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

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ann peeples
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Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2015/07/19 21:04:52 (permalink)
Definitely want to hear about salt potatoes and mushroom stew....
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Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2015/07/19 23:46:21 (permalink)
Salt potatoes are boiled new potatoes that have been boiled in extremely salty water until done
Like 1 pound salt to 4 or 5 pounds of potatoes
 
The salt seals the skin making the inside flffy and creamy not like a normal boiled potato
Its a regional thing around CNY
 
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Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2015/07/20 06:40:34 (permalink)
 
leethebard, they really do.  There is a slight saltiness at the end that balances the sweetness of the chocolate chips that has always set them apart in my mind. 
 
CK, I can't get enough of those Frettas/Frittatas and they really are a close relative to the Giambotte/Giambotta of the Utica/Rome area and probably related to the Hoppel Poppels of the Heartland.  I suspect that Mish-Mash, Migas and Matzo Brei all show up at the annual Egg Dish Family Reunion and they all loudly debate which one reigns supreme!   I'll take a roll AND a pusty, though if I had to choose it would be a pusty, all the way!  Great description on the salt potatoes, man.  I did run about 2.5 miles that morning before all of those stops to help assuage some of my guilt!
 
lleechef, I don't remember where and when I first had a chocolate Coke (I think it was at a diner or soda fountain) but I was hooked from the first sip.  I remember wanting to try something different and I haven't looked back.  Salt Potatoes are small potatoes (creamers) that are boiled in heavily salted water and many times served in a cardboard boat in a pool of warm melted butter.  I went to a lot of clambakes round these parts as a kid and salt potatoes were always part of the meal.  My next set of stops will have a good example of this presentation.  It can be a hard sell for those who didn't grow up with them.  Boiled potatoes?  Melted butter and salt?  Sounds like a baked potato to me!  Many of the vendors at the Great New York State Fair in Syracuse sell them each year.  It just wouldn't be summer without them.
 
In the interest of full disclosure, I did go to the stops from Mondi's Bar B Q to Florentine Pastry in a roughly 3 hour window.  That was a gauntlet!  I only ate half of my food at The Patio Drive-In and took the rest to go (I tossed it out later that night), I saved half of my pusties for a snack the next day and the chocolate milk and cookies took a few days to knock out, so not ALL of it in one day!  Me?  A spreadsheet?  You're makin' me blush!
 
BB, I sensed you were in Syracuse.  The Roadfood Force is strong in you!  Any stops while you were passing through?  That really is a beautiful building.  Love art deco.  You've taken some masterful shots of some great examples over the years.  Thanks for the kind words.
 
ScreamingChicken, I have referenced mushroom stew in past reports (sort of) but if you blinked you probably missed it.  I'm honestly not sure that I have ever tried it but in my research over the years for my many trips to CNY, I kept coming across places that serve it and realized that it seems like a regional specialty and I must investigate.  Most of them seem to be bars/taverns, though it pops up in Italian restaurants as well.  I think many places serve it over pasta so it seems like a hearty dish that might be appreciated best when the cold weather rolls in.
post edited by billyboy - 2015/09/11 09:37:08
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lleechef
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Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2015/07/20 12:11:02 (permalink)
billyboy
Thanks for the reply.  I'll pass on the chocolate Coke only because I don't like chocolate.  I always did like cherry Cokes though.
I would love salt potatoes!  Salty, buttery creamer potatoes.......yum!!!
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Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2015/07/20 12:57:39 (permalink)
Lisa I was suprised you had never heard of them or eaten them.
 
1 pound of salt
4 pounds small new potatoes
Water to cover
 
Mix salt and water until dissolved
Add taters
Boil until fork tender
Drain 
Butter a little black pepper
Devour
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Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2015/07/20 13:10:29 (permalink)
CK
Nope, never heard of 'em.  I've led a sheltered life. 
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Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2015/07/21 06:21:38 (permalink)
Sorry Billyboy, no stopping in Syracuse this time.  My nephew and I did stop a couple times along the way for Roadfood on our drive from Allentown to Rochester, but we were anxious to get in before it got dark.  Besides, Abbott's Custard was waiting for us!
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Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2015/07/21 06:28:17 (permalink)
Darn.  Some good eats in the 'Cuse.  You know, I don't think I've ever had Abbott's.  I've got a pretty amazing homemade strawberry shortcake coming up in the next installment, some stellar Buffalo wings and I finally made it back to Roma Sausage & Deli to check on the status of their tomato pie!
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Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2015/07/21 06:32:13 (permalink)
Had we known that we couldn't get to the Dinosaur BBQ location in Rochester for lunch the next day (construction had the streets blocked off), we may have very well stopped in Syracuse after all.  As for Abbott's, this may be heresy, but when they are on top of their game, I think they are the equal of Kopp's, Leon's and Ted Drewes.
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Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2015/07/21 13:33:22 (permalink)
Saturday July 11, 2015 - Getting up what I presumed was early enough and heading over to Roma Sausage & Deli (Bleecker Street location in Utica, NY) to pick up a couple of half sheets of tomato pie for Betsy & Pat's annual pre-race pasta cab load party, I was once again "pie-blocked"!  I arrived there around 11:00am and they said they had taken all the orders they could handle for the day.  I inquired about their New Hartford location and they said it was the same situation.  Hopefully, I will be wiser next year and remember call in my order a day in advance.  On most days, one can just walk in and pick up a few pies, but Boilermaker weekend?  Not a chance.

