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.


Durham, my sweet home~

Sweet Potato in Winston Salem, NC. Fantastic place to pick up the best fried green tomatoes and tastiest sweet potato fries!

Above is the carolina burger with sweet potato fries and our apps, fried okra and green tomatoes.

The next time I went home, I had the bf in tow and we finally got some good ol’ carolina bbq!

The Original Q Shack is probably my favorite bbq place in North Carolina, at least in the Durham area 🙂 yum yum yum, my sister ordered half the menu…. green beans, mac and cheese, hush puppies, collard greens, fried fish, pulled pork, ribs, etc. etc. etc.

And finally, Parker and Otis, in downtown Durham. Above is the curried chicken salad sandwich and below is the grille reuben. Both were good, but absolutely loved the latter. Parker and Otis is a fantastic one stop shop for coffee, desserts, cafe food like sandwiches and salads, and shopping for the quirky or specialty or abnormal gift giving.

And one last delightful photo of my nephew and niece admiring the passing trains 🙂

The Black Hog

A BBQ kind of night…

The Black Hog

Why the name? The following is from their About Us page:

One of the rarest of the heritage breeds of hogs, the Black Hog is listed by the American Livestock Breeds Conservatory as endangered with fewer than 300 breeding hogs registered today.

Compared to other breeds, the flavors of the Black Hog’s meat is exceptional. The lean micro-marbled meat is extra tender due to the breed’s short muscle fibers. This produces a tender, moist cut of pork with an exquisite and unique taste.

We thought it only fitting to choose this name to represent the fine quality of food and service that we offer at the restaurant.

Loving the neon sign!

THE sauces… flanked by Flying Dog beers, native to Frederick. You’ve got the Original, the Kansas City Style, and the Carolina Red. I prefer the Carolina Red as it has that vinegar flavor. Kansas City is sweet, and the Original is half and half.

I think this is the Full Slab of Ribs Platter with 2 sides of Cole Slaw and Potato Salad, and a Corn Bread. Yeah, this is way too much for a half slab. Quite excellent as the ribs were not drenched in sauce, and really cooked to perfection.

I bet this is making you drool if you are a meat lover… even if you’re not, does it make you want to convert?

Good ol’ fresh cut fries.

I opted for the BBQ Meal Platter of a Two Meat Dinner. I got the Smoked Beef Brisket and Carolina Pork BBQ. Yummy! It also came with two sides– Mac & Cheese and Southern Style Greens, and of course, Corn Bread. I loved everything, ESPECIALLY the brisket. The greens were collard greens and the mac & cheese were truly cheesy in the delicious way.

Doesn’t he look really happy?

Proof of how much I loved everything!

Excuse the blurriness! Their happy hour specials, which we completely missed.

At our FAVORITE ice cream shop. We got the double scoop sundae complete with whipped cream, chocolate drizzle and a cherry on top! The two scoops were cappuccino crunch and uh oh, can’t remember the other one.

How great is this? Firemen outside in downtown Frederick on a chilly winter’s night hosting marshmallow toastings! Frederick is super duper cute.

Cheers and here’s hoping you had a romantic Valentine’s Day. ❤

Frederick Fireworks

some good ol’ homecookin.

the meat on shek’s standing george foreman grill.

diced tomatoes, cucumbers, avocado, cilantro, and lime.

a nice avocado salad with some canned corn, salt, and pepper.

Enough for 4 😀 so glad Nita and Sus could make it out to Frederick.

Chocolate chip cookies I baked from scratch. & the day before we got delicious ice cream from the local store in historic frederick just before fireworks.

i miss cooking at home, trying out recipes and making up my own.