A Trio of Tasty Trips to Central New York

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Filet Mignon
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2013/10/29 23:14:51 (permalink)

A Trio of Tasty Trips to Central New York

Saturday July 13th, 2013 -   
I made three trips to the Utica-Rome-Syracuse area since this past July and instead of writing a trip report for each one I decided to pack them into one extended version with lots of tasty, regional eats and new-to-me sights to talk about.  I began with my annual trip to Utica-Rome for the my 4th consecutive running of the Boilermaker 15K Road Race.  While checking out the local newspaper at my mom's house, I read that a local farm a few miles up the road was having a farmer's market the next morning, selling cookies, jams and FRIED PIES!  I had plans to pick up my bib at the race expo but got up a bit earlier to scope out this market and score some pies.  As it turned out, this is the very same place where my niece attends "farm camp" each summer for a week.  She gets to work outside, care for the animals and learn about nature.  She loves it and looks forward to it each year!

Sadly, I arrived too late as the pies were sold out.  However, I did pick up some homemade black raspberry jam and jalapeno jelly both of which were quite good.

I didn't make it to The Garage, but I may have to check out their "Greens" pizza on my next visit.  Basically everything that goes into a plate of sauteed greens but on a pizza.  I've heard good reports on it from a few of my hometown friends.

My apologies for the low quality of many of these photos.  I was still using the cheapo camera I had been using in New Mexico the weekend before.  I've gotten in the habit of heading over to Roma Sausage & Deli in Utica BEFORE going to the race expo as they tend to run out of tomato pie if I wait until later.  As it turns out, this was a very good idea.  I snagged the last two of the day to take to the pre-race pasta party at the home of my friends Betsy & Pat.  

Naturally, I had to engage in some quality assurance before bringing the pies to the dinner party and they were in top form as always.  Chewy, crispy and flavorful crust, sweet & chunky tomato sauce and a liberal sprinkling of romano cheese.  

It always feels real once I pick up my bib and pint glass.

And my latest headband acquisition.  I have many days where this phrase plays over and over in my head.

Christmas ornaments for the runner in your family.

I love these regional food related t-shirts but I think I may be getting old because I couldn't stand seeing the sayings starting with the letter "U".

And now I know I'm getting old as I needed a teenager standing nearby to explain this t-shirt to me.  Dang kids and their Internets lingo!!

Another tasty locally brewed beer.  While I didn't have any on this trip I have tried it before and it's quite refreshing.

The woman in the center of this picture is Laura Skladzinski, the youngest woman to run marathons in all 50 states.  Between 2008 and 2010, she a marathon in each state and all before her 25 birthday.  Incredible!  She was on a panel along with Kathrine Switzer (the first woman to run the Boston Marathon) and Bill Rodgers (Olympic runner and repeat winner of the Boston and New York City Marathons) among other talking about the sport of distance running.  It's always comforting to hear from runners of all levels that we all go through the same ups, downs, bouts of self doubt and elation and at the end of it all we really are the same.

After the Expo, a quick trip to Holland Farms Bakery & Deli was in order.  

A Byrne Dairy chocolate milk and a much beloved "headlight" donut was just what I wanted.  Difficult to find these in NYC.

Naturally, a stop at Voss BAR B-Q just down the street was necessary.

A Mexi Dog covered in their homemade chili and a ham bbq sandwich (with extra sauce) gave me the fix I was craving!

Sunday July 14th, 2013 - Coach Doug and I before the race.

Two ladies I met up with at various points during the race.  The brunette had a homemade checklist written on the back of her shirt that said, Beat Cancer - (a check mark in a box next to it)  Grow back hair - (a check mark in a box next to it)  Finish Boilermaker 15K - (no check on this one yet and she had a friend waiting at the finish with a Sharpie).  Very, very inspiring and cool.

A homemade sign from my personal cheering section - my family.  They've been so great coming out to support my races over the years and this nickname goes back many years to the folk song "Billy Boy" that my family has sung to me since I can remember.

After a very muggy and tough race, Doug and I met up with our friend for a beer at the post race party behind the Saranac Brewery and then went with his family for lunch at Tom Cavallo's in New Hartford.  A plate of their always excellent Buffalo wings was in order.  Meaty, crispy and with a health coating of sauce, these are just as good as they were over 20 years ago when we would come for Wing Night in college.

After trying their Chicken Parm for the first time I kept asking myself why it had taken me so long.  The sauce was a nice balance of sweet and savory and they managed to keep the chicken juicy and crispy at the same time.  Another winner.

I have yet to try their pizza but this looked so good that I had to snap a picture.

On the drive back to Rome I stopped at my favorite farmer's market, North Star Orchards, for dessert  

They only make these ice blueberry cookies during blueberry season and judging by the amount of plump, ripe juicy blueberries in this cookie, I knew I made the right choice.  The cookie itself was pillowy soft and not too sweet.  The perfect way to finish the day.

Monday July 15th, 2013 - I went out for lunch at Big Daddy's Sandwiches to satisfy a craving I'd been having.  I didn't have any recent photos of their sign so I used this old one from the review I posted for Roadfood.

I've tried most of the sandwiches on the menu.

And what a treat to find Mello Yello available.

The Ruby D.

A toasted pastrami reuben sub with pastrami, kraut, swiss and thousand island dressing.  I have eaten many of these since high school and it's just as good as always.  I know it's not a classic Reuben but I love it.  Crispy, hot and a joyous mess to eat.  Definitely a multi-napkin affair!

And for dessert...

a trip to the very nondescript Ferlo's Bakery

Love those donuts and half moons.

They really do have what I feel are the best donuts in the area.  I realized on this visit that I'm not so much a fan of the vanilla cake-base half moons but the chocolate cake-base are just divine.

Much more to come...!!
THE 411:
1.)  Roma Sausage & Deli 
      2029 Bleecker Street
      Utica, NY 13501
      Ph # 315-792-1445
      No website 
2.)  Holland Farms Bakery & Deli 
      50 Oriskany Blvd (aka Rte. 5A)
      Yorkville, NY 13495
      Ph# 315-736-6044
      Website: http://hollandfarms.com
3.)  Voss Bar B-Q 
      Rte 5A (aka Oriskany Blvd.)
      Yorkville, NY 13495
      No phone or website
4.)  Tom Cavallo's Restaurant 
      40 Genesee Street
      New Hartford, NY
      Ph# 315-735-1578
      Website: http://www.cavallos.com
5.)  North Star Orchards 
      Route 233
      Westmoreland, NY 13490
      Ph# 315-853-1024
      Website: www.northstarorchards.com
6.)  Big Daddy's Sandwich Shop 
      500 N. James Street
      Rome, NY 13440
      Ph# 315-336-9556
      No website 
7.)  Ferlo's Bakery 
      522 Floyd Avenue
      Rome, NY 13440
      Ph # 315-339-8874
      No website
post edited by billyboy - 2014/02/22 05:55:21

