Left at the Fork

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Category: 3 Cars (page 1 of 5)

Oneida County Public Market, Utica NY

REVIEW

The USDA has classified a portion of downtown Utica as a food desert, which means the residents have low access to fresh food. The Oneida County Public Market was established, in part, to help address that situation. Located outside the historic 1914 Union Station (and inside the station during the cold months), OCPM is a year-round, Saturday morning operation. Continue reading

Pete’s Hot Dogs Inc., Newburgh NY

REVIEW

First of all, let’s ask the important question: Do you like hot dogs? We ask because, if you don’t, there’s no point in reading any further. Pete’s sells hot dogs, and only hot dogs. Oh, there are toppings to choose from and, of course, they also offer drinks. You can even nab some packaged chips or cookies if you must. But Pete’s is about the tube steak, fast and hot. They want you in and out. And they’ll get no complaints from us. Continue reading

Swan Market, Rochester NY

REVIEW

Who doesn’t love grocery store dining? There’s something especially appealing about sitting amongst the shelves of canned beans and boxes of elbow macaroni while chowing down on a drippy burger or plate of crunchy catfish. We always thought you had to head south to find places like this, until now. The Swan Market is a German meat market/grocery, located in a residential Rochester neighborhood, that offers a bargain lunch four days a week. And the Swan is no Northern knockoff of a Southern tradition; it is thoroughly Rochesterian in character. Continue reading

Steve’s Pig & Ox Roast, Lackawanna NY

REVIEW

When they say Pig & Ox Roast, they’re not kidding (well, they are kidding just a little: they roast beef, not oxen, which are actually the same creature, the latter being trained and used as draft animals). Check out the long window along one side of the dining room, through which you can inspect the huge roasting contraption. If you come at the right time, you’ll see the hunks of meat (which include lamb and turkey, too) slowly becoming the stuff of which these fine sandwiches are made. Continue reading

Savenor’s Butcher Shop, Cambridge MA

REVIEW

Savenor’s Butcher Shop of Cambridge, MA is not listed on any “Best Burger in Boston” list. You won’t find it on one of those sprawling “Best Burgers in New England” lists from some obscure blog that pops up on your Facebook feed. They don’t even have the best burger in America. What they do have, however, is this: Savenor’s has the best burger in the universe. And it’s only available on Fridays (and now Saturdays) from noon to 3 p.m. Continue reading

Rose & Joe’s Italian Bakery, Astoria NY

REVIEW

We both grew up in the suburbs of New York City during the 1960s and have fond memories of the breads turned out from the ovens of our local Italian bakeries. These brawny Italian loaves were destined to be split and layered with cold cuts or loaded with meatballs and Italian sausage for heroes, or sliced vertically every inch or so and spread with garlic butter, then wrapped in foil and baked for ’60s-style garlic bread. Sometimes we’d just eat hunks torn from the loaf and smeared with margarine (or, rarely, butter), leaving the table blanketed with crumbs from the shattering crust. Continue reading

Pearl Oyster Bar, New York NY

REVIEW

You can eat some of the finest, and most expensive, seafood in the world in New York City, at restaurants like Le Bernardin and Oceana. What interests us more, though, are places like the Pearl Oyster Bar, a casual joint in the same urban spirit as the Swan Oyster Depot in San Francisco or the bar at The Oyster Bar in Grand Central Station. Continue reading

Mike’s Deli, Bronx NY

REVIEW

Mike’s Deli is the Italian grocery of our dreams! And it’s barely a grocery at that; mostly, it’s a deli counter, packed literally to the rafters with hanging prosciutti, curing dry sausages, cheeses, oils, imported dried pastas, breads and rolls, jars of pickled vegetables… the sights, sounds, and smells cause sensory overload. Continue reading

Mike’s Homemade Candies, Cheektowaga NY

REVIEW

Where did the Charlie Chaplin log come from? You can find it in just about every chocolate store in Buffalo, yet nobody we spoke with has a clue about where or how it originated. Sold as a candy log about the shape of a loaf of biscotti before it’s been sliced, Charlie Chaplins wrap chocolate, coconut, and cashews around a soft marshmallow filling (like Rocky Road spiked with coconut). Continue reading

Woody’s Towne Cafe, Allentown NJ

REVIEW

Breakfast out for us has, for years, meant Mastoris Diner in Bordentown. We’ve moved on from Mastoris and now do our morning dining out at Daphne’s of Robbinsville and another choice breakfast spot nearby: Woody’s Towne Cafe in Allentown (that’s the small town in New Jersey, not the city in PA). Continue reading

