Weekend Getaway: Lake Placid, NY

27 Jan

This past weekend, I packed my bags and headed up to Lake Placid, NY for (believe it or not) my FIRST TIME!

Yes, less than two hours away and yet I’ve never been to one of the biggest tourist destinations in New York.

It wasn’t hard to find an awesome place to stay – I booked The Lake House at High Peaks Resort, a more private, lodge-like hotel in the heart of Lake Placid.

the Lake House Lake Placid

How beautiful does that look? There was a whole lounge area with a big fireplace, extremely helpful for the -10 degree temperatures we were dealing with this past weekend.

It even had a little bar where I got to meet up with local mommy blogger Mamatoga Jenny!

The Lake House Lake Placid NY

The view from my room was pretty stellar too -

The Lake House, Lake Placid NY

Also, they had these delish little cookies in the room with a carafe of milk that hit the spot.

The Lake House, Lake Placid NY

Aside from the beautiful hotel we stayed at, we found some great restaurants with the help of my wonderful fans/readers!

For starters, our first stop was Smoke Signals for a beer and some wings, as recommended to me by several Facebook fans.

Smoke Signals in Lake Placid NY

Not only did we get wings done two ways (with maple bbq sauce and dry rub), but we also got an order of their special fries, which were soaked in pork fat and then tossed in rosemary, served with some parmesan cheese.

Smoke signals in Lake Placid, NY

It was after the first fry that I realized my diet was going to be sacrificed the entire weekend. I also realized that from then on, no fry would ever taste the same to me.

The fries were salty and savory, with that lemony, earthy notes from the rosemary, these fries were stellar.

But the wings… those wings were truly the best I’ve had. Anywhere.

First smoked and then deep fried, the texture was perfect. Super crispy on the outside, and so juicy on the inside that the meat fell off the bone with one bite. No joke!

I wish that I had taken a video, because it was pretty epic. I’m also an atrocious wing eater, so to be able to get the meat in one bite gave me hope for the future.

Also, their sauces were all made from scratch, and we ended up bringing home some of the habanero house bbq sauce because I couldn’t even consider never having it again until I went back to Lake Placid. Worth every penny.

Not only did they have great food at Smoke Signals, but how about this view?

Smoke Signals Lake placid

Winner winner chicken wing dinner.

Moving right along, after Smoke Signals, we headed to ZigZags, which was an experience that can be summed up by this picture:

Zig Zags Lake Placid

After my stomach was ready for more, we headed to Liquids and Solids for dinner.

A 30 minute wait didn’t bother us, because every time we saw or smelled food passing by, we knew we had made the right choice.

Once we sat, we got after it and ordered the brussels sprouts and beet salad to start.

liquids and solids lake placid ny

liquids and solids lake placid ny

Listen, I know these pictures aren’t great, but it was dark and I had no lighting to help me out.

The brussels sprouts had a great crunch to them, almost like baked kale chips. But the fried brussels sprouts were marinated in a balsamic vinaigrette and finished with a little sprinkle of parmesan.

And the beets? They basically tasted like candy, but the horseradish cream underneath the beets balanced it all out, even adding a bit of heat to the whole dish. Amazeballs.

For my entree, I ordered the Beefcon, which was basically a beef patty with crumbled bacon molded into it, on focaccia.

liquids and solids lake placid ny

liquids and solids lake placid ny

Gotta be honest, wasn’t a huge fan of the focaccia, but the burger itself was great. Tons of flavor, and I don’t know what their secret sauce consists of, but it was something I’d like to acquire. Like, immediately.

Tim got the confit chicken and potato scotch egg with cabbage puree and hazelnuts.

liquids and solids lake placid ny

When he cut into that puppy, guess what I saw? Runny yolk is the correct answer, and guess what it was? Glorious. So so glorious.

Everything on the menu was really interesting, all very unique to this restaurant – which I loved! It’s always my goal to find foods that I wouldn’t necessarily be able to find back home, and I feel like my mission was accomplished here. At least with Tim’s meal it was.

Next morning, we made our way to the coveted Chair 6 for breakfast.

