NYC – C = Rochester

A few months ago, my BFF (E*) and I flew out to Rochester to visit a good high school buddy (also college friend for me). I’ve never been to that part of New York and it was my first time seeing Niagara Falls! It was a really good, relaxing, and fun trip.

First set of pix is from Heart Island. Long story short– wealthy man falls in love and demonstrates his love to his wife by building her an island in the shape of a heart and a castle as well. Unfortunately, wealthy man’s lovely wife died before he could finish, and he put a full stop to construction immediately because of his heartbreak. 😦

Read more here: Boldt Castle.

Boldt Castle on Heart Island is located in the 1000 Islands cluster of New York. Sound familiar? Yes, it’s true. The thousand islands dressing comes from this area. Tada! Before hitting up the island, we made a lunch stop at Koffee Kove in Clayton, New York. Sorry, I missed out on food pix. It was really pleasant, and definitely an island neighborhood atmosphere, quiet and quaint. Food was clean and simple.

Rochester is also the home of WEGMANS! This is only one of the BEST grocery stores in the U. S. of A. There are very few, but when you do come across one, go ahead and make a meal or two out of it, plus dessert.

Does anyone recognize what these plants are? Apparently they are Nertera, but I have no idea what that is. They look like miniature clementines, like itty bitty. I’m not sure if they’re edible, but I’m leaning towards decorative. Found them in Wegmans…

We picked up an assortment of olives, cheese, crackers, bread, grapes, and paired them with wine we picked up from a local winery near the islands. So delicious~

DINOSAUR BBQ! Our host LOVES this place, and claims it as the best BBQ in Rochester. We believed him. It was pretty fantastic. I’ve tried a variety of BBQ’d ribs now and realize that Carolina sauce is my favorite. The ribs here were more of a dry rub… what’s that one called? Well, anyway, we got a good assortment of beans, mac/cheese, fries, brisket, slaw, corn bread, and ribs. The meat and sides tasted pretty great. I wasn’t a fan of all the sauces, but again, I’m a Carolina girl. 🙂

And of course I have to end with pictures of Niagara. WOW. These are the biggest falls I’ve seen and were definitely worth seeing. We could only do the U.S. side because of time, so I still have never set foot in Canada. I guess that will be for another day. They say the falls look much better on the Canadian side, but I didn’t mind the US side so much. It was still amazing… plus we got to ride the boat INTO the falls!! 😀 Now THAT was exciting and funny b/c we were pretty wet… the rain that decided to fall after didn’t help much either.

               

All in all, a pretty awesome trip with my Dulaney friends, 1st time to 1000 Islands and Niagara, and some good eatin’ along the way.

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2011 in review by WordPress

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 3,800 times in 2011. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 3 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

This was a pretty thorough and good report. It’s convinced me to stay on and continue my blog. So, consider this my first entry for 2012 (wow)! Thanks WordPress. And hope everyone will look forward to more great foodie posts with me 🙂

CHEERS & HAPPY NEW YEAR!

THE Silver Diner

This is for all the Maryland diner lovers– have you been to the new and improved Silver Diner yet? Well, I have! I’ve been to the one in Rockville at least. QUITE OFTEN. They buy fresh and local now, and it is such an improvement from their early years. I used to hate the Silver Diner in Towson, while growing up. I absolutely love their new philosophy, and we (my bf & me) LOVE LOVE dining there, or getting carry out. We’re such fatties… because we’re always getting their burgers and shakes. 🙂

Philly Cheesesteak with fries and slaw. GREAT CHOICE! I definitely recommend it, even for Philly natives 😉 On the right are banana chocolate shakes. SO GOOD, a lot of people’s favorites.

BLT– not that great. It was a bit salty and skimpy, I was disappointed, but maybe it’s because I wanted Shek’s cheesesteak….. and then on the right more shakes from another visit, hehehehe. I think I had gotten a strawberry this time.

