Helpful ReplyHot!I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata and the Passion of the Pusty (UPDATED 11/22/17)

Page: < 12345.. > >> Showing page 5 of 6
Author
TallyMan
Junior Burger
  • Total Posts : 27
  • Joined: 2015/04/13 12:17:00
  • Location: Tallahassee, FL
  • Status: offline
Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2016/05/07 19:00:53 (permalink)
Great trip report! The CNY Chamber of Commerce ought to hire you, Billyboy. 
Michael Hoffman
Double-chop Porterhouse
  • Total Posts : 22620
  • Joined: 2000/07/01 08:52:00
  • Location: Gahanna, OH
  • Status: offline
Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2016/05/07 19:41:30 (permalink)
And once again you bowl me over. Wonderful stuff. And that Giambotta -- wow!
ann peeples
Porterhouse
  • Total Posts : 10305
  • Joined: 2006/05/21 06:45:00
  • Location: West Allis, Wisconsin
  • Status: offline
Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2016/05/07 20:09:52 (permalink)
Great stuff as usual, billyboy!
billyboy
Filet Mignon
  • Total Posts : 2855
  • Joined: 2005/01/23 02:28:00
  • Location: New York City, NY
  • Status: offline
Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2016/05/07 22:05:38 (permalink)
Saturday January 16, 2016 - My sister had called me saying that they would be celebrating Chinese New Year with some of the other families who had also adopted children from China on the same trip so many years ago and thought Dayna and I might like to come up.  We booked our train and were looking forward to a weekend with Maddie and the rest of our family and a wonderful group dinner at their favorite Chinese restaurant.  We arrived later in the day on the 15th so we just relaxed at sis's house when we got in.  My first order of business early this Saturday morning was to make a return visit to Ruston's Diner in the Jamesville section of Syracuse.  My first time was June of 2015 and I loved it.  

Love those coffee cups with the ads on them.

Naturally, I'd be getting two slices of homemade pie to sample on-site and to take back for further, ahem, research.

The Monthly Special had my name written all over it.  I can only imagine how much this would go for in NYC.  At least $10-$12.

Just a heaping plate of hearty breakfast goodness.  The crusty home fries with onions were every bit as good as I had hoped.  The over easy eggs were just right and the sausage had a nice crust on it (I can't abide rubbery sausage!) and bonus points for the thick cut Italian toast.  I was thinking about getting a side of corned beef hash.  I asked if it was homemade and the woman behind the counter said no but the cook does make it from scratch from time to time and they offer it up as a special.  

A slice of Chocolate Mousse pie and a slice of Cherry pie for Billyboy.

Both were clearly homemade and this slice was very light with a good chocolate flavor.

With that flaky crust and bursting with cherry flavor, this slice was the standout winner for me.  My favorite part of this visit came when I was really digging the 70s setlist on the local radio station they had playing in the background.  A Stones song came on and the two women behind the counter engaged in a "Jagger-Off" to see who could do the best impression.  One began strutting and wagging her finger while the other was lip synching to the song and pursing her lips.  You just can't put a price on that kind of entertainment!

On the way back to my sister's house, I swung by Geddes Bakery.  They supply pies to many local restaurants and I've eaten many good ones so I figured it was time to go to the source.  

Love this logo.

Being a huge lover of tomato pie I had to try a slice of this fine looking specimen.

While I liked the texture of the crust the flavor of the sauce was savory and had a tang to it that was off-putting to me.  After a few bites and ended up tossing it.

the taillight donut seen here was excellent.  Tender crumb and a great combo and creamy frosting and flavorful jam.  The almond horn was what really had me swooning.  Like a marriage between almond croissant and a pignoli cookie.  I could have eaten a couple more of these.  

Later that evening, Dayna and I went to dinner at China Road in Syracuse, NY.  It was a big group meal with about 10 families, all of whom had been on the same trip to China with my sister & brother-in-law.  Being that there were so many people there, they had booked it well in advance and it was a pre-set menu to eliminate the complexity of individual ordering and serving.  I honestly don't remember all of the dishes except for some spicy chicken, egg foo young and an excellent crab rangoon that actually had crab in it.  An excellent meal and great company.  Given that there were so many kids there, I didn't take any pictures.  
 
The next night, Dennis, Harold, Dayna and I went to catch "Spectre", the new James Bond flick at the Hollywood Theatre, which I noticed the night before was directly across from China Road.  It definitely needs some upgrades but for $2.00 a show the price is hard to beat.

 
 
The 411:
 
1.)  Ruston's Diner
      6293 Jamesville Toll Rd
      Jamesville, NY 13078
      Ph# 315-469-1200
      No website
 
2.) Geddes Bakery
     421-423 S Main St
     North Syracuse, NY 13212
     Ph# 315-437-8084
     Website: http://geddesbakery.com
 
3.)  China Road
      2204 Brewerton Rd #2
      Syracuse, NY 13211
      Ph# 315-455-5888
      Website: http://www.chinaroad-ny.com
 
4.)  Hollywood Theatre
      2221 Brewerton Rd
      Syracuse, NY 13211
      Ph# 315-454-0321
      Website: http://hollywood.zurichcinemas.com
 
 
More to come...
 
 
 
 
post edited by billyboy - 2016/05/11 06:11:53
billyboy
Filet Mignon
  • Total Posts : 2855
  • Joined: 2005/01/23 02:28:00
  • Location: New York City, NY
  • Status: offline
Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2016/05/08 17:14:16 (permalink)
Thursday February 4, 2016 - Every so often I truly love Facebook as it provides me with the chance to really connect with people.  Such was the reason for this most recent visit to Rome, NY.  Some of my friends from my hometown had organized a Moonlight Trail Night of cross-country skiing in Delta Lake State Park for the night of Saturday February 6, 2016. When it first popped up in my Facebook news feed, I had flashbacks of skiing on the very same trails around the lake of my childhood in 1986 when I was but a wee 14-year old lad.  Okay, There wasn't really ever anything "wee" about me but you get the point!  I figured it'd give me a great chance to spend some time with mom and Harold, catch up with friends and get back on the trails.  First stop after I arrived was home to mom's to unwind for a bit then dinner at Vigneto's Restaurant.  When I was a kid, this was known as The Plaza Restaurant and I loved their garlic & oregano pizza squares that came in the free breadbasket and their Chicken Parmesan.  

Man, this building has been here for ages and upon walking in it felt almost the same as it had over 35 years ago.  Locals having a few beers at the bar, chowing down on some pan pizza and having a good time and the pizza I saw some people digging into looked mighty fine.

Here are those pizza squares.  I didn't detect any of the oregano I remember but the garlic was sure there.  I could have eaten a whole pan of these. Cheesy, garlicky and they had a great crunch on the edges.  

Mom and I split an order of Italian Style Greens (sautéed escarole with prosciutto, cherry peppers, garlic, olive oil, parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs).  These were excellent and a worthy contender for best in show against many other versions in Central NY if I had to judge a contest.