33 Replies Related Threads

    Junior Burger
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    Re:A Trio of Tasty Trips to Central New York 2013/10/30 00:23:04 (permalink)
    Ooooh, billyboy ~ I always look forward to your trip reports, so informative and, most of all, drool worthy! So much deeeliciousness! Could/would you please describe the "headlight" donut? 
    Filet Mignon
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    Re:A Trio of Tasty Trips to Central New York 2013/10/30 01:54:58 (permalink)
    A belated welcome to Roadfood, macaroni!  Thanks for the kind words.  A headlight is a yeast donut, no hole and NOT filled.  It's chocolate frosted and dotted with white vanilla frosting in the center to create the "headlight" effect.  Many local bakeries also make "taillights"  The same style of donut but vanilla frosted and dotted with raspberry jam in the center.
    Double Cheeseburger
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    Re:A Trio of Tasty Trips to Central New York 2013/10/30 02:04:09 (permalink)
    Yummmmmmmmmmmmmmy......looking forward to the rest of the report.
    Filet Mignon
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    Re:A Trio of Tasty Trips to Central New York 2013/10/30 07:24:55 (permalink)
    My kind of training menu! 
    Fire Safety Admin
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    Re:A Trio of Tasty Trips to Central New York 2013/10/30 08:02:35 (permalink)
    Terrific report billyboy, even if it is a little light on pies.  Out of pies.....  it is enough to make a grown man cry!    I very much enjoyed my visit to Big Daddy Sandwiches earlier this year.  Since there may be one or two of us (including myself) on here who are old and out of touch, please explain what the t-shirt says.
    Very much looking forward to more! 
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    Re:A Trio of Tasty Trips to Central New York 2013/10/30 08:14:40 (permalink)
     You know me, I'll take savory over sweet any day.
    Those wings look like they'll make any upstater proud. And the chicken park doesn't appear to be a slouch either
    Keep it coming!
    Double Cheeseburger
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    Re:A Trio of Tasty Trips to Central New York 2013/10/30 09:17:59 (permalink)
    Beautiful report! Top shelf and interesting about the young marathoner, Laura. Is it true that in Rhode Island she had to run the same 13.1 mile leg twice?
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    Re:A Trio of Tasty Trips to Central New York 2013/10/30 09:25:14 (permalink)

    Terrific report billyboy, even if it is a little light on pies.  Out of pies.....  it is enough to make a grown man cry!    I very much enjoyed my visit to Big Daddy Sandwiches earlier this year.  Since there may be one or two of us (including myself) on here who are old and out of touch, please explain what the t-shirt says.

    Very much looking forward to more! 

    Great report billy boy.  I think RF needs a road trip to Central NY so we can all try these places.
    BB--If I read it right the grey T says "I Heart (Love) Swimming ( or maybe waving at people)
    No clue as to all the references on the "U" T.  Must be  a local thing, "u" wouldn't understand.
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    Re:A Trio of Tasty Trips to Central New York 2013/10/30 09:58:06 (permalink)
    Damn, I'm full now!
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    Re:A Trio of Tasty Trips to Central New York 2013/10/30 11:55:04 (permalink)

    A homemade sign from my personal chewing section - my family.  They've been so great coming out to support my races over the years and this nickname goes back many years to the folk song "Billy Boy" that my family has sung to me since I can remember.
    Darn.  I was hoping for an amusing story about an adventure you had with toilet paper.
    But despite that disappointment I'm looking forward to your other 2 trips!
    ann peeples
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    Re:A Trio of Tasty Trips to Central New York 2013/10/30 13:00:12 (permalink)
    Filet Mignon
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    Re:A Trio of Tasty Trips to Central New York 2013/10/30 18:05:09 (permalink)
    Thanks myterry2!
    I'm right there with ya , CTD!
    BB, fear not good sir.  I more than make up for the pie shortage in the next two installments.  There's a Subway sandwich shop just a few blocks away from Big Daddy's and I can never bring myself to go there knowing that Big Daddy's exists. Anytime family or friends want to go there I try to steer them to Big Daddy's.  The symbol in the middle of the t-shirt is supposed to be a heart.  The symbol on the right is the logo for the Boilermaker.  It's supposed to represent a runner with one arm forward and one arm back.  I think it threw me because it's displayed sideways.
    WJ, I've loved every plate of wings I've ever eaten at Cavallo's and that's quite a few since 1989!  I've discovered over the years that chicken parm presented on a metal platter always seems to be great.  I think they may stick it in the broiler for 30 seconds or so to get the cheese all brown and bubbly.
    Nice one, Pancho!!
    crew84row, I would love to put together a tour of the Utica-Rome area.  Some interesting historical sights to see and a wealth of great Roadfood!  You nailed it about the t-shirt.  It's a heart symbol.  The first t-shirt is an homage to local drink & food.  Saranac Beer, Chicken Riggies, half moons and Voss BAR B-Q are well known to locals for many years.  I believe the last one is as well but I have never been to either place.  
    Twinwillow, then my job here is done!
    ScreamingChicken, a running adventure with TP is one that is unlikely to have a happy ending!
    Thanks ann peeples!
    post edited by billyboy - 2013/10/31 05:38:55
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    Re:A Trio of Tasty Trips to Central New York 2013/10/30 22:27:59 (permalink)
    Billy - Looking like anoher wonderful mid summer adventure in and around the home site.  Food and running though.....
    Some mighty fine looking eats my friend
    Filet Mignon
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    Re:A Trio of Tasty Trips to Central New York 2013/10/30 22:52:40 (permalink)
    Monday July 29th, 2013 - Okay, so this is actually going to be a quartet of trips.  This next one isn't in Central NY but Monroe, NY (the birthplace of Liederkranz (an American re-creation of Limburger cheese) and Velveeta Cheese), about an hour north of NYC.  I get up there from time to time to visit my friends Eben & Natalie and their new baby, Charlotte.  Eben ran the NYC Marathon with me in 2011 and has been one of my coaches and wingmen for years.  A couple of weeks after the Boilermaker, I took the train up to spend an overnight with them and tune out the urban craziness of NYC for a bit.

    Many times on our runs in Monroe, we have passed by NY Hot Dog and it's been on my list for some time.  Eb has been here before and really likes it. 

    Lady Liberty approved!

    Check out those prices!

    Eb's dog with onion sauce, jalapeños and mustard.

    Eb also picked up a second dog with chili, cheese, chopped onions and jalapeños. 

    We split a chili dog with jalapeños and slaw.  He's never had a slaw dog before but I think I converted him. The flavor of the chili was really good but I could have done without the kidney beans.  In a bowl?  Bring 'em on!  I just prefer a "meat sauce" style chili on my hot dog.

    My corn dog starter.  Very big and very tasty.  The cornmeal batter was fried just right so it was crunchy but soft and cakey inside and the flavor of the dog came through.  I really can't say what type of dog he uses here.  John Fox, have you been here before?  

    Love, loved, loved these homemade baked beans.

    The fried corn fritters were a winner.  Not like hush puppies but more like fried creamed corn, only thicker. 

    The onion rings were ok but not the best I've ever had.