 
What to do?  I drove about a block up the street to Napoli's Italian Bakery & Deli.  While they didn't have any tomato pie at the moment they could have some ready in 30 minutes,  Placed an order for two half sheets (Party Cut - 15 slices each) and told them I'd be back after went to the Boilermaker Expo to pick up my race bib.

 
I saw this kid at the Expo last year singing Neil Young.  Today he had some Bob Dylan on tap.

 
Dole had some samples they were giving out at the Expo.  This was pretty tasty but I think I'll be sticking to my fresh pineapple.  

 
I thought this was just the coolest truck!  It's operated by Charlie's Pizza (Utica, NY) and the Utica Pizza Co. (Syracuse, NY).  Uticans are pretty proud of their regional cuisine.

 
 Selfie time!

 
And my bib.  Ready to run tomorrow morning.

 
I didn't stay at the Expo very long as I had to get back for my tomato pies.  Tomorrow, Culver Ave will be completely shut off for a large part of the day as the area in front of Napoli's is the starting line of the 15K race.

 
Napoli's cuts their slices somewhat bigger than Roma's (15 slices to Roma's 24).  The last time I had Napoli's pie I found the crust to be somewhat dry and crumbly and the sauce just didn't really "pop" for me.  This time around it was pretty good.  Good mix and sauce and cheese and the crust had a nice chew to it, though I wish it had more flavor.

 
Before I left the Expo, I called my friend, Shelly, to see if she wanted to meet for lunch.  She gave me great directions and about 15 minutes after I left Napoli's with the pies I arrived at Papa Charlie's in Schuyler, NY (on the border of Utica and the have a Utica, NY address).  I took a shot of the sign but it didn't come out very well.  Apologies.  When I arrived, Shelly, her husband Paul and their daughter Emma were all there.  I've known Shelly and Paul since high school and I remember meeting Emma for the first time when she was just a month old and now she is about to be a senior in high school!  Where does the time go?  I was very happy to have the chance to spend some time with them.  Papa Charlie's is a small ice cream/sandwich stand that is very prevalent in Central NY.  They only have outdoor seating so I imagine that they are a seasonal place.  

 
The menu.  I first heard about Papa Charlie's when Shelly had posted a pic of the homemade strawberry shortcake she had gotten one day.  I checked out their Facebook page and saw that they also had salt potatoes as well as BBQ beef & BBQ pork sandwiches.  Coming here was a no-brainer!

 
Yup.  That happened.

 
Six sizable potatoes with a nice coating of salt and lots of melted butter at the bottom of the cardboard boat.  These are a perfect example of how most are presented at fairs and little stands like this in CNY.  I like to break them up and toss in the butter for maximum flavor.  I had expected the BBQ pork to be sliced as is the case at many places but this was closer to pulled yet it was very tender and almost melted in my mouth.  That sweet and spicy sauce lingered on the lips for a bit and was a winner.  Bonus points for the toasted sesame seed bun which held up quite nicely.  A perfect CNY lunch.  

 
We had such a good time just sitting there and talking about our families, the old days, the future and I forgot to take a picture of the seating area.  It was a hot day but the patio furniture they had set up was a on a cool, grassy area under the shade of a very large tree and it was so quiet ands breezy that I could have camped out there.  After relaxing for a bit I went up an ordered my strawberry shortcake.  Shelly said they offer it with soft serve (standard) or hard ice cream but I forgot to request the hard ice cream, my favorite.  Nonetheless, this was a serious dessert.  

 
They didn't skimp on the strawberries and whipped cream and they use a baking powder biscuit for the base.  I don't normally like to include shots of partially eaten food but I really wanted to highlight that biscuit.  I had an aversion to many foods as a kid and a berry with seeds on the outside?  No way was I putting THAT in my mouth!  However, aside from jam, strawberry shortcake was the one way I would eat them.  I grew up on the biscuit base style and can't imagine having it any other way.  We hugged it out as we said our goodbyes and I made my way back to Rome to get ready for the party.

 
Betsy & Pat's dog, Lucy.  Every time I would get near her she would fall to the ground and want me to rub her belly.  Sweet girl!  Is it just me or does the fur around her ears make her look like an 80s glam rocker with a big wig?