Chair 6 Lake Placid NY

Chair 6 Lake Placid NY

Tiny place, but really cute and cozy. Great coffee too!

I was immediately intrigued by the sweet potato hash, as well as the cinnamon roll pancakes.

Chair 6 Lake Placid NY

Chair 6 Lake Placid NY

Yes, I overate, and yes, I enjoyed every second of it.

The sweet potato hash was prepared with curry powder which made it really flavorful, and the two eggs on top were over medium and just perfect.

I seriously am going to have to start making this hash at home, because that curry added something totally special to those potatoes.

The cinnamon roll pancakes were fluffy and sweet. Just the perfect indulgent pancake!

After such a big breakfast, it was prime drinking time in Lake Placid. I mean, I guess we did do some sight seeing, including visiting the Olympic skating rink where Miracle on Ice took place.

Miracle on Ice

After that, we headed over to The Lake Placid Brewery for a sampler of their draught beers.

Lake Placid Brewery

I did take a video of myself reviewing one of them, but the fact that I used the word “linger” twice speaks for itself. Not going up.

The weekend was anything but boring, and I really loved exploring the downtown area of Lake Placid. When I go back (which I totally am), I can’t wait to revisit Smoke Signals, because it was absolutely my favorite part of Lake Placid!

Have you been to LP recently? What’s your favorite thing to do there and favorite places to eat!? Comment below!

Zagat Honors Troy’s Bacchus in Recent Story

22 Jan

Zagat, an online restaurant and dining guide, has just featured Troy’s Bacchus Restaurant in a recent story for the “Nation’s 15 Totally Tricked Out Pizza Ovens“.

If you’ve ever been to Bacchus, you know how cool this little underground pizza place is, but if not – take a look at the picture below.

bacchusoven

Yes, that large face is part of the oven, and naturally, the mouth is where the pizza goes.

It’s pretty awesome, and I can totally see why it would make a list such as this!

Congratulations to Bacchus on this great honor!

Here’s the press release for more information:

Troy, New York – January 20, 2014 – The massive sculpted head in which Bacchus Wood Fired Pizza of Troy, NY bakes its thin-crust pizzas received national attention recently when it was named one of the country’s “15 Totally Tricked-Out Pizza Ovens” by Zagat, the online restaurant guide. The oven, crafted by local sculptor Brian McCandless to depict the head and gaping mouth of Bacchus, the Roman god of agriculture and wine, has been hard at work providing award-winning wood fired pizzas to the Capital Region for seven years.

“While it’s a pleasure to have the oven recognized as the work of art it actually is,” says Bacchus owner Jim Scully, “it’s also a really great pizza oven. Over the years we’ve won numerous awards for our pizzas, but none for the oven itself. So that’s pretty exciting.”

Part sculpture, part engineering challenge, the oven was a complicated project from start to finish. A combination of five different fired-clay pieces, it measures five feet by eight and weighs several tons. Each of the pieces had to be measured, sculpted and fired off-site, then trucked in and assembled in the Bacchus kitchen. The entire process took several months to complete.

Bacchus has been a fixture in downtown Troy since 2008, and has made a habit of supporting local artists.

“Troy has an amazing, growing art scene,” Scully says. “Brian is just one of several nationally-recognized artists living in or near town, we have an outstanding art center on Monument Square in Downtown, and more and more members of the creative community are finding their way up the Hudson to relocate in this affordable, extraordinary community. Anything we can do as a local business to fuel that growth benefits everybody. The Bacchus pizza oven is perhaps the ultimate fusion of art and commerce. I’m honored to be a part of it.”

National Popcorn Day and How to Celebrate

19 Jan

Popcorn is totally one of my favorite snacks.

I have one of those old school air poppers and I could not be more thrilled when I make myself a big bowl of air popped popcorn.

Whether you’re going for traditional buttered popcorn like at the movies but way healthier (and if you do it right – more delicious!), or if you want a sweet treat – popcorn is super versatile and such an inexpensive snack to make.

Now in lieu of it being National Popcorn Day, I thought I’d do us all a favor and round up some recipes that I’ve found over the years for awesome types of popcorn to make for every occasion. Including tonight.

