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And Thank You, Brian’s

Monday during our various movements dealing with the computer (see yesterday’s post), Steven and I got a little hungry. I suggested lunch at Brian’s Roast Beef Deli.

We easily found a parking place on Main street and easily found a table at Brian’s, even though they were doing a brisk lunch business. The menus were on the table, under plexiglass. I got up and checked the Specials board as well. Lots of good choices.

Steven decided on a deluxe hamburger with macaroni salad. I got garlic boneless chicken wings and a side of macaroni and cheese. I had been thinking of that macaroni and cheese ever since I suggested Brian’s. Seven got coffee to drink. I daringly ordered a draft beer, smallest size.

The waitress was one we’ve seen before. I asked her if she had lost weight since I last saw her. I always hesitate before I ask that question. I’m afraid the answer will be, “What, you thought I was FAT the last time you saw me?” I usually meet with a good response, though, and so it was this time. She had been trying to lose a few pounds and was glad it showed.

Our food was delicious. While we ate I noticed a note below the plexiglass on the table talking about how all the food was fresh made from the finest ingredients. I could tell. They were some of the best boneless wings I’ve ever had.

A lady Steven knows came in while we were there. She and her luncheon companion were sharing a large antipasto.

“Ooh, that looks good; I should’ve gotten that,” I said. “That’s what I do in restaurants,” I explained. “I look at what other people are eating and see what looks good.”

The lady said she thought my lunch had looked pretty good. I assured her it was. She may get the boneless wings next time.

We greatly enjoyed our lunch at Brian’s. It made a nice interlude in the midst of our computer dealings.

Brian’s Deli is located at 122 N. Main St., Herkimer, NY 13350, phone number 315-866-3664. They are open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to midnight. You can like them on Facebook.

Saturday Shout Outs

I must begin today’s post by repairing an omission in a previous post titled, “To Market, To Market.” I had purchased a lovely a sweet treat for Steven for Valentine’s Day but neglected to make a note of the company that made it. Imagine my delight when I found the business card in my wallet.

Allow me to recommend Tamsin’s Sweet Shop of Clinton, NY. Website (imagine my further delight to find she also blogs on WordPress). She is also on Facebook.

To continue with Saturday’s post, I think I will give another shout out to The Knight Spot in Frankfort, NY. Steven and I went there Thursday night for our Valentine’s dinner. I’m not saying it is the most romantic atmosphere in the Mohawk Valley. More of a down home, family, diner type of atmosphere. But I had conceived a craving for a patty melt earlier in the week, and The Knight Spot makes one of the best.

We had no problem getting a booth. I ordered a bottle of Yuengling Beer. Steven got coffee but also ordered a chocolate shake to go with his dinner (which The Knight Spot also does superlatively). He got an open-faced hot roast beef sandwich with mashed potatoes, gravy over both. As I said, I got a patty melt.

The Knight Spot is located at 264 E. Main St., Frankfort, phone number 315-894-4054. They are also on Facebook.

Breakfast Before Adventures

Saturday Steven and I had the opportunity to have breakfast out together. Since we intended to go to Ilion anyways, I suggested Farmhouse.

Farmhouse Restaurant is located in a very small building on Central Avenue, right next to the fire station. For the longest time we would drive by it and say, “How in the world do they fit a restaurant in that little building?”

It turns out to be a little crowded but a very good place to eat. The atmosphere is homey and the decor is fun. Vintage tins and other decorations are on a shelf that runs around the wall just under the ceiling. Old-fashioned wooden games sit on the window sill and some of the tables. I especially admired a hand-embroidered tablecloth on one of the tables. The waitress told me the original owner had done it, as well as most of the other decor.

Steven ordered French toast with fried eggs and sausage, plus orange juice. I more conservatively went with fried eggs and sourdough toast (my favorite). Do I need to say we both got coffee?

While we waited for our food, I picked up the wooden game on the table. It was a triangle with golf tees stuck in holes. The object was to jump one tee over another till you eliminated all but one tee. I used to have a plastic version of it when I was little. I seemed to remember getting very good at it. Not so much on Saturday. Then when I thought about it, I figured I probably did not get very good at it but played it enough that once in a while I somehow got down to one or two pegs. Steven didn’t do a whole lot better when he tried, so no bragging rights for either of us.

I felt really stupid when I bumped the table with my knee and spilled some of Steven’s orange juice. We mopped it up with napkins till the waitress brought a cloth. A little later a lady at another table called to the waitress asking for her orange juice.

“She’s afraid I’ll spill it,” I said.

“I can spill my own orange juice,” the lady assured me.