    This homemade potato salad was the sleeper hit for me.  I was talking to the owner and I mentioned the bacon wrapped dogs at Crif Dogs in NYC and asked if he ever thought of wrapping his in bacon.  He said it sounded like a good idea but he never has any leftover bacon as he uses most of it in his potato salad.  Wait? What?  That's all I had to hear!!  This was a chunky-style, with chopped hard-boiled eggs, herbs and coated in a mayo-mustard mix. It was great already but the bacon mixed in brought it to another level.

    The Millpond where we do much of our running.  A very scenic area to picnic, walk, run and just take in the town.  


    If you're interested in running around the Millpond this handy list lets runners know of the various routes they can take.  Just off the the side of the Millpond is the Orange Heritage Trail which is a lovely place to run.  Quiet and set along some old railroad tracks, it has old railroad cars and scenic views along the trail that stretches around 10 miles.  

    Before heading back to the house we ran into the very big, slobbery dog whose name I don't remember but who was incredibly sweet and adorable.  

    That's it for this installment!  In the next episode...a hot ham/bbq ham sandwich smack down, a trip back to my childhood and to the Revolutionary War, PIE, cheese curds, chicken riggies, pusties, wine ice cream(?), relaxing in the Adirondack Mtns. and some killer bread!
    The 411:
    NY Hot Dog
    711 New York 17M
    Monroe, NY 10950
    Ph# 845-837-1919
    No website
    post edited by billyboy - 2015/05/26 14:28:02
    Filet Mignon
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    Re:A Trio of Tasty Trips to Central New York 2013/11/02 20:14:18 (permalink)
    What I Did This Summer In Central NY - Part 2 or It's Getting' Hot (Ham) Up In Here!!
    Friday September 13th, 2013 - My annual trip to Rome, NY for the running of the Delta Lake Half Marathon took on a new meaning for me this year.  I wasn't in shape to run it as I hadn't been training but I didn't want to miss it so I chose to volunteer on the sidelines.  My first stop was at the local Nice-N-Easy convenience store where I procured some tasty, regionally-made 1000 Islands "River Rat" cheese curds.  

    These were garden herb flavored and while they didn't squeak they made for quite a delicious snack.  

    I spied some pasticciotti (aka pusties), a local Italian pastry specialty at the register so I picked up a chocolate and a vanilla.  The girl at the register said they came from a bakery in Utica, NY but I forget the name.  Honestly, these were not very good. Notice how the filling in the vanilla looks chunky?  It should never be that way.  And the chocolate filling had a flavor that was off-putting to me.  Many convenience stores carry pusties, half moon cookies and slice of tomato pie from local bakeries at the check out counter.  More often than not I have been disappointed with these offerings and have found that it really is best to get them at the source when they are at their peak of freshness.  It had been quite some time since I had bought any at a convenience store and apparently I had forgotten why!

    Dinner on this night was at Teddy's Restaurant and based on this list I knew that dessert would be in my near future.  

    I was in the mood for Chicken Riggies and fortunately they were able to provide me with a 1/2 order.  An excellent dish but very filling and stick-to-your-ribs and I ended up bringing half of this home.  

    I snagged a bite or two from my mom's coconut cream pie...

    but I knew from the moment I saw the dessert board that blueberry pie a la mode and I had a date and it was everything I had hoped for.  Buttery, flaky crust and a perfectly sweet filling chock full of fresh blueberries.  No need for a doggy bag with this one!

    I swung by the local Stewart's Convenience store to pick up the daily newspaper for my mom and for a quart of my much loved Byrne Dairy chocolate milk.  Always a good choice.  

    Saturday September 14th, 2013 - This day was the beginning of my hot ham/bbq ham sandwich smack down.  While I didn't try as many as I would have liked I did put a respectable dent in my ongoing list of places to try (and I even found a new-to-me spot that's coming up in the next installment!).  My first stop was Cinderella's Cafe in Sylvan Beach, NY.  

    I opted to sit outside on the patio so I could people watch but it was pretty quiet.  It's a busy town in the summer but business and the amount of vacationers drops off quite a bit after Labor Day.  I started out with a Creamsicle-like Saranac Orange Cream soda. 

    The menu lists the hot ham sandwich as being on a toasted kaiser roll but this buttered and grilled Texas toast was just fine.  And those homemade potato chips were perfect. 

    This was by far the thickest cut hot ham I've ever had.  There was some chew to it which was a good thing.  The combination of the warm, spicy ham, melted Swiss cheese and that crispy buttery toast was aces with me.  I had never had it with cheese before but now I may have to rethink how I order if this is available elsewhere!

    Stop #2 was at Eddie's Restaurant, just a short walk down the street and within eyeshot of Cinderella's.  

    They've spiffed up the place a bit and added a bright, shiny new sign in front.

    At Eddie's I ALWAYS make room for a slice or two of their fabulous homemade pie.

    When dining alone here I opt to sit at the old counter which is part of the original lunch counter restaurant.  My mom remembers coming here as a kid and this was all they had.  Now they can seat over 100 I believe.

    Hot ham!  Mmmmmm...

    I spent many a Friday evening in the right side of this line as a kid, my face inches from the glass of the dessert case, dreaming of which pie I would be getting for dessert.  

    My hot ham on a roll.  I don't think this roll was toasted but it was really fresh so no biggie there.  The huge pile of warm, thinly sliced, spicy ham was just wonderful and they had some (homemade?) barbecue sauce that I tried on it which elevated it even more.  An amazing sandwich.  Love the placemat underneath with ads for local businesses.

    A slice of chocolate cream pie was in order.  I had to get back to Rome pretty soon so I ordered it to go.  I only regret doing that as this picture in the takeout container doesn't do it justice.  Rich, creamy and an excellent homemade crust.  

    Before heading out I walked over to the shore of Oneida Lake to take in the view and saw this guy scanning the beach with his metal detector.  I haven't seen anyone using one of those in decades!

    Not long after I got back to Rome we hopped in the car and drove north to Boonville, NY to visit our aunt and uncle at their cabin in the woods.  

    They are two of our favorite people and have been a huge influence on me and the type of person I am for many years.  Many of their kids and grandkids stopped by as well so it was like a mini family reunion.  They built this cabin a number of years ago and installed the pond as well.  I could spend all day just sitting on the log bench out here listening to the birds and the trees.  Sometimes it's good to get out of the city and reconnect with nature just to recharge the old batteries.

    They own much of the land up here and have built a series of cabins of different sizes that they rent out to hikers, campers and snowmobilers.  An enthusiasm for the outdoors is well rewarded in these parts.  So I took a short hike down the path to the other cabins.

    Past the signs...


    And across the bridge...

    Ahh, the sounds of the stream!

    Hypnotic and relaxing.

    They do have bigger cabins down the trail a ways but this is the most rustic one.  Just two twin beds on the ground floor, a full or queen in the loft and a reading writing desk.  That's all.  The have a shower/bathroom house down the trail.  No TV, no internets.  A fire pit and the sounds of nature to lull you to sleep.  My kind of camping!  Now if I can just (con)vince my city friends to come camping with me...