 
We had some seriously great pasta with homemade sauce and homemade meatballs and our friend, Carol, made an awesome Buffalo Chicken dip for snacking before dinner.  The gang!  Front row, left to right: Jason, Lauren and Mike.  Back row, left to right: Connor, Betsy, Carol, Doug and Danny.

 
The last installment is up next!!
 
 
The 411:  
 
1.)  Napoli's Italian Bakery & Deli
      412 Culver Ave
      Utica, NY 13501
      Ph# 315-798-8709
      Website: http://www.napolisitalianbakery.com
 
2.)  Boilermaker 15K Road Race
      Website: http://www.boilermaker.com
 
3.)  Papa Charlie's
      2398 State Rte. 5
      Utica, NY 
      Ph# 315-732-5447
      No website
      Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Papa-Charlies/141952575820064?fref=ts
 
post edited by billyboy - 2015/07/23 15:37:28
CajunKing
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Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2015/07/21 15:00:23 (permalink)
OMG that strawberry shortcake looks heavenly and so do the "mater" pies.
leethebard
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Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2015/07/21 16:35:00 (permalink)
Good looking strawberry shortcake. Real good!
billyboy
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Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2015/07/23 15:26:02 (permalink)
Sunday July 12, 2015 - My 5K race went off without a hitch this morning and it wasn't nearly as muggy as it has been in so many of these races before.  My finish time was slower than I would have liked but right about where I thought it would be given my lack of training.  The sidelines were packed with spectators of all ages, shapes and sizes.  Just a wonderful event to take part in, on the course and on the sidelines (as I did in 2014).  I met up with my friend Pat, and his two boys (It was their first Boilermaker.  Way to go, guys!) at the after party behind the Saranac Brewery.  
 
Pat motioned to me to check out a runner in the crowd and to pay close attention to his bib.  He wasn't wearing a shirt and it seemed as though his bib was somehow levitating on his chest.  At second glance, I realized he had attached it to his nipple rings!  Folks, I've run a lot of races and I've seen bibs pinned on and attached to all manner of clothing but this one was new to me!
 
Our friends who ran the 15K race trickled in one by one and we relaxed for a bit with some popsicles and beers and then Doug and I planned to meet up for lunch in about an hour.  I had some time to kill so I drove over to Holland Farms Bakery & Deli to get my half moon/jelly bun/tomato pie fix.  Love this classic Roadfoody sign.
 
 
They are justifiably known for their jelly buns.

 
And one can always tell when they are making a delivery!

 
Local businesses are huge supporters of the Boilermaker as it truly is an event that brings the community together.

 
This one is for you, Buffetbuster!!  I didn't think to ask for a slice as they usually just have whole pies.

 
They bake their own bread, rolls, pastries and of course, tomato pie.  

 
I was so glad they had some single slices for sale.  I have a "few" opinions when it comes buying tomato pie: Whole pies are generally better than slices as they are most often fresh from the oven and the shortest amount of time from oven to mouth is a good rule.  That being said, slices are still very good, however it is best to get them at a place that makes their own (bakery, pizza joint, Italian provisions store, etc...) instead of a convenience store.  I've had some underwhelming slices at convenience stores as I don't always know who made it or how long it has been sitting on the counter.  It is very likely that these slices were made earlier this morning.

 
I wasn't thrilled with the slice I had from here back in 2011 but I loved this one.  The crust had a good floury coat on the bottom and I liked the chew it had.  The sauce was not as sweet as I like but the combination of the sauce, cheese and a bit of herbs made this a winner with me.

 
So many half moons.  Red velvet, carrot cake, coconut, all-chocolate frosting (yellow or chocolate base), all-white frosting (yellow or chocolate base).

 
Love that logo.

 
I'm a purist so I went with a chocolate base and white & chocolate frosting.

 
So moist and that frosting is just sweet enough so the chocolate flavor shines through.  

 
Of course, I "needed" a jelly bun!  

 
I lack the words to describe how fresh these.  It possessed a tender crumb inside and that jelly was just divine.  Just don't try to lie to anyone about eating these as you WILL get confectioner's sugar on your shirt!

 
Thankfully, I had some more time to spare as this next stop was a bit of a moral imperative for me.  I pulled into the New Hartford, NY location of Roma Sausage & Deli to pick up a half sheet of tomato pie.  Back in August of 2014, a Roadfooder by the name of Robin Renee had posted a review of this location and she had said that just about every element of the tomato pie had changed; from the dough, to the sauce, to the way that they cut it (12 slices for the half sheet party cut instead of the standard 24 slices) and a shortage of grated cheese on top.  Honestly, I could hardly believe it but I had to go and see for myself.  Below are half sheet (24 slices - party cut) and full sheet (48 slices - party cut) boxes.  I never knew they had boxes that big however the woman ahead of me was walking out with 3 of them and I grabbed the door for her as there was no way she could have managed.  