Mom went with the Butternut Squash Ravioli and she really liked them.

I had the pizza I spied at the bar when I came in: a small "Plaza style" (thick crust) with sausage and roasted long hot peppers.  This was delicious but I might skip the peppers next time as they were H-O-T!!  

Friday February 5, 2016 -  Another reason for coming up was to see my accountant and have my 2015 taxes prepared.  I spent the morning helping mom around the house and then went out for lunch at Eddie's Paramount Diner on W. Dominick St. in downtown Rome.  This is a perfect example of the Roadfood "blindspot" that Michael & Jane Stern have talked about many times before.  Eddie's has been in Rome since long before I was born but for some reason it was just never on my radar as a place to eat.  Only in the past year with social media as I have heard more and more people say I needed to go there did I make it a priority.  

I utterly love this list. Want to know when the local fire department is having a dinner/supper?  This handy list gives you the dates.  More on this towards the end of this segment...!  

A classic chrome diner with booths and stools at the counter.  

I tucked into a booth and being Friday and not being a fish fry fan I opted for the mac & cheese with steamed carrots as my vegetable.  This was so good and really is the closest to my mom's homemade that I have ever tried.  Lots of rich cheese and just a bit of crustiness throughout.  The carrots were soft enough to cut with the side of my fork.  Comfort food 101.  

I knew that they specialized in homemade pies and taking a cue from Buffetbuster, I made sure to order my slice with my meal so as not to get "pie blocked" and I was rewarded with this gem of a chocolate-peanut butter slice.  Homemade crust, rich chocolate pudding-like filling and just a thin ribbon of slightly salty, real peanut butter on the bottom.  I've never had a slice like this before but I hope to encounter many more in the years to come.

With some time to kill before meeting up with Chuck, my accountant, I made my way over to Smith's Farm Market to pick up a few snacks and treats to bring back to NYC.  They are about 9 months old as of this trip and seem to really be doing a brisk business in Rome.  

I haven't tried their sauce but I've heard good things about them and in a pinch if you don't feel like making your own Chicken Riggies you can just buy their sauce and add it to your own boiled and drained rigatoni.  Presto!

Homemade soups, greens, baked goods and so much more.  I don't believe that they have any hot/prepared foods for immediate consumption but they can make getting dinner on the table a breeze.

Love this tree,decorated with Fig Bars.

Buffetbuster, Ralph & Lori, I figured ya yinzers might enjoy this!

If you have a family member serving in the Army.

Or are a HUGE Syracuse fan.  GO ORANGE!!

Tons of spices from which to choose.

In addition to carrying local products Smith's also has bands from other states like Mrs. Miller's Jams out of Fredericksburg, OH and they have some pretty interesting flavors such as Dandelion Jelly, Elderberry Jelly, Corncob Jelly, Loganberry Jam and Caramelized Onion & Chive Jam.  I've seen them at North Star Orchards in Westmoreland, NY too and have tried a few.  Pretty tasty stuff.  

I finally settled on a homemade peanut butter cookie (excellent PB flavor with a slightly crispy exterior and soft interior), a quart of Stoltzfus Creamline chocolate milk (a local dairy and some of the best I have tried in the region), two tubs of Zimmerman's Natural peanut butter for Dayna from Pennsylvania and some locally made Joe's Jerky from Sherrill, NY.  I wasn't a huge fan of this as I found it to be somewhat dry and crumbly and while jerky is essentially dried beef, I do like for there to be some moisture in it.  

When I arrived at my accountant's office, his sister's dog, Cappuccino, was there to greet me with lots of love.  His office is attached to the house where they grew up and after we were all done I was able to sit with his sister Amy (whom I've known since high school) and their mom.  It was great to catch up with all three of them, though the sweet girl below made it clear that she was not to be ignored!

Saturday February 6, 2016 - Breakfast this morning meant a trip to Raspberries Cafe of Rome (their original location is in Utica, NY).  Mom, Harold and I met up with Norma (Gary's mom and my second mom) and it was really great to see her.  

While the toast was pretty ordinary, those crusty home fries were on point and my roasted red pepper, provolone and greens omelet was a winner.  

Mom and I spent a lot of time working around the house.  I helped out with some heavy lifting projects, cleaning up in high places, and getting rid of old things no longer being used.  So much simpler when you are able to downsize and get rid of clutter.  I told mom and Harold that I had plans for dinner and then was heading to the Trail Night and would be home later that night.  This is where checking out the local newspaper comes in handy.  

I actually saw this listing in the online version of the Rome Sentinel sometime before I came to visit and I KNEW this would be my dinner on this night.  Fuel up for the trails and then burn off some calories.  The bonus?  Eddie Long, of Eddie's Paramount Diner, would being doing the catering.  Yessss!!!!

I walked into the dining hall at the back of the church and the place was packed.  This truly was a slice of Americana.  Nothing hip or trendy here.  Just locals sitting side by side, making conversation over really good home-cooked food.  

I couldn't believe the portions they were serving for $10!  It was like reverse sticker shock.  That plate was heavy and big.  Thick cuts of ham, super soft and cheesy scalloped potatoes, limp green beans, minced sweet coleslaw and a roll with butter.  There wasn't a false note on this plate.  I could have eaten another plateful (not sure if they were offering seconds) but given that I had some exercise coming up soon I thought I should, ahem, "exercise" some restraint.

So many pies...

As much as I love Toll House and Coconut Cream...

I had to go with a slice of Custard pie.  I don't come across it very often and it was so worth it.  Homemade crust, subtle, smooth, eggy custard with hints of vanilla and nutmeg.  As much as I loved the food, the company is what truly set this experience apart for me.  When I first walked in, I ran into a woman name Mickey, whose husband worked with my dad for many years.  She didn't recognize me at first (it's been over 25 years, so...) but she gave me a big hug when she realized who I was.
 
I found a seat at a table with two couples in their 60s and we started chatting.  I told them I lived in NYC but had grown up in Lee Center and was visiting family still in the area.  When I mentioned my uncles and their local business, the woman across from me said, "I've known your uncles for many years!  What's your name?"  I said, "Bill Homan".  She said, "Bill Homan, I'm Sandy Casadei."  I replied, "Sandy Casadei, I used to bag your groceries at the P&C Supermarket back when I was in high school 30 years ago and I remember the leather jacket you used to wear."  Man, I probably couldn't tell you what I was doing 6 months ago but I could remember that jacket!  
 
Sandy told me that my former manager, Angie, is now 80 years old and still working and no sooner had she said that when Angie walked in and I introduced myself.  She kinda remembered me but I looked a LOT different in high school: weighed less, more hair on the top of my head, less on the face, etc...  but we enjoyed catching up for a few minutes.  I walked out of there with a smile on my face and a warm feeling about coming home to visit.  

Delta Lake State Park at sunset.

I was able to get a couple of goods shots of the beach/bath house being silhouetted by the setting sun.