    And Mr. Bear to greet you in the morning as the sun rises!

    It's always wonderful to spend time with our aunt and uncle and after we parted ways we headed out to dinner at a local restaurant near this hotel.  Swampwater Slushy?  Sounds like the name of a lost Lynyrd Skynyrd song.  Actually, the list of ingredients for this drink sounds like they were cribbed from a Scorpion Bowl at Kowloon's.  

    The Boondocks is a big hit with ATV and snowmobile enthusiasts.  The interior has a faux rock wall and tiny stream running through the dining room.  The staff were nice enough but the food was just ok.  I wanted to like it more than I did.

    We passed Mercer's Dairy on the way up here so we all had made a mental note to save room for ice cream.  As a kid we had a Mercer's convenience store down the street that sold their own brand ice cream but I had always assumed that it was the only place.  I never knew there was a whole dairy up here.  Score! 

    Something about the simple designs and the writing on these half gallons brings me back to my childhood.  I love that there aren't any cartoon characters or commercialized tie-ins.  They let the ice cream sell itself.  

    Plus, they sell local cheese curds as well as Buffalo wing cheese and spread.  Now all I need are some crackers.

     And they are fully stocked with Saranac sodas.

     Black Raspberry Ripple?  Butterscotch Ripple?  Yeah, baby.

     Any place that is THIS dog friendly gets major points from me.  

     Apparently, Mercer's is the home of "wine ice cream".  I've heard that it is quite good but not being a fan of booze being IN my desserts I didn't think to ask for  a sample.  F\However, flavors such as Port, Chocolate Cabernet, Red Raspberry Chardonnay and Cherry Merlot do sound intriguing.  

    I went for a chocolate and nut coated waffle cone with two scoops:  Adirondack Brownie and Butter Pecan.  Creamy, lot of great intended flavors and not just sugary sweetness that can plague lesser ice creams.  I was just perusing their website and apparently they carry many local NY State based items such as Amish butter, Croghan Bologna, Lowville Cheese Curd, Holland Farms half moon cookies, cheese and spread from the Adirondack Cheese Company (as seen in the case above) and even Spiedies from Lupo's in Endicott, NY.  This region was a HUGE dairy/cheese producing area about 100 years ago and thankfully there are still some places still putting in the hard work for our enjoyment.

     My niece and I enjoying our cones on the big chair outside.  They have a few picnic tables in front as well.

    Sunday September 15th, 2013 -  Race Day!!  I was here at Lee Town Park the day before as my friend Betsy was watching her son's soccer game and we had a chance to catch up.  I'd be seeing her at the race as she was running.  I had to come by before the race to take a photo of this...

    The Little League field where I used to play ball.  If you build it they will come...  Playing right next to a cornfield was just normal for me but looking back on it now I realize how awesome it really was.  I don't think the scouts were ever going to draft me based on my skills but I sure had a lot of fun.

    Off to the Town of Western about 5 miles from my mom's house and just around the bend from Delta Lake where I grew up fishing and camping.  

     And the quaint town library.

     I don't think I ever realized it until this day but the water station where I was assigned was directly across this street from this historical landmark.  



     And the current owner of the homestead is really into the history of the place.  He has had it restored to its look when Gen. Floyd lived there and he even dresses up as him as part of his care taking of the house.  A very cool story here:  http://www.generalwilliam..dhouse.org/welcome.html


     The Mile 2 marker for the half marathon.

     The runners should be coming by very soon!

     Plenty of water for my friends.  So many times family and friends have gotten up super early to stand by the road, cheering me on and handing me water to keep me going.  It just felt right to be there for my friends and let them know I knew they could do it.

     Chris Neiley was a member of the Roman Runners who passed away recently and this was a way for the club to honor his memory.  

     I'll most likely be running this race again in 2014 and I'm mulling over doing this challenge but a thick, dairy-rich chocolate shake (and Stewarts' shakes are REALLY good!) sloshing around for 6.1 miles?  Not so sure.

    The shore of Delta Lake.  After I had finished my duties at the water table I headed back to the park where I met many of my runner friends who were not running this years for a number of reasons but who were also volunteering to be part of the day and support their friends and families,  I love these people!  I was on finisher's medal detail and had the honor of placing Betsy's medal around her back as she crossed the finish line!
    I posted this on my Facebook page not long after the race and I also wanted to share it here as it was my favorite moment of the race, the day and of the trip:  In almost 4 years of running I've seen much beauty, grace and inspiration while out on the course. Today while volunteering at the Delta Lake Half Marathon in Rome, NY I witnessed one of the most beautiful, touching moments to date. I was giving out medals at the finish and a woman crossed, utterly exhausted and spent. Her family was there to greet her and they told her someone else had come to watch her finish. She turned and saw a woman who had lost all of her hair (I'm guessing from chemo) and she froze for a second then began to shake and sob and she hugged her so tightly. It was then that I began to cry and remembered that for as much as I love the solitude and the clarity that running gives me, the support from the people I love is the fuel that keeps the fire burning inside. For everyone who has ever stood in the extreme heat, cold, rain, snow, sleet, driven/ridden hundreds of miles (sometimes while sick) just to catch a fleeting glimpse, dragged themselves out of a warm bed early on a Sunday morning to be my personal cheering section, held back on their own run to keep pace with me, come back out on the course after finishing to encourage me to dig down and finish strong...I stand on your shoulders. Thank you so much!!!!!

    After the race I made a beeline to Voss Bar B-Q in Yorkville, NY. 

    A bbq ham and bbq turkey sandwich, slathered in lots of their homemade BBQ sauce.  Never gets old.

     And some red birch beer to wash it down.  

     I saw these kitties being sweet in the window next door to my second stop.

     Roma Sausage & Deli in Washington Mills, NY.  I was very close to being Travelin' Manned here as I had initially planed to go to their original location in Utica, NY but I called before leaving Rome and they were closing before I would get there but the owner told me that this second location would still be open and they had plenty of tomato pie left.  Whew!  Crisis averted.

     Roma makes their own meatballs, sausage, tomato pie and also carries an extensive line of Italian provisions (meats, cheeses, olives, pastas, sauces, etc).  They also have locally made Terrell's potato chips in stock!

     Ready to eat on the hood of the car.  Just as good as the original location.  Three or four slices later and I was ready to move on to my next stop.  Helpful hint:  I still had some tomato pie left over so I packed it in Tupperware to take on the train.  I had stacked one layer on top of the other which I found was not a good idea as the bottom crust on the top layer became soggy from touching the sauce on the bottom layer.  Wax paper next time or single layers in small containers.  Nonetheless, it was still pretty darn good and it didn't last all the way to Penn Station.  

     I did finally get Travelin' Manned as I was looking for a bbq ham sandwich spot called The Other Guys and after driving for a bit I called them only to discover that the phone number was disconnected.
    So my next stop was Charlie Boy's in New Hartford, NY.   

      A small regional chain, I had just heard about them while researching where to go for my beloved hot ham sandwiches.