 
A sight I am very accustomed to seeing.  A half sheet of tomato pie on the hood of my mom's car.  Getting one or two single slices wouldn't have been a big enough sample to detect any changes.  It was necessary to try 3-4 slices, for quality assurance of course, to make sure that it was up to standards.  The sauce stain on the box top is because the top had been pressed into the sauce while it was under some other boxes of pie.

 
(My half sheet from Sunday July 12, 2015)  This was just as good as I remembered from my first visit in September of 2013.  Sweet, chunky tomato sauce, a good sprinkling of grated cheese (I could have used more around the edges but a minor quibble) and a fair amount of herbs on it which balanced out the sauce without overpowering it.  The crust was still top notch, lots of flavor and chew, like really good focaccia bread.

 
(The photo below is from my first visit to the New Hartford location in September of 2013)  Robin Renee, if you happen to read this I wanted to let you know that I talked to the girl behind the counter who cashed me out.  I said that I had heard from someone that they had changed their recipe for tomato pie and that they were cutting them into 12 instead of 24 slices.  She said that they have not changed their recipe but that they did hire a couple of new guys some time ago and that there may have been a few "off" batches when they first started.  
 
I know that many places cut their pies into larger slices when they are going to wrap them up for individual sale so it's possible that you may have gotten one of those pies that hadn't been taken out of the box yet.  As to the sauce, cheese and crust, I don't really know what to say except, "Look at the photos".  I can't speak to the pies there other 364 days of the year but on this day, it was spot on.  I do hope you decide to give them another chance.  After so many great pies over the years it would be a shame to write them off after one subpar experience.  

 
Time for lunch at Tom Cavallo's Restaurant.  Our old college standby and post-race haunt for the past few years.  Plenty of seating and air conditioning made this choice a no-brainer.  Doug and I split a platter of Chicken Parm that neither of us thought was great.  We liked it but the sauce seemed salty and the cheese on top wasn't all brown and bubbly like so many times before.  We also split a plate of 20 Buffalo-style wings (ordered Hot).  When the waitress brought them to us we were immediately,y hit with the stinging aroma of the wing sauce, a harbinger of good things to come.  These were meaty, crispy and coated in lots of tangy, buttery sauce.  Finger lickin' good!

 
Doug and his nephew, Dre, after lunch.  This was Dre's first Boilermaker and he really loved it.

 
On the way back to mom's, I stopped in at North Star Orchards in Westmoreland for some of their amazing baked goods.  

 
A great place for plants. vegetables, fruit, U-Pick berries, pies and locally made jams and other goodies.

 
As much as I adore their Iced Blueberry Cookies I had my eye on the Apple Cider Cake.

 
I think this might be more of a Whoopie "Cake".

 
Dayna loves natural PB so I couldn't pass up this deal on a big tub.  Eight tenths of a pound would cost me LOT more than $1.61 in NYC.

 
Dayna also loves Blackberry jam so this family-farm made fruit spread from the North Country (near the NY-Canadian border) fit the bill nicely.

 
Or as I like to call it: Jesus Jam.

 
As I drove through Lake Delta (my early childhood neighborhood) I realized that I never seem to get a shot of the Delta Dam when water is cascading over it.  I pulled over and walked across to this rock...

 
...and then walked through a small, secluded picnic area right by the dam and down a small, steep trail to the rocks in the water for some close-ups.  I really love this shot and it reminds of the walks my Grandma and I used to take down here when I was a teenager.  

 
OMG!  There is actually water pouring over the dam!  As an added bonus, I drove past my Grandma's house (no one was home) and ran into a number of my cousins I hadn't seen in years.  I stopped in and had a great time catching up with them.

 
Later that night, my uncles came up to visit.  Ito was great to catch up with Uncle Paul but he couldn't stay for dinner.   Uncle Pete and his girlfriend Melody split a mushroom & pepperoni pizza with us but I made sure to have some more tomato pie set out as an appetizer.  

 
I busted out the Apple Cider Cake for dessert and it was a doozy.  Lots of soft cooked apple slices, a hint of cider and that thick buttercream frosting was intense.  

 
Mom opened up a box of half moon cookies from Hemstroughts Bakeries.  As I mentioned earlier in this July trip, Hemstroughts no longer has a retail store but they do supply half moons to local grocery/convenience stores.

 
This one was just ok.  On the dry side and would be best with a tall, cold glass of milk.

 
While Doug was shopping at the Boilermaker Expo he found this t-shirt that he KNEW I would love!  Like I said, Uticans are very proud of their food.

 
This year's Finisher's pin is much bigger than the ones I have gotten before and I really dig the new design for this year.   

 
Congratulations, you made it to the end of this trip report!!  Sorry, I don't have any Finisher's pins for you all but I promise there will be more installments as soon as I take a few more trips back to CNY.  
 