Spent a lot of time here post-race after the Delta Lake Half Marathon over the years.

The organizers were really on their game and also offered $5 horse drawn wagon rides for those who may not want to walk.  They also asked for a $5 donation for the walk to help maintain the park.  A small price to pay.  As you can probably guess from the ground, the cross country skiing trip turned into a trail walk as there hadn't been much snowfall this winter.  I was bummed I wouldn't get to strap on my skis but excited to see my friends and walk the trails. 

They also had luminaries set up along the trail to help guide people along.  Battery operated lights in paper bags to light the way.  Almost everyone there had battery powered head lamps which definitely came in handy as there were some steep parts of the trail and a bit of ice here and there.  I took lots of pictures but my night-time camera skills aren't so good so I ended up tossing many of them.  The lake is quite beautiful at night.

At the end of the trail walk, they also had a local food truck serving up pulled pork sandwiches and other goodies.  Some guys built a couple of barrel fires to keep people warm and it was quite toasty.  I ran into my friends Lori & Dan, who are HUGE boosters for Rome and are in the process of opening (with two other partners) a microbrewery right in Rome, called Copper City Brewing Company.  Very exciting!  I also saw Lisa & Brandon,  Lisa was a high school classmate of mine I haven't seen since graduation but we've kept in touch via FB.  It was nice to make a real world connection.  I was also able to meet Jake and his wife, Lori, who organized this night and did a bang up job.  And lastly, I sat down with Kelly, a former Rome co-worker of mine when we were at a non-profit working with teens at risk of being homeless.  So great to catch up with so many people and a truly look forward to my next visit to the Copper City.

 
That's all for now.  Thanks for checking all of the sights and eats of my hometown along with me!  Till next time...
 
The 411:
 
1.)  Vigneto Restaurant
      229 E Dominick St.
      Rome, NY 13440
      Ph# 315-533-5447
      Website: http://www.thevignetorome.com
 
2.)  Eddie's Paramount Diner
      414 W Dominick St.
      Rome, NY 13440
      Ph# 315-336-9581
      Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Eddies-Paramount-Diner-154910877905851/?fref=ts
 
3.)  Smith's Farm Market
      5311 Rome-New London Road (Rtes. 46/49)
      Rome, NY 13440
      Ph# 315-225-6068  
      Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/smiths.farm.3/?fref=ts
 
4.)  Raspberries Cafe of Rome, NY
      1700 N James St.
      Rome, NY 13440
      Ph# 315-336-1111
      Website: http://www.raspberriescafeutica.com
 
5.)  Local suppers/dinners at fire houses, churches, VFW posts, American Legions, etc...
      Check the local newspapers when coming into town or scope out the online version before travelling.
 
6.)  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 - 2016/05/21 10:18:44
ScreamingChicken
Sirloin
  • Total Posts : 8048
  • Joined: 2004/11/05 14:36:00
  • Location: Stoughton, WI
  • Status: offline
Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2016/05/08 17:46:41 (permalink)
billyboy
Mom and I split an order of Italian Style Greens (sautéed escarole with prosecution, cherry peppers, garlic, olive oil, parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs).

Clean your plate or it's the slammer for you, mister!
billyboy
Filet Mignon
  • Total Posts : 2855
  • Joined: 2005/01/23 02:28:00
  • Location: New York City, NY
  • Status: offline
Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2016/05/08 18:37:14 (permalink)
Nice catch, SC!  Dang autocorrect.  
leethebard
Sirloin
  • Total Posts : 8865
  • Joined: 2007/08/16 17:35:00
  • Location: brick, NJ
  • Status: online
Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2016/05/09 04:47:41 (permalink)
Nice home town return...Enjoyed your report!
buffetbuster
Fire Safety Admin
  • Total Posts : 12017
  • Joined: 2002/05/09 13:42:00
  • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
  • Status: online
Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2016/05/09 05:52:36 (permalink)
Those are some mighty fine looking pies. Who am I kidding, everything looks great!
lleechef
Porterhouse
  • Total Posts : 11502
  • Joined: 2003/03/22 23:42:00
  • Location: Gahanna, OH
  • Status: offline
Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2016/05/09 11:10:48 (permalink)
Beautiful report!  Always nice to go home, isn't it?  I have never heard of Italian Style Greens but now I am going to make some!!  I only use escarole in wedding soup.  They look delicious.  Heck, all the food looks delicious!!  Nice sunset, too. 
pnwchef
Filet Mignon
  • Total Posts : 3009
  • Joined: 2011/03/16 14:15:00
  • Location: Kennewick, WA
  • Status: offline
Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2016/05/09 11:24:12 (permalink)
Billy, I've asked you many many times to stop posting pictures of food that I can only dream about. These pictures could have been taken 50 years ago. Great food doesn't have to change with the times and you prove this with every post. I not only love the food pictures and your report. I love the old warm look to the restaurants, they just look like places that welcome you with open arms........Thanks for the report.........Bill
Ralph Melton
Double Chili Cheeseburger
  • Total Posts : 1081
  • Joined: 2009/09/15 15:17:00
  • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
  • Status: offline
Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2016/05/09 14:16:29 (permalink)
Every time you post about pusties, I think "I have got to try those!"
 
In Pittsburgh, Italian-style greens like that usually include cannellini beans. I wonder what the limits of the beans and greens region are.
leethebard
Sirloin
  • Total Posts : 8865
  • Joined: 2007/08/16 17:35:00
  • Location: brick, NJ
  • Status: online
Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2016/05/09 16:23:41 (permalink)
lleechef
Beautiful report!  Always nice to go home, isn't it?  I have never heard of Italian Style Greens but now I am going to make some!!  I only use escarole in wedding soup.  They look delicious.  Heck, all the food looks delicious!!  Nice sunset, too. 


Escarole and beans is to die for.Garlic and olive oil,heated.....add plenty of escarole...enjoy!!!
lleechef
Porterhouse
  • Total Posts : 11502
  • Joined: 2003/03/22 23:42:00
  • Location: Gahanna, OH
  • Status: offline
Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2016/05/09 16:47:29 (permalink)
leethebard
lleechef
Beautiful report!  Always nice to go home, isn't it?  I have never heard of Italian Style Greens but now I am going to make some!!  I only use escarole in wedding soup.  They look delicious.  Heck, all the food looks delicious!!  Nice sunset, too. 


Escarole and beans is to die for.Garlic and olive oil,heated.....add plenty of escarole...enjoy!!!


I often make that exact same dish.......but with broccoli rabe and also hot pepper flakes.  Next time will definitely be with escarole!!!!
post edited by lleechef - 2016/05/09 16:48:46
billyboy
Filet Mignon
  • Total Posts : 2855
  • Joined: 2005/01/23 02:28:00
  • Location: New York City, NY
  • Status: offline
Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2016/05/09 17:06:07 (permalink)
Thanks leethebard!
 