     They offer a Jumbo Hot Ham and a Ham Bar-B-Que sandwich.  What to do??

     A pretty clean, spiffy, seasonal place with outdoor patio seating only.  

     Charlie Boy is the original owner's son.  

     Is it just me or do these mascots look aged?  

     I couldn't decide so I went with a ham bar-b-que.  Really good.  The sauce is a dark, thick, sweet sauce.  Not much kick to it but it paired well with the thinly sliced ham and the buttered and toasted the roll which is a huge plus in my book. 

     And of course a Jumbo hot ham on a long roll.  Really, really loved this one.  Lots of spicy kick from the pickled hot pepper relish.  I do wish they had buttered and toasted the roll a bit more but a minor quibble.  I swiped it through some of the extra bbq sauce on my other sandwich and it got even better.  Can't wait to come back next summer.

     Heading back to Rome I drove by the Oriskany Battlefield site and thought, "42 years and I've never even been here!".  I made amends on this day.  There was a park guide on site but I just wanted to walk it and take it in by myself.  Central NY has a lot of history connected to the Revolutionary War.  The war really tore the region, alliances  and even families apart.  The Native Americans and colonists had to choose allegiances, sometimes pitting members of families against one another.  It's hard to imagine that so many people lost their lives here.  It's so beautiful.  I'll let the signs do most of the talking.  




     An artist's rendering of the battle (at the base of the monument).






     Such beauty in these rolling hills and such sacrifice.

     I wasn't really sure where to put this picture so I decided to shoehorn it in here.  I did take this shot after leaving the Oriskany Battlefield and before I reached my mom's house.  Over the weekend we tried to locate some Amish families by the roadside selling baked goods but they usually just sell Monday through Friday.  The reason why I point this out is that over the past 5 years or so there has been a massive influx of Amish families relocating to Central NY from Pennsylvania.  From what I understand based on talking to the locals, a lot of "hydrofracking" (slick water hydraulic fracturing of rocks to extract natural gas) has been taking place in Pennsylvania and the Amish have not been happy with it happening in their communities and there is a lot of available land in CNY so it just made sense to move move this way.  Many of these signs, pole barns, buggy sightings and roadside pies, cookies and breads have been spotted in increasing numbers recently.  

     After a relaxing nap, I suggested to my mom that we have dinner at Nicky Doodles in Rome.  Of course, part of this was so that I could add one more hot ham sandwich to my list!  Mid September and they're already starting with the pumpkin!


     Mom's onion rings were pretty good.

     This definitely goes in my Top 5 Hot Ham sandwiches list. The ham was moist, yet crusty and had a nice kick from the red pepper flakes and the bun had a perfect balance of toasty/charred goodness.  In the back is a small cup of their "Gold" bbq sauce which is mustard based and worked oh so well with the ham.

     I am destined to NEVER be able to take a good picture of this sign!!

     No matter as the sundae is awesome.  That pure maple syrup and those chopped honey roasted peanuts get me every time.

    Monday September 16th, 2013 - My friend, Lori, recently moved back to Rome with her husband after about 20 years away and has since become a HUGE booster for shopping and eating local whenever possible.  She had mentioned a really good bakery to me but I didn't remember the name.  A quick text later and mom and I were headed to Risen Bakery for lunch.  (UPDATE: Saturday September 3, 2016 - while reading the online version of the Rome Sentinel (my hometown newspaper), I found out that Risen Bakery has been CLOSED for some time.  They do sell the breads and other baked good in local stores.  Once I have more info on that I will post it here.) It's housed in a building that used to be the home of Rome Electronics and the exterior still has an industrial feel to it.  There were many factories and industrial buildings that closed in the late 1980s and early 1990s.  It nice to see that some are being repurposed with quality businesses.



     While I wasn't crazy about the cream of broccoli soup my ham & swiss with honey mustard on a freshly baked, seeded roll was simply amazing.  I could have easily eaten another one.  Really, really good bread truly does elevate a sandwich to new heights. 

     Mom ordered a half turkey sandwich on freshly baked, seeded bread.  I forget exactly what was on it but I tried some and it was quite good.  This was one crazy sandwich as the "half" sandwich came on a half loaf of bread.  When she brought out the full loaf and cut it in half and began assembling it my jaw hit the floor.  Mom had to take half of the half home as it was so huge!

     I picked up some locally made peanut butter fudge for the road and it was really good.

     More Amish butter...

     and cheese curds.  I think I need to make a trip to the Lowville Cheese Store!  I hear the Lowville Diner up that way is pretty good.  Make it two fer.

     An old phot of the Rome train station from the early 1900s.

     It really is a beautiful station but sadly it is not manned at all (and it was closed for a while some years ago) as Rome really isn't a destination anymore.


     A picture perfect chocolate pusty from Risen Bakery.  One can tell by the lack of of the telltale "button" on the top that would usually signify a vanilla custard version.

     Aside from the "handfuls of heaven" at Florentine Pastry Shop in Utica, this chocolate pusty was one of the better versions I've had in some time. Note: be mindful not to break it open over your shirt or shoes, lest you end up wearing some of the filling!