"Eating is an adventure, enjoy the ride" - billyboy, 2015
 
 The 411: 
 
1.)  Holland Farms
      50 Oriskany Boulevard 
      Yorkville, NY 13495 
      Website: www.hollandfarms.com
 
2.)  Roma Sausage & Deli
      3921 Oneida St
      New Hartford, NY 13413
      Ph# 315-737-4283
      Website: http://romasausage.townsquareinteractive.com/
 
3.)  Tom Cavallos
       40 Genesee Street 
       New Hartford, NY  
       Ph# 315-735-1578 
       Website:  http://www.cavallos.com
 
4.)  North Star Orchards
      Route 233 
      Westmoreland, NY 13490 
      Ph# 315-853-1024 
      Website: www.northstarorchards.com
 
5.)  Hemstrought's Bakeries
      Ph# 315-735-3311
      No website or retail store
      Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/HemstroughtsBakeries
 
post edited by billyboy - 2015/07/26 11:58:46
lleechef
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Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2015/07/23 16:07:00 (permalink)
Jesus, that jam looks good!  Did you buy a whole set of those Three Little Bear plates that the Apple Cider Cake is on to take back to NYC???  I want a couple for MH for his Boyardee ravioli. 
 
Seriously, looks like you had some good food and a really good time!  Thanks for the report! 
Mr. Poboy
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Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2015/07/23 16:28:26 (permalink)
Dynamite report. Boy, am I hungry!
CajunKing
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Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2015/07/23 17:16:24 (permalink)
Oh Great now i am craving Apple Cider Cake, durn you BB 
buffetbuster
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Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2015/07/23 17:36:24 (permalink)
Billyboy-
That top ten list looks like it should be a t-shirt.  Obviously, the best answer is #10, "I don't need a reason,  I like pie!"
leethebard
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Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2015/07/23 18:39:33 (permalink)
My daughter wants those half moon cookies. She loves them, and those look amazing!!
Michael Hoffman
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Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2015/07/23 20:42:43 (permalink)
Billyboy,
 
Your trip reports are absolutely amazing. I want to eat just about everything. But more than that, I love your ties to your home town, your friends, family and region. It's wonderful. Thank you for sharing it with us.
CajunKing
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Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2015/07/24 11:23:15 (permalink)
I live in the wrong area.  We are a dairy and great bakery deprived land
mar52
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Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2015/07/24 11:31:26 (permalink)
A wonderful FINISH!
 
No black and white cookie is good.  I don't understand them.
 
 
hatteras04
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Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2015/07/24 11:56:04 (permalink)
I'll admit that when you first started posting pictures of tomato pie, I thought that it didn't look that interesting.  How could sauce, crust, and grated cheese be worth the calories?  But after seeing your mupltiple pics and hearing the multiple descriptions I am very intrigued.  I will definitely have to make it back up to Central NY at some point (I haven't been since 1999 which was my 5 year reunion at Colgate) and try a few versions.  Thanks for posting!
CajunKing
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Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2015/07/24 12:09:46 (permalink)
After having lived in Rochester I felt like nothing good came from wny or cny.
I must admit BBs trip reports make me want to go back.
billyboy
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Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2015/07/24 13:22:09 (permalink)
lleechef, still have yet to open the jam but Dayna loves the peanut butter.  I can't believe my mom still has those plates from almost 40 years ago.  I love staging on them when I go home to visit, but I'll not have you sullying them with that "ravioli"!  When Hurricane Sandy hit us in 2012, we stocked up on Chef Boyardee and Ramen (we still had gas for the oven/stove).  After the first bite of the Chef's special, I remembered why I stopped eating it almost 20 years ago!
 
Mr. Poboy, thanks and welcome to the Forums!
 
buffetbuster, I just knew you'd like that list!  AND, they have Scalloped Potatoes & Ham as a luncheon special on Thursdays.
 
CajunKing, that cake was definitely the sleeper hit for me.  I knew I'd like it but I'm still thinking about it!  I can imagine that a couple of winters in CNY or WNY might sour a non-native on the area.  
 
Leethebard, mar52 and CK, I truly cannot imagine going to CNY for a visit and NOT getting at least ONE half moon.  Most everyone in the region has their favorite place and I too still don't get the appeal of black & whites here in NYC.  I have yet to find one that I like.  
 
Mr. Hoffman, thank you so much for the kind words.  I try to get back 3-4 times a year, sometimes more.  There really is so much to do and see there, though the summer and fall are best as the winters can be pretty brutal and many of these small ice cream/sandwich stands close up after Labor Day.  I was so happy that I was able to see as many family and friends as I did on this latest trip.  Hope to make one more before the summer is over.
 
hatteras04, tomato pie can be a real "love it or hate it" food.  I am the only one in my immediate family who likes it at all.  I can't get enough of it but my family had it some much growing up (birthday parties, classroom parties, high school football games, office parties, Superbowl parties and pretty much any kind of bake sale).  It's always been around.  When a bakery (or pizza shop) does a great version of it, I can't sing its praises enough but I have had some less than stellar versions that I won't be going back to try again.  I'm hoping to put together a comprehensive write-up just on the great tomato pies I've found in the region.
 
