Boston Restaurant Blog -- August, 2006
Monday, August 7, 2006
A group of us did another trip to the Adirondack Mountains in New York over the weekend. I go up there nearly every year, staying in Old Forge, which is an old resort town in the southwest Adirondacks. We usually hit some good restaurants up there, and this year was no exception.
We started the trip on Saturday by going to the Riverside Diner in Rensselaer, which is just across the river from Albany. The Riverside was a good diner that kept us filled up until we reached Old Forge several hours later. Once in Old Forge, we tried Frankie's for dinner. Frankie's is a friendly, popular restaurant in the center of Old Forge that has some great dishes and some average dishes. The pastas are mostly in the latter category, but the veal is outstanding there (I just wish I had ordered that instead of the pasta!). After Frankie's, we went over to the Pied Piper on Old Forge Pond for some ice cream. While the ice cream was ok, the soft serve was gummy and not all that tasty, and paled in comparison to the ice cream we would have on Sunday.
Sunday morning was mostly a time for tennis, shopping, and picture-taking (the top of McCauley Mountain is a beautiful spot, by the way, if you happen to get up to Old Forge). A few of us went over to the Hardtimes Cafe in Eagle Bay for lunch. We had gone to the Hardtimes Cafe, which is 8 miles east of Old Forge, last year, and were very happy with our dinners there. And the lunches were just as good. I had a tasty Italian wedding soup, and a delicious bean burrito with cheese, washing it down with some Saranac root beer. The Hardtimes is a comfortable place, and was very busy around lunchtime, even though Eagle Bay is a tiny hamlet in the middle of the woods.
After some time wandering around the rustic village of Inlet, which is just east of Eagle Bay, we headed back to Old Forge and made reservations for the Buffalo Head Restaurant in Forestport. The Buffalo Head is a favorite of ours, as it is an old restaurant just outside of the Adirondacks in a spot that looks more like Montana or Alaska than New York. And the steaks at the Buffalo Head are fantastic; indeed, everyone ordered the same thing--delmonico steak--when we went on Sunday night. It was delicious, though mine had just a bit too much fat on it.
The trip back to Old Forge from Forestport was beautiful, with the sun setting over the pine trees and the many ponds that line Route 28. We actually ended up continuing on through Old Forge, as we had a special destination in mind in Inlet; the Northern Lights, an ice cream stand that has about the best ice cream in the Adirondacks. Nearly everything Northern Lights has, from the gelato to the custard to the soft serve to the sundaes, is outstanding. And was it ever packed on a Sunday night. When we left at 9:00, there was a line of about 20 people waiting for ice cream. Bottom line: The Pied Piper in Old Forge is good in a pinch, but it is well worth driving the 10 miles from Old Forge to Inlet to try the ice cream at Northern Lights. Plus, Inlet is an interesting town that has a little bit of something for everybody.
Monday was a day of travel, as we all had to get back to Boston and New York City. A few of us did find time to stop by the Muffin Patch Restaurant in Old Forge, however, which is about as good as the excellent Walt's Diner, just down the street in the center of town. The Muffin Patch Restaurant has very good muffins, with the chocolate chip muffin being particularly good. The eggs were done just right, the pancakes were large and meaty, and the home fries were tasty, though a bit cold. This was another place that was absolutely jammed, with about half being locals and half being tourists. Our stomachs now full, we headed east along Route 28 through Eagle Bay, Inlet, and the central Adirondacks, eventually hooking up with Route 87, and back to our respective abodes in Boston and Manhattan. It was the end of another great trip to the Adirondacks, and lots of good eating!
We love going to Old Forge but sure seemed to run out of luck when trying to eat at the Muffin Patch. Last experience was Saturday, 8/30/08. My husband and I had just finished a hike at Bald Mtn. where I slipped and fell towards the bottom. We rushed to get to the restaurant, pulling in at 2:02 pm; sign outside advertises that it closes at 2:30 pm. The "closed" sign was in the window at 2:02, and the girl at the register didn't even seem compassionate that my pants were ruined from the fall. I sure would have appreciated a chair, good meal, and maybe even some ice. No luck - guess what? I'm not even going to try again. Sorry.
Posted on 9/3/08
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