Shuffling off to Buffalo for Eagles vs. Bills and More
I returned late last night from what had to be one of the most enjoyable weekend trips I've taken. My oldest friend and I have gotten into the pattern of going to an Eagles road game every other season. We settled on going to see them play the Bills this year. I've known about it for a long time, so there was plenty of time to plan, and I put a lot of time into doing so. Just about everything turned out well and there was even a surprise sight-seeing opportunity I didn't find out about until we got to our hotel and saw the brochures in the lobby.
For the drive up to Buffalo Friday, I had settled on us stopping at one of a handful of restaurants I had found by searching the stretch of US-15 from just south of Williamsport, PA, to the PA-NY border. After a lot of deliberation, I decided on a place called Me-Ma's Country Kitchen in Tioga, PA.
It was Friday, so fish fry was the special:
It's such a classic looking small town café, and you can see the desserts on and behind the counter.
My friend ordered a turkey club sandwich. He eats a lot of those and said this was better than average. I decided to go with the fish fry.
My jaw dropped a little when I saw the size of the piece of fish our server brought out.
I don't regularly eat fried fish. It's more of an occasional thing for me. But there was no denying that this was outstanding. I forget what kind of fish it was (they had it listed on the specials chalk board), but the crust was not greasy and the fish was light and flaky. That's cocktail sauce with it. I don't like mayo-based sauces, including tartar. The macaroni and cheese was average. My friend enjoyed the cole slaw.
I picked Me-Ma's because I found some fairly spectacular looking photos of meringue-topped pies there online. But I wound up being disappointed with their selection when we were there. I saw coconut on the board and inquired about getting a slice. But it turned out I misread it and the flavor was actually pineapple-coconut cream pie. They also had pineapple cream. But those didn't appeal to me. They had apple pie, which I wasn't in the mood for. So I went with chocolate. The chocolate filling was very strong and good. They used a graham cracker crust. I prefer a regular pie crust. It was served cold, which I tend not to like for cream pies. But I guess it's a risk to leave them out too long and we got there around 2 p.m., so it was understandable.
I would actually say the pie selection at Me-Ma's was the closest thing I had to a disappointment on this trip.
After we checked into our hotel near the Buffalo airport and rested a bit following the long ride, we headed out for dinner. There really was never a question that I would go for beef on weck for my first meal in Buffalo. The only issue was where to go for it. The Charlie the Butcher location that is reviewed on this site turned out to be very close to our hotel, so we went with that. And neither of us were the least bit sorry we did. We both concluded that we've never had a better hot roast beef sandwich. I also enjoyed the loganberry drink.
Saturday was a big activities day for us. To start the day, I decided to take advantage of the fact that there was an Original Pancake House near us. I know going to chains is frowned upon, but I've only been to an Original House of Pancakes once before, at the Chicago location reviewed on here, and the thought of having a Dutch Baby was close to irresistible for me.
The Dutch Babies at this location are served with fresh strawberries and strawberry syrup, in addition to the usual powdered sugar and lemon wedges. I asked for mine without the strawberries and was asked if I wanted blueberries instead. I accepted the offer.
Both the bacon, which we shared, and the fresh squeezed orange juice were eye-popping good, and the Dutch Baby did not disappoint.
My friend was happy about the fresh preserves with his toast.
After breakfast, we headed north to see one of the world's great natural wonders, the Niagara Falls. We decided to stay on the American side, which I know has lesser views, but what we saw was still fantastic. And there were an amazing number of people from Philly with their Eagles shirts and hats on at the Falls while we were there. That was the first inclination I got as to the large number of them that would be at the game.
The buildings in the first shot are on the Canadian side. A couple photos are of water heading toward the falls.
Same shot with some zoom:
We bumped into some Eagles fans posing with this flag in front of the sign and they offered to photograph us holding it. I am on the left.
In this one, you can see some people on those walk ways down below. I had no desire to get that wet.
