Let me start by saying I am neither a vegan nor a vegetarian. I prefer to think of myself as a flexitarian. Basically, I'll eat what I damn well please pending it doesn't kill me. I happen to enjoy vegan and vegetarian based dishes; I find them flavorful, creative, and healthy. More and more diners across the world are going meatless (no one forgot about you, Keto) for various reasons and certain cities like Austin, Portland (OR) and Philadelphia are excelling in meatless dishes. For months I'd been hoping to explore Philadelphia's booming meatless dining scene and I recently had forty eight hours to make it happen. I was hoping to try at least four places but due to technological difficulties and pure popularity I was only able to visit two (the best two): Vedge and Charlie Was a Sinner.Read More
After a three and half hour drive north I finally see the faded, familiar flag that marks my aunt and uncle's house set amidst the golden leaves. The dogs come bounding down the stairs as I fight my way up with a bottle of wine and an overnight bag. I greet my family and take a look around the Adirondack style house. Same as ever, it brings a smile to my face to be somewhere so peaceful, so beautiful and surrounded by family and the great outdoors. It was a quick one night stay but being in the middle of the wild Adirondacks works wonders to calm my overactive mind and my growling stomach.
The towns in the Gore Mountain area all seem to blend into one another. The large swathes of land and the winding Hudson River make it difficult to draw boundaries but that's never stopped me from finding good food. Basil and Wicks in North Creek has been around for ages pleasing both locals and visitors. Conveniently set on the way towards the mountain is the lodge style building that has burgers, salads, steaks and the best crispy duck wings in a sweet chili sauce. There's also O.P Fredrick's with a surprisingly seafood heavy menu but I swear by all things duck here. The duck burrito and half roasted duck are house favorites for a reason.
This weekend though I had been craving the Korean barbecue wings from barvino on the "main drag" in North Creek. The menu stresses local and fresh ingredients meaning the menu changes daily. There are a few more permanent items such as the mussels, the frites, and the wings. I am not ashamed to say that between my sister, cousins and I we have demolished four to five plates of wings a sitting. Supremely crunchy (they're fried) and drenched in sauce with a gentle toss of sesame seeds and scallions these wings are the stuff dreams are made of. During this past visit I got a plateful as well as the salad with preserved lemon and lavender honey goat cheese. The salad was a welcome bite of bright, floral flavors to counter the wings. Sadly, the gnocchi with brandy, cream, bacon and almonds (I know, right?!) was not on the menu, which means I'll just have to come back, oh drat.
Any trip up north wouldn't be complete without a trip to Oscar's Smokehouse . The deli counters are full of plain and marinaded meats, various sausages, and deli style salads and cheeses. It's hard to exercise self control but when it comes down to it there are three must have items: bacon, maple breakfast sausages, and smoked chicken salad. The bacon is thin cut and simply awesome. The maple breakfast sausages are unlike any other I've had; the flavor legit explodes in your mouth. And the smoked chicken salad never gets old and I now have people placing orders with me for the next time I go up. Oscar's does ship certain items but the chicken salad isn't one of them...which means I'll just have to come back, oh drat. Noticing a theme are we?
Oscar Wilde said, "I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best." and the best is exactly what this area of upstate New York is. Whether it's scenery, food, or recreation, it is sure to be a wee bit wild. Until the next dish, ciao!