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?

Back Home

Hello from NY!

Ok, I just gotta say it: Yesterday was one of the best days I have had in a LONG ASS TIME. Sure I woke up at 2:30am, and yes I sat uncomfortably close to a dude on the plane. BUT. My 9 hour layover in Chicago was a-may-zing. Katie picked me up from the airport and right away we started gossiping. Oh god, how I miss that! We got to her place and immediately hit the pavement for some exploring. First stop: a bar. Obviously. At 11:00am. Sam Summer Ale, how I love you so. Fast forward a few hours, and we had shopped, hung out at her place, and hit another bar for apps and more drinks. Back at the airport by 6pm and more bevvies while waiting for my connecting flight. I can’t wait for my return flight in a couple weeks (Ok, i can wait. But it’ll be exciting) because I have another 9 hour layover in Chicago!

Today was recoup day.

And go to Target day.

 

And eat homemade guac and salsa (ALL the ingredients were from the garden!) day

 

And little old ladies (aka: mom) walk around the house in my brand new shoes day

 

And ravage my parents forest garden for some goodies day

 

And steak and veggies for dinner day (minus the steak- I just wasn’t feeling the whole red meat thing today. I think somewhere pigs are flying right now)

 

And Frozen Dreams for dessert day. I was LONG overdue.

 

Workout of the day was 20 minutes of sprint intervals on the treadmill followed by some full-body strength exercises that incorporated the ideas from Best Body Bootcamp‘s Phase 2 workout schedule. I changed up the tempo of the movement for each exercise- so I varied between 1, 2, 4, and 8 counts for both direction of each move. It really fatigued my muscles a lot faster and I was able to get in split squats, weight bosu squats, chest press, flys, deadlifts and tricep dips in enough time to get home for dinner. I didn’t want to overdue it because I’m looking to do a long run around the neighborhood tomorrow. Sidenote: I was able to increase my speed on the treadmill this week (maybe it’s the lower altitude?)

Toodles!

Pooped

I feel like I have nothing good to say. Probably because I’m EXHAUSTED.

I cleaned. I ran errands. I shopped. I did homework. I worked out. I walked the dog (aka: workout #2). I watched more of the Olympics. And now, I’ve gotta somehow spit all this out so I can get to Tyler’s football game.

So, I’ve been watching one of the American channels to get good coverage of the olympics (Bob Costas is WAY better than any of these lame-o Canadian broadcasts. Fo’ real) And they recapped the opening ceremony- music included. I SWEAR TO GOD I’VE HEARD THAT INTRO SONG BEFORE. And then it hit me- this is where I know that song:

I might have to reenact this. Any volunteers?

I had Layla wear her name scarf

I painted my nails in a variety of purple

 

And I painted the bathroom

 

Tackling those cupboards next. Anyone know the best way to do that? Spray paint? Help!

Today’s workout was courtesy, once again, of Tina from Best Body Bootcamp. It was almost identical to last Monday’s sweat session, except we did an extra set of the ‘to fatigue’ exercises. 4 rounds of upper body supersets and 20 minutes of 60/60 HIIT. I actually got to the HIIT portion just as the US Men’s Beach volleyball team played Poland, so I ditched the idea of going to the gym and did my intervals in front of the TV. After 20 minutes, the US lost and I won a lot of sweat .

 

Is it sad that one of the things I’m most excited about when I go home is my workouts? I have been in Calgary for 5 months and have been adjusting to the high altitude. I can’t wait to see my running capability when I get back to NY!

(Sidenote: I am selling my Kayak, paddle, life jacket, and Thule rack since I can’t take it back to Calgary with me. If you are in the upstate NY or Boston area and are interested, let me know! BTW, the Kayak is pink. So I’m guessing I’ll have no male takers.)

I am also excited for Frozen Dreams (this is right down the street from my parents house. I am totally walking there everyday. EVERY.DAY.), Trader Joe’s, Dunkin Donuts, and TAR-JAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY (Target, people. You have no idea how good you guys in the states have it. There are no Targets here. And I am unemployed. DO YOU KNOW how much time I can waste in that store?! SO EXCITED TO USE MY TARGET CARD. AHHHHHHHHKLKHGSLDHSDF(—-> that’s a little too much excitement). I’m also gonna buy a shitload of stuff while I’m home. I’d rather pay the $25 baggage fee per bag at the airport than have my mom ship stuff to me. Or buy it here.

(Sidenote: There are a lot of the same stores up here, but man oh man so I miss me some American Malls, y’all. Macy’s, I’m coming for you. And Urban Outfitters, watch out. Seriously)

I just mapped the route Layla and I took for our walk. We went 3 miles (4.83 kilometers). Girlfran hadda plunk it on someone’s yard for a bit. It was hot. And hilly.

 

I hosed her down when we got home. Considered doing the same to myself. But I didn’t want to scare the neighbors.

Still looking for people interested in guest blogging. I’d be insulted if you didn’t volunteer. Pleaseeeeee?!