    Whew!  A very busy weekend indeed.  Lots of sights and great food.  I think I may turned INTO a ham after that smack down.  
    Don't touch that dial!  On deck...killer chicken parm (again!), a bowling alley patty melt, a trip back in time for pumpkin picking with the family, greens (no eggs) and wicked good hot ham, LOTS of pie, Fifi's AMAZING sauce and a visit with Gumby and RFer Lexi's brother at his one of a kind cafe in Vernon, NY!!!
    The 411:
    1.)  1000 Islands "River Rat" Cheese 
          242 James Street
          Clayton, NY
          Ph# 1.800.752.1341
          Website: https://www.riverratcheese.net/ 
    2.)  Teddy's Restaurant
          851 Black River Blvd.
          Rome, NY
          Ph# 315.336.7839
          Website: http://www.teddysrestaurantny.com/ordereze/default.aspx 
    3.)  Cinderella's Restaurant 
          1208 Main Street
          Sylvan Beach, NY
          Ph# 315.762.4280
          Website: http://www.cinderellasrestaurant.com/ 
    4.)  Eddie's Restaurant
          901 Main Street
          Sylvan Beach, NY
          Ph# 315.762-4269
          Website:  http://www.eddies1934.com/
    5.)  Mercer's Dairy
          13584 NYS Route 12
          Boonville, NY
          Ph# 315.942.2611
          Website: http://www.mercersdairy.com/ 
    6.)  Roma Sausage & Deli
          3921 Oneida St
          New Hartford, NY 13413
          Ph# 315-737-4283
          Website: http://romasausage.townsquareinteractive.com/
    7.)  Charlie Boy's (closed as of MAY 2015)
          61 Clinton Road
          New Hartford, NY 13413
          Ph# 315-733-2878
          No website
    8.)  Oriskany Battlefield
          7801 N.Y. Rte. 69
          Oriskany, NY 13424
          Ph# 315-768-7224
          Website: http://nysparks.com/historic-sites/21/details.aspx
    9.)  Nicky Doodles
          1159 Erie Blvd. West
          Rome, NY 13440
          Ph# 315-339-5395
          Website: http://www.nickydoodles.com/index.html
    10.)  Risen Bakery
            216 Erie Blvd. East
            Rome, NY 13440
            Ph# 315-533-5767
            Website: http://risenfoods.com/
    post edited by billyboy - 2016/09/03 18:25:22
    TJ Jackson
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    Re:A Trio of Tasty Trips to Central New York 2013/11/02 20:35:21 (permalink)
    What is a "Hoffman Snappy"
    Filet Mignon
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    Re:A Trio of Tasty Trips to Central New York 2013/11/02 20:45:15 (permalink)
    TJ, it's a hot dog (also known as a Coney) made by the Hofmann Hot Dog Company in Syracuse, NY.  A Snappy is a pork & veal dog made with egg whites.  I enjoy them but I much prefer their German franks.
    Link:  http://store.hofmannhotdo...ey-s-sm-gift-pack.html
    post edited by billyboy - 2013/11/02 20:46:16
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    Re:A Trio of Tasty Trips to Central New York 2013/11/02 21:37:39 (permalink)
    Another great report. The food all looks good but the sandwich from Nicky Doodles looks great. Great photos of the food and area. Thank You for the report.
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    Re:A Trio of Tasty Trips to Central New York 2013/11/02 22:55:18 (permalink)
    Billyboy - your report is starting to thaw the ice from my brain and I can actually remember some good things about living in Rochester, well not as much for living in rochester, but for the food in the area
    I was an athletic trainer in HS and milk shakes and running in heat dont usually end up to well. 
    TJ Jackson
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    Re:A Trio of Tasty Trips to Central New York 2013/11/03 09:15:45 (permalink)
    TJ, it's a hot dog (also known as a Coney) made by the Hofmann Hot Dog Company in Syracuse, NY.  A Snappy is a pork & veal dog made with egg whites.  I enjoy them but I much prefer their German franks.
    Link:  http://store.hofmannhotdo...ey-s-sm-gift-pack.html

    I was thinking it might have been created to honor Michael Hoffman's bravery in the Battle of Oriskany, but your explanation seems somewhat more reasonable
    • Total Posts : 6350
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    Re:A Trio of Tasty Trips to Central New York 2013/11/03 11:40:59 (permalink)
    Amazing report, fantastic pics, great choices of Roadfod places, I'd love to visit all of them!
    Keep up the great work billyboy!
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    Re:A Trio of Tasty Trips to Central New York 2013/11/03 12:25:07 (permalink)
    The historical perspective really adds to the report, Billy - great idea to include it!
    The food looks great but I think my favorite shot is of the taped stool at Eddie's.  There's just something suspicious about a place that doesn't have at least one repaired vinyl seating surface somewhere!
    Double Cheeseburger
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    Re:A Trio of Tasty Trips to Central New York 2013/11/03 13:00:05 (permalink)
    Yes, billyboy, your food pictures (and descriptions) would by themselves be a great report, but the extra things you throw in really make it better, by far, and make me want to visit the places.
    Boy, they like ham with barbecue sauce over there.  In Wisconsin, pretty much the whole state,  "hot ham" is a thing in supermarkets on Sunday.  They will offer a special of one pound sliced your way and a half dozen rolls for about six bucks.  But  barbecue sauce is never mentioned here in any connection with ham.
    The train station is beautiful.  Having retired from the railroad, I've been in a lot of depots, and that one is outstanding. 
    Wondering about that Risen bakery.  Is that there possibly a religious connotation to that?
    Great job.  I always know a report from bullyboy will be a good one.  I like the people you throw in too.
    Double Cheeseburger
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    Re:A Trio of Tasty Trips to Central New York 2013/11/03 13:02:03 (permalink)
    I meant billyboy!  Really!  The 'i' and the 'u' are right next to each other, and I keep doing that!
    Filet Mignon
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    Re:A Trio of Tasty Trips to Central New York 2013/11/04 04:25:22 (permalink)
    A Third Helping of Central NY or Plenty of Pasta, Pies, Pumpkins (and then some!)
    Saturday October 12th, 2013 - My girlfriend, Dayna, and I decided to take a short trip to Syracuse for Columbus Day weekend to spend some time with our niece, Maddie, and the rest of the family and get in some pumpkin picking.  Syracuse has many fine places to eat but I had been reading a series on Syracuse.com about the best pizzerias, breakfast spots, etc and Avicolli's Pizza & Restaurant was touted as a favorite of the judges for best pizza and it was just a couple of miles down the road from my sister's house.


    We started out with a gratis basket of garlic knots for the table.  They were okay and had lots of garlic but I think I just prefer garlic bread/garlic toast.  I find knots to be too doughy.

    When I saw Utica Style greens on the menu I ordered a plate for the table to share.  Escarole, sautéed with garlic, olive oil, hot peppers, pancetta and seasoned bread crumbs (with romano cheese, I believe).  Normally I prefer a very bare bones version with much added in but this was one of the best renditions of this local dish I have had in some time.  Earthy, crunchy, wilted, spicy, it had so much going on and all came together very nicely.  

    A cup of Italian Wedding soup was just right.

    Dayna's Spaghetti Amtriciana was rich and a nice kick to it. 

    My sister's Fettuccine with Vodka sauce and meatballs was excellent.

    I had initially come here to try the pizza but after seeing the Chicken Parmigiana at someone's table when I walked in, I had to rethink my goal for this place and I'm so glad I did.  Sometimes, I've been disappointed by mushy breading, dry chicken, canned sauce and/or rubbery cheese.  This was on point in every respect.  The sauce had a bright, fresh taste to it, LOTS of melty, browned mozzarella that didn't overwhelm, the chicken was juicy and that breading stayed crispy.  

    Maddie's Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce.  The portions are HUGE and the food is top notch.  I'd definitely come back, especially to try their pizza, Chicken Riggies and Long Hots Parmigiana.  

    Saturday October 13th, 2013 - Dayna and I went out to run a few errands this morning and then grab lunch before we all hades east to meet my mom for pumpkin picking.  We originally thought we'd go to HEID'S until we pulled in the lot on an unseasonably warm day to find a very long line out the door.  Boo!  No HEID'S on this trip!  We passed Reggie's Diner on the way so I decided turn around and give it a try.

    Wait, a diner IN a bowling alley?  This could be a good thing!

    I liked the little set up that they have here.  It was quiet on this day but one could come in and watch league play and see a "7-10 split" while chowing down on a burger on a given day.  I'm a pretty mediocre bowler but when it's played well I love to watch it.

    Dayna and I grabbed a seat at the counter and had a nicer conversation with our waitress.  They've been here for a couple of decades but unfortunately they would be closing on October 31st as they had lost their lease.  

    I started out with a cold chocolate milk.  

    Dayna had a grilled chicken sandwich with fries which she really liked.  

    I zeroed in on the Patty Melt and chips.  Sorry I didn't get a better shot of it but it was a hot, gooey mess and I loved it.  Exactly what I was craving without even knowing I was craving it.