Buffebuster, those pies from Eddie's were such a wonderful surprise.  I could have had a few more slices.  When I realized that he was making the church dinner, I just knew it was gonna be good.  I forgot to mention that I had told my accountant that I just had lunch at Eddie's before seeing him and he said that he takes his family there for breakfast on Saturdays and they also love the pies.  
 
pnwchef, I really did have a warm feeling all throughout this trip.  I really do love going back to visit my family but this trip was pretty special for so many reasons.  I also went to a local bar to try one of the sandwiches they make called the "Mr. Magoo's Got the Blues" (a chicken cordon bleu in a pita).  They have about 3-4 sandwiches on the menu that used to be standards at the long closed Fric & Fracs Flying Food Factory.  It wasn't as good as I remember but I did get the chance to hang out with old friends as well as my uncle, aunt and a cousin of mine.  Rome really is a city that feels like a small town!
 
Ralph Melton, I never, ever tire of pusties and Billy gots to have his fix when he is within a few miles of them!!  I've seen Greens-n-Beans and countless menus across the country and on most Italian restaurant menus in Central NY.  
 
lleechef, while greens are not exclusive to CNY they definitely are a specialty of the region and much like chicken riggies and hats & broccoli they can be found on most Italian restaurant menus, everyone has their own recipe and people passionately debate which place has the best!  I prefer them fairly simple with garlic, olive oil and red pepper flakes.  
 
 
 
lleechef
Porterhouse
  • Total Posts : 11502
  • Joined: 2003/03/22 23:42:00
  • Location: Gahanna, OH
  • Status: offline
Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2016/05/09 17:40:42 (permalink)
I especially liked the addition of prosciutto and hot cherry peppers.
 
Geeze, I would give anything to go back to my hometown of Rochester, PA and go to a supper at our Methodist Church!  I'm sure you really enjoyed it.
leethebard
Sirloin
  • Total Posts : 8865
  • Joined: 2007/08/16 17:35:00
  • Location: brick, NJ
  • Status: online
Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2016/05/09 19:57:32 (permalink)
lleechef
leethebard
lleechef
Beautiful report!  Always nice to go home, isn't it?  I have never heard of Italian Style Greens but now I am going to make some!!  I only use escarole in wedding soup.  They look delicious.  Heck, all the food looks delicious!!  Nice sunset, too. 


Escarole and beans is to die for.Garlic and olive oil,heated.....add plenty of escarole...enjoy!!!


I often make that exact same dish.......but with broccoli rabe and also hot pepper flakes.  Next time will definitely be with escarole!!!!


Hot pepper flakes is a great addition!
billyboy
Filet Mignon
  • Total Posts : 2855
  • Joined: 2005/01/23 02:28:00
  • Location: New York City, NY
  • Status: offline
Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2016/09/11 16:03:46 (permalink)
Monday August 1, 2016 - Almost a year ago, my mom put forth the idea that the family should rent a house in the Adirondack Mountains for a week.  Mom made the arrangements for a house in the town of Long Lake, NY and we were all on board, so Dayna and I rented a car and drove up from NYC.  When I realized we would be driving by the town where our friends Mike & Dana lived, I texted them and we made plans to meet for lunch at the RF-reviewed West Taghkanic Diner in Ancram, NY.  

 
 While it had a classic diner look to it, we were the only customers there so the vibe felt a little bit "ho-hum".  

 
 My girlfriend Dayna, on the left and Mike & Dana on the right.  You may recognize them from the Western MA Meet-N-Greet in 2009 and from the more recent New England Roadfood Meet-Up in and around New Haven, CT in 2014. Dana and I were roommates during our time in Brookline, MA and I got to know Mike pretty well then too.  

 
 Love that neon.  It was too early for a nighttime shot so this one will have to suffice.

 
 Love that boomerang pattern on the table and the local ads on the placemats.

 
 Mike's egg cream.  They did a serviceable job mixing it and it did have the white foamy head.  I'm not sure if Mike and Dana were fans though.

 
 Mike's chili dog.  Meaty sauce but I can't get into chili with beans used as a sauce for a burger or a dog.

 
 Mike's onion rings.  I didn't try one but they looked pretty good.

 
 My turkey dinner with mashed potatoes and mixed vegetables.  This is the dish that I have been obsessed with/fantasizing about ever since the first time I saw Michael Stern's photo on the Roadfood review many, many years ago.  This dish was a bit of a mixed bag.  The turkey was definitely roasted in-house, the stuffing/dressing (peeking out in the middle of the plate) was very tasty, the mashed potatoes were somewhat gummy and the mixed vegetables were just okay.  The gravy was a bit too salty for me and it had these odd clumps in it (see on top of the turkey) as though it may not have been mixed thoroughly.  I wanted to like this more than I did.  To be honest though, I had been building it up in my head for almost 10 years so I do think a return trip would be in order.  

 
 We parted ways with Mike & Dana, looking forward to seeing them again soon and drove about a mile back the way we came to another places I have longed to visit for many years, Green Acres Farm.  

 
 A small place but one with big flavors.  Employing the long-time Roadfood rule, I called earlier that morning to see if they would have pies available later in the day.  It really is important to call ahead or even 24 hours in advance to reserve a pie as they do go quickly.  They had Apple, Dutch Apple, Blueberry and Peach, so I placed an order for the Apple, Blueberry and Peach and gave them an ETA of when I would arrive to pick them up.  Nothing worse than getting "pie-blocked" on a Roadfood trip!!  Am I right, Buffetbuster??  They do carry a big selection of fresh vegetables (canning tomatoes, squash, sweet corn, cucumbers, pepper, eggplants) and fruits (peaches, plums, apples, pears and nectarines) depending on the season.  There wasn't much left in this day as we arrived about 30 minutes before closing. Dayna picked up a jar of apple butter that she really liked and I do believe that they also have other jarred/canned goods as well.  

 
 Just as a bit of backstory, I have been eating these pies since our friends Doug & Marisa introduced me to them back in 2010.  I can remember that first bite of peach pie in the backseat of that car like it was yesterday.  No utensils, no napkins, just grabbing a slice of what is still the best pie I have ever eaten and being in love with it ever since.  Yes, I realize that this story sounds like some middle-aged guy recounting his first make-out session after the big high school football game, but that description above is exactly how it happened.  I've had many of their pies since then but this was the first time I was able to make it up here.  The NYC public transit system doesn't extend quite this far.  

 
 While the Dutch Apple looked quite tempting. I'm a double crust man all the way!

 
 And my first pie love, Peach.  The darkened edges, a buttery, flaky and just ever-so-slightly salty crust and a fresh peaches that still have a bit of bite to them, this is what I had alway imagined peach pie should be.  

 
 The pies on display at the house.  My family loved all of these but they really fell for the Peach.  I'm so happy!! 

