Stephen Rushmore Jr.
We took the Thruway and Rt 28 out of Kingston, NY for the first leg of our trip. The Catskills were in magnificent Fall color, the traffic was light, and we were in Oneonta in time for lunch at the famous Brooks BBQ. We had the BBQ chicken, salads, cole slaw, and pumpkin pie- all very good. This place is big – seats 300,and has the largest indoor smoke pits in the Northeast. The service is excellent. We took a walk thru the pits in a separate building where about 100 half chickens were cooking besides a big rack full of ribs, and where the pit master told us they had sold 2000 half chickens the previous Sunday.
A half hour later we were in our motel just south of Cooperstown and twenty minutes after that we were at the Ommegang Brewery. A very pregnant young woman conducted us on a tour of the facilities (you can’t taste the beer until you’ve taken the tour) which surprisingly and dissapointingly had no odor of fermenting barley and such. The five beers/ales they make were all offered in small cups and they were all delicious- they ranged from a very light Witte beer to a very dark and molasassy ale. A very pleasant place and well worth a visit . We bought a mixed bag to bring home.
Cooperstown, after the BB season, is a culinary desert; at least in our brief experience. Every place that had been recommended to us (except the diner) was closed – it seems that most of the restaurants do a 3 or 4 day week in the Fall and close entirely most of the Winter. We had dinner at the Pepper Mill a garlicky joint not far from our motel. It was awful!
The next morning, still suffering from an overdose of burnt garlic, we skipped our usual breakfast and had coffee and a hard boiled egg from the motel’s continental breakfast. It was OK, no complaint there. We then visited the Fenimore Art Museum on the shore of the Glimmerglass where they have a wonderful collection of American primitives (1700s to present time) and a very nice collection of Hudson River and other 19th Century American artists.
Of interest to Roadfooders might be one particular work by a woman, untrained in art, who lives in Horseheads, NY. Her work is a polychromed carved bas relief board about 20" X 12" titled, "Sullivan’s Diner, Horseheads, NY". It is a knockout! It depicts the diner interior in compressed perspective and an accompanying card explains that it is a 1940 Silk City (Patterson, NJ) diner.
To jump ahead a few days, I had to see if Sullivan’s Diner was still in business, so, when we passed thru Horseheads yesterday we went in search of it. It is still there, where it has been since about 1974 (it was originally located in nearby Elmira from about 1942 until it was damaged in a flood in 1972 ). Mrs Sullivan, we learned, had sold the diner to a young immigrant Polish couple last April when she retired well into her 70s. I entered the place intending to have a grilled cheese sandwich; my lunch ,instead, consisted of an interesting "Green Borsch" soup made from a beef base and flavored with sorrel, and a pair of "Goblaki (sp?) or stuffed cabbage rolls that were spicy and delicious. Gail had Piroshki (sp?) stuffed with potatoes, cheese, and saurkraut – she said they were excellent.
We took Rt 20 west out of Cooperstown headed for Geneva on Seneca Lake.
It was a beautiful day, the trees were in full color and the countryside along 20 is picturesque farm country – up and down hills all the way. In Madison, NY we stumbled on the apparently well known, but unknown to us, "Quacks Diner".
This is a real Roadfood place with very good offerings. Their BBQ, smoked on the premises, would probably shock the conscience of a true BBQ purist, but it made a couple of very tasty sandwiches for us. I had the sliced pork with a sweet sauce containing just a hint of tomato, and Gail had the roast beef (they were out of brisket) with a more spicy sauce. The buns are outstanding, they are a kind of hambu,20,239320.008,1,12890,220.127.116.11
239327,239320,239320,2006-10-02 10:39:35,RE: Cooperstown and Finger Lakes”