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Category Archives: local business

Good Cup of Java

I was running down Main Street in Herkimer (or possibly up it; I’m not good with directions) when I saw a sign for The Java Shop by Cucino Berto.  Well, I am always on the lookout for a new place to sit, sip, and write.  I made up my mind to stop in soon.

I had been to the restaurant Cucino Berto when they were located at the Frankfort Marina.  According to their website, after two successful years there, Cucino Berto decided to relocate and rebrand.  They now offer Friday dinners at the Herkimer Elks Lodge as well as breakfast and lunch daily at The Java Shop.

The first time I stopped into the Java Shop was a Saturday afternoon, and it seemed to be crowded with people who knew the owner.  However, the gentleman behind the counter immediately greeted me and took my order.  I enjoy a home town shop supported by family and friends.  I hope to become, if not a friend, at least a regular customer.

I later learned that the Business and Professional Association of Herkimer had been there earlier to welcome them to the neighborhood.  That explained the balloons I saw hovering by the cash register.  I think it’s wonderful to see local businesses supporting each other.

The second time I tried to go to the Shop (the following Monday), it was closed for renovations.  The renovation was worth the wait: more seating and a more open feel.  I got there just after they opened on a Saturday and had a breakfast sandwich.  I chose a roll over a bagel (even though they had Everything Bagels, my favorite!), fried egg (with a broken yolk), ham and provolone.  Oh, was that a good sandwich!  The ham was sliced thin and the egg was cooked to perfection.

I had regular, fresh brewed coffee on each visit.  I tend to be a “regular coffee” kind of person, but they have a variety of coffees available.  You can even get a coffee flight and try three different kinds.  I’ve had beer flights but never a coffee flight.  Perhaps I should expand my horizons.

The Java Shop has a friendly, pleasant atmosphere.  I enjoyed to sit by myself and write in my notebook, but I will be happy to bring a friend or two as well.  After all, my husband Steven loves his coffee. He shouldn’t always have to brew his own!

The Java Shop is located at 143 N. Main St., Herkimer, NY, phone number 315-717-7724.  They are open Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.  For more information you can visit the Cucino Berto website at https://cucinaberto.wordpress.com.

 

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yum, Yum, YUMMY Lunch!

I thought I would give a shout-out to a local business in lieu of my usual Wuss-out Wednesday post (I figured out what day it is, after a little confusion yesterday).  I think I mentioned a recent breakfast my husband Steven and I enjoyed at Heidelberg Cafe in Herkimer, NY, during which I was quite interested in some of the lunch choices.  Well, I was fortunate to enjoy lunch there on Monday.  It did not disappoint.

I got The Veggie: sauteed mushrooms, peppers, onions and eggplant with Swiss on French Peasant Bread.  Steven got half a chicken salad sandwich with a cup of French Onion Soup.  His sandwich was on French Peasant Bread too.  Oh, was my sandwich delicious!  Every bite was a wonderful experience.  It was a little messy, though, so I ate it with a fork and knife.  Definitely worth the extra effort.  Steven nicely gave me a bite of his half sandwich, and it was yummy, too.

We purchased a loaf of French Peasant Bread to take home as well.  By a major effort of will, I did NOT get any further treats.  Not even an English Tea Cookie or the Carrot Cake that sat temptingly on the counter.  However, I had better not rhapsodize on the marvelous treats I passed up or I will find myself running to my vehicle and burning rubber out to Heidelberg before they close for the day.

Heidelberg Cafe and Bakery is located at 3056 State Rt. 28, Herkimer, NY, phone number 315-866-0999.

 

Breakfast Twins at Heidelberg

My husband Steven had a rare Saturday off on the 31st; he had requested it for the murder mystery (which I believe I mentioned once or twice).  We celebrated with breakfast out at Heidelberg Cafe in Herkimer, NY.  For another reason, we wanted to purchase some yummy rolls for Easter dinner on Sunday.

