This Blog

I like food. I really like food when it’s served in a place with some local flavor.

I want to remember the meal as much as I want to remember the atmosphere or a snippet of local history I pick up from the waitress or the guy sitting at the counter with his third cup of coffee.

I like restaurants occupying interesting buildings in the heart of a village or the roadside stand just outside town.

I also like to drive in upstate New York, one of the most beautiful areas in the United States. I’ll drive Route 20 before jumping on the Thruway. I’ll take Route 11 before getting on I-81.

So this blog is for like-minded people who want to share information about the locally owned restaurant just starting up, the family restaurant with a creative cook, the longtime mom-and-pop place, the joint where you can get a great burger and a beer, or the place where you perch on a picnic table enjoying a hot dog and milk shake.

We’re focusing on New York, but if you’re road-tripping and want to share some ideas, please go ahead. Just remember, no mentions of Olive Garden or Cracker Barrel.

18 thoughts on “This Blog

  1. Hi, Thank you for visiting us at The Black Stallion in Vernon. This restaurant has been family owned for 40 years. First owned by Gino and Maria Vullo and then by their son Sal. With so few Family establishments still around, we pride ourseleves in our food and tradition!

    • Risa,

      The attention to detail and pride in the establishment shine through at places that are family owned, like The Black Stallion. Thanks for writing!

  2. Great blog! I came across it from a link in the madison county forum (off
    Best pizza and donuts ever at Dunn’s bakery in Canastota.
    Whenever we have a party a sheet pizza from Dunn’s is the favorite.
    We love the plain cheese and always have to have a slice in the car on the way home! Happy eating……………

    • Hi Kelly.

      Thanks for the news about Dunn’s in Canastota. I will make sure to stop next time I am up that way. You can’t go wrong with great donuts or pizza!

  3. I was heading north on NY 13 out of Dryden, NY, and at the top of the hill I spotted a little eatery. Called the Frosty Cow, it was a small building between to a feed store and a corn field, with a farm in the background …. the place has soft ice cream, yummy shakes (actually made by combining milk, ice cream and chocolate sauce and mixing it in the old style metal mixing cup), hot dogs (Hoffman’s) and paninis. The place, which also boasts a drive-through window, was busy – a good sign – and the food we had was great. Check it out if you’re ever in the area.

    • Hi Scott,

      That sounds like an ideal stop during a summer drive. Thanks for writing and letting me know about it. I dig the name.

  4. Hi – I found your blog through a friend and was thrilled. My husband and I (former New Yorkers) do not eat or shop in chains and blog about it on our two blogs which you can find on Check it out. We’ve not been too good about keeping them up lately, but I think you might enjoy them and would love it if you could include us in our blog roll. We will include you in ours!

    • Thanks, Lisa. It sounds like a common interest we all share. Good luck with your blog, and I’ll add it to my blogroll.

  5. Big news from a small place. In the heart of “downtown” Parish (in Oswego County, first exit north of Central Square) there’s a deceptively plain-looking pizza place.
    But back in the kitchen lurks a maestro, an Italian-born and trained chef who turns out wonderful dishes you never expect to be brave enough to order in a pizza joint. Chicken rossini, shrimp ravioli in vodka sauce, veal dishes, a Friday fish fry to write home about and much more. All is freshly made and worth the trip. Check out G&F Pizza and Gourmet Italian Restaurant in Parish, Sal and Kelly will treat you right and send you on your way satisfied. BTW, you can bring your own bottle of wine to dinner, they don’t have a liquor license, but they will set you up with wine glasses.

  6. Great blog! I browsed thru your entries, and may have missed these, but we live in Baldwinsville, just west of Syracuse, and would highly recommend the world famous B’ville Diner in downtown B’ville. Open 24 hours, and everything is good and fast. Try the gravy french fries. We have also had some good meals at Ernie’s in Lakeland, just up from the State Fairground. I will stop by later with more details.

  7. good idea breaking the chain .you have to try this resturant called garramones in forestport ny . the best italian homemade food i ever had . its about a 1hr,and40 minutes from syracuse , .

    • thanks… that one was not on my radar at all. only the buffalo head, which i’ve heard has slipped a bit lately. is that the case, or is it still good?

      • yes the buffalo head had a little slip the head chef was gone 4 a year on personal issues ,but has since returned. good stuff again , garramones is maybe 2000 feet up the road on obrien road good luck . just thought of this if u have room 4 dessert or are staying up there . kayuta drive inn great ice cream and sundays .

  8. What a great idea. Down with Erie Blvd! We’re always looking for that great, off-the-beaten path place to grab a bite. Macs Drive In near Geneva is such a place. Great burgers, fries and shakes — all served car side just like Happy Days! Happened upon it just last year for the first time, even though its been there since the 1930s. Heading back there Friday night (note: the place is only open late April thru Labor Day). And for something a tiny bit more ‘upscale’ Pumpkin Hill just outside Aurora on Cayuga Lake is a gem. Fresh, tasty food. Excellent service. Relaxing vibe. Great for lunch or dinner.

    • just thought of this today rite in your own backyard in syracuse we had a great dinner at aresturant called dominicks wow great food good service clean place ..

  9. finally someone who believes like myself that chain restaurants will drive the locally owned eateries out of business.Sub-par food with kmock-off local pics on a wall will never replace the local flavor,flair and knowledge of the area provided by our local eateries.Many people will find it surprising the prices and atmosphere of the local eateries go far beyond dining at a corporate chain.

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