    Don't think I'll be taking this sign to heart!

    Speach is on my list of places in Syracuse I have yet to try but I've heard good reports from locals.  

    Maddie made this Play-Doh replica of the Brooklyn Bridge for me.  We had lots of fun all weekend making Play-Doh pizza, pies and cakes.  

    On our way to the pumpkin patch I saw this sign at a traffic light.  I knew "corn hole" as a very off color reference until about a years ago when my friend Eben had set up a tailgating corn hole game in his backyard at a cookout. 

    Next door to the pumpkin patch I spied this outdoor oven so I went over to chat with the home owner.  Her husband had recently built it and she has been experimenting with different recipes.  Reminded me very much of Davyd's Trip Report to the Grand Marais in Minnesota where he took part in building an oven.  Still one of my favorite reports:  http://www.roadfood.com/F...517221&high=marais

    Our mom and dad used to bring my sister and I to Will's Cackleberry Castle Pumpkin Farm in Camden, NY when we were little.  I haven't been here in at least 30 years!  They were closed for a about 15 years after the original owners retired and their kids didn't take over.  A couple of the grandchildren wanted to renew the family tradition and they have been reopened now for a few years.  We met our mom and her friend, Debbie, who was visiting from Montreal for the weekend.  I knew we wouldn't have time for a trip to Rome so I was very happy that she was able to come pumpkin picking and to dinner with us!

    A tradition in my family for many years when I was little.

    Plenty of pumpkins to choose from though it was a bit odd to be engaging in this fall tradition on a 70 degree day.

    Given the slope of the land here Peter Pumpkin may be on to something.

    Billyboy, never missing a chance to goof off.

    No, that's not me being dunked!

    The graveyard.

    Now I know how I meet my end!

    Ms. Pumpkin, the Talking Pumpkin.  She's still here after all of these years!  I remember speaking to her as a little kid!  She looks a bit misshapen but it's always fun to ask her questions.  Some of the little kids were asking, "Are you orange?"  "Do you like pumpkin pie?"  I'd tell you all how she is able to speak but I don't want to ruin the magic.

    A little history on the name...


    Another classic display here are the pumpkin totem poles.

    They also have a kids' section with a bouncy house, swing set and animals.  We spent some time with the goats, rabbits and this intense looking turkey who was quite the gobbler!  Having spent time at farm camp the last couple of summers, Maddie really enjoyed the animals and told me about the work she did at camp and the names for the animals there.

    They had a lot of local maple syrup, honey, cider, apple and other produce for sale but we didn't pickup anything today.

    We opted for a few snacks to share before dinner.

    I picked up a hot apple cider, a slice of pumpkin bread and a cinnamon sugar donut.

    Dennis picked up an apple cider donut.  We passed them around to share and they were all very good.  The window was busy and had a steady line so nothing sat around for too long which I think is a good sign at any place making baked goods.

    We were debating where to go for dinner and never wanting to miss an opportunity, I voted that we go to Eddie's Restaurant in Sylvan Beach.  Their last day for the season would be October 20th so this would be our last chance for the year and it IS a family favorite.  Eddie's is is!!!

    Love that nighttime neon!!

    Being a beachfront community this has been a problem over the years, prompting this sign.

    Dayna ordered the FiFi's Special.  Described on the menu as "Tender pieces of pork and beef that creates Eddie's Famous sauce paired with hot peppers, sweet peppers or mixed".  Dayna went with the mixed peppers and chose rigatoni as her pasta.  I swear, they have totally undersold this!  After just one bite I questioned how it was possible that I have been coming here for over 30 years and have never tried this dish.  A crime, I say!  The pork and beef were so painfully tender that I think they would have fallen apart had I stared at them.  And they both infused so much flavor into the savory sauce.  The hot and sweet peppers were a brilliant mix and not TOO hot but just right.  This is truly a massive dish and we ended up taking much of it to go.

    I had pondered getting the FiFi's Special as well but with spaghettini.  That was until I spied the Grilled Hot Ham which sounded very much like the one I had the previous month at Cinderella's Cafe just done the street.  I figured I could try some of Dayna's dish AND have the hot ham too.  I am soooooo glad I ordered this sandwich.  It was HUGE and the hot ham was warm and spicy, the melted provolone held it all together and the thick cut, buttered and grilled Italian bread had just the right crunch.  Might be my new favorite sandwich.

    Mom ordered the Italian Greens for dinner.  It was a pretty big portion and she shared some of it with us.  Billed on the menu as "Our version of Utica greens featuring Eddie's famous hot ham".  They used big pieces of red onion in it of which I'm not a big fan but this rendition was still top notch.  

    Naturally, much pie was going to be ordered.  Mom's Coconut Cream pie.  I tried some of this and it was excellent.

    Debbie's Chocolate Cream pie.  I didn't try any of this as I had it last month and I've never dined out with Debbie and wasn't sure how she'd feel about sharing.

    Dayna's Apple pie.  Not sure why I didn't try any of this.  Dayna doesn't really recall what she felt about this pie.

    Kelly's Banana Cream pie.  I tried a couple of bites and wasn't crazy about it but then again I'm not a huge fan of banana cream pie.  Love banana pudding but I've never found a slice of this kind of pie that I've really liked.  

    Maddie's Chocolate cake.  I didn't try any of this.

    And my Peanut Butter Cream pie (bowl of hot fudge for drizzling out of frame).  Man, was this good!  Lots of good peanutty flavor and that fresh whipped cream on top just put it over the edge for me.  The hot fudge did taste like a name brand variety but it was still pretty good though I do prefer a bittersweet version.  We said our goodbyes to mom and Debbie as they were heading back to Rome and we to Syracuse.  

    Back in Syracuse, Maddie and I tok to carving our jack-o-lanterns with kitty cat faces on them.  I attempted to roast the pumpkin seeds for a snack and ended up burning them.  D'oh!  This first one is Maddie's.

    And my jack-o-lantern.  We had a them judged by the family and Maddie squeaked out for the win!  We both had a lot of fun and I really love that hers has a bit of a thinner skin on it so that the glow from the inside really shines through.  

    Monday October 14th, 2013 - We were heading back to NYC today on an afternoon train but I had a few stops to make this morning.  I had contacted David Furer, owner and proprietor of The Only Cafe in Vernon, NY and brother of fellow Roadfooder, Lexi, a number of days before heading to Central NY and we made plans for me to come by this morning at 9:00am.  I was running behind so I called to apologize for being late and I arrived about 9:30am.  There are no signs outside indicating the name of his place and it would be easy to drive right on by but you'd really be missing out on a special place and a special guy who just happens to make really great food that he likes to eat!

    A batch of David's homemade Ginger biscuits fresh out of the oven.  

    Apparently, Gumby is a member of Red Sox Nation too!  Who knew?

    David has taken Gumby along with him on his many travels across the U.S.A.  He even made it to Mt. Airy, NC to pose with Sheriff Andy's patrol car.