Top Hat burger with fries (bacon, lettuce, tomato, the works) and on the right a Reuben with fries and slaw. Another great one, actually both were great, burger and sandwich. Their slaw is pretty awesome, not drenched in mayo like most places.

And apps with a friend… onion rings with sauces and smothered chili fries. How can you really go wrong with these? Yeah. Good. MM. Yum. 😀

Wagshal’s

Wagshal’s in Tenleytown, for the rich people in that part of the ‘hood. Seriously though, this isn’t your averagely priced mom and pop shop. But of course, Friendship Heights and Tenleytown aren’t your average neighborhoods. Lots of rich elderly…. mmhmmm. Anyway, this was down the street from where I used to work, and I got scolded by coworkers for never visiting before. I have to say, I was very satisfied with the results. I got the fresh fish blt. Yummy indeed.

Stew Leonard’s

Have you ever been here: Stew Leonard’s in CT? Great place to shop! It reminds me of Wegman’s and Disneyland, like a cross between the two. Would visuals help?

I wish they had some in Maryland or even Virginia. SL has some of the most amaZING ice cream I’ve ever had! If you’re ever in CT, be sure to check it out 😀

R3

Is this where R2D2 frequents? Doubtful. R3 short for Restaurant 3 is one of the restaurants bragging about it’s local and organic fare. After reading Omnivore’s Dilemma, E* and I were eager anticipating a visit to any restaurant carrying Polyface Farm meat and produce. R3 is located in Arlington, VA.

Loved the BREAD BOWL! It was a great variety with good butter. MM, Paula Deen would love, yes?

Porkbelly Hoecakes (Braised Bacon, Pickled Slaw, Spicy BBQ $12) and Scallops & Grits (Asiago Grits, Tasso Ham, Tomatoes $13). Both appetizer were great. The pork belly was a bit salty but I guess that’s what you get with any form of pig. I REALLY liked the scallops and grits. I appreciate this combination with grits as I’ve never tried it before. I also thought presentation was attentive with plates and color arrangement of the foods.

Ribs with corn on cob and mac&cheese and on the right is Pulled Pork sandwich with fries. This was a LOT of food, but not a surprise considering the people present–we all love food and wanted to try everything. It was all pretty good, I don’t think I could finish the pulled pork sandwich and it was too sweet. The mac & cheese was GREAT, in all it’s wonderful gooeyness.

Not a good picture, sorry! But this was some damn good pasta… the chicken is from Polyface Farm! 😀 It came with linguine, tasso ham, spinach, and cream at $19. Everyone at the table loved this dish. Too bad this was the only thing on the menu that really screamed Polyface Farm… everything else we had to ask the waitress about. And all she could say was “oh yeah, we get our stuff from all sorts of local areas”. ?? Okay…. maybe restaurant 3 needs to work on educating their wait staff on the sources of their food, and put it more eloquently.

Ah, can’t forget dessert. Waffles with bacon ice cream and of course some coffee. Waffles were alright, definitely did not like the bacon ice cream. I would try it again somewhere else, as we all believed this one had CHUNKY bits of bacon. It should’ve been smaller. Instead of complimenting the ice cream, it stole the show. 😦 Anyway, I would love to have some chocolate covered bacon again mmmm mmmm good.

FINALLY, the BGR

I think I had a friend waiting on this post for a while. It took so long for me to post!

Definitely one of the good burger joints in DC. I swear there’s been a boom in DC for burger places, cupcakeries, gelaterias, and of course froyo. Where’s the bubble tea????

Anyway, I don’t frequent BGR because their burgers are kinda expensive… like $9-20 expensive, but very very good. On this visit I went with a Groupon or LivingSocial coupon, can’t remember which. It was $4 for a $8-9 regular burger. It’s good, fresh with tomato and lettuce and onion. The meat is good and they make sure they cook it right for you. OH! They also have awesome asparagus fries or regular fries sprinkled with parmesan.