We got an early start, to beat the crowd, but were not there at the crack of seven, when they open.  There were plenty of tables available.  Some neighbors already enjoying breakfast said hello (I love small-town living).  We took a table for two, and a waitress almost immediately asked what we wanted to drink.  We both asked for a cup of coffee and a glass of water.  Looking over the menu, I noticed some lunch choices that sounded delicious.  I’ve only had breakfast at the Heidelberg.  I’ll have to expand my horizons.

We continued twinning when we ordered food:  two eggs over medium and sourdough toast.  YUM!  We enjoyed listening to the local radio station while we ate (I’ll have to write a blog post about that radio station one day soon; it is a recent addition to the Mohawk Valley).   We also discussed how may rolls to purchase, counting on our fingers how many were expected at my Mom and Dad’s for dinner.  A dozen and a half sounded good to me.

For once we refrained from getting any goodies other than the rolls.  I had a bad moment when I saw the English Tea Cookies — I LOVE them!  But I am far enough from my weight loss goals.

I’m afraid this is a rather dull post.  In my defense, I am waiting for Steven to get home for dinner.  It will consist of sandwiches made with Heidelberg rolls and leftover ham from Easter dinner.  I’m SO HUNGRY!  But I have proven to myself that I can compose a blog post while hungry.  I also avoided having a Monstrous Monday, so I will content myself with that.  No promises for Tuesday, though.

Heidelberg Cafe is located at 3056 State Route 28, Herkimer, NY, phone number 315-866-0999.

 

Mmm… Coffee

In lieu of a Mental Meanderings or Middle-aged Musings Monday, I thought I would give a belated shout-out to Utica Roasting Company, where Steven and I enjoyed breakfast during his Fabulous Four Day Birthday Weekend.  We had business in New Hartford, NY, and we just don’t like to do these things on an empty stomach.  After much debate, I suggested Utica Roasting Company as being right on our way, if we went that way (there are a few ways to get to where we wanted to go).

For the uninitiated, Utica is the city closest to Herkimer, and there are several surrounding communities that all run into each other.  I guess you would call it the Greater Utica Area, which I rather like the sound of.  I paused just now to Google (an even sillier verb that “blog”) “greater Utica area,” and I only got the magazine of that name, not a listing of the actual communities that comprise said area.  But I am no hand at computer searches.

Be that as it may, I drove, being more familiar with the area that Steven.  We went straight into Utica on 5S and with a little finagling, got to 92 Genesee St.  We easily found a parking space and walked right into the coffee shop.  I have been there a few times, and even wrote about it for Mohawk Valley Living magazine.  I knew Steven would like it, although he may be a little too mellow for a place whose motto is, “Wake the Hell Up!”

We ordered coffee and everything bagels (regular readers may remember that is my favorite), and sat down.  There was a tall table I would have liked to sit at, but the stools did not have backs, which Steven really prefers.  We sat at a regular table, once again eschewing the comfy-looking couch, as we did at Moose River Coffee in Ilion (perhaps you read my blog post about that fine establishment).

The two coffee places have good coffee, comfy couches, and everything Bagels in common.  However, Utica Roasting has a much more urban feel.  The walls are unfinished, the tables are metal, and it altogether looks like a hip, happening joint.  Oh dear, those are old slang terms.  There is some retro decor:  an antique scale, an old street map of Utica, so maybe old slang is OK.

We enjoyed our breakfast there, and the coffee did help us wake the hell up.  For more information about Utica Coffee Roasting Company, you can visit their website at www.wakethehellup.com.  You can also Like them on Facebook.

 

I Could Use a Cup of Coffee Now

I have been meaning to write blog posts about a couple of places I visited over the weekend (remember, it was Steven’s Fabulous Four Day Birthday Weekend).  Instead I have been tired and not writing much at all.  However, today I will try to get back on track with a well deserved shout-out to Moose River Coffee in Ilion.