Buttered Popcorn

Thanks to Alton Brown, you’ll never have a bad batch of popcorn if you follow this recipe.

buttered popcorn

It’s buttery, crunchy, and really quite perfect in it’s simplicity.

Samoa Popcorn

Ahem… it’s girl scout cookie season, which means while many of us are making our orders now, we’re not going to get to taste those sweet sweet cookies until early March.

Enter the Samoa Popcorn.

samoa popcorn

A perfect buffer to keep you satisfied until spring!

Candied Popcorn

candied popcorn

This one is brings back all sorts of memories from childhood. So many, in fact, that I made my sister a huge tub of candied popcorn for Christmas.

It’s actually incredibly easy to make – it’s basically just jello and condensed milk. BOOM – you’re welcome.

Bacon Bourbon Caramel Popcorn

This recipe is definitely indulgent, and if you don’t mind adding a few extra calories into your diet, this popcorn is TOTALLY worth it.

bacon-caramel-popcorn

I don’t really think I need to even explain why. Bacon + bourbon + caramel? This is what holidays are all about!

Cheddar Popcorn

Cheese on popcorn? Uhhh yes please! There’s no way I could make a list of popcorn recipes without the traditional cheddar popcorn.

Cheddar popcorn

The recipe above is spot on, and you’ll even enjoy licking your fingers after you finish the batch.

Do you have a favorite popcorn recipe that you love to follow? Share the link below!

Oh right, and happy National Popcorn Day!

The Ultimate $1 Oyster Guide for Saratoga Springs

15 Jan

Let’s face it – Saratoga has a lot of restaurants. Not only does the city have a lot of restaurants, but many of them have specials that come and go so quickly you practically can’t keep track.

The biggest special that has graced our restaurants is the $1 oyster specials.

You know you’ve been in the middle of the conversation about $1 oysters at some point, and you’ve thought… “wait, I know this place has them one day a week, and this other restaurant has them another day, but I can’t remember exactly which days…”

Well today is your lucky day, because I’ve put my time into writing and researching exactly which days which restaurants are serving $1 oysters!

First – an easy guide that sums it up, and below, the details of what each restaurant offers –

$1 oyster guide updated

Monday:

Henry Street Taproom – Every Monday, the Henry Street Taproom offers $1 oysters from 4pm until close.

Henry Street Taproom $1 oysters

Tuesday:

Sperry’s Restaurant – Every Tuesday, you can count on Sperry’s Restaurant to have their $1 oyster special, limited to the bar area.

Sperry's $1 oysters

Wednesday:

The Wishing Well – One of the oldest, and maybe original $1 oyster spot in Saratoga hails from The Wishing Well. In the bar area, enjoy $1 oysters, sliders and other $5 appetizers!

The Wishing Well $1 Oysters

Nanola – Located in Malta on Route 9, Nanola is known for their Cajun/American cuisine. But something many people might not know is that they offer $1 oysters every Wednesday from opening until close!

$1 oysters at nanola in malta

Thursday:

The Brook Tavern – Sister restaurant to The Wishing Well, they’ve been offering $1 oysters every Thursday pretty much since they opened their doors. Not only do they have $1 oysters, but they also offer $1 sliders too!

The Brook Tavern $1 oysters

Maestro’s at the Van Dam – From 4pm until they sell out, Maestro’s offers $1 oysters on Thursdays at the bar and bar lounge area.

Maestro's $1 oysters

Tuesday through Friday:

Prime at Saratoga National – I bet this one comes as a bit of a shocker! It turns out, Prime offers $1 oysters Tuesday through Friday during their happy hour from 4:30-6:30pm in the bar and lounge area only.

$1 oysters at Prime at Saratoga National

Every Day:

Mingle on the Avenue – Ahhh yes, my friends. Mingle offers $1 oysters every day at the bar, and that is a wonderful thing to know. While the variety often changes as far as where they’re sourced from, it’s nice to know that you can literally eat $1 oysters every single day of the week.

$1 Oysters at Mingle on the Avenue

Know of a $1 oyster special that didn’t make this list? Comment below or send me the info at saratogafoodfanatic (at) gmail (dot) com!