 
 
 
post edited by billyboy - 2015/11/06 08:42:03
lleechef
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Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2015/07/24 17:03:53 (permalink)
Yeah, you're right.  Those cute plates should never have that vile Boyardee stuff on them!
CajunKing
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Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2015/07/24 18:30:03 (permalink)
BB - Yeah 7 feet of snow in one storm and getting stuck at work for 8 days using the nyc yellowpages as a pillow kind of ruins a places mystique.
JB-ME
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Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2015/07/25 00:47:03 (permalink)
Another great CNY report! Love them as I mentioned in a comment on your recent NYC report.
I look at those tomato pies and wonder if I would really like tbem, but they look really good.  For Dayna--I make my own PB, cashew butter, mixed nut butter, etc., with just a food processor. Take a can of salted nuts, grjnd them until they get to a meally state, and eventually that will start to form a ball, and then it will liquefy. Process until really smooth. Put in a container and refrigerate. Or better yet, have some fresh and warm.  Sometimes the nuts are on the dry side, and I add a very little bit of oil. Trial and error. If you have access to freshly roasted peanuts, they make the best PB.
billyboy
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Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2016/05/07 15:41:33 (permalink)
So, I'm finally getting around to dating this thread.  Lots to report!  This first part starts with New York City but makes its way to Central NY and has strong connections to the area.  Thursday September 10, 2015 - My friend, Gary, called me a while back to say that he and his wife, Rebecca were coming up to NYC for the 9/11 anniversary and would like to meet up.  As it turned out, they were also heading back to Rome, NY on the evening of 9/11 so they offered me a ride.  We grew up together in the Lake Delta area of Rome and have a taken a few road trips over the years but we hadn't seen each other in almost a decade so I was really looking forward to this visit and trip.  Out first stop tonight was the 9/11 Memorial & Museum.  The memorial plaza outside is free but you need tickets for the tour of the museum inside which Gary had secured days in advance.  The sunken space with the waterfall is very understated and moving.  At the lower part of the picture are the names of all the victims who perished here in New York City and the lighting underneath really makes them stand out at night.  The waterfalls are also located in the footprints of the original Twin Towers.  

 
Two of the beams from the towers recovered from Ground Zero.

 
A wonderful quote and words to live by.  The background is made up of 2,983 pieces of paper to represent each one of the victims from the 2001 and 1993 attacks.  Each one is a different shade of blue to represent the clear, calm blue sky that began the day on 9/11/01.  I didn't take any other pictures of the exhibits inside as I just didn't feel right about it and honestly, they really are meant to be seen in person.  

 
The new Freedom Tower exterior.  

 
Time to hit the local pub, O'Hara's Restaurant & Pub for some vittles and frosty, malted beverages.  

 
First pint of the night!  Gary is a Lieutenant in the East Lake Fire Rescue in Pinellas Park, FL and given that this is a firefighter's bar it was the perfect pick for tonight.  

 
A nice, comforting dish of Shepherd's Pie.

 
Gary brought one of his department's patches to add to the wall of patches from around the world.

 
Friday September 11, 2015 - The next morning we swung by Leo's Bagels on the way out of town to give them a taste of real NYC bagels. We picked up a "Broker's Dozen" (14 bagels) and tore into them.  Crusty and still warm, these were a perfect start to the day.  

 
We shot up to the Upper East Side for some classic hot dogs at Papaya King.

 
Gary and Rebecca with a New York icon.

 
We stopped at a pizza shop a few doors down for some slices.  Here we have a sausage slice.

 
And a Buffalo chicken slice.  These were just okay and not anything that would cause me to return.  Walking into a place out of convenience doesn't always pay off but we had to get on the road and didn't have time to search out other spots. On their next visit, I'll have some places already on my list to check out!

 
We were heading to the Albany area to have dinner with Gary's cousin and along the way I spotted Auntie El's Farm Market & Bakery, so we turned around to check it out.  

 
Yeah, you know I'll be picking up some pie!

 
Believe it or not, this is a smoker!

 
Lots of locally made artwork and outdoor knick knacks for home and garden.

 
Fresh!  And I love the flyer for the bluegrass festival.

 
Sounds like fun.

 
Nothing more invigorating than a good hike.

 
Baskets, dishes and jars for sale.  Much of the furniture is for sale too.

 
Homemade dips...

 
...pickled vegetables, jams, chow chow and preserves.

 
Cool refrigerator magnets too.

 
Time for baked goods!

 
Choices, choices...

 
Fresh from the oven.

 
We picked up a box of rugelach, which honestly, were somewhat dry.  I don't eat them often but are they a fairly dry product, best paired with coffee or tea?

 
Mini cherry and blueberry crumb pies.  These were excellent.  Flaky crust and fruit fillings bursting with flavor were a great combination.