 
Tuesday August 2, 2016 - The drive from Ancram to Long Lake via NY-87 (aka the "Northway") was long and followed some pretty narrow and winding roads and it is in the heart of deer country so we took it slow and eventually had to pull over to rest for a while. We also stopped at a Wal-Mart to pick up a cooler, some ice and food to cook the night we agreed to make dinner.  We didn't get in until a bit after midnight.  This is a shot of the house from the next day.  Pretty roomy place with 3 bedrooms, 2 full baths, a full kitchen, living room, full dining room and laundry room.  We didn't have any internet or cable so we ended up playing pitch, watching a lot of Clint Eastwood and James Bond films on VHS and spending time just sitting on the back deck or down at the fire pit next to Eaton Pond which is right next to the house.  

 
 My sister Kelly, her husband Dennis and my niece Maddie, stopped in the town of Eagle Bay before we arrived and brought fresh cinnamon-sugar donuts from The Donut Shop.  

 
 This was just right.  

 
 A perfect way to start the day.  

 
 Apologies as this was one of the best shots I was able to get of the pie slices.  We ended up eating this blueberry as well as the others throughout the week.  

 
 Mom and Aunt Melody on the back deck.  Very roomy and a great place to start and end the day.  The only downside was that the gas grill on the left didn't work.  The burner unit inside was rusted out and in pieces so no chicken spiedies or grilled corn on this trip.  

 
 The trail leading down to Eaton Pond.

 
 Pretty mushrooms.

 
 Some shots of the pond.  It was so quiet and relaxing down here.  Just the tonic I needed to wind down each day and escape from the constant noise and business of The Big Apple.  

 

 

 
I thought that these looked like little Pac-Men.

 
 Uncle Pete and Aunt Melody, at the pond.  

 
 There was small dock leading to a big rock and I thought we could strike a pose.  Uncle Pete is like the older brother I never had.

 
 Not sure if I was trying to "walk like an Egyptian" here?

 
 Tonight was Mom & Harold's turn to make dinner and this plate of comforting family goodness represents years of family recipes.  Mom's 3-Bean salad (yellow wax beans, green beans and kidney beans) in a sweet vinaigrette, Grandma's (and now my sister Kelly's) mayo-mustard potato salad (with chopped hard-boiled eggs, celery and a touch a vinegar, Aunt Melody's Broccoli salad (broccoli, golden raisins, yellow cheddar cheese and crumbly bacon in a creamy mayo-based dressing) and my other Grandma's barbeque beef sandwiches (stew beef slow-cooked with chili sauce and other ingredients I don't even know until fork tender!).  

 
 After relaxing with a movie for a bit, we all headed back down to the pond to light up the fire pit for a nice, quiet evening in the woods.  Nothing like sitting by a roaring fire with the family.

 
 Naturally, S'Mores were on the menu and I love mine with a crispy burnt exterior!

 
 One last parting shot of the pond for the day.  Like glass, baby.  Like glass.

 
 I decided to drive into town to scope out what it had to offer and I just couldn't pass up some ice cream at place called Custard's Last Stand.  

 
 I went with a Mexican sundae but I swapped out the chocolate syrup in favor of hot fudge.  

 
 While they don't make their own ice cream (I believe they sell Gifford's from Maine) this sundae was creamy, they didn't skimp on the hot fudge and whipped cream and there were plenty of salty peanuts.

 
 Hoss's is the local general store.  I arrived here just as they had closed.  It and a number of other related businesses are run by the Hosley family.  More on this store later in the report...

 
 They also have an ice cream stand across the street from Custard's Last Stand.  

 
 Just around the corner on Main Street is Northern Borne Store and Grocery which is part grocery store, part camping gear store and part gift shop.  Coming up to this region, also known as the "North Country" by locals, one realizes that there are still quite a few local dairies in the region and a happy by-product is that many store carry a wide selection of locally made cheeses.  While I love my Cabot Sharp Cheddar, I can get that at my local grocery store in NYC.  No, I'm here for something special.  Should I go with my namesake Hot Buffalo Bill Cheese?  Or perhaps some Hotsie Totsie Pepper Jack Cheese?  

 
 Sweet Pickle Pepper Cheese?  Bacon Peppercorn Cheddar?  

 
 Nope.  I opted for this "Killer" Dill Cheddar with some stone ground crackers.  While it made for a great snack it was even better shredded and mixed in with some soft scrambled eggs for breakfast a couple of days later!

 
 Sweet!  I can grab a can of my favorite childhood soda, Adirondack, and grab a container of nightcrawlers from the bottom shelf if I'm heading out to go fishing.  

 
 Brings me back to mowing my grandparents' lawn and taking a beverage break.  I love yard work and I really do miss it.  No landscaping to do in the "concrete jungle".

 
Much more to come in the next installment of this trip!  A visit with Paul Bunyan, back to an Italian favorite of mine and what treasures await inside at Hoss's??
 
The 411:
 
1.)  West Taghkanic Diner
      Route 82 & Taconic Parkway
      Ancram, NY 12502
      Ph# 518-851-7117
      No website
 
2.)  Green Acres Farm
      226 NY-82
      Hudson, NY 12534
      Ph# 518-851-7460
      Website: http://www.greenacreshudson.com
 
3.)  Custard's Last Stand
      1136 Deerland Road
      Long Lake, NY 12847
      No phone
      No website
 
4.)  Northern Borne Store and Grocery
      1236 Main Street
      Long Lake, NY 12847
      Ph# 518-624-3271
      No website
post edited by billyboy - 2016/09/11 17:01:16
Michael Hoffman
Double-chop Porterhouse
  • Total Posts : 22620
  • Joined: 2000/07/01 08:52:00
  • Location: Gahanna, OH
  • Status: offline
Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2016/09/11 16:19:49 (permalink)
Perfect.
lleechef
Porterhouse
  • Total Posts : 11502
  • Joined: 2003/03/22 23:42:00
  • Location: Gahanna, OH
  • Status: offline
Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2016/09/11 17:37:46 (permalink)
Out in the Adirondaks, in the woods, next to a pond, Mom's cooking, a fire, pie.......geeze, billyboy, it just doesn't get better than that!!!!!  So awesome!!!!   
ScreamingChicken
Sirloin
  • Total Posts : 8048
  • Joined: 2004/11/05 14:36:00
  • Location: Stoughton, WI
  • Status: offline
Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2016/09/11 18:46:13 (permalink)
Now this is my kind of vacation!  Hopefully I'll read in a future installment that someone picked up a small grill at the general store and you had spiedies and corn after all...
 
billyboy
Should I go with my namesake Hot Buffalo Bill Cheese?

People call you "Hot Buffalo"????
billyboy
Filet Mignon
  • Total Posts : 2855
  • Joined: 2005/01/23 02:28:00
  • Location: New York City, NY
  • Status: offline
Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2016/09/17 04:34:37 (permalink)
Wednesday August 3, 2016 - Dayna & I slept in today before heading out for breakfast at the Long Lake Diner.  It's a fairly small place that also serves as the local bar known as the Owl's Head Pub.  No parking at the diner but there is a lot across the street (just be careful when walking across as it is a busy street with a blind curve on it!).  
Time for breakfast.