I mentioned a sightseeing opportunity we didn't anticipate. This is one of the most surprising bits of trivia I've ever stumbled upon. It turns out that Rick James (Super-Freak) and President Millard Fillmore are buried in the same cemetery, and given the massive size of the cemetery, their plots are relatively close to each other. I was interested in seeing the Fillmore site when I heard about it. That Rick James was also there made it all the better. I am not a Rick James fan, but who'd have guessed those two are buried so close?
I couldn't resist the urge to take a photo of this woman's park job at the gas pump. She was so far away that my friend couldn't fit his pick-up next to her at the next pump over.
Our next stop was one I had planned. President McKinley was assassinated in Buffalo in 1901. Teddy Roosevelt went there to take the oath of office and the home where that happened is now a national historical site. I took a guided tour of the inside, which is a museum and gift shop downstairs.
This is the spot where he took the oath:
The next two are a model of his White House office.
We were finished with the day's non-food related activities and went from the Roosevelt site straight to one of the food stops I was very eager to get to. It certainly appears that Buffalo is arguably the best city for ice cream in the United States. I decided I absolutely had to get to at least one of the classic ice cream-candy shops in the area. I initially planned on going to Parkside Candy because of how spectacular looking the place is. But after reading up on the subject, I decided that Antoinette's would be my choice and that I could still try to hit either Parkside Candy or an Andersen's Frozen Custard if the opportunity arose and I had the appetite.
I didn't have any sponge candy, but did buy some chocolates to take home to my wife.
I decided on one of the regular-sized sundaes that were on the other side of this menu. I asked for vanilla ice cream topped with hot fudge, marshmallow, crushed nuts, and their wonderful fresh whipped cream. My friend had a small butterscotch sundae.
Notice the dripping marshmallow:
This was a fantastic ice cream-eating experience. Those homemade toppings are tremendous. But they are so rich, that when I was finished eating the sundae, I actually felt a little ill. I'm not talking about a full stomach. I mean the kind of feeling you get when you eat too much rich food. I felt that way once after eating at a fancy French restaurant. Anyway, I knew at that point that I was unlikely to go to any of the other ice cream places I was interested in. That's okay. Antoinette's was great enough to more than satisfy me.
We went back to our hotel and relaxed for a while. I was glad that the World Series was on. I watched it in our room both Friday and Saturday nights.
By around 7 or 8 p.m., we regained our appetite and decided to head out to our planned dinner, which was also a close ride from the hotel. We went to one of the Ted's Hot Dogs locations, I think the one reviewed on here.
We shared fries and both ordered an all-beef hot dog with Ted's hot sauce and chopped onions. This was one great hot dog. We both felt it was one of the best we've ever had. The sauce reminded me a bit of spicy ketchup, which worked well for me. The all beef dog with a natural casing was cooked on a grate over charcoal. We could see the flames shooting up. They had a nice char by the time they got to us.
Sunday was devoted mainly to the game. I found a place in West Seneca for us to stop on the way to the stadium for breakfast. We were met there by another guy we grew up with north of Philly from the 60s through the 80s. He drove up from Pittsburgh that morning.
The restaurant was a good solid breakfast stop. My breakfast sandwich was very good.
We weren't really sure what the parking situation was at the game and wound up unknowingly parking in the tailgate lot. The stadium doesn't have the modern bells and whistles that you get an newer stadiums, but it was great for viewing a game. The site lines were fantastic and it felt like we were closer to the field than at the Eagles stadium. And as I alluded to earlier, there were a huge number of Eagles fans there, including in our section. It was a very divided crowd.
Eagles fans celebrating late in the game when the outcome was clear.
We drove home straight from the game. None of the restaurants I had looked at in north-central PA were open late enough on Sundays to stop at. We settled for a major fast food chain about half-way home. The place was filled with Eagles fans who were also heading home.
post edited by phlmaestro - 2019/10/28 15:51:57