Left at the Fork

the road | the food | a new direction

Category: 2 Cars (page 1 of 5)

Twisters Ice Cream, Mystic CT

REVIEW

Let us tell you a little story: There is a restaurant in Mystic named Kitchen Little. It was a tiny restaurant with a loyal following, located for decades at 135 Greenmanville Avenue. The land on which Kitchen Little sat was owned by the Mystic Seaport. A few years ago, the Seaport decided to sell off some of its real estate holdings, particularly those that had little relation to its core mission. One of those properties was 135 Greenmanville. Kitchen Little had a next door neighbor, also a restaurant, by the name of Sea View Snack Bar. The owners of Sea View purchased 135 Greenmanville from the Seaport and proceeded, according to Kitchen Little’s owner, to triple the rent, forcing Kitchen Little to move. Continue reading

NYSEG Stadium, Binghamton NY

REVIEW

Minor league baseball stadiums, like NYSEG Stadium, home to the Binghamton Rumble Ponies, AA affiliate of the New York Mets, haven’t gone all-in on the current major league trend of offering local food specialties at their concession stands. For sure, at the big league level, it can sometimes seem as if the fans are more interested in the food than the ballgame. In the boonies, hot dogs and beer are still more the rule, but regional food or, at the very least, extreme food, is finding its way onto the menus more and more in places like Charleston and Louisville and Fort Myers. Continue reading

American Legion Post 1 Restaurant, Wheeling WV

REVIEW

Have you served at least one day of active American military service during wartime? No? Not a problem! You can still join the American Legion for a meal, at Wheeling Post 1, said to be the oldest American Legion post in the U.S. Step inside and you find yourself in what appears to be a bar with a few tables to the right. We arrived a bit late for lunch on a Saturday. The bar was well-attended but we were the only dining customers. Continue reading

Schwalm’s Cleona Restaurant, Cleona PA

REVIEW

Good country cooking is becoming ever more scarce in eastern Pennsylvania Amish country. We keep searching but the results have been lukewarm at best. Schwalm’s feels right but, based on a first visit, we’re just not yet convinced. There were decent things to eat (in a couple of cases, more than decent), but most of what we tried, while all perfectly edible, was simply standard issue luncheonette food. Continue reading

Voss’ Bar-B-Q, Yorkville NY

REVIEW

“Barbecue” is very popular in parts of upstate New York, but the barbecue to which we refer is nothing like what you’ll find throughout America’s Barbecue Belt. This Q is not smoked, and consists of chopped pork or chicken, or roast beef, in a barbecue sauce, on a hamburger bun. At Voss the meat is always sliced, not chopped, and the flaps are piled on the bun, then topped with the sauce. The sandwiches are mellow and enjoyable, and a real taste of upstate NY. Continue reading

Tony’s Texas Hots, Johnson City NY

REVIEW

New York State hot dog cookery covers a broad stylistic swath, from the snapping, garlicky beef franks of “The City,” to the slashed, grilled-over-coals beef-and-pork beauties of Buffalo and Rochester. Virtually every city of any size will have one or more old-time hot dog shops, often passing the years with little or no attention, but with a steady, loyal clientele. Continue reading

Todaro Bros., New York NY

REVIEW

We love the New York City hero. We also love Philadelphia hoagies and Louisiana muffulettas and all their regional brethren. A muffuletta is defined by the olive salad garnish. A hoagie, unless otherwise specified, comes with lettuce, tomato, and onion (order a cheesesteak hoagie, as opposed to a cheesesteak, and you are requesting your sandwich to be garnished [however ill-advised] with lettuce, tomatoes, and onions). Continue reading

Rizzo’s Fine Pizza, Astoria NY

REVIEW

What exactly is Sicilian pizza? When we were kids in NY, we used to eat it all the time. Its defining characteristic, to us, was the thick, bready crust, sturdy enough to support every topping in the house (except anchovies). So when we heard about the oxymoronic-sounding thin-crusted Sicilian, we became curious: how is it possible? A little investigation turned up the fact that Sicilian pizza as made in the US is not like pizza in Sicily; it’s an Italian-American invention. There’s no reason Sicilian has to have a thick crust. But there are unique Sicilian characteristics beyond the rectangular dimensions. Continue reading

Wooden Heads Gourmet Pizza, Kingston ON Canada

REVIEW

We enjoyed the combination of prosciutto, rosemary, and roasted garlic, if not the crust.