 
And the cross-section shot.

 
Part deux.

 
The wonderful doggies that they have roaming the grounds.

 
I forget the name of the breed but they were very sweet.

 
 

 
We had a wonderful dinner with Hollis, Gary's cousin.  That guy sure knows how to cook and he gave us a tour of his newly updated kitchen.  Jealous.  We pulled into Rome close to 10pm and met my mom and Gary's mom at her apartment.  His mom, Norma, found this photo of my sister and among her things.  It's the Christmas card our parents sent out in 1976.  We were dressed for the Lake Delta Bicentennial Parade that summer.  I still still remember how tight that collar felt around my neck!

 
Saturday September 12, 2015 - I introduced Rebecca to tomato pie on this trip.  These slices are from a local gas station.  I call them "gamble slices" as one doesn't always know from which bakery they came or how long they have been there.  Serviceable in a pinch but certainly not the best the area has to offer.  Given more time, I would take her to a local bakery to sample some fresh slices. 

 
I've eaten many of these pre-wrapped, convenience store/gas station versions over the years, with mixed results.

 
Earlier in the day, I got a head start and went out for breakfast at the Country Kitchen Restaurant in Rome, NY.  I've driven by this place countless times over the years but never stopped in.  

 
Definitely a locals hang-out, I loved the placemats with ads for local businesses.  There were a couple of elderly gentlemen were seated at the counter across from me talking about the old days and one of them mentioned that he almost didn't marry his wife because she was Irish from the other side of town and he was "Eye-talian" from the wrong side of the tracks and her parents didn't approve!

 
I had heard that they made a good Giambotta here so I had to try it.  Eggs, home fries, greens, mozzarella, onions, peppers (some hot and possibly some picked as well) and bacon.  Really great mix of ingredients and enough to fuel me for a while.  The toast and jelly were pretty ordinary but I was pretty happy with this breakfast.

 
Just a few miles down the road on Rte. 233 is North Star Orchards, my favorite place for local fruit, jams, peanut butter and baked goods.  

 
I've been coming here since college and make it a must-stop after running the Boilermaker Road Race each year (and even the years I don't run it!).  

 
Stuffed peppers or a boatload of sausage, pepper and onion sandwiches, anyone?

 
Or some intensely flavored NY State cheese curds?

 
As fresh as can be.

 
Dayna and I both love the nut butters here and I really love the honey roasted peanut butter and it is so cheap compared to what grocery stores charge.

 
Those onion & chive cheese curds were great with some Triscuit crackers.

 
Back in Rome, I stopped by Cafe Divino on North James Street for some classic CNY pastries.  

 
It's the name you all love to hear me say...Pusties!!

 
Chocolate (aka flat-top)

 
 

 
And vanilla (aka button-top)  These are some top notch pusties.  I'd make this place, Florentine Pastry Shop in Utica and Vescio's Franklin Hotel regular stops if I still lived here.

 
 

 
Before taking this trip, I wanted to get Gary & Rebecca something to thank them for the ride and something for his mom to welcome her to her new apartment.  For a number of months, my friends in Rome have been telling me about Maryann Mazzaferro aka The Cookie Lady of Rome, NY.  When I read her story online, I knew these would be the prefect gift.  

 
She can present them on a tray for an extra $1...

 
...or in a box.

 
Possibly the best chocolate chip cookie I have ever eaten.

 
I posted a write-up of her cookies on Facebook a while back and I think it sums up everything I still feel about these cookies.  I also bought 6 dozen at Christmas to give out as gifts to my family (and some awesome Snickerdoodles for Dayna and I to take back to NYC.  Spoiler alert: they never made it to the Big Apple!).  
 
From my Facebook post:  "You know that something truly wonderful has happened when you're still thinking about that cookie (alright, "those cookies", yes, I had way more than one!!) you ate six days ago.

My friends in Rome had been telling me about these cookies for months and I finally had the chance to order some before heading to "The Copper City" last weekend. I was fortunate enough to be able to pick them up at Maryann & John's lovely home and had time to talk with Maryann about her cookies and the whole experience of being chosen for the "Our American Kitchen" series by GE.  

I could hardly wait to get home and try these. Friends, family, you all know I've baked and shipped many cookies over the years and I could be described as "Body by Cookies", but Maryann's are on another level altogether. I hope I can bake cookies like these one day. Crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside, the perfect amount of chocolate chips and just a hint of salt to balance it all out. When I broke the first one open, it didn't crumble but came apart almost like monkey bread. Those dark, toasty knobs of cookie on top were just wonderful. Not a false note in these cookies. When Maryann says that it's all about "friendship, love and cookies" it rings true in every bite and in her approach to getting to know the people who buy her cookies.  

I can only think of two cookies that still inhabit my thoughts years after I first tried them and I have a feeling that these will be with me for a long time as well.  Maryann Mazzaferro, thanks you so very much for the most thoughtful, well-balanced cookies I have eaten in many years.