One table had a number of books on it. I asked if they were for sale. It was actually an exchange. I could take one and bring it back and/or bring others I was done with. In fact, I have a few paperbacks I don’t intend to read or don’t intend to read again. I picked up a murder mystery and got interested in it. You know me and books.

We enjoyed our breakfast very much. We happily set out for further Mohawk Valley adventures. Farmhouse Restaurant is located at 9 Central Ave, Ilion, NY. Phone number is 315-894-3276.

Overheard at the Diner

“New Hampshire is a made up state.”

I overheard that statement in Crazy Otto’s Empire Diner, Herkimer, NY, on Monday, when Steven and I went out for breakfast. I think the guy was teasing the young boy he was talking to. He went on to say that he had never met anybody from New Hampshire and was sure the young boy hadn’t either.

The conversation may have stemmed from one of the many license plates that decorate the diner. Our own Georgia plate resides on the ceiling at the opposite end from where we sat Monday.

I did not hear the rest of the conversation, so I don’t know what, if anything, was proved or disproved. I lead with it because it was the most unusual thing that happened during our breakfast out. I know I’ve devoted a few posts to Crazy Otto’s. I have to shake things up when I can.

It’s not so easy for Steven and me to go out for breakfast together as it used to be. Our work hours work against us. New Year’s Eve, however, I didn’t work and Steven went in at 1:30. We had errands to run. A bite of breakfast at Otto’s was the way to go.

I love looking around at the decor. In addition to the license plates, there are movie posters, retro ads and more. I was especially taken with an old ad for chocolate covered Twinkies. Why would they stop making such a thing? Oh, I know, Hostess is bankrupt, Twinkies are dead. But I don’t remember seeing chocolate covered Twinkies in the decadent ’80s or ’90s either. Good chance I would have bought them, especially in the ’80s when I was young and skinny (I bet you thought I was going to say “young and foolish.” Well, I was that, too). I later heard a young voice behind me saying, “Two for ten cents,” in an impressed tone, so I was not the only one noticing the Twinkies.

Our breakfast, to get back to the real food, was very tasty. I ordered a sandwich with egg, cheese and bacon on an English muffin. It came with homemade chips and a little carrot and raisin salad. Steven had French toast, fried eggs and a very large sausage patty. And, of course, plenty of hot coffee.

The next day, we found out our friends Phyllis and Jim had eaten at Crazy Otto’s. It seems Crazy Otto’s has a gluten free menu featuring a variety of choices. Phyllis was especially delighted with the gluten free pancakes. I said, “I’m going to mention that in my blog post!” Hi, Phyllis!

Crazy Otto’s is located on Albany Street in Herkimer. For more information call 314-866-8801. You can also “Like” them on Facebook.

Return to PK’s

Some weeks ago our friend Tracy was supposed to visit us, and we intended to introduce her to PK’s Pub. She was unable to make it, so we went without her. I wrote a blog post about it. Recently Tracy did visit us and we went to PK’s. I see no reason not to give them another shout out.

My friend Pete was not behind the bar this time, but I met up with him later when I had to visit the ladies room. He and two other guys were in it, checking on something or fixing something (I think).

“You gents visit the ladies room often?” I asked.

“All the time,” one of the guys assured me.

“It is the happening place,” I agreed.

I had been going to order Hats and Broccoli, which Steven had last time, but changed my mind and got the Chicken Riggies. Spicy! Steven got a dish with pesto and chicken, and Tracy had something involving pork, mashed potatoes and mushrooms. I foolishly did not make a note of the name of what Tracy had, but I bet I’ll be able to figure it out and order it myself when I go back there.

We all enjoyed the salads before dinner, remarking that they are more substantial than the salads some places serve. I especially enjoy the garbanzo beans, and what I really love is the herbed butter that comes with the rolls.

When the waitress asked us were we all set, I was about to ask for the check when Tracy spoke up and asked about desserts. Well, I couldn’t let her eat dessert alone, could I? We all three had a chocolate ice cream cake that was heavenly.

It was a great meal with great service. Steven and I will not wait till the next time Tracy visits to return to PK’s Pub. They are located at 221 King St., Herkimer, NY 13350, phone number 315-866-3494. Hours are Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday from 4:30 to 10 p.m.

Breakfast at the Bakery

About halfway through last week, I decided that since Steven had Saturday off we would have breakfast at the Heidelberg Bakery and Cafe, 3056 State Route 28, Herkimer, NY. I spent the rest of the week upheld by a vision of sourdough toast.

We got up early on Saturday, so I knew we would beat the crowd. I admired once again the larger tables with benches that look like church pews, but we sat at the same table for two we had sat at last time.