We enjoyed the combination of prosciutto, rosemary, and roasted garlic, if not the crust.

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Waupoos Estates Winery, Picton ON, Canada

REVIEW

This salad garnish to a hamburger was fresh and summery.

This salad garnish to a hamburger was fresh and summery.

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McPartlan’s Corner, Amherst NY

REVIEW

Western New York often seems to have more in common with the upper Midwest than with downstate New York. For instance, walk into almost any restaurant on a Friday night and, regardless of the sort of food the eatery normally serves, you’ll probably find a dining room filled with people eating fish fry, just like in Wisconsin. Local wisdom says that it’s difficult to find a bad fish fry in the Buffalo area. That might be true, but it’s also true that if you value fresh, not frozen, fish, then there are choices to be made. Continue reading

The Pilot House, Kingston ON Canada

REVIEW

A Pilot House special of sun-dried tomato soup filled with rice - good rainy-day food

A Pilot House special of sun-dried tomato soup filled with rice – good rainy-day food

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Manganaro’s Heroboy, New York NY

REVIEW

Decades of lawsuits settled once-and-for-all the long-running feud between the two branches of the family that owned the side-by-side Managanaro’s stores on Ninth Avenue, near Port Authority. This resulted in the closure of the Grosseria a few years back. Hero Boy was the larger, and more modern (and generic) looking store of the two, a cafeteria-style restaurant; no groceries for sale here. Continue reading

Ristorante Buca Mario, Florence, Italy

REVIEW

1/2 Melone al Porto: The melons we encountered were just amazing.  Never have we had melon in the US as ripe, sweet, and full of flavor as the ones we had in Italy.

1/2 Melone al Porto: The melons we encountered were just amazing. Never have we had melon in the US as ripe, sweet, and full of flavor as the ones we had in Italy.

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Wert’s Cafe, Allentown PA

REVIEW

We both ordered burgers from the long burger menu: Sue a Wert’s Cheeseburger, Bruce an Alyssa’s Barbecue Cheeseburger. Bruce hoisted the burger to his mouth and took a bite, whereupon this virtual Super Soaker of a hamburger took aim on his shirt and pants. These are among the juiciest burgers we’ve ever enjoyed! They also taste very good. The namesake burgers are stuffed with mushrooms and onions. You can also get burgers without the “Wert’s” prefix; these are unstuffed. Continue reading

Sweet Lucy’s Smokehouse, Philadelphia PA

REVIEW

We’d be the first to admit that barbecue in the Northeast must be graded on a curve. We’ve rarely had barbecue in our home region that compares favorably with the stuff obtainable in the barbecue regions of America’s South, Midwest, or Texas. It’s just a fact of Northeast life. But it doesn’t mean that we and our fellow cold-weather Q-lovers are condemned to a barbecue-less existence. We just have to readjust our sights somewhat (and avoid the local Q for a few months following a barbecue-country trip). Continue reading

Summit Diner, Somerset PA

REVIEW

The Pennsylvania Turnpike runs 360 miles from Pennsylvania’s eastern to western borders, a five to seven hour drive end to end, which is long enough to send most long-distance drivers in search of sustenance along the way. And therein lies a problem, because the Pennsylvania Turnpike has long been notorious for its extremely meager dining options, both on the turnpike and in the nearby communities. The situation is so bad that most of those who have rolled on its pavement would be grateful for any sort of tip at all that would lead them to something more promising than the rest areas or the burger and chicken chains. Continue reading

Chowder Bowl, Newport OR

REVIEW

Any chowder tour of the Oregon coast should include on its itinerary a visit to The Chowder Bowl, a few steps from the Pacific Ocean in the Nye Beach neighborhood of Newport. Continue reading

Stahley’s, Allentown PA

REVIEW

Let’s get this out of the way up front: Stahley’s does not serve the best anything. We know that some people who come to LAF care about the food, and nothing but the food, and we have no problem at all with that approach but we have to say, if that describes you, do not come to Stahley’s. You will be disappointed. Continue reading

Stanich’s, Portland OR

REVIEW

How did Portland become such a hamburger-eater’s paradise? We expected to find all manner of local seafood, such as exquisite salmon, both smoked and fresh, and the enormous razor clams and Dungeness crab that this region is deservedly known for, and a farm country bounty of fresh-from-the-earth produce. What we did not expect was the burger-mania evident in this city. Continue reading

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