We had originally planned to go to Moose River Coffee Friday morning but ended up hunkered down waiting out the winter storm.  I really love that Moose River Coffee, though, so I was happy we went on Saturday. For another reason, I knew they sometimes have bagels and if they don’t, they have sandwiches on Heidelberg Bread.  Yum!  As it happened, they had Everything Bagels, my favorite!  I got mine with cream cheese, while Steven got butter on his.

We found a table to sit down with our coffee and bagels, but we could have lounged on the comfy couch.  One table had a “Reserved” sign on it.  I watched with interest as a group of young people (at least, they were younger than me; I guess that’s an ever widening range) sat at it and began a game of Jenga.  I think it is pretty awesome for a coffee house to promote community like that.  Next to the comfy couch is a bookcase with books and a couple other games, so people are apparently always welcome to linger.

In fact, linger is what I like to do at a coffee house.  In this case, Steven and I did not, because we had other adventures to pursue.  However, I hope to return soon alone with my notebook.  I have a lot more writing to do.

Moose River Coffee is located at 70 Otsego St., Ilion, NY, phone number 315-895-0490.

 

Scattered Saturday is Back!

Today I went Mohawk Valley adventuring with my friend, Kim, and I will attempt to give a brief overview of our gyrations.  I may try to write more blog posts, detailing individual stops, but for now I must just type off the top of my head and try to hit Publish soon.  I have more Saturday I’d like to enjoy.

She picked me up at one and we went to a wine tasting at Valley Wine and Spirits. I may have mentioned yesterday that Swedish Hill Winery was going to be there, and they have sweet wines, which Kim likes.  As it turned out, they also have dry wines, so everybody was happy.  We couldn’t think of any other place to go in Herkimer at the time, so we headed to Ilion, NY.

Our first stop was Beer Belly Bob’s.  Kim wanted to purchase some Ubu for a friend.  I found out after she got it that Ubu is from Lake Placid,NY, so I heartily approved that purchase.  I wanted to go further afield and buy some Corona but decided to delay that purchase.  From there we went next door to Moose River Coffee, because I thought a cup of their especially smooth brew would revive me.

Our next stop was Cornerstone Consignments, where Kim found an adorable purse and two pair of earrings.  Then I suggested we go to New 2 You Consignment Shop, where Kim bought several sweaters.  That woman is always cold.  We hit Young’s General Store and Ace Hardware on our way out of town. They were having a luau, which they have had before but I missed.

As I type this, I am inclined to type more about each stop.  However, I feel these places would be better served by individual blog posts.  I hope I can follow through on such a thing.  In the meantime, I’m going to call this an acceptable Scattered Saturday post.  I hope you were somewhat entertained.

 

Wine on a Friday

In lieu of my usual Lame Post Friday, I shall offer a brief shout-out to a local liquor store and a California winery.  I went to a wine tasting at Valley Wine and Liquor in Herkimer which featured Michael David Winery of Lodi, California.

I often go to Valley Wine and Liquor on a Friday, because they often offer a tasting.  I often take notes, thinking I might make a blog post, then don’t.  Today I will.  Steven was off work, so our friend Kim picked both of us up at five, and we made our way to Valley Wine and Liquor.  Kim was disappointed when we found out they were sampling four dry red wines, because she likes sweet, but I said, “I will try them all!”

The first one we tried was the Earthquake Zinfandel.  I pronounced it “yummy,” which regular readers know is my highest accolade.  We also tried Petite Petit, a blend of Petite Syrah and Petit Verdot; 6th Sense Syrah; and Ink Blot, a Cabernet Franc.  Steven liked them all.  My favorite was the Zinfandel with the Ink Blot  in second place.  We decided to purchase the Petite Petit, because the label featured two elephants.  My sister, Diane, collects elephants.  I said we would buy it and save it till we got together with Diane.

“We’d better get together with her soon,” Steven said.

Kim and I plan to return tomorrow afternoon, when they are sampling Swedish Hill Winery, a New York State winery I have been to more than once.  Most of their wines are sweet, so Kim will be happy.  If I don’t like the wine, at least I can write another blog post.