When people ask me where I’m from when they find out I’m an American, I tell them Boston. But I guess that’s not really where I’m from. I actually don’t know what to tell people. Because when I say Boston, they say, “well, you don’t have an accent.” Then I say “Ok, ok, I’m from NY.” And again, the response is “you still don’t have the accent I thought you would.” Well people…SORRY! haha
I grew up in a bunch of places and always seemed to move at integral parts of my upbringing, so there really isn’t a right (or wrong) answer. First is was Southern California, then Northern California, then upstate NY (where my parents still live), then I went to college in NH, and finally moved to Boston.
Home will now always be NY (unless my parents decide to buy a condo somewhere warm. ARE YOU LISTENING TO ME, PARENTS?!! SOMEWHERE W-A-R-M!!!) and there are TONS of things (read: FOOD) that I miss now that I live in Calgary.
And with that, I thought I’d share some of my favorite places from home that I miss:
Dunkin Donuts: Yes, yes, yes, I love me some Tim Hortons (HELLO: they are so cheap and so fast and the product is actually tasty– even if the only thing I ever order there is black coffee and an everything bagel toasted w/cream cheese) but there’s something about an iced coffee from DD that I just LOVE. There’s no need for an explanation here.
Trader Joe’s: Another ‘no duh’ addition to this list. They offer tons of yummy foods at not-so-expensive prices. I particularly miss getting my nut butters from there because of their low price. [Um, why is nut butter so expensive in Canada? Some places are trying to charge my $16 for a jar- that’s nuts. Pun intended) I also love their sweet potato tortilla chips, candy cane tea, pre made salads, hummus, frozen tamales, and pumpkin pancake mix.
Apple Picking: Pretty much a staple of living in the NE. Usually, I would drive back to NY on Columbus Day weekend so the three of us could hit our favorite orchard, drink cider, eat apple cider donuts, and stuff our pockets and bags with as many apples as possible. Then I would nap in the car on the way home. Dad would usually get a hot dog. Mom would point out every cow she saw.
Sutton’s Apple Dumplings– This is one of the ‘go-to’ breakfast/lunch places in the area. I’m not really a fan of their restaurant food and they push WAY TOO MANY Rachel Ray products (since she’s a native of the area) but I do OBSESS over their apple dumplings. Walk in, grab a few, sit in the car and devour– most likley resulting in sticky fingers and a lap full of icing crumbs. NOM.
Frozen Dreams- This place is just too good. Soft serve ice cream that is all too conveniently located near my parent’s home. I ALWAYS get a small twist with rainbow sprinkles. And if I’m feeling lucky, I’ll get an extra cup of sprinkles on the side. There is always a line up throughout the summer, and most people sit in their car with the A/C running to enjoy their frozen treat. Oh man, what I would give to be able to go back to NY this summer…
Downtown Saratoga- there are lots of places in Saratoga that I love to visit, and they’re all concentrated in the old downtown area:
- Cantina– the food is always good and the margaritas are always better. If you visit this place in the summer, sit on the patio with a pitcher of sangria and you’ll be all set for some of the best people watching ever.
- Saratoga City Tavern– It’s a 4(?) story bar that offers something different on each level- live music, dancing, and a rooptop open in the warmer months. Love their beer selection but their bathrooms are 1-800-FAILCITY.
- Bettie’s Cakes– Because cupcakes= YES.
- The Track– what’s better than being able to go watch the races for free while also sitting on your own cooler filled with whatever selection of eats/drinks you brought? Nothing. PS: you don’t have to bring a cooler. Or sit on one, either.
- Bailey’s Cafe– Love going there in the winter and ordering the S’mores for dessert along with a specialty coffee. Mmm now I have the warm fuzzies.
- There’s also a ton of fun shops and boutiques to meander through!
Poopie’s– Such a good greasy spoon place that my parents used to take me when I was little. Order everything, it’s all good. Also, who doesn’t want to eat at a place called Poopie’s?!
Noon Whistle Deli- this is the tiniest little deli but oh man is it delicious. The people there are super friendly and will customize your order if you want. I always get the turkey club and bring the pasta salad/chips home for my parents. SOOOO YUM.
Bistro LeRoux- OMYGOSH this place is one of my favorite restaurants. EVER. The food is just over the top amazing. The menu varies, but it always has a selection of items that make it hard to choose. The food is fancy without feeling like you’re at a super fancy restaurant. And the prices are really great. Same with the service. I really really REALLY love this place and it’s one of the few places I’ll actually eat the bread, an app, a main course, and dessert. Woof, I’m stuffed.
Lake George- Ok, maybe it was more fun to go here while I was in high school…or home from college… but it’s still nice to go up once in a while and take in the lake and the fresh air and maybe an adult beverage on a patio somewhere.
Glen Lake/The Docksider- There is a small lake in my hometown that allows locals to launch (non-motor powered, only motor-powered vehicles are allowed for residents on the lake). My mom, dad, and I would take our kayaks there, loop the lake, then have lunch at the Docksider restaurant, located right next to the launch. Ok, my parents would eat and I would usually just sunbathe (or have a drink if they were having live music) since their food is kinda ‘meh’ in my opinion.
El Mexicano– This place is pretty good authentic Mexican food. With your dinner order, you get chips/salsa, a free mini cheese quesadilla, a complimentary sweet chimichango (with banana/honey) and sometimes a shot of tequila. Ok, I haven’t been there in a while, so they may not offer those freebies anymore, but it’s still a great place to go!
Apparently I like to eat.
*in case you missed it* check out my favorite places to eat in Calgary here.
What’s your favorite hometown restaurant? Where is your hometown?
I do not see the appeal of Tim Hortons! Maybe I should try it in Canada. I had it in PA and was so excited to try it but the coffee was meh. I really want to go visit Canada one day! Your photos make it look so beautiful!!
I never saw the appeal of Tim’s when I first moved here, either. But after visiting Starbucks and seeing that a black coffee is almost $5, I’ll resort to Tim Horton’s for a quick caffeine boost. Since I only ever order a bagel, I find it’s much more fresh than the ones sitting in the Starbucks cases. And yes! Come visit Canada! But come in the summer because winter is stupid cold haha
Not to leave what will sound like a racist comment but the accent thing is very comparable to those that look like they are from another country and people just won’t believe they are Canadian/American [even if they really do sound 100% american…] I don’t know why people just can’t believe what you tell them! I don’t know what I would give to have a Trader Joes here. Probably something equivalent to my first born…
I know exactly what you mean- so frustrating because it was the ONLY topic of conversation for the longest time when I was first meeting people. I almost hope Trader Joe’s doesn’t make it to Canada..I don’t want it to be ruined like how Target was. 😦
Apple picking, there has GOT to be apple picking in Calgary…get some mini-donuts, hot cider and make some home made apple sauce! We are just getting a whole foods here in Ottawa and I’m not gonna lie pretty excited, though Target came and it’s NOT much different then an upscale Zeller’s -JUST saying 😉
I think there is some apple picking places that are a bit far from us- I will have to check it out in the fall! I know saskatoon berry picking is on my list too!