Aaaaaaand...check out her YouTube video that was shot all over Rome, NY for the GE campaign and "like" it! It's very cute and funny and also features my super cool friend Lori Colasanti Frieden at the 1:15 mark!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=irvaRPAzF5c

 
Such a great story.

 
For better readability.

 
Later this evening, we met my sister for dinner at Limp Lizard, a BBQ joint in the Liverpool section of Syracuse, NY and not too far from the RF-reviewed HEIDs.  

 
I'm a HUGE fan of Dinosaur Bar-B-Que and the family has been wanting me to try the Lizard for years.  No lines for a table and they like the BBQ.  My sis had a smoke turkey sandwich with cranberry mayo, potato salad and cottage cheese.  That turkey was very juicy and had good smoke on it.  I'd come back for that.

 
I had a two-meat platter of ribs and brisket with mac & cheese, baked beans and cornbread.  The ribs were great.  Tender, smoky and the sauce was good too.  Unfortunately, the brisket was somewhat tough and need a bit of force to cut through it.  Good flavor, but would have liked it broken down more.  the side and cornbread and beans were good but the mac & cheese was kinda bland to me.  I'd come back again but Dinosaur is still my first pick.  

 
Love the wall mural and the nod to HEIDs.  

 
Sunday September 13, 2015 - Before heading back to NYC today, my mom, Harold and I met Gary and his family for breakfast at Le Jardin Cafe.  It's part of The Inn at The Beeches.  The Beeches has been part hotel, conference center, banquet all, inn and all-around institution in Rome for as long as I can remember.  I believe the cafe is fairly new and they offer a good seniors special for breakfast on Sundays.  

 
My ham, American cheese (they didn't have any other options) and mushroom omelet and the home fries were pretty good and the toast was ordinary, but those greens, sautéed with just some olive oil and garlic were perfect.  Simple, classic and exactly how I like 'em.  

 
We said our goodbyes and made our way to the bus station in Utica, NY but not without a stop at Voss BAR B Q in Yorkville, NY.  

 
Mom didn't get anything but Harold had a pair of dogs with mustard and I had one with mustard and onions and a ham BBQ sandwich with extra homemade BBQ sauce.  They have changed the dogs from the Honest John's brand made by the Smith Packing Co. to the Zweigle's brand based in Rochester, NY.  They are a smaller dog with a different snap and I do like them but I still prefer the Honest John's.  Certainly won't stop me from ordering them again.  

 
So good.  As of this writing (05/07/16), Voss' has added two new locations: one at the Utica Zoo (not sure if it has the full menu) and one in Ilion, NY that has indoor seating (though it too is seasonal).  

 
That's it for this segment but much more to come!  Thanks for tuning in!
 
The 411:
 
1.)  9/11 Memorial & Museum
      180 Greenwich Street
      New York, NY 10007
      Ph# 212-312-8800 (Administrative offices)
      Website: http://www.911memorial.org
 
2.)  O'Hara's Restaurant & Pub
      120 Cedar St
      New York, NY 10006
      Ph# 212-267-3032
      Website: http://www.oharaspubnyc.com
 
3.)  Papaya King
      179 E. 86th St
      New York, NY 10028
      Ph# 212-369-0648
      Website: http://www.papayaking.com/index.php/home/st-marks
 
4.)  Auntie El's Farm Market & Bakery
      171 NY-17
      Sloatsburg, NY 10974
      Ph# 845-753-2122
      No website
      Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/auntie.els/?fref=ts
 
5.)  Country Kitchen Restaurant
      6788 Martin St
      Rome, NY 13440
      Ph# 315-337-4990
      No website
 
6.)  Cafe Divino
      413 N James St
      Rome, NY 13440
      Ph# 315-334-4444
      Website: http://www.cafedivinony.com/#about
      Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Cafe-Divino-253301761465718/
 
7.)  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.
 
8.)  Limp Lizard
      201 1st St
      Liverpool, NY 13088 
      Ph# 315-451-9774
      Website: http://www.limplizardbbq.com/locations/liverpool/
 
9.)  Le Jardin Cafe
      7900 Turin Rd (aka Rte. 26)
      Rome, NY 13440
      Ph# 315-336-1775
      Website: http://www.thebeeches.com/Dining/LeJardinCafe.aspx
      
10.)  Voss BAR B Q 
        Rte. 5A (aka Oriskany Blvd)
        Yorkville, NY
        No phone
        No website
post edited by billyboy - 2016/05/07 15:44:54
ScreamingChicken
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Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2016/05/07 18:15:59 (permalink)
billyboy


What a great practical joke to play on small children.  "Timmy, would you like a bite of this special apple?"
joerogo
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Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2016/05/07 18:33:19 (permalink)
I enjoy your trips as much as you do! 
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