Left at the Fork

the road | the food | a new direction

Month: December 2019

The Original Candy Kitchen, Williamson NY

REVIEW

Pay attention to the name: they call themselves a candy kitchen, not a candy store, and with good reason. Every piece of candy, from the coconut clusters to the fudge meltaways, the ribbon candy to the peanut brittle, is made right here. Over a thousand 19th-century candy molds are used to produce the fantastic array of molded chocolates, including a chocolate carousel complete with chocolate horses.

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The Peppermill Restaurant, Rochester NY

REVIEW

Every good-sized town, in the Northeast at least, needs a dependable diner. Not one of those new-fangled upscale diners with real-restaurant culinary aspirations (though those are fine in their own way), but a regular Joe kind of place, where one can enjoy burgers and club sandwiches, meatloaf and liver and onions, and, best of all, breakfast all day. The food need not dazzle; all that’s necessary is competence and reasonable cleanliness. It’s not, admittedly, a high bar, yet you might be surprised (or not) at how few diners measure up.

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Mother’s Cupboard, Syracuse NY

REVIEW

Ever hear of a frittata? Of course you have! Who hasn’t? It’s an Italianish open-faced omelet. Wait a second, though. We’re not speaking of THAT frittata. We’re talking about the frittata as served in and around Syracuse, New York. Also known as a fretta, a Syracuse frittata is a jumbled amalgam of eggs, potatoes, peppers, onions, sausage, pepperoni, and broccoli, or some subset of those ingredients. Cheese is optional. The other distinguishing feature is that it’s usually a massive plate of food, so much so that, unless the diner is accepting some sort of challenge, everyone orders a half or quarter portion.

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Consol’s, Endicott NY

REVIEW

If you ask around in Endicott for the best Italian restaurant in town, you’ll hear about two restaurants repeatedly: Oaks Inn and Consol’s. It’s local sport to debate the relative merits of the two restaurants. Both are many decades old, both serve old-time Italian/American food, and they are just across the street and down the block from each other. If you dine in both to see what’s what for yourself, however, things become less, not more, clear. Why are these two restaurants compared at all? They don’t even play in the same league.

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Buck Hill Brewery and Restaurant, Blairstown NJ

REVIEW

We ordinarily restrict ourselves to the liquid refreshments at brewpubs. It’s not that we think brewpub food is bad, per se, it’s just that there’s usually more interesting things to eat elsewhere. We’re glad to have broken free from our usual habit at Buck Hill, however, as we were afforded the opportunity to indulge ourselves with the Fat Buck Fries. This poutine cousin tops fries with beer-braised brisket, cheddar and mozzarella, and beer gravy. Not only does it supply you with your minimum daily requirements for calories for the day, it’s also dizzily delicious.

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