Trattoria Ponterotto, San Casciano in Val di Pesa, Florence, Tuscany, Italy

REVIEW

Ribollita, the Tuscan cabbage soup thickened with bread

Ribollita, the Tuscan cabbage soup thickened with bread

Continue reading

Wonder Seafood, Edison NJ

REVIEW

We have nothing against modern, chefly dim sum restaurants, any more than we object to fancy-pants chefs’ takes on Italian cuisine, say, or beachside cuisine. We often enjoy the upscale, pricier stuff made from carefully sourced ingredients, artfully plated. But sometimes we want a perfect plate of simple, homey lasagna, or an overflowing basket of fried belly clams with o-rings. Or, more to the matter at hand, old-school dim sum served from rolling carts in a frantic, bustling, hyperventilating weekend morning scene. And there are none in the North Jersey area (and few, for that matter, in Manhattan’s Chinatown, across the river) the equal of Edison’s Wonder Seafood. Continue reading

White Rose Diner, Linden NJ

REVIEW

Sue places a breakfast order for a Taylor Ham, egg, and cheese sandwich. She does not like runny yolks.

SUE: How do you do your eggs?
COUNTERMAN: Well… when I get here in the morning I turn on the grill and let it heat up. Then I get the eggs out…
(Laughter from the working men dining at the counter, almost to a man with work pants riding down low enough to expose butt cleavage)
SUE: I get enough smart-ass answers from my husband.
(More chuckles)
BRUCE (to counterman): I think she’s falling in love with you.
(Further laughter from the pew)
COUNTERMAN: It happens that quick, does it? Continue reading

Madonia Brothers Bakery, Bronx NY

REVIEW

We knew of one woman, 85 years of age, who lived in the northern suburbs of New York City. She probably shouldn’t have been driving at all anymore, yet she still made the twice-weekly trip to Madonia Bakery, 97 years of age, in The Bronx, for her fix of the Italian bread she grew up with. Good, old-fashioned bread will do that to true yeast fanatics. Continue reading

Vito’s Deli, Hoboken NJ

REVIEW

For most of the 20th century, Hoboken, NJ was primarily an Italian-American enclave. Like many other Northeast industrial cities, Hoboken fell on hard times from the 1950s forward, losing over half its population, until late-century gentrification took root. Throughout it all, some of the classic Italian bakeries and delis, such as Fiore’s, survived, and others, like Dom’s bakery, sprouted with the city’s rebirth, carrying on this Hudson River city’s Italian heritage. In the latter category is Vito’s Deli, one of Hoboken’s premier sandwich makers. Continue reading

Louie’s Foot Long Hot Dogs, Tonawanda NY

REVIEW

There are a surprising number of foods that are either unique to the Buffalo area (locally referred to as Western New York or WNY) or are simply particular favorites of Buffalonians. Everyone knows about hot-sauced wings and beef-on-weck. The wings you can today get all over the country but, oddly, the weck never made it out of the city. Continue reading

Tommy’s Italian Sausage & Hot Dogs, Elizabeth NJ

REVIEW

North Jersey is well known for its great hot dogs, but the fine Italian sausage of the region should not be ignored. We present as example Tommy’s Italian Sausage in Elizabeth, a take-out only storefront that makes its own sausage and serves it up in the same classic configuration as an Italian hot dog, in a split loaf of what’s called pizza bread (like a cross between pita and Italian bread) with fried potatoes, onions, and peppers. The sausage is sliced open and grilled to crustiness, then slipped into the fresh bread. The predominant flavor of this sausage is pork rather than spice, with a satisfying coarse-ground meaty texture. Continue reading

Yocco’s, Allentown PA

THIS LOCATION CLOSED

REVIEW

Hot dog places are often as much about the place as about the dog. That’s why we recommend that if you visit Yocco’s you head to the original downtown Allentown store rather than the newer branches. From the outside, the downtown location looks like a corner bar. Step inside to a narrow room with tables beyond the grill area and ordering counter up front. In keeping with the corner bar theme, there is a double-size self-serve cooler filled with beer, including the largest collection of oversize bottles we’ve ever seen. Continue reading

Joe’s Pizza, New York NY

REVIEW

New Yorkers don’t have to be told where to get a good slice of pizza. Most people have their nearby favorites, and pretty much everyone knows that when you’re in the Village, Joe’s is the place to go; it’s no secret discovery. This tip is for visitors. Continue reading

The Little King, Hamilton Square NJ

REVIEW

The Little King is the quintessential Central New Jersey sandwich shop, whose motto is, “Where a Sandwich Is a Full Meal.” Walk in to the strip mall eatery and head to the counter to place your order. It is there you’ll be confronted by dozens of signs touting special sandwiches, as well as a few dozen more to be found on the menu board on the wall. If you suffer from menu panic syndrome, simply step out of line and read to your heart’s content. Continue reading

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