandanas for Kelly & I to wear together.  I figure if she has to lose her hair, I can too.  THIS, is my favorite picture of our trip.

On the bus, heading down Rte. 81 in Pennsylvania, I looked out the window and saw that Wanderingjew's (Dale's) presence is everywhere!  

 
That's it for now.  Stay tuned...
 
The 411:
 
1.)  Eva's European Sweets
      1305 Milton Ave
      Syracuse, NY 13204
      Ph# 315-487-2722
      Website: http://www.evaspolish.com
 
2.)  Gannon's Ice Cream
      4800 McDonald Rd #6
      Syracuse, NY 13215
      Ph# 315-299-7040
      Website: http://www.gannonsicecream.com
 
3.)  Ruston's Diner
      6293 Jamesville Toll Rd
      Jamesville, NY 13078
      Ph# 315-469-1200
      No website
 
4.)  Mother's Cupboard
      3709 James St.
      Syracuse, NY 13206
      Ph# 315-432-0942
      No website
 
5.)  Stella's Diner
      110 Wolf Street
      Syracuse, NY 13208
      Ph# 315-425-0353
      Website: http://www.stellasdinersyracuse.com
 
6.)  Vicky's Tasty Treats
      680 Old Liverpool Rd.
      Liverpool, NY 13088
      Ph# 315-457-9084
      No website
post edited by billyboy - 2018/06/11 19:11:01
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