I love the decor in here, especially the wooden chain links and the wallpaper trim (I know there is another name for it...) by the tables that lists the names and shows different kinds of trees that can be found in the region.

A local youth has been working on the art for these doors and still has to paint on a deer.  I almost fainted when I saw the photos above.  If I were anywhere near a bear I think I'd have a panic attack!

A pair of over easy eggs, crusty home fries and rye toast. Not a stand-out meal but a simple, classic way to start the day.

Definitely NOT homemade corned beef hash but with the addition of black pepper, ketchup and hot sauce I did enjoy it.

The Donut Shop is closed on Wednesdays but since we were driving by I had to get a picture or two.

Love this sign too.

I was hoping for a closer shot but they had a chain up across the entrance and I didn't want to be intrusive.

Off to Old Forge for the afternoon, we made a few shopping stops and I found this cool sculpture outside of the Life is Good shop.  

No trip to Old Forge would be complete without stopping at Old Forge Hardware to walk on those hardwood floors and usually find a book or a piece of kitchenware I just have to buy!

Love this but I think the price tag was a couple thousand dollars.  Maybe next trip...

Our big reason for driving down here from Long Lake (about a 1-hour drive) was to meet up with my sis and her family for an afternoon at Enchanted Forest Water Safari.  My sis & I came here quite a bit as kids, long before the had the Water Safari portion of it and is was a fairy tale-like theme park.  Visiting relatives in nearby White Lake, a day at Enchanted Forest and ice cream at the Pied Piper roadside burger and ice cream shop across the street was a summertime tradition for us.  I've been coming here a lot over the years but I confess I probably haven't here in a couple of decades.

I love water slides but I wasn't brave enough to try the "Shadow".

These floating chairs in the sky have been part of Enchanted Forest for as long as I can remember.  They give visitors a bird's-eye view of the whole park.  My favorite part was always Storybook Lane, a trail that I could walk through with stops along the way that had classic storybooks tales come to life via audio and different set pieces like Cinderella's pumpkin coach, Sleeping Beauty's castle, Ali Baba's cave, the Three Bears house and the Crooked Man's crooked house. I love fairy tales and this always seemed like a magical place when I was a little kid.  You may notice a sort of large, tall fella in the lower right of this photo.  More on him later...

Just outside of Storybook Lane is the train station that takes visitors to the back of the park where there are rides (carousel, ferris wheel, bumper cars), a small circus and trapeze artists (for a small fee, visitors can try out their trapeze skills as well, under professional supervision, of course).  

It passes through the forest, whizzing by a cast of characters, such as Humpty Dumpty (sitting on a wall), Peter Cottontail and the Queens of Hearts' card soldiers from "Alice In Wonderland".

Boy, that looks awful high!

And the big guy himself, Paul Bunyan!  He has been there since Day One is 1956 and almost everyone gets their photo taken with him.

Given my bashful, introverted nature it took quite a bit of prodding to pose for this picture!  

After lots of nostalgia and fun cooling off in the water park, we met Mom & Harold for dinner at Frankie's Taste of Italy, just a couple of miles down the road.  I had reviewed it a number of years ago but I haven't had a chance to come back since 2010.  

I always enjoy starting a meal here with a locally brewed Saranac Root Beer.  Crisp and with a slight bite to it, it's one of my favorite root beers thus far.

One of my favorite appetizers/sides to get when I'm in Central NY are my beloved "greens".  My girlfriend, Dayna, has a dairy allergy, so we skipped the melted provolone on top this time.  I know that the lighting isn't great in this shot but it seemed like they baked this, almost like a casserole.  The result seems to be a loss of moisture (see the photo below) and flavor.  It also appears that the bread crumbs, which usually get toasted on top, have been mixed in, which give the greens a consistency more akin to Thanksgiving stuffing/dressing.  I know of another place that mixed them in with the same result.  Toasted bread crumbs should be a topping or accent and the escarole really should be the star of the show.  

These were my order of greens from a visit in 2010.  Yes, the lighting is better and they have melted cheese on top but look at the liquid around the edges of that dish.  Greens really should retain some moisture.  

I went with the first dish I ever tried here back in 2008, Pollo Casa Franco (fried chicken cutlets, topped with eggplant, greens, mozzarella and marinara sauce).  Back in 2008, they called it Chicken Casa Franco and it also had prosciutto in it. (See photo below)  This version was still pretty good but I didn't have as much visual "pop" and the flavors just didn't come together like I remember from before. Of course, it HAS been 8 years, so I could be wrong.  

My Chicken Casa Franco from 2008.

After dinner, we drove back to Long Lake and stopped in again at Hoss' (this time while they were still open!).  Love their selection of Good Night books, especially Good Night Lake, Good Night Mountains, Good Night New York State and Good Night Country Store.

For all of your black bear-themed needs.  Been hunting high and low for a black bear toilet paper holder?  We've got you covered!

All of your balsam and pine gifts can be found here.  I could spend hours in here.  

My mom always bought these and put them in my dresser drawers.  Standing here, inhaling that wonderful balsam scent, brings me right back to my childhood bedroom.

The Adirondacks has a wealth of wonderful authors and books about the region.  Fiction, historical, topographical, you name it.  It's definitely a vast area with a rich history.

I think I found a bear that I am comfortable giving a hug!

Of course, I had to end the day with a slice of apple pie.  Two days in and it still tastes amazing.  I dream of that crust...

 
Up next, a walk on the "Wild" side, a taste of Michigan (sort of) and come on, baby, light my fire!
 
The 411:
 
1.)  Long Lake Diner
      1161 Main Street
      Long Lake, NY 12847
      Ph# 518-624-3941
      No website
 
2.)  Old Forge Hardware
      104 Fulton Street 
      Old Forge, NY 13420
      Ph# 315-369-6100
      Website: http://www.oldforgehardware.com
 
3.)  Enchanted Forest Water Safari
      3183 NY-28
      Old Forge, NY 13420
      Ph# 315-369-6145
      Website: https://www.watersafari.com
 
4.)  Frankie's Taste of Italy
      2824 NY-28
      Old Forge, NY 13420
      Ph# 315-369-2400
      Website: http://frankiesitaliancuisine.com
 
5.)  Hoss' Country Corner
      1142 Main Street
      Long Lake, NY 12847
      Ph# 518-624-2481
      Website: http://www.hossscountrycorner.com
 
post edited by billyboy - 2016/09/17 04:40:17
billyboy
Filet Mignon
  • Total Posts : 2855
  • Joined: 2005/01/23 02:28:00
  • Location: New York City, NY
  • Status: offline
Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2016/09/17 22:43:51 (permalink)
Thursday August 4, 2016 - Throughout the planning stages for this trip, we had all been discussing what kinds of leisure activities we'd like to do during our week in the woods.  One place that piqued everyone's interest was The Wild Center in Tupper Lake, NY.  It has been around since 2006 and the overall mission is to educate visitors about the Adirondack Region through hands-on exhibits, live animals, guest speakers, nature walks and so much more.  One can really get a sense of the history, current state of and what the future holds for the region.