    And down to The Big Easy, NOLA to pose at a gallery with one of artist George Rodrigue's "Blue Dog' paintings.  

    I love all of the items on the walls and massed in the restaurant.  Most of them have a story or personal connection to David and many of them reflect the history of the region.  Like the Oneida Brewing Company tray, a Utica, NY based brewery that was in business for over 100 years for most the the 19th and early 20th centuries.  I love that lil Old Sparky chair and the mini Gumby-as-Elvis!

    As I had mentioned in the previous part pif this report, CNY was a large cheese producing region at the turn of the 20th century and these days many people I know and some of my relatives had worked at a cheese plant or know someone who did.

    I have to ask David what dish he made for this.

    Looks like a war ad right out of WWII.

    David had emailed me a few days before coming up asking me what I would like to eat.  You see, he doesn't have a menu but can make just about anything.  Well, I froze, not knowing what I would like so I left it in his capable hands.  Those Ginger biscuits with fried eggs and grits, smothered in homemade sausage gravy.  I had this once before here, about 2 years ago and it's just as incredible as ever.  Thick, rich and filling and that hot, chewy ginger in the biscuits is a welcome surprise that jolts the taste buds.  He gave me some biscuits to take back and I managed to limit myself to just two of them before sharing with Dayna and my sister.  

    I also picked up a hot ham and cheese sandwich on his homemade sesame seed studded bread to go for Dayna.  I did try some of this and it's a home run too.  As much as I love the food here, my favorite part of coming here is the chance to sit, TALK and sound time with David.  I was the only customer there and he had some Marty Robbins playing in the background.  No game on, no score to check, no one texting or checking their phones.  Just people sitting, actually having a conversation and enjoying some amazing food.  We ruminated on our tastes in music, films, Ginger or Mary Ann (Mary Ann, of course!!).  And he had a great story about having met Dawn Wells one time out in L.A.  It's almost like going back in time when I come here and I always leave feeling like the food, the company, conversation and experience are exactly what I needed.  If you're ever in Central NY or passing through (it's just a 10 minute drive from Exit 33 on the New York State Thruway) I strongly urge you to give David a call and stop in for a one-of-a-kind experience!

    I had planned to take a tour of the Oneida Community Mansion House, home to the nearly 300 members of the Oneida Community that lived as one family in the mid to late 19th century nearby but I was running short on time so I made my last stop at Ebeneezer's Cafe & Creamery for a couple slices of pie to pay homage to Buffetbuster. One of the owners, Kathy DuChene, greeted me when I came in.  I've been here many times and have seen her interact with the regulars with such a welcoming presence.  She knows most if not all of them by name and asks how their mom or dad are doing.  Just a great, friendly, local place with great food and amazing pies. One day I'll write about the food here but after eating at The Only Cafe I can just make room in my "hollow leg" (as Grandma used to say it's where I would out away all of the food I ate!) for a couple of slices of pie!

    Dark Cherry pie.  I usually like my cherry pie tart and sweet but this was something altogether different and wonderful.  Faintly sweet, these cherries had a winey flavor to them yet I don't believe any wine was used in them.

    Custard pie.  This reminded me a bit of egg nog and it was almost as light as a feather.  I don't know what they are doing in that kitchen with these crusts but I hope they never, ever stop!  The most challenging part of this day was to save 1/2 of each slice to take back to the family.  Daunting, but the slices made it back safely!

    Well, that's it for this trip report.  Hope you enjoyed coming along.
    "Eating is an adventure, enjoy the ride!" - billyboy, 2013
    The 411:
    1.)  Avicolli's Pizzeria & Restaurant
          7839 Oswego Road
          Liverpool, NY 13090
          Ph# 315-622-5100
          Website: http://www.avicollisrestaurant.com/
    2.)  Reggie's Diner
          715 Old Liverpool Road
          Liverpool, NY 13088
          Ph# 315-413-0323
          No website - CLOSED as of 10/31/13
    3.)  Will's Cackleberry Castle
          1175 Hillsboro Road
          Camden, NY 13316
          Ph# 315-245-0104
          Website: http://www.cackleberrycastle.com/
    4.)  Eddie's Restaurant
          901 Main Street
          Sylvan Beach, NY 13157
          Ph# 315-762-5430
          Website: http://www.eddies1934.com/
    5.)  The Only Cafe
          9 West Seneca Street
          Vernon, NY 13476
          Ph# 315-829-3030
          No website
    6.)  Ebeneezer's Cafe & Creamery
          624 Sherrill Road
          Sherrill, NY 13461
          Ph# 315-363-4537
          Website: http://www.ebeneezerscafeandcreamery.com/page/page/8260290.htm
    post edited by billyboy - 2014/10/04 07:32:22
    Filet Mignon
    • Total Posts : 2868
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    Re:A Trio of Tasty Trips to Central New York 2013/11/04 04:46:53 (permalink)
    TJ, nice one!!
    Thanks chewingthefat!  They really are some of my most favorite places.  Some are from my childhood and some are newer discoveries for me but they all have a special place in my heart (and stomach)!
    ScreamingChicken, I'm trying to find more of a balance with the "Road" and the "Food".  They say some places never change.  Only we do. Eddie's had pretty much stayed the same since I can remember and their food is just as great as always.  I recall the first time I went there after I had moved away to Boston.  I was concerned that I was just being nostalgic...until that first bite.  It all came flooding back to me and I knew that they'd be around for a long time.
    Thanks easydoesit!  Yeah, those hot ham and ham bbq sandwiches have been popular in this region for decades.  The Rome station is a beautiful place and it is a shame that no one is there to man it.  I didn't see any religious connection at Risen bakery so I'm guessing it has more to do with yeast and bread rising more than anything else.  I kept getting that "bullyboy" thing too whenever I would type in my screen name!
    • Total Posts : 9202
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    • Location: brick, NJ
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    Re:A Trio of Tasty Trips to Central New York 2013/11/04 04:50:00 (permalink)
    Great job....great looking food...my favorite: the chicken parm. Thanks.
    Filet Mignon
    • Total Posts : 3035
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    • Location: Kennewick, WA
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    Re:A Trio of Tasty Trips to Central New York 2013/11/04 09:04:17 (permalink)
    Billyboy, or shall I say " Sir Hamsalot " I really liked the picture of the grilled ham with melted provolone on Italian bread. That sandwich hits home with everything we love about sandwiches. They also didn't skimp on the ham, it was stacked high. Thanks for sharing the special time you had with your family. Your pictures and narration took us along with you to an area you love....................pnwc

    • Total Posts : 8304
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    • Location: Stoughton, WI
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    Re:A Trio of Tasty Trips to Central New York 2013/11/04 10:48:08 (permalink)

    I meant billyboy!  Really!  The 'i' and the 'u' are right next to each other, and I keep doing that!
    It could be worse...you could be calling him bollyboy.
    Billy, how exactly does the ham in the hot ham sandwiches get hot?  Is there a traditional method or is it up to the individual restaurant?
    post edited by ScreamingChicken - 2013/11/04 10:59:13
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