My Favorite Hometown Places to Eat (upstate NY)

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.

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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.

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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…

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Downtown Saratoga- there are lots of places in Saratoga that I love to visit, and they’re all concentrated in the old downtown area:

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  • 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?!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Apparently I like to eat.

*in case you missed it* check out my favorite places to eat in Calgary here. 

YOUR TURN:

What’s your favorite hometown restaurant? Where is your hometown?

Let’s rewind.

I somehow how a little time before getting food ready for the big game that I have decided to catch up on my recent things on these here blog.

I somewhat touched base as I was sitting in the Albany airport, but that doesn’t really count. Let’s rewind to Wednesday night…

Ok, so Wednesday night (my last night in New York) I got dressed after the workout I did at home and headed out to dinner at my FAVORITE local restaurant with mom and dad.

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Outfit: American Apparel leggings and a top I scored from JCPenney.

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Dinner was at Bistro LeRoux. I seriously cannot praise this place enough. The food, atmosphere and service are all so fantastic. I ended up having Chateau Ste Michelle Riesling, 1/2 order of crab cakes, 1/2 order of poached pear salad with steak, and a lava cake with peanut butter ice cream. I’m not really good at writing about my full experience, but let’s just say that I was ‘mmm-ing’ with every bite. Ahhhh, so good! I can’t wait for my next visit home so I can go there again 🙂

As I was packing later that night, I came across my high school prom dresses. Feel free to laugh at how ugly they are!

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That really concludes my trip home. Although, I did manage to wake up at O-dark-thirty on Thursday morning to get in a 40 minute run on the treadmill. I watched a Jillian Michaels infomercial to keep me motivated.

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My trip home was a long one. Having a layover in Chicago in the middle of winter is practically a death sentence. My first plane was 45 minutes late, but made good time getting into O’hare. I chilled out for what was supposed to be only a 2 hour layover and had me one of these suckers:

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I also had a steak salad, but didn’t take a picture because I was hungry and ate it. Duh.

I then walked all over the terminal not only for exercise, but also because the incoming plane for my gate was super delayed (I was also on the prowl for some good chocolate).

Well, I didn’t fin the chocolate that I wanted, but I ended up settling with a bag of these:

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They look like GIANT malt balls

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But they are SUPER WEIRD on the inside.

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I also managed to take advantage of the DUTY FREE shop! I have never done that before, so it was an interesting experience.

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I made my purchase, showed them my boarding pass and ID, then got a receipt with a pick-up tag. The attendant would then meet me at my gate and hand me my purchase as I was boarding the plane. Nothing like being able to carry a big ass bottle of Grey Goose on a plane!

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A few hours later, I was home and reunited with my puppy!

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And now begins the dog pictures. You have been warned.

Tyler and I enjoyed the first bottle of home brewed wine (It was REALLY good!) and watched the first two episodes of The Following (also REALLY good!) The show was intense.

Friday, I was left at home to get back into my routine. The morning was filled with lounging, house-things, and puppy cuddles.

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My workout was the Endurance workout from Best Body Bootcamp (supersets of exercises to be repeated until you reach 100- same as last Friday). I busted them out as I watched recorded episodes of The Mindy Project. After I ran out of episodes- and finished my strength workout- I headed over to the gym for a sweaty 14 miles on the bike. I really missed the Keiser bikes while I was in New York. Oh right, and Layla joined in on my strength stuff. Forgot to mention that.

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She was so excited to see me put my coat and shoes on to go to the gym, that I felt bad and ended up taking her for a walk as soon as I got home. She was kinda rude about it, but whatever.

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Apparently I didn’t take her on as good of a walk as Tyler has been doing the last few weeks, so as soon as he got home, she was all over him. Traitor.

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We rounded out the night with tacos and watched Flight (so glad I waited until after my trip to watch that movie!)

On to Saturday. Bacon and eggs for breakfast. YUM. And lots of coffee. YUMMx2. Then errands. 

One of our stops was the mall so that I could pick up my earrings from Tiffany & Co. I had dropped them off last month when one of my screwbacks kept popping off. As the associate unwrapped my earrings, I noticed that not only did they not replace the backing, but they completely reset the diamonds in different posts WITH different (ugly) backings! And the backings wouldn’t even stay on the post! I tried to be as nice as possible, but it was pretty upsetting that they made all these changes without my knowledge. I ended up leaving them there until the Ops Mgr calls me to discuss possible solutions. Fingers crossed I get a free upgrade.

Blah. That was kind of annoying to type. I just want my friggin earrings back!

My workout for yesterday was supposed to be ‘cardio of choice.’ I chose to do a mish-mash of things at home. I did alternating kickboxing and strength moves and finished up with 100 burpees. 100 BURPEES!! Rather than breaking it up into sets of 10, I wanted to bust out as many efficient burpees as I could. I would do as many as I could with the best proper form, record the number, and take a quick break before attempting more. After 15 attempts, I hit the 100 mark. I’m totally going to do this throughout February. I’m starting to love burpees again.

And again, Layla joined me.

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Once my workout was complete, I quickly cleaned up and Tyler and I headed to the Flames game! Tyler got tickets from his boss, so it was a sweet (and free) way to have a nice little date night. And of course we enjoyed beer and hot dogs.

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The game was actually close, but the Flames lost in a shootout.

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Which brings us to today.

PANCAKES.

Chocolate chip pancakes.

With Coffee.

HEAVEN.

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Chocolate Chip pancakes

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cut oats
  • 2 c + 2 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 tsp baking powder

1. Mix ingredients. Pour batter on griddle. Top with chocolate chips. Flip. Eat.

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I was planning on topping with a tiny bit of pure maple syrup, but they were so moist and gooey that it really didn’t need it. Go make these now.

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Now I must go put cheese on chips and chips in dips. And watch football. 

Question: What’s your favorite pancake flavor?!