There is tucked away, and then there is, tucked away. The Pastry Palace, in Jamesville just off Route 173, is tucked away.
But the friendly owner will tell you that people know him and people find him. I just wasn’t one of those people until this past Saturday when Wife L and Father-in-law D and I noticed his small sign and decided to drive into the Town Square mini-shopping center that is just off the railroad tracks.
You drive by the magnificent Jamesville Train Station, circa 1876, and come up on the bakery, just a storefront away from the post office. The owner has been in the Jamesville location for about six years. He immediately won me over with two free samples: a wonderful honey nut chocolate cookie that was out of this world, and a warmed-up cinnamon-topped cookie that was all sunshine and happiness.
This is a bakery that will serve you well. The spritz with colored sprinkles landed in my take-away box, as did the fruit flips with raspberry jam. True Italian cookies that are delicious. There is a single display case, a cooler for cold drinks, and hot coffee at the ready. Cakes are made here, though I paid all my slavish attention to the cookies and pastries.
I usually fill up at the Florentine Pastry Shop on Bleecker Street in Utica. And that is a good bet. But if you are driving toward Syracuse and want to get off the beaten path, try The Pastry Palace.
We had traversed some well-worn paths earlier in the day at Jamesville Beach Park. We took part in the Syracuse YMCA Folksmarch held that day. The park is home to the big-time hot-air balloon festival each summer. I had never been before, and was surprised at how big and interesting the place is.
There are picnic tables galore, boat rentals, volleyball, a nice beach, of course, and a dedicated space for dogs to walk off-leash. That was a nice surprise for us and for Tuck the New Dog. This 5K walk was more a nature stroll that brought us along the edge of the reservoir, through the disc golf area, and back to the beach area.
P.S. We noticed the new Split Rock Cafe in the village of Jamesville, in the spot where a Mediterranean restaurant had been for a short time. Has anyone tried this restaurant?