A wide shot of Big Wolf Great Hall in the main building at the Center.  This is where we bought our tickets and saw most of the indoor displays in the upcoming photos.  

A very cool chair carved out of a Yellow Birch Burl tree.  

A replica of a lean-to where maple sugarers would keep track of the sugaring process.  A little over 100 years ago, maple sugaring was a big industry ion this region and today The Wild Center Community Maple Project teaches members of the community how to tap trees and process the sap and it helps them to connect to the land in a very tangible way that makes for a very hands-on and memorable experience.

Pretty cool. 

If I lived in the region, I'd definitely be part of this.

Millions of years ago, glaciers helped form what is now the Adirondack Region and this replica of a glacier (it shifts, has sounds effects and water comes rushing out!) was pretty cool.  I forgot to take a picture of the piece from an actual glacier they had just to the left of this photo.  It looked like a big barber shop pole and was wicked cold to the touch.  

Amazing.

Truer words...

Here is some of the gear that belonged to Ed Ketchledge, the man who spent decades hiking the many mountains of the Adirondacks and documenting the changes in vegetation, the erosion of tree lines and so much more that led the way to a great deal of conservation efforts that continue to this very day.  He passed away in 2010 but here is his obituary that gives much more info on the man:  http://adirondackdailyenterprise.com/page/content.detail/id/514127.html?nav=5008

Otters!!  This otter may be Squirt, Louie or Remy, not sure.  The naturalist who was guiding us through the live animal exhibits said that they give the otters a cardboard box full of ice chips and they just love tearing it open and the feel of the cold ice.  

Just goin' for a swim!

So much of what shapes the Adirondack Park occurs beneath the surface...

The world truly is a vast, unknowable place.

When I read this I immediately thought of the stars in the sky and how we never actually see the light from them in real time.  Those stars have actually died out long before that light reaches us and that's the way it has always been...ever changing.

Yup.

A poorly lit shot of a naturalist at the Center and Stickley, the resident porcupine, who has been here for 9 years and whose main job is to eat, sleep and help visitors learn more about her.

On the trail outside and it is scooter and wheelchair accessible.  

One of the big reasons we wanted to come here was to go up above the trees along the Wild Walk, which just opened earlier this summer.  The video and pictures on the Center's site are much more breathtaking than mine!  https://www.wildcenter.org/visit/wild-walk/

I love the metalwork up here.  

Looking for these birds?  You may have to travel a few miles!

So much to see and do.  

My niece Maddie and her friend climbed all over this but I took a pass.  While it looked sturdy, I could see through it all the way to the ground!

Wait'll you get a load of this...

So cool!

Up, up and away I go!

A bird's-eye view, for sure.

I never tire of looking at the Adirondack Mountains.  The 360 degree view up here was just phenomenal.  Different mountain peaks can be seen off in the distance but I regret to say that I didn't write down the names they had listed in the nest.

After all of that walking, we decided to get lunch and I made a mental note that we had passed the Skyline Drive-In on the way.  It was one of the places on my list that offers Michigan-style hot dogs, something I have wanted to try for years.  

This classic roadside stand has a design that can be found in many regions around New York State.

An oversized Adirondack chair on display (people are free to sit on it and take pictures) is pretty common in these parts.

Mom, Harold and I had lunch here while Kelly, Dennis and the kids headed back to the house at Long Lake as one of the kids had an allergic reaction to some of the foliage at the Center and just wanted to get her back to the house.  Dayna slept in today so we brought back hot dogs for everyone.  I ordered a Michigan-style hot dog but I made a rookie mistake in not asking for it to be a locally made Glazier-brand hot dog.  I have wanted to try one of those for some time but I didn't realize that there were two different kinds on the menu.  D'oh!  They are a very bright red hot dog made by the Glazier Packing Company in Malone, NY.

My Michigan and a side of fresh-cut fries.  This was  really good dog and the Michigan sauce is a meat sauce and this version reminded me of a Bolognese meat sauce, with a bit of kick.  I was hoping for the bun to have the closed-off ends like I've seen in the Roadfood reviews of a few of the Michigan spots in Plattsburgh, NY, but not on this stop.  Those fresh cut fries didn't have any salt on them and I loved that.  All I could taste was pure potato flavor.  

My Butterscotch shake.  Thick, creamy and with a nice butterscotch flavor, I did what very few people do (Chris of Ayersian is included in those few people): I dipped some of my fries in the shake and it was magical.  I've been doing that since I was a kid and I still love it.  Salty/sweet and/or savory/sweet is a favorite combo of mine.  

I couldn't help but notice what appeared to be a row of tiny, identical houses behind the drive-in.  My mom said that those were very common when she was a little girl in the 1950s and that a family might rent one if they were taking a vacation in the area.  I can see a couple (two people) renting one, but a whole family?  Where would they sleep?  Is there room to move in there?  What about bathrooms and showers?  I'm definitely spoiled by the creature comforts of my generation.  

Back in Long Lake, I drove into town after relaxing at the house for a bit.  I'd been wanting to get some photos of Long Lake.

It really is quite beautiful.  

I miss seeing so many trees close by. Growing up in Rome, NY, our house was the last one on a dead-end street and the was a forest right next to our house where I would spend hours and hours playing with my friends.  Riding our bikes off of homemade jumps, setting off fireworks, skiing, snowmobiling and sledding in the winter, walking down to the lake to go fishing, picking blackberries...those were some good times.   

Time to light my fire!!  Once again, we had the fire pit roaring and the S'Mores at the ready.  We did contend with some persistent mosquitoes until I broke out the citronella bucket candles.  All was okay until a HUGE owl started hooting in the trees and everyone was scared off except me.  Hey, I just HAD to find out how many licks it took to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop.  Sadly, I didn't have any with me so my feathered friend just kept me company for while.  I must have spent a few hours down by the water, all by myself.  

Finally, after a few S'Mores, I let the fire die down, packed up my "gear" and headed back up for a very restful night of sleep.  

 
 
When next we join the Adirondack Gang, a Roadfood first for me, my second Michigan of the trip in a fairly unique setting, Dayna & I climbing to new heights at Mt. Arab and an offer I could completely refuse!
 
The 411:
 
1.)  The Wild Center
      45 Museum Drive
      Tupper Lake, NY 12986
      Ph# 518-359-7800
      Website: https://www.wildcenter.org
 
2.)  Skyline Drive-In
      1976 State Highway Route 30 (Moody Road)
      Tupper Lake, NY 
      Ph# 518-359-7288
      Website: http://www.skylineicecream.com/index.html
 
post edited by billyboy - 2016/09/18 03:08:37
ScreamingChicken
Sirloin
  • Total Posts : 8048
  • Joined: 2004/11/05 14:36:00
  • Location: Stoughton, WI
  • Status: offline
Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2016/09/17 23:27:35 (permalink)
billyboy
I must have spend a few hours down by the water, all by myself.  