“It can be Our Table,” I said. It was our anniversary. I was allowed to be sentimental.

Of course we got coffee. I had been looking forward to the coffee from Utica Coffee Roasting Company as well. I don’t know why they don’t sell Utica Roasting at Hannaford, seeing as they love to carry local. I’ll have to ask.

I ordered fried eggs with sourdough toast. Steven ordered French toast, which is made with raisin walnut bread, and sausage. When I told the waitress how I had been looking forward to sourdough toast, she told me they don’t always have it. Well, I’m sure there are other good choices as well. I love Heidelberg bread.

We decided to get a treat before we left. After pondering cookies, brownies and strudel, we settled on a small apple cake. We ate most of it on Sunday. I may go back soon and get another.

Heidelberg Bakery and Cafe is open Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Phone number is 315-866-0999. You can like them as well as Utica Coffee Roasting Company on Facebook. Utica Coffee Roasting Company (which probably rates a blog post all its own) is located at 92 Genessee St., Utica, NY, phone 315-269-8898.

A Popular Spot

Tuesday Steven and I had planned to have dinner out with a visiting friend. We thought we would take her to PK’s Pub here in Herkimer, since she had never been there before. When circumstances kept her from joining us, we saw no reason not to enjoy a dinner out ourselves. For one thing, I had already put on my nice skirt and pantyhose.

As usual, we had to search for a parking space.

“On a Tuesday night,” I marveled. “This must be the most popular spot in town!”

I knew they had found us a table on busy nights before, so I wasn’t too worried. Pete, behind the bar, invited us to sit wherever we liked. I picked the tall table in the bar area. I do love a tall table.

“And I can hang my coat on the back of the chair without it being half on the floor,” I showed Steven. It was my long teal raincoat. I had gotten a little dressed up for the occasion.

After much debate Steven ordered hats and broccoli while I got ravioli. Italian dressing on my salad, ranch on Steven’s. Both dinners came with roll and butter and what yummy butter! Steven wanted to eat the rest of it with a spoon but refrained from such behavior.

“You can bring the leftovers in to feed the woodchucks,” Pete said.

“I think I’ll eat it all myself,” I said. I intended to. The food at PK’s is delicious.

I should perhaps explain about the woodchucks. Pete works at the same place I do. He works near a door to the outside that is often open. He likes to feed some woodchucks that live nearby. When work takes me near Pete’s area, I always look for his pets. I like to see a little nature while at work.

Steven and I were not able to finish our meals so asked for boxes.

“But don’t tell Pete,” I warned the waitress. “Because I’m not bringing them in to feed the woodchucks.”

“I think he heard you,” Steven said.

I told Pete I would bring in something else for his pets.

“They like chocolate chip cookies,” he suggested.

It was a very enjoyable dinner. I hope our friend is able to visit us soon, so we will have an unassailable excuse to return.

PK’s is located at 221 King St., Herkimer, NY. Phone 315-866-3494. They are open Monday though Thursday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday 4:30 to 10 p.m.

Note to self: buy chocolate chip cookies for the woodchucks. Then again, maybe I should bring them carrot sticks and not contribute to the woodchuck obesity problem.

A Great Spot for Breakfast

To celebrate our day off together on Monday, Steven and I went to breakfast at The Knight Spot on Frankfort, NY.

I know I have written about The Knight Spot before. It is a favorite of ours for breakfast, lunch, dinner or the occasional afternoon ice cream sundae. As we waited for our breakfast menus I read the desserts on the board on the wall near us and considered ordering pie for breakfast. Or possibly deep fried cheesecake. And of course they have all those wonderful flavors of Gifford hard ice cream. No, no, we were there for breakfast.

I ordered my favorite breakfast sandwich of sausage, egg and cheese on a hard roll. Steven ordered fried eggs with bacon and Italian toast.

“I only ever get bacon when we go out for breakfast,” he observed.

It’s true. We used to almost always have bacon in our refrigerator. We stopped buying it so often when Steven was diagnosed with high cholesterol. Now it’s a special treat. I don’t mean to say we eat healthily all the time or even most of the time. But we eat less egregiously unhealthily than we used to. That said, Steven enjoyed his bacon.

The whole breakfast was enjoyable. The Knight Spot has that hometown atmosphere that many area restaurants share. You get the feeling that many of your fellow diners are Regulars, that some of them probably went to high school with the waitress and everybody is ready to be friends. Of course none of that may be true, but it doesn’t matter. The place feels friendly, and the food tastes good.

The Knight Spot is located at 264 E. Main St., Frankfort, NY, phone 315-894-5054. They are open seven days from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. You can “Like” them on Facebook. I did.