That's a feeling that's tough to beat.
 
I know it's not really related to this thread, but considering where you grew up and how you spent your childhood I'm curious as to how you wound up in NYC.
billyboy
Filet Mignon
  • Total Posts : 2855
  • Joined: 2005/01/23 02:28:00
  • Location: New York City, NY
  • Status: offline
Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2016/09/18 03:24:03 (permalink)
ScreamingChicken
Now this is my kind of vacation!  Hopefully I'll read in a future installment that someone picked up a small grill at the general store and you had spiedies and corn after all...
 
billyboy
Should I go with my namesake Hot Buffalo Bill Cheese?

People call you "Hot Buffalo"????


ScreamingChicken, I had many nicknames in high school and college and I believe that Buffalo Bill was one of them...for about 5 minutes!
 
 
ScreamingChicken
billyboy
I must have spend a few hours down by the water, all by myself.  


That's a feeling that's tough to beat.
 
I know it's not really related to this thread, but considering where you grew up and how you spent your childhood I'm curious as to how you wound up in NYC.


Yeah, that may have been one of my favorite nights of the trip.  While the house was great, there wasn't any air conditioning (no surprise there) and our bedroom had a small desk fan that did provide some relief.  It was cool outside at night but stuffy in the house as it was much warmer during that time of year than normal. 
 
A long and winding road to NYC...  After high school, I went to Utica College of Syracuse University (no longer affiliated with S.U.) for criminal justice (thought I wanted to be a cop or a lawyer).  Discovered a passion for acting during my senior year.  Wound up working with at-risk youth in my hometown for a few years while performing in theatre on the side.  The non-profit where I worked lost its grant, Griffiss AFB closed down in 1995 and job prospects were scarce and I thought that there had to be something more out there, somewhere else. 
 
A friend of mine moved to Boston around that time, loved it and convinced me to move out there.  Spent 6 years there working in non-profit with homeless families eventually leaving that job to go on tour across the U.S. with Disney for 8 months.  Came back to Boston, temped at some interesting places (the Samuel Adams Brewery - one of the perks was I could mix & match a case of beer to take home once a month!) and kept pursuing acting.  Had a great time as a performer, learned a LOT and I've got some great memories of special times with friends, some of whom still live there. 
 
After 6 years in Beantown I was ready for a change so I moved to NYC in 2003 and I've been here ever since. My GF and I have a place in Manhattan and I can walk to work at a job I really like.  Not sure if I'm a "lifer" as I sure do miss my family and the rural life.  No real career opportunities for me up there though.  Maybe one day...
rudebarb
Hamburger
  • Total Posts : 73
  • Joined: 2015/01/03 16:44:00
  • Location: NYC, NY
  • Status: offline
Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2016/09/18 09:37:55 (permalink)
Biilboy--remarkable similarities. I too lived in Boston (4 years) and moved to Manhattan, am an actor, and spent time in the Utica/New Hartford and southern Adirondack area 35 years ago.
 
Almost moved to Camden,NY and once had the very best prime rib at a restaurant somewhere between Utica and Syracuse whose name unfortunately eludes me.
 
For an old school southern Italian place that's been around forever I highly recommend V&T on Amsterdam and 110th, if you've never been-- good food, great pizza. Compares favorably with crosstown Patsy's.last
 
 
leethebard
Sirloin
  • Total Posts : 8865
  • Joined: 2007/08/16 17:35:00
  • Location: brick, NJ
  • Status: online
Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2016/09/18 09:44:23 (permalink)
Great food , great scenery, and a great story....thanks so much!
billyboy
Filet Mignon
  • Total Posts : 2855
  • Joined: 2005/01/23 02:28:00
  • Location: New York City, NY
  • Status: offline
Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2016/09/23 14:52:26 (permalink)
lleechef
Out in the Adirondaks, in the woods, next to a pond, Mom's cooking, a fire, pie.......geeze, billyboy, it just doesn't get better than that!!!!!  So awesome!!!!   


Mr. Hoffman & lleechef, it was pretty great.  So relaxing and a perfect way to recharge my batteries by getting away from the noise and crazy energy of NYC.
post edited by billyboy - 2016/09/23 14:58:35
billyboy
Filet Mignon
  • Total Posts : 2855
  • Joined: 2005/01/23 02:28:00
  • Location: New York City, NY
  • Status: offline
Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2016/09/23 14:58:19 (permalink)
rudebarb
Biilboy--remarkable similarities. I too lived in Boston (4 years) and moved to Manhattan, am an actor, and spent time in the Utica/New Hartford and southern Adirondack area 35 years ago.
 
Almost moved to Camden,NY and once had the very best prime rib at a restaurant somewhere between Utica and Syracuse whose name unfortunately eludes me.
 
For an old school southern Italian place that's been around forever I highly recommend V&T on Amsterdam and 110th, if you've never been-- good food, great pizza. Compares favorably with crosstown Patsy's.last
 
 


Rudebarb, a belated welcome to Roadfood!!  Wow, that really is a similar track to my own!  Where in Boston did you live?  How long have you been in NYC and what type of acting do you perform?  Did you attend school in the Utica/New Hartford area?  I'm thinking that the prime rib place may have been Joel's Steakhouse on Rte. 365 in Verona.  It burned down some time ago but it was recognizable by the giant bull out in front that so many of my high school classmates took pictures with for the yearbook.  I'll have to check out V&T.  Love good Italian food!
rudebarb
Hamburger
  • Total Posts : 73
  • Joined: 2015/01/03 16:44:00
  • Location: NYC, NY
  • Status: offline
Re: I Say Fretta, You Say Frittata (or Fretatta!) and the Passion of the Pusty 2016/09/24 17:08:38 (permalink)
Billyboy,
 
To answer your questions--I lived mainly in Jamaica Plain, but also Southie and the South End and spent some of the best times at No Name, Santarpios and Hilltop Steakhouse.
 
But I am born and bred in NYC and was happy to return. My acting has been BG on a bunch of movies and TV shows. Hoping for more than that though.
 
 
My time upstate was due to a Utica girlfriend who lobbied hard for me to move up for good. I think you may be right about the prime rib place. Verona rings a bell--Thanks!!!!
 
As for Rtoadfood, I relied on the  first edition of the book many decades ago and have been a reader on this site for many years. though an infrequent poster.
 
Enjoy V&T-- whatever you order, don't miss the pizza.
 
Thank you for your many helpful and informative posts, particularly related to the charms of upstate eateries, which are often obscured by NYC hype.
 
 
Page: < 12345.. > >> Showing page 5 of 6
Jump to:
© 2017 APG vNext